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Career and Education Opportunities for Layout Technicians in Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for layout technicians. There are currently 400 jobs for layout technicians in Illinois and this is projected to shrink by 20% to 320 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for layout technicians are expected to shrink by about 11.6%. In general, layout technicians lay out reference points and dimensions on metal or plastic stock or workpieces, such as sheets, plates, or machine parts, for further processing.

The income of a layout technician is about $18 per hour or $38,040 yearly on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $16 hourly or $34,920 per year on average. Earnings for layout technicians are better than earnings in the general category of Foundry and Metal Work in Illinois and better than general Foundry and Metal Work category earnings nationally.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as a layout technician. The most common level of education for layout technicians is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a layout technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Layout Technician

In general, layout technicians lay out reference points and dimensions on metal or plastic stock or workpieces, such as sheets, plates, or machine parts, for further processing. They also includes shipfitters.

Layout technicians fit and align fabricated components to be welded or assembled. They also lift and position workpieces in relation to surface plates, manually or with hoists. Equally important, layout technicians have to lay out and fabricate metal structural components such as plates and frames. Finally, layout technicians mark curves and welding symbols onto workpieces, using scribes, soapstones, punches, and hand drills.

Every day, layout technicians are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they visualize how things come together and can be organized.

It is important for layout technicians to locate center lines and verify template positions, using measuring instruments such as gauge blocks and dial indicators. They are often called upon to compute layout dimensions, and decide on and mark reference points on metal stock or workpieces for further processing, such as welding and assembly. They also formulate and develop layouts from blueprints and templates, applying knowledge of trigonometry, layout, effects of heat, and properties of metals. They are sometimes expected to formulate locations and sequences of cutting and welding operations, using compasses and rules. Somewhat less frequently, layout technicians are also expected to add dimensional details to blueprints or drawings made by other staff.

Layout technicians sometimes are asked to add dimensional details to blueprints or drawings made by other staff. And finally, they sometimes have to formulate and develop layouts from blueprints and templates, applying knowledge of trigonometry, layout, effects of heat, and properties of metals.

Like many other jobs, layout technicians must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Aircraft Parts Assembler. Assemble, fit, and install parts of airplanes, space vehicles, or missiles, such as tails, wings, fuselage, bulkheads, stabilizers, landing gear, rigging and control equipment, or heating and ventilating systems.
  • 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.
  • Heat Treating Equipment Operator. 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.
  • 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: Layout Technician 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.