Apprenticeships are most often offered through a shoe repair shop and provide real-world application. Those pursuing shoe repair at a community college rather than through an apprenticeship can expect courses to be similar as courses in areas such as cake decorating, keyboard skills development and CPR. Individuals interested in shoe repair should have strong mechanical skills, the ability to work extensively with their hands, artistic aptitude and an ability to repair as per customer's request.
Shoe Repair Career Training: Apprenticeship
Shoe repair apprenticeship programs offer hands-on experience, as individuals learn while working with an experienced craftsman in his/her shop. A typical shoe repair apprenticeship lasts two years, with the main focus placed on working with leather. Working with a variety of tools and leathers, students slowly gain mastery over the individual tasks of shoe repair. Training includes:
- Shaping, cutting, and sewing of different leathers
- Mastery of industry-specific tools
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Though wages vary depending on a worker's speed and skills, the median salary for shoe and leather workers and repairers was $23,630 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2014, about 9,700 people were employed in shoe repair and leather work. The BLS predicted that between 2014 and 2024 the number of shoe machine operators would decrease by fifteen percent. However, due to the recent recession, some workers in the shoe repair industry may actually encounter a spike in business caused by consumers wishing to have their shoes repaired instead of regarding them as disposable.
Individuals interested beginning a career as a shoe and leather worker and repairer can begin an apprenticeship program with shoe repair career training. Courses may also be available at community colleges.