A Knitwear Technician creates knitted product from outerwear to hosiery using knitting machines. They have to be dexterous, have an eye for detail and work to a high quality standard.
What would you do?
Knitting Technicians use natural or synthetic yards to create knitwear, they know which yarns to use for different types of products. They set up, operate and maintain knitting machines and are responsible for a smooth production process. Some companies have mechanically-operated equipment, whereas others use automated systems. When using automated systems, a Knitting Technician is responsible for several machines at a time.
Day to day tasks include:
- Preparing knitting machines for production
- Selecting appropriate yarns
- Linking or seaming knitted components
- Cleaning and maintaining knitting machines
Where would you work?
Knitting technicians are employed by medium; small or micro size knitwear businesses. They will work on the factory floor or within a workroom creating artisan knitwear.
What would you be paid?
For a typical working week of approx. 39 hours
- A knitting technician starting salary on average is £16,000-£20,000 per year
- An Experienced knitting technician salary on average is £30,000-£40,000 per year
Pay rates vary depending on age, experience, location and the size of the company. Additional benefits may include pension and health care. Many companies offer overtime, bonuses or piece rate in order to meet deadlines.
Knitting Technician Apprenticeships: Employers, by law must pay the government’s apprenticeship minimum wage rate. Research show that many fashion and textiles employers supplement this rate of pay. https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates
Will you need qualifications or training?
Some form of relevant vocational training or experience is required, such as a Level 2 Knitting/Sewing Machinist Apprenticeship. A Level 3 Knitting Technician Apprenticeship will be available from March 2020 for those wishing to train on the job.
Qualifications and short courses relating to this job role are offered by a number of awarding organisations including Institute of Apprenticeships, ABC Awards, City & Guilds, Pearson, SQA and UAL, for more detail please follow the links.
Degrees and HNDs in fashion and textiles and related subjects are also available and should be considering, particularly in preparation for a career in fashion. Click here to see all universities offering fashion degrees relevant to this job role.
What are the career prospects?
Experience could lead to a knitting technician, team leader, supervisory or quality control role, or a career in staff training or product technology. Self-employment and freelance work from home is also an option for knitting machinists with significant experience.
How secure is the future of this career?
The UK’s world-class textile manufacture base is growing, thriving and continually investing. Sector employment continues to grow steadily from 97,000 in 2011 to 108,000 in 2016, with an added 19,500 self-employed and research estimates the creation of 20,000 new jobs by 2020.
The number of UK textile & apparel manufacturing businesses has increased annually from 7190 in 2013 to 8075 in 2017 with forecast of further growth.
Textile goods exported across the globe continues to grow with export increases recorded at £250M in March 2016 to £273M in March 2017.
UK Fashion & textile manufacture covers traditional craft to technical textiles and has a production value of £9.1BN, add the wide fashion sector this increases to £28.1BN sector – 4.7% of the total UK economy.
For further information go to: www.ukft.org
Where can you find job vacancies?
Vacancies are advertised across the UK with concentration in London, the Northwest, West Yorkshire and the Midlands. Check out the latest vacancies on the site below:
Knitting Machinist apprenticeship vacancies:
Some apprenticeship vacancies are ‘open to application’. With details on how to apply within the job vacancy details, these can be found on the job sites listed above. Apprenticeship vacancies can also be found via the Find an Apprenticeship Service. For further information, advise and tips on how to apply for an apprenticeship vacancy see the UCAS site.
https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales)
The websites above are external and the number of job vacancies may vary. Check daily to see new opportunities as they are posted!