Cabinetmaking and Furniture Technician

Algonquin College’s Cabinetmaking and Furniture Technician program trains skilled  trades people for work in the residential and commercial furniture making industry.

Mobile DeviceBring Your Own Device (BYOD): As a student in this on-campus program, you will require a mobile computing device that meets the specifications outlined by your program at

(Please note this was previously referred to as a Mobile Learning Program)

Related Programs:

Ontario College Diploma
45 Week(s)

Program Code: 0575X04FWO
Academic Year: 2016/2017

Our Program

This two-year Ontario College Diploma program delivered in a compressed format over 45 weeks prepares students to work in the cabinetmaking and woodworking industry, producing both traditional and contemporary furniture and commercial cabinetry. Cabinet and furniture technicians design and build components to industry specifications using hand and power tools.

Delivery of all practical classes takes place in the Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence (ACCE) facility. ACCE is fully outfitted with industry-standard equipment and tools allowing students to explore both traditional joinery and advanced technology used in today`s cabinet making and furniture industry.

This intense program is delivered over three consecutive levels. Students examine the history of the trade and its furniture, as well as materials, modern composites, adhesives and fasteners. Students gain proficiency in the construction of projects through the development of skills using hand tools and performing joinery and wood machining practices, with an emphasis on safety. Throughout the program progression is made to more advanced machine techniques using computers, specialized tools and machinery to design and construct furniture, kitchens, bathroom cabinets and millwork as well as to lay veneers. Using drafting and blueprint reading skills, students complete geometric layout in the shop and also create plans and shop drawings. Paramount to proper completion of a project, students develop and apply basic and advanced finish techniques including traditional and modern finishes.

Upon completion of this hands-on program, graduates possess skills for employment locally, nationally or internationally in areas, such as furniture, kitchen, bathroom, finishing and refinishing, as well as millwork industries. Graduates may also seek careers related to boatbuilding, airline interiors and elevator cabs. Graduates interested in working as journey-person cabinetmakers may choose to write exemption exams in the Red Seal Cabinetmaker apprenticeship program.

This program offers one cooperative education (Co-op) Work Term(s) option. Qualified students with a minimum GPA of 3.6, have the opportunity to apply for paid co-op employment to gain valuable work experience and networks within industry. See Additional Information for more details.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Students are expected to have and use a laptop or mobile computing device when registered in this on-campus program. Hardware and software specifications required by your program are outlined at Mobile devices/laptops and supplies can be purchased directly from Algonquin`s New Technology Store at educational rates.


This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Enjoy a hands-on approach to learning about the cabinetmaking and furniture industry. . Are attentive to detail.
  • Can work independently. . Have good hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity.


Your Career

Graduates may find employment in furniture making and cabinetmaking, furniture repair refinishing and restoration, kitchen and commercial cabinetry, as well as boatbuilding and refitting. Other career options may include job estimating, sales of furniture, tools, hardware and machinery. Graduates are also well equipped for future self-employment.

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Solve trade related problems using basic mathematics.
  • Use appropriate trade terminology in communications with colleagues, supervisors and clients.
  • Explain the relationship between industry, style and history on furniture.
  • Apply surface preparation, stains and finishes to specification.
  • Examine the nature and manufacture of materials common to the trade and the relationship to industry.
  • Apply the basic concepts and principles of marketing, management and financial control to the operation of a small business.
  • Construct advanced furniture and cabinetry projects according to specifications, plans and cutting lists. (7, 9, 12)
  • Select, maintain and use tools of the trade and standard woodworking machinery.
  • Use computer software to design projects, determine cutting procedures, and to calculate material requirements and costing.
  • Perform all work in compliance with relevant legislations, regulations and health and safety procedures.
  • Develop and use joinery and layout techniques to design and construct projects.
  • Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.


Programs at Algonquin College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided an Algonquin email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.
Level: 01 Hours
DRA1410 Drafting for Cabinetmakers Geometrical representations are used universally to communicate ideas and information. The ability to accurately interpret and create graphical drawings and sketches is a fundamental skill. Through discussion, demonstrations, assignments, and practical examples of fundamental geometric layout, students develop skills to design, draft and sketch cabinets and furniture. 30.0
ENL1813T Communications I Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Through a combination of lectures, exercises, and independent learning, students practice writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments. 45.0
GED2012 Achieving Success in the 21st Century Rapid changes in technology have created new employment and business opportunities that challenge each of us to find our place as citizens in the emerging society. Life in the 21st century presents significant opportunities, creates potential hazards, and demands that we face new responsibilities in ethical ways. Students explore the possibilities ahead, assess their own aptitudes and strengths, and apply critical thinking and decision making tools to help resolve some of the important issues present in our complex society with its competing interests. 45.0
WOO1410 Wood Technology Possessing a broad knowledge of manufactured and natural materials in order to make the proper choices with regards to application and sustainability is a requirement in the industry. Students analyze the principles of tree growth, cell structure and species identification, as well as examine the procedures in timber conversion, lumber seasoning and the grading process. Through discussions and analysis, students explore the use, manufacture, estimating and ordering requirements of wood composites and lumber.

