All You Need To Know About A Tailor Career

You think about becoming a tailor but are not sure whether this would be the right career for you or not?

Great! Stick with me since I will show you everything you need to know about working as a tailor in the following chapters.

Not only will you learn how much you can make as a tailor, but we will also talk about work-life balance, job satisfaction, educational requirements, duties, responsibilities and much more.

At the end of this article, you will also find an FAQ section where I answer the most common questions about being a tailor for you.

After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of whether you still want to become a tailor or rather want to work in a different field instead.

Table of Contents

What does a Tailor do?

Tailors sew custom garments like suits and fancy dresses.

They also make alternations to existing clothes so that they fit better or also fix minor things.

Tailors need a strong understanding of sewing, stitching, patterns and fabrics and also need some craftsmanship to do their work in the best possible manner.

Responsibilities & Duties of a Tailor

  • Sewing hand-made and custom suits, dresses and other fancy clothing
  • Fixing minor issues on existing garments
  • Altering existing garments to guarantee a better fit
  • Adding design elements to clothing
  • Attaching labels to customers’ clothing
  • Taking customers’ measurements to assure the best possible fit
  • Altering clothes to make them more comfortable
  • Designing and inventing new styles
  • Cost estimations for customers
  • Giving fashion advice

What a Typical Day of a Tailor looks like?

Tailors often get to work between 7 and 9 a.m.

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The first thing they do is organizing their schedule and answering their mails.

After doing some organizational work, tailors get to their actual work and design and sew custom-made clothing.

They also fix existing clothes or add new elements to them to make them feel and look better and also guarantee a more comfortable fit.

Apart from being really good at sewing, you should also be client-oriented since you will work for many different clients on a regular basis and it is crucial to be friendly and reliable so that those people will get back to you in the long run and also recommend your services to their families and friends.

After working in this style for many hours, sewers usually finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.

Tailor Salary 2022

Tailor salary brackets 2022

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $74,000> $36.92
Top 25 %$54,000 – $63,000$26.95 – $31.47
Bottom 25 %$34,000 – $38,000$16.89 – $18.93
Bottom 10 %$25,000 – $31,000$12.41 – $15.43
Range$25,000 – $79,000$12.41 – $39.48
Average (Mean)$43,000$21.49
Median$41,000$20.44

Tailor salary 2022 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$25,000 – $34,000$12.41 – $16.89
Junior$33,000 – $39,000$16.44 – $19.48
Professional$37,000 – $46,000$18.39 – $22.93
Senior Professional$44,000 – $53,000$21.95 – $26.47
Expert$52,000 – $64,000$25.92 – $31.98
Top Expert$61,000 – $79,000$30.42 – $39.46

Tailor salary by state 2022 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$41,100$20.53
Alaska$42,500$21.22
Arizona$44,800$22.37
Arkansas$39,700$19.84
California$48,100$24.03
Colorado$42,600$21.28
Connecticut$40,900$20.41
Delaware$38,100$19.03
District of Columbia$43,700$21.84
Florida$44,200$22.08
Georgia$38,500$19.24
Guam$37,900$18.92
Hawaii$43,600$21.78
Idaho$38,700$19.33
Illinois$37,500$18.72
Indiana$41,300$20.61
Iowa$42,600$21.27
Kansas$38,900$19.43
Kentucky$39,400$19.67
Louisiana$43,800$21.88
Maine$42,200$21.09
Maryland$45,100$22.54
Massachusetts$44,300$22.13
Michigan$39,600$19.78
Minnesota$38,400$19.19
Mississippi$37,800$18.87
Missouri$38,500$19.22
Montana$40,400$20.18
Nebraska$41,600$20.78
Nevada$40,800$20.36
New Hampshire$43,200$21.59
New Jersey$45,100$22.53
New Mexico$39,600$19.79
New York$46,800$23.37
North Carolina$41,400$20.68
North Dakota$40,900$20.42
Ohio$38,500$19.24
Oklahoma$39,200$19.58
Oregon$41,300$20.64
Pennsylvania$44,500$22.23
Rhode Island$42,400$21.18
South Carolina$40,900$20.42
South Dakota$38,700$19.35
Tennessee$37,500$18.73
Texas$42,600$21.28
Utah$41,300$20.62
Vermont$42,800$21.37
Virginia$40,600$20.28
Washington$43,700$21.83
West Virginia$39,400$19.67
Wisconsin$38,200$19.08
Wyoming$36,500$18.22

Job Security of Tailors

Tailors have pretty poor job security since educational barriers to entry to work in this field are pretty low and almost everyone can start working in this field.

