Training as a specialist in leather production and tanning technology (tanner apprenticeship)

Numerous operations and finishing processes are required before high-quality leather can be produced from raw hides or skins. These are carried out by the skilled worker for leather production and tanning technology. The specialist is employed in craft and industrial leather production companies, which include tanneries, leather finishing companies and the field of development in the chemical auxiliaries industry.

Job description

First, the raw hide is soaked in large rotating wooden barrels, dehairing and preparing it for tanning. Then, by treating the hide with tanning substances and dyes, the leather production and tanning specialist transforms it into attractive car and furniture leathers or comfortable shoe and clothing leathers. In the modern domestic leather industry, young people looking for a secure job and excellent opportunities for further training will find a variety of interesting jobs. Skilled workers for leather production and tanning technology are sought-after specialists. They are offered a wide range of tasks and activities, in which their own ideas can be put into practice: when working in the testing departments, controlling the leather quality, as well as when monitoring the individual production processes.

Recruitment requirements

Practical skills, an interest in and understanding of chemical and technical processes, good powers of observation, a sense of responsibility, team spirit and reliability are required. No specific school education is needed. Even with a secondary school diploma, there are numerous opportunities to find an interesting job later on in one of the many production stages.

Duration of training

Three years are the rule in a leather manufacturing company or in a leather technology department in the chemical industry, although apprenticeship periods can be shortened based on good performance. In parallel to training in the company, there are theoretical and practical block courses at the Kerschensteinerschule Reutlingen (KSRT).

Training content (see also KSRT homepage:

  •     Insights into chemical and technical processes
  •     Familiarization with leather production processes
  •     Knowledge of leather assessment and raw materials science
  •     Insights into machine knowledge; handling and maintenance of the dyeing machines and electronics
  •     Basics on occupational safety, environmental protection and economics

Tanner apprenticeship – How does it work?

Does it have a future?

How is leather actually made? Who are the people who make leather? Could this also be a job for me? These and other questions are answered in our info folder “Leather is my job”, which you can download here.

For all trainees, choosing a training company is one of the most important decisions. After all, you will soon be spending quite a few hours there every day and want to learn a lot and get along with your colleagues.

Among our members are training companies that offer apprenticeships in tanning technology and leather production, as well as apprenticeships in other professions.

Click here and have a look.

Further information and references to companies offering apprenticeships can also be obtained directly from the VDL: