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Leather craftworker

Alternative titles for this job include Leather worker, saddler

Leather craftworkers make clothes, shoes and accessories from leather, using traditional methods.

Average salary (a year)

£21,000 Starter

to

£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

9am to 5pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Leather craftworker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies

College

You could do a craft design course to learn some of the skills you'll need in this career. Examples include:

  • fashion design
  • fashion and textiles

Check with providers to make sure they offer training in leather as part of their courses. Some providers may also do short courses in leathercrafts.

You could specialise by doing a course in saddlery, if you want to work with suppliers to the horse riding industry.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information

Apprenticeship

You can do an apprenticeship to get into this job, such as:

  • Leather Craftsperson Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Bespoke Saddler Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

These can take around 2 years to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply directly to be taken on as a trainee leather craftworker. Employers may be more interested in your practical ability than formal qualifications, although it'll help if you have GCSEs in subjects like English, art and design, maths, and design and technology.

Other Routes

If you want to work in saddlery and harness making, you can do specialist training through The Society of Master Saddlers.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about working in leathercrafts from UKFT Futures and The Leathersellers' Company.

You can get more information on working in crafts and creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work well with others
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a leather craftworker, you would:

  • design clothing and coverings, and accessories like bags and wallets
  • use patterns to measure and cut pieces of leather
  • stitch pieces of leather together by hand or machine
  • stain, wax and polish products
  • check the quality of finished items

You might also repair items for clients, and market your business if self employed.

Working environment

You could work in a workshop, in a factory or from home.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could:

  • become a workshop supervisor
  • move into training future craftworkers
  • specialise in an area like pattern design, furniture restoration or quality control
  • set up your own business, selling items at craft fairs, trade events and online

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Leather Crafts-person Apprenticeship

  • Wage: Competitive Annually
  • Location: Kings Road, Bridgwater

Courses In England

Bookbinding simple leather binding

  • Provider: THE CITY LITERARY INSTITUTE
  • Start date: 01 May 2025
  • Location: London

Design and Make a Bag (Design and make a leather bag)

  • Provider: Morley College
  • Start date: 09 November 2024
  • Location: London

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