What Does A Tailor Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

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Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Tailors and Dressmakers

Tailors and Dressmakers design, make, alter, repair, or fit garments.

Salary
$36040
Becoming One
Easy
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth
Low

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Tailors and Dressmakers design, make, alter, repair, or fit garments.

  • Fit and study garments on customers to determine required alterations.
  • Sew garments, using needles and thread or sewing machines.
  • Measure parts such as sleeves or pant legs, and mark or pin-fold alteration lines.
  • Take up or let down hems to shorten or lengthen garment parts such as sleeves.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Tailors and Dressmakers fit and study garments on customers to determine required alterations. They sew garments, using needles and thread or sewing machines.

A typical day for a Tailor and Dressmaker will also include:

  • Examine tags on garments to determine alterations that are needed.
  • Record required alterations and instructions on tags, and attach them to garments.
  • Measure customers, using tape measures, and record measurements.
  • Maintain garment drape and proportions as alterations are performed.
  • Let out or take in seams in suits and other garments to improve fit.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Tailors and Dressmakers also sew buttonholes and attach buttons to finish garments. They may also put in padding and shaping materials.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Tailors and Dressmakers position patterns of garment parts on fabric, and cut fabric along outlines, using scissors. They might also develop, copy, or adapt designs for garments, and design patterns to fit measurements, applying knowledge of garment design, construction, styling, and fabric.

In addition, they confer with customers to determine the types of material and garment styles desired.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them make garment style changes, such as tapering pant legs, narrowing lapels, and adding or removing padding.

To some Tailors and Dressmakers, it is also their responsibility to repair or replace defective garment parts such as pockets, zippers, snaps, buttons, and linings.

Freedom to make decisions

How much decision making freedom does this job offer?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
5%

Limited freedom
8%

Some freedom
30%

A lot of freedom
58%

Structured vs unstructured work

To what extent is this job structured for you versus allowing you to determine your own tasks, priorities, and goals?

No freedom
11%

Very little freedom
5%

Limited freedom
12%

Some freedom
25%

A lot of freedom
46%


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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

Low

61% said they were satisfied with their job and 46% said they found their job meaningful.


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who value achievements and are results-oriented.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to solve problems mentally.

One of the lowest paying jobs.

Demand for this career is not growing.

How much do they make

Average salary

$36040 per year

Average hourly wage

$17 per hour

Entry-level Tailors and Dressmakers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $20,940 to $25,570 per year or $10 to $12 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $58,050 $28
Senior (Top 25%) $44,920 $22
Median $32,640 $16
Junior (Bottom 25%) $25,570 $12
No experience (Bottom 10%) $20,940 $10

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Tailors and Dressmakers based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Management of Companies and Enterprises $62530 $30.06
General Merchandise Stores $53480 $25.71
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $43540 $20.93
Performing Arts Companies $41030 $19.72
Traveler Accommodation $40770 $19.60
Other Schools and Instruction $40210 $19.33
Specialized Design Services $39820 $19.15
Gambling Industries $39700 $19.08
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses $39400 $18.94
Other Textile Product Mills $39380 $18.93

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Tailors and Dressmakers work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Tailors and Dressmakers including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Clothing Stores 6780 $33990 $16.34
Drycleaning and Laundry Services 2900 $31600 $15.19
Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance 2700 $31680 $15.23
General Merchandise Stores 1890 $53480 $25.71
Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing 1290 $38720 $18.62
Rental and Leasing Services 870 $31700 $15.24
Specialized Design Services 640 $39820 $19.15
Apparel, Piece Goods, and Notions Merchant Wholesalers 420 $38540 $18.53
Sporting Goods, Hobby, and Musical Instrument Stores 320 $33020 $15.87
Textile Furnishings Mills 260 $32830 $15.78

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
20%

40 hours
37%

More than 40 hours
43%

Working schedule

75%

13%

13%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
21%

Fairly important
8%

Important
2%

Very important
23%

Extremely important
47%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
14%

Fairly important
0%

Important
11%

Very important
26%

Extremely important
50%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
23%

Fairly important
6%

Important
28%

Very important
13%

Extremely important
31%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
26%

Every day
21%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
21%

Every day
61%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
2%

Every day
60%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
69%

Once a year
19%

Once a month
0%

Once a week
0%

Every day
11%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
35%

Once a year
44%

Once a month
5%

Once a week
15%

Every day
0%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
14%

Once a year
52%

Once a month
11%

Once a week
22%

Every day
0%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
84%

Once a year
16%

Once a month
0%

Once a week
0%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
38%

Slightly competitive
6%

Moderately competitive
17%

Highly competitive
23%

Extremely competitive
17%

Repetition in this job

How important is repeating the same type of task over and over in this job?

Not important at all
37%

Fairly important
0%

Important
5%

Very Important
23%

Extremely Important
35%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
8%

Minor impact
16%

Moderate impact
0%

Important impact
4%

Very important impact
72%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
24%

Once a year
1%

Once a month
4%

Once a week
13%

Every day
59%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
32%

Limited responsibility
8%

Moderate responsibility
4%

High responsibility
25%

Very high responsibility
32%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
24%

Limited responsibility
0%

Moderate responsibility
11%

High responsibility
29%

Very high responsibility
36%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
15%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
1%

Every day
83%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
87%

Once a year or more
1%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
11%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
95%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
5%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
94%

Once a year or more
1%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
5%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Easy
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category usually don’t require a degree. However, you will need a few months of on-the-job training with experienced employees. Similar careers include Customer Service Representatives, Security Guards, and Bank Tellers.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
17%

High School Diploma or equivalent
58%

Post-Secondary Certificate
16%

Some College Courses
0%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
9%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
18%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
2%

3 to 6 months
10%

6 months to 1 year
27%

1 to 2 years
22%

2 to 4 years
10%

4 to 6 years
7%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
5%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
6%

1 month
8%

1 to 3 months
50%

3 to 6 months
8%

6 months to 1 year
16%

1 to 2 years
10%

2 to 4 years
3%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

The Builder
95%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
14%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
57%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
29%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
52%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
33%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like working with forms, designs, and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
62%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
50%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
38%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
62%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
38%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
62%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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