Sewing Machine Operators
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OverviewSalaryAboutEducationWhere are the jobsEmploymentGenderRace/Origin
Overview
Operate or tend sewing machines to join, reinforce, decorate, or perform related sewing operations in the manufacture of garment or nongarment products.
Titles for this career often contain these words
OperatorMachineMakerSewerSewingLockstitchStitcherSetterBasterCollarFellerChainstitchFinisherHemmerJoinerMenderLiningOverlockElasticGarmentShirtPocketSleeveAutomaticSeamerSeamZipperCoatCoverEdgeGloveJumpbastingZigzagBandBinderNeedleFrontFurUnderwearArmholeFacerStitchBlindstitchButtonholeAttacherCuffEmbroideryFlatMonogramBagTackerBeltLoopLapelPadderTenderButtonSeatTunnelCoverstitchDoubleDraperySeamstressDressLinerHatTrimmerCloserTapeWaistlineNeckNecktieSackSlipTopVestWeltAppliquerWatcherSergingShirringBackBanderSuitWorkerCurtainCanvasCapCarpetFelledPantsRunnerCompleteCufferFitterFacingFancyNeedleworkerLockEdgerGoreGussetHandbagHandstitchingHoseHosieryRepairerLabelLaceLadiesSewShoulderTopstitcherWaistbandTechnicianMultiOveredgeStitchingBondingStrapWelterYokerApronAutomatTrimmingBarBastingBathingBeadBindingBlindBorderBordererBouffantBowBraiderBraidingBrimBuckleButtonholerCasingOutseamerChenilleClothConeCorsetCoveringCrotchPieceCuffingCushionCustomDollWigHeadDressmakerCuttingEmbroidererFagoterFastenerHandFellingFlagFlapBedLockerFlatlockFlosserFlowerChenillerFlyFolderGathererHandkerchiefHemstitcherHemstitchingHookEyeIndustrialInterlockingKnotterLapelerLeviLineTrimCupMatchUpNonBagsPinkedPiperPlaiterPlasticRollTreeOnFixerSockTieToeTrussRing
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Salary
Median salary: $28,230 annually
Half of those employed in this career earn between $24,190 and $33,080.
$28K$0$10K$20K$30K$40K
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for this career compare to other jobs' salaries?
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Salary growth for sewing machine operators
Is this job likely to reward you for sticking with it through pay raises and promotions? The higher a job’s “experience quotient,” the more you are likely to get as you stay there.
Experience quotient percentile
Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?
Salary distribution
$25K$21K$21K$23K$24K$25K$22K$22K$20K$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
05K10K15K20K25K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
About Sewing Machine Operators
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs? The availability of health care, especially employer provided health care, and pension plans can add significantly to the value of compensation you receive in a career. These charts compare how this career compares to other careers with regard to health care and pension plans.
Employee has health insurance
Employer is providing health insurance
Employer-provided pension plan is available
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of sewing machine operators who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (63%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (43%)
  • Unpleasant or Angry People (32%)
SOURCES:
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Injury and Illness
About 87 sewing machine operators become injured or ill for every 10,000 workers, making this job more dangerous than 78% of other careers. The most common specific illnesses or injuries are detailed following.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
All multiple traumatic injuries
Soreness and pain
Education pathways to this career
Education attained by sewing machine operators
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sewing machine operators typically hold no formal educational credential.
Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as sewing machine operators as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.
Education level of Sewing Machine Operators
Only 5% of sewing machine operators have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by sewing machine operators
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Where are the jobs
State-by-state employment numbers
Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.
Select a state to see local area details
Number of Sewing Machine Operators per 1,000 workers (ACS)
AKMEWIVTNHWAIDMTNDMNILMINYMAORUTWYSDIAINOHPANJCTRICANVCONEMOKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
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Job density versus job count
Which states hire the most sewing machine operators? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as sewing machine operators. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where sewing machine operators earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio
We use two methods to compare salaries across states:
  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for sewing machine operators compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for sewing machine operators.
We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which sewing machine operators earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this figure might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
Location-adjusted median salary for Sewing Machine Operators (ACS)
AKMEWIVTNHWAIDMTNDMNILMINYMAORUTWYSDIAINOHPANJCTRICANVCONEMOKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Employment
19% of Sewing machine operators are working part time.
We’ve found that some jobs have a huge number of part-time workers, and typically that is because they are unable to find full-time work or the job itself can’t provide full-time hours. With 19% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 65% of careers.
19%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Employer types
This donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire for this career.
Employers of undefined (ACS)
Private for-profit
Private not-for-profit
Local government
State government
Federal government
Self-employed incorporated
Self-employed not incorporated
Working without pay
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Distribution: Salaries of sewing machine operators by type of employer
Here are the salary distributions based on employer type.
$22K$23K$20K$19K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000Self-employed not incorporatedPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Gender
Sewing machine operators and gender
With 70% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 81% of careers.
Gender of Sewing machine operators
Men (30%)
Women (70%)
Distribution: salaries by gender
Does gender greatly influence your salary in this career? The closer the bars are, the less discrepancy there is.
$22K$25K$0$100K$200K$300KWomenMen
We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.
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Context: Women in the workforce
How does this career compare to other careers with regard to the percentage of women in the career.
70%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Salary inequity
The median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is a little better for sewing machine operators, with the median salary for men 15% higher than the median salary for women.
15%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Race/Origin
Race and origin of Sewing machine operators
This donut shows the distribution of race and origin among those employed as Sewing machine operators.
Race/origin of sewing machine operators
White (57% )
Other (17% )
Asian (12% )
Black (11% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Distribution: salaries by race/origin
Some careers might have a pay disparity based on race or origin, the closer the below bars are the less of a discrepancy is present.
$20K$20K$21K$22K$22K$23K$26K$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50KAmerican IndianOtherMultiracialHispanicAsianWhiteBlack
We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.