Joinery/Cabinetmaking Foundation

Learn the art and trade of designing, constructing, finishing and repairing a wide range of high-quality wood products and earn apprenticeship technical training credit toward your Interprovincial (Red Seal) certification. As a graduate, you can pursue a career in furniture restoration or manufacturing, millwork and cabinets, marine joinery, residential finishing carpentry, sales or as a self-employed artisans.

Where: Port Alberni
Starts: September
Length: 39 weeks
 Apply Now

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I love learning the intricate techniques to build something by hand. You have to be so precise and also patient with the piece you're working on. Our instructor Stephen was so supportive. He holds us to a high standard, but also ensures we develop our skills so we can meet that standard.

Katerina Boguslavsky, Joinery/Cabinetmaking grad.

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Program Requirements

1. Joinery/Cabinetmaking Foundation (26 weeks)

2. Furniture Design & Construction Certificate (13 weeks)

  • WJC-100 Drafting for Joinery/Cabinetmaking
  • WJC-120 Wood Products Design for Joinery/Cabinetmaking
  • WJC-130 Wood Finishing for Joinery/Cabinetmaking
  • WJC-150 Marine Joinery
  • OFA-001* WHMIS 2015
  • OFA-010* Occupational First Aid Level 1

*Note: Students not having current, valid First Aid and WHMIS certification are required to take these courses to meet program requirements. Separate fees will be charged for First Aid and WHMIS.

Completion Requirements

A minimum average of 70% for each course is required to pass the program. Successful completion of all courses in the program is necessary to receive the Furniture Design/Construction and the Joinery/Cabinetmaking certificates.

Admission Requirements

  1. C in one of English 10, Composition 10, Creative Writing 10, Literary Studies 10, New Media 10, Spoken Language 10, English First Peoples Writing 10, English First Peoples Literary Studies 10, English First Peoples New Media 10, English First Peoples Spoken Language 10 or NIC ENG-035; or C+ in Communications 11; C+ in ESL-062 and ESL-065, or certified CLB 7; or successful NIC English assessment; and
  2. C in one of Principles of Math 10, Foundations of Math & Pre-Calculus 10, Applications of Math 11, Apprenticeship and Workplace Math 11, Workplace Math 11, Foundations of Math 11, NIC MAT-033, or successful NIC math assessment.
  3. High school graduation is preferred provided the applicant meets or exceeds the stated prerequisites.

International Language Requirements

If you are applying as an international student, you must meet NIC international admission requirements.

Upgrade with us to meet prerequisites

Upgrade your English, math and science courses for entry into the program of your choice. Succeed with the help of NIC’s supportive instructors. Courses are flexible and start several times a year so you can learn at your own pace. We offer daytime and evening options. Learn more

To Be Successful

  • Many employers require Grade 12 completion as an employment standard. If you do not meet this requirement we encourage you to contact an educational advisor to discuss upgrading or Grade 12 completion options offered at NIC. In addition to the stated prerequisites, secondary school equivalent courses in science, physics and drafting are considered an asset.
  • The most important key to success is the desire to become a quality tradesperson. The traditional values of hard work, reliability, positive attitude and the desire to do quality work are essential to succeed in the program.
  • Trades programs require good hand-eye coordination, good binocular vision, strong abilities in spatial and mechanical reasoning along with good math and communication skills.
  • There is also an expectation of physical activities such as lifting, working on ladders and scaffolding or in confined spaces, and under various weather conditions.
  • You will be required to to stay focused for prolonged periods.

Accessible Learning

Making education accessible for those with a documented disability is a key priority for NIC. We offer a wide range of services, supports and resources for students. For more information visit: Accessible Learning Services.

