Shoe and Leather Worker

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High school preferred +

What They Do

Shoe and Leather Workers and Repairers Career Video

Constructs, decorates, or repairs leather and leather-like products, such as luggage, shoes, and saddles.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Production pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Cuts out parts, following patterns or outlines, using knives, shears, scissors, or machine presses.
  • Constructs, decorates, or repairs leather products according to specifications, using sewing machines, needles and thread, leather lacing, glue, clamps, hand tools, or rivets.
  • Aligns and stitches or glues materials such as fabric, fleece, leather, or wood, to join parts.
  • Dyes, soaks, polishes, paints, stamps, stitches, stains, buffs, or engraves leather or other materials to obtain desired effects, decorations, or shapes.
  • Selects materials and patterns, and traces patterns onto materials to be cut out.
  • Dresses and otherwise finishes boots or shoes, as by trimming the edges of new soles and heels to the shoe shape.
  • Estimates the costs of requested products or services such as custom footwear or footwear repair, and receives payment from customers.
  • Attaches insoles to shoe lasts, affixes shoe uppers, and applies heels and outsoles.
  • Cements, nails, or sews soles and heels to shoes.
  • Shapes shoe heels with a knife, and sands them on a buffing wheel for smoothness.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Boot Maker
  • Cutter
  • Lacer
  • Leather Production Worker
  • Leather Worker
  • Saddle and Harness Maker
  • Shoe Cutter
  • Shoe Maker
  • Shoe Repairer
  • Shoe Repairman