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Job Duties

A single pair of shoes may have up to 280 different parts. The job of a shoe industry worker is to put these pieces together to make a functional pair of shoes. Many different machines are used to help. In fact, there can be as many as 150 different machine steps. This means that shoe industry workers must know how to use the many different machines.

The term “shoe industry worker” refers to the many positions available in the industry. Each pair of shoes made in a factory is handled by many different people. An upper-leather sorter goes through pieces of leather and chooses the ones that will be made into shoes. A cut-out-and-marking machine operator cuts the leather into properly sized pieces. He or she also prepares the leather for sewing by punching holes and marking where the stitching needs to be. Then the materials are given to the standard machine stitchers to assemble. Sometimes they stitch the parts of the shoe together. Other times glue, staples, or another adhesive is used. Then, the shoes are laced, made into different sizes, given insoles, and worked on by many other people before they're ready to be sold. Each person in a shoe factory has a very specific task.

Even in factories in which nonleather shoes are made, there are many different workers whose functions vary. It is still very similar to leather-shoe production, except that the machines need to accommodate materials other than leather. The manufacturing process for nonleather shoes is a bit simpler, though, because the fabric does not need to be inspected, and it can be cut in layers, which is not a possibility when working with leather.

If you're more interested in working with a product from start to finish, you should consider becoming a custom shoemaker. Custom shoemakers assemble shoes by hand or with machines, but they are involved in the whole process. Custom shoemakers usually have a knowledge of shoe repair, too. Considering the ease with which people can buy manufactured shoes, having more skills can only be good for a custom shoemaker.

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCool Careers Without CollegeSHOE INDUSTRY WORKER - Job Duties, Education And Training, Pros And Cons, For More Information - Salary