What Do Refractory Materials Repairers Do?
Refractory materials repairers are responsible for repairing, maintaining, and creating furnaces, kilns, ovens, boilers, converters, cupolas, ladles, and soaking pits. Refractory materials are any materials that are extremely heat resistant, which means refractory materials repairers are involved in the upkeep or creation of any structure designed around the use of extreme temperatures. Many forget, however, that a key aspect of refractory materials is their wear resistance to use and chemical corrosion, so repairers must frequently work with structures that are focused around this aspect as well.
Refractory Materials Repairers Skills and Abilities
The core skills that refractory materials repairers need to possess are mostly simple. At the core of the job, a sense of production and construction is necessary. Beyond that, a mechanical orientation will benefit workers greatly when working with tools, understanding of public safety allows them to create more effective structures, and design and mathematics skills help them do their job better. Finally, dexterity, precision, strength, flexibility, and steadiness will all benefit a refractory materials repairer.
Refractory Materials Repairers Duties
The specific duties of refractory materials repairers include:
- Reline and repair ladles or pouring spouts by using refractory clay
- Remove linings when beyond repair
- Measure dimensions and cut materials accordingly
- Tighten locknuts
- Climb scaffolding
- Drill holes, bolt overlapping layers, and hammer surfaces
- Spread mortar on stopper heads
- Disassemble molds
- Cut, chip, and smooth clay structures
- Install preformed metal scaffolding
Refractory Materials Repairers Tools and Technology
There are many tools that refractory materials repairers need to be skilled with. The list can include everything from power saws and grinders to backhoes and truck cranes. More commonly, repairers use furnaces to bake clay and ceramic parts. In addition to the tools, professionals in this field also employ use of certain technologies, such as word or spreadsheet processors, data base user interface and query software, and facilities management software.
Education and Training for Refractory Materials Repairers
The level of education that is necessary to work as a refractory materials repairer is not terribly high. 18% of those that are currently working hold a college degree, two thirds of which are an Associate’s degree. Most refractory materials repairers do not have any college experience. 42.6% only hold a high school diploma, while 11% do not hold even that. Together, and in addition to the 28.6% that have some college experience but did not earn a degree, a total of 82% of workers in this field do not have a college degree. You should expect, however, moderate on-the-job training upon being hired.
Refractory Materials Repairers Salary
The range of annual salary for refractory materials repairers is pretty large. The high end is about $60,000 each year, but most repairers start closer to $30,000 annually. On average, professionals of this kind earn a salary of $45,000. Keep in mind that your geographic location will also influence your salary. For example, in Texas, refractory materials repairers earn about $10,000 more annually than in other locations.
Refractory Materials Repairers Jobs by Geography
Information about employment rates by geography is not very extensive. For this reason, it would be wise to do local research before trying to find work as a refractory materials repairer. Most states are reporting that employment rates will stay constant over the coming year, but a few, such as Texas, Tennessee, and Arkansas, are anticipating rates to increase by as much as 30%. The average for the entire nation is set to only increase by 0.4%. Despite the numbers not increasing by very much, very few states are predicting employment rates to decrease. Only Wisconsin is anticipating that, and it is only expected the number of jobs to decrease by 1.8%.