How To Become A Cabinet Maker In Australia: Explained

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Students want to know how they can become cabinet makers in Australia.


Do you have excellent creative and visualisation skills? If yes, a career as a cabinet maker could be ideal for you.


Cabinet makers are craftspeople who design, manufacture, and assemble furniture and cabinetry. Their duties range from cutting and shaping wood in a factory to designing and repairing customised furniture with clients.


To become a qualified Cabinet Maker in Australia, you need a 3 to 4 years Certificate III in Cabinet Making, a cabinet maker apprenticeship, and off-the-job training at an RTO.


This blog is the best place to explore the responsibilities of a cabinet maker, how much they earn, salary, apprenticeships, qualifications, what cabinet making is, the job prospects, and the steps to becoming one.



1. What Are Cabinet Makers?


Cabinet Makers are specialised woodworkers who make the internal infrastructure of buildings, including furniture, cabinetry, etc. 


They also repair or install fixed and free-standing furniture using solid timber, flat-panel, or timber-based products and varieties of laminates and other materials.


They operate hand-driven tools and automated cutting machines to cut and join wood to manufacture cabinetry and furniture.



2. What Does A Cabinet Maker Do?


Your responsibilities as a cabinet maker depend on the type of construction project you undertake, your qualification, and your level of expertise. 


The general duties of a cabinet maker are as follows:


  • Receive new customer orders 

  • Discuss the job details with clients to determine specific job requirements

  • Examine templates, technical drawings, and specifications of orders and manufacture furniture

  • Select the correct wood, such as softwood and hardwood timber, veneers, synthetic woods, and particleboard.

  • Interpret work documents to prepare precise cutting lists for jobs 

  • Mark, trim, shape, and glue multiple wooden pieces 

  • Prepare and assemble cabinets from shaped components for installation.

  • Repair and renovate antiques and old furniture 

  • Add intricate design and file details to cabinetry, furniture, caravans, boats, and other items.

  • Measure and draw layouts for finished furniture

  • Match furnishing materials and styles to suit the needs of clients.

  • Deliver and oversee service to clients

  • Operate Computer-aided design, 3D woodworking machinery, computer numerical control machines, and manual tools such as jigsaws, drills, chisels, planes, sanders, and power tools

  • Choose and fit handles, hinges, locks, drawers, shelves, and catches

  • Adjust and repair cabinets on-site

  • Clean and maintain workplaces, tools, and machinery to ensure a safe working environment.

  • Prepare frames for couches and chairs.

  • Design interior projects



3. Desirable Skills For A Cabinet Maker


If you possess the following traits, then a career as a cabinet maker could be suitable for you:


  • A high level of precision

  • Good hand-eye coordination

  • Clear communication 

  • Enjoy doing manual and practical activities.

  • Able to work with a broad array of cutting and joining machinery, and tools

  • Strong arithmetic skills and ability to do mathematical calculations

  • Able to work independently or in a team

  • Free from dust and allergies

  • Able to follow written instructions

  • Presentable

  • Willing to stay updated with fast-changing Woodworking technology, and methods

  • Teamwork skills

  • Positive mindset

  • Patience (as it takes several months to develop custom cabinets and antique woodwork that involves delicate designs and artwork) 

  • Active listener

  • Able to work efficiently and safety

  • Good spatial awareness (that helps increase safety in the workplace)

  • Problem-solving

  • Strong knowledge of various surfaces and adhesives



4. How To Qualify As A Cabinet Maker In Australia?


The following are the required academic and training requirements to pursue this profession in Australia:


  • Gain your Year 10 education certificate

  • Complete a Certificate III in Cabinet Making (MSF31113) to develop specialised skills to undertake the requisite work in furniture, bathrooms, and kitchens. Alternatively, you can complete a Certificate III in Furniture Making (MSF30213) via a TAFE or RTO. In most cases, the courses are part of an apprenticeship.

  • Gain supervised hands-on experience in the workplace under the guidance of qualified Cabinet Makers.

  • A prior experience in construction work and general contracting is necessary.



5. Steps To Become A Cabinet Maker In Australia


If you like the role and are interested in pursuing it, then here are the steps to help you become one:



Step 1: Become Qualified


To work as a Cabinet maker, all you need is to complete a Certificate III in Cabinet Making (MSF31113) in either furniture or kitchen and bathrooms. Assessing your interests in the woodworking industry is necessary to choose the right specialisation option.


The qualification includes theoretical studies and practical on-the-job training/apprenticeship that provides the knowledge and skills to make, repair or renovate furniture in bathrooms and kitchens.


The cabinet Maker apprenticeship gives you training and job experience benefits. It prepares you to become a qualified tradesperson as a cabinet maker. 


Though the apprenticeship duration varies based on your state, they are usually three to four years long, regardless of the specialisation option you choose.


Besides the Cabinet Maker profession, the transferable skills you learn as a result of the course can help you in the following job titles such as:


  • Wood machinist

  • CNC operator

  • Furniture maker

  • Caravan fitter

  • Coffin maker

  • Shopfitter

  • Chair maker

  • Boatbuilding

  • Antique restorer


You can also study for a Certificate III in Furniture Making that trains you to perform various tasks in the furniture-making industry. 



Step 2: Apply For Cabinet Making Jobs


After completing a Certificate III in Cabinet Making, start searching for open cabinet maker positions in large factories or small workshops on popular job boards.


  • Cabinet makers who specialise in kitchens and bathrooms could find work that involves building and designing detailed timber and cabinetry features within these rooms.

