Upholsterers

ANZSCO ID 3933

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
900
Future Growth
13.5%
Weekly Earnings
N/A
Full-Time Share
72%
Female Share
9%
Average age
49

Summary

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

Specialisations: Furniture Upholsterer, Mattress Maker.

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as an Upholsterer. Although most workers have a certificate III in upholstery or soft furnishings. These courses are often completed as part of an apprenticeship.

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

Characteristics

Job Type
Technicians And Trades Workers
Skill Level
Medium skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
Physical Demand
  • Medium
  • Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA 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 4,700 by 2026.

Source: Jobs and Skills Australia 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.

Projected Change
13.5%
(or 600 jobs)
From
4,100
in 2021
To
4,700
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 2,200
2012 4,200
2013 4,500
2014 1,100
2015 2,500
2016 4,400
2017 2,900
2018 600
2019 5,200
2020 3,000
2021 4,100
2026 4,700

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 78% of people employed as Upholsterers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 12 percentage points above 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).

    Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.


Industries

Main industries

1
Manufacturing
74.4%
2
Other Services
23.1%
3
Retail Trade
2.6%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

29.0% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

29.6% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

19.8% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

7.3% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

10.4% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.4% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.7% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

0.7% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Upholsterers All Jobs Average
NSW 29.0 31.6
VIC 29.6 25.6
QLD 19.8 20.0
SA 7.3 7.0
WA 10.4 10.8
TAS 2.4 2.0
NT 0.7 1.0
ACT 0.7 1.9



Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
49
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
9%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Upholsterers is 49 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 9% of the workforce. This is 39 percentage points below 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)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Upholsterers All Jobs Average
15-19 1.6 5.0
20-24 5.4 9.3
25-34 11.4 22.9
35-44 19.5 22.0
45-54 29.0 21.6
55-59 14.8 9.0
60-64 11.7 6.0
65 and Over 6.6 4.2
Median Age 49 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as an Upholsterer. Although most workers have a certificate III in upholstery or soft furnishings. These courses are often completed as part of an apprenticeship.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Furnishing Industry VET training pathways.

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 Qualification Upholsterers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 0.1 10.1
Bachelor degree 2.6 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 2.9 11.6
Certificate III/IV 58.0 21.1
Year 12 12.6 18.1
Year 11 4.8 4.8
Year 10 and below 18.8 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 Upholsterers who are hardworking, reliable and work well in a team.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 45%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 43%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 43%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 43%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 43%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 43%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 41%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 41%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 41%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 41%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 41%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 39%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 39%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 39%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 37%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 37%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 36%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 36%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 34%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 30%

    Equipment selection

    Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 46%

    Production and processing

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

  • 41%

    Technical design

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

  • 40%

    Customer and personal service

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

  • 38%

    Mechanical

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

  • 36%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 32%

    Education and training

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

  • 31%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 30%

    Building and construction

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  • 27%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 26%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 23%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 20%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 19%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 17%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 17%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 15%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 15%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 12%

    Clerical

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

  • 10%

    Foreign language

    Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

  • 9%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 59%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 57%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 57%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 55%

    Colour discrimination

    Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.

  • 55%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 55%

    Visualization

    Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.

  • 54%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 52%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 45%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 45%

    Trunk strength

    Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.

  • 43%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 43%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 43%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 43%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 43%

    Extent flexibility

    Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.

  • 43%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 43%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 43%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 41%

    Depth perception

    Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.

  • 41%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 77%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 64%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 64%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 56%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 55%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 55%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 55%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 54%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 52%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 51%

    Coordinating the work of a team

    Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.

  • 50%

    Scheduling work and activities

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

  • 49%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 48%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 47%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 46%

    Influencing people

    Convincing people to buy something or to change their minds or actions.

  • 44%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 44%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 43%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 43%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 42%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.


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

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 95%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 33%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 29%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 24%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 62%

    Support

    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.

  • 48%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 48%

    Independence

    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.

  • 48%

    Relationships

    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.

  • 48%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 33%

    Recognition

    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.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 98%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

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

  • 93%

    Spend time standing

    Spend time standing at work.

  • 87%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 83%

    Making repetitive motions

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

  • 79%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

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

  • 77%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 76%

    Bending or twisting your body

    Spend time bending or twisting your body.

  • 76%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 74%

    Competition

    Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.

  • 73%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 73%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 72%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 71%

    Minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings

    Be exposed to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings.

  • 69%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 69%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 69%

    Walking and running

    Spend time walking and running.

  • 65%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  • 64%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 64%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 63%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

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.


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