In Summary - Shoe Repairer / Cobbler
Shoe Repairer / Cobblers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Shoe Repairer / Cobbler
Shoe repairers use both hand tools and machinery to complete a variety of repair works on shoes and other leather goods such as handbags or belts.
Shoe repairers' tools include knives, pincers, a hammer and a finishing machine that removes the worn parts of the shoe and smoothes the remaining material. New heels are put on with either an air-powered gun or a hand gun and a driver; they are then hammered into place. Soles are glued, and then stuck on by a sole press.
Shoe repairers also use an outsole stitching machine to sew the soles of welted shoes to the bottom of the shoe. They use an insole stitcher to stitch the soles on through the insole. They use the finishing machine again to get rid of any rough edges. The work is completed on a polishing machine.
Shoe repairers may sell accessories such as polish, dyes, shoe laces, handbags and belts. They may also offer key cutting and engraving services.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Cut out parts following patterns or outlines, using knives, shears, scissors, or machine presses.
- Construct, decorate, or repair leather products according to specifications, using sewing machines, needles and thread, leather lacing, glue, clamps, hand tools, and/or rivets.
- Align and stitch or glue materials such as fabric, fleece, leather, or wood, in order to join parts.
- Dye, soak, polish, paint, stamp, stitch, stain, buff, or engrave leather or other materials to obtain desired effects, decorations, or shapes.
- Select materials and patterns, and trace patterns onto materials to be cut out.
- Dress and otherwise finish boots or shoes, as by trimming the edges of new soles and heels to the shoe shape.
- Estimate the costs of requested products or services such as custom footwear or footwear repair, and receive payment from customers.
- Attach insoles to shoe lasts, affix shoe uppers, and apply heels and outsoles.
- Cement, nail, or sew soles and heels to shoes.
- Shape shoe heels with a knife, and sand them on a buffing wheel for smoothness.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Interests - Shoe Repairer / Cobbler
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
To be a shoe repairer, you should enjoy using your hands and be able to work quickly, neatly and tidily. Speed is very important because some customers want their shoes repaired in minutes. The job involves a lot of standing, so you should be fairly fit and also have good eyesight.
The work may not be suitable if you have sensitive skin, as your hands are likely to become cut and nicked by the equipment used. For this reason, you'll need to be very safety conscious.
It is important that you enjoy meeting people and dealing with the public, and also feel confident when in charge of a till and handling money. Arithmetic is, therefore, a useful skill and so is literacy for dealing with orders, receipts and invoices.
Entry Requirements - Shoe Repairer / Cobbler
Pay & Salary - Shoe Repairer / Cobbler
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 21k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.