Upholsterers
51-6093.00

Make, repair, or replace upholstery for household furniture or transportation vehicles.

Sample of reported job titles: Box Spring Upholsterer, Furniture Upholsterer, Inside Upholsterer, Sofa Back Upholsterer, Stapler, Trimmer, Upholstered Goods Crafter, Upholsterer, Upholstery Cutter, Upholstery Trimmer

Occupation-Specific Information

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.
  • Examine furniture frames, upholstery, springs, and webbing to locate defects.
  • Adjust or replace webbing, padding, or springs, and secure them in place.
  • 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.
  • Repair furniture frames and refinish exposed wood.
  • Interweave and fasten strips of webbing to the backs and undersides of furniture, using small hand tools and fasteners.
  • Draw cutting lines on material following patterns, templates, sketches, or blueprints, using chalk, pencils, paint, or other methods.
  • Stretch webbing and fabric, using webbing stretchers.
  • Operate sewing machines or sew upholstery by hand to seam cushions and join various sections of covering material.
  • Design upholstery cover patterns and cutting plans, based on sketches, customer descriptions, or blueprints.
  • Maintain records of time required to perform each job.
  • Discuss upholstery fabrics, colors, and styles with customers, and provide cost estimates.
  • Pick up and deliver furniture.
  • Attach bindings or apply solutions to edges of cut material to prevent raveling.
  • Collaborate with interior designers to decorate rooms and coordinate furnishing fabrics.
  • Make, repair, or replace automobile upholstery and convertible and vinyl tops, using knowledge of fabric and upholstery methods.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work 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.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 89% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 80% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 48% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 39% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 40% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Level of Competition — 35% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Contact With Others — 48% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 32% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 29% responded “Very important results.”
  • Physical Proximity — 61% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 32% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 47% responded “Important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 37% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 22% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 19% responded “Fairly important.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 41% responded “Never.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • 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 Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Knowledge

  • 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.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 56%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 44%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • 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.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • 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).
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.

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Interests

Interest code: R
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — 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.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Work Styles

  • 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.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$17.99 hourly, $37,420 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
32,100 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Slower than average (1% to 5%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
3,000
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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