What they do

Upholsterers make, rebuild and repair upholstered articles such as chairs, sofas, beds and mattresses.

Tasks include replacing covers, discussing colour and fabric with clients, stapling, stretching and lacing.

Upholsterers usually work in one, or more, of the main fields:

  • Antique and Reproduction
  • Custom Upholstery
  • Production Upholstery
  • Renovation and Repair Upholstery

Working conditions

Upholsterers generally work in workshops but occasionally they may be required to work in clients' homes or other sites. Upholsterers stand for most of the day as the furniture is normally placed on a bench top while work is carried out.

Tools and technologies

An Upholsterer uses: sewing machines; staple guns; nails needles and pins; fasteners; foam; textiles; leather hides; webbing; sheers; hot knife cutters; press n snap fastener tools; glue guns; pliers; foam cutters; steamers; tack hammers etc.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become an upholsterer you usually need to undertake an upholstery apprenticeship. The apprenticeship usually takes 36 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.