SHOE REPAIRERS perform a variety of repairs and custom leather work for the general public. They use their leatherworking skills to repair or refinish leather goods. A well as repairing shoes, they may also repair handbags, luggage, tents, and other items made from leather, rubber, or canvas. Highly skilled repairers may design, make, or repair orthopedic shoes according to the directions of a physician. Shoe repairers dye shoes and handbags, and stretch shoes for a better fit. Owners of repair shops or custom-made shoe shops also may be a manager, which includes making business decisions and keeping accurate records.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $29,500 average per year ($14.25 per hour)
- A small occupation (9,200 workers in 2010)
- Expected to decline (2.1% per year)
SHOE REPAIRERS usually learn their skills on the job as helpers to experienced workers, but, in manufacturing, they may attend more formal in-house training programs or begin working as helpers to experienced workers. Beginners gradually take on more tasks until they are fully qualified workers, a process that takes about 2 years in an apprenticeship program or as a helper in a shop. A limited number of schools and shoe repair chains offer vocational training in shoe repair and leatherwork. These programs may last from 6 months to a year.