Clothing Trades Workers
Clothing Trades Workers prepare and cut garment patterns and fabric, and make and repair garments.
conferring with customers to determine material, styles and designs of garments
interpreting designs, sketches and samples to determine pattern specifications
cutting out master patterns
laying up and cutting fabric
pinning, basting and draping garment parts
fitting basted garments on customers and marking areas requiring alteration
sewing buttonholes, and sewing on buttons, hooks, eyes and press fasteners to finish garments
pressing and finishing work
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow strongly
- is likely to reach 9,000 by 2026.
Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 51% of people employed as Clothing Trades Workers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 15 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $1,148 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,029
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,232
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Clothing Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Clothing Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
Around 74% of Clothing Trades Workers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
New South Wales has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Clothing Trades Workers is 50 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 80% of the workforce. This is 32 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Clothing Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||9.3||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Clothing Trades Worker. Some workers have a certificate III or IV in textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) production or applied fashion design and technology.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Textiles, Clothing & Footwear VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Clothing Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||2.0||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||26.1||12.5|
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.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Clothing Trades Workers who are hardworking, reliable and work well in a team.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
41%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
41%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Talking to others.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
Looking for ways to help people.
37%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Reading work related information.
34%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Teaching people how to do something.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
62%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
41%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
41%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
38%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
35%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
26%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
25%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
24%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
20%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
20%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
20%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Listen to and understand what people say.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Communicate by speaking.
46%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Read and understand written information.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
69%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
68%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
58%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
56%Working with mechanical equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
53%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
50%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
47%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
46%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
46%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
45%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
44%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
Convincing people to buy something or to change their minds or actions.
43%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
43%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
37%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
33%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
32%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
29%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
28%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
97%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
95%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
Work to strict deadlines.
92%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
90%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
Talk on the telephone.
85%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
84%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
83%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
83%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
73%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
70%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
Deal with conflict or disagreements.
69%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
68%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
67%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
Work with people in a group or team.
63%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
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.