Occupational Details for Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters
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      Occupational Details for Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters

      Would you like to learn more about this occupation? Explore below by scrolling down to view all of the details, or select a menu option on the left.

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      Occupation Description
      Work Values
      Tools & Technology
      Work Context
      Work Styles
      Education / Training
      School Programs
      Job Outlook
      State License / Certification Requirements
      Additional Resources
      Apprenticeship Programs / Opportunities
      Similar Jobs
      Job Openings in NY


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      Career search for Engineering and Technology

      This occupation is in the Manufacturing career cluster and the Production career pathway

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      Occupation Description

      Cut, shape, and assemble wooden articles or set up and operate a variety of woodworking machines, such as power saws, jointers, and mortisers to surface, cut, or shape lumber or to fabricate parts for wood products.

      Sample Job Titles: Accordion Maker, Alteration Worker, Antique Furniture Repairer, Antique Repairer, Apprentice, Mechanist, Wood


      Below are the top interest(s) required for a person in this occupation.

      • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
      • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

      Work Values

      Below are the top three work values required for a person in this occupation.

      • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
      • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
      • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.


      The list below outlines occupation specific tasks that a worker in this occupation is called upon to do regularly.

      • Produce and assemble components of articles such as store fixtures, office equipment, cabinets, and high-grade furniture.
      • Verify dimensions, and check the quality and fit of pieces in order to ensure adherence to specifications.
      • Set up and operate machines, including power saws, jointers, mortisers, tenoners, molders, and shapers, to cut, mold, and shape woodstock and wood substitutes.
      • Measure and mark dimensions of parts on paper or lumber stock prior to cutting, following blueprints, to ensure a tight fit and quality product.
      • Reinforce joints with nails or other fasteners to prepare articles for finishing.
      • Attach parts and subassemblies together to form completed units, using glue, dowels, nails, screws, and/or clamps.
      • Program computers to operate machinery.
      • Establish the specifications of articles to be constructed or repaired, and plan the methods and operations for shaping and assembling parts, based on blueprints, drawings, diagrams, or oral or written instructions.
      • Cut timber to the right size and shape and trim parts of joints to ensure a snug fit, using hand tools such as planes, chisels, or wood files.
      • Match materials for color, grain, and texture, giving attention to knots and other features of the wood.
      • Trim, sand, and scrape surfaces and joints to prepare articles for finishing.
      • Estimate the amounts, types, and costs of needed materials.
      • Bore holes for insertion of screws or dowels, by hand or using boring machines.
      • Perform final touch-ups with sandpaper and steel wool.
      • Install hardware such as hinges, handles, catches, and drawer pulls, using hand tools.
      • Discuss projects with customers, and draw up detailed specifications.
      • Repair or alter wooden furniture, cabinetry, fixtures, paneling, and other pieces.
      • Apply Masonite, formica, and vinyl surfacing materials.
      • Design furniture, using computer-aided drawing programs.
      • Dip, brush, or spray assembled articles with protective or decorative finishes such as stain, varnish, paint, or lacquer.


      Duties are job behaviors, describing activities that occur on multiple jobs. The generalized and detailed work activities described in the list below apply to this occupation.

      • Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
        • set up computer numerical control machines
      • Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
        • lay out woodworking projects
        • measure and mark reference points or cutting lines on workpieces
      • Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
        • understand machine setup instructions
        • understand technical operating, service or repair manuals
      • Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
        • adjust production equipment/machinery setup
        • set up production equipment or machinery
      • Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
        • move or fit heavy objects
        • prepare building surfaces for paint, finishes, wallpaper, or adhesives
      • Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
        • monitor production machinery/equipment operation to detect problems
      • Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
        • perform safety inspections in manufacturing or industrial setting
        • examine products or work to verify conformance to specifications
      • Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
        • fabricate, assemble, or disassemble manufactured products by hand
      • Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
        • operate woodworking equipment/machinery
        • build or install cabinets or related interior wood fixtures
        • use hand or power woodworking tools
        • use precision measuring tools or equipment
        • use hand or power tools
      • Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
        • read blueprints
        • read specifications
        • read technical drawings

      Tools and Technology

      This list below describes the machines, equipment, tools, software, and information technology that workers in this occupation will use.

