Programmes are learning programmes designed to train the learner in the practical and applied competencies of one or more unit standards. When the learner has completed the skills programme, and has practised these skills in a work environment, he or she may request an assessment. The candidate who is assessed and found to be competent will be awarded credits which may be accumulated towards a National Certificate in Furniture Making.

Professional upholsterers are responsible for making, replacing and repairing all types of covers for all types of objects (e.g. automobiles, furniture, boats, restaurants, etc.). However, the majority of upholsterers focus on automotive and furniture, the two largest sectors of the industry. Some upholsters will specialize in one sector but many are generalists. You might think that the upholstery business in pretty straight forward, and it is, but you have to stay current on the latest trends, technologies, and styles if you want to have a successful career or run your own upholstery business.

The upholstery industry is changing. Customer needs and expectations are higher than ever and technology and services are advancing to meet those needs. You can’t just put any fabric in cars and buildings anymore; it has to be up to code and often fire resistant. Many upholsterers now work hand in hand with interior designers, engineers and architects in the development of designs and styles for rooms, autos and a large variety of other items.

About a quarter of all upholsterers work in home furniture manufacturing. About fifteen percent repair and maintain household and personal goods. The rest work in automotive and transportation equipment repair. Many upholsterers who start out as workers will eventually start their own upholstery businesses. In these instances, they’ll need to know a lot more about their business than just upholstery. They’ll need to understand the ins and outs of marketing, management, administration, finance and even accounting.

While there aren’t any formal education requirements, it’s beneficial to have at least a high school diploma. Upholsters usually enter the career through on-the-job training or an apprenticeship with an upholstery company. Since formal apprenticeships can be hard to come by, finding a school or college that offers an upholstery training program is usually the best option.

Upholstery programs are designed to prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to install springs, covering padding, filling, and finishing on items such as mattresses, furniture, caskets, automobile seats, and bedsprings.