How To Become A Footwear Factory Operative

Footwear FactoriOperators or Production Operators ensure that sneakers are manufactured accurately, assuring the quality of each product down the production line.

Career Profile, Salary & Job Outlook —

What does a Footwear Factory Operative do?

Footwear Factory Operatives or Production Operators are front-line manufacturing experts that add value and quality to sneakers, creating high-quality final products. In general, employees in this role have knowledge in a variety of processes from Pre-Fitting to Packing.

How much does an operator make?

According to Recruiter, Operators maintain an hourly wage between $12-17 in 2021. Annually, this hourly wage amounts to $24,960-$35,360, with the range widely depending on factors including education, certifications, additional skills, and seniority level.

What impact does this career have towards the sneaker industry?

Footwear Production Operators ensure that sneakers are manufactured accurately, assuring the quality of each product down the production line. In summary, without their work, designers wouldn’t see their work come to fruition and sneakers wouldn’t be as readily available for the market.

What is the job outlook for a Footwear Factory Operative?

By 2022, there is a projected volume growth of 4.0% in the footwear market. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for assemblers (including Operators) is projected to decline five percent during the 2020-2030 decade since most jobs are outsourced internationally ( Despite the decline in employment, about 174,200 openings exist for assemblers each year.

How to kick-off your career:

  • Research and watch Footwear assembly videos on YouTube.
  • Research sneaker customizers like The Shoe Surgeon for inspiration.
  • Pinpoint your skillset with The Ultimate Sneaker Career Guide.
  • Explore the Sneaker Essentials online course to understand Production & Manufacturing processes.
Kyle Riggle, industry expert with experience in factory operative positions

Learn from:
Kyle Riggle
Sneaker Essentials contributor, Director

Experiences: Shopify, UBIQ, YEEZY, Garrixon, SNIPES, The Shoe Surgeon

Related Careers:

Machine Operator | Quality Control Specialist | Sample Coordinator

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