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

  • $927 Weekly Pay
  • 3,000 workers Employment Size
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 80.6% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 39.4 hours Average full-time
  • 46 years Average age
  • 14.9% female Gender Share

The number of Upholsterers grew moderately over the past 5 years and is expected to stay fairly stable over the next 5 years:
from 3,000 in 2017 to 3,000 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 very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Upholsterers work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Victoria.
  • Industries: They work in many industries such as Manufacturing; Retail Trade; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (80.6%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 39.4 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 46 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (55.2%).
  • Gender: 14.9% 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
20073700
20083600
20095900
20102400
20112700
20122800
20134000
20142800
20152900
20164200
20173000
20223000

Weekly Earnings

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

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)
Manufacturing85.9
Retail Trade7.7
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services4.4
Other Services2.0

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.
StateUpholsterersAll Jobs Average
NSW32.231.6
VIC41.726.2
QLD12.119.7
SA2.26.7
WA7.210.8
TAS2.62.0
NT2.01.1
ACT0.01.8

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 BracketUpholsterersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-2414.0-9.99.9
25-3426.6-23.623.6
35-444.2-21.721.7
45-5420.9-20.820.8
55-593.8-8.88.8
60-6414.1-6.06.0
65 and Over16.4-4.04.0

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. The majority of workers have a Certificate III/IV. 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 Furnishing Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

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

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

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, 51-6093.00 - Upholsterers.

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. 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.

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, 51-6093.00 - Upholsterers.

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