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Precious Metal Workers
SOC Code: 51-9071.07

Cast, anneal, solder, hammer, or shape gold, silver, pewter or other metals to form jewelry or other metal items such as goblets or candlesticks.

Sample of reported job titles: Artist, Bench Mechanic, Caster, Fabricator, Goldsmith, Pewterer, Platinum Smith, Restoration Silversmith, Silversmith

Tasks

  • Cut and file pieces of jewelry such as rings, brooches, bracelets, and lockets.
  • Solder parts together or fill holes and cracks with metal solder, using gas torches.
  • Polish articles by hand or by using a polishing wheel.
  • Pierce and cut open designs in ornamentation, using hand drills and scroll saws.
  • Position and align auxiliary parts in jigs and join parts, using solder and blowtorches.
  • Examine articles to determine the nature of defects requiring repair, such as dents, uneven bottoms, scratches, or holes.
  • Shape and straighten damaged or twisted articles by hand or using pliers.
  • Anneal precious metal objects such as coffeepots, tea sets, and trays in gas ovens for prescribed times to soften metal for reworking.
  • Rotate molds to distribute alloys and to prevent formation of air pockets.
  • Weigh and mix alloy ingredients, using formulas and knowledge of ingredients' chemical properties.
  • Carry castings or finished items to storage areas or to different work stations.
  • Heat ingots or alloy mixtures to specified temperatures, stir mixtures, skim off impurities, and fill molds to form ingots from which parts are cast.
  • Design and fabricate models of new casting molds, and chipping and turning tools used to finish product surfaces.
  • Rout out locations where parts are to be joined to items, using routing machines.
  • Determine placement of auxiliary parts, such as handles and spouts, and mark locations of parts.
  • Form concavities in bottoms of articles to improve stability, using tracing punches and hammers.
  • Weigh completed items to determine weights and record any deviations.
  • Design silver articles, such as jewelry and serving pieces.
  • Peen edges of scratches or holes to repair defects, using peening hammers.
  • Secure molded items in chucks of lathes, and activate lathes to finish inner and outer surfaces of items.
  • Research reference materials, analyze production data, and consult with interested parties to develop ideas for new products.
  • Position articles over snarling tools and raise design areas, using foot-powered hammers.
  • Trim gates and sharp points from cast parts, using band saws.
  • Verify that bottom edges of articles are level, using straightedges or by rocking them back and forth on flat surfaces.
  • Engrave decorative lines on items, using engraving tools.
  • Sand interior mold parts to remove glaze residue, apply new glaze to molds, and allow it to dry for mold assembly.
  • Strike articles with small tools, or punch them with hammers, to indent them or restore embossing.
  • Wire parts such as legs, spouts, and handles to article bodies in preparation for soldering.
  • Hammer out dents and bulges, selecting and using hammers and dollies with heads that correspond in curvature to article surfaces.
  • Assemble molds, wrap molds in heat-resistant cloth, and ladle molten alloy into mold openings, repeating casting processes as necessary to produce specified numbers of parts.
  • Strike molds to separate dried castings from molds.

Technology Skills

  • Computer aided design CAD software - Metal designing software
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Anvils - Double horn anvils; Flat horn anvils; Hex anvils
  • Automatic lathe or chucking machine - Automatic lathes
  • Ball peen hammer - Ball peen hammers; Peening hammers
  • Bench vises - Adjustable bench vises
  • Blow torch - Gas torches
  • Burnisher - Burnishers
  • Calipers - Digital calipers
  • Curved nose pliers - Bent chain nose pliers
  • Dapping punches - Dapping cutters
  • Diagonal cut pliers - Flush cutters
  • Drop hammer forging machine - Foot-powered hammers
  • End cut pliers - Sidecutters
  • Engravers - Engraving tools
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Hammers - Dead-blow hammers; Planishing hammers; Riveting hammers; Silversmiths' hammers (see all 5 examples)
  • Hand clamps - Ring clamps
  • Hand or push drill - Hand drills
  • Jewel appraising tester - Stone gauges
  • Jeweler scissors - Jewelers shears
  • Jewellers pliers - Jewelers' chain-nose pliers; Ring bending pliers; Ring shank pliers; Split ring pliers (see all 9 examples)
  • Jewelry mandrels
  • Loupes - Jewelers' loupes
  • Magnifiers - Binocular magnifiers
  • Mallets - Plastic mallets
  • Metal testing instruments - Gold testers
  • Power buffers - Polishing wheels
  • Power grinders - Flex shaft machines
  • Power routers - Routing machines
  • Power saws - Jeweler's saws; Mini band saws
  • Power scissors - Disc cutters
  • Precision file - Precision files
  • Precision screwdriver - Jewelers screwdrivers
  • Punches or nail sets or drifts - Tracing punches
  • Punching pliers - Hole punching pliers
  • Round nose pliers
  • Rulers - Precision rulers
  • Stamping dies or punches - Stamping dies
  • Straight edges - Straightedges
  • Tongs - Crucible tongs; Draw tongs; Flask tongs
  • Tumblers or polishers - Rotary tumblers; Vibratory tumblers
  • Tweezers - Diamond tweezers; Head and shank tweezers; Locking tweezers; Soldering tweezers
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire gauge - Bur gauges; Wire gauges
  • Wire mills - Rolling mills

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.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.

Skills

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • 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).
  • 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.

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

  • Exposed to Contaminants - 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 51% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 71% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 60% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure - 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 46% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 36% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 39% responded “Very important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 31% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others - 38% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Physical Proximity - 55% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Telephone - 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 35% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 32% responded “Moderate results.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 50% responded “40 hours.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error - 35% responded “Very serious.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 28% responded “Extremely important.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
35%High school diploma or equivalent
28%Post-secondary certificate
20%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • 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.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $18.25 hourly, $37,960 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 38,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 3,500

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