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Career and Education Opportunities for Heat Treating Equipment Operators in Chicago, Illinois

If you want to be a heat treating equipment operator, the Chicago, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,480 jobs for heat treating equipment operators in Illinois and this is projected to shrink by 12% to 1,300 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for heat treating equipment operators, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 10.6% over the next eight years. In general, heat treating equipment operators set up, operate, or tend heating equipment, such as heat-treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, or vacuum equipment to temper, harden, or heat-treat metal or plastic objects.

A person working as a heat treating equipment operator can expect to earn about $13 per hour or $28,920 annually on average in Illinois and about $15 per hour or $32,030 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for heat treating equipment operators are not quite as good as in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Foundry and Metal Work category nationally.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a heat treating equipment operator, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Heat treating equipment operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a heat treating equipment operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Heat Treating Equipment Operator

In general, heat treating equipment operators set up, operate, or tend heating equipment, such as heat-treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, or vacuum equipment to temper, harden, or heat-treat metal or plastic objects.

Every day, heat treating equipment operators are expected to be able to respond quickly in general. They need to focus attention on specific tasks without being distracted. It is also important that they maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements.

It is important for heat treating equipment operators to remove components from furnaces after specified times, and air dry or cool components in water or other baths. They are often called upon to read production schedules and work orders to establish processing sequences and heat cycle requirements for objects to be heat-treated. They also decide on types and temperatures of baths and quenching media needed to attain specified part hardness and ductility, using heat-treating charts and knowledge of methods and metals. They are sometimes expected to record times that components are removed from furnaces to document that objects have attained specified temperatures for specified times. Somewhat less frequently, heat treating equipment operators are also expected to place completed workpieces on conveyors, using cold rods or chain hoists, or signal crane operators to transport them to subsequent stations.

Heat treating equipment operators sometimes are asked to place completed workpieces on conveyors, using cold rods or chain hoists, or signal crane operators to transport them to subsequent stations. They also have to be able to examine components to insure metal shades and colors conform to given requirements, utilizing knowledge of metal heat-treating And finally, they sometimes have to decide on flame temperatures and induction heating coils needed, on the basis of degree of hardness required and properties of stock to be treated.

Like many other jobs, heat treating equipment operators must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Buffing Machine Operator. Set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic work pieces.
  • Layout Technician. Lay out reference points and dimensions on metal or plastic stock or workpieces, such as sheets, plates, or machine parts, for further processing. Includes shipfitters.
  • Mold Machine Operator. Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
  • Solderer. Braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.
  • Tool and Die Maker. Analyze specifications, lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts to make and repair dies, cutting tools, and machinists' hand tools.
  • Welder. Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
  • Welding Operator. Set up, operate, or tend welding, soldering, or brazing machines or robots that weld, braze, or heat treat metal products, components, or assemblies.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Heat Treating Equipment Operator Training

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has a less than one year program in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist which graduated two students in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College, 7500 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60652-1299. City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,711 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College has a one to two year program in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist which graduated four students in 2008.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has an associate's degree program in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist which graduated two students in 2008.

Prairie State College - Chicago Heights, IL

Prairie State College, 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights, IL 60411-8226. Prairie State College is a medium sized college located in Chicago Heights, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,368 students. Prairie State College has a one to two year program in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist which graduated four students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.