The word “shoemaker” has different origins. According to the etymology, it comes from “rope” since the first shoemakers used “rope” to make shoes. Another legend states that it comes from “corns,” as in the expression “shoes giving corns”. This trade has evolved greatly in modern times, both in terms of the materials used and the skills required. In this article, we will focus on the trade of shoemakers and their future prospects.
Description of the cobbler’s trade
The job of a cobbler consists mainly of repairing shoes. Replacing heels and installing protective soles are the most common repairs. The shoemaker examines the condition of the shoe before pricing and scheduling the work. They begin by peeling off and sewing up the work area. They then design the replacement part and cut it out of the chosen material.
Depending on the condition of the shoe, the shoemaker can sew the sole by machine. Afterward, they proceed to sand and fix the part under the shoe with nails or special glue. They then finish by milling and polishing the edges of the new piece. In some cases, the insoles and the arch can also be replaced.
Among other things, shoe-related accessories can be purchased from a cobbler, such as insoles, cigars, creams, laces, shoe trees, etc. In addition, a shoemaker may do metal eyelet work and repair leather items such as bags, belts, etc. Some also do dyeing work.
If you are considering this trade, you must have the following qualities naturally:
In addition, most of the time, you will be working on your feet, so being physically fit is important. Also, be prepared to work in a noisy and dusty environment. Moreover, as you will be confronted with commerce, it is imperative to have a good sense of customer relations and communication and a notion of accounting.
Training to follow
It is important to follow professional training to become a shoemaker. You can choose between the following levels of study:
- A professional title as a multi-service shoemaker after training at the National Agency for Adult Vocational Training (AFPA);
- A VTA (Vocational Training Certificate) in shoemaking and bootmaking;
- A VTA (Vocational Training Certificate) in multi-services shoemaking;
- A vocational baccalaureate in the leather trade, footwear option;
- A Technical Trade Certificate (TTC) in shoemaking.
Job opportunities and career development
After your studies, you can work on your own. If you have opted for the “multi-service shoemaker” training, you have the possibility of offering your clients services beyond the preparation of shoes, such as making engravings and keys by the minute, printing business cards, etc.
To open your own shop, you have the choice between acquiring a property or renting a commercial space in a shopping center, for example. To furnish your store, we advise you to adopt the country style to dominate the wooden equipment.
Among other things, you can expand your field of activity by specializing in leather goods and working with saddlery and fine leathers. As you accumulate experience, you have the opportunity to work on luxury or custom-made shoes or even become an orthopedist.
Alternatively, if you have chosen to be an employee in a shoe factory, you may be promoted to a position of responsibility as an industrial repair shop manager.
In general, an entry-level shoemaker earns about $1,500 per month, regardless of the status you choose. Specialization and level of education can also be considered in order to negotiate a salary of at least $2,000, for example.
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