Trades & Services

Automotive Upholsterer/Trimmer

Automotive upholsterers make, repair or replace upholstery, interior linings and trims of all kinds of modern and vintage vehicles.

  • Entry-level education

    Apprenticeship or traineeship

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does an Automotive Upholsterer/Trimmer do?

Automotive upholsterers make, repair or replace upholstery, interior linings and trims of all kinds of modern and vintage vehicles. They may also work on the upholstery of boats and water craft, using appropriate waterproof or water resistant materials. Automotive upholsterers are also known as automotive or vehicle trimmers.


Work activities

As an automotive upholsterer, you would:

  • remove old upholstery and linings from vehicles
  • take measurements and select appropriate materials to be used
  • measure and cut materials to fit the desired shapes, using a variety of hand and electric cutting tools
  • sew materials together and fasten in place
  • finish with trims and edging.

Key skills and interests

To become an automotive upholsterer, you would need:

  • to enjoy practical work
  • creativity and good colour sense
  • neatness and good attention to detail
  • maths skills, to take measurements estimate amounts of materials
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • normal colour vision.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

In a full-time job, you would usually work a standard number of hours per week. If you are self-employed, you would arrange your own working hours, depending on how much work you have.


You might work for specialist automotive repair firms, crash repair firms, car manufacturers or companies that build or repair marine craft. If you are self-employed, you might visit clients' homes to give estimates, and collect and deliver vehicles.


How to become an Automotive Upholsterer/Trimmer?

Entry Level Education

To become an automotive upholsterer you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship in Automotive Body Repair Technology or Automotive and Marine Trimming Technology. Employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

Depending on the State in which you live, you may need to have a motor vehicle repair licence, or work under the supervision of a licensed repairer.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

In recent years, the majority of international motor vehicle manufacturers in Australia have announced the closure of their manufacturing facilities.

As a result, all types of roles in the automotive industry are going through a decline. Opportunities for automotive upholsterers are likely to still be available in crash repair companies and in sophisticated vehicle customisation, refurbishment, and fitout.


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