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Cabinetmaker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Cuts, shapes, and assembles wooden articles or sets up and operates a variety of woodworking machines, such as power saws, jointers, and mortisers to surface, cut, or shape lumber or to fabricate parts for wood products.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Maintenance, Installation and Repair pathway, Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Verifies dimensions or checks the quality or fit of pieces to ensure adherence to specifications.
  • Produces or assembles components of articles, such as store fixtures, office equipment, cabinets, or high-grade furniture.
  • Measures and marks dimensions of parts on paper or lumber stock prior to cutting, following blueprints, to ensure a tight fit and quality product.
  • Sets up or operates machines, including power saws, jointers, mortisers, tenoners, molders, or shapers, to cut, mold, or shape woodstock or wood substitutes.
  • Establishes the specifications of articles to be constructed or repaired or plans the methods or operations for shaping or assembling parts, based on blueprints, drawings, diagrams, or oral or written instructions.
  • Attaches parts or subassemblies together to form completed units, using glue, dowels, nails, screws, or clamps.
  • Reinforces joints with nails or other fasteners to prepare articles for finishing.
  • Installs hardware, such as hinges, handles, catches, or drawer pulls, using hand tools.
  • Trims, sands, or scrapes surfaces or joints to prepare articles for finishing.
  • Matches materials for color, grain, or texture, giving attention to knots or other features of the wood.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Boat Oar Maker -- Performs carpentry necessary to cut and shape oars, using special planes, drawknives, and other handtools.
  • Wood Machinist -- Sets up and operates a variety of woodworking machines to surface, cut, and shape lumber, and to fabricate parts for wood products such as door and window frames, furniture, and sashes.
  • Wood Ski Maker -- Fabricates skis from wood, using handtools and powered machines.
  • Antique Furniture Repairer --
  • Chair Maker --
  • Furniture Builder --
  • Guitar Maker --
  • Harp Maker --
  • Woodworker --
  • Woodworking Bench Carpenter --