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Career profile Shoe Machine Operator

Also known as Assembler, Boot and Shoe Repairman, Boot Maker, Cutter, Fitter, Inseamer, Insole Department Worker, Side Laster, Stitcher

Shoe Machine Operator

Also known as Assembler, Boot and Shoe Repairman, Boot Maker

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$20,810 - $41,880 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Mechanical
  • Education and Training
Core tasks
  • Study work orders or shoe part tags to obtain information about workloads, specifications, and the types of materials to be used.
  • Remove and examine shoes, shoe parts, and designs to verify conformance to specifications such as proper embedding of stitches in channels.
  • Turn screws to regulate size of staples.
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What does a Shoe Machine Operator do?

Shoe Machine Operators operate or tend a variety of machines to join, decorate, reinforce, or finish shoes and shoe parts.

What kind of tasks does a Shoe Machine Operator perform regularly?

Shoe Machine Operators are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Study work orders or shoe part tags to obtain information about workloads, specifications, and the types of materials to be used.
  • Remove and examine shoes, shoe parts, and designs to verify conformance to specifications such as proper embedding of stitches in channels.
  • Perform routine equipment maintenance such as cleaning and lubricating machines or replacing broken needles.
  • Cut excess thread or material from shoe parts, using scissors or knives.

The above responsibilities are specific to Shoe Machine Operators. More generally, Shoe Machine Operators are involved in several broader types of activities:

Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

What is a Shoe Machine Operator salary?

The median salary for a Shoe Machine Operator is $30,630, and the average salary is $31,430. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Shoe Machine Operator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Shoe Machine Operators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Shoe Machine Operators earn less than $20,810 per year, 25% earn less than $26,340, 75% earn less than $37,020, and 90% earn less than $41,880.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Shoe Machine Operators is expected to change by -22.0%, and there should be roughly 400 open positions for Shoe Machine Operators every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$20,810 - $41,880
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Shoe Machine Operators?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Shoe Machine Operator are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Shoe Machine Operators typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Shoe Machine Operator tend to value Relationships, Support, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Shoe Machine Operators moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Shoe Machine Operators somewhat value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Shoe Machine Operators somewhat value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Shoe Machine Operators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, self-control, and adaptability/flexibility.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Shoe Machine Operators, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Shoe Machine Operators need?

Working as a Shoe Machine Operator usually requires a high school diploma.

Shoe Machine Operators need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Shoe Machine Operators

  • 30.2% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 36.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 17.7% completed some college coursework
  • 6.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 7.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.1% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Shoe Machine Operators

Shoe Machine Operators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, mechanical, or education and training knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Shoe Machine Operators might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Important Abilities needed by Shoe Machine Operators

Shoe Machine Operators must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Shoe Machine Operators need abilities such as arm-hand steadiness, control precision, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Shoe Machine Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Critical Skills needed by Shoe Machine Operators

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Shoe Machine Operators frequently use skills like operations monitoring, reading comprehension, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Shoe Machine Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.