Co-requisites: WOO8930 and WOO8938
WOO8930 Joinery Success in the cabinetmaking trade requires strong hand skills and appreciation for attention to detail. Students progress from developing skills and knowledge of traditional hand joinery to fundamental stationary machine operations to produce and assemble furniture components. Problem-solving and repetition with increasing difficulty lead to an elevated level of skill and safe practices expected in industry. Students construct projects using a wide range of hand tools, portable power tools and basic stationary machinery while practising fundamentals of layout, wood joinery, machine and shop safety and assembly procedures.

Co-requisites: WOO1410 and WOO8938
WOO8938 Hand Tools and Machine Basics Proper use and safety of the tools of the trade are paramount. Students examine various hand tools and machinery used in the trade. Through practical demonstrations of both tools and machinery, students learn the safe and proper use in the preparation of stock.

Co-requisites: WOO1410 and WOO8930
Level: 02 Hours
CAM1420 Cnc/Drafting and Plan Reading I The use of technology in cabinetmaking is becoming increasingly important and widely practised. The ability to understand and use such technologies is essential in this advancing industry. Students learn to read and interpret blueprints and plans, as well as use computers in the design and manufacture of furniture components and cabinetry. Through hands-on practical experience in the lab environment, students develop the necessary skills and knowledge to program and operate a computer numerically controlled (CNC) router using commercial cabinet design software.

Prerequisites: DRA1410
WOO1421 Basic Furniture Finishing The quality of the final product is dependent on meticulous care of surfaces. Students acquire theoretical knowledge and demonstrate that knowledge in the lab environment. Through practical application, students learn the fundamentals of proper traditional surface preparation and the specifications and application of various stains and finishes common in industry.

Prerequisites: WOO8930

Co-requisites: WOO1422 and WOO8939 and WOO8940
WOO1422 Furniture History and Cabinet Construction Changes in technology and availability of raw materials have resulted in the evolution of today's industry standards accepted in the furniture and cabinetmaking trade. Students identify and develop an appreciation for furniture styles, traditional woods and construction methods associated with different periods. Through discussion and demonstration, students examine the traditional and modern methods of constructing furniture and cabinets including custom and production applications.

Co-requisites: WOO1421 and WOO8939 and WOO8940
WOO8939 Furniture Making The evolution of technology has led to a greater reliance on machinery. However, hand tools also remain relevant within the industry. Students apply theoretical knowledge through activities demonstrating skill in the layout of projects, preparing cutting lists, basic and advanced furniture construction techniques, advanced machining operations, and the creation of jigs and templates used to generate complex component parts. Emphasis is placed on analysis, design and construction of complex pieces of furniture. In a collaborative, team-based project, students analyze, select and implement the most appropriate joinery based on the requirements and historical perspective of the case piece to be constructed.

Prerequisites: WOO8930 and WOO8938

Co-requisites: WOO1421 and WOO1422 and WOO8940
WOO8940 Advanced Machining Today's cabinetmaking machinery requires both specialized training and maintenance effectively allowing increased efficiency for completion of complicated tasks. Through theoretical knowledge of manufacturer's specifications and practical application, students discover the correct and safe operation and maintenance of machines through discussion and demonstration.

Prerequisites: WOO8930 and WOO8938

Co-requisites: WOO1421 and WOO1422 and WOO8939
Choose one from equivalencies: Hours
GED0575 General Education Elective Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.

Equivalencies: DSN2001 or ENV0002 or FAM1218 or FIN2300 or GED5200 or GED5300 or GEN1957 or GEN2000 or GEN2003 or GEN2007 or HIS0001 or HIS2000 or HOS2228 or LIB1982 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or RAD2001 or SOC2003 or GED6022 or GED5005 or GED5002 or GED5006 or GED5004 or GED1896 or GED5009 or PSI0003 or GED5003
Level: 03 Hours
BUS1430 Applied Business Practices Possessing an appreciation of how a business operates, as well as the roles and responsibilities associated with running a business prepares students for entry into industry and future entrepreneurship opportunities. Students examine the factors involved in starting and maintaining a cabinetmaking business. Topics include estimating, overhead costs, labour costs, human resource management, applicable government regulations, marketing, financial obligations and shop equipment and layout. 45.0
CAM1431 Cnc/Drafting and Plan Reading II Exposure to a variety of the industry-standard technologies increases confidence and awareness. Building on previously learned knowledge, students continue to advance skills focusing on plan interpretation and on more versatile and complex program packages dealing with CNC machinery and design. Through instruction and discussion of concept, applications and coding systems of CNC machines, students examine CNC manufacturing methods and develop the technical understanding required to operate such machinery.

