Furniture Design and Joinery Certificate

In this foundation program you’ll learn to design, construct, finish and repair high-quality wood products such as kitchen cabinets, furniture and fixtures. You'll earn level 1 technical training credit and work-based training hours toward your Interprovincial (Red Seal) certification when you register as an apprentice. As a graduate, you'll be prepared to pursue a career in millwork, furniture building, cabinet making, marine joinery, residential finishing carpentry, sales or as self-employed artisans.


Applications for Fall 2021 start will open Thurs, Oct 1, 2020

Where: Port Alberni
Starts: October
Length: 36 weeks
Delivery: On-campus and Digital (Blended)

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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

  • FJF-100 Safe Practices in Cabinetmaking/Joinery
  • FJF-101 Shop Drawings and Layouts
  • FJF-102 Material Selection
  • FJF-103 Hand Tools in Woodworking
  • FJF-104 Portable Power Tools in Woodworking
  • FJF-105 Stationary Woodworking Machines
  • FJF-106 Product Assembly
  • FJF-107 Wood Finishing- Surface Preparation
  • FJF-108 Furniture Design and Advanced Joinery Techniques
  • FJF-109 Marine Joinery
  • FJF-110 Woodshop Business Operations
  • FJF-111 Computer Aided Design and Drafting
  • FJF-112 Advanced Stationary Woodworking Machines
  • FJF-113 Kitchen Cabinets, Casework, and Millwork
  • FJF-114 Wood Finishing – Hand and Spray
  • 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.

*Note: In this program, students may participate in field trips to industry specific locations.

Completion Requirements

Students will be required to achieve a minimum C in each course to pass the program.  Student will be required to pass all industry certificate courses to achieve program completion requirements

Admission Requirements

  1.  C in English 10; or C in two of 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, and English First Peoples Spoken Language 10; or C in NIC ENG-035; or C+ in Communications 12; or C+ in ESL-062 and ESL-065; or successful NIC assessment testing in English.
  2. C in one of Principles of Math 10, Apprenticeship & Workplace Math 10, Workplace Math 10, Foundations of Math & Pre-Calculus 10, Applications of Math 11, NIC MAT-029, or successful NIC assessment testing in math.
  3. High school graduation is preferred provided the applicant meets or exceeds the stated prerequisite

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 a Student 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.
  • Prospective students should be aware that 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 and working on ladders. Prospective students should also have the ability to stay focused for prolonged periods and work independently while following expected safety guidelines.

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
Tebo Vocational Centre 250-724-8771

Program Highlights

The Furniture Design and Joinery Certificate is well-suited to anyone starting their first career, changing their career, or who simply want to pursue their interest and build their skills in an outstanding woodworking program. Some woodworking experience is an asset but there is no previous experience required to take this program. Students can expect the following throughout the program:

Design. Students learn the principles and elements of design and apply this knowledge by designing their own shop projects.

Shop drawing. A project design requires a shop drawing. Students begin with free-hand sketching, move to drawing by hand, and advance to computer drawing programs.

Technical woodworking skills. Students develop skills with hand tools, power tools and larger woodworking machines. Students are prepared to work in small shops with limited tools or high-end industrial facilities with machinery.

Best in world safety. Our 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 Island wood products and woods that are indigenous to North America. Sheet goods are selected for low emissions, and finishing techniques emphasize natural oils and water-born technologies.

Four-day school week. This is a full-time program starting in October and ending in June. Classes are Monday to Thursday which allows students to seek part time work on their 3 day weekend. Students will spend one third of their time in lectures and demonstrations, and two thirds of their time in the joinery shop. Field trips to a variety of woodworking businesses and guest speakers are also scheduled.

Students who complete the Joinery program also complete the training requirements for the first year of the four-year Cabinetmaker/Joiner apprenticeship to the Interprovincial (Red Seal) standard. Upon entering an apprenticeship, students are eligible to receive technical training credit for level one and 475 hours of work based credit towards their apprenticeship hours requirement.

Graduates earn a certificate in Furniture Design and Joinery.

Career Opportunities

As a graduate of the Furniture Design and Joinery Certificate, you will be eligible for employment in millwork, building furniture, cabinet making, and marine joinery. The placement rate for program graduates in the joinery industry is high. Job titles can range from Cabinetmaker/Joiner to salesperson or woodworking business owner.

Supply List

Materials: Students are responsible for the material costs of their projects. These costs will vary from $500 to $1000 based on the design of the project and the materials selected. Texts: Visit the NIC bookstore for a current list.

Stationery: Available at the NIC Bookstore

  • Pencil and pen
  • Sharp TI-30Xa (recommended)

Drafting Equipment: Available at the NIC bookstore in a set - speak to instructor before purchasing

  • 900 mm T-Square all metal construction
  • 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
  • 2H and 4H wooden drafting pencils


  • Eraser shield, Staedtler 529 50
  • Drawing compass, 559-02
  • Mechanical pencils in: .3mm lead in 6H lead; .5mm in 2H & 4H lead; .9mm in 2H lead

Safety Equipment:

  • WorkSafe-approved safety glasses (clear and non-tinted)
  • WorkSafe-approved hearing protection
  • Closed-toe heavy leather boots

Tools: all tools are supplied except a tape measure

  • tape measure, metric, 5 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 $3,084
NISU Fees $153
Lab Fees $124
Books $335
Learner Resource $163
Health and Dental $275
Total $4,134

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

Find out if this program is eligible for Student Aid BC funding.

This program is tuition refund Category 1.

International Fees

Tuition $14,467
NISU Fees $153
Student Services Fees $918
Lab Fees $124
Books $610
Learner Resource $163
Health and Dental $275
Total $16,710

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.