Sewing Machine Operators

Operate or tend sewing machines to join, reinforce, decorate, or perform related sewing operations in the manufacture of garment or nongarment products.

Median Annual Wage: $21,920

Education: Less than high school diploma (74%); High school diploma or equivalent (12%); Some college, no degree (9%)

Projected Growth: Decline (-3% or lower)

Related Job Titles: Seamstress; Sample Maker; Sewing Machine Operator; Sewer; Line Closer; Bartacker; Computer Stitcher; Cord Sewer; Overcaster; Peak Maker

Browse Job Listings

Browse Schools

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Sewing Machine Operators.

More Production Careers

  • Position items under needles, using marks on machines, clamps, templates, or cloth as guides.
  • Place spools of thread, cord, or other materials on spindles, insert bobbins, and thread ends through machine guides and components.
  • Match cloth pieces in correct sequences prior to sewing them, and verify that dye lots and patterns match.
  • Guide garments or garment parts under machine needles and presser feet to sew parts together.
  • Start and operate or tend machines, such as single or double needle serging and flat-bed felling machines, to automatically join, reinforce, or decorate material or articles.
  • Record quantities of materials processed.
  • Inspect garments, and examine repair tags and markings on garments to locate defects or damage, and mark errors as necessary.
  • Mount attachments, such as needles, cutting blades, or pattern plates, and adjust machine guides according to specifications.
  • Select supplies such as fasteners and thread, according to job requirements.
  • Cut excess material or thread from finished products.
  • Fold or stretch edges or lengths of items while sewing to facilitate forming specified sections.
  • Perform equipment maintenance tasks such as replacing needles, sanding rough areas of needles, or cleaning and oiling sewing machines.
  • Examine and measure finished articles to verify conformance to standards, using rulers.
  • Turn knobs, screws, and dials to adjust settings of machines, according to garment styles and equipment performance.
  • Repair or alter items by adding replacement parts or missing stitches.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Sewing Machine Operators.

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Sewing Machine Operators.

Search Local Job Listings