What Do Textile, Apparel, and Furnishings Workers Do?
Before materials are used to create clothing, furniture, tablecloths, and other goods, they must first be created. In this position, you would do a variety of jobs to take the raw materials and turn them into workable textiles. You may work with synthetic fibers or natural materials, such as cotton, hemp, leather, and others. There is a projected 100 openings every year in this position, which is an 8 percent loss per year. Although this job may be seeing an overall decline, you still can find jobs, especially in certain geographical regions that are heavy in the textile industry.
Textile, Apparel, and Furnishings Workers Skills and Abilities
Working in this position may require physical labor, so it is important that you have mobility and dexterity, as well as steady hands and arms. You may also be required to lift heavy items. Most of the work involves using machines, so it is important to have mechanical skills. A fine attention to detail and ability to recognize changes in color is also beneficial, since you will need to review different textiles and furnishings.
Textile, Apparel, and Furnishings Workers Duties
The duties will depend on the exact job you have within the industry. Most of the work is to oversee the working of machines and equipment. You may also need to review the product to ensure quality assurance and discuss the project with your colleagues, managers, and/or clients. Other duties include:
- Cleaning the equipment and area
- Measuring dyes, bleach, and other chemicals
- Testing the chemicals and machines to ensure they are at peak working level
- Sewing fabric or textiles
- Measuring and cutting different materials
- Inspecting the raw materials
- Repairing or maintaining equipment
Textile, Apparel, and Furnishings Workers Tools and Technology
There are many different types of tools you may use on the job. Most textile, apparel, and furnishing workers will come in contact with machines, including those used for dying, bleaching, pulling, spooling, winding, twisting, and drawing out. You also may use a computer, including software for product management, databases, and other project software. It is also very likely you will need to use an email client and the Microsoft Office Suite for day-to-day tasks and communication.
Education and Training for Textile, Apparel, and Furnishings Workers
There is no formal education and training required for working in this job. Most workers have a high school diploma, GED, or the equivalent, although a fair amount does not even have that. Some workers have gone on to higher education, although very few have more than a bachelor’s degree. No experience is required, and you will be trained on the job for the particular duties you must perform.
Textile, Apparel, and Furnishings Workers Salary
The annual median salary in the US for this position is $26,500, but you have the chance to make as much as $46,400. The lower 10 percent of workers only make $18,000 per year. There are many things that determine how much you can make, including the job, your experience, and the location.
Textile, Apparel, and Furnishings Workers Jobs by Geography
The state that has the most jobs in this position is California, with 1,810. However, Missouri has the highest location quotient. North Carolina, Georgia, and New York also have a significant number of jobs. The state that pays the most is Washington, with an annual mean wage of $44,860, followed closely by Hawaii. Colorado, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania round out the top five paying states in the country. However, many of these states have limited jobs, so you may be better suited looking at the states with higher employment opportunities.