Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

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  Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Occupation Details

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Clothing Alteration Worker

Job Zone

Some of these occupations may require a Leaving Certificate or similar.

Related Experience
Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include taxi drivers, amusement and recreation attendants, counter clerks, construction laborers, and waiters or waitresses.

€18k >  
Clothing Alteration Worker
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 -  
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2014

* 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

Clothing alteration workers make alterations and repairs to all types of garments. They use sewing machines and do hand stitching.

The Work header image

Clothing alteration workers make adjustments to all types of garments, such as dresses, trousers, skirts and jackets. The work is carried out from instructions given by the customer. Garments may be altered by hand or by machine. Garments are pressed once alterations are complete.  
Various kinds of fabric are worked on including silk, cotton, linen, wool and synthetics, such as polyester. Tools used include sewing machines, needles, pins and scissors. Alteration workers need to maintain their own machines.  
Many alteration workers combine this type of work with tailoring or dressmaking.


Personal Qualitiesheader image

You will need good practical skills. In particular, you need nimble fingers and should be capable of working neatly and quickly without making mistakes.  
A good working knowledge of sewing techniques is essential and a basic knowledge of sewing machines is helpful.  
You need to be patient as the work can be detailed and require careful attention. Some of the work can demand specialist skills, for example work on theatrical costumes. You also need to be accurate in your work and capable of following verbal and written instructions carefully.  
As a large number of alteration workers are self-employed, therefore, business skills are also useful.

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Irish Clothing and Textile Alliance (ICATA)
  Address: Confederation House, 84-86 Lower Baggot St., Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 605 1529/1580
  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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