Sewing Machine Operators

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Also known as:
Blind Stitch Machine Operator, Button Sewing Machine Operator, Carpet Sewing Machine Operator, Custom T-Shirt Embroidery Machine Operator, Embroidery Machine Operator, Hemming and Tacking Machine Operator, Ultrasonic Seaming Machine Operator

ABOUT SEWING MACHINE OPERATOR CAREERS
Video transcript

Sewing machine operators account for a large percent of all apparel industry jobs. They manufacture, alter, or repair garments. Work is performed in a variety of settings, including factories, department stores, tailor and formalwear shops, and even dry cleaners.

Factory operators may specialize in clothing on in non-garment items like sheets, towels, or curtains. Most specialize in single operations, such as collars, bindings, or hems, but a growing number of operators are cross-trained to perform a variety of operations.

No formal training is required, but good hand eye coordination is essential; so too, is the ability to sit and perform repetitive tasks for long periods of time. The garment industry is deadline and customer driven. It relies on skilled, reliable operators to keep pace with client demands.

If you're disciplined and responsible, a career as a sewing machine operator can be an excellent way to break into this dynamic business.

SNAPSHOT
Operate or tend sewing machines to join, reinforce, decorate, or perform related sewing operations in the manufacture of garment or nongarment products.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
LOW
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
LOW
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Attach tape, trim, appliques, or elastic to specified garments or garment parts, according to item specifications.

Examine and measure finished articles to verify conformance to standards, using rulers.

Start and operate or tend machines, such as single or double needle serging and flat-bed felling machines, to automatically join, reinforce, or decorate material or articles.

Match cloth pieces in correct sequences prior to sewing them, and verify that dye lots and patterns match.

Remove holding devices and finished items from machines.

Select supplies such as fasteners and thread, according to job requirements.

Monitor machine operation to detect problems such as defective stitching, breaks in thread, or machine malfunctions.

Guide garments or garment parts under machine needles and presser feet to sew parts together.

Cut excess material or thread from finished products.

Turn knobs, screws, and dials to adjust settings of machines, according to garment styles and equipment performance.

Position items under needles, using marks on machines, clamps, templates, or cloth as guides.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
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.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
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.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
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.
TOP SKILLS
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
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.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.