Professionals like doctors, lawyers, and accountants began their careers by going to school to gain the necessary knowledge, committing to continuing education to remain current. They earn their status by meeting skill and knowledge levels verified by independent third parties.

Professional: Cabinet Maker & Custom Wood CredentialsThe path to receiving credentials under the Cabinet Makers Association new Professional Certification program is the way to prove professionalism and to advance your business.

CMA credentials offer a competitive advantage for any cabinetry or millwork shop or custom woodworking 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 online means to allow wood industry professionals to earn basic, and master level professional certification credentials, filling a need in the market, says Dave Grulke, CMA’s Executive Director.

“There is nothing that addresses the entire business of running a successful custom woodworking or cabinet shop,” Grulke says. “CMA’s Professional Certifications address the entire business, and the all-important customer’s perspective in the program. It’s a game changer for those who prove their expertise by earning CMA credentials.”

The CMA Professional Certification requires testing in the major areas of business operations. For the educational component, participants have an option for live classroom instruction, at venues like the IWF show, AWFS, or the Custom Cabinet Conference, 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.

Participants begin with an intensive business ethics session, then move on into the basic certification curriculum. The basic level graduates 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:

• Business Management

• Tools

• Portable Power Tools

• Machinery (Master Level)

• Shop Drawings/Design Drawings

• Software

• CNC Machinery

• Marketing

• Lean Manufacturing

• Finance & Insurance

• Shop/Job Site Safety

• Green Manufacturing

Once an enrollee passes required testing, they are 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 CMA Professional Certification, applicants must commit to continuing education. While there is no time limit to complete the education and testing for basic or master certifications, applicants and CMA credentialed professionals must earn annual Continuing Education Units members and non-members alike. Professional: Cabinet Maker & Custom Wood Credentials (CEUs) to update their knowledge. The CMA already offers many workshops where attendees can earn CMA CEUs, including sessions at the Custom Cabinet Conference, AWFS and the IWF 2012 show. CEU sessions will also be available online starting in Fall 2012. The CMA Professional Certification program verifies to clients and prospects technical expertise, ethics and good business practices among cabinet makers and custom woodworkers, who are certified at basic and master levels. It helps build business, and is available to CMA members and non-members alike.


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