What do Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic Do?
Heat Treating Equipment Setters set up, operate, or tend heating equipment, such as heat-treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, soaking pits, or vacuum equipment to temper, harden, anneal, or heat-treat metal or plastic objects.The job market for this occupation will shrink somewhat over the next several years, with only 420 new positions expected nationwide. Over 30% of these jobs will be found with companies involved in coating, engraving, heat treating and related activities. Other potential employers include manufacturing firms in iron, steel, plastic, and motor vehicle parts.
Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic Skills and Abilities
Workers in this field will spend most of their time tending to and monitoring machines, so expertise in design, use and repair of machines and tools is essential. You will need to be knowledgeable about production processes, quality control and costs, as well as policies and procedures related to safety in the workplace. Operators in the career have knowledge about computers including circuit boards, processors, chips and electronic equipment. They also are familiar with chemistry and chemical processes. Some additional skills Heat Treating Equipment Setters have are:
- Operation Monitoring – Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Operation and Control – Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Problem Sensitivity – The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
- Reaction Time – The ability to quickly respond to a signal.
- Selective Attention – The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic Duties
Heat Treating Equipment Setters set up and operate or tend machines. You will read production schedules and work orders to determine processing sequences, furnace temperatures, and heat cycle requirements. While the machines are in operation, you will adjust controls to maintain temperatures and heating times. You will spend some time instructing new workers on the job. Some other routine duties you can expect are:
- Determine types and temperatures of baths needed to attain specified part hardness
- Load parts into containers and place containers on conveyors to be inserted into furnaces
- Signal forklift operators to deposit or extract containers of parts into and from furnaces and quenching rinse tanks
- Repair, replace, and maintain furnace equipment as needed, using hand tools
- Stamp heat-treatment identification marks on parts, using hammers and punches.
Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic Tools and Technology
Heat Treating Equipment Setters work with a variety of equipment such as air exhausters, blast freezers, heat treating age hardening furnaces, as well as software for data management and record keeping.
Education and Training for Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Heat Treating Equipment Setters generally have a high school diploma or equivalent, although 25% have some college education. You can expect moderate-term on the job training.
Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic Salary
The median salary for Heat Treating Equipment Setters is just over $35,000, with the lowest paid making nearly $23,000 and the top earners receiving over $53,000. The highest paid jobs are in Colorado, Mississippi and Virginia.
Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic Jobs by Geography
Arizona, Utah, South Dakota and Texas will have the most jobs available in the coming years, with growth over 20% for these workers. The South and Northeast will have the weakest job markets.