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Career and Education Opportunities for Cabinet Makers in Joliet, Illinois

Joliet, Illinois provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for cabinet makers. Currently, 4,700 people work as cabinet makers in Illinois. This is expected to grow 2% to about 4,780 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for cabinet makers are expected to grow by about 9.1%. Cabinet makers generally 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.

The income of a cabinet maker is about $17 per hour or $36,460 per year on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $13 hourly or $28,980 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Furniture, people working as cabinet makers in Illinois earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Furniture nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Joliet where you can study to be a cabinet maker, among 132 schools of higher education total in the Joliet area. Cabinet makers usually hold some college courses, so you can expect to spend a short time studying to be a cabinet maker if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Cabinet Maker

Cabinet Maker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, cabinet makers 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.

Cabinet makers match materials for color and texture, giving attention to knots and other features of the wood. They also produce and assemble components of articles such as store fixtures and high-grade furniture. Equally important, cabinet makers have to verify dimensions, and check the quality and fit of pieces in order to insure adherence to given requirements. Finally, cabinet makers prepare and operate machines, including power saws and shapers, to cut and shape woodstock and wood substitutes.

Every day, cabinet makers are expected to be able to control and manipulate objects at a fine level of detail. They need to control objects and devices with precise control. It is also important that they move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices.

It is important for cabinet makers to measure and mark dimensions of components on paper or lumber stock before cutting, following blueprints, to insure a tight fit and quality product. They are often called upon to attach components and subassemblies together to fashion completed units, using glue, dowels, nails, screws, and/or clamps. They also bore holes for insertion of screws or dowels, by hand or using boring machines. They are sometimes expected to trim and scrape surfaces and joints to ready articles for finishing. Somewhat less frequently, cabinet makers are also expected to perform final touch-ups with sandpaper and steel wool.

Cabinet makers sometimes are asked to dip or spray assembled articles with protective or decorative finishes such as stain or lacquer. They also have to be able to apply Masonite and vinyl surfacing materials and perform final touch-ups with sandpaper and steel wool. And finally, they sometimes have to measure and mark dimensions of components on paper or lumber stock before cutting, following blueprints, to insure a tight fit and quality product.

Like many other jobs, cabinet makers must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Joliet include:

  • Welder. Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
  • Woodworking Machine Setter and Operator. Set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, and wood nailing machines.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Cabinet Maker Training

Prairie State College - Chicago Heights, IL

Prairie State College, 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights, IL 60411-8226. Prairie State College is a medium sized college located in Chicago Heights, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,368 students. Prairie State College has a one to two year program in Cabinetmaking and Millwork/Millwright which graduated four students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Joliet, Illinois

Joliet, Illinois
Joliet, Illinois photo by Joliet82

Joliet is situated in Will County, Illinois. It has a population of over 146,125, which has grown by 37.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Joliet, 100, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Joliet are priced at $172,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred forty-four new homes were constructed in Joliet, down from seven hundred sixty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Joliet are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, public administration, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 18.6% of Joliet residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Joliet is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Joliet residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.9%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. All Nation Church of God in Christ, All Saints Greek Orthodox Church and Holy Cross Catholic Church are all churches located in Joliet. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Joliet is home to the Will County Courthouse and the Timber Ridge Business Park as well as Joliet East Side Historic District and Rock Run County Forest Preserve. Shopping centers in the area include Joliet Mall Shopping Center, Caton Crossing Town Square Shopping Center and Twin Oaks Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Joliet can choose from Great Escapes Travel, Hampton Inn Joliet/I-80- IL and Bel-Air Motel for temporary stays in the area.