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

There are many career and education opportunities for heat treating equipment operators in the Elgin, Illinois area. There are currently 1,480 working heat treating equipment operators in Illinois; this should shrink by 12% to 1,300 working heat treating equipment operators in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for heat treating equipment operators are expected to shrink by about 10.6%. 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.

Heat treating equipment operators earn about $13 hourly or $28,920 annually on average in Illinois and about $15 per hour or $32,030 per year on average nationally. Earnings for heat treating equipment operators are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Foundry and Metal Work in Illinois and not quite as good as general Foundry and Metal Work category earnings nationally.

There are sixty-one schools of higher education in the Elgin area, including three within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree to start your career as a heat treating equipment operator. Given that the most common education level for heat treating equipment operators is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be 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 Elgin 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

Elgin Community College - Elgin, IL

Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL 60123-7193. Elgin Community College is a medium sized college located in Elgin, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,821 students. Elgin Community College has a one to two year program in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist which graduated two students in 2008.

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.

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.