Manufacturing and production

Career outlook for tailor

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "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 create custom-made (bespoke) clothing for men and women.

You may make the whole garment, or work in a team where each member has a specialism.

When making a new item of clothing for a client, you would:

  • Take measurements and agree a style and fabric
  • Work out how much it will cost and how long it will take to make
  • Create a design, either by hand or using computer software
  • Create a new pattern or adapt an existing one
  • Make a mock-up garment using cheap fabrics, fit it and make any changes
  • Cut out fabric pieces
  • Fit the garment again and make any final adjustments
  • Stitch the garment together, often using hand stitching

Clients could also come to you for changes and repairs to clothing bought elsewhere.

Working conditions


You would usually work around 40 hours a week, though this can be more when there are deadlines. You may need to work occasional evenings and weekends to carry out customer fittings.


You would be based in a sewing room, which may be attached to a shop or small factory. You may spend a lot of time doing close-up work.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Verbal communication
  • Creative
  • Observation
  • Empathising
  • Respecting
  • Attention to detail
  • Implementing ideas
  • Taking initiative

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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 some employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF level 4/5. 

It may be helpful to gain a fashion and textile National Certificate, National Qualification or BTEC Diploma (SCQF level 5/6).

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.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Fashion
  • Textile technologies

You will also need

  • A keen interest in making clothes
  • To have some sewing skills

Helpful to have

It may be 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.