Automobile Upholsterer

Remove, replace or repair upholstery for all models or types of cars.
picture of Automobile Upholsterer

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$20,000 – $46,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Automobile Upholsterers do?

Automobile Upholsterers install, repair, or replace upholstery in cars, buses, and trucks. An Automobile Upholsterer might work for a manufacturer, a dealership, or maybe even a custom body shop, either making the same thing each day or creating something new on a client-by-client basis.

Your job as an Automobile Upholsterer entails not only installing new upholstery, but also ripping out the old stuff. So you start many of your projects with a little demolition: pulling fabric off seats, removing padding, even ripping out the upholstery from door panels. It may sound a little violent, but your artistry begins as soon as you measure out the new padding.

In addition to placing the pads in the bare seat frames, you also replace or adjust the seat springs to fit the new mold, tying them into place. Next, you measure out the new upholstery and cut the materials to the required dimensions, sewing everything together as you go. Expectedly, you use a sewing machine and glue gun, but you also use knives, shears, and other hand tools in your work. Back at the car, you place the upholstery on the frame, fit the covering correctly, and secure it all with glue and tacks.

Depending on the kind of company you work for and the jobs that are available to you, you may end up working on all sorts of fabrics for other parts of the car, not just the seats. For example, you may repair or replace convertible tops, drapes or curtains, and carpets, and add more padding to seat cushions.

Should I be an Automobile Upholsterer?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Automobile Upholsterer Apprentice, Automobile-Upholsterer Apprentice, Automotive Upholsterer, Auto Top Mechanic See More

    How to become an Automobile Upholsterer

    Most Automobile Upholsterers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9ceaaa&chl=no+college+%2865%25%29|certificate+%2830%25%29|associate%27s+%285%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,65,65
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