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Knitting machinist

Alternative titles for this job include Industrial knitter, knitting machine operator

Knitting machinists produce products including clothing, soft furnishings and medical textiles on knitting machines.

Average salary (a year)

£14,000 Starter


£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Knitting machinist

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You may be able to start by doing a course like:

  • Level 1 Award in Fashion and Textiles
  • Level 2 Certificate In Fashion

You'll need to check that knitting is included in the course content. Some colleges and adult learning centres offer machine knitting and hand knitting craft courses for learners who have a general interest or knit as a hobby.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for this route.

More Information


You may be able to gain some of the skills needed in this role through a sewing machinist intermediate apprenticeship.

You could get into higher level roles where you would have responsibility for setting up and programming machines, through a knitted product manufacturing technician advanced apprenticeship.

These typically take between 12 and 24 months to complete. You'll do a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.

Entry requirements

To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You could apply directly for jobs if you've got experience in creative crafts, sewing or textiles. Training is given on the job in many cases.

More Information

Career tips

If you are interested in a career as a hand knitter or knitting designer-maker you can find out more information from the Crafts Council.

Further information

You can find out more about working as a knitting machinist from UKFT Futures.

You can get more information on working in crafts and creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to work on your own
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • observation and recording skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • read and interpret knitting instructions
  • select and use the right yarns
  • set up a knitting machine and keep your workstation tidy
  • adjust machines and change needles
  • sort materials to be reused, recycled or thrown away
  • check quality and prepare items for the next stage of the production process

Working environment

You could work in a workshop, in a factory or from home.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could become a production supervisor, move into quality control or set up your own small business.

You could become a knitwear designer for a textiles company by completing a higher education qualification in fashion or textiles.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 2 Sewing Machinist Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £12,480 a year Annually

Sewing Machinist - Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £13,312 a year Annually
  • Location: Unit 1, Turbine Road, Birkenhead

Courses In England

Machine Knitting - Slip, Tuck and Lace Techniques

  • Provider: Morley College
  • Start date: 06 June 2024
  • Location: London

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