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Career profile Upholsterer

Also known as Box Spring Upholsterer, Furniture Upholsterer, Inside Upholsterer, Sofa Back Upholsterer, Stapler, Trimmer, Upholstered Goods Crafter, Upholsterer, Upholstery Cutter, Upholstery Trimmer

Upholsterer

Also known as Box Spring Upholsterer, Furniture Upholsterer, Inside Upholsterer

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$23,590 - $54,630 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Design
  • Customer and Personal Service
Core tasks
  • Fit, install, and secure material on frames, using hand tools, power tools, glue, cement, or staples.
  • Measure and cut new covering materials, using patterns and measuring and cutting instruments, following sketches and design specifications.
  • Build furniture up with loose fiber stuffing, cotton, felt, or foam padding to form smooth, rounded surfaces.
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What does an Upholsterer do?

Upholsterers make, repair, or replace upholstery for household furniture or transportation vehicles.

What kind of tasks does an Upholsterer perform regularly?

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

  • Fit, install, and secure material on frames, using hand tools, power tools, glue, cement, or staples.
  • Measure and cut new covering materials, using patterns and measuring and cutting instruments, following sketches and design specifications.
  • Build furniture up with loose fiber stuffing, cotton, felt, or foam padding to form smooth, rounded surfaces.
  • Make, restore, or create custom upholstered furniture, using hand tools and knowledge of fabrics and upholstery methods.
  • Read work orders, and apply knowledge and experience with materials to determine types and amounts of materials required to cover workpieces.
  • Adjust or replace webbing, padding, or springs, and secure them in place.
  • Examine furniture frames, upholstery, springs, and webbing to locate defects.
  • Sew rips or tears in material, or create tufting, using needles and thread.
  • Remove covering, webbing, padding, or defective springs from workpieces, using hand tools such as hammers and tack pullers.
  • Attach fasteners, grommets, buttons, buckles, ornamental trim, and other accessories to covers or frames, using hand tools.
  • Interweave and fasten strips of webbing to the backs and undersides of furniture, using small hand tools and fasteners.
  • Repair furniture frames and refinish exposed wood.

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

Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information
Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

What is an Upholsterer salary?

The median salary for an Upholsterer is $36,250, and the average salary is $37,870. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Upholsterer salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Upholsterers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Upholsterers earn less than $23,590 per year, 25% earn less than $28,920, 75% earn less than $44,970, and 90% earn less than $54,630.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Upholsterers is expected to change by 4.4%, and there should be roughly 3,000 open positions for Upholsterers every year.

Median annual salary
$36,250
Typical salary range
$23,590 - $54,630
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
4.4%

What personality traits are common among Upholsterers?

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 an Upholsterer are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Upholsterers 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 an Upholsterer tend to value Support, Achievement, and Working Conditions.

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

Second, Upholsterers moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Upholsterers moderately 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 Upholsterers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Upholsterers, 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.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

What education and training do Upholsterers need?

Working as an Upholsterer usually requires a high school diploma.

Upholsterers 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 Upholsterers

  • 33.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 38.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 15.9% completed some college coursework
  • 6.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 3.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.1% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Upholsterers

Upholsterers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, design, or customer and personal service knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Upholsterers 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.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
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 Upholsterers

Upholsterers 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, Upholsterers need abilities such as arm-hand steadiness, manual dexterity, and finger dexterity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Upholsterers, 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.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

Critical Skills needed by Upholsterers

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.

Upholsterers frequently use skills like critical thinking, reading comprehension, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Upholsterers, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Learning
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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.

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