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Etchers and Engravers
SOC Code: 51-9194.00

Engrave or etch metal, wood, rubber, or other materials. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers.

Sample of reported job titles: Acid Etch Operator, Award Machine Operator, Chemical Engraver, Electronic Engraver, Engraver, Etcher, Laser Engraver, Photo Engraver, Screen Making Technician, Wet Process Technician

Tasks

  • Inspect etched work for depth of etching, uniformity, and defects, using calibrated microscopes, gauges, fingers, or magnifying lenses.
  • Examine sketches, diagrams, samples, blueprints, or photographs to decide how designs are to be etched, cut, or engraved onto workpieces.
  • Clean and polish engraved areas.
  • Prepare workpieces for etching or engraving by cutting, sanding, cleaning, polishing, or treating them with wax, acid resist, lime, etching powder, or light-sensitive enamel.
  • Engrave and print patterns, designs, etchings, trademarks, or lettering onto flat or curved surfaces of a wide variety of metal, glass, plastic, or paper items, using hand tools or hand-held power tools.
  • Prepare etching chemicals according to formulas, diluting acid with water to obtain solutions of specified concentration.
  • Use computer software to design patterns for engraving.
  • Expose workpieces to acid to develop etch patterns such as designs, lettering, or figures.
  • Adjust depths and sizes of cuts by adjusting heights of worktables, or by adjusting machine-arm gauges.
  • Cut outlines of impressions with gravers, and remove excess material with knives.
  • Measure and compute dimensions of lettering, designs, or patterns to be engraved.
  • Neutralize workpieces to remove acid, wax, or enamel, using water, solvents, brushes, or specialized machines.
  • Examine engraving for quality of cut, burrs, rough spots, and irregular or incomplete engraving.
  • Transfer image to workpiece, using contact printer, pantograph stylus, silkscreen printing device, or stamp pad.
  • Set reduction scales to attain specified sizes of reproduction on workpieces, and set pantograph controls for required heights, depths, and widths of cuts.
  • Print proofs or examine designs to verify accuracy of engraving, and rework engraving as required.
  • Position and clamp workpieces, plates, or rollers in holding fixtures.
  • Remove wax or tape from etched glassware by using a stylus or knife, or by immersing ware in hot water.
  • Guide stylus over template, causing cutting tool to duplicate design or letters on workpiece.
  • Start machines and lower cutting tools to beginning points on patterns.
  • Determine machine settings, and move bars or levers to reproduce designs on rollers or plates.
  • Remove completed workpieces and place them in trays.
  • Insert cutting tools or bits into machines and secure them with wrenches.
  • Sandblast exposed areas of glass to cut designs in surfaces, using spray guns.
  • Sketch, trace, or scribe layout lines and designs on workpieces, plates, dies, or rollers, using compasses, scribers, gravers, or pencils.
  • Fill etched characters with opaque paste to improve readability.
  • Brush or wipe acid over engraving to darken or highlight inscriptions.
  • Select and insert required templates into pattern frames beneath the stylus of a machine cutting tool or router.

Technology Skills

  • Computer aided design CAD and computer aided manufacturing CAM system - Computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing CAD/CAM engraving software
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software - Delcam ArtCAM Express; Gravograph GravoStyle; Western Engravers Supply Vision EXPERT
  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Operating system software - Microsoft Windows

Tools Used

  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Applicator brushes
  • Arbors - Hand arbors
  • Bench grinder - Bench grinders
  • Bench vises
  • Binocular light compound microscopes - Binocular benchtop microscopes
  • Burnisher - Burnishing tools
  • Coating machines - Whirler machines
  • Cold chisels - Flat cold chisels
  • Compasses - Drafting compasses
  • Cross and straight pein hammer - Chasing hammers
  • Drill press or radial drill - Benchtop drill presses
  • Engravers - Gravers
  • Grinding or polishing machines - Polishing machines
  • Horizontal turning center - Engraving lathes
  • Ink or stamp pads - Stamp pads
  • Magnifiers - Magnifying lenses
  • Magnifying lamp - Magnifying lamps
  • Metal engraving machine - Automatic feeding eyelet machines; Laser engraving systems; Pantograph engraving machines; Rotary engraving machines (see all 5 examples)
  • Paint systems ovens - Curing ovens
  • Personal computers
  • Power routers
  • Precision file - Precision file sets
  • Printed circuit board making system - Reduction cameras
  • Rulers - Precision rulers
  • Safety glasses - Protective glasses
  • Scribers - Scriber markers
  • Semiconductor process systems - Contact printers
  • Shears - Sheet metal shears
  • Shot blasting machine - Sandblasting spray guns
  • Silk screen printing machines - Silkscreen printing devices
  • Ultraviolet UV lamps
  • Utility knives
  • Work benches - Work tables

Knowledge

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Skills

  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Abilities

  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Interests

  • Interest code: RC
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 59% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 56% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 51% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 51% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Telephone - 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 45% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 43% responded “Occasional contact with others.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 31% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 37% responded “Very important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 30% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Electronic Mail - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 41% responded “40 hours.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error - 59% responded “Serious.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 22% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 40% responded “Less than half the time.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
54%High school diploma or equivalent
33%Less than high school diploma
13%Associate's degree

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $14.85 hourly, $30,890 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 11,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Little or no change (-1% to 1%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 1,300

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