Do you know what a Cabinetmaker is? A Cabinetmaker will layout, machine, assemble, install and finish products that are fabricated from wood, plastics and other materials. Many of these processes will combine conventional techniques with automated (CNC/CAD/CAM) procedures.
Cabinetmakers work in these areas for example:
- Architectural Woodwork (Millwork)
- Commercial furnishings
- Residential furnishings
- Yacht interiors
- Specialty items
To become a certified journeyperson, you need to complete four years of apprenticeship training. Apprenticeship is a time-proven method of acquiring skills in the trade by combining technical in-school instruction with practical on-the-job training. Apprenticeship training is the best method for passing along trade skills from one generation to the next.
Check the Apprenticeship Training Schedules to see available training dates.
Your Safety is our Priority!
Check out our Cabinetmaking Safety Videos and more!
While serving an apprenticeship you acquire skills by combining technical in-school instruction with practical on-the-job training.
The Cabinetmaking Apprenticeship program divides your technical in-school training into four distinct levels, 1 through 4. Each level builds on the knowledge gained in previous ones.
In addition to your in-school instruction, you’ll need to accrue four years of on-the-job training, working under the supervision of a qualified tradesperson.
While at BCIT, you’ll learn by:
- Receiving formal lectures in a classroom setting as well as on the shop floor
- Gaining practical experience by working through a set series of exercises and projects
- Challenging a series of written exams, based on your lectures and theory assignments
In BCIT’s Cabinetmaking program you’ll learn core skills for the trade, organized in a logical sequence and taught by qualified instructors who have worked in the industry. The program is designed so that comprehensive instructions are followed by a series of assignments and practical projects to give you the opportunity to hone your skills. Each level of apprenticeship training builds on the skills and knowledge you acquired in your previous training.
The scope of training in the Cabinetmaking department includes:
- Solving mathematical problems
- Identifying and selecting materials
- Identifying woodworking joints
- Applying layout techniques
- Using hand tools, portable power tools, and woodworking machines
- Using machining and assembly techniques
- Constructing a sash, door, and frame
- Building a staircase
- Making curved millwork
- Fabricating a veneered panel
- Applying a finish
- Installing millwork
- Drawing CAD shop drawings
- Using a CNC machine centre, CNC panel saw, and CAD/CNC software
- Describing manufacturing processes
For more detailed information about course content:
- Apprenticeship Training [PDF]
Graduating & Jobs
Students that successfully complete their four levels of apprenticeship training and Red Seal exam qualify for BCIT’s Diploma (Apprenticeship). Graduates also have the option of receiving this diploma at BCIT’s convocation ceremonies.
As a Cabinetmaker, you could be employed in one or more of the following areas:
- Architectural Woodwork (Millwork) – This is a broad term for items such as mouldings, windows, doors, staircases, panelling and other products for all types of building construction. View millwork examples…
- Student work – Cabinetmaking is a rewarding and creative trade. Our students are constantly creating new and challenging projects that reflect traditional and modern cabinetmaking techniques. View some of our student projects and check out our BCIT Cabinetmaking Instagram page.
- Yacht interiors – This is a specialized form of Joinery that adapts standard trade practices to produce the cabinets and trim required for the boat building industry. This often requires cabinetmakers with good three-dimensional thinking to fit parts onto curved and irregular surfaces. View yacht interior examples…
- Specialty items – There are many woodworking companies specializing in items that do not fit neatly into one of the above categories, for example makers of musical instruments and sporting goods. View specialty item examples…
The scope of a Cabinetmaker’s responsibilities varies with the size and type of employer. When you set out to learn the trade, you should try to master all aspects. Your abilities to lay out, machine, assemble, finish, and install a wide variety of products to a high level of quality will give you the best chance for continued employment, career advancement, and receiving the highest pay levels.
Faculty, Advisors & Staff
If you still have any questions about our program after reviewing our web pages, please contact any one of us. It would be our pleasure to provide additional information.
For a list of our current Program Advisory Committee (PAC) members please see below.
Faculty and Staff
|Paul Schmid, TQ
|Breena Jackson, TQ
|Kyle Karlstedt, TQ
|Bill Nash, TQ
|Andrew Pavle, TQ
|Doug Smith, BEd, TQ
Tool Room Attendant
- Jason Dugal – Chair, Coastal Craft
- Glenda Harskamp, Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of BC
- Phil Lipton, Veritas Millwork
- Kevin Siggs, Nova Kitchens & Custom Cabinets
- Ken Simpson, E.Roko Distributors Ltd.
- Reg Vidmar, Benchmark Architectural Woodworking
The Cabinetmaking building (NE-2) is located at the north end of BCIT’s Burnaby Campus, close to the intersection of Willingdon Avenue and Canada Way. The easiest access is from the Canada Way entrance at Beta Avenue. At the stoplight, turn south onto Beta and then take the next right at Smith Street. Continue on Smith. We are the fifth building down on your left hand side. Please note it will be labelled as the “Joinery” building as we change over to our new title of “Cabinetmaking”.
Metered visitor parking is available on the west side of the Inglis Building (NE-1), just across the street from our shop.
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