Machine Operators in Textile, Fabric, Fur, and Leather Manufacturing

(NOC 9441, 9442, 9445, 9446, 9447)

in All Manufacturing and Utilities

This group includes those who operate machines used in making clothing, fur, and leather products. They are employed by textile companies, leather tanning and fur dressing establishments and garment, fur and leather products manufacturers.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

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  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 1275 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Machine Operators in Textile, Fabric, Fur, and Leather Manufacturing most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work).

The median employment income for 56% of Machine Operators in Textile, Fabric, Fur, and Leather Manufacturing who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $30,214. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$11.00

Minimum

$14.60

Median

$20.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,285

Minimum

$23,821

Median

$41,361

Maximum

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

Hourly Pay

$12.00

Minimum

$18.75

Median

$30.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$6,056

Minimum

$30,111

Median

$70,518

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

This group includes those who operate machines used in making clothing, fur, and leather products. They are employed by textile companies, leather tanning and fur dressing establishments and garment, fur and leather products manufacturers.

Job duties

Machine operators and related workers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate spinning, twisting, winding or reeling machines; and operate a variety of machines to bleach, dye, coat or finish fabric, thread, yarn or other textile products.
  • Operate machines or use hand and powered cutting knives to remove unnecessary particles from hides, skins or pelts; shave or polish hides; and shear fur or wool hides to produce pelts with hair of specified or uniform lengths.
  • Mix dyes or chemicals according to established formulas.
  • Oversee work area, examine products for defects and ensure adherence to quality standards.
  • Investigate machine stoppages and notify supervisor or mechanic in the event of equipment malfunction.
  • May set up machines and assist with maintenance and minor repairs to machinery.

Fabric, fur, and leather cutters perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Place patterns on top of layers of fabric and cut fabric following patterns, using electric or manual knives, cutters or computer numerically controlled (CNC) cutting devices.
  • Adjust cutting technique to type of fabric and style of garment.
  • Cut fur skins in diagonal strips to specified length and shape of pelt using furrier's knives and cutters.
  • Number pelts to indicate their location on pattern.
  • Select leather and cutting dies for leather goods and shoe parts according to specifications.
  • Position leather on cutting bed of machine, maximizing usage according to skin grain, skin flaws and skin stretch.
  • Operate clicker or punch press to stretch leather.
  • Operate machine to cut leather or cut single leather skins by hand to make leather products.
  • May cut materials samples.

Inspectors and graders in this group perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Examine natural, synthetic and hybrid textile, fabric, fur and leather garments or products for conformity to quality standards.
  • Inspect and grade animal hides and pelts according to size, condition and weight.
  • Verify fit or size of finished garments and products by measuring or comparing products with samples and patterns.
  • Mark defects, repair minor imperfections, cut excess materiel using scissors, and remove lint and spots using brushes, lint removers and cleaning solutions.
  • Grade and sort finished products and tag according to size, style and quality.
  • Record information on products inspected.
  • May package products.

Sample job titles

  • cloth mender
  • clothing cutter - clothing manufacturing
  • fur grader
  • garment marker
  • hide and pelt processing worker
  • loom weaver
  • quality control tester - textiles
  • rug weaver
  • sewing machine operator
  • textile-dyeing and finishing machine operator

Skills

To work in these jobs, you should be responsible, alert, and in good physical health. Coordination, agility, and a mechanical aptitude are important. You must also be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by a supervisor.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is usually required.
  • On-the-job training is usually provided.
  • Supervisory positions in textile processing usually requires completion of a college program in textiles, chemistry or a related subject.

Other considerations

Shift work may be typical for many of these jobs. Previous experience as a labourer in the same company may be required for some operators in this group. While there is some level of mobility among jobs in this grouping, this can be limited due to differences in machines and products. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience and sometimes additional training or education in some jobs.

By the numbers

Quick look

645

employed in 2016

89.0%

employed full-time

9.3%

self employed

73.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
26.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.9

median age

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

15,275

employed in 2016

86.6%

employed full-time

3.1%

self employed

27.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
72.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44.7

median age

Where will I likely work?

53.9%

Northern

15.2%

Halifax

12.7%

Southern

12.1%

Annapolis Valley

6.7%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

74.2%

Textiles, Furniture and Other Manufacturing

4.5%

Wholesale Trade

3.8%

Metal Fabrication and Machinery (excl. electrical)

3.0%

Rubber, Plastics & Chemical Manufacturing

3.0%

Retail Trade

What is the age of Employment?

31.4%

45-54

22.9%

55-64

17.1%

25-34

14.3%

35-44

5.7%

15-24

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

41.6%

45-54

28.6%

55-64

20.8%

35-44

5.2%

25-34

2.6%

15-24

Top levels of education

46.2%

High school

N/A
19.6%

Less than high school

N/A
18.4%

College certificate or diploma

N/A
7.6%

Trades certificate

N/A
4.4%

Bachelor's degree

N/A

Compared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities

38.1%

High school

$28,358 median annual income
22.9%

Less than high school

$21,011 median annual income
20.3%

College certificate or diploma

$36,968 median annual income
12.4%

Trades certificate

$37,356 median annual income
4.4%

Bachelor's degree

$36,852 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Canadian Textile Industry Association
151 Slater St, suite 708
Ottawa, ON K1P 5M9

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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