      Tools Technology
        • Adjustable wrenches
          • Adjustable hand wrenches
        • Augers
          • Hand augers
        • Awls
          • Awls
        • Banders
          • Edge banders
        • Bandsaw wheel
          • Bandsaws
        • Bench dog
          • Bench dogs
        • Bench vises
          • Bench vises
        • Bevels
          • T-bevels
        • Biscuit jointers
          • Biscuit joiners
          • Biscuit joining machines
          • Plate jointers
        • Boring machines
          • Boring machines
          • Line borers
          • Minipresses
        • C clamps
          • Locking C-clamps
        • Calipers
          • Dial calipers
          • Slide calipers
        • Compasses
          • Angle dividers
          • Dividers
          • Drafting compasses
          • Trammel points
        • Cutting machines
          • Tenoners
        • Drilling machines
          • Drill presses
          • Single spindle drill presses
        • Ear plugs
          • Protective ear plugs
        • Files
          • Bastard flat files
          • Mill files
          • Wood files
        • Goggles
          • Safety goggles
        • Grinding machines
          • Profile grinders
        • Grinding wheels
          • Water wheels
        • Hammers
          • Claw hammers
        • Hand clamps
          • Bar clamps
          • Cam clamps
          • Hand screw wood clamps
          • Miter clamps
          • Quick-release clamps
          • Wedge clamps
        • Hand or push drill
          • Braces and bits
        • Hold down clamps
          • Band clamps
          • Edging clamps
          • Parallel jaw clamps
          • Spring clamps
        • Lathes
          • Bowl lathes
          • Mini lathes
          • Wood lathes
        • Levels
          • Precision levels
        • Locking pliers
          • Locking pliers
        • Mallets
          • Mallets
          • Computer aided design CAD software
            • Computer aided design CAD software
          • Data base user interface and query software
            • Data entry software
          • Electronic mail software
            • Microsoft Outlook
          • Facilities management software
            • Computerized maintenance management system CMMS software
          • Project management software
            • Computer estimation software
          Show more tools
          Full Tools List
            Full Technology List


              The list below includes the skills required by workers in this occupation; skills are what allow you to learn more quickly and improve your performance.

              * Skill importance is measured on a five point scale, where one means “slightly important for this occupation” and five means “extremely important for this occupation.

              * Skill level is measured on a seven point scale, where one means “some competence required for this occupation” and seven means “ a high level of expertise required for this occupation.”

              Skill Name
              Operation Monitoring
              Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
              Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
              Quality Control Analysis
              Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
              Equipment Selection
              Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
              Operation and Control
              Controlling operations of equipment or systems.


              The list below includes knowledge items, the principles and facts required by this occupation.

              * Knowledge importance is measured on a five point scale, where one means “slightly important for this occupation” and five means “extremely important for this occupation.

              * Knowledge level is measured on a seven point scale, where one means “some competence required for this occupation” and seven means “a high level of expertise required for this occupation.”

              Knowledge Name
              Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
              Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
              Production and Processing
              Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
              Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
              Building and Construction
              Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
              Engineering and Technology
              Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

              Work Context

              The list below includes the physical and social factors that influence the nature of work in this occupation.

              * Work Contexts are measured by how important the factor is to this occupation, where one is 'not important' and five is 'very important'.

              Work Context
              Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls
              How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?
              Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets
              How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
              Spend Time Standing
              How much does this job require standing?
              Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled
              How often does this job require working indoors in non-controlled environmental conditions (e.g., warehouse without heat)?
              Exposed to Hazardous Equipment
              How often does this job require exposure to hazardous equipment?
              Exposed to Contaminants
              How often does this job require working exposed to contaminants (such as pollutants, gases, dust or odors)?
              Importance of Being Exact or Accurate
              How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
              Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable
              How often does this job require working exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?
              Face-to-Face Discussions
              How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
              Structured versus Unstructured Work
              To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?

              Work Style

              Included in the list below are the personal work style characteristics that can affect how well a worker is likely to perform in this occupation.

              * Work Styles are measured by how important the style is to this occupation, where one is 'not important' and five is 'very important'.

              Work Style
              Attention to Detail
              Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
              Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
              Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
              Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
              Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
              Job requires being honest and ethical.
              Social Orientation
              Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
              Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
              Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
              Concern for Others
              Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

              Education / Training

              The list below outlines the prior educational experience required to perform in this occupation.

              Job Zone: Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed.

              Experience: Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

              Education: Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

              Training: Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

              These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.

              School Programs

              The college search results are undergraduate and graduate programs associated with Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters. Further education may also be required to pursue this career.

              The training search results include both short and long-term programs associated with Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters, and may be more appropriate for adult and non-traditional students. Further training may also be required to pursue this career.

              Cabinetmaking and Millwork/Millwright
              A program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to set up, operate and repair industrial woodworking machinery, and to use such machinery to design and fabricate wooden components and complete articles.


              • Nationally the average annual wage for this occupation is :
                $ 24,720 for the entry level workers and $ 38,610 for experienced workers

              • In New York the average annual wage for this occupation is :
                $ 24,250 for the entry level workers and $ 42,980 for experienced workers

              Job Outlook

              • Nationally during 2010, there were approximately 97,000 employed. Of these 15.2 % were self employed.
                We estimate that in 2020, there will be 97,000 employed nationally. This represents an increase of 40,200 job(s) each year, and a total of 64,100 job opening(s) each year.

              • In New York based on the total number of annual openings and its growth rate, employment prospects for this occupation are described as Least Favorable.
                During 2010, there were approximately 3,830 Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters employed in New York.
                We estimate that in 2020, there will be 3,700 employed in New York. This represents an increase of 0 job(s) each year, and a total of 100 job opening(s) each year.

              State License / Certification Requirements

              Additional Resources

              More information on this occupation may be found in the links provided below.

                Apprenticeship Programs / Opportunities

                Click on the link(s) below for information on apprenticeship program(s) for this occupation.

                Similar Jobs

                More information on similar jobs for Career Starters may be found in the links provided below.

                  Job Openings in NY

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                  AMOROSO WOOD PRODS CO INC
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