Upholsterers make, rebuild and repair upholstered articles such as chairs, sofas, beds and mattresses.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. The majority of workers have a Certificate III/IV. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

Tasks

  • conferring with clients to determine materials and cost of furniture items to be made or repaired
  • making and repairing wooden frames, and removing and replacing defective springs
  • removing coverings, webbing and padding from old furniture
  • securing material, padding, springs and webbing to articles to be upholstered
  • measuring and cutting materials and covering furniture
  • seaming cushions and joining sections of covering material
  • attaching ornamental trims, braids and buttons
  • padding and covering spring units to upholster mattresses
  • may finish wooden surfaces on furniture
  • may remove stains from fabric

Job Titles

  • Upholsterer
  • Upholsterer

    Specialisations: Furniture Upholsterer, Mattress Maker

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $927 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    Certificate III or IV
  • Employment Size

    3200
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    87.8%
  • Female Share

    12.2%
  • Full-Time Share

    77.9%

Find Vacancies

This is a very small occupation employing 3200 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, Western Australia and Queensland have a large share of Upholsterers.
  • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Manufacturing; Retail Trade; and Other Services.
  • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 42.2 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $927 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 43 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 9 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20053400
20065500
20072900
20084800
20094600
20102400
20112200
20123900
20134100
20142100
20153200
20202700

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsUpholsterersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings9271230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryUpholsterersAll Jobs Average
Full-time77.968.4
Part-time22.131.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)42.240

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing68.1
Retail Trade17.6
Other Services11.7
Wholesale Trade2.7

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateUpholsterersAll Jobs Average
NSW15.131.8
VIC2925.5
QLD26.219.8
SA2.76.8
WA25.911.2
TAS1.12
NT01.1
ACT01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketUpholsterersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-191.1-5.45.4
20-2418.9-9.99.9
25-3410.3-23.423.4
35-4436.1-21.721.7
45-549.3-21.121.1
55-5911.9-8.78.7
60-646.1-5.95.9
65 and Over6.4-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryUpholsterersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males87.8Males53.6
Females12.2Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. The majority of workers have a Certificate III/IV. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Upholsterers who are hardworking, reliable and work well in a team.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Production and Processing

    61% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  2. Design

    60% Important

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  3. Customer and Personal Service

    57% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  4. Mechanical

    56% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  5. Education and Training

    55% Important

    Teaching and course design.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Handling and Moving Objects

    80% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  2. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    77% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  3. Getting Information

    77% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  4. Performing General Physical Activities

    74% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  5. Estimating Products, Events, or Information

    73% Important

    Working out sizes, distances, and amounts; or time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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