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Career and Education Opportunities for Cabinet Makers in Detroit, Michigan

If you want to be a cabinet maker, the Detroit, Michigan area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 2,600 jobs for cabinet makers in Michigan and this is projected to grow by 5% to 2,720 jobs 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.

Cabinet makers earn about $15 per hour or $32,920 annually on average in Michigan and about $13 hourly or $28,980 annually on average nationally. Cabinet makers earn less than people working in the category of Furniture generally in Michigan and more than people in the Furniture category nationally.

There are seventy-three schools of higher education in the Detroit area, including one within twenty-five miles of Detroit where you can get a degree to start your career as a cabinet maker. The most common level of education for cabinet makers is some college courses. It will take a short time to learn 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 Detroit 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

Washtenaw Community College - Ann Arbor, MI

Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48105-4800. Washtenaw Community College is a large college located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,906 students. Washtenaw Community College has a less than one year program in Cabinetmaking and Millwork/Millwright which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan photo by Durova

Detroit is located in Wayne County, Michigan. It has a population of over 912,062, which has shrunk by 4.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Detroit, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Detroit are priced at $108,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, eighty-five new homes were built in Detroit, down from one hundred fifty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Detroit are health care, educational services, and transportation equipment. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 11.0% of Detroit residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Detroit is 27.0%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Detroit residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.7%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Detroit is home to the Memorial Park Marina and the Detroit Golf Club as well as Chene Park and Mallett Playground. Visitors to Detroit can choose from Corktown Inn, Clark's Motel and Days Inn of Downtown Detroit for temporary stays in the area.