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Shoe and Leather Workers and Repairers
SOC Code: 51-6041.00

Construct, decorate, or repair leather and leather-like products, such as luggage, shoes, and saddles.

Sample of reported job titles: Boot Maker, Cutter, Lacer, Leather Production Worker, Leather Worker, Saddle and Harness Maker, Shoe Cutter, Shoe Maker, Shoe Repairer, Shoe Repairman

Tasks

  • Cut out parts, following patterns or outlines, using knives, shears, scissors, or machine presses.
  • Construct, decorate, or repair leather products according to specifications, using sewing machines, needles and thread, leather lacing, glue, clamps, hand tools, or rivets.
  • Align and stitch or glue materials such as fabric, fleece, leather, or wood, to join parts.
  • Dye, soak, polish, paint, stamp, stitch, stain, buff, or engrave leather or other materials to obtain desired effects, decorations, or shapes.
  • Select materials and patterns, and trace patterns onto materials to be cut out.
  • Dress and otherwise finish boots or shoes, as by trimming the edges of new soles and heels to the shoe shape.
  • Estimate the costs of requested products or services such as custom footwear or footwear repair, and receive payment from customers.
  • Attach insoles to shoe lasts, affix shoe uppers, and apply heels and outsoles.
  • Cement, nail, or sew soles and heels to shoes.
  • Shape shoe heels with a knife, and sand them on a buffing wheel for smoothness.
  • Repair or replace soles, heels, and other parts of footwear, using sewing, buffing and other shoe repair machines, materials, and equipment.
  • Make, modify, and repair orthopedic or therapeutic footwear according to doctors' prescriptions, or modify existing footwear for people with foot problems and special needs.
  • Repair and recondition leather products such as trunks, luggage, shoes, saddles, belts, purses, and baseball gloves.
  • Place shoes on lasts to remove soles and heels, using knives or pliers.
  • Clean and polish shoes.
  • Check the texture, color, and strength of leather to ensure that it is adequate for a particular purpose.
  • Read prescriptions or specifications, and take measurements to establish the type of product to be made, using calipers, tape measures, or rules.
  • Inspect articles for defects, and remove damaged or worn parts, using hand tools.
  • Drill or punch holes and insert or attach metal rings, handles, and fastening hardware, such as buckles.
  • Attach accessories or ornamentation to decorate or protect products.
  • Cut, insert, position, and secure paddings, cushioning, or linings, using stitches or glue.
  • Draw patterns, using measurements, designs, plaster casts, or customer specifications, and position or outline patterns on work pieces.
  • Measure customers for fit, and discuss with them the type of footwear to be made, recommending details such as leather quality.
  • Stretch shoes, dampening parts and inserting and twisting parts, using an adjustable stretcher.
  • Nail heel and toe cleats onto shoes.
  • Prepare inserts, heel pads, and lifts from casts of customers' feet.
  • Re-sew seams, and replace handles and linings of suitcases or handbags.

Technology Skills

  • Accounting software - Bookkeeping software; Financial accounting software
  • Inventory management software - Inventory tracking software
  • Point of sale POS software - Sale processing software

Tools Used

  • Anatomical models - Shoe lasts
  • Applicator brushes - Polish applicator brushes
  • Awls - Leather awls; Leather punchers
  • Bench scales - Digital scales
  • Blade sharpener - Knife sharpeners; Scissor sharpeners
  • Calipers - Digital calipers
  • Cash registers - Electronic cash registers
  • Hammers - Shoe hammers; Tack hammers
  • Hand clamps
  • Inkjet printers - Computer inkjet printers
  • Leather cutting machines - Bench trimmers; Leather skivers; Mini leather cutters
  • Leather presses - Shoe repair presses
  • Leather riveting machines - Leather rivet settings
  • Leatherworking workshop equipment - Hole punching equipment
  • Magnetic stripe readers and encoders - Credit card readers
  • Personal computers
  • Planes - Block planes
  • Polishing machines - Shoe polishing machines
  • Power buffers - Buffing wheels
  • Power drills - Cordless drills
  • Protective gloves - Safety gloves
  • Pullers - Cobblers' pincers
  • Punches or nail sets or drifts - Leather drive punch sets; Rotary hole punchers
  • Razor knives
  • Rotary paper or fabric cutter - Portable electric fabric cutters; Rotary fabric cutters
  • Rulers - Precision rulers
  • Sanding machines - Shoe sanding machines
  • Sewing machines - Automatic sole stitchers; Industrial sewing machines; Outside stitching machines; Sole stitchers
  • Sewing needles
  • Shears - Heavy duty scissors; Leather shears
  • Shoe heelpiece machine - Heel-nailing machines
  • Slip or groove joint pliers - Slip-joint pliers
  • Tape measures - Measuring tapes
  • Utility knives
  • Wire brushes - Wire cleaning brushes
  • Wire cutters - Wire nippers

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Abilities

  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.

Interests

  • Interest code: RCA
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Context

  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 73% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 63% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 64% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 58% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 43% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 56% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 52% responded “40 hours.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 38% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 45% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 33% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 27% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 30% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Physical Proximity - 45% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Deal With External Customers - 32% responded “Not important at all.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 38% responded “Every day.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
56%High school diploma or equivalent
22%Some college, no degree
18%Less than high school diploma

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $12.31 hourly, $25,610 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 11,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 800

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