Stephen McIntosh

Stephen McIntosh


Trades & Apprenticeships

Cabinetmaker - Interprovincial Red Seal

Carpenter - Interprovincial Red Seal

Subjects: Joinery, Joinery/Cabinetmaking
Tebo Vocational Centre 250-724-8771

Program Highlights

The Joinery/Cabinetmaking Foundation program is a great choice, whether you are starting your first career, changing your career or simply want to pursue your interest and build your skills in an outstanding woodworking program. Some woodworking experience is an asset but there is no previous experience required to take this program. You can expect the following throughout the program:
Design. You will learn the principles and elements of design, and apply this knowledge by designing your own shop projects. 
Shop drawing. A project design requires a shop drawing. You will begin with free-hand sketching, move to drawing by hand, and advance to computer drawing programs.
Technical woodworking skills. You will develop skills with hand tools, power tools and larger woodworking machines. You will be well-prepared to work in small shops with limited tools or high-end industrial facilities with machinery, such as:
  • one each of: scroll saw, wide belt sander, edge sander, dovetailer, CNC router, flap wheel sander, disk sander, vacuum press, pneumatic cutoff saw and edge bander
  • two each of: panel saws, horizontal slot mortisers and router tables
  • three each of: jointers, bandsaws and chisel mortisers
  • four each of: planers and lathes
Best in world safety. NIC's program covers Canadian standard safety practices and provides the opportunity to study higher safety practices in place around the world.
Sustainable approach. This program is committed to the use of sustainable building materials and practices. Preference is given to local or Vancouver Island wood products and woods that are indigenous to North America. Sheet goods are selected for low emissions while finishing techniques emphasize natural oils and water-born technologies.
Four-day school week. This is a full-time program starting in September and ending in early June. Classes are Monday to Thursday and allow you to seek part-time work if you so choose. You will spend one-third of your time in lectures and demonstrations, and two-thirds of your time in the joinery shop. Field trips to a variety of woodworking businesses and visits from guest speakers are also scheduled.
Upon completion, you will have the training requirements for the first year of the four-year Joiner apprenticeship to the Interprovincial (Red Seal) standard. Upon entering an apprenticeship, you will be eligible to receive technical training credit for Level 1 and 475 hours of work-based credit toward your apprenticeship hours requirement.
As a graduate, you will earn a certificate in both furniture design/construction and joinery/cabinetmaking.

Career Opportunities

As a graduate of the Joinery/Cabinetmaking Foundation program, you will be eligible for employment in millwork, furniture, cabinets and marine joinery. The placement rate for program graduates in the joinery industry is high. Job titles can range from residential finishing carpenter to salesperson or woodworking business owner.

Supply List

Materials: You are responsible for the material costs of your projects. These costs will vary from $500 to $1000 based on the design of the project and materials selected.

Texts: Visit the NIC bookstore for a current list

Stationery: Available at the NIC bookstore

  • Sharp TI-30Xa (recommended)
  • graduated metric 900 mm T-Square 

Drafting Equipment: Available at the NIC bookstore:

  • set square – 30/60/90 degree, Staedtler 964 16-60
  • set square – 45/45/90 degree, Staedtler 964 14-45
  • scale ruler, Metric, Staedtler 987 18-SI
  • good quality white eraser


  • eraser shield, Staedtler 529-50
  • drawing compass, 559-02
  • mechanical pencils in: .3mm in 6H lead; .5mm in 2H or 4H lead; .9mm in 2H lead

Safety Equipment:

  • WCB-approved safety glasses
  • WCB-approved hearing protection
  • closed-toe leather boots or shoes

Tools: all tools are supplied except a tape measure

  • flexible tape measure, metric, five metre, good quality

Tuition & Costs Estimate

Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, or field trips not included in these estimates.

While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit our tuition page.

Domestic Fees

Tuition $3,025
NISU Fees $145
Lab Fees $125
Books $610
Learner Resource $160
Health and Dental $275
Total $4,340

Students are automatically enrolled in the mandatory Health and Dental Benefit plan ($275).

This program is tuition refund Category 1.

International Fees

Tuition $14,185
NISU Fees $145
Student Services Fees $900
Lab Fees $125
Books $610
Learner Resource $160
Health and Dental $275
Total $16,400

Additional costs for International students include the $100 application fee (required).

Students are automatically enrolled in the mandatory Health and Dental Benefit plan ($275).

For more information on tuition costs and refunds refer to International Tuition and Costs.