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Shoe Designer: Career Profile and Educational Requirements

Shoe designers use their knowledge of fashion trends, materials and design to conceptualize and develop new footwear. Aspiring shoe designers who complete an associate's or bachelor's degree program in fashion design may have a competitive edge in the job market.

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Career Profile for a Shoe Designer

From conceptualization to final product, shoe designers create shoes for new or existing footwear lines. Using their extensive knowledge of industry trends, design concepts, patterns and materials, they sketch designs by hand or with the assistance of computer-aided design (CAD) software. Once the designs are complete, a prototype is created, refined and used to make samples for industry shows. The level of hands-on involvement shoe designers have throughout the design process depends on their experience level and the size of the company for which they work.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted little change in the employment of fashion designers from 2010-2020 but noted that competition for open positions would be fierce because many people are drawn to this industry (www.bls.gov). In May 2012, the BLS reported that the mean salary of fashion designers employed by the footwear manufacturing industry was $74,190.

Educational Requirements for Shoe Designers

Aspiring shoe designers can complete 2-year or 4-year programs in fashion design. By enrolling in fashion design degree programs, aspiring shoe designers develop and hone their craft while building design portfolios. Some designers may pursue a broad course of study in fashion design, while others take specialized courses in accessory or shoe design. Courses may include footwear design, design software, materials, marketing, industry trends and advanced footwear design. While the majority of employers prefer candidates with college degrees, past experience in conjunction with demonstrable creative skills are often the primary prerequisites for employment.

Skills Needed to Become a Shoe Designer

An eye for aesthetic detail is essential to become a shoe designer because these professionals consider color, balance, line and other design principles. A flair for fashion and foresight regarding upcoming industry trends are also important qualities. Shoe designers usually integrate paper-based sketches with CAD software, which requires that they have the ability to sketch. Even if they don't physically create prototypes, knowledge of how to construct shoes is important for communication purposes. In addition to creative talent, good communication skills are vital for success.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
    • Bachelor
        • BFA in Fashion Design
        • BFA in Interior Design - Green Design
        • BFA - Fine Art
        • BFA in Graphic Design
        • BFA in Art Education
    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate in Design Strategy & Innovation

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Associate
        • Associate of Science - Design Studies

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Michigan State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Iowa State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • General Visual Communications Design
        • Graphic Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Delaware (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Delaware include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Baylor University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Howard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Texas Tech University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • Graphic Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • New Jersey (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Montclair State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics