Machine Inker

Tend machines that apply ink or stain to shoe soles or heels.
picture of Machine Inker

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$18,000 – $49,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Machine Inkers do?

Tends machine that applies ink or stain to color edges of shoe soles or heels, by any of following methods: Inserts and guides outsole or midsole between pressure roller and ink-covered rollers of machine. Depresses pedal that separates feed rollers; releases pedal that closes and starts rollers that hold and turn sole edge against inked wheel. Positions and guides soles under machine nozzle that applies ink or stain to edge of attached outsole. Positions heel against machine guide and turns heel against revolving brush that applies ink to heel edge. May be designated according to part colored as Heel-Edge Inker, Machine; Sole-Edge Inker, Machine.


Should I be a Machine Inker?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Heel-Edge Inker, Machine, Inker, Machine, Sole-Edge Inker, Machine

    How to become a Machine Inker

    Machine Inkers generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Machine Inker-related education!
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