The path to receiving credentials under the Cabinet Makers Association new Professional Certification program is the way forward for your business. And it’s very direct.

How to Start Earning Cabinet Maker & Custom Wood CredentialsCMA credentials offer a competitive advantage for any cabinetry and millwork shop, custom woodworker, or commercial interior firm. How? By assuring clients that you are a reliable performer, and that you will deliver jobs as promised.

The training uses both live and webbased technologies to allow wood industry professionals to earn basic, and master level professional certification credentials.

“When we looked at the industry, we saw a gaping hole,” says Dave Grulke, CMA’s Executive Director. “While there are other professional educational and standards programs available that address design, technique, construction standards and other areas, there is nothing that seemed to address the entire business of running a successful custom woodworking or cabinet shop. That’s where CMA’s Professional Certifications differ. We address the entire business, and include the all important customer’s perspective in our program.”

The CMA program requires testing in the major areas of business operations. For the educational component, participants have an option for classroom instruction, as well as online instruction.

Certification is broken into two levels: Basic, and Master, and for each of the two specialties: Cabinet Maker and Custom Woodworker. Credentials are conferred on the individual, not on the business.

How to Start Earning Cabinet Maker & Custom Wood CredentialsSignificantly, all participants in the program begin with an intensive business ethics session, then move on into the basic certification curriculum. The basic level graduate will exhibit advanced knowledge in business management, machinery, wood physics, design, finishing, safety education and the basics of measuring. Master level graduates must show expert knowledge in at least seven of the following areas:

• Tools

• Portable Power Tools

• Machinery (Master Level)

• Shop Drawings/Design Drawings

• Software

• CNC Machinery

• Marketing

• Lean Manufacturing

• Finance & Computer Assisted Bookkeeping

• Shop/Job Site Safety

• Green Manufacturing

Once an enrollee has passed required testing, they will also be interviewed by the CMA Certification Board, before their certification credentials are conferred.

Certified individuals are authorized to add the professional designation to their names. Certification includes a three letter acronym:

CCM = Certified Cabinet Maker

CCW = Certified Custom Woodworker

MCM = Master Cabinet Maker

MCW = Master Custom Woodworker)

To be eligible for the CMS Professional Certification program, and to maintain credentials, applicants must commit to continuing education.

Once certified, they must earn annual Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to keep their knowledge fresh and up to date. The CMA already offers many seminars and workshops where attendees can earn CMA CEUs, including sessions at the Custom Cabinet Conference, AWFS and the upcoming IWF 2012 show.

Full course work is available for those who wish to expand their knowledge in every topic. There is no time limit on earning either basic or master level certifications.

“CMA-certified professionals will carry a status that can do much for their businesses’ bottom line,” says Grulke. To get started with CMA Professional Certification visit

They Did the Work

Development of this program was done by an outstanding group of CMA member volunteers. It was no small task to bring this program to life. The Cabinet Makers Association is indebted to the certification committee for their efforts in developing the CMA Professional Certification program:

Committee Chair Leland Thomasset, Taghkanic Woodwork, Holmes, NY

Committee Members J

im Falk , Progressive Wood Works, Rye, NY

Brendan Mathews, Foothill Cabinetworks, Vista, CA Scott Comstock, Woodperfect Custom Cabinetry, Forney, TX

Jeff Mitzel, Green Award Custom Woodworking, Austin TX

John Langley, John Langley Cabinets, Baldwin City, KS

Full details about the CMA Professional Certification program are available at

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