Footwear quality control laboratory technicians perform all laboratory tests of footwear and materials or components according to national and international standards. They analyse and interpret their results and prepare the report for the quality manager, advising on rejections or acceptances. They apply previously defined quality management tools to achieve the objectives stated in the quality policy. They monitor and control the quality system, namely internal and external auditing. They collaborate in the preparation of documents related to quality and in the linkage with outsourced laboratories for the tests which cannot be performed inside the company.
Footwear quality control technicians typically do the following tasks:
- Perform quality control tests on footwear materials, components, and finished products
- Conduct visual inspections to check for defects, such as stitching or adhesive issues
- Utilize specialized equipment to test footwear durability, flexibility, slip resistance, and other performance attributes
- Analyze test results and document findings accurately
- Identify and report any quality issues or deviations from standards
- Collaborate with production and design teams to address quality concerns and implement corrective actions
- Maintain and calibrate laboratory equipment to ensure accurate and reliable test results
- Follow safety protocols and maintain a clean and organized laboratory environment
The following job titles also refer to footwear quality control laboratory technician:
footwear quality control laboratory analyst
footwear quality laboratory technician
footwear quality control engineer
footwear quality control laboratory technologist
Footwear quality control laboratory technicians typically work in indoor laboratory environments. They may spend long hours standing or working with specialized equipment. The work may involve repetitive tasks and attention to detail is crucial to ensure accurate results. Safety precautions, such as wearing protective gear and handling hazardous materials, may be necessary.
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required to work as a footwear quality control laboratory technician. Some employers may prefer candidates with an associate’s degree or certification in a relevant field, such as quality control or materials science. Strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and knowledge of quality control principles are important. Experience in a laboratory or quality control setting is beneficial, as is familiarity with footwear manufacturing processes and standards.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Footwear quality control laboratory technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Footwear quality control laboratory technician career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to footwear quality control laboratory technician.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of footwear quality control laboratory technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of footwear quality control laboratory technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of footwear quality control laboratory technician.
- Footwear materials: The characteristics, components, advantages, and limitations of a wide range of materials used in footwear production: leather, leather substitutes (synthetics or artificial materials), textile, plastic, rubber, etc.
- Footwear manufacturing technology: Footwear processes technology and machinery involved. The footwear manufacturing starts in the cutting/clicking room , cutting the uppers and bottom components. The upper components are joined together in the closing room by following a precise order of specific operations: skiving, folding, sewing etc. The closed upper, the insole, and other bottom components are brought together in the assembling room, where the main operations are lasting and soling. The process ends with finishing operations in the finishing and packing room.
- Footwear quality: Quality specifications of materials, processes and final products, the most common defects in footwear, quick tests procedures, laboratory tests procedures and standards, adequate equipment for quality checks. Quality assurance of footwear production processes and fundamental concepts on quality including footwear quality framework and standards.
- Footwear components: Footwear components both for uppers (vamps, quarters, linings, stiffeners, toe puffs etc.) and bottoms (soles, heels, insoles etc.). Ecological concerns and the importance of recycling. Selection of suitable materials and components based on their influence on the footwear style and characteristics, properties and manufacturability. Procedures and methods in chemical and mechanical processing of leather and non-leather materials.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of footwear quality control laboratory technician.
- Create solutions to problems: Solve problems that arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.
- Apply footwear and leather goods quality control techniques: Apply quality control in footwear and leather goods. Analyse the material, component or model using relevant quality criteria. Compare the material and other components received from the suppliers, or the final product, to standards. Use visual observation and report findings. Control the quantity of leather in the warehouse. Submit components to laboratory control test when necessary. Define the corrective measures when called for.
- Perform laboratory tests on footwear or leather goods: Perform laboratory quality control tests on footwear, leather goods or its materials or components following national and international standards. Prepare samples and procedures. Analyse and interpret tests results and produced reports. Cooperate with outsourced laboratories.
- Work in textile manufacturing teams: Work harmoniously with colleagues in teams in the textile and clothing manufacturing industries.
- Use IT tools: Application of computers, computer networks and other information technologies and equipment to storing, retrieving, transmitting and manipulating data, in the context of a business or enterprise.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of footwear quality control laboratory technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Leather goods components: The various procedures and methods in the processing of leather materials and leather goods components like manufacturability and properties.
- Health and safety regulations: Necessary health, safety, hygiene and environmental standards and legislation rules in the particular activity sector.
- Leather goods materials: The wide range of materials used in leather goods production: leather, leather substitutes (synthetics or artificial materials), textiles, etc; the way of distinguishing among various materials based on their properties, advantages and limitations.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of footwear quality control laboratory technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Reduce environmental impact of footwear manufacturing: Assess the environmental impact of footwear manufacturing and minimise environmental risks. Reduce environmentally harmful work practices in different stages of footwear manufacturing.
- Communicate commercial and technical issues in foreign languages: Speak one or more foreign languages in order to communicate commercial and technical issues with various suppliers and clients.
- Use communication techniques: Apply techniques of communication which allow interlocutors to better understand each other and communicate accurately in the transmission of messages.
- Manage footwear quality systems: Manage the company quality system. Create or elaborate the quality manual. Carry out the established requirements and objectives included in the quality policy. Foster internal and external communication, including customer satisfaction follow-up. Define and control the implementation of corrective and preventive measures. Foster the continuous improvement of the quality system and quality manual.
ISCO group and title
3119 – Physical and engineering science technicians not elsewhere classified
- Footwear quality control laboratory technician – ESCO
- Footwear Inspection | Footwear Quality Control | Tetra Inspection