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Career and Education Opportunities for Upholsterers in Seattle, Washington

Upholsterer career and educational opportunities abound in Seattle, Washington. Currently, 1,650 people work as upholsterers in Washington. This is expected to grow by 7% to about 1,760 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for upholsterers are expected to grow by about 6.8%. Upholsterers generally make, repair, or replace upholstery for household furniture or transportation vehicles.

Income for upholsterers is about $15 per hour or $32,140 yearly on average in Washington. Nationally, their income is about $13 per hour or $29,000 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Fabric and Leather , people working as upholsterers in Washington earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Fabric and Leather nationally.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree as an upholsterer. Upholsterers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become an upholsterer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Upholsterer

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

In general, upholsterers make, repair, or replace upholstery for household furniture or transportation vehicles.

Every day, upholsterers are expected to be able to control and manipulate objects at a fine level of detail. They need to control objects and devices with precise control. It is also important that they move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices.

It is important for upholsterers to examine furniture frames and webbing to identify defects. They are often called upon to remove covering and/or faulty springs from workpieces, using hand tools such as hammers and tack pullers. They also build furniture up with loose fiber stuffing and/or foam padding to fashion smooth rounded surfaces. They are sometimes expected to attach fasteners ornamental trim, and other accessories to covers or frames, using hand tools. Somewhat less frequently, upholsterers are also expected to measure and cut new covering materials, using patterns and measuring and cutting instruments, following sketches and layout specifications.

Upholsterers sometimes are asked to consider upholstery fabrics and styles with customers, and furnish cost estimates. They also have to be able to draw cutting lines on material following patterns or blueprints, using chalk or other methods and read work orders, and apply knowledge and experience with materials in order to establish types and amounts of materials used to cover workpieces. And finally, they sometimes have to make and/or develop custom upholstered furniture, using hand tools and knowledge of fabrics and upholstery methods.

Like many other jobs, upholsterers must be thorough and dependable and be persistant in the face of problems and impediments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Upholsterer Training

Clover Park Technical College - Lakewood, WA

Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-4004. Clover Park Technical College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,781 students. Clover Park Technical College has a one to two year program in Upholstery/Upholsterer which graduated two students in 2008.

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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.