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

Specialisations: Furniture Upholsterer, Mattress Maker.

Either extensive experience or an apprenticeship in upholstery is needed to work as an Upholsterer.

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

All Upholsterers

  • Unavailable Weekly Pay
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 2,000 workers Employment Size
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • 78% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 43 hours Average full-time
  • 49 years Average age
  • 9% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Upholsterers (in their main job) fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
from 2,000 in 2018 to 1,800 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be less than 1,000 job openings over 5 years.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
  • Location: Upholsterers work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Other Services; and Retail Trade.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (78%, higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 49 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (62%).
  • Gender: 9% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
20083500
20095900
20102400
20112700
20122800
20134000
20142900
20152700
20164100
20173300
20182000
20231800

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)
Manufacturing58.3
Other Services33.9
Retail Trade3.2
Wholesale Trade1.7
Other Industries2.9

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateUpholsterersAll Jobs Average
NSW29.031.6
VIC29.625.6
QLD19.820.0
SA7.37.0
WA10.410.8
TAS2.42.0
NT0.71.0
ACT0.71.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketUpholsterersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-191.6-5.05.0
20-245.4-9.39.3
25-3411.4-22.922.9
35-4419.5-22.022.0
45-5429.0-21.621.6
55-5914.8-9.09.0
60-6411.7-6.06.0
65 and Over6.6-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: 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 QualificationUpholsterersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.1-10.110.1
Bachelor degree2.6-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma2.9-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV58.0-21.121.1
Year 1212.6-18.118.1
Year 114.8-4.84.8
Year 10 and below18.8-12.512.5

Either extensive experience or an apprenticeship in upholstery is needed to work as an Upholsterer.

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 Furnishing Industry 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 Upholsterers who are hardworking, reliable and work well in a team.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Production and processing

    46% Skill level

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

  2. Technical design

    41% Skill level

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

  3. Customer and personal service

    40% Skill level

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

  4. Mechanical

    38% Skill level

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

  5. Mathematics

    36% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

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, 51-6093.00 - 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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

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

  1. Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    98% Important

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  2. Spend time standing

    93% Important

    Spend time standing at work.

  3. Being exact or accurate

    87% Important

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  4. Making repetitive motions

    83% Important

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

  5. Wear common protective or safety equipment

    79% Important

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

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, 51-6093.00 - Upholsterers.

go to top