Clothing Trades Workers prepare and cut garment patterns and fabric, and make and repair garments.

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. Most workers have not completed any post school qualifications (that is, they have finished either Year 10, 11 or 12 only). Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

Tasks

  • conferring with customers to determine material, styles and designs of garments
  • interpreting designs, sketches and samples to determine pattern specifications
  • cutting out master patterns
  • laying up and cutting fabric
  • pinning, basting and draping garment parts
  • sewing garments
  • fitting basted garments on customers and marking areas requiring alteration
  • sewing buttonholes, and sewing on buttons, hooks, eyes and press fasteners to finish garments
  • pressing and finishing work

Job Titles

  • Apparel Cutter
  • Clothing Patternmaker
  • Dressmaker or Tailor
  • Other Clothing Trades Workers
  • Apparel Cutter

    Lays out, marks and cuts fabric to form parts of garments.

  • Clothing Patternmaker

    Draws sets of master patterns following sketches, sample articles and design specifications, and cuts out patterns for garments.

    Specialisations: Pattern Grader (Clothing), Patternmaker-Grader

  • Dressmaker or Tailor

    Makes, alters and repairs women's and men's tailored garments, formal wear, couturier clothing, and special occasion wear such as suits, dresses, coats, evening wear and bridal wear.

    Specialisations: Costume Maker, Wardrobe Assistant, Wardrobe Coordinator

  • Other Clothing Trades Workers

    Includes Milliner

Fast Facts

  • Unavailable Weekly Pay
  • 8,000 workers Employment Size
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 43.2% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 40.6 hours Average full-time
  • 55 years Average age
  • 82.7% female Gender Share

The number of Clothing Trades Workers grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
from 8,000 in 2017 to 6,900 by 2022.
There are likely to be less than 1,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Clothing Trades Workers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Other Services; and Retail Trade.
  • Full-time: Less than half work full-time (43.2%, fewer than the all jobs average of 68.4%), showing there are many opportunites to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 40.6 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 55 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (72.5%).
  • Gender: 82.7% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200710800
20087700
20099800
201010400
20119900
20126900
20139000
20145900
20159900
20164200
20178000
20226900

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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)
Manufacturing65.4
Other Services15.0
Retail Trade13.9
Wholesale Trade1.5
Other Industries4.2

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 2017, 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.
StateClothing Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW40.531.6
VIC33.326.2
QLD9.419.7
SA3.76.7
WA10.310.8
TAS0.92.0
NT0.01.1
ACT1.81.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketClothing Trades WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-193.5-5.25.2
20-241.4-9.99.9
25-348.2-23.623.6
35-4414.2-21.721.7
45-5421.4-20.820.8
55-5929.4-8.88.8
60-6411.4-6.06.0
65 and Over10.3-4.04.0

Education Level

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. Most workers have not completed any post school qualifications (that is, they have finished either Year 10, 11 or 12 only). Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Textiles, Clothing & Footwear VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Clothing Trades Workers who are hardworking, reliable and work well in a team.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    80% Important

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

  2. Design

    65% Important

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

  3. Education and Training

    63% Important

    Teaching and course design.

  4. Mathematics

    62% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. English Language

    61% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-6052.00 - Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  1. Controlling Machines and Processes

    80% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  2. Getting Information

    78% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    77% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  4. Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work

    74% Important

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  5. Thinking Creatively

    72% Important

    Using your own ideas to developing, designing, or creating something new.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-6052.00 - Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers.

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