Embroidery machine operators, whom the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes along with sewing machine operators, operate machines to embroider names, initials or decorative designs on garments and other products. Some of their main duties include embroidering, stitching cording, braiding and emblems on materials such as work uniforms. If you are considering pursuing a career as an embroidery machine operator, your salary will vary based on your work history, work location and place of employment.
As of May 2010, the national mean annual wage for sewing machine operators was $22,630, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Embroidery machine operators were included in this group. The 25th percentile earned an average of $18,000 per year, while the 75th percentile made an average annual salary of $25,910. These averages were based on the work location and number of years of experience.
Industries and Salaries
Embroidery machine operators earn different salaries based on their work industry. For example, embroidery machine operators who worked for department stores earned an annual mean wage of $32,460 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of May 2010, many industries had high concentrations of embroidery machine operators, including cut and sew apparel manufacturing, which had an annual mean wage of $20,970 per year, textile furnishing mills, which paid embroidery machine operators an average of $23,920 per year, and apparel accessories and other apparel manufacturers, which paid embroidery machine operators $21,010 per year. These machine operators made an average of $22,720 when they worked in other textile product mills.
Embroidery machine operators who work in certain parts of the U.S. can earn more than their counterparts in other areas. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, embroidery machine operators in Nevada earned an annual mean wage of $27,760 as of May 2010. Those in Connecticut earned an average of $27,670 per year. Embroidery machine operators in Washington made an average of $27,250 per year, while those in Massachusetts earned an annual mean wage of $26,390. However, the top-paying location was Alaska, where embroidery machine operators made an annual mean wage of $34,170 per year.
If you are considering becoming a embroidery machine operator you must have good finger and manual dexterity, as well as arm-hand steadiness and clear near vision, or the ability to see things up close. You may also need stamina, as many embroidery machine operators stand while operating the machinery, unlike sewing machine operators who sit while working. According to O-Net OnLine, this profession was projected to decline rapidly, or decrease by at least 10 percent or lower compared to other industries, between 2008 and 2018.