A Beamer is involved in the process of manufacturing textiles; they are involved in turning yarn into fabric, using specialist machines, techniques and processes. They need to be practical and logical and have good team working skills.

What would you do?

Beamers set up the specialised textile machinery according to production instructions. They work out the correct quantity of yarn needed for each job, load yarns onto ‘beams’ (reels), check the yarns for defects or knots and record the number of yarn breaks. In some companies, a Beamer also moves the loaded beams around the factory and fits them to different machines using a forklift or boom truck.

Day to day tasks include:

  • Selecting and checking yarns
  • Threading yarn onto specialist textile production machinery
  • Monitoring work and recording defects
  • Reading and following work specifications and documentation

Where would you work?

Medium or small textile manufacturing businesses typically employ Beamers. The job is usually based in the production area of a factory or workshop. The textile manufacturing environment is typically well light and well ventilated,, The environment can get very noisy and ear protection and protective clothing is required

What would you be paid?

For a typical working week of approx. 39 hours which is often split into a shift pattern.

  • A Beamers starting salary on average is £12,000-£14,000 per year
  • An experienced Beamer salary on average is £18,700-£25,000 per year.

Pay rates vary depending on age, experience, location and the size of the company. Additional benefits may include pension and health care. Many companies offer overtime, bonuses in order to meet deadlines.

Textile Manufacturing Operative Apprenticeships (included Beamer): Employers, by law must pay the government’s apprenticeship minimum wage rate. Research show that many textiles employers supplement this rate of pay.

Will you need qualifications or training?

Experienced is preferred, however employers are keen to train new textile manufacturing operatives and qualifications are not required. Training is delivered on-the-job, either on the production floor or in a training section. Employers may also register new trainees onto the Level 2 Textile Manufacturing Operative Apprenticeship

Qualifications relating to the Textile Manufacturing Operative are available via ABC Awards, City & Guilds, SQA and Pearson

What are the career prospects?

With experience and training, a Beamer could progress into machine maintenance, quality control or a textile technician position. Or move into technical management, textile technology, supervisory or staff training.

How secure is the future of this career?

The UKs world-class textile manufacture base is growing, thriving and continually investing. Sector employment continues to grow steadily from 97,000 in 2011 to 108,000 in 2016, with an added 19,500 self employed and research estimates the creation of 20,000 new jobs by 2020.
The number of UK textile & apparel manufacturing businesses has increased annually from 7190 in 2013 to 8075 in 2017 with forecast of further growth.
Textile goods exported across the globe continues to grow with export increases recorded at £250M in March 2016 to £273M in March 2017.
UK Fashion & textile manufacture covers traditional craft to technical textiles and has a production value of £9.1 BN, add the wide fashion sector this increases to £28.1 BN sector – 4.7% of the total UK economy.

Where can you find job vacancies?

Vacancies are advertised across the UK with concentration in the Northwest, Yorkshire, Scotland and the Midlands. This role may be found under a different job title such as Textile Operative or Textile Manufacturer. Check out the latest vacancies sites below:

Total Jobs
Drapers Jobs

Textile Manufacturing Operative Apprenticeship vacancies:

Some apprenticeship vacancies are ‘open to application’. With details on how to apply within the job vacancy details, these can be found on the job sites listed above. Apprenticeship vacancies can also be found via the Find an Apprenticeship’ Service. For further information, advise and tips on how to apply for an apprenticeship vacancy see the UCAS site apprenticeships–in-the-uk (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) (England)

The websites above are external and the number of job vacancies may vary. Check daily to see new opportunities as they are posted!


See websites associated to the Beamer job role below:

The Textile Institute
The Lancashire Textile Association
The Textile Society