Textile manufacturers are not required to have formal postsecondary education to enter this field. Their specific duties may vary, depending on whether they work as a textile presser or a textile furnishings worker, or textile bleach and dye machine operator. Other employment options include being a textile winding machine setter, operator and tender, working with textile cutting machines, or being a production supervisor.
Textile manufacturers oversee the production of raw materials into salable textile products. Effective management and people skills are necessary for managing the many departments in a textile mill. Technical expertise in textile production is also required for plant managers. Formal education is typically not required for these positions, but a degree in product management or a similar field may provide career advancement opportunities.
|Required Education||No formal education required|
|Other Requirements||Experience working in various departments often necessary|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||-7% to -26%|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$51,120 for first-line supervisors and managers of production and operating workers in the textile industry|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Textile Manufacturer Job Description
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that textile manufacturers can work in three areas of the textile industry - in textile mills, textile production mills, and apparel manufacturing. Textile mills take raw textile materials, such as cotton and polyester, and produce them into fabric. Apparel manufacturers produce clothing and accessories from fabricated materials, and textile production mills manufacture goods other than clothing (www.bls.gov). The manufacturer is engaged in each production process and manages the workers and supervisors of each production department.
Job Duties of Textile Manufacturers
Textile manufacturers, or plant managers, are engaged in numerous duties throughout the work day. They generally oversee multiple departments in the textile mill, maximizing efficiency and productivity. They may be responsible for troubleshooting mechanical problems that hinder the flow of production. Overseeing the shipping of final products to meet shipment deadlines may be another duty. November 2010 job postings for textile plant managers surveyed on Careerbuilder.com include duties such as controlling inventory, managing budgets and implementing ways to improve quality.
Management positions are usually earned through experience. Many textile manufacturers start their careers in production jobs and gain the broad experience needed by plant managers by working in various departments. Knowledge of production machinery and production methods is a job asset often earned by experience.
Higher education in textile-related fields is beneficial, though not always mandatory. According to the BLS, a bachelor's or master's degree in a product management or engineering field can open up advancement opportunities in the textile industry. In the South and Northeast regions of the country, some universities have specialized engineering programs that provide courses in textile technology, engineering and materials.
The BLS reported salaries for several careers related to the textile manufacturing industry. Textile and garment pressers earned a median annual salary of $20,470 in May 2015. Textile, apparel and furnishings workers earned a median annual wage of $26,310; textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators and tenders earned $27,220; and textile cutting machine setters, operators and tenders earned $25,490. Additionally, textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders earned a median annual wage of $26,340, while textile winding, twisting and drawing out machine setters, operators and tenders earned $26,870. In general, first-line supervisors and managers of production and operating workers in the textile earned a median annual income of $51,120 in 2015, per the BLS (www.bls.gov).
Textile manufacturers may operate equipment that's used to dye or cut textiles. These professionals can work at textile mills, textile production mills, or they may work for those who manufacture apparel. No formal training is needed for many production jobs, but a degree in textile engineering, product management or a similar field may be required for higher positions.