What Do Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners Do?
Tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners are the ones in production that ensure the tools are up to whatever job they are required for. They are responsible for smoothing, sharpening, repairing, grinding, polishing, or any other maintenance that is necessary. It may sound like an unimportant position, but it is vital for others to be able to do their jobs.
Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners Skills and Abilities
The primary skills that are required for tool grinders include manual dexterity, steadiness, precision, accuracy, and efficiency. In addition to these physical skills, it is important that they understand mechanics and engineering. Many complicated machines and tools may be used during work, so tool sharpeners need to be experienced with the standard equipment. Experience in design is also at the core of the work. It is necessary for professionals in this field to understand how the tools are supposed to be shaped on a fundamental level so they are able to return them to their original design. This set of skills includes mathematical and technology knowledge.
Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners Duties
The duties of tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners include:
- Study blueprints or layouts of metal work pieces
- File and polish surfaces of work pieces
- Remove and replace worn or broken machine parts
- Remove finished work pieces from machines
- Dress grinding wheels
- Monitor machine operations
- Fit parts together in preassembly
- Inspect dies for defects and wear
- Duplicate work piece contours
- Straighten work pieces and remove dents
Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners Tools and Technology
To do their jobs, tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners use:
- Digital angle gauges
- Automatic metalworking lathes
- Industrial bench grinders
- Digital and vernier calipers
- Computer numerically controlled grinders, drill grinders, cutter grinders, and tool grinders
- Manufacturing and design software
Education and Training for Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners
Most tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners do not have a high level of education. Only about 10% of professionals that are currently working hold a college degree. Of this population, the majority have only earned an Associate’s degree. The highest level of education that 70% of tool sharpeners have achieved is a high school diploma. Another 16% did not finish their high school education. Despite the low level of education that is necessary, moderate training is provided upon being hired.
Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners Salary
The annual salary that tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners earn depends on their location. On average for the entire nation, these workers earn about $35,000 each year. The top 10% reach about $50,000, while the bottom 10% earns about $20,000. This is a range of about $30,000. In northwest states such as Washington and Oregon, tool sharpeners have seen salaries as high as $90,000. While these states are unusual circumstances, about 15 states have an annual salary for tool grinders above the national average.
Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners Jobs by Geography
The employment rates for tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners are not expected to see significant increase in the coming years. Oregon, Kentucky, North Dakota, and Texas are the only states that are expecting employment rates to increase by 18% or more. There are a small handful of states that are projecting an increase between 10% and 15%, but the majority of states, including Connecticut, Missouri, Mississippi, and Michigan, are only going to increase by 2% to 8%, which is not a very large increase at all. Additionally, a large selection of states is anticipating a decrease in employment rates, up to 10%. Massachusetts is the only state expecting a decrease greater than this. On a national scale, the employment rates are predicted to increase by 0.4% with 250 new jobs each year.