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 technicians’ activities will depend on their choice of specialisation. 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, specialising, 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.

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

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

What to Study

The industry provides formal and accredited training through Rhodes University and the Leather Industries Research Institute.

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

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work in a footwear manufacturing factory
  • make an appointment to speak to a footwear technologist about this type of career

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