We’ve all heard the adage, “Measure twice and cut once,” right? If you are an aspiring furniture and cabinet maker, you are familiar with that idea, no doubt, and realize how true it can be. If you wish to make a living in this craft, a career certificate in the topic will help you get the job you want or perhaps start your own woodworking business.
But, are 100% online certificate classes available? Online programs in furniture and cabinetmaking are very rare, due to the nature of the subject. Hands-on experience is very important to hone your skills, therefore, your online program may be considered hybrid, as you combine online and hands-on learning. In addition, associate degrees can be earned in the subject of construction management or interior architecture and design that occasionally include woodworking classwork. Online programs can typically be completed within four to six months.
Of course, you will need a reliable computer and internet connection to complete your program. You will have access to instructors through email or online message boards. Online programs usually include books, videos and the small hand tools needed to complete your projects. You will need to supply your own wood and materials, as you will be required to complete projects for grading purposes.
If you do find an online class, it should include classwork in the history of furniture in the U.S., the fundamentals of furniture design such as, contemporary and traditional designing and of course, all about different types of woods and finishes such as, staining, painting, varnishing, lacquering and other techniques, such as waxing and refacing furniture and cabinets. You will also learn how to properly use putty, sealers and fillers to create a finished look.
Within cabinetmaking, you will learn how to efficiently lay out a kitchen and the proper construction techniques to use, in addition to, the correct ways to secure hinges, hardware, shelves and doors. Proper installation procedures will be an important part of your training.
Furniture and cabinet makers are required to use many tools. Through your online program, you will learn how to properly use hand tools, such as, clamps, vises and augers for effectiveness, as well as, for safety. You will need to also learn how to properly use power tools such as, saws and sanders. You should also be aware of building codes in your area.
Upon completion of an online certificate or diploma program, you will qualify for an entry-level position working for a cabinet maker, in a woodworking or furniture making manufacturer or perhaps, in a furniture repair shop. Internships are very important in the furniture making business. Realistically, you should expect at least three years of hands-on experience to fully be ready to start your own woodworking business.
Furniture and cabinet makers must be good communicators, be very detail-oriented and good at solving problems. Excellent math skills are helpful, as well as, experience in reading blue prints. You must be physically fit with a steady hand and good dexterity. Caution must be taken when heavy lifting is required, the environment can be loud and dusty, and you may be required to stand on your feet excessively.
If you would like to expand on your educational opportunities, you may be interested in certifications from the Architectural Woodwork Institute and the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America.
If you are interested in this field, please see our choice for the best Online School for Furniture and Cabinetmaking Program.