Metal-Refining Furnace Operators and Tenders

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About the Job

Operate or tend furnaces, such as gas, oil, coal, electric-arc or electric induction, open-hearth, or oxygen furnaces, to melt and refine metal before casting or to produce specified types of steel.

It is also Called

  • Scruff Worker
  • Scrap Kettle Tender
  • Scrap Charger
  • Rotary Kiln Operator
  • Rotary Furnace Operator
  • Ross Furnace Operator
  • Rodman
  • Roaster
  • Reverberatory Furnace Operator
  • Retort Pre-Cooker
show all

What They Do

  • Scrape accumulations of metal oxides from floors, molds, and crucibles, and sift and store them for reclamation.
  • Prepare material to load into furnaces, including cleaning, crushing, or applying chemicals, by using crushing machines, shovels, rakes, or sprayers.
  • Direct work crews in the cleaning and repair of furnace walls and flooring.
  • Sprinkle chemicals over molten metal to bring impurities to the surface.
  • Kindle fires, and shovel fuel and other materials into furnaces or onto conveyors by hand, with hoists, or by directing crane operators.
  • Remove impurities from the surface of molten metal, using strainers.
  • Observe operations inside furnaces, using television screens, to ensure that problems do not occur.
  • Observe air and temperature gauges or metal color and fluidity, and turn fuel valves or adjust controls to maintain required temperatures.
  • Inspect furnaces and equipment to locate defects and wear.
  • Regulate supplies of fuel and air, or control flow of electric current and water coolant to heat furnaces and adjust temperatures.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IA.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Artistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Independence and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Education Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $45,490 with most people making between $29,650 and $62,900

Outlook

0.49%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,640 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 1,720 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 8 openings due to growth and about 52 replacement openings for approximately 60 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education