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Furnace, Kiln, Oven, Drier, and Kettle Operators and Tenders
SOC Code: 51-9051.00

Operate or tend heating equipment other than basic metal, plastic, or food processing equipment. Includes activities, such as annealing glass, drying lumber, curing rubber, removing moisture from materials, or boiling soap.

Sample of reported job titles: Annealing Operator, Control Room Operator, Dry Kiln Operator, Dryer Feeder, Evaporator Operator, Furnace Operator, Kiln Fireman, Kiln Operator, Lime Kiln and Recausticizing Operator, Oven Operator

Tasks

  • Monitor equipment operation, gauges, and panel lights to detect deviations from standards.
  • Confer with supervisors or other equipment operators to report equipment malfunctions or to resolve production problems.
  • Press and adjust controls to activate, set, and regulate equipment according to specifications.
  • Record gauge readings, test results, and shift production in log books.
  • Read and interpret work orders and instructions to determine work assignments, process specifications, and production schedules.
  • Examine or test samples of processed substances, or collect samples for laboratory testing, to ensure conformance to specifications.
  • Transport materials and products to and from work areas, manually or using carts, handtrucks, or hoists.
  • Stop equipment and clear blockages or jams, using fingers, wire, or hand tools.
  • Load equipment receptacles or conveyors with material to be processed, by hand or using hoists.
  • Remove products from equipment, manually or using hoists, and prepare them for storage, shipment, or additional processing.
  • Calculate amounts of materials to be loaded into furnaces, adjusting amounts as necessary for specific conditions.
  • Melt or refine metal before casting, calculating required temperatures, and observe metal color, adjusting controls as necessary to maintain required temperatures.
  • Weigh or measure specified amounts of ingredients or materials for processing, using devices such as scales and calipers.
  • Direct crane operators and crew members to load vessels with materials to be processed.
  • Feed fuel, such as coal and coke, into fireboxes or onto conveyors, and remove ashes from furnaces, using shovels and buckets.
  • Replace worn or defective equipment parts, using hand tools.
  • Clean, lubricate, and adjust equipment, using scrapers, solvents, air hoses, oil, and hand tools.
  • Sprinkle chemicals on the surface of molten metal to bring impurities to surface and remove impurities, using strainers.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software
  • Industrial control software - Machine operation software
  • Inventory management software - Inventory tracking software
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Air dryers - Industrial air dryers
  • Analytical balances - Self-calculating balances
  • Basket strainer - Basket strainers
  • Belt conveyors - Conveyor belts
  • Bench scales - Digital bench scales
  • Calipers - Digital calipers
  • Carts - Moving carts
  • Cleaning scrapers
  • Core drying ovens - Hot air core drying ovens
  • Drying cabinets or ovens - Drying ovens
  • Electric furnace - Industrial production electric furnaces
  • Electronic toploading balances - Electronic top-loading balances
  • Forced air heating system - Continuous baking furnaces
  • Forklifts - Wheeled forklifts
  • Hand trucks or accessories - Handtrucks
  • Hoists - Electric hoists
  • Hygrometers - Digital hygrometers
  • Kilns for firing ceramics - Glass kilns
  • Micrometers - Digital micrometers
  • Moisture meters - Dielectric power loss moisture meters; Electric moisture meters; Resistance moisture meters
  • Natural gas powered boilers
  • Paint systems ovens - Curing ovens
  • Power saws - Portable saws; Radial arm saws; Swing saws; Table saws
  • Pyrometers - Optical pyrometers
  • Shovels - Material shovels
  • Skid steer loaders - Skid steers
  • Surface thermometers - High-heat digital thermometers
  • Track cranes - Tracked overhead cranes
  • Triple beam balances

Knowledge

  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Skills

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • 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.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Abilities

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • 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).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.

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

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 82% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 57% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error - 60% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 39% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 47% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 40% responded “Very important results.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 44% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 66% responded “40 hours.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 32% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Contact With Others - 41% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 56% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 32% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 43% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 41% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 31% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 30% responded “Important.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 25% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 32% responded “Less than half the time.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
56%High school diploma or equivalent
21%Less than high school diploma
16%Post-secondary certificate

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • 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.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

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)
    • $18.07 hourly, $37,580 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 22,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 2,000

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