Garment Technician Kaihangarau Pūeru

Garment technicians choose clothing fabrics and designs, and make sure clothes are made to quality standards.

Garment technicians may do some or all of the following:

  • choose clothing fabrics and designs
  • alter designs using computer programs, or work with designers to do this
  • ask patternmakers to change patterns
  • check the fit and fabric of clothing samples
  • check the quality of clothing being made and write reports on this
  • ensure suppliers, such as fabric vendors, send the right supplies on time
  • ensure clothing is made within budget
  • check clothing faults and follow up customer complaints about clothing.

Physical Requirements

Garment technicians need to have normal colour vision and good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses). 

Useful Experience

Useful experience for garment technicians includes work:

  • as a sewing machinist, cutter or patternmaker
  • as a clothing designer or textile designer
  • as a fashion buyer
  • in a clothing factory or workroom.

Personal Qualities

Garment technicians need to be:

  • good at communicating
  • persuasive and able to motivate people
  • good problem solvers
  • able to make good judgements
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • able to work well under pressure.


Garment technicians need to have knowledge of:

  • clothing design and garment construction
  • quality standards for clothing
  • how fabrics behave when sewn or dyed
  • testing standards for materials used in clothing
  • the New Zealand Fair Trade Act 
  • clothing design software
  • budgeting.


Garment technicians:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may work longer hours to meet deadlines
  • usually work in offices located in studios, workshops or factories
  • may travel locally and overseas to visit manufacturers.

Garment Technicians can earn around $47K-$48K per year.

Pay for garment technicians varies depending on skills and experience.

  • New garment technicians usually earn minimum wage.
  • After one to three years' experience they usually earn up to $48,000 a year.
  • Intermediate garment technicians with four to six years' experience can earn between $47,000 and $60,000.
  • Senior garment technicians with additional responsibilities and more than seven years' experience can earn between $60,000 and $70,000.

Source: New Zealand Fashion Tech and Competenz, 2017.

Garment technicians may progress to become clothing designers, production managers or buyers.

Years Of Training

1 year of training usually required.

To become a garment technician you need to have a New Zealand Diploma in Fashion Technology (Level 5), which you can study through a course provider or apprenticeship.

Some course providers may require you to have the New Zealand Certificate in Fashion Technology (Level 3) and/or work experience before you can study for the diploma.

Garment Technician