Prepare, clean, stretch and color animal hides.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$18,000 – $35,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Tanners do?

The job of a Tanner involves making leather from the hides of animals, so Animal Rights Activists need not apply. To be a successful Tanner, you definitely can’t be squeamish about things like removing animal hair and excess fat, as these will be regular parts of your daily routine. If you love working with your hands, have a keen eye for detail, and can thrive in a factory setting, this could be your dream position.

Tanners typically work indoors in a large factory, and use chemicals and machinery to transform animal hide into the luxurious leather that will eventually be turned into chic handbags, shoes, or items of clothing. As a Tanner, you’ll most likely handle the animal hide from start to finish, which involves removing excess fat and hair, drying it out, stretching it, smoothing it, and possibly applying chemicals to alter the color.

Safety is a priority if you’re a Tanner, since you come in contact with multiple chemicals and heavy machinery on a daily basis. Mental alertness and an eye for precision and detail are beneficial as well.

There’s opportunity for advancement within the tanning industry because once you master the basics, you can get a specialized tanning job making custom leather products. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you can even take your expertise and open your own leather shop one day, and create custom leather goods or simply sell the leather to companies.

Should I be a Tanner?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Bark Tanner, Leather Tanner, Quebracho Tanner, Retanner, Skin Tanner, Tanyard Worker, Whitener

    How to become a Tanner

    Most Tanners have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Bachelor's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9aaiae&chl=no+college+%2883%25%29|||bachelor%27s+%2811%25%29||doctorate+%286%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,83,83
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