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Apprenticeship

Cabinetmaker

Cabinetmakers build and repair custom or production-type fixtures and furniture made of wood or wood substitutes.

  • Avg. Salary $49,909.00
  • Avg. Wage $22.81
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

Construction Tradesperson

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

80%
80%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Cabinetmaker is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Cabinetmakers
NOC code: 7272
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to trim joints and fit parts and subassemblies together to form complete units using glue and clamps, and to reinforce joints using nails, screws and other fasteners

METHODICAL

Interest in marking outlines for dimensions of parts on wood

INNOVATIVE

Interest in compiling information to repair and restyle wood furniture, fixtures and related products

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 14, 2016

To build typical wood units such as commercial kitchen cabinets, cabinetmakers:

  • create and read specifications and drawings
  • make layouts and patterns
  • set up and operate woodworking equipment
  • cut, shape, mould and assemble components made of wood or wood substitutes
  • sand wooden surfaces
  • apply veneer, stain, polish or plastic laminates to finished surfaces
  • operate and program computer numerical controlled (CNC) equipment.

Cabinetmakers produce custom-made products. They may specialize in one or two of the following functions in large cabinet shops that have computer controlled equipment or perform a combination functions in smaller shops:

  • discuss projects with customers and draw up detailed specifications
  • estimate the amount and type of material needed and the cost
  • select the wood
  • cut, measure and produce pieces of a project
  • assemble the product by gluing, clamping, dowelling, nailing or screwing pieces together
  • scrape and sand the unit and apply a finish such as paint, stain, plastic laminate, varnish or lacquer
  • repair or refinish wooden furniture and fixtures
  • install cabinetry and millwork.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Cabinetmakers work indoors, generally in a shop environment. They may be exposed to high noise levels, airborne sawdust and chemicals from painting and stripping. There is some risk of injury when working with high speed woodworking machinery.

Cabinetmakers may handle equipment or supplies that weigh over 25 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Cabinetmakers need the following characteristics:

  • good eyesight to select woods and look for surface imperfections
  • good hand-eye co-ordination and manual dexterity
  • the ability to visualize a finished product from drawings, blueprints or other specifications.

They should enjoy creating things with their hands, developing specialized skills and working with a high degree of accuracy.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

To work in Alberta, a cabinetmaker must be ONE of the following:

  • a registered apprentice
  • an Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate  
  • someone who works for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of certified journeyperson
  • self-employed.

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2 and Math 10-3, or equivalent, or a pass mark in all 5 GED tests, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates. 

The term of apprenticeship is four years (four 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,360 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training each year. High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

Apprentices are required to provide their own tools.

Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for credit or certification.

Cabinetmaker apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at:

  • the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton
  • the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary.

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Apprenticeship Trades

Lethbridge College

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

This is an Apprenticeship trade. For full details, see the related certification profile

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Cabinetmakers are employed in custom shops or are self-employed. Employment prospects for cabinetmakers change with changing economic conditions.

Many cabinetmakers work in the trade until they retire. They may set up their own shops or advance to supervisory positions. Alberta certified journeyperson cabinetmakers who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

In Alberta, 94% of people employed as cabinetmakers work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Journeyperson wage rates vary but generally range from $19 to $28 an hour plus benefits (2014 estimates). Apprentice cabinetmakers earn at least 55% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year of apprenticeship, 65% in the second, 75% in the third and 85% in the fourth.

Cabinetmakers
NOC code: 7272

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $12.00 $27.50 $18.31 $18.00
Overall $16.90 $27.50 $22.81 $23.00
Top $24.00 $32.00 $27.57 $27.50

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

80%
80%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

64%
64%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

21%
21%

2015 Vacancy Rate

5%
Related High School Subjects
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Construction
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

Calgary Construction Association website: www.cca.cc

Construction Sector Council website: www.csc-ca.org

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 26, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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