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How to Become a Sewing Machine Mechanic: Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a sewing machine mechanic. Learn about the job description and duties, and read the step-by-step process to start a career in sewing machine repair. View article »

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Should I Become a Sewing Machine Mechanic?

Sewing machine mechanics are repair specialists who work with industrial or home sewing machines, embroidery machines, sergers and other specialty sewing machines. They can find work in production facilities or retail sewing machine and fabric stores. Most employers require sewing machine mechanics to have a high school diploma or equivalent and some technical training and experience. Sewing machine mechanics might work in uncomfortable positions for extended periods of time. Some individuals start their own sewing machine repair businesses. According to Payscale.com sewing machine operators earned a median hourly wage of $16.00, as of 2016.

Career Requirements

Degree Level High school diploma or equivalent; associate's degree, or technical/vocational certificate available
Degree Field Sewing machine repair, industrial mechanics, upholstery
Experience 3 years for most state-run apprenticeships
Certification Available for specific machines or factories
Key skills Mechanical ability; near vision acuity; technical skill to operate a computerized sewing machine; troubleshooting and repair skills
Salary $16.00 per hour (2016 median for sewing machine operators)

Sources: O*Net Online, Sewing machine mechanic job listings (November 2012), Salary.com, PayScale.com

To become a sewing machine mechanic, you'll need a high school diploma or equivalent, associate's degree, or technical or vocational certificate in sewing machine repair, industrial mechanics, or upholstery. You'll need 3 years of experience for most state-run apprenticeships, along with mechanical ability, near vision acuity, technical skill to operate a computerized sewing machine, and troubleshooting and repair skills. There is also certification available for specific machines or factories.

Steps to Become a Sewing Machine Mechanic

Let's look at what steps you'll have to take to become a sewing machine mechanic.

Step 1: Obtain Training

Candidates who have had some technical or vocational training after high school have an advantage in this career field. For industrial sewing machine mechanics, 1-2 years of advanced training is recommended, either through an associate's degree program in industrial mechanics or an apprenticeship. State-approved sewing machine repair apprenticeship programs are three years long, but apprentices are paid for their work during the apprenticeship. Some upholstery degree or certificate programs also have coursework on basic industrial sewing machine repair and maintenance. Sewing machine manufacturers, private instructors or vocational schools also offer sewing machine repair training classes. The length of these programs varies, from a few days to a few weeks.

Step 2: Consider Expanded Training

Manufacturing plants often hire industrial mechanics who are not only responsible for repairing sewing machines, but for repairing cutting machines, computerized sewing and embroidery machines and other non-sewing-related plant equipment. This kind of position would require the mechanic to have an expanded skill set beyond sewing machine repair, such as the training offered in associate's degree industrial mechanics programs.

Step 3: Obtain Experience

Sewing machine repair mechanics can find work in local sewing machine sales and service retail locations. Many sewing machine repair shops also repair vacuum cleaners, and the employee may have to learn vacuum cleaner repair on the job.

Obtain factory training. Authorized distributors of sewing machine brands may send their sewing machine mechanics to training offered by the manufacturer. Receiving certification from the factory to repair its machines is a valuable credential to add to the employee's resume and skill set.

Step 4: Career Advancement

Although opportunities for advancement with sewing machine repair are limited, motived repairers may consider opening their own business. To achieve this, repairers may consider obtaining a college diploma in a business related field.

To become a sewing machine mechanic, you'll need to acquire education and training, along with gaining experience in the field.

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