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Career and Education Opportunities for Layout Technicians in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for layout technicians in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Currently, 490 people work as layout technicians in Michigan. This is expected to shrink 22% to 380 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for layout technicians, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 11.6% over the next eight years. Layout technicians generally lay out reference points and dimensions on metal or plastic stock or workpieces, such as sheets, plates, or machine parts, for further processing.

A person working as a layout technician can expect to earn about $17 hourly or $36,770 per year on average in Michigan and about $16 hourly or $34,920 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work, people working as layout technicians in Michigan earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work nationally.

The Grand Rapids area is home to nineteen schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can get a degree as a layout technician. Given that the most common education level for layout technicians is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Grand Rapids 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.
  • 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.
  • Solderer. Braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.
  • 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

Muskegon Community College - Muskegon, MI

Muskegon Community College, 221 S Quarterline Rd, Muskegon, MI 49442-1432. Muskegon Community College is a small college located in Muskegon, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,747 students. Muskegon Community College has 2 areas of study related to Layout Technician. They are:

  • Machine Tool Technology/Machinist, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Machine Shop Technology/Assistant, less than one year.

Montcalm Community College - Sidney, MI

Montcalm Community College, 2800 College Dr, Sidney, MI 48885-9723. Montcalm Community College is a small college located in Sidney, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,119 students. Montcalm Community College has a one to two year program in Machine Shop Technology/Assistant which graduated two students in 2008.

Grand Rapids Community College - Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids Community College, 143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3295. Grand Rapids Community College is a large college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,403 students. Grand Rapids Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Machine Shop Technology/Assistant which graduated one and six students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.