Pay for cutters varies depending on experience and the type of work they do.
Assistant cutters usually earn about $18 an hour.
Cutters with two to five years of experience usually earn between $19 and $24 an hour.
Cutters with managerial responsibilities can earn up to $26 an hour.
Some cutters are also paid performance bonuses.
Source : New Zealand Fashion Tech and Competenz, 2017.
This information is a guide only. )
What you will do
Cutters may do some or all of the following :
check pattern designs and instructions online
lay out patterns on fabric
interpret instructions from patternmakers, designers and markers
cut fabric by hand with electric hand-held cutting machines
supervise computerised cutting machines
make detailed notes on how much much fabric is used
check how much fabric is in storage
advise technicians and managers on how much fabric to order
bundle pieces of fabric together and store them in order of size and colour.
Skills and knowledge
Cutters need to have knowledge of :
fabric types and garment construction
sewing codes and symbols
different cutting equipment and methods
how to operate cutting machines
basic computing skills to program cutting machines and check designs online.
usually work regular business hours, but may sometimes work overtime
work in factories and workrooms, though self-employed cutters may work from home
work in conditions that may be dusty and noisy.
There are no specific entry requirements to become a cutter. However, most employers prefer to hire people with qualifications.
You can become qualified by completing either of the following :
A New Zealand Certificate in Fashion Technology (Level 3) through an apprenticeship with Competenz.
A New Zealand Certificate in Fashion Technology (Level 3) or similar at a technical institute.
A minimum of three years of secondary education is recommended. Useful subjects include design and visual communication (graphics), digital technologies, maths and processing technologies.
Cutters need to be : patient
quick and neat
accurate, with an eye for detail
able to follow instructions
able to work well under pressure
good at maths so they can measure and make calculations
Useful experience for cutters includes :
community or night courses in dressmaking
dressmaking or tailoring
work in a clothing factory or workroom.
Cutters need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses), normal colour vision, good hand-eye co-ordination and steady hands.
Physical strength is an advantage for lifting heavy rolls of fabric.