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What Courses Are Offered at Cabinet-Making Schools?

Cabinetmakers are precision woodworkers who build cabinets for residential or commercial settings. You can learn the trade on the job or by completing a college or trade school program. Once you enroll in a cabinet-making school, you'll study topics like fundamentals of woodworking, safety and industry-related computer technology. For more information on the courses, keep reading.

Typical Courses Offered at Cabinet-Making Schools

Vocational and technical schools and community colleges offer certificates and associate's degrees in cabinet-making. These programs often combine classes in this specific trade with courses in general woodworking and furniture making. Cabinet-making courses vary by institution and the level of education sought.

In general, classes cover the fundamentals of working safely with wood and utilizing computer-aided technology. Once you enrol in a cabinet-making program, you also learn about basic woodworking tools and materials involved in the design and construction of cabinets, as well as learning how to refinish and re-face finished products. Typical courses might include:

  • Fine woodworking
  • Builder computer applications
  • Reading prints
  • Technology of wood
  • Computer-aided design (CAD) and AutoCAD

Important Facts about Cabinet Making Programs

Online Availability Cabinet Making Programs are available online through blended programs or traditional programs exclusively in classrooms.
Degree Levels Associate Degrees and Certificates.
Popular Career Locations Wood Specialty Shops, Countertop manufacturers, Lumber companies.
Continuing Education Certification is not usually required but can help advance your career.
Median Salary (2018) $34,740 (for Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 2% (for Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Practical Experience in the Field

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that woodworkers, including cabinetmakers, complete a great deal of training on the job, and they generally need three or more years of experience to become proficient (www.bls.gov). Cabinet-making educational programs typically include a practical portion providing some hands-on experience. Some programs incorporate specific projects that you'll need to complete using cabinet-making tools, and some have specific buildings and workshops designated for these projects. Once you complete your training, some of the schools have relationships with local woodworking establishments to help you with employment.

Other Helpful Skills

If you love to work in the design and construction of wood products, then cabinet-making may be the career for you. Other helpful skills in the industry include the ability to work with tools and a general interest in the detail involved in woodworking. As a cabinetmaker, your work will be that of a custom or precision woodworker, meaning you complete a full cycle of jobs, resulting in the creation of unique products. You'll often work with hand and power tools in your craft. Also, skills in computer technology, particularly in CAD programs, are helpful and are increasingly being used in cabinet-making.