Prerequisites: CAM1420
ENL2003 Communications II for Technicians Communicating effectively in the workplace is a key component of career advancement and essential skills development. The ability to read, understand, reframe and deliver technical information to varied audiences is critical in a competitive marketplace. Students are exposed to a variety of common communication challenges related to working in their field of study. To meet these challenges students are required to do basic research and data gathering, to summarize and reframe written, oral and visual information and to present their findings to a defined audience in an appropriate medium or media.

Prerequisites: ENL1813T
HIS8482 History of Architecture Students explore the major cultural trends and technological events which have influenced the development of western architecture, from pre-history to present day. Students develop a general understanding of the origins of architectural styles and the evolution of building technology. 45.0
WOO1430 Commercial Cabinetry Theory Given the vast demand of production-based kitchen and bath cabinetry, industry professionals require in-depth knowledge of the materials and production methods. Today's production methods for kitchen and bath cabinets are largely technology-driven. Students analyze commercial applications and methods of current cabinet construction. Topics include construction materials, machines and techniques. Students examine various production considerations such as system holes and the identification and application of hardware compatible with today's industry systems.

Prerequisites: WOO1422

Co-requisites: WOO8942
WOO8910 Furniture Finishing and Touch-Up The main visual and tactile components of furniture are the finish. Students gain a working knowledge of the materials, applications, and equipment necessary to apply modern surface coatings to furniture according to trade specifications. Through the use of state-of-the-art equipment and materials, students develop skills necessary to produce quality finishes.

Prerequisites: WOO1421 and WOO8939
WOO8942 Furniture, Kitchens and Millwork Students explore two separate aspects of the trade, kitchen cabinetry and the application of veneers. In the kitchen cabinetry portion focus is on productivity, efficiency, techniques and the use of modern materials. Students learn how to operate the precision equipment designed to dimension and machine cabinetry components using industry-standard systems of construction. The veneer portion revolves around creativity, further refinement of hand skills and attention to detail using veneer-specific glues and equipment.

Prerequisites: WOO8939 and WOO8940

Co-requisites: WOO1430

Fees & Expenses   

2016/2017 Academic Year

Total Fees for the first year of the program:

Domestic tuition/ancillary fees: $8,859.98. *

International tuition/ancillary Fees: $23,211.02. *

* Amounts include tuition fee, program specific lab and material fees, applicable eText fees, Students` Association fees and compulsory ancillary fees. Fees are subject to change. For detailed fees information please visit

Note: For further information regarding your books, please visit

Books and supplies can be purchased at the campus store. Expenses total approximately $450 for the program duration. Students are responsible for parking and locker fees, if applicable.

All students are responsible for supplying and using their own personal protective equipment (such as CSA approved safety footwear, non-tinted protective eyewear, hearing protection, gloves, hard hat) as required in each lab environment.

Admission Requirements   

2017/2018 Academic Year

College Eligibility

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or Mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
  • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
  • General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
  • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $50 (subject to change) will be charged.

Program Eligibility

  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
  • Mathematics, Grade 12 (MAP4C is recommended).
  • Applicants with International transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either:
    • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service-Overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band. OR
    • TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 80, with the minimum of 20 in each component: Reading 20; Listening: 20 Speaking: 20, Writing: 20


    Should the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of available places, applicants will be selected on the basis of their proficiency in English and mathematics.

    Refresher/upgrading courses are available through Academic Upgrading courses, the Centre for Continuing and Online Learning and through local school boards.

Application Information

Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:
60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 5J3

Students currently enrolled in an Ontario secondary school should notify their Guidance Office prior to their online application at  Applications for Fall Term and Winter Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.

International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the  International Student Application Form at or by contacting the Registrar`s Office.

For further information on the admissions process, contact:

Registrar`s Office
Algonquin College
1385 Woodroffe Ave, Room C150
Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8
Telephone: 613-727-0002
Toll-free: 1-800-565-4723
TTY: 613-727-7766
Fax: 613-727-7632

Additional Information

Co-op is a real-world job search process requiring students to apply interview, and earn jobs rather than being placed by the College. In the term prior to the cooperative education (Co-op) Work Term, students are required to independently complete online modules that assist with resume and cover letter writing, and interview technique preparation. Students must actively conduct a self-directed job search and are responsible to secure approved program related paid co-op employment. Students compete for co-op positions alongside students from Algonquin and other Canadian and international colleges and universities.

Algonquin College`s Co-op Office provides assistance in developing co-op opportunities and facilitates the overall process but does not guarantee that a student will obtain employment in a cooperative education (Co-op) Work Term. Co-op employment opportunities requiring relocation may be considered, and are subject to departmental approval with the understanding that all associated expenses are incurred by students e.g., travel, work permits/visa applications, accommodation, etc.

Cooperative education (Co-op) Work Terms are typically four months in duration and are completed during a term when students are currently not studying on campus. For details on study-work progressions for specific programs, please visit

For more information, please contact John McKinlay-Key, at 613-727-4723 ext. 2956 or

Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time