Upholsters repair or replace upholstery, the fabric or leather covering on furniture, and the padding and hardware used to make furniture attractive, comfortable, and enduring. Upholsterers work on every part of furniture, from the frame to the cushions, to the intricate designs adorning the exterior. When replacing upholstery, they examine the wood skeleton of furniture for any defects, repair any broken pieces, refinish exposed wood, and secure material to the frame before starting on padding. On top of the frame, upholsterers use fiber stuffing, cotton, felt and other materials to create the shapes that make furniture softly cushioned. Finally they measure, cut, sew, and staple the pieces of fabric and leather that cover the piece of furniture. Upholsterers may also construct custom furniture from scratch. Work schedules are typically full time, and work weeks longer than 40 hours are not uncommon. Upholstery requires using a large variety of tools, from scissors and needles, to highly specialized power equipment. The majority of upholsterers have a high school diploma or equivalent, although there are no formal education requirements. Many find work either through on-the-job training, apprenticeships, or technical education.
What they do:
Make, repair, or replace upholstery for household furniture or transportation vehicles.
On the job, you would:
Fit, install, and secure material on frames, using hand tools, power tools, glue, cement, or staples.
Measure and cut new covering materials, using patterns and measuring and cutting instruments, following sketches and design specifications.
Build furniture up with loose fiber stuffing, cotton, felt, or foam padding to form smooth, rounded surfaces.
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
Engineering and Technology
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
hold or move items with your hands
keep your arm or hand steady
quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
order or arrange things
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
high school diploma/GED or no high school diploma/GED usually needed
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.