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Career and Education Opportunities for Cabinet Makers in Seattle, Washington

If you want to be a cabinet maker, the Seattle, Washington area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 4,860 people are currently employed as cabinet makers in Washington. By 2016, this is expected to shrink by 3% to about 4,740 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for cabinet makers, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.1% over the next eight years. 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 approximately $15 hourly or $32,150 annually on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $13 per hour or $28,980 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Furniture, people working as cabinet makers in Washington earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Furniture nationally.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can study to be a cabinet maker, among sixty-five schools of higher education total in the Seattle area. Cabinet makers usually hold some college courses, so 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 Seattle 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

Seattle Community College-Central Campus - Seattle, WA

Seattle Community College-Central Campus, 1701 Broadway Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122. Seattle Community College-Central Campus is a medium sized college located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,402 students. Seattle Community College-Central Campus has an associate's degree program in Cabinetmaking and Millwork/Millwright which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Bates Technical College - Tacoma, WA

Bates Technical College, 1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405. Bates Technical College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,807 students. Bates Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Cabinetmaking and Millwork/Millwright which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.