Etchers and Engravers

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Also known as:  Engraver, Glass Etcher, Laser Engraver, Machine Engraver, Metal Engraver, Pantograph Engraver, Rotary Engraver, Rubber Engraver

ABOUT ETCHER OR ENGRAVER CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Etchers and engravers perform a century-old craft using high-tech tools for speed and precision. They use specialized tools and machinery to create decorative engravings, such as awards and trophies; gifts and signs; or identification plates and circuit boards. Engravers may use both traditional rou ...
ters and new technologies, such as lasers and sublimation.

Today's tools of the trade also include computers, scanners, and simple graphic programs. You must have a steady hand and good eyesight to sketch, trace, or scribe layout lines and design using a compass, scriber, graver, or pencil.

Computer skills and artistic creativity are also important. You might need to determine machine settings and operate equipment to engrave the design into steel rollers or plates. The work can be draining when performed over several hours. Eyestrain is sometimes a problem. An etcher or engraver may work in an office, factory, school, or retail shop.

Depending on the kind of wok you're being hired to do, this is a craft that can be taught on-the-job or even self-taught for your own business. More artistic techniques may be taught in art schools or through apprentice programs. Even for the most basic etching and engraving work, an eye for design, patience, and precision are essential to success.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Engrave or etch metal, wood, rubber, or other materials. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Examine sketches, diagrams, samples, blueprints, or photographs to decide how designs are to be etched, cut, or engraved onto workpieces.
Determine machine settings, and move bars or levers to reproduce designs on rollers or plates.
Adjust depths and sizes of cuts by adjusting heights of worktables, or by adjusting machine-arm gauges.
Examine engraving for quality of cut, burrs, rough spots, and irregular or incomplete engraving.
Clean and polish engraved areas.
Measure and compute dimensions of lettering, designs, or patterns to be engraved.
Position and clamp workpieces, plates, or rollers in holding fixtures.
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.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
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.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
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.
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.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Control Precision The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
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.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
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.
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.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
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.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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