Leather goods finishing operator


Leather goods finishing operators organise leather goods products to be finished applying different types of finishing (e.g. creamy, oily, waxy, polishing, plastic-coated, etc.). They use tools, means and materials to incorporate the handles and metallic applications in bags, suitcases, and other accessories. They study the sequence of operations according to the information received from the supervisor and from the technical sheet of the model. They apply techniques for ironing, creaming or oiling, for the application of liquids for waterproofing, leather washing, cleaning, polishing, waxing, brushing, burning tips, remotion of glue waste, and painting the tops following technical specifications. They also check visually the quality of the finished by paying close attention to the absence of wrinkles, straight seams, and cleanliness. They correct anomalies or defects that can be solved by finishing and reported to the supervisor.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to leather goods finishing operator:

Minimum qualifications

No formal educational credential is generally required to work as a leather goods finishing operator.

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.

Leather goods finishing operator is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Leather goods finishing operator career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to leather goods finishing operator.

leather goods warehouse operator
leather goods packing operator
leather goods stitching machine operator
leather goods hand stitcher
leather goods manual operator

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of leather goods finishing operator. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of leather goods finishing operator with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

leather goods quality control laboratory technician
leather goods quality technician
leather goods manufacturing technician
leather goods product developer
footwear quality control laboratory technician

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of leather goods finishing operator.

  • Leather goods manufacturing processes: The processes, technology and machinery involved in the leather goods manufacturing.
  • Leather goods components: The various procedures and methods in the processing of leather materials and leather goods components like manufacturability and properties.
  • Leather goods quality: The quality specifications of materials, processes, and final products, the most common defects in leather, quick tests procedures, laboratory tests procedures and standards, and the adequate equipment for quality checks.
  • Leather goods materials: The wide range of materials used in leather goods production: leather, leather substitutes (synthetics or artificial materials), textile, etc; the way of distinguishing among various materials based on their properties, advantages and limitations.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of leather goods finishing operator.

  • Apply basic rules of maintenance to leather goods and footwear machinery: Apply basic rules of maintenance and cleanliness on footwear and leather goods production equipment and machines that you operate.
  • Apply footwear finishing techniques: Apply various chemical and mechanical finishing procedures to footwear by performing manual or machine operations, with or without chemicals, such as heel and sole roughing, dying, bottom polishing, cold or hot wax burnishing, cleaning, removing tacks, inserting socks, hot air treeing for removing wrinkles, and cream, spray or antique dressing. Work both manually and use the equipment and machines, and adjust working parameters.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of leather goods finishing operator. 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 manufacture and minimise environmental risks. Reduce environmentally harmful work practices in different stages of the footwear manufacturing.
  • Use communication techniques: Apply techniques of communication which allow interlocutors to better understand each other and communicate accurately in the transmission of messages.
  • 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.

ISCO group and title

7536 – Shoemakers and related workers

  1. Leather goods finishing operator – ESCO
Last updated on October 21, 2022

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