Individuals looking to repair industrial or personal sewing machines for a living should have a strong understanding of how the machines operate. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, industrial machinery mechanics often have a high school diploma and some technical training in the field. They can gain their training in machinery through an associate's degree program in industrial maintenance or through an apprenticeship program. Students should have a high school diploma or have passed an equivalent exit examination before entry into an industrial maintenance associate's degree program.
Associate's Degree in Industrial Maintenance
Industrial maintenance degree programs typically are fast-paced and may be designed for students who already have a full-time job. The accelerated nature of these programs can help students get used to quick turnarounds, which machine repairers frequently face. An education in industrial maintenance can prepare graduates for repair and maintenance technician positions in a number of machine-based fields, including sewing machine repair.
Industrial maintenance students typically take general education courses, as well as classes pertaining to mechanics, electrical applications, and control systems. These classes might include:
- Industrial electricity methods and electrical circuits
- Fluid mechanics
- Technical drawing
- Preventative maintenance
- Computer applications
Sewing Machine Repair Apprenticeship
The U.S. Department of Labor allows people who are interested in select jobs, including sewing machine repair, to learn while on the job through registered apprenticeships. Students who choose this career path can complete a time-based registered apprenticeship program for sewing machine repair.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Sewing machine technicians likely would fall under the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) occupational heading for industrial machinery mechanics or machinery maintenance workers. Sewing machine technicians typically work in sewing machine repair shops or textile or manufacturing factories. They install and update equipment, perform routine machine maintenance and test machinery. Sewing machine technicians also troubleshoot and repair sewing machinery.
According to the BLS, jobs for industrial machinery mechanics were forecast to grow 18% in the decade spanning 2014-2024, while positions for machinery maintenance workers were expected to grow 8% (www.bls.gov).
In May 2015, industrial machinery mechanics made an average annual wage of $51,470, based on BLS figures. For the same period, maintenance workers who worked with machinery made a slightly lower annual wage of $44,540.
Those who want to become sewing machine technicians should consider an associate's degree in industrial maintenance or an apprenticeship in sewing machine repair. Both programs are appropriate for students who want to work while they seek training.