Moreover, many jobs are outsourced to poor countries and you will therefore have a hard time making a living in this industry in the long run.

Future Outlook of Tailors

Not only are current job prospects pretty poor, but also the future outlook for tailors is pretty sad since many tasks will be done by machines in the near future and many tailors will therefore no longer be needed anymore.

Consequently, many tailors will get unemployed and you may also have a pretty hard time finding a job as a tailor just a few years from now.

Working Hours of Tailors

Most tailors start their workday between 7 and 9 a.m. and finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.

Thus, working as a tailor is a classical 9 to 5 job where you will have lots of leisure to spend with your family or to meet up with your favorite people after work.

Job Satisfaction of Tailors

Most tailors are not really happy with what they are doing for a living since they can’t make good money while they also always have to fear losing their jobs.

Consequently, it is pretty hard for tailors to plan their future and they have to worry quite a lot in general.

Promotion Opportunities of Tailors

Promotion opportunities for tailors are pretty limited.

In fact, tailors do the same things over and over again for many years or even decades without having the chance of getting promoted anytime soon.

Career Levels of Tailors

  • Tailor intern
  • Tailor apprentice
  • Junior tailor
  • Senior tailor
  • Manager of a sewing company
  • Owner of a sewing firm

Fields and Types of Tailors

  • Tailors focused on making suits
  • Tailors specialized in sewing fancy dresses
  • Tailors specialized in making trousers
  • Tailors with expertise in sewing underwear
  • Tailors focused on mass production
  • Tailors specialized in custom-made garments
  • Tailors specialized in fixing existing garments
  • Tailors focused on altering clothing to guarantee a better fit
  • Tailors selling clothes online
  • Tailors offering their work in classical stores

Educational Requirements for Tailors

Tailors don’t need to get any fancy education to be able to work in this field.

Instead, finishing high school will be enough to start your tailor career and you therefore don’t have to spend many years and lots of money on college education but can rather start making money at a pretty early age.

How to become a Tailor

  1. Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a tailor
  2. Work as an intern at a local sewing business
  3. Make a good impression during your internship
  4. Stay in touch with your tailor colleagues
  5. Get your high school diploma with decent grades
  6. Apply for tailor jobs in your region
  7. Master the job interview
  8. Sign your labor contract
  9. Get experience in the sewing industry
  10. Start your own sewing business

Character Traits you need as a Tailor

  • You should love working with your hands
  • Craftsmanship helps you deliver the best possible results
  • You should be a good listener
  • You should be customer-oriented
  • Ability to deal with critical feedback in a healthy manner
  • Empathy for clients who have a bad day
  • You should be passionate about sewing
  • Ability to deal with snarky comments about your career choice in a proper manner
  • Willingness to work in a low-wage environment

Tailor Skills

Hard Skills for Tailors

  • Good knowledge of how to sew fancy garments
  • Expertise in altering existing clothing
  • Knowledge of how to make clothes more comfortable
  • Knowledge of how to take measurements in a proper manner
  • Expertise in fixing minor issues on garments
  • Knowledge of how to clean garments
  • Digital skills help you promote your sewing business
  • Math skills help you run your business profitably
  • Good problem-solving skills help as well

Soft Skills for Tailors

  • Great customer service helps you stay in the game in the long run
  • Persistence helps you push through difficult times
  • You should be open to critical feedback
  • Talent for spotting current fashion trends
  • Empathy for customers helps you figure out what they want
  • Good time management skills help you get things done
  • Good organizational skills help you stay relaxed at work
  • Attention to detail helps you deliver the best results
  • You should be willing to improve your skills every day

Exit Options for Tailors

Tailors have pretty poor exit options since they are highly specialized and don’t learn many things needed in other industries.

Thus, while tailors might be able to work as fashion designers or salespersons, they often have a hard time finding a job in a completely different field.

Tailor – Similar Careers

Tailor Career FAQs

Is working as a tailor physically demanding?

Working as a tailor can be physically demanding since you will work with your hands all day long and this can really stress your body in the long run.

However, you will still not have to lift heavy stuff compared to welders or plumbers who even have a much harder time in this regard.

Is working as a tailor mentally demanding?

Working as a tailor is not heavily mentally demanding.

Although you have to use your brain to avoid major mistakes, you will develop a certain routine pretty soon and will not have to stress your brain as much as engineers or financial analysts who work on complex problems all day long.

