Embroidery Machine Operator

Ensure that an embroidery machine is in tip top shape.
picture of Embroidery Machine Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$16,000 – $32,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Embroidery Machine Operators do?

Embroidery is a type of stitching. You see it in places like the fronts of work shirts or the pockets of bowling team polos. Although it can be done by hand, much of the embroidery nowadays is done by machine.

When you’re an Embroidery Machine Operator, you have to keep a few things in mind. The first and most important one is your customer’s preference. You start each job with an order, and this can come from an individual who wants a few shirts for friends, or a clothing company that needs thousands.

Once you know the exact design and color palette that your customer wants, you get to work. Most embroidery machines these days are completely computerized, especially if you’re handling large orders. Your job as an Embroidery Machine Operator in this case is to scan the image into the machine, make sure it’s straight, and enter the number of shirts and the color of the thread.

Once the machine starts, you stay nearby in case it jams and has to be fixed, or a piece breaks and has to be replaced. As an Embroidery Machine Operator, you make sure the machine has enough of the correct color, and keep the threads from tangling.

As the finished pieces of clothing come out, you inspect each one to make sure there’s nothing wrong with it. You might find pieces that are missing part of the design or have crooked threads. If possible, you fix the piece so it can still be used. Otherwise, you need to make another. Once done, you contact the client, take payment, and give them their finished order.


Should I be an Embroidery Machine Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Automatic Embroidery Machine Tender, Custom T-Shirt Embroidery Machine Operator

    How to Become an
    Embroidery Machine Operator

    Most Embroidery Machine Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Bachelor's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9hacaa&chl=no+college+%2886%25%29|certificate+%2811%25%29||bachelor%27s+%283%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,86,86
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