Pattern Maker Salary
A little more than half of Pattern Makers in the United States are seasoned employees who have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Pay ranges from $29K to $91K per year, and the average comes out to $57K per year. Geography and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. For the most part, people in this position report moderate levels of job satisfaction. More than a third of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, more than half report medical coverage and approximately half claim dental coverage as well. Female Pattern Makers are more common than men among those who completed the survey; more than half (67 percent) are women. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Pattern Maker
There are two main types of pattern makers: manufacturers and apparel designers. Pattern makers for manufacturers perform a skilled trade that is related to the tools and die making sectors; these individuals are responsible for the creation of the cast and mold. A pattern can be designed in a cast made of wood, iron, or other metallic material, so a pattern maker for manufacturers must know how to use tools such as chisels, hammers, and power tools. The pattern maker for a manufacturer works in an indoor factory setting, and this position may require physical labor to mold and chisel a pattern.Read More...
For an apparel designer, pattern makers are more focused on the design of the shirt and, for more skilled pattern makers, the sewing and stitching of initial patterns. Unlike a manufacturing pattern maker, a pattern maker for apparel companies is more artistically oriented. The job is generally not very physically demanding, and most of the pattern maker's time is spent on computers designing outlines for new apparel and creating samples. Working with a team of other designers, the pattern maker presents proposals to the head creative designer for approval.
Unlike manufacturing pattern makers, apparel pattern makers generally have higher educational training in an art school or college with a focus on design and art. A manufacturing pattern maker, on the other hand, usually only needs a high school diploma or equivalent. Experience in a previous position may be required or preferred for both types of pattern maker positions.
Pattern Maker Tasks
- Use a computer to outline pattern pieces and draw in details to indicate the position of buttonholes, pleats and other features.
- Convert a designer's garment into a pattern of separate pieces that can be laid out on a length of fabric in a way that minimizes wasted fabric.
- Create the pattern pieces for a particular apparel design.
- Alter the size of pattern pieces to product garments of various sizes.
Pattern Maker Job Listings
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Pay by Experience Level for Pattern Maker
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Pattern Makers generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. The average beginner in this position makes around $38K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $47K. Pattern Makers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $56K. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $68K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
New York offers some of the highest pay in the country for Pattern Makers, 55 percent above the national average. Pattern Makers in San Diego make 25 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Below-median salaries also turn up in Philadelphia and Los Angeles (21 percent lower and 7 percent lower, respectively).