Top 22 Best Paying Jobs In Shoe Manufacturing in 2023

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Editorial Team

The first step in securing a job in the shoe manufacturing sector is determining your best field. Based on your career of choice, pursue an academic course that can earn you a good role. Even if formal education is mandatory for all positions, it is essential for many careers in this industry. Formal education enables you to get entry-level positions in the shoe manufacturing field and ascend to leadership roles.

After gaining experience and developing more skills, you can apply for higher-paying roles in the industry. Creating a professional network can increase the chance of getting your dream job. Best-paying jobs in this industry vary based on the candidate’s passions, interests, and education level. However, this sector is fast-paced and has challenging but well-paying roles. This article explains the 22 best-paying jobs in this industry. It explains each career, the requirement, and the expected remuneration. 

1. Shoe Designer

The average shoe designer earns approximately $67,487 every year. This means a shoe designer can earn up to $32.44 every hour. Shoe designers are fashion designers that make original footwear. Their primary role is to outline designs, choose materials, and select patterns to make shoes. They provide instructions and procedures to be followed while making the product.  

Although higher education is not mandatory for fashion designers, many candidates take classes to possess a two-year or four-year degree in a relevant field. A strong portfolio of design knowledge is crucial for finding employment. However, you can also gain more experience by working as an assistant designer or an intern.

2. Footwear Developer

Footwear developers undertake market research to find emerging trends in footwear materials and styles. They develop prototype designs to create footwear. They also perform other duties, such as managing each project’s budget, creating new materials for making shoes, etc.

Many employers need footwear developers with a high school diploma. Other employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in footwear design, fashion design, sales, and marketing, or business administration.

Footwear developers earn an average salary of $86500 per year. This translates to $40 per hour. However, this salary may vary based on the candidate’s level of education, company size, location, and years of experience.

3. Cost engineer

This is another well-paying job in the shoe manufacturing industry. An entry-level cost engineer takes home a salary of $ 68,706 while the most experienced position earns $138,00 annually.

A cost engineer’s major role is to project expenses and cost reports for the shoe’s production process. They recognize and mitigate risks that can lead to financial loss during the production process. They also ensure that the shoes meet the intended objectives while staying within the budget.

To become a cost engineer, a candidate should have a bachelor’s degree in business, engineering, statistics, calculus, or a computer-related field. An MBA is an added advantage for cost engineers who want higher salaries and to advance their careers.

4. Manufacturing Manager

Manufacturing managers oversee the production of goods. They ensure that the company produces goods efficiently, depending on the set quality standards. They are also responsible for developing technologies that can improve product quality. They also perform other duties, such as planning, coordinating, and directing all activities in the production process.

To qualify as a manufacturing manager, a candidate should have a minimum of a high school diploma. Some employers prefer a candidate with a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing, engineering, or a related field. To excel in this role, a candidate must have excellent communication and leadership skills.

An entry-level manufacturing manager earns approximately $85,000, while those with experience take home $135,000 annually.

5. Store Manager

This is one of the high-paying jobs in the shoe manufacturing sector. The average store manager gets a salary of $39,262. The most skilled one takes home $67,334 annually. Store managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a store to ensure that all activities run effectively. They motivate sales teams, create business strategies and design promotional materials. They also ensure they satisfy their customers with the company’s service and products.

The minimum entry requirement for this role is a high school diploma. Some employers look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field. A candidate must also have strong customer management or leadership abilities.

6. Social Media Marketing Specialist

Social media specialists create digital content for a business’s social media platforms. They create content on all the company’s social media platforms, including promoting social media campaigns, writing/editing social media posts, and improving customer engagements.

To become a competent social media marketing specialist, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in communication, marketing, journalism, or a relevant field. Many employers prefer candidates with an understanding of social media administration and strategy. Excellent verbal and written communications are essential in this role.

An entry-level social media marketing specialist starts at $37,500 while the most experienced candidate takes home $64,460 every year.

7. Brand Specialist

Brand specialists promote organizations and develop effective brand strategies. Brand specialists manage the reputation of a company, identify potential areas for brand expansion, and ensure brand consistency. They also perform other duties, such as assisting with outreach or promotion efforts, content management, and creating visual strategies.

To qualify for this role, one needs to have a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field. However, some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree. Any marketing role requires excellent knowledge of in-depth market analysis and communication skills. The average brand assistant earns $53,825, while the most experienced position earns $73,696 per year.

8. Merchandising Manager

Merchandising manager is in charge of product management from ordering, receiving shipments, and creating special promotions. They perform duties such as forecasting inventory demands, negotiating with suppliers, and managing the buying process. A career in this field needs a solid understanding of both business and marketing and knowing how to analyze and interpret data.

It’s possible to work as a merchandising manager with a GED or a school diploma. However, many employers prefer a candidate with a bachelor’s degree in economics, marketing, design, or communication. Communications classes add value to merchandise managers.

This job attracts a salary of $112,405 for an average merchandising manager. However, the salary can vary based on the education and experience level of the candidate.

9. Product Manager

Product Managers are key people in every company. They oversee the development and improvement of the company’s products. They also perform duties such as, creating product pricing, determining future requirements, and understanding customers’ requirements. Their primary focus is to define a clear vision that matches with engineering team objectives.

The career path for this role begins by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, or a related course. It’s a role that attracts good payment. A median product manager can earn up to $127,496 per year.

10. Buyer

A buyer’s major role is to purchase equipment, materials, or supplies for a business. They negotiate deals with clients, take an inventory of current products, and research possible item selections. They also perform other roles such as quality assurance, tracking orders, and liaising with management.

Many employers require the buyer to possess at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, or a relevant field. Candidates with an MBA stand an advantageous chance of getting employed by large corporate retailers. To be competitive in the shoe manufacturing industry, a buyer should gain a certified professional in supply management (CPSM).

The role of a buyer is one of the best in the shoe industry. This is because of the high remuneration that comes with it. An average buyer takes home between 64, 935 and 80,272 dollars every year.

11. Visual Merchandiser

Visual merchandisers are crucial to any shoe retail brand. They create attractive content/ displays that maximize daily impacts on the company’s products. They also light, move equipment, and create signage to excite customers before the products get placed on shelves.

To venture into this career, a candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree in interior design, spatial design, retail management, visual communications, or a relevant field. Experience using Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, or any other graphic design tool is necessary.

This role attracts an average salary of $37,893 annually. However, the salary can vary based on the experience, level of education, and skills of the candidate.

12. Sales Associate

Sales associates assist customers during the entire buying process. They greet customers as they usher them into the store and assist them in locating particular products. They also show customers how to use products and ring up their purchases on the point-of-sale register.

This is a good career path for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a business-related field. The right candidate should know the point-of-sale payment systems. It is one of the in-demand and well-paying roles in the shoe manufacturing industry. An entry-level sales associate earns an average salary of $24,375 while the most experienced position takes home $62, 007 every year.

13. Creative Director

Creative directors handle the entire design and implementation of advertisements and marketing initiatives. They create cohesive images that personify the company’s brand identity, including website layouts, logos, and marketing materials.

This job is for a candidate with a bachelor’s degree in fine art, design, advertising, or a related field. Those with MSc/MA increase their chances of getting a job. A candidate needs to have outstanding organizational, leadership, and analytical skills to succeed in this role.

The average creative director earns $106,338. An entry-level position earns $75,000.

14. Customer Care Agent

Customer care agents assist customers with complaints and queries. They do duties such as providing customers with information regarding products, taking orders, and processing returns. 

A good way to venture into this career path is to have a general education degree or a high school diploma. Some employer prefers a candidate with a bachelor’s degree in communication, marketing, business administration, or a related field.

It is a well-paying job in the shoe manufacturing industry. Average customer care takes home between $55000 to $65000.

15. Marketing Specialist

A marketing specialist develops marketing materials for the company. They liaise with the sales department and the entire management to execute marketing strategies. The entry-level marketing specialist earns $35, 998, while the average position makes up to $43,263 per year.

