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Shoe repairer

Shoe repairers mend footwear and items like belts and bags.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,500 to £20,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: up to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements. Some employers may want you to take a short aptitude test, covering English, basic maths and practical skills.

Qualifications or experience in areas like leatherwork, or in retail, sales or customer care may help you find work.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • practical skills and hand-eye coordination
  • the ability to pay close attention to detail
  • the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • basic maths skills to estimate costs and handle cash

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • replacing worn out soles and heels
  • carrying out more complicated repairs, like renew stitching and welts
  • building up soles and heels
  • cleaning, polishing, dying or staining shoes
  • replacing buckles, laces, zips or straps
  • maintaining equipment, sharpening cutting tools and servicing machinery
You may also specialise in repairing handmade shoes, or focus on making or repairing orthopaedic shoes.

You’ll use additional specialist tools and machinery if you do key cutting, watch repairs or engraving.

You’ll also have to keep your own accounts if you’re self-employed.

4. Salary

Starter: £14,500

Experienced: £20,000 (supervisor or shop manager)

Bonus schemes are often available.

Your earnings will depend on the shop’s profits, if you’re self-employed.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work up to 40 hours a week, including weekends.

You’ll carry out repairs at a workbench. 

You’ll use specialist tools and equipment, some of which may be computerised. 

This job can involve working with strong-smelling adhesives, and hazardous and loud machinery. 

You may need to wear protective clothing.

6. Career path and progression

If you’re working for a large company, once you have experience you could progress into a management position.

With experience and financial backing, you could set up your own retail business.

You could also work in a high quality shoe-making factory.

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Last updated: 14 December 2016