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Tailors make or alter custom clothes for individual customers.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

36 to 39 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends;

Future employment

There will be 4.8% fewer Tailor jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a tailor, you would:

  • speak with customers about what they want
  • create designs by hand or using computer software
  • make new patterns or adapt existing ones
  • cut and assemble fabric pieces to make up garments
  • check quality at every stage of the process
  • fit garments to customers and make final adjustments before pressing and finishing

You could also carry out repairs and alterations for customers.

Working environment

You could work in a workshop or in a factory.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You could start by doing a degree in:

  • fashion design
  • fashion and textiles
  • bespoke tailoring
  • fashion atelier and tailoring

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a foundation diploma in art and design
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You could take a college course to develop your sewing, pattern cutting and design skills. Courses include:

  • fashion and textiles
  • fashion design
  • bespoke tailoring
  • T Level in Craft and Design

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level
For more information

You could do an apprenticeship to get started in this career, for example:

  • Garment Maker Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Fashion and Textiles Pattern Cutter Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Bespoke Tailor and Cutter Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship

These can take around 2 years to complete.

You may be able to get into the industry through the Savile Row Bespoke Association (SRBA) apprenticeship programme. This can take between 2 and 6 years to complete.

You would apply directly to SRBA member tailoring companies. Competition for places is strong.

For more information

You could start by working as an assistant to a master tailor in a tailoring house. You may be able to arrange this yourself, if you can show you have a keen interest in making clothes and have sewing skills.

You can find information on tailoring houses from The Bespoke Apprentice.

More information

Career tips

If you are aged between 13 and 16 you can find out more about careers in the fashion and textiles industry and learn new skills through the National Saturday Club, which is supported by the British Fashion Council.

Further information

You can get more information on a career in tailoring from The Bespoke Apprentice and UKFT Futures.

You can find out more about creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

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With experience, you could:supervise a workshop team of cutters and tailors; become a head or master tailor with a company; move into training future tailors; set up your own business or work freelance

You can get more on a career in tailoring from The Bespoke Apprentice.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • design skills and knowledge
  • the ability to work well with others
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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