Tailors, Dressmakers, Furriers, and Milliners

Occupation:Other Customer Service Specialists
Category:Sales and Service

About the job

Nature of work:

Tailors and dressmakers and furriers manufacture custom-made and ready-to-wear garments and accessories. They are employed by clothing retailers, clothing alteration shops, dry cleaners and garment manufacturing companies or they may be self-employed.

Shoe repairers repair footwear and shoemakers make specialized and custom shoes and boots. They are employed in shoe repair shops or custom shoemaking establishments, or they may be self-employed.

Jewellers and related workers fabricate, assemble, repair, and appraise fine jewellery. Watch repairers and related workers repair, clean, adjust, and fabricate parts for clocks and watches. They are employed by jewellery, clock and watch manufacturers and retail stores, by jewellery and watch repair shops or they may be self-employed.

Upholsterers cover furniture, fixtures and similar items with fabric, leather or other upholstery materials. They are employed by furniture, aircraft, motor vehicle and other manufacturing companies, furniture retail outlets and repair shops or they may be self-employed.

Job duties:
The following is a summary of main duties for some jobs in this group:
  • Tailors make made-to-measure garments, such as suits and coats according to customers' and clothing manufacturers' specifications and fit; design patterns to fit measurements; mark, cut and sew fabric; and may alter and repair garments as required.
  • Dressmakers make women's garments; select and modify commercial patterns to customers' and clothing manufacturers' specifications and fit, mark, cut and sew fabric; and may alter and repair garments as required.
  • Furriers make, alter, restyle and repair natural fur garments and accessories.
  • Milliners design, lay out, cut, sew and press fabric, leather and other materials into hats and related accessories.
  • Alterationists fit, alter and repair garments according to customers' requests by hand or using sewing machines.
  • Shoemakers select patterns and leather or other material and outline and cut patterns; select or assemble lasts, fasten insoles to lasts, and sew or glue other parts into place; and trim, dress, or otherwise finish boots or shoes.
  • Shoe repairers repair soles, heels, and other parts of footwear using sewing, buffing, and other shoe repair machines, materials, and equipment. The also repair belts, luggage, purses, and similar products.
  • Jewellers fabricate and repair precious and semi-precious metal jewellery such as rings, brooches, pendants, bracelets, and lockets. They examine, cut, shape, polish, appraise, and set gemstones and diamonds.
  • Watch repairers examine, clean, and repair clocks and watches.
  • Upholsterers lay out, measure, and cut upholstery materials, install padding and underlays, and fasten covering materials to furniture frames.
Sample job titles:
  • clockmaker
  • cobbler
  • furrier
  • gemologist
  • jeweller
  • seamstress
  • shoemaker
  • tailor
  • upholsterer
  • watchmaker

Jewellers and watch repairers should enjoy working with intricate mechanical and electrical parts. A delicate touch and attention to detail are essential. You must be patient and capable of precise and exact work. Good eyesight, motor skills, and hand-eye coordination are also necessary. Creating garments requires good eyesight, patience, and the ability to perform detailed and intricate work. You must be able to follow directions closely and accept instructions from both clients and supervisors. Artistic imagination and craft skills are important for turning an idea into a garment. However, it is just as important to be capable of adapting your ideas to the tastes of others. You must have good hand-eye coordination. Accuracy and a sense of proportion are also necessary.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of college or other specialized courses, an apprenticeship program or several years of on-the-job training is often required for many of the jobs in this grouping.
Other considerations:

Many tailors and dressmakers work under contract with a number of clothing stores. Their earnings and ability to stay in business depend upon the quality of their work and their ability to attract and keep clients. Progression to higher level positions including supervisory is possible with experience. Mobility is possible among the various jewellery positions. Many jobs within this grouping require demonstrated ability to perform the technical tasks of the job such as sewing and tailoring and on-the-job training may be provided.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Undetermined

This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. 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. Other Customer Service Specialists most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 56% of Other Customer Service Specialists who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $25,436. 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)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Tailors, Dressmakers, Furriers, and Milliners460Decline30x
Minimum:  N/A
Median:  N/A
Maximum:  N/A
Minimum: $576
Median: $15,919
Maximum: $38,818
All NS Occupations427,305Weak growth33,315Moderate
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $19.89
Maximum: $40.00
Minimum: $2,872
Median: $29,983
Maximum: $83,126
Tailors, Dressmakers, Furriers, and MillinersCompared to: All NS Occupations
Percent employed full-time71%78%
Percent self-employed0%10%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentTailors, Dressmakers, Furriers, and MillinersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton8%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley14%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeTailors, Dressmakers, Furriers, and MillinersCompared to: All Sales and Service
% Employed% Employed
Median Agex37
GenderTailors, Dressmakers, Furriers, and MillinersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% Employed% Employed
EducationTailors, Dressmakers, Furriers, and MillinersCompared to: All Sales and Service
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school22.5%$27,65518.8%$9,486
High school25.1%$30,33240.4%$12,982
Trades certificate9.4%$49,7528.0%$18,797
College certificate or diploma23.6%$27,58519.9%$19,514
University certificate or diploma2.6%x1.6%$18,279
Bachelor's degree13.1%$34,31110.0%$20,807
University advanced certificate or diplomaxx0.5%$15,716
Master's degreexx0.8%$20,769
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryxx0.1%$17,368
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Canadian Apparel Federation
151 Slater Street, Suite 708
Ottawa, ON K1P 5H3
Tel: (613) 231-3220
Fax: (613) 231-2305
Canadian Jewellers Association
27 Queen Street East, Suite 600
Toronto, ON M5C 2M6
Tel: (416) 368-7616
Fax: (416) 368-1986
Apparel Connexion
6750 Avenue de l'Esplanade, Suite 360
Montreal, QC H2V 4M1
Tel: (514) 388-7779
Fax: (888) 738-7854

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
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.
See all 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
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.