Shoe Machine Operators and Tenders
51-6042.00

Operate or tend a variety of machines to join, decorate, reinforce, or finish shoes and shoe parts.

Sample of reported job titles: Assembler, Boot and Shoe Repairman, Boot Maker, Cutter, Fitter, Inseamer, Insole Department Worker, Side Laster, Stitcher

Occupation-Specific Information

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.
  • Turn screws to regulate size of staples.
  • Align parts to be stitched, following seams, edges, or markings, before positioning them under needles.
  • Turn setscrews on needle bars, and position required numbers of needles in stitching machines.
  • Switch on machines, lower pressure feet or rollers to secure parts, and start machine stitching, using hand, foot, or knee controls.
  • Collect shoe parts from conveyer belts or racks and place them in machinery such as ovens or on molds for dressing, returning them to conveyers or racks to send them to the next work station.
  • Position dies on material in a manner that will obtain the maximum number of parts from each portion of material.
  • Test machinery to ensure proper functioning before beginning production.
  • Operate or tend machines to join, decorate, reinforce, or finish shoes and shoe parts.
  • Draw thread through machine guide slots, needles, and presser feet in preparation for stitching, or load rolls of wire through machine axles.
  • Fill shuttle spools with thread from a machine's bobbin winder by pressing a foot treadle.
  • Load hot-melt plastic rod glue through reactivator axles, using wrenches, and switch on reactivators, setting temperature and timers to heat glue to specifications.
  • Staple sides of shoes, pressing a foot treadle to position and hold each shoe under the feeder of the machine.
  • Select and place spools of thread or pre-wound bobbins into shuttles, or onto spindles or loupers of stitching machines.
  • Hammer loose staples for proper attachment.
  • Turn knobs to adjust stitch length and thread tension.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work 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.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 87% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 93% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 45% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 48% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 28% responded “Never.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 36% responded “Very important.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 61% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 19% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 31% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 37% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 46% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 38% responded “Minor results.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 48% responded “Occasional contact with others.”
  • Time Pressure — 25% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • 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.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

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Knowledge

  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mechanical — 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.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 70%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 25%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required
  • 5%
     
    responded: Some college, no degree requiredmore info

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • 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.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.

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Interests

Interest code: RC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — 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.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Values

  • 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. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — 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.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$13.73 hourly, $28,560 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
5,000 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Decline (-1% or lower)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
400
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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