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Career and Education Opportunities for Garment Patternmakers in Santa Clara, California

Garment patternmaker career and educational opportunities abound in Santa Clara, California. There are currently 2,300 working garment patternmakers in California; this should shrink 13% to 2,000 working garment patternmakers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for garment patternmakers are expected to shrink by about 27.2%. Garment patternmakers generally draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts.

Income for garment patternmakers is about $24 hourly or $50,180 yearly on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $18 per hour or $37,760 annually. Garment patternmakers earn more than people working in the category of Fabric and Leather generally in California and more than people in the Fabric and Leather category nationally.

There are thirty-five schools of higher education in the Santa Clara area, including one within twenty-five miles of Santa Clara where you can get a degree to start your career as a garment patternmaker. Garment patternmakers usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so it will take a short time to learn to be a garment patternmaker if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Garment Patternmaker

Garment Patternmaker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, garment patternmakers draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts. They also may also mark and cut fabrics and apparel.

Garment patternmakers draw details on outlined components to indicate where components are to be joined, as well as the positions of pleats and other features, using computers or drafting instruments. They also mark samples and finished patterns with data such as garment size and sewing instructions. Equally important, garment patternmakers have to draw outlines of pattern components by adapting or copying existing patterns, or by drafting new patterns. They are often called upon to position and cut out master or sample patterns, using scissors and knives, or print out copies of patterns, using computers. They are expected to consider layout specifications with designers, and convert their original models of garments into patterns of separate components that can be laid out on a length of fabric. Finally, garment patternmakers test patterns by making and fitting sample garments.

Every day, garment patternmakers are expected to be able to visualize how things come together and can be organized. It is also important that they be creative and generate new ideas.

It is important for garment patternmakers to examine sketches and layout specifications to establish quantities and sizes of pattern components, and to establish the amount of material or fabric used to make a product. They are often called upon to decide on the best layout of pattern pieces to minimize waste of material, and mark fabric accordingly. They also trace outlines of paper onto cardboard patterns, and cut patterns into components to make templates. They are sometimes expected to compute dimensions of patterns in line with sizes, considering stretching of material. Somewhat less frequently, garment patternmakers are also expected to trace outlines of specified patterns onto material, and cut fabric using scissors.

And finally, they sometimes have to develop a paper pattern from which to mass-produce a layout concept.

Like many other jobs, garment patternmakers must believe in cooperation and coordination and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Santa Clara include:

  • Engraver. Engrave or etch metal, wood, or other materials for identification or decorative purposes. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers.
  • Prepress Technician. Set up and prepare material for printing presses.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Garment Patternmaker Training

West Valley College - Saratoga, CA

West Valley College, 14000 Fruitvale Ave, Saratoga, CA 95070-5698. West Valley College is a large college located in Saratoga, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,585 students. West Valley College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Apparel and Textile Manufacture.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Environmental Drycleaner: CPD must demonstrate their knowledge regarding professional drycleaning and the implements of prescribed drycleaning standards for physical plant facilities and safe equipment operations.

For more information, see the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute International website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara, California photo by Coolcaesar

Santa Clara is located in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 110,200, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Clara, 158, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Clara cost $196,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were constructed in Santa Clara, down from eighty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Santa Clara are computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 42.4% of Santa Clara residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Santa Clara is 10.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Santa Clara residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Peace Lutheran Church, Good News Community Church and Universal Church of the Master are some of the churches located in Santa Clara. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

Santa Clara is home to the Santa Clara Unified School District Office and the Santa Clara Municipal Golf Course as well as Westwood Acres Park and Washington Park. Shopping centers in the area include Moonlite Shopping Center, Fairway Glen Shopping Center and Youth Shopping Center.