Dressmakers or Tailors make, alter and repair 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.

You can work as a Dressmaker or Tailor without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. Training is also available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

Tasks

  • Confers with customers to determine material, styles and designs of garments.
  • Interprets designs, sketches and samples to determine pattern specifications.
  • Cuts out master patterns.
  • Lays up and cuts fabric.
  • Pins, bastes and drapes garment parts.
  • Sews garments.
  • Fits basted garments on customers and marks areas requiring alteration.
  • Sews buttonholes, and sews on buttons, hooks, eyes and press fasteners to finish garments.
  • Pressing and finishing work.

All Clothing Trades Workers

  • $1,132 Weekly Pay
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Dressmakers and Tailors

  • 5,500 workers Employment Size
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • 49% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 44 hours Average full-time
  • 50 years Average age
  • 84% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Dressmakers and Tailors (in their main job) grew moderately over 5 years:
from 5,300 in 2011 to 5,500 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a small occupation.
  • Location: Dressmakers and Tailors work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Other Services; and Retail Trade.
  • Full-time: Around half work full-time (49%, less than the average of 66%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 50 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (64%).
  • Gender: 84% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

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

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 Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing42.5
Other Services30.1
Retail Trade9.5
Arts and Recreation Services4.1
Other Industries13.8

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateDressmakers and TailorsAll Jobs Average
NSW34.331.6
VIC27.925.6
QLD17.220.0
SA5.97.0
WA10.410.8
TAS2.02.0
NT1.01.0
ACT1.31.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketDressmakers and TailorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-192.1-5.05.0
20-244.6-9.39.3
25-3413.7-22.922.9
35-4415.2-22.022.0
45-5428.1-21.621.6
55-5915.0-9.09.0
60-6411.8-6.06.0
65 and Over9.4-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationDressmakers and TailorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate2.1-10.110.1
Bachelor degree11.0-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma16.4-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV16.6-21.121.1
Year 1222.6-18.118.1
Year 114.2-4.84.8
Year 10 and below27.1-12.512.5

You can work as a Dressmaker or Tailor without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. Training is also available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • 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.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    62% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Clerical

    46% Skill level

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  3. Psychology

    44% Skill level

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  4. Design

    42% Skill level

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

  5. Education and Training

    41% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Being Exact or Accurate

    97% Important

    How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

  2. Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel

    95% Important

    How much time do you spend using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?

  3. Time Pressure

    92% Important

    How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?

  4. Impact of Decisions

    92% Important

    What results do your decisions have on other people?

  5. Frequency of Decision Making

    90% Important

    How often do you make decisions that affect other people?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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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