Footwear quality technician

Footwear quality technician article illustration


Footwear quality technicians manage all the standards and techniques related to processes and products. They perform tasks using quality systems based on national and international standards. They analyse and interpret the results, prepare reports, advise on corrective measures, contribute to the achievement of requirements and objectives for the benefit of continuous improvement and customer satisfaction.

Footwear quality technicians typically do the following tasks:

  • Inspect the footwear products to ensure that they meet the quality standards set by the company and regulatory bodies.
  • Analyze quality control data to identify trends and areas of improvement in the production process.
  • Collaborate with other departments, such as design and manufacturing, to develop and implement quality control procedures.
  • Participate in the development of training programs for employees to ensure they have a good understanding of quality control procedures.
  • Investigate customer complaints and work with the customer service team to resolve issues.
  • Maintain records of quality control activities, test results, and other relevant data.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to footwear quality technician:

footwear quality engineer
footwear quality control technician
footwear quality analyst

Working conditions

Footwear quality technicians work in manufacturing plants or laboratories. They spend most of their time on their feet, inspecting products, and working with machinery. This job may require working in shifts, especially in large production plants that operate 24/7. Quality technicians may also need to wear protective gear, such as safety shoes, gloves, and goggles.

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for this job. Previous experience in footwear production or quality control is an advantage. Knowledge of quality control procedures and standards is essential.

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 technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Footwear quality technician career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to footwear quality technician.

footwear quality control laboratory technician
leather goods quality technician
leather goods quality control laboratory technician
footwear assembly supervisor
footwear production supervisor

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of footwear quality 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 technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

footwear quality manager
leather goods quality manager
leather goods industrial engineer
footwear product development manager
footwear designer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of footwear quality technician.

  • Footwear finishing techniques: The related machinery, tools, chemicals and mechanical finishing procedures applied to footwear manufacturing.
  • 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 technician.

  • Create solutions to problems: Solve problems which 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.
  • Exert a goal-oriented leadership role towards colleagues: Embrace a leadership role in the organisation and with colleagues as to provide coaching and direction to subordinates aiming at the achievement of specific objectives.
  • 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.
  • Reduce environmental impact of footwear manufacturing: Assess the environmental impact of footwear manufacture and minimise environmental risks. Reduce environmentally harmful work practices in different stages of the 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.
  • Work in textile manufacturing teams: Work harmoniously with colleagues in teams in the textile and clothing manufacturing industries.
  • 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.
  • 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

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of footwear quality technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Health and safety regulations: Necessary health, safety, hygiene and environmental standards and legislation rules in the sector of particular activity.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of footwear quality technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Practice innovative thinking in the footwear and leather goods industries: Innovate and create in the footwear and leather goods sector. Evaluate new ideas and concepts to turn them into marketable products. Use entrepreneurial thinking in all stages of the product and process development to identify new business opportunities for the targeted markets.
  • Plan supply chain logistics for footwear and leather goods: Plan, organise and monitor logistics and supply chain activities based on the footwear or leather goods company’s main objectives regarding quality, cost, delivery, and flexibility.
  • Make technical drawings of fashion pieces: Make technical drawings of wearing apparel, leather goods and footwear including both technical and engineering drawings. Use them to communicate or to convey design ideas and manufacturing details to pattern makers, technologists, toolmakers, and equipment producers or to other machine operators for sampling and production.
  • 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.
  • Determine footwear warehouse layout: Select the suitable warehouse layouts according to the specific conditions of the footwear company. Plan the warehouse layout. Implement the warehouse management system.
  • Measure working time in footwear and leather goods production: Calculate and establish operative times in footwear and leather goods manufacturing using various method and techniques. Control the production timings, comparing with estimates.

ISCO group and title

3119 – Physical and engineering science technicians not elsewhere classified

  1. Footwear quality technician – ESCO
  2. Featured image: By Petar Milošević – Own work, CC BY 4.0
Last updated on May 11, 2023