How to become a Theatrical Costume Maker and Designer

Theatrical costume makers and designers undertake or coordinate the design, manufacture and purchase of costumes for television, film and stage productions.

Personal requirements of a Theatrical Costume Maker and Designer

  • knowledge of fashion and historical or culturally specific costuming
  • skills in pattern making and sewing
  • able to work independently or as part of a team
  • creativity
  • able to work under pressure
  • good communication skills.

Duties & Tasks of a Theatrical Costume Maker and Designer

Theatrical costume makers and designers may perform the following tasks:

  • talk with directors about the types of costumes to be worn in a production
  • estimate costs involved in supplying costumes and accessories such as hats, shoes and jewellery
  • prepare material and labour budgets for supplying costumes for each production
  • take actors' measurements and coordinate garment, wig, hat and shoe fittings
  • buy or hire costumes, or arrange to have them made
  • undertake or supervise the making, alteration and repair of costumes
  • make running repairs and alterations to costumes during the production
  • ensure costumes are properly stored and cared for.

Working conditions for a Theatrical Costume Maker and Designer

Theatrical costume makers and designers work as part of a production team and may be required to work long or irregular hours. They generally begin their careers as wardrobe assistants.

Avg. weekly wage:

$1,033

Future growth:

strong growth

Employment by state:

ACT 0.4%

NSW 35.4%

NT 0.4%

QLD 9.9%

SA 2.4%

TAS 0.6%

VIC 40.9%

WA 9.9%

Hours worked:

40

Unemployment:

below average

Gender split:

Proportion of male workers 46.4%

Proportion of female workers 53.7%

Education level:

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 10: 0%

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 12: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is secondary school: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 33.3%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 66.7%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0%

Age bracket:

Proprortion of workers aged below 35 years: 52.8%

Proportion of workers aged above 35 years: 47.3%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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