  • On the other hand, if you specialise in furniture cabinet making, you can modernise and restore wooden furniture and features.


Before applying for a job, ensure that the details in your resume are true, accurate, and up-to-date. Also, check if it lists all relevant qualifications, work experience, and achievements.


Also, writing a cover letter that mentions your interests and reasons for choosing a cabinet-making career can help you cast a good impression on the employer.



6. Cabinet Maker Courses


Are you interested in becoming a cabinet maker? A Certificate III in cabinet making (kitchens and bathrooms) is ideal for gaining essential skills to work as a qualified cabinet maker in the furniture and cabinet-making industries. 


This apprenticeship course gives you a wide breadth of knowledge and skills for the manufacture and installation of cabinetry, including furniture products in the kitchen and bathroom.


Cabinet Maker TAFE courses give you practical knowledge and hands-on skills to work on various projects, including kitchen fit-outs, bookcases, bathroom vanities, and media units.


You also learn how to estimate and quote work, create drawings, and use the machines, tools, and techniques to execute the job.


Here are a few nationally accredited Certificate III in Cabinet Making courses that give you nationwide recognition as a skilled and qualified cabinet maker tradesperson. 


With this certification, you can work in the residential or commercial sector or establish your business.





7. How Long Is A Cabinet Maker Apprenticeship?


To become a Cabinet Maker (ANZSCO: 394111) in Australia, you usually need to complete a 4-year Certificate III in Cabinet Making. The course is part of an apprenticeship.


It provides specialised skills to manufacture and overhaul wooden furniture and fit and assemble finished wooden components to build furniture.



8. Areas of Specialisation


Experienced Cabinet makers may specialise in the following areas:


  • Kitchen fittings

  • Office furniture

  • Shop fittings

  • Reproduction of antique furniture

  • Bedroom suites

  • Dining suites

  • Occasional furniture



9. Job Opportunities For Cabinetmakers In Australia


The trade industry and the accessibility of jobs depend on the economy and other factors.


There is a demand for qualified Cabinet Makers in Australia. The maximum number of Cabinetmakers work in Victoria in Construction, Manufacturing, Agricultural, Forestry, and Fishing.


Cabinetmakers work in firms that manufacture furniture, kitchens, bathrooms, and pre-made wooden parts. Smaller businesses manufacture custom-made items or repair and restore them. 


When working for larger companies, cabinet makers manufacture and install free-standing or stationary furniture for housing and commercial projects.


Based on their trade-related knowledge and personal attributes, they can even get promoted to a manager or supervisor. After gaining experience, and training, through a recognised training provider or business, capable cabinetmakers may even set up their business.



10. Work Conditions


A typical day for a cabinet maker involves building and installing cabinetry and storage sections with different materials, such as steel, wood, and laminate. They work with various hand-driven and electricity-powered tools such as hammers, drills, and saws to accomplish this task.


Generally, cabinet makers work standard business hours in commercial, domestic, and retail constructions. In specific commercial locations, they must work overnight (which pays them double.


Cabin makers work independently in small businesses or individual construction jobs. Still, in big factories, the job involves working in a team. Cabinet makers also require travel from one site for every new job.


The construction job requirements include compulsory insurance for security and safety against customer claims.  



11. Job Prospects For Cabinet Makers In Australia


Cabinet Makers are on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List for skilled migration in Australia. They enjoy strong career prospects both in Australia and worldwide. 


The recent construction industry boom and strong employment growth indicate a favourable job outlook for aspiring Cabinet Makers in Australia.



12. How Can International Students Study Cabinet Making In Australia?


In Australia, Cabinet Maker (394111) is on the Skilled Occupations List. The skills assessment for workers in this occupation is through Trade Recognition Australia.


A Certificate III in Cabinet Making is required for international students to get a positive skills assessment as a Cabinet Maker. Students can perform this trade when completing this course and participating in the job-ready program without living in a local area or employer sponsorship.


Here is how overseas students can study cabinet-making in Australia:



With a team of experienced Education and Migration agents, Pathway to Aus has helped a thousand overseas students to achieve their study and migration objectives. 



13. How Much Do Cabinet Makers Earn In Australia?


The average cabinet maker's salary in Australia is AU$ 53,040 per year or an hourly equivalent of AU$ 24.75. It can be lower or higher based on your academic qualifications and experience.


  • Entry-level Cabinet Makers (<1-year experience): AU$20.75 per year

  • Early career Cabinet Makers (1-4 years of experience): AU$22.64 

  • Mid-career Cabinet Makers (5-9 years of experience): AU$25.32 

  • Experienced Cabinet Makers (10 to 19 years of experience): AU$27.93 


Cities that pay the highest salaries to Cabinet Makers in Australia are as follows:


  • Dandenong, Victoria: $102,148 per year

  • Strathpine, Queensland: $88,340 per year

  • Brendale, Queensland: $88,212 per year

  • Thomastown, Victoria: $78,998 per year

  • Cairns, Queensland: $64,432 per year

  • Bathurst, New South Wales: $63,959 per year

  • Melbourne, Victoria: $63,031 per year

  • Gold Coast, Queensland: $61,073 per year



14. Conclusion


Cabinet Makers are one of the most frequently employed trade workers in Australia. From full kitchens to personalised pieces of fine furniture, they use their creativity, visualisation, and craftsmanship to fulfil customers' orders with utmost precision.


If you are fit for this role, then a Certificate III in Cabinet Making is the ideal qualification to start working as a qualified cabinetmaker in Australia.


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