Leather Technologist

Job Description:

Leather technologists prepare, treat and finish leather to make it ready for manufacturing.

Job Category:

What you will do:

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • remove hair and tissue to prepare the leather
  • use salt, chemicals and natural extracts to clean, tan and preserve the hides
  • colour and dry the leather
  • apply finishes to hide flaws and add waterproof coatings
  • research, test and sample chemicals and dye products in the laboratory
  • monitor waste and by-products
  • write up research and operational reports
  • quality control the leather before it’s sent to the manufacturers


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition/drive)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • observation and recording skills
  • physical skills like strength and coordination
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Leather Technologist, you will typically need a combination of formal education and hands-on training. While specific requirements may vary depending on the educational institution and program, here are some general guidelines for relevant subjects:

  1. Science Subjects: Leather technology often involves chemistry and biology, so subjects like Chemistry and Biology can be beneficial. They provide a strong foundation in understanding the chemical and biological processes related to leather production and treatment.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are essential for various aspects of leather technology, including measurements, calculations, and quality control.
  3. Design and Technology: This subject can provide you with practical skills related to working with materials and manufacturing processes, which are applicable to leather technology.
  4. Physics: Understanding the physical properties of materials, including leather, can be valuable in leather technology.
  5. English Language: Good communication skills, including reading, writing, and speaking, are important in this field for documentation, reports, and communication with colleagues and clients.
  6. Business Studies or Economics: If you plan to work in a managerial or business aspect of leather technology, these subjects can be helpful for understanding business operations, management, and economics.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

You could do a degree in:

  • leather technology
  • fashion and design technology
  • garment technology

You could also do a postgraduate course in leather technology at university. You’ll need experience in the industry or a relevant first degree to apply.

You could do a Diploma in Apparel, Footwear or Leather Production.

You could do a leather craftsperson intermediate apprenticeship or a fashion and textiles product technologist higher apprenticeship.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could work in an office, in a laboratory, in a factory or in a workshop.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could move into related jobs like production manager, company chemist, buyer or technical salesperson.

You could move into other jobs in quality control, research or technical management. You could also move into related areas such as buying, sales or marketing.

You could set up your own research or consultancy business and work freelance for retail firms and leather companies.