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Footwear and Accessories Technologist

A Footwear and Accessories Technologist develops specifications and provides technical input and support to footwear and accessory suppliers and manufacturers. They aim to achieve consistent product quality across production methods, product function, sizing and fit.

What would you do?

A Footwear and Accessories Technologist can be involved in all stages of product development and product manufacture. They have a good understanding of the target market and supply technical specifications to suppliers and manufacturer, troubleshooting where needed, finding solutions and improving efficiencies. They will often analyse returns and ensure items can be produced to budget. In larger firms they work within a team, in smaller firms they may work autonomously.

Day to day tasks include:

  • Product development
  • Product fit reviews and sample sealing
  • Writing and communicating specifications
  • Measuring physical lasts and altering data, (based on fitting)
  • Checking grading data submitted by suppliers
  • Recommending pattern changes to improve fit

Where would you work?

A High Street retailer or a large, medium, or small business manufacturing can employ a footwear and accessories technologist. They are typically office based with access to production sites. They work in a competitive, fast moving environment and are often required to travel both in the UK and overseas.

What would you be paid?

For a typical working week of approx. 39 hours

  • Footwear and accessories technologist starting salary on average is £21,00 to £25,000 per year
  • Experienced Footwear and accessories technologist salary on average is £30,000 to £35,000 per year
  • Senior Footwear and accessories technologist salary on average is £45,000 to £50,000 per year
  • Pay rates vary depending on age, experience, location and the size of the company. Additional benefits may include company discounts, pension and health care. Many companies offer overtime and bonuses in order to meet deadlines.
    Product Technologist Apprenticeships: Employers, by law must pay the government’s apprenticeship minimum wage rate. Research show that many fashion and textiles employers supplement this rate of pay. https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

    Will you need qualifications or training?

    You will typically need a degree or HND in a clothing/fashion technology or related subject. Internal progression for those already working in the industry is also possible, a Level 4 Product Technologist Apprenticeship is available for those wishing to train on the job. www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/fashion-and-textiles-product-technologist

    Degrees and HNDs in garment and product technologist related subjects are widely available. Click here to see all universities offering degrees relevant to this job role. Qualifications and short courses relating to this job role are offered by a number of awarding organisations including ABC Awards, City & Guilds, SQA, Pearson and UAL, for more detail please follow the links.

    What are the career prospects?

    Experience could lead to a Senior Product Technologist role or a move into a specialist area such as ethical trading, quality or colour management systems, or a related career, such as a Buyer, Merchandiser, technical manager or research within a university or similar institution.

    How secure is the future of this career?

    The UKs world-class textiles manufacture base is growing, thriving and continually investing. Sector employment continues to grow steadily from 97,000 in 2011 to 108,000 in 2016, with an added 19,500 self employed and research estimates the creation of 20,000 new jobs by 2020.
    The number of UK textiles & apparel manufacturing businesses has increased annually from 7190 in 2013 to 8075 in 2017 with forecast of further growth.
    Textiles goods exported across the globe continues to grow with export increases recorded at £250M in March 2016 to £273M in March 2017.
    UK Fashion & textiles manufacture covers traditional craft to technical textiles and has a production value of £9.1BN, add the wide fashion sector this increases to £28.1BN sector – 4.7% of the total UK economy.
    For further information go to: www.ukft.org

    Where can you find job vacancies?

    Vacancies are advertised across the UK with concentration in London, the Northwest, West Yorkshire and the Midlands. The job role may be advertised using a different job title such as Garment Technologist. Check out the latest vacancies on the site below:

    Indeed
    Total Jobs
    Reed
    Drapers Jobs

    Product Technologist Apprenticeship vacancies:

    Some apprenticeship vacancies are ‘open to application’. With details on how to apply within the job vacancy details, these can be found on the job sites listed above, Apprenticeship vacancies can also be found via the Find an Apprenticeship’ Service (England). For further information, advise and tips on how to apply for an apprenticeship vacancy see the UCAS

    https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales)

    The websites above are external and the number of job vacancies may vary. Check daily to see new opportunities as they are posted!