Expand mobile version menu

Shoe and Leather Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


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

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Maintenance, Installation and Repair pathway, Manufacturing 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.

Related Careers


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:

  • Dyer -- Dyes articles, for example garments, drapes, and slipcovers in kettles or dyeing machines, and mixes dyes and chemicals according to standard formulas or by matching customers’ samples against color cards that provide formulas.
  • Cobbler Apprentice --
  • Harnessmaker --
  • Leather Stamper --
  • Leathersmith --
  • Saddle and Harness Maker --
  • Shoe Designer --
  • Skate Maker --