Education
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How Do I Become an Upholsterer?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

While not completely necessary, it is advisable to earn a high school diploma or equivalent if you want to become an upholsterer. Most employers prefer people who have at least completed this much schooling. It may also be wise to take continuing education courses at a community college that will teach you the skills necessary to become an upholsterer. Most people who get into this line of work will act as an apprentice to an experienced upholsterer; an apprenticeship can take only a few months or several years, and the apprentice will then be ready to tackle projects on his or her own.

While in high school, consider classes and after school jobs that will prepare you to become an upholsterer. Shop classes and even art classes can prepare you for the tasks you will need to complete as an upholsterer, and basic math skills as well as language skills will be necessary as well. If possible, take a job at a furniture factory or furniture restorer business to learn as much as possible about the industry and even begin an apprenticeship if possible. Working in such places will help you establish important relationships that can help you become an upholsterer after high school.

An upholstered footstool.
An upholstered footstool.

Consider taking jobs at the furniture manufacturer or furniture restorer business that may not deal with upholstery. Customer service jobs are sometimes available, as are janitorial jobs or other entry-level positions. While these do not pertain directly to your goal to become an upholsterer, it will help you develop relationships with current upholsterers or managers at the company who can help you get into upholstering positions later on. Work hard and always show up on time; good employees in any position are more likely to be given opportunities than sloppy or lazy employees.

Coil springs resemble ringlets in shape, and may be found in furniture.
Coil springs resemble ringlets in shape, and may be found in furniture.

Do as much research as possible about the upholstering process. The more you know beforehand, the better you will look as a potential job candidate or apprentice. Learn about the components within chairs and other furniture, such as coil springs, webbing, batting and cushioning, and outer fabrics. Try to learn about the machines used in the upholstering process, and whenever possible, try your hand at using them while being supervised by an experienced upholster. If you are offered a position as an upholsterer or as an apprentice, do not be surprised if the pay is low at first. Work hard and the opportunities will open up for you eventually.

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    • An upholstered footstool.
      By: valya82
      An upholstered footstool.
    • Coil springs resemble ringlets in shape, and may be found in furniture.
      By: Pink Badger
      Coil springs resemble ringlets in shape, and may be found in furniture.