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Sewing machinist Machinist

Sewing machinists stitch pieces of material together to make clothing, accessories and soft furnishings.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,000 to £21,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements. Sewing skills or a college course in sewing machine skills or textiles could help you get a job.

You must have good eyesight.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • sewing skills
  • practical skills to use machinery
  • close attention to detail
  • the ability to work to deadlines

3. What you'll do

You could make curtains, bedding, car mats, clothes or accessories. You could use a computerised sewing machine that reads from a digital design pattern.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • changing machine settings for different jobs
  • feeding material through the machine
  • stitching together clothes or other items
  • checking finished work against the pattern instructions
  • cleaning and oiling machines
  • sewing different fabrics like cotton, wool, leather or industrial textiles

4. Salary

Starter: £14,000

Experienced: £15,000 to £17,500

Highly Experienced: £18,000 to £21,000 (supervisor)

You may get paid for each item you make.

You could get a bonus if you work quickly.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work around 40 hours a week. You may work shifts and early starts are common.

You'll work in a team in a factory and spend most of your time sitting at a machine. The work can be repetitive and factories can be noisy.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could work with a designer, or as a 'sample machinist', making up samples of products.

You could also become a supervisor or move into staff training, quality control or pattern cutting. You could set up your own business as a tailor or dressmaker.

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Last updated: 13 April 2017