How much do leather craftsmen make?

Leatherworking is a worthwhile hobby that saves you more money because you can make your own goods especially for you. It can also be a good potential source of income for you once your friends and family take notice of your personalized items and ask you where you bought them. You can sell it to them and earn more profit in the process. Not only are you enjoying your hobby but also earning money out of your passion and talent.

How much do leather craftsmen make? Yearly, leather craftsmen earn from $27,000-34,000, depending on their respective areas of industry. An average leatherworker who specializes in personal and household items earn at least $27,700 a year, while shoe store craftsmen earn $7,000 more.

This article discusses how much money leather craftsmen make in general. We will also discuss the job description of a leather craftsman. These include its duties, responsibilities, and expectations. It will also include the requirements on how to be a decent leather craftsman. Lastly, we will also discuss the pros and cons of taking up leatherworking as a source of income. After reading this article, you will be able to determine if leatherworking is a profitable career for you.

Annual Income of an Average Leather Craftsman

Earn A Lot As You Become More Experiences

As it is normal in a lot of skills-based jobs, earning a lot comes from having more experience. Having more experience means having better experience, which translates into better quality of products and services that you offer to your customers, which earns you bragging rights for you to increase your charges, and eventually means more money to justify the quality of your skills from your products and services. Experience is your business card here in leatherworking, so to speak.

Salaries range depending on your area of expertise, but an average leatherworker focusing on personal and household goods earn at least $27,250 a year. Meanwhile, leather workers in shoe stores earn the most ($34,700 a year).

Can Be A Lucrative Business For You

Fashion never dies, as people are always in need of something to wear. People need to cover their bodies as a necessity, so there is and will be always a need for clothing. Fashion contributes a lot to the leatherworking industry as more clothing articles made of leather are being produced.

Bags, coats, wallets, luggage, hats, and other articles of clothing serve as a big contributor in the leatherworking industry. Famous fashion houses like Gucci, Hermes, and Prada produce high fashion luggage and clothing that can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars apiece. These designers produce tens and hundreds of new designs each year, which its expansive clientele buys a lot of it every single year.

Everything Depends on The Quality

For you to earn more in leatherworking, quality is the prime factor for success. You need to focus more on honing your craft and you will earn more experience, acquire more skills, gain more confidence, and create more products and provide more services to your customers.

Artisanal businesses are on the rise these days, as more and more people are into supporting small-scale and local businesses. Some high quality products and services come from these businesses so you really get more than what you pay for. Having good customer communication, devotion to honing your skills, and focus and time management are also important factors that will come into play as well.

Job Description of a Leather Craftsman

Main Priority: Repair and Production of Leather Goods

As the name implies, leather craftsmen focus more on creating leather goods as well as repair of said leather goods. It also includes dressing and finishing the items into the desired appearance, especially in shoes. Leatherworking has a wide range, which includes handbags, footwear, auto upholstery, luggage, personal accessories, furniture upholstery, and so on.

Most leather craftsmen focus on one or a few particular types of items to ensure producing high quality items and leather goods with longer vitality and longevity in the long run. Most leather craftsmen start leatherworking as a hobby, then evolving to a part-time job or a side gig, and some eventually turn it into a full-time business.

They can also be called leatherworkers, leathersmiths, leathercrafters, and leather craftspersons. Some might prefer a specific term over the others but they all have the same meaning, so you do not have to worry about calling them wrong names.

Duties And Responsibilities of a Leather Craftsman

A day in a leather craftsman typically starts in a workshop creating goods that they have specialized into. If a leather craftsman has specialized in doing bags and other luggage, he might start his day by starting to finish on his previous projects. Most leather craftsmen work in their houses, primarily in the garage or workshop installed at home. Some work in larger shops and factories, some also work on their own as independent craftsmen.

Some of the duties and responsibilities mainly include: constructing and decorating leather products, and repairing and fixing tears and damages incurred by the leather products due to different factors.

Other tasks include: estimating costs of required materials, tools, and their labor services especially if they are seeing it as a main job, and receiving and collecting payment from the customers, depending on the scale of the project and terms and conditions agreed upon by the customer and the leather craftsman.

Requirements on How to be a Decent Leather Craftsman

If you are worrying about having to enroll in a college or university to get a degree in leatherworking, well there is absolutely no need to do that. Being a leather craftsman requires no bachelor’s degree. Most leatherworkers have a high school diploma at the least.

Being self taught is a major way on how to be a leatherworker. To do that, you have to start by purchasing a few basic tools, learning by putting together some basic leather project kits, starting smaller then gradually increasing the level of difficulty until they master the basic skills such as cutting, sewing, and stitching, down to the more intricate skills such as stamping, wetting the leather, and dyeing.

It also helps to watch online videos and tutorials from experts. Assembling projects with friends and colleagues is also a good idea. Leatherworking allows you to explore and learn at your own pace. Online classes are also offered for a more in depth study about leatherworking, as well as offline and in person classes, where you can get a certificate as a certified leatherworker. This puts you at an advantage since more people would trust your skills because of your certification.

Apprenticeship to the local leather workers is another great idea since it gives you hands-on experience to the basics of the trade. Other factors include: time, finances, personal preferences, and how deep your interest in leatherworking can be.

Pros And Cons: Leather Craftsman as a Career

Pro: Gives You Full Income To Yourself

Good news for you: you get to earn everything all by yourself. The whole income from this career is only for you since you do not have a boss or a partner to share profits with. It gives you control in pricing the products and services you provide as well.

The more high quality your outputs are, the more eligible you are in charging higher prices for your products and services. People will be patrons and you will soon have a huge following, which means more money all for yourself. Remember that word of mouth and testimonies are still very important ways of creating a trusted clientele of your products and services.

Pro: Requires No Major Degrees or Buying Complicated Tools

Leatherworking does not require you to finish a bachelor’s degree or anything to start in this career. However, you have to be heavily reliant on your experience and craftsmanship in general. Also, it does not require you to buy huge machines and complicated, expensive tools and materials to start with. You can start by doing simple repairs with a few basic leatherworking tools, then you can progress into creating products of your own thanks to your acquired skills.

Con: Not An Easy Source Of Income

Do not rely on leatherworking if you have zero to little skills and work experience in leatherworking. You have to build trust with your customers and that takes time, a lot of time. You can have it as a part-time job or a side gig until you acquire the needed skills that you need to be able to produce things on your own.

In addition, leather as a material can also be pricey so it might hurt your pockets without really receiving the expected profit in your time frame. You have to be diligent in using leather so that you will not run out of material while you are still trying to break even in the first place.


Leatherworking is a promising career, but you need to have a lot of experience and skills acquired to maximize the profitability of this as a business or as a job for you. You must have adequate skills to be able to be successful in this industry, and to do that, you need to exert a lot of effort, time, and focus into honing your craft. You have to remember that you can earn a lot if you know a lot.

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