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.
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are below average at around $1,000 per week. Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 37 years (compared to 40 for all careers). Around 2 in 10 worker are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
  • Most 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.
YearEmployment Level
200530100
200625300
200728200
200827700
200924500
201028500
201125900
201225100
201326700
201428700
201526100
202024100

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Careers Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015 cat. no. 6333.0. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. 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.
CategoryCabinetmakersAll Jobs Average
Full-time91.869
Part-time8.230.8
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)41.940.2

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016. 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.
StateCabinetmakersAll Jobs Average
NSW20.131.8
VIC28.125.5
QLD29.519.8
SA6.76.7
WA12.611.1
TAS1.22
NT0.61.1
ACT1.11.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
Age BracketCabinetmakersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-199.6-5.45.4
20-2411.1-9.99.9
25-3425.3-23.323.3
35-4421.0-21.621.6
45-5418.0-21.121.1
55-599.9-8.68.6
60-643.6-5.95.9
65 and Over1.5-3.73.7

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
CategoryCabinetmakersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males96.3Males53.8
Females3.7Females46.1

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: Based on ABS 2016 Survey of Education and Work (SEW).
Type of QualificationCabinetmakersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.58.5
Bachelor degree0.0-17.817.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV69.3-18.818.8
Year 1210.3-18.618.6
Years 11 & 1012.3-17.617.6
Below Year 108.0-8.08.0

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. The majority of workers have a Certificate III/IV. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a 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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