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How do I become a Cabinet Maker?

Are you thinking about the next step in your career and like working with your hands, have a high level of accuracy and enjoy working with wood? If this sounds like you, an Australian Apprenticeship in Cabinet making might be the perfect step for your career.

What is a Cabinet Maker?

Cabinet makers are woodworkers that specialise in designing and making built-in or customized cabinets. They also design and manufacture fine wood furniture that accompanies the cabinetry in homes or offices.

Is a career in Cabinet Making right for me?

Is a career in Cabinet Making right for me?

Before committing to an apprenticeship, it's important to do your research to find out if Cabinet Making is suited to you. As well as educational prerequisites, there a few personal qualities that will help you determine if a career in Cabinet Making is the job for you:

- Enjoy working with wood
- Able to work to a high level of accuracy
- Able to make mathematical calculations
- Good communication skills
- Good hand-eye coordination
- Able to work independently or as part of a team

How do I find a job as a Cabinet Maker?

If you are wondering how to start an apprenticeship, the first step is to find an employer who will have an open position for you. There are many different ways to find an apprenticeship, starting from job search sites online to door-knocking, or via Group Training Organisations. To get started, have a look at these job search sites and look for any open positions that may be advertised.

It is also advised to network with others in the industry and connect with employers. Watch Jules, an apprentice Cabinet Maker, share how he found an apprenticeship position in this video. Watch him talk about his apprenticeship journey while studying a Certificate III in Cabinet Making.

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What can I expect to be doing as Cabinet Making apprentice?

 An Cabinet Making apprenticeship takes 4 years to complete and includes a range of on-the-job and off-the-job training. Over the course of the apprenticeship, you will learn about different aspects of the job. This will help you build the necessary skills and knowledge to operate independently in the future.

Through on-the-job and off-the-job training, you will learn to:

  • Operating woodworking machines and using hand tools to cut, shape and form wood
  • Fitting parts together using glue and clamps
  • Reinforcing joints using nails or screws
  • Trimming joints
  • Sanding wooden surfaces and applying veneer, stain or polish to finished products
  • Repairing or restyling wooden furniture or fixtures
  • Marking outlines or dimensions on wood
  • Preparing or interpreting drawings or blueprints
  • Preparing work estimates

During your apprenticeship, you may be trained and assessed in the following:

  • Hand make timber joints
  • Use furniture making sector hand and power tools 
  • Make measurements and calculations
  • Set up and operate basic static machines
  • Set up, operate and maintain drilling machines
  • Set up, operate and maintain sawing machines
  • Select timbers for furniture production
  • Prepare to work safely in the construction industry
  • Prepare cutting list from plans and job specifications
  • Communicate in the workplace
  • Work in a team
  • Read and interpret work documents
  • Construct furniture using leg and rail method
  • Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
  • Produce manual and computer-aided production drawings
  • Set up, operate and maintain computer numerically controlled (CNC) machining and processing centres
  • Set up, operate and maintain automated edge banding machines
  • Estimate and cost job
  • Apply manufactured board conversion techniques
  • Prepare surfaces for finishing
  • Produce angled and curved furniture using manufactured board
  • Prepare and apply decorative surfaces for furniture
  • Fabricate custom furniture
  • Construct jigs and fixtures
  • Fabricate cabinets for the built-in environment
  • Plan kitchen and bathroom projects
  • Determine requirements for installation of cabinets
  • Install furnishing products
What are my career outcomes?

What are my career outcomes?

There are endless opportunities and career pathways once you complete your apprenticeship. As well as owning your own business, a Cabinet Maker, you may choose to specialise in:

- Furniture Making
- Kitchen/Bathrooms
- Antique Furniture Restoration
- Coffin Maker