Shoe Repair Degrees and Certificate Program Information
Shoe repair degrees and certificate programs do not exist. Most people who seek careers in shoe repair take introductory courses on the topic at local community colleges or receive on-the-job training with experienced shoe and leather workers.
The most common form of training in shoe repair is through apprenticeship. Shoe repair courses are offered infrequently. When available, they are typically available at local community colleges or community centers. Shoe repair courses do not lead to degrees or certificates. Instead, they are generally offered as unique adult education and career-oriented courses, alongside courses in areas including cake decorating, keyboard skills development and CPR.
Shoe Repair Career Training: Apprenticeship
Shoe repair apprenticeship programs are most often offered through a shoe repair shop. A typically shoe repair apprenticeship lasts two years. During this time, the apprentice slowly adds additional tasks to his or her skill set, gaining mastery over individual tasks.
The most significant focus of shoe repair training is in working with leather. Students learn to about shaping, cutting, sewing and finishing a variety of leather types. Additionally, students gain hands-on experience in the many tools of shoe repair, including hand-held tools and industry-specific machinery.
Shoe repair is a manually intensive job. As shoe and leather workers extensively use their hands, manual dexterity is highly valuable. Mechanical skills are also important; shoe repair involves the use of highly specialized hand tools and machines. Finally, the creating and repair of shoes requires artistic aptitude. Shoe workers often need to customize and craft leather to meet their customers' interests and requests.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Though wages vary depending on a worker's speed and skills, the average hourly wage for shoe and leather workers and repairers was $12.52 in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. At that time, about 5,750 people were employed in shoe repair and leather work. The BLS predicted that between 2010 and 2020 the number of shoe machine operators would decrease by approximately 53 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.
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