Is it dangerous to work as a tailor?

Being a tailor is not dangerous.

While you will often work with a sewing machine and minor health issues are pretty common, you will still be unlikely to suffer from serious accidents at work compared to garbage collectors or police officers who have to fear losing their lives on a daily basis.

How long do tailors stay in their jobs?

Tailors stay in their jobs for many years or even decades since they are pretty specialized and often don’t learn many skills apart from sewing.

Consequently, many sewers get trapped in this industry for quite a long time, even though they secretly wish to quit their jobs.

Is it easy for tailors to find a new job?

Since many jobs in the sewing industry are outsourced to low-wage countries and many jobs will also be replaced by machines in the near future, you will have a pretty hard time finding a well-paid job as a tailor and will also have to worry about losing your job on a daily basis.

Is it hard to switch from being a tailor to another field of work?

Since tailors are pretty specialized and don’t learn many skills apart from sewing, they also have a pretty hard time finding a job in a different industry and often get trapped in the sewing business for many years or even decades unless they get lots of additional education.

Do tailors have a high social status?

Although tailors do good for many people and are essential for keeping our system running, they still have a pretty low social standing and are often belittled by the general public.

If you want to be admired by many people, you should not become a sewer but rather work as a judge or nurse practitioner instead.

Can you help out your family and friends as a tailor?

As a tailor, you can help out your family and friends quite a lot since you can alter and fix their clothing and also sew new fancy garments for various occasions so that your loved ones don’t have to spend lots of money on custom-made garments from third-party tailors.

Can tailors work remotely?

Tailors are not able to work remotely for the majority of the time since they have to sew, take measurements and fix clothing in person and while many other people who are able to do their work with a computer can work from home quite often, you as a tailor will be far less flexible and will also have to spend lots of time and money commuting to work and back.

Is it easy to find a partner as a tailor?

It is pretty hard for tailors to find a partner for a long-term relationship since they have to deal with high levels of insecurity related to their jobs and are also not able to make good money from what they are doing.

Consequently, tailors are not considered good providers and have a much harder time in the dating market compared to dentists or investment bankers.

Do tailors have to work on weekends?

Tailors don’t have to work on weekends.

However, in case you work as a self-employed tailor, you may still want to work during those times to make additional money on the side.

Do tailors have to work on holidays?

Tailors don’t have to work on national holidays.

Instead, they can use those days to make nice trips with their loved ones or spend them on their favorite hobbies.

Do tailors have to work at nighttime?

Tailors don’t have to work at nighttime.

Instead, they work in a classical 9 to 5 environment and once their shift is over, they just finish their workday and get back to work the next morning.

Do you have to travel as a tailor?

You don’t need to travel as a tailor.

While many other people like consultants will be on business trips and away from home quite often, you as a tailor will be able to spend your leisure at home with your loved ones.

Are tailor pensions good?

Since tailors are not able to make good money during their active careers, they are also often not able to save and invest enough money for retirement and receive pretty poor pensions.

Are tailor salaries going up?

Tailor salaries have not been going up significantly over the past years and chances are that this trend will also continue in the future since job prospects for tailors are pretty poor and many jobs will be outsourced to low-wage countries.

Moreover, many jobs in the sewing industry will also be lost to machines in the near future and tailors will therefore have to deal with high levels of insecurity related to their jobs and will also have to accept pretty poor salaries.

Can you have a positive impact on society as a tailor?

While you can do good for many customers, you will still not have a big positive social impact compared to influencers or professors who can shape and alter the thought process of many people on a daily basis.

How long does it take to become a tailor?

Since you don’t need to get fancy education, you can become a tailor within a rather short period of time at a pretty early age and don’t have to spend lots of time and money on college education.

Is it difficult to become a tailor?

Becoming a tailor is not difficult since educational barriers to entry are pretty low and almost everyone can start a career in this field.

Do you need to be smart to work as a tailor?

You don’t need a high IQ for succeeding as a tailor.

What’s much more important is that you have a certain talent for fashion and are also willing to work with your hands to stay happy and motivated with what you are doing in the long run.

Do tailors have a good work-life balance?

Tailors have pretty good work-life balance since they don’t have to work on weekends and holidays and also come home from work relatively early.

Thus, while waiters and train drivers, often have to work during the evening, you as a tailor will have more than enough time to spend with your family or on your favorite hobbies.

Do tailors have to work many extra hours?

Tailors don’t work much overtime.

