The South Australian textile, clothing and footwear industry employs 2,900 people, which is around 0.4% of the State’s workforce.

In recent years, textile, leather, clothing and footwear manufacturing production has increased its emphasis on high value, capital intensive and niche products, and less on labour intensive and standardised products. This shift in focus has led to an increase in opportunities in the design, marketing, wholesale and logistics areas.

Most of the jobs are in the metropolitan area, but there are also opportunities in the south east of South Australia.

Job openings for skilled workers

Fashion, industrial and jewellery designer

Quick facts about this industry

  • Around three quarters of workers are employed full-time.
  • Most people do not have a qualification, but if you want to get ahead a qualification is highly recommended.
  • Slightly more men than women work in the industry.
  • People are generally older than those in other industries.
  • You need to have good drawing and visualisation skills, be able to understand and approach the use of colour and design creatively, and have good communication skills.
  • While some fashion designers and fashion coordinators can earn a lot more than $2,000 per week, footwear tradespeople, canvas and leather goods makers, and sailmakers average between $400 and $800 per week.

School options

Ask your Vocational Education and Training (VET) Coordinator at school for information about doing vocational education during the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), including the Training Guarantee for SACE (or equivalent) students. Visit the VET section of the SACE website for training options in:

  • Clothing and textiles

Vocational qualifications include:

  • Qualifications at Certificates II and III levels include leather production, laundry operations, footwear, and clothing and textile production
  • Certificates III and IV in Millinery
  • Diploma and Advanced Diploma qualification levels include fashion design and merchandising, and textile design and development 

See courses related to this industry.

University disciplines include:

  • Costume design
  • Fashion design
  • Industrial design
  • Jewellery design
  • Product design
  • Visual arts and crafts

Explore university courses offered in South Australia, including courses from:

For more information about university courses visit South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) or for information about student satisfaction visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Apply to study

For application information for South Australian universities and some TAFE SA courses visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

For subsidised training enrolment information, see Enrolling in subsidised training.

For more information, call the Infoline on 1800 673 097.

Occupations in this industry

Australia’s fashion industry produces a wide range of apparel, household products, outdoor and industrial products. The sector is involved in a diverse range of fibre-based activities including:

  • early stage processing of natural fibres such as wool and leather
  • textile production
  • turning leather, yarns and textiles into clothing, footwear, carpets and other products
  • production of technical textiles such as shade cloth, medical and sanitary products, filtration products and insulation materials.

Career opportunities include dressmaking, millinery, weaving and creative thinking in concept designing and marketing. There are also specialised technical jobs involved in textile production, testing, grading and pattern making using computer aided design technology.

Key occupations

Other occupations in this industry include:

Clothing pattern maker, craftsperson, fashion coordinator, footwear worker, garment manufacturer, industrial textiles fabricator, milliner, shoe repairer, textile designer, textile mechanic, textile technician, theatrical costume maker and designer, upholsterer or vehicle trimmer

Related industries for these occupations

Useful links


Career information has been sourced from government publications. See data sources for more information.

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