Careers in cabinet making

Do you enjoy taking woodworking classes in school? Are you fascinated by wood as an artistic medium and the practicality of furniture making? Do you wish to pursue a career in trades rather than academics? If any of these apply to you, then you may want to consider a career as a cabinet maker.
Cabinet makers are also woodworkers because most cabinets are made of wood. They often work in wood manufacturing facilities or custom kitchen cabinet design houses. According to the US Department of Labor’s US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate in the demand of cabinet makers is below average, partly because most cabinets are made by machines rather than hand. However, that is not to say that a talented cabinet maker is not in huge demand within the industry.
Students who are interested in pursuing a career in cabinet making should consider enrolling in some sort of training following high school graduation. While a degree is not required to become a cabinet maker, students should be enrolled in training in order to get a better idea of the fundamentals of woodworking, cabinet design and the equipment used in the trade. On the other hand, some cabinet makers are woodworking hobbyist who took weekend classes to hone in their craft. Furthermore, some students may be enrolled in an apprenticeship program sponsored by the state to promote trades. These programs are a combination of in-class theory sessions combined with hands-on development sessions with industry professionals so that they have experience applying what they learned in class to a practical project. Regardless of which program you take to become a cabinet maker, classes are required to make sure students have access to the information and resources required for their trade.
Most programs are offered at a community college as a two year diploma. Below are some of the courses which students may expect to take in the program:
• Cabinet Making: These courses introduce students to the fundamentals of cabinet making, including the different types of cabinetry, the materials used and the construction of the cabinets.
• Finishes: These courses teach students to distinguish mass produced cabinetry and bespoke ones. They will learn how the materials used affect the quality of the overall product, including the design and the maintenance of the cabinetry.
• Hand and Machine Tools: Students will learn about the tools of their trade including some of the common hand and machine tools used for basic design as well as those used for more bespoke pieces which can be applied to other areas of furniture making.
• Safety Principles: These are fundamental principles which students need to understand in order to succeed in the trade. Many professions involving tools and machinery result in lost time incidents and these courses are designed to enable students to work safely without causing harm to themselves, to others as well as to the environment.
• Design and Blueprinting: Many cabinet makers are also designers or they work with designers frequently to interpret their ideas to the actual product. As a result, cabinet makers need to learn to use design software and interpret blueprints in order to accurately put together the cabinets.
For more information on a career path as a cabinet maker, please contact your high school counselor.

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