Garment technologists oversee every stage of garment production, from design to manufacture. They are involved in choosing the correct fabric, and making sure production remains within budget. They work closely alongside designers, pattern cutters and buyers.
You could be:
working with designers to make sure the design suits production methods
finding, choosing and buying suitable fabrics and accessories
planning the sizes and making up of garments
working with pattern graders to size pre-production garments and advising cutters and machinists on making up samples
checking and approving sample garments and making any changes needed, including correcting faults
making sure garments can be produced within budget
visiting clothing factories to check on the process and advise staff
making sure garments are delivered on time and in good condition and ensuring customer satisfaction
building up a good working relationship with suppliers.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organization you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salaries are usually between £16,000 and £20,000 a year. After experience this can rise from £25,000 to £35,000. Higher earners can make up to £50,000 a year or more.
Garment technologists usually work in an office, with some time spent in design studios and factories to check on the manufacturing process.
Factories may be dusty and noisy.
You may have to travel within the UK and overseas, possibly to South-East Asia, China or Eastern Europe.
You have to meet deadlines for delivery.
Working hours vary, increasing at busy times and when you have deadlines to meet.
a good understanding of manufacturing processes and textile properties
a keen interest in clothing and fashion
a methodical, innovative approach
good organisational and planning skills
excellent attention to detail.
You need to be able to:
deal tactfully with clients
work under pressure and meet deadlines
work alone or as part of a team.
Training is on the job.
If you are training on a Modern Apprenticeship you would do on the job training and study block or day release classes at college.
You would normally start as an assistant garment technologist working alongside an experienced garment technologist.
Seminars, conferences and short courses are also run by the Textile Institute.
With experience, you may move on to specialise in quality control.
You might move into sales or marketing management or into general management.
The Textile Institute offers a range of professional qualifications for continuous professional development (CPD). There are three levels: Licentiateship (CText LTI), Associateship (CText ATI) and Fellowship (CText FTI).
Some graduates may become owner-managers of their own textile companies.