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What is Cabinetmaking and Millwork?
Cabinetmaking and Millwork is a field of study focused on the knowledge and technical skills to fabricate wood and composite materials from raw material into a complete article. To most, the difference between cabinetmaking and millwork is virtually indistinguishable; however, to professionals in the trade, the difference is immense. In plain terms, cabinetmaking is the fabrication and creation of the cabinet while the millwork is the decorative trim and accents added to the cabinets. The curriculum within the Cabinetmaking and Millwork degree program will often include understanding of: wood composition, composite composition, machine operations, materials preparation, machinery repair, design, and fabrication.
Degrees in Cabinetmaking & Millwork
Woodworking departments at colleges and universities across the country provide an array of programs in cabinetmaking and millwork. Cabinets for residential and commercial use are ubiquitous and the need for trained professionals continues to expand year over year. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates nearly 1 million trained individuals are in the specialty construction trade with an expected growth of 8% in the coming decade. This job growth will translate to some 169,100 job openings in the reporting period providing opportunities for growth and job stability for experienced, educated professionals. In addition to cabinetmaking and millwork degrees, students seeking programs in a woodworking department may also be interested in carving technology, woodworking skills technology, veneering technology, case furniture construction, lathe turning, guitar making, table manufacturing, or chair manufacturing. An overview of certificate programs and degree programs in cabinetmaking include the following programs.
Certificate Programs in Cabinetmaking & Millwork
A certificate program in cabinetmaking and millwork is a short, focused program. Certificates can last from a few weeks to a few months depending on the scope of the class. Certificate programs provide students with the essentials to understand foundational elements in the trade along with hands-on learning opportunities in a shop or classroom. Some students take the class to add skills to an existing hobby while others utilize certificate programs to gain trade-specific knowledge to begin a career in the field. For those seeking employment in the field of fabrication and manufacturing, a certificate is an academic vehicle to help find an entry-level position in the field.
Associate Degrees in Cabinetmaking & Millwork
An associate degree in cabinetmaking and millwork is a 2-year program for full-time students. Degrees at this level are conferred as an Associate of Science (AS). Associate degrees meld liberal arts education with core classes to help students think more holistically about the world around them. General education classes include courses such as communications, history, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. Core classes found in a cabinetmaking and millwork course will vary by school and tools available in the shop. Examples of classes may include: fundamentals of woodworking, machine woodworking, business management, materials management, logistics, plastic laminate techniques, residential cabinetry, architectural millwork, cabinet layout design, machine tool set-up, finish work, touch-up, and repair.
In terms of educational requirements, Cabinetmaking and Millwork degree holders will have typically studied the following courses while in college:
Schools Other Students Requested Information From:
Employment Information & Specialization
For students that earn a college degree in Cabinetmaking and Millwork, there are several fields of specialization that one can pursue. The options range from millwork, carpentry, computer programming, ironworking, machinist, tool maker, materials scientist, and millwright in the public or private domain to name a few possible career tracks.
Job Growth, Salary, and Related Fields
The job growth in the Cabinetmaking and Millwork domain are steady for the foreseeable future. For example, the rate of job growth for machinists is expected to rise 6% through 2024 and for carpenters a 7% growth rate is expected during the same period. Given the nature of the Cabinetmaking and Millwork degree, compensation after graduation can vary greatly from career field to career field given prior experience and geographic location. Related fields include woodworking, millwright, machinist, carpentry, millwork, and tool maker.