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Occupation Details

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Upholsterer

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a bank 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 recognised 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 sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€16k > 38 
Upholsterer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€16 - 38 
Related Information:
Entrants: Min Wage
Experienced: 25 - 29
Established: 38
Data Source(s):
FAS

Last Updated: March, 2011

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Covers, repairs and renovates furniture using springs, padding and material.


The Work header image

Upholsterers attach the padding and soft covers onto furniture, such as sofas, chairs and mattresses. There are two main types of upholsterer: production and craft.  
 
Production upholsterers carry out skilled work in factories or workshops, upholstering new pieces of furniture. They use modern filling materials, like foam and polyester waddings. They attach the fillings to wooden and metal furniture frames to form padding for seats, backs and arms, as well as using them to stuff cushions. The upholsterer receives pre-cut pieces of foam and covering materials. Fabrics have been sewn by specialist sewing machinists.  
 
To fix the upholstery to the frame, upholsterers usually use a hand-held staple gun. Decorative trimmings, such as beading, may be attached with tacks fixed with a small-headed hammer.  
 
In some factories, an upholsterer may be responsible for working on a particular part of the furniture, for example chair arms, while in others, upholsterers complete entire items.  
 
Craft upholsterers are highly skilled and are able to complete the full range of upholstery tasks. They may work on new furniture but also do re-upholstery. This can include repair work and recovering domestic items such as suites. Some craft upholsterers undertake contract work, for example, upholstering furniture in hotels and bars.  
 
Craft upholsterers are responsible for cutting and sewing, as well as fixing. They use templates to mark out the required shapes on the fabric - ensuring that the patterns and nap of the finished items match. It is also important for them to use fabrics efficiently, limiting waste and costs. They may customise designs. Craft Upholsterers are responsible for estimating the cost of repairs.  
 
Traditional craft upholsterers specialise in renovating antique furniture using a variety of tools including ripping chisels, magnetic hammers and long needles. They work with a wide range of materials, including loose fibre fillings and cotton waddings from which they create comfortable shapes on wooden frames. On some pieces, upholsterers may use other furniture craft skills, such as French polishing.  
 
For re-upholstery work, upholsterers estimate the costs of dismantling and rebuilding items for customers. This involves making a detailed inspection of the furniture to assess its con 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Fit, install, and secure material on frames, using hand tools, power tools, glue, cement, or staples.

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Build furniture up with loose fiber stuffing, cotton, felt, or foam padding to form smooth, rounded surfaces.

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Examine furniture frames, upholstery, springs, and webbing to locate defects.

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Attach fasteners, grommets, buttons, buckles, ornamental trim, and other accessories to covers or frames, using hand tools.

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Remove covering, webbing, padding, or defective springs from workpieces, using hand tools such as hammers and tack pullers.

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Read work orders, and apply knowledge and experience with materials to determine types and amounts of materials required to cover workpieces.

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Draw cutting lines on material following patterns, templates, sketches, or blueprints, using chalk, pencils, paint, or other methods.

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Make, restore, or create custom upholstered furniture, using hand tools and knowledge of fabrics and upholstery methods.

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Measure and cut new covering materials, using patterns and measuring and cutting instruments, following sketches and design specifications.

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Maintain records of time required to perform each job.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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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 of materials.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Thinking Creatively:  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Controlling Machines and Processes:  Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

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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.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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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.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Production and Processing:  Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

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Administration and Management:  Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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Design:  Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Quality Control Analysis:   Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Service Orientation:   Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Mathematics:   Using mathematics to solve problems.

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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.

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Time Management:   Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

TThis type of work suits people with practical craft skills, who take pride in their work. All types of upholsterers have to work carefully to create accurate shapes in upholstery. Padding and fabrics need to be fixed neatly and seams have to be straight, in order to produce a smooth, professional finish and an attractive end product.  
 
You will need patience for some aspects of upholstery work, such as fixing fabrics to awkward curves or angles. However, you may also be expected to work quickly.  
 
If you enter craft upholstery you will need mathematical ability for calculating costs and measuring materials accurately. You need to have good business skills if you are self employed.  
 
If you deal with customers, a polite and friendly manner is helpful; you should enjoy giving advice and encouraging sales.  
 
Good hand skills are needed for using a variety of tools and equipment. You need to be well co-ordinated and physically fit; much of your day will be spent moving items of furniture. An eye for detail is required for matching fabrics and good vision can be important. Your colour vision may be tested. The work may not suit you if you have certain chest complaints or allergies because of the dust and fluff from some fabrics. You must be safety conscious and well organised and tidy.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Furniture conservator/restorer - from:  GradIreland
Go..Furniture Restorer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Upholsterer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Upholsterer - from:  icould [UK] Video

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: National Employment Rights Authority
  Address: Information Services, Government Buildings, O'Brien Road, Carlow
  Tel: (059) 917 8990 Locall: 1890 80 80 90
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Art, Craft & Design
Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing

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