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Career profile Fabric Cutter

Also known as Automated Cutting Machine Operator, CNC Cutting Operator (Computer Numerical Control Cutting Operator), Cutter, Cutter Operator, Die Cut Operator, Fabric Cutter, Laser Operator, Spread Cutter, Spreader, Textile Slitting Machine Operator

Fabric Cutter

Also known as Automated Cutting Machine Operator, CNC Cutting Operator (Computer Numerical Control Cutting Operator), Cutter

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$21,300 - $41,520 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Quality Control Analysis
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical
Core tasks
  • Thread yarn, thread, or fabric through guides, needles, and rollers of machines.
  • Adjust cutting techniques to types of fabrics and styles of garments.
  • Operate machines to cut multiple layers of fabric into parts for articles such as canvas goods, house furnishings, garments, hats, or stuffed toys.
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What does a Fabric Cutter do?

Fabric Cutters set up, operate, or tend machines that cut textiles.

What kind of tasks does a Fabric Cutter perform regularly?

Fabric Cutters are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Inspect products to ensure that the quality standards and specifications are met.
  • Place patterns on top of layers of fabric and cut fabric following patterns, using electric or manual knives, cutters, or computer numerically controlled cutting devices.
  • Start machines, monitor operations, and make adjustments as needed.
  • Adjust machine controls, such as heating mechanisms, tensions, or speeds, to produce specified products.
  • Notify supervisors of mechanical malfunctions.
  • Record information about work completed and machine settings.
  • Inspect machinery to determine whether repairs are needed.
  • Confer with co-workers to obtain information about orders, processes, or problems.
  • Repair or replace worn or defective parts or components, using hand tools.
  • Clean, oil, and lubricate machines, using air hoses, cleaning solutions, rags, oil cans, or grease guns.

The above responsibilities are specific to Fabric Cutters. More generally, Fabric Cutters are involved in several broader types of activities:

Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

What is a Fabric Cutter salary?

The median salary for a Fabric Cutter is $29,910, and the average salary is $30,890. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Fabric Cutter salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Fabric Cutters earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Fabric Cutters earn less than $21,300 per year, 25% earn less than $25,380, 75% earn less than $36,070, and 90% earn less than $41,520.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Fabric Cutters is expected to change by -10.9%, and there should be roughly 1,300 open positions for Fabric Cutters every year.

Median annual salary
$29,910
Typical salary range
$21,300 - $41,520
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-10.9%

What personality traits are common among Fabric Cutters?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Fabric Cutter are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Fabric Cutters typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Fabric Cutter tend to value Support, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Fabric Cutters moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Fabric Cutters moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Fabric Cutters somewhat value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Fabric Cutters must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Fabric Cutters, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Fabric Cutters need?

Working as a Fabric Cutter usually requires a high school diploma.

Fabric Cutters need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Fabric Cutters

  • 27.2% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 45.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 15.4% completed some college coursework
  • 5.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 3.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 3.4% earned a Master's degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Fabric Cutters

Fabric Cutters may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, mathematics, or mechanical knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Fabric Cutters might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Fabric Cutters

Fabric Cutters must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Fabric Cutters need abilities such as arm-hand steadiness, manual dexterity, and information ordering in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Fabric Cutters, ranked by their relative importance.

Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Selective Attention
The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

Critical Skills needed by Fabric Cutters

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Fabric Cutters frequently use skills like operations monitoring, operation and control, and quality control analysis to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Fabric Cutters, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.