Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


Five year job forecast


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

What's it like?

You would mend footwear and items like belts and bags for your customers.

You would probably be based in a high street shop, where you could combine shoe repairs with other services such as key cutting, watch repairing and engraving.

You would:

  • Learn to use hand tools and small machinery
  • Replace worn out soles and heels
  • Carry out more complicated repairs, such as renewing stitching and welts
  • Build up soles and heels to add height
  • Clean, polish, dye or stain shoes
  • Replace buckles, laces, zips or straps
  • Take payments from customers
  • Look after equipment, sharpen cutting tools and fix faulty machinery

You may also specialise in repairing bespoke or handmade shoes, or focus on making or repairing orthopaedic shoes with a small specialist company.

For key cutting, watch repairs or engraving, you would use extra tools and machinery. You may be self-employed, and have to keep your own accounts.

It would be important for you to follow health and safety rules at all times.

Working conditions


You’ll usually work up to 40 hours a week, including weekends. There may be opportunities to work part-time.


You’ll carry out repairs at a workbench, and in some jobs you’ll be on your feet a lot of the time. You’ll use specialist tools and equipment, and some may be computerised. This job can involve working with strong-smelling adhesives, and hazardous and loud machinery. You may need to wear protective clothing.

UK employment status





Self employed


Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Time management
  • Taking initiative
  • Attention to detail
  • Listening
  • Cooperating
  • Respecting
  • Observation
  • Problem solving
  • Evaluating

Build your skills

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


You do not need formal qualifications for this job but a good general education is helpful.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Practical technologies subjects

You will also need

Good eyesight for close work.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show customer service, retail or practical skills using tools such as:

  • Skills for Work Retailing (SCQF level 5)
  • Skills for Work: In the Textile Industry (SCQF level 5)
  • Construction Craft (SCQF level 4/5)

Once in a job you may be able to gain relevant work-based qualification such as a National Vocational Qualification Certificate in Footwear and Leather (SCQF level 5).