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Before factories and machines made shoes, people would go to cobblers to have shoes made for them. Handmade shoes were commonplace. It wasn't until 1874, when Charles Goodyear Jr. invented the welt stitcher, that shoes began to be massproduced. The welt stitcher made possible the production of shoes by a machine. Although there are still people who make shoes by hand, it is much more common to purchase shoes that were made in a factory.

Even though mass production of shoes has lessened the need for cobblers, people are still needed to help construct shoes. The job of a shoe industry worker is to make footwear out of leather and other materials with the help of modern machinery. If you have an interest in working with leather or a fascination with current footwear styles and trends, becoming a shoe industry worker would allow you to combine your interests with your job.


Salaries in this industry vary slightly depending on which aspect of shoe production you get into. The median annual salary for both shoe repairers and shoemakers who use machines is $19,000.

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