Cabinetmakers fabricate and repair wooden furniture, and fit and assemble prepared wooden parts to make furniture.

A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and the majority of workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification.

Tasks

  • examining drawings, work orders and sample parts to determine specifications
  • selecting and working with materials such as timber, veneers, particle board and synthetic wood
  • marking out, cutting and shaping wood
  • working from drawings and specifications to make furniture
  • making fittings for boats, caravans and other items where fine detail is required
  • assembling parts to form sections of furniture and completed articles
  • fitting hinges, locks, catches, drawers and shelves
  • making frames for chairs and couches
  • may repair and refurbish furniture and antiques

Job Titles

  • Cabinetmaker
  • Cabinetmaker

    Specialisations: Antique Furniture Reproducer, Antique Furniture Restorer, Chair and Couch Maker, Coffin Maker

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,000 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    Certificate III or IV
  • Employment Size

    26,100
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    98.3%
  • Female Share

    1.7%
  • Full-Time Share

    92.3%

Find Vacancies

This is a large occupation employing 26,100 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Cabinetmakers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Manufacturing; Construction; and Retail Trade.
  • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 42.8 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,000 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 37 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Around 2 in 10 workers are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
  • More than 9 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

In 2016, employers in most locations found it hard to fill vacancies for Cabinetmakers, although employers in South Australia and Western Australia were able to recruit with ease. To find out more, view the Department of Employment's latest skill shortage research opens in a new window.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200530100
200625300
200728200
200827700
200924500
201028500
201125900
201225100
201326700
201428700
201526100
202024100

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsCabinetmakersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings10001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryCabinetmakersAll Jobs Average
Full-time92.368.4
Part-time7.731.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)42.840.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing88.6
Construction7.9
Retail Trade1.6
Other Services1.0
Other Industries0.9

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateCabinetmakersAll Jobs Average
NSW20.131.8
VIC28.125.5
QLD29.519.8
SA6.76.8
WA12.611.2
TAS1.22.0
NT0.61.1
ACT1.11.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketCabinetmakersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-199.6-5.45.4
20-2411.1-9.99.9
25-3425.3-23.423.4
35-4421.0-21.721.7
45-5418.0-21.121.1
55-599.9-8.78.7
60-643.6-5.95.9
65 and Over1.5-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryCabinetmakersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males98.3Males53.6
Females1.7Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationCabinetmakersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree0.0-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV69.3-18.918.9
Year 1210.3-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1012.3-17.717.7
Below Year 108.0-8.18.1

A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and the majority of workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Cabinetmakers who are hardworking, reliable and work well in a team.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Mathematics

    84% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  2. Building and Construction

    76% Important

    Materials, methods, and the tools used to construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

  3. Production and Processing

    73% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  4. Mechanical

    69% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  5. Design

    69% Important

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Occupational Information Network Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Getting Information

    84% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Controlling Machines and Processes

    83% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  3. Handling and Moving Objects

    83% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  4. Performing General Physical Activities

    78% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  5. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    77% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

Occupational Information Network Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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