Sewing Machine Mechanic Job Profile

A sewing machine mechanic usually prepares, installs and services industrial sewing machines. Sewing machine mechanics also keep the maintenance records for the machines. They operate hand tools and apply lubricants to perform repairs. They inventory the machines and their parts and order parts when necessary for repairs; they may also fabricate replacement parts when necessary. Due to the computerized parts of the sewing machines and the need to access databases to log repairs or order parts, sewing machine mechanics need at least rudimentary computer skills when they begin work in this area. Many industrial sewing machines are heavy, which means the mechanic may have to lift up to 90 lbs. to complete repairs.

Work Environment

Many sewing machine mechanics work in clothing or textile manufacture, an industry which includes creating clothing, uniforms, safety equipment, upholstery and mattresses. There are also opportunities in prisons that produce and manufacture these products. As industrial workers, sewing machine mechanics may also work in shifts, including evenings, overnights or weekends, depending on the production hours of the manufacturer.

Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies a sewing machine mechanic as an industrial machine repairer. Persons in these trades make an average annual salary of $46,000 per year. The top paying states in this area include Alaska, District of Columbia and Wyoming. According to the SimplyHired Salary Trends report for sewing machine mechanics, which is based on their index of sewing machine mechanic positions that include salary information, the average salary nationwide is $34,000 per year.

Salaries in this field are also affected by unionization. Less than six percent of the clothing and textile industry workers belonged to a union, and it is possible that the majority of this modest percentage are the tradespeople, including sewing machine mechanics.

Job Outlook

As more industrial and manufacturing work is outsourced to factories and manufacturers outside of the U.S., the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a decline in opportunities in this trade. However, Buy American initiatives and small-scale social enterprises that prefer to purchase or must operate in the United States may offer more opportunities in this field. The SimplyHired job trends for sewing machine mechanics shows an increase of 24 percent in jobs for sewing machine mechanics, based on job postings indexed by this vertical search engine.

Advancement

Most sewing machine mechanics will learn their trade on the job, so the minimum requirement is a high school diploma or GED, ability to use hand tools and electronic diagnostic tools, and a willingness to work with solvents and lubricants. Some sewing machine mechanics may take additional courses from a community college or adult learning center. College Navigator lists 11 schools in the United States that offer training for general mechanics and repairers. Additional courses may include millwright training or chemical or workplace safety training. With additional training and experience on the job, a sewing machine mechanic may become a supervisor of a team of mechanics. In this case, duties would include directing and supervising staff, evaluating their work, directing the order of work, and monitoring and managing inventory and tools.