Discover your career path


Prepare, clean, stretch and color animal hides.

What does a Tanner 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.