Career as a wig maker
Sam Jones is a wig maker for a hairpiece and wig manufacturer. The job involves making wigs, beards and toupees. Each wig maker can make up to 150 wigs a day.
What does being a wig maker involve?
I am responsible for making wigs, beards and toupees. The process involves putting a fabric cap on the machine and feeding three tubes of artificial hair through needles, which sew the hair onto the cap as I move it around. It takes only two and a half minutes to make each one. We also make 'Afro' wigs using straight hair which becomes frizzy after being put in a heated cupboard.
What hours do you work?
I work from 7.00am to 4.30pm, from Monday to Friday.
What is your working environment like?
I love our working environment! It is very homely. It's noisy and hard work but I get on really well with the other girls in the wig room. There are 15 other wig makers in our department.
What special skills or qualities do you need for your job?
You have to have confidence in what you are doing and strong concentration skills. You need to be flexible and quick to learn every time new wig, toupee and beard designs come in.
Why did you choose to be a wig maker?
I chose this line of work because you get immense job satisfaction in seeing the end result. I take great pride in my work.
What training have you undertaken?
The Italian wig making machines we use are highly specialised, and I had to attend a three-month course on how to use them.
What do you like about your job?
There's a great atmosphere in the company, especially in the wig room. I also enjoy seeing many of the wigs I produce on television.We have made the official Comic Relief wigs, for instance, and it was fun seeing the stars wearing them on television.
How do you see your future?
For now, I am happy in my current role, but I may eventually gain promotion to work as a supervisor.
Sam's route to a career as a wig maker
- Factory machinist.
- Company training.
Sam's wig maker tips
- Be prepared to work hard.
- Concentrate on the job in hand.
- Be a good team player.
Wig maker related jobs
- Clothing sewing machinist
- Costume designer
- Fashion/clothing designer
- Makeup artist
- TV/film/theatre wardrobe assistant
Wig maker salary information
- Trainee wig makers in factories generally start at around £9,840.
- Experienced wig makers earn around £10,424, while those in supervisory roles will get over £13,000.
- Wig makers working in the theatre, film or television industry may attract higher salaries.
Career as a wig maker
There are two routes into the profession:
- Working for a wig manufacturer, where most of the training is on the job and no qualifications are required.
- Taking a City & Guilds in Wigmaking, an ITEC Diploma in Wigmaking or an NVQ Level 2 in Wigmaking, and working in the theatre, film or television sectors.
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