Learn the craft of upholstery if you are interested in do-it-yourself projects or training to become a professional upholsterer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for an upholsterer in the United States in 2009 was $14.42. A variety of colleges and technical schools provide auto and furniture upholstery training, and students can choose between certificates and degrees from colleges and technical schools and general education classes.
Furniture Upholstery Certificates
Schools that train students in furniture upholstery and provide certificates of completion include: Austin Community College in Texas; Palomar College in San Marcos, California; Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, North Carolina; Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, North Carolina; Louisiana Technical College with nine campuses; and Central Arizona College in Coolidge. For example, Guilford Technical Community College offers a certificate and diploma program in furniture upholstery, designed for students who want careers as professional upholsterers. Students are instructed in courses such as cutting and pattern-making, sewing, seat construction and upholstery styles. Fifteen credit hours are required to receive a certificate in upholstery, and 45 hours are required for a diploma. The school graduates students who are qualified to seek positions as upholstery-makers, fabric-cutters and pattern-makers.
Auto Upholstery Certificates
The San Diego Continuing Education College in California, with six campus locations; Wyotech Technology School, with campuses in Pennsylvania, Florida, California and Wyoming; and Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, Washington are among the schools that offer certificates in automotive upholstery. For example, WyoTech, founded in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, offers a nine-month Automotive Technology program with a specialty option in trim and upholstery technology that educates students in trim and upholstery tools, supplies, analysis of seam types, layout, seat construction and reconstruction, sewing designs and interior trim identification. Graduates are qualified to seek work as trim and upholstery-shop owners and custom shop upholsterers. All applicants are required to undergo an in-home interview by a WyoTech admissions representative who will then submit their application to the school.
Auto Upholstery Degree
Although many community colleges offer certificate programs and courses in auto upholstering, only Riverside Community College in California, with three campus locations, has established a degree course in automotive upholstering. Riverside's associate of science in automotive technology trim and upholstery degree is a two-year program in the applied technology department that trains students in such core courses as automotive trim and upholstery and body refinishing. The school requires a total of 60 units of coursework for the associate's degree.
General Upholstery Education Classes
If you don't have the money, time or commitment to study for a certificate or degree in upholstery, you can find classes available that teach skills in upholstering. Fabric Farms Interiors in Hilliard, Ohio (furniture); Emily Griffith Opportunity School in Denver, Colorado (auto and furniture); the Eliot School in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts (furniture); Blue Sky Galleries in Minneapolis, Minnesota (furniture); and the Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin (furniture) offer classes in basic, intermediate and advanced upholstery. For example, the Emily Griffith Opportunity School offers a basic automotive upholstery class, a basic general upholstery class and a more advanced furniture upholstery class that focuses on couches and loveseats (see Carr's Corner in References).