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Summary of occupation

Upholsterers make, rebuild and repair upholstered articles such as chairs, sofas, beds and mattresses.

Tasks include replacing covers, discussing colour and fabric with clients, stapling, stretching and lacing.

Upholsterers usually work in one, or more, of the main fields:

  • Antique and Reproduction
  • Custom Upholstery
  • Production Upholstery
  • Renovation and Repair Upholstery
ANZSCO description:

Makes, rebuilds and repairs upholstered articles such as chairs, sofas, beds and mattresses.

Alternative names:

Upholstering and Bedding Tradespersons


Furniture Upholsterer, Mattress Maker

Job Prospects:


Common Industrial Instrument (award)

MA0000029 Joinery Award; or

Knowledge, Skills and Attributes

An Upholsterer should:

  • Enjoy practical and manual work
  • Be able to work neatly and accurately
  • Have an interest in furniture
  • Be physically fit
  • Possess normal colour vision
  • Have good hand-eye coordination

Working Conditions

Upholsterers generally work in workshops but occasionally they may be required to work in clients’ homes or other sites. Upholsterers stand for most of the day as the furniture is normally placed on a bench top while work is carried out.

Qualified Salary Details

On average, upholsterers can expect to earn between $679 and $1009 per week ($35 354 and $52 473 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience.

As an upholsterer develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

Tools and Technologies

An Upholsterer uses: sewing machines; staple guns; nails needles and pins; fasteners; foam; textiles; leather hides; webbing; sheers; hot knife cutters; press n snap fastener tools; glue guns; pliers; foam cutters; steamers; tack hammers etc.

Education and Training/Entrance Requirements

You can become an upholsterer by completing an upholstery apprenticeship. The apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete and is offered as a school-based apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships and Traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school’s VET Coordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related Apprenticeships

  • Upholsterer

Recognition of Prior Learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.