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Potters, Manufacturing
SOC Code: 51-9195.05

Operate production machines such as pug mill, jigger machine, or potter's wheel to process clay in manufacture of ceramic, pottery and stoneware products.

Sample of reported job titles: Clay Mixer, Glazer, Jigger Artisan, Jigger Machine Operator, Potter, Production Potter

Tasks

  • Press thumbs into centers of revolving clay to form hollows, and press on the inside and outside of emerging clay cylinders with hands and fingers, gradually raising and shaping clay to desired forms and sizes.
  • Adjust wheel speeds according to the feel of the clay as pieces enlarge and walls become thinner.
  • Mix and apply glazes, and load glazed pieces into kilns for firing.
  • Position balls of clay in centers of potters' wheels, and start motors or pump treadles with feet to revolve wheels.
  • Raise and shape clay into wares such as vases and pitchers, on revolving wheels, using hands, fingers, and thumbs.
  • Prepare work for sale or exhibition, and maintain relationships with retail, pottery, art, and resource networks that can facilitate sale or exhibition of work.
  • Smooth surfaces of finished pieces, using rubber scrapers and wet sponges.
  • Design clay forms and molds, and decorations for forms.
  • Move pieces from wheels so that they can dry.
  • Pull wires through bases of articles and wheels to separate finished pieces.
  • Examine finished ware for defects and measure dimensions, using rule and thickness gauge.
  • Perform test-fires of pottery to determine how to achieve specific colors and textures.
  • Maintain supplies of tools, equipment, and materials, and order additional supplies as needed.
  • Verify accuracy of shapes and sizes of objects, using calipers and templates.
  • Operate drying chambers to dry or finish molded ceramic ware.
  • Start machine units and conveyors and observe lights and gauges on panel board to verify operational efficiency.
  • Adjust pressures, temperatures, and trimming tool settings as required.
  • Operate pug mills to blend and extrude clay.
  • Operate jigger machines to form ceramic ware, such as bowls, cups, plates, and saucers.

Technology Skills

  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Inventory management software - Inventory control software
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel

Tools Used

  • Air compressors
  • Air exhausters - Air cleaners
  • Bench scales - Digital scales
  • Calipers - Dial calipers
  • Clay or modeling tools - Clay cutters; Slab rollers; Slip trail applicators; Texturing brushes (see all 15 examples)
  • Conveyor feeders - Conveyor feeding systems
  • Drying cabinets or ovens - Drying ovens
  • Extruders for modeling materials - Clay extruders; Clay presses
  • Hand sprayers - Handheld sprayers
  • Kilns for firing ceramics - Ceramics kilns; Electric kilns; Gas kilns
  • Laboratory mills - Ball mills
  • Masks or accessories - Dust masks
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Oxygen sensors - Oxyprobes
  • Paint application system - Spray booths
  • Personal computers
  • Potters wheels for hand made ceramics - Banding wheels; Kick wheels; Portable pottery wheels; Pottery wheels
  • Power grinders - Grinding wheels
  • Protective gloves - Insulated gloves; Kiln gloves
  • Pull spring balances - Spring scales
  • Pyrometers
  • Rulers - Precision rulers
  • Safety glasses - Kiln glasses
  • Scribers - Scoring tools
  • Templates - Layout templates
  • Thickness measuring devices - Thickness gauges
  • Tile cutter - Tile cutters
  • Tongs - Dipping tongs; Raku tongs
  • Triple beam balances

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.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • 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.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Skills

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Abilities

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • 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.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • 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.
  • Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Interests

  • Interest code: RA
    • 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.
    • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Context

  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 90% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 86% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 78% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 43% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 36% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 31% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 50% responded “About half the time.”
  • Telephone - 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 38% responded “Very important results.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 45% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 44% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 29% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 25% responded “Extremely important.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
24%High school diploma or equivalent
20%Associate's degree
17%Bachelor's degree

Work Styles

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

Work Values

  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • 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.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $15.36 hourly, $31,950 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 43,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 4,200

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