The fourth largest export industry in India, leather technology has opened several job opportunities for young aspirants. Discover the career options, education and courses for leather technologists in India and abroad.

Careers in Leather Technology

There was a time when entering the leather industry did not require candidates with any formal training in leather designing or processing. Obtaining knowledge and experience while working under professionals and established shoemakers was sufficient to excel in this field and earn the required name and fame. But gone are those days when shoemaking was considered to be a job of the poor to earn their living. The increasing trends and sense of fashion has burgeoned the demands for brands and best of the products to new heights. Every fashion enthusiast desires to step his/her feet into a well-crafted, knitted, and stylish pair of footwear. With this constant rise in the import and export of leather products, the industry has raised the need for gaining formal training in leather technology.

Right from footwear to belts, luggage to jackets, upholstery to musical instruments, garment tags to purses, leather has surpassed the traditional forms of just footwear and bags. These changing trends have boosted the job opportunities for designers in leather technology. This creative branch of engineering deals with producing, synthesizing, designing, and refining leather so as to put it into the most efficient use. The more attractive and money-making leather technology seems like, the more tiresome is its preparation. The messy and harsh training often results in many aspirants quitting mid-way and taking up alternative studies. Even though it is less glamorous, but the hectic training does provide the successful candidates with lucrative job offers in established and top-notch companies and export houses.

Course Details
Leather designing and technology can be pursued at various study levels. Depending upon the type of course one wants to take up, candidates have to fulfill different eligibility criteria. Leather technology is offered at degree, diploma, and certificate levels, on part-time and full-time basis. Aspiring leather technologists can seek admission in 4-year B.Tech/BE courses. To be eligible for these programs, one must clear 10+2 examination, or its equivalent, and qualify the IIT-JEE, AIEEE, or other state entrance exams for admission. On successfully completing the B.Tech/BE course, one can either look for job offers in the industry, or pursue higher studies at Masterís level through 2-year M.Tech programs in leather technology. Besides the regular degree courses, various institutes offer diploma and certificate courses as well. To improve the chances of getting better job opportunities and enhance oneís skills, these diploma and certificate courses prove highly beneficial. Apart from acquiring the basic skills of leather technology, one should be dedicated, committed, and hardworking to excel in this industry. Moreover, possessing a creative mind with fresh ideas and concepts is the major key for flourishing as a leather designer.

Career Prospects
Leather technologists are poured with umpteen opportunities to choose from. As such, finding a lucrative job and suitable post in the leather industry will not be a problem. One needs to create and develop new and up-to-date patterns, while keeping the latest trends in mind. With a good academic record, coupled with ample training, a fresh graduate from a leading institution can be offered managerial positions in leather firms, export houses, and government organizations. Footwear, leather garments, and leather products industries are the major sectors to seek employment. One can obtain training in pattern making, cutting, designing, etc. and become a technical designer or update himself/herself on products in fashion and style to venture as a stylist designer. Leather garment production houses and boutiques, too, are in need of such innovative professionals. Experienced professionals can explore opportunities in leather and allied industries in production, quality control, research, management, and marketing, not just in India but worldwide as well.

Top Colleges Offering UG/PG/Other Courses
Despite being the fourth largest export industry, India is unfortunate to have many institutes offering courses in leather technology. However, it is home to a few esteemed universities and institutes that conduct and train budding leather technologists to their best. The major institutes include: Government College of Engineering & Leather Technology (GCELT), Kolkata; Karnataka Institute of Leather Technology (KILT), Bangalore; Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai; Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Kanpur; Bharath Institute of Higher Education and Research (BIHER), Chennai; Dr. BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar; Muzaffarpur Institute of Technology, Muzaffarpur, Bihar; Government Leather Institute, Kanpur; Rajasthan Institute of Leather Technology, Tonk; National Institute of Technology (NIFT) at New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Gandhinagar; and West Bengal University of Technology (WBUT), Kolkata.

Individuals with a passion in the leather industry can expect attractive pay packets, since this industry is completely dominated by the private sector. Depending upon the type of course one has pursued and the size of the organization that is hiring, freshers can be offered varying levels of salary. A young leather technologist can be paid a starting pay package of Rs. 10,000 per month. Growth in this industry is highly performance driven and requires a great deal of creative and technical skills and hard work to rise. Big multinational houses hire leather technologists at mouth-watering salaries compared to domestic and small companies. On venturing into entrepreneurship, one can make endless profits and returns, largely depending upon the size and nature of the business.

Related Courses
• B Tech (Leather Technology)
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