Apprenticeship involves both classroom studies and on-the-job training under the supervision of a certified Cabinetmaker, called a Journeyperson.
As an apprentice, you earn while you learn and are paid by the hour while working on the job site. Wages start at about 55 per cent of a Journeyperson’s hourly rate and increase during your apprenticeship until you reach the full rate.
Entering an apprenticeship program
Requirements for cabinetmaker apprenticeship programs vary across Canada. In most provinces and territories, you must be at least 16 years old and have a Grade 12 education or equivalent to enter a cabinetmaking apprenticeship program.
Some provinces and territories offer secondary school apprenticeship programs that allow high school students to work towards a career as a Cabinetmaker.
For more information, check out the apprenticeship section.
Cabinetmaker apprenticeship programs vary across Canada, but generally involve four 12-month periods, including at least 5,440 hours of on-the-job training, four eight-week blocks of technical training and a final certificate exam.
Related work experience or completion of a cabinetmaker program at a college or technical institute can reduce the time required to complete your apprenticeship.
Certification is not required. It is available but voluntary in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and the Yukon.
Where certification is not available, it may be possible to study as an Apprentice through your local labour organization. Check out related links to find out who to contact.
Even where certification is voluntary, it is still recommended. Certification tells employers and other workers that you are a skilled professional. It also helps you get jobs.
To be certified as a Cabinetmaker, you usually need to complete a four-year apprenticeship program. Once you successfully complete the required on-the-job training, technical training and exams, you are awarded a Journeyperson certificate.
You may be eligible for certification in some provinces and territories if you have more than four years of on-the-job experience and some high school, college or industry courses in cabinetmaking.
Once certified as a Cabinetmaker, you may write the Interprovincial Exam to qualify for the Interprovincial Standards’ Red Seal. With a Red Seal, you can work as a Cabinetmaker anywhere in Canada.
To keep your skills current, Cabinetmakers must keep up with new technology developments by reading and speaking to other Cabinetmakers.