Once their shift is over, they just finish their workday and get back to work the next morning without having to work many extra hours for most of the year.

How to maximize your chances of becoming a tailor?

The more experience you get with sewing at a rather young age, the more value you can provide as a tailor to your customers and the easier it will be for you to make a living from what you are doing.

Can tailors work part-time?

Tailors are able to work part-time.

However, hourly wages are pretty low and most sewers therefore still work full-time since they would not be able to pay their bills otherwise.

Do tailors work indoors or outdoors?

Tailors work indoors and don’t have to worry about heavy rain or extreme heat outdoors as many other people like roofers have to deal with on a regular basis.

What does the workplace of a tailor look like?

Tailors often work with their hands and also use sewing machines to make their lives easier.

They also often work alone for an extended period of time and you should therefore be fine with working on your own without having that much contact with your colleagues.

Do you have to look good for working as a tailor?

You don’t need to be good-looking to succeed as a tailor.

However, you should still look groomed so that customers are not disgusted by your appearance and will come back to you in the long run.

Is a tailor career beneficial for your private life?

Being a sewer is not really beneficial for your private life since most sewers are not able to make good money from what they are doing and also constantly worry about losing their jobs.

Consequently, you will not be able to afford nice things for your loved ones and your spouse may start cheating on you sooner or later.

Do you need a college degree for becoming a tailor?

You don’t need to get a college degree for becoming a tailor.

Instead, you just need to finish high school and while many of your friends will have to spend many years in college to get their dream jobs, you can start your sewer career at a rather early age.

Do you need to be certified to work as a tailor?

You also don’t need to be certified as a tailor.

What’s much more important than looking good on paper is that you provide real value to your customers so that they recommend your services to their families and friends and you can stay in business in the long run.

How much does it cost to become a tailor?

Due to the fact that you don’t have to get a degree, you can become a tailor at almost no cost and can even start making money from a rather young age.

Is being a tailor a good career?

Since you can’t make good money and also have to deal with lots of insecurity related to your job, being a tailor cannot be considered a good career and many tailors are also not fully happy with what they do for a living.

Is it easy to start your own business as a tailor?

Starting your own sewing business is relatively easy since you don’t have to spend lots of money on machinery or other equipment and can also build your business step-by-step without having to make large financial commitments early on.

Can tailors teach themselves?

Tailors can teach themselves many things they need and will also learn many things on the job.

Consequently, there is no need to spend lots of money on fancy sewing courses.

Do tailors make good money?

Most tailors make pretty poor money and are even barely able to make a living from what they are doing.

Thus, they are also not able to afford any luxury.

Is it ever too late to become a tailor?

Since you don’t need to spend many years on education, you can become a tailor at almost every age as long as you are fit enough and willing to work with your hands.

Do tailors have to quit their careers early?

Since working as a tailor can be physically demanding, some tailors also have to quit their careers early due to back pain or other spinal issues.

What is the hardest thing about working as a tailor?

The hardest part about being a tailor is that you will work with many different customers who are often pretty different and making everyone happy is therefore almost impossible.

Consequently, you will have to deal with lots of critical feedback and you therefore need a strong mindset to deal with those comments in an emotionally healthy manner.

Can you provide for your family by working as a tailor?

Since you will make pretty poor money as a tailor, you will also have a hard time providing for your family and your spouse may have to work as well and may not have time caring for the kids.

Will tailors suffer from old-age poverty?

Many tailors also suffer from old-age poverty since they don’t make enough money during their active careers and really struggle once they get to retirement age since they are often no longer able to pay their bills.

Can tailors retire early?

Most tailors are not able to retire early since they don’t make enough money from their jobs and therefore have to work until they reach official retirement age and sometimes even longer.

Do tailors get a fixed or variable salary?

While employed tailors mostly get a fixed salary, the income of self-employed tailors greatly varies over time since it depends on the number and volume of jobs they work on.

Can you get rich as a tailor?

It is almost impossible to get rich as an employed tailor since your hourly wage will just be far too low.

Thus, if you want to make as much money as possible, you should rather become a risk manager or doctor or start your own business.

Do tailors need a second job?

Many tailors also need a second job to pay their bills since they are not able to make enough money to even only cover their basic expenses from their sewer career.

This is especially true in regions where living costs are high and a tailor’s salary would not be enough to cover your expenses.

Do you get continuous training as a tailor?

You don’t get continuous training as a tailor.

Instead, it will be on you to hone your craft so that you can get really good at what you are doing and stay competitive in the long run.

