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Occupation Details

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Footwear Designer

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

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These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€20k > 55
Footwear Designer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 - 55
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
CareersPortal

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.
3%
Occupational Category

Design Occupations

Also included in this category:

Graphic designers; product, clothing and related designers (e.g. fashion designers; interior designers; furniture and textile designers)

Number Employed:

6,600

Part time workers: 13%
Aged over 55: 9%
Male / Female: 44 / 56%
Non-Nationals: 20%
With Third Level: 77%
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At a Glance... header image

Footwear designers combine artistic talent with technical knowledge to create new footwear designs or change existing ones. They need to keep up-to-date with fashion trends and the needs of buyers.


Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Search YouTube for Footwear Designer videos

The Work header image

Footwear designers design new shoe styles or change existing ones. Designers follow changes in colour and dress fashion to ensure that they offer up-to-date styles to the client. They also need to know the anatomy of the foot.  
 
The designer helps to set heel height, colour, material and the last (model of the shoe's shape). They modify the line (or style) by adding or altering markings, punching, lacing and other details. For each line the designer produces about half a dozen possible versions. From these, the production manager and buyers select the ones they think will sell best.  
 
Experienced designers are given the freedom to develop new styles. Such opportunities are more likely to arise in firms producing fashion footwear rather than classic or purely practical footwear. All new designs have to be approved by the management and sales team. Once a design has been accepted, the designer produces sample pairs of shoes to show retail buyers.  
 
For both new versions of existing styles and completely new styles, the designer produces a pair or half-pair of shoes. Starting from a sketch, the designer makes a paper pattern using a last and masking tape. Increasingly, designers design directly onto a computer-aided design (CAD) system. Experienced operatives make up the shoe and after each stage the designer discusses any difficulties with operatives and craftspeople. Usually the designer completes the sample by adding details such as markings. Footwear designers must have a good understanding of the anatomy of the foot and lower leg.

The work may involve:

  • working with other designers on styles and trends
  • making rough design drawings by hand or using a computer
  • researching ideas at fashion shows and events
  • making sample shoes to present their ideas
  • conducting quality checks and overseeing production.

Footwear designers normally work Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Longer hours are likely when preparing samples for buyers or shows. Most designers work in a studio or small workshop. Travelling is often required.

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Personal Qualitiesheader image

As an aspiring designer, you will need to be creative and good with your hands. The pattern making aspect of the work requires great care to ensure that measurements are precise. Communication skills are useful in persuading managers and buyers of the value of designs. You must be prepared to accept criticism, and deal with the frustration of having your work rejected or adapted.  
 
You will need to understand the materials, machines and processes involved in production, in order to design footwear that is economic to make.  
 
To keep up-to-date with fashions, you will need to read trade magazines and publicity material of top designers. You may also visit national and international trade fairs.

You would need:

  • a creative eye and a flair for colour, texture and patterns
  • knowledge of foot anatomy
  • good drawing ability and CAD skills
  • excellent communication skills
  • an interest in fashion, design and textiles.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Footwear Designer - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Institute of Designers in Ireland
Address: The Digital Hub, Roe Lane, Thomas St., Dublin 8
Tel: (01) 489 3650
Email: Click here
Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: Federation of Irish Footwear Manufacturers (IRLSF)
Address: C/O Blackthorn Shoes LTD, Coe's Road, Industrial Estate, Dundalk, Co. Louth
Tel: (042) 34 74 1123
Email: Click here
Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: British Footwear Association
Address: 3 Burystead Place, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1AH, UK
Tel: +44 1933 229 005
Email: Click here
Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: European Confederation of the Footwear Industry
Address: CEC, Rue F.Bossaerts 53, 1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 (2) 7365810
Email: Click here
Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: London College of Fashion
Address: 20 John Prince's St. London, WIG OBJ
Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 7500
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Fashion & Beauty

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database

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Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 10


Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

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