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Program delivery update

To ensure we can safely offer the high-quality learning you expect, we've changed how many of our programs are delivered. Please view this program's delivery option(s) under "locations & availability". Learn more about how programs will be offered


Learn key components of cabinetmaking – identifying and selecting wood, reading drawings, operating woodworking machines and practising the basic arts of cabinetry.

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Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year

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Cabinetmaking begins with a love of wood and an eye for detail. Modern cabinetmaking combines the accumulated knowledge of hundreds of years of traditional woodworking, with the use of standard, yet modern, tools and technology.

In this program, you take your love of wood and turn it into a marketable skill. You learn entry-level skills, shop safety and fine joinery of the trade: from identifying and selecting wood stock to reading drawings and operating woodworking machines.

You receive instruction and hands-on practise in the basic arts of cabinetry, including shaping and cutting wood, assembling components, installing fasteners and hardware and working on the preparation of articles for finishing, including the application of different types of decorative and protective finishes.

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Choose NSCC

  • You learn from faculty who bring hands-on experience in cabinetmaking industry to the classroom. They also serve as your career mentor.

Other info

  • Red Seal – Cabinetmaker is a designated trade that qualifies for the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program. The Red Seal allows qualified tradespersons to practise the trade in any province or territory in Canada, where the trade is designated, without having to write further examinations.
  • Additional skills and abilities, including math, reading and workplace skills, are essential for your success in Trades and Technology programs. See the Trades and Technology Preparation Checklist (PDF 23KB).
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. You participate in a number of introductory safety awareness courses to prepare for employment.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official Criminal Record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

September 2020

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Pictou Campus/Online Stellarton Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.
  • Standard First Aid, CPR Level A


Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • There's a steady and increasing demand for highly skilled cabinetmakers.
  • You may start up a small business specializing in woodworking and cabinetmaking.
  • You may work for established companies and use your woodworking skills to make cabinets or repair and assemble furniture.
  • Learn more about labour market information – visit Career Options.
  • After gaining work experience, some cabinetmakers challenge the apprenticeship Red Seal exam to become a journeyperson in the Cabinetmaker trade.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

CABC 1000 - Cabinet Shop Safety
This course is designed to give the learners the knowledge and skills necessary to work safely in a cabinetmaking shop environment. Material presented includes the principles of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations and Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS) as they apply to the cabinetmaking occupation. This course requires the use of personal protective equipment and the safe use of all woodworking and shop equipment.

CABC 1001 - Hand and Portable Power Tools
This course is designed to introduce learners to common hand tools, portable power tools, and the general and specific safety practices for their use. Course material includes selection, care, and maintenance of common hand tools and portable power tools. Learners will practice breakout procedures when using hand and portable power tools.

CABC 1002 - Materials
This course is designed to provide the learner with information about the characteristics and properties of the various types of materials used in the construction of cabinets and millwork. This course will also provide a review of the basic math skills required in the cabinetmaking trade and exposes learners to practical applications of mathematics used in the cabinetmaking industry.

CABC 1003 - Math for Cabinetmakers
This course provides a review of the basic math skills required in the cabinetmaking trade and exposes learners to practical applications of mathematics used in the cabinetmaking industry. Learners will practice common math problems related to the cabinetmaking trade.

CABC 1005 - Woodworking Machines
This course is designed to provide learners the opportunity to operate various woodworking equipment. Course material presents proper care and maintenance of woodworking equipment and safe operating procedures on each machine.

CABC 1006 - Finishing Techniques
This course is designed to examine the considerations in determining the appropriate finish for the different types of wood and introduces the learner to the skills required to obtain a professional finish. The learner will follow a number of procedures before applying a protective topcoat including repairs, sanding and other surface preparations that are required for all woods. This course emphasizes the need to wear personal protection equipment and the maintenance of equipment.

CABC 1008 - Production Machinery
This course is designed to introduce learners to production work within the cabinetmaking industry. Learners will gain exposure to the theory involved in the setup and operation of a production woodworking plant and be given the opportunity to operate various pieces of production machinery. This course will also offer the opportunity to explore the 5S+S quality system in an industrial setting.

CABC 1009 - Casework I
This course is designed to enable learners to cut materials accurately to size and to lay out the pieces to ensure a well-made assembly in an efficient manner. Learners will become familiar with detail machining of wood and wood products, gain the skills required to cut or shape pieces of various sizes and profiles and test the piece for proper fit.

CABC 1016 - Introduction to Drafting Software for Trades
This course is designed to introduce the learner to trade-related drafting software. The learner will be given the opportunity to create and edit technical drawings with the aid of software.

CABC 1017 - Introduction to Blueprints
This course is designed to provide learners with the basic elements of cabinet design and blueprint reading required in the cabinetmaking industry. Learners will learn to obtain information from a drawing and produce basic sketches. The course covers conventional drafting symbols and abbreviations, floor plans, elevations, views and detail views.

CABC 1020 - Foundations of Entrepreneurship for Cabinetmakers
This course will guide learners through finding their own entrepreneurial skillsets, and help identify opportunities, whether working for someone else or wanting to develop your own business.

CABC 1021 - Casework II
Building on the skills introduced in Casework I, this course provides learners with the skills to construct cabinetry systems.

CABC 1030 - Kitchen Anatomy and Installation
This occupational course is designed to provide practical experience in planning, designing and installing various styles of cabinetry. Topics will include learning to layout an empty space for cabinetry using up to date techniques and styles in accordance with the National Kitchen and Bath Association and the Canadian Kitchen Cabinet Association. This is an applied course and class time will include installing various cabinet components.

CABC 1100 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for entry-level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

COMM 1227 - Communications I
This course provides the student with an overview of the communication skills required by business and industry. Students will learn to apply these communication skills to be successful in their selected workplace setting.

COMM 1228 - Communications II
This course further develops essential communications skills with a focus on basic writing. This course provides the student with the opportunity to develop written work typical of the industry related to their program of study.

SAFE 1021 - Introduction to Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Introduction to Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces the learner to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the learner is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Introduction to Respiratory Protection
The learner is introduced to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion includes identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The learner will be given the opportunity to select, use and maintain respiratory equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

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