Do you get sick pay as a tailor?

You don’t get sick pay as a tailor most of the time and you should therefore build an emergency fund during good times which you can use during bad times when you are sick and are not able to work so that you are still able to pay your bills.

Do tailors have a high level of responsibility?

Tailors don’t have a high level of responsibility since mistakes on their side will only cause some financial damage while mistakes of nurse practitioners or pharmacists may lead to serious personal damage.

Can tailors work abroad?

Tailors can work all over the world.

However, working conditions in foreign countries are often pretty poor and quite different from what you are used to at home.

Is it stressful to work as a tailor?

Working as a tailor is not that stressful since you will not have to deal with significant time pressure and do your work in a rather relaxed manner.

Is it boring to work as a tailor?

Working as a sewer may become boring if you are not passionate about doing this kind of work since you will do many things over and over again and may lose motivation for your job pretty soon.

Is being a tailor hard?

While working as a tailor can be physically demanding, it is not that hard on a mental level and you will therefore often come home from work full of energy and ready to spend lots of precious time with your loved ones.

Are tailors at risk of burnout?

Since tailors don’t have to deal with lots of stress at work, they are also not at great risk of burnout or other mental problems related to their jobs.

Is there a dress code for tailors?

You don’t have to comply with a certain dress code as a tailor.

While many other people have to wear fancy suits or dresses, you as a tailor can wear whatever you feel most comfortable with.

What kind of tailors are paid the most?

The more experience you have in the sewing industry, the faster and better you are able to do your work and the more value you can provide to your customers which also translates into higher salaries in the long run.

What percentage of tailors are women?

While 82% of all tailors are women, only 18% are men.

Thus, this industry is dominated by women and this will likely also be the case in the future since more women are willing to work in this field than men.

Do I need a mentor to succeed as a tailor?

You don’t need a mentor to succeed as a tailor and as long as you are willing to work hard and get really good at what you are doing, you can maximize your chances of success without the need of having a mentor on your side.

Do tailors have a high life expectancy?

Since tailors work in a pretty safe environment, their risk of getting involved in serious accidents at work will be pretty low and they have pretty decent life expectancy.

Do tailors suffer from sleeping problems?

Since tailors don’t have to work at nighttime, they can maintain a steady sleeping pattern and don’t suffer from sleeping problems related to their jobs most often.

What states are best for working as a tailor?

Since you will make pretty poor money as a tailor across states, you should choose a region where the demand for sewing services is pretty high while living costs are still low enough to make a living from a sewer salary.

Who do tailors work with?

Tailors work with many different customers and it is therefore crucial that you are friendly and reliable so that customers feel comfortable in your presence and come back to you in the long run.

Is working as a tailor cool?

Being a tailor is not considered cool by the majority of the general public.

However, you should still not care about the opinion of others as much as about your own opinion and you should therefore decide for yourself whether you want to become a sewer or not and should not care about the coolness factor at all.

Can you start a side hustle as a tailor?

Since tailors can provide value to many people, they are often able to start side hustles and make additional money on weekends or after work.

Do you have to be creative as a tailor?

The more creative you are, the better you will be able to do your job as a sewer and the more likely it will be that you will succeed in the long run since the more creative you are, the better you will be able to find solutions to complex problems and the more value you will be able to provide to your customers.

Do tailors suffer from being overweight?

Since tailors work in a physical manner, they often burn enough calories at work to stay fit and are not at great risk of suffering from serious overweight.

How employable are tailors?

Tailors are not that employable anymore since many jobs in the sewing industry are outsourced to low-wage countries and many jobs in this industry will also be lost to machines sooner or later.

Hence, many sewers will lose their jobs in the near future.

Are tailors happy with their jobs?

Most sewers are not really happy with what they are doing for a living since they can’t make good money, have a rather low social standing and also have to deal with lots of insecurity related to their jobs in general.

Is working as a tailor exciting?

Working as a tailor is not exciting since you will do many things over and over again and may lose motivation for what you are doing pretty soon.

Can you have a positive impact on our environment as a tailor?

Sewers don’t have a positive impact on our environment.

In fact, the fashion industry contributes to many environmental problems and you will be part of it.

What are the pros and cons of working as a tailor?

If you still consider becoming a sewer, you should also have a look at additional pros and cons of a tailor career.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/topics/965/apparel-market-in-the-us/

https://www.statista.com/topics/5091/apparel-market-worldwide/

Interviews and own research.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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