Career outlook for pattern grader

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 the patterns created by a pattern cutter and scale them up or down to create clothes in many different sizes.

You would be an important link between the design and manufacturing stages of clothing production.

You would:

  • Lay out a pattern on a digitising table
  • Trace its outline with a light pen or scanning equipment
  • Take measurement and feed them into a computer to adjust the pattern's size
  • Carry out checks to make sure the final pattern matches the original
  • Work with the design team to make up sample clothing from the pattern
  • Send copies of the final pattern information to the manufacturer

You’d do most of your work using computers, which can scan patterns very accurately. These are gradually replacing traditional hand-drafting methods.

You would need to have an eye for detail and the shape and proportion of clothes so they look good on the wearer.

You may combine pattern grading duties with pattern cutting.

Working conditions


You could be based in a workshop, or in a part of the main factory where the clothes are made. You will normally be part of a team alongside pattern cutters and sample machinists.


You would normally work 37 to 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday.

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
  • Working with technology
  • 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.

For 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 and employers)
  • Maths (required by most courses and employers)
  • Art & Design
  • 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.