To succeed in this role, a candidate must be proactive, self-motivated, and knowledgeable about current marketing tools. He/she must also have a bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, journalism, or a relevant field. Employers prefer a candidate who is proficient in Microsoft office suite, adobe creative suite, CMS, and CRM software.

16. Product Test Engineer

Test engineers design and implement tests that enhance the functionality and quality of a product. They are in charge of all stages of the testing program, including creating the test parameters, troubleshooting errors, and compiling the final test procedures. To become a product test engineer, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a relevant engineer field.

 Some employers seek candidates who are familiar with testing tools such as selenium, Apache, Test stand, LabVIEW, and eMeter. The average product test engineer pockets approximately $76,363 while the most skilled position earns $97,500 annually.

17. Footwear Authentication Specialist

Footwear authentication specialists verify the authenticity of footwear across major brands. They know the best shoe retailers and are up to date with the footwear industry trends. According to Glassdoor, they earn between $33,280 and $41,600 annually. This salary varies depending on factors such as seniority level, skills, and education level.

To become a footwear authentication specialist, you need to have a minimum of a high school diploma. Some employer prefers a candidate with a bachelor’s degree in business and those who understand footwear.

18. Sales Assistant

A sales assistant manages cash registers, welcomes customers, and responds to their queries. They help customers find anything they need within the store and inform them about the product’s prices.

To become a sales assistant, you need to have a minimum of a high school degree and a basic knowledge of customer service practices. However, some employers seek candidates with a first degree in business administration, marketing, or a related field.

Venturing into this role is easier for candidates with strong interpersonal, communication, and customer service skills. The average salary for a sales assistant is between $38,822 and $49,418 per year.

19. Solution Architect

A solution architect solves complex issues in a company by designing technology architecture. They test the integration of every software before releasing it to function.

To work as a solution architect, you should possess a first degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. To be a successful solution architect, you must also have strong leadership, organizational, and communication skills.

This role attracts high remuneration, especially in the shoe manufacturing industry. The solution architect earns between $45,320 and 206,652 per year. Moreover, the salary of a solution architect varies from company to company. It also depends on the level of skills and experience. Architects working in different regions may also receive varying salaries.

20. Innovation Engineer

An innovation engineer develops concepts and projects that comply with the product innovation, insight, and ideation strategy. Their primary role is investigating emerging technologies and opportunities that boost revenue.

Candidate competent in using design technology, such as specialist test equipment and rapid prototyping, can fit this role. However, employers prefer a candidate who has undertaken an engineering graduate training program.

The average innovation engineer earns approximately $81,547 per year. An entry-level innovation engineer earns $68,756 annually, depending on skills, certifications, experience, and education.

21. Market Researcher

A market researcher analyst determines the position of a company in the marketplace. One of the primary roles of a market research analyst is to promote products and services. These professionals research competition and rival marketing methods as well as gather consumer information.

 To become a market researcher, a candidate should pursue a first degree in market research or a relevant field. To succeed in this role, a market researcher should be an exceptional communicator with excellent critical thinking, IT, and organizational skills.

This is one of the in-demand careers because of the high remuneration attached to it. The average salary that a market researcher earns is $50982 per year.

22. Company Secretary

 A company secretary liaises between the company, shareholders, and customers. They share all information on time, complying with the standards set by the company. A company secretary performs specific duties, such as general administration, corporate governance, filing of accounts, and shareholder communication.

This career is open to all graduates. However, employers prefer a candidate with a first degree in finance, business, accountancy, law, or management. To be successful as a company secretary, a candidate should have strong communication, IT, administration, and organizational skills.

An entry-level company secretary earns approximately $33,150, while an average position takes home $36,39 annually.


The shoe manufacturing industry offers attractive jobs to qualified candidates. However, create an impressive portfolio to outshine other candidates. A strong portfolio will show your strong abilities and success to potential employers. Depending on the career path you wish to pursue, compiling examples of your work can increase the chances of getting employed by the hiring manager.