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Clothing production worker

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Summary of occupation

Clothing production workers mark out, cut and sew fabric. They turn design ideas and sketches into finished garments. Some of these workers will be involved in all stages of production, from marking fabric with the design through to sewing the garment together and attaching the trimmings. In larger operations, clothing production workers will specialise in one task. Regardless of their role, these workers will set-up and operate specialised machinery and examine their work after each stage, checking for damage or other defects.

ANZSCO description: Clothing production workers mark out, cut and sew fabric, turning design sketches into finished garments.
Alternative names: Clothing Factory Worker
Specialisations: Apparel Cutter, Clothing Pattern Maker, Material Handler, Sewing Machinist
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A clothing production worker needs:

  • the ability to work as part of team
  • to produce neat, accurate and detailed work
  • good eyesight, may be corrected
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • the ability to concentrate for long periods while doing repetitive tasks.
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Working conditions

Clothing production workers work in factories and workshops, usually in the Perth metropolitan region. These workshops can be loud, and hearing protection may be required. Most clothing production workers work in a team, performing one or two specialised tasks. The work can be repetitive, but concentration must be maintained to avoid damaging garments or causing injury. They usually work regular business hours during the week. However, overtime, which may include evening and weekend work, can be required to meet production deadlines, particularly during the change of seasons.

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Salary details

Clothing production workers, classified as clothing trades workers or sewing machinists, can expect to earn between $679.90 and $799 per week on average ($35 354.80 and $41 599 per year), depending on the company they work for and their level of experience. As a clothing production worker develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.​

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Tools and technologies

Clothing production workers may use a range of machines and equipment, which vary depending on their specific role. Much of the work is carried out by specialised machines, including sewing machines and power cutters. Smaller, hand operated equipment may also be used for some tasks, including knives, shears (scissors), needles, pens, pencils and measuring equipment. Computers and computer-aided design (CAD) software is also commonly used.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a clothing production worker without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in clothing production. 

The Certificate II in Clothing Production (Complex or Multiple Processes) is offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.   

It is also possible to complete a traineeship in clothing production. The traineeship usually takes 24 to 36 months to complete.​

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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