Career outlook for pattern cutter

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would use a fashion designer’s drawings to create pattern templates, which would be used to make up sample clothing or other items.

You would act as a link between the design and production stages.

You would:

  • Drape pieces of material over a dummy and pin them to fit
  • Cut out a pattern based on the pieces
  • Use computer aided design and traditional hand-drawing methods to make up patterns
  • Create new pattern templates based on drawings and adjust existing patterns
  • Work with machinists to make up sample garments based on the initial pattern
  • Work with designers and garment technologists to make further changes and produce the final pattern

Your finished pattern would be passed to the pattern grader to resize as required before production begins.

You’d need high concentration levels, an eye for detail, and good IT and traditional drawing skills to translate designs into patterns.

Working conditions


You could be based in a studio, workshop or design area set aside in a factory. In a larger company you might work alongside pattern graders and sample machinists.


You would work 37 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday, with the possibility of overtime.

UK employment status





Self employed


Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Resourceful
  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Researching
  • Implementing ideas

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role but it can be helpful to have a relevant fashion and textile National Certificate, National Qualification, BTEC Diploma (SCQF level 5/6), Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8).

To enter a relevant National Certificate, National Qualification or BTEC Diploma (SCQF level 5/6) you will require a minimum of four subjects at National 4 or three subjects at National 5.

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) with National 5 qualifications and one Higher or a relevant NC/NQ/BTEC.

To enter a Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) you will need National 5 qualifications and one to two Highers or a relevant NC/NQ/BTEC or HNC.

Entry to some courses will also require a portfolio.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses)
  • Art & Design (required by most courses)
  • Maths
  • Fashion and Textile technologies
  • Business-centred subjects

Helpful to have

Relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Manufacturing Textile Products (SVQ level 1/2/3). Or be willing to work towards qualifications once in a job.