Associate's degree programs in textile production allow students to explore all aspects of textile design, which requires freehand illustration and sketching abilities as well as the technological savvy to use computer-aided design (CAD) applications. Many programs include a design portfolio and internship components. To enroll in an associate's degree program in textile production, applicants must have completed high school or have earned a GED. Some online courses and programs are available.
Associate Degree in Textile Production
Although much of the coursework in associate degree programs covering textile production is hands-on, such as clothing and apparel construction, students also take mathematics courses to aid in design proportion skills and classes in merchandising to acquire business skills. The curriculum of a textile production degree program may include the following course topics:
- Textile production
- Pattern design
- Fashion illustration
- Apparel analysis and selection
- Computer-aided design
Popular Career Options
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects overall job opportunities in textile, apparel and furnishing industries to decline significantly in the decade from 2014 to 2024 due to increased automation and outsourcing, a number of career options will be available for skilled individuals (www.bls.gov). With adequate training and work experience, some job possibilities for graduates of these programs include:
- Apparel and textile product developer
- Pattern maker
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
From 2014-2024, employment for patternmakers is predicted to decrease sharply by 26%, according to the BLS, and jobs for upholsterers are expected to decrease by 4%, during the same time. In 2015, patternmakers earned an annual median salary of $43,900 and upholsterers earned $32,020, the BLS reported.
Graduates of a textile production associate degree program may transfer into a fashion design, retail merchandising, merchandising management or other related bachelor's degree program, which can serve as preparation for a career in retail management, merchandising or fashion design. Additionally, there are bachelor's degree programs in apparel and textiles, textile technology or apparel studies, which can help graduates prepare for technical and design careers in the fashion industry.
Associate's degree programs in textile production give students the necessary design, business, and production skills needed to work as patternmakers, upholsterers, or product developers. Graduates may choose to pursue bachelor's degrees to further their careers as jobs in the field are on the decline.