How to Become a Tailor

Written by

Beatrice Harrison


August 14, 2014



Tailoring is an essential part of the fashion and design field that involves creating custom clothing or making necessary alterations. Tailors are trained workers that create, repair, and alter a variety of clothing for customers.

What does a tailor do?

Tailors typically perform dressmaking repairs and alterations on clothing in local neighborhood shops, dry-cleaning facilities, clothing manufacturers, and department stores. Some tailors design and make custom clothing such as suits, jackets, and pants. Tailors usually discuss the needs and desires of the type of garment and style of the client and then perform the necessary services. They measure customers to determine the required size. They create a design and pattern for garments, reproduces similar designs, or modify existing designs and patterns to fit the measurements of the customers. They usually have clients try on rough drafts of garments and mark areas that require necessary alterations or adjustments. They alter the item and join the parts using hand stitching with needle and thread or sewing machines. Tailors often perform alterations such as hemming pants and sewing or patching tears. They also sew on buttons, zippers, pockets, and snaps and attach padding.

What kind of training does a tailor need?

Tailors must have at least a high school diploma, but most employers prefer candidates with some formal training and previous experience. Many tailors complete postsecondary training in fashion and design through vocational and technical schools, independent art schools, or colleges and universities. Prospective tailors often complete courses in mathematics, fashion design, drawing, textiles, sewing, and alteration. Some aspiring tailors complete internships to gain practical experience in the field. Many tailors learn their skills through on the job training. New tailors often start out completing simple tasks and move on to more advanced duties as they gain experience. Tailors complete additional training as needed throughout their careers.

What are the prospects for a career as a tailor?

Employment of tailors is expected to experience little to no change, decreasing 2% through 2018.

Job prospects are expected to be fair. Tailors with extensive experience and specialized training will have the best job opportunities. Some job openings will stem from the need to replace tailors that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do tailors make?

As of 2015, the middle 50% of tailors earn annual salaries between $21,279 and $32,071. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $37,679.

A career as a tailor is a great choice for people with a strong interest in performing a variety of tailoring tasks. Tailors must have a solid understanding of a variety of apparel styles and fabrics. They must have an eye for design and style and be able to accurately measure a variety of customers. Patience, detail orientation, manual dexterity, and good eye-hand coordination are necessary characteristics for anyone considering how to become a tailor. Tailors must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they often work with a variety of customers.

Becoming a Tailor Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Tailor? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  Beatrice Harrison

Educated at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Beatrice Harrison has extensive professional experience in career counseling, having helped a growing number of job seekers find fulfilling and meaningful careers in a variety of fields and disciplines.

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