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Footwear Manufacturing Technician
Footwear manufacturing technicians work mainly in shoe factories or related organization. They may specialize in design, production management, industrial engineering, quality control, or in general and executive management.

Footwear tehcnicians’ activities will depend on their choice of specialization. In general, they learn all the aspects of footwear production. This will involve them in a factory production situation using a variety of complex raw materials, either natural, or synthetic, or both.

They may also work with technologically advanced machinery, electronics and computer systems used in the manufacturing process. They may stay in this work environment, or choose to start their own factory, specializing, for example, in sports footwear.

Footwear technicians work with leather and imitation leather, chemicals, chromium salts and vegetable paints, designs and drawings, knives and guillotines, hand and machine tools, adhesives and various kinds of thread, and machines for spraying and polishing.

Satisfying Aspects
- working with your hands
- variety of work tasks
- the opportunity to specialize
- the satisfaction of applying good workmanship to finish an article
- the chance to become self-employed

Demanding aspects
- health hazards resulting from the chemicals used
- having to stand for long periods

- aptitude for practical work and machines
- some interest in art and drawing for design work
- prepared to work in a production and/or business environment.
- enjoy working with leather and other materials
- enjoy working with your hands and tools

School Subjects
No minimum educational requirements, but a National Senior Certificate would be an advantage

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Engineering and Technology

The industry provides formal and accredited training through Rhodes University.

Through self-study, distance learning and exemption courses, a Diploma in Footwear Technology and Management can be obtained. This diplomas is recognised as the top qualification in this industry.

- big and small footwear factories
- suppliers of machinery or materials to make footwear
- self-employment - since establishment costs for a small factory are reasonable, can start own business soon after qualifying and with enough capital