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Career and Education Opportunities for Heat Treating Equipment Operators in St. Louis, Missouri

If you want to be a heat treating equipment operator, the St. Louis, Missouri area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 510 working heat treating equipment operators in Missouri; this should shrink 12% to about 450 working heat treating equipment operators in the state 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. Heat treating equipment operators generally 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 $15 per hour or $32,950 annually on average in Missouri and about $15 per hour or $32,030 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work, people working as heat treating equipment operators in Missouri earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work nationally.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can study to be a heat treating equipment operator, among seventy-one schools of higher education total in the St. Louis area. Heat treating equipment operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn 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 St. Louis 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.
  • 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

Lewis and Clark Community College - Godfrey, IL

Lewis and Clark Community College, 5800 Godfrey Rd, Godfrey, IL 62035. Lewis and Clark Community College is a medium sized college located in Godfrey, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,016 students. Lewis and Clark Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist which graduated eleven and thirty-one students respectively in 2008.

Jefferson College - Hillsboro, MO

Jefferson College, 1000 Viking Dr, Hillsboro, MO 63050-2440. Jefferson College is a medium sized college located in Hillsboro, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,983 students. Jefferson College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist which graduated two and seven students respectively in 2008.

Ranken Technical College - Saint Louis, MO

Ranken Technical College, 4431 Finney Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63113-2811. Ranken Technical College is a small college located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,626 students. Ranken Technical College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist which graduated fourteen, one, and twenty-three students respectively in 2008.

Southwestern Illinois College - Belleville, IL

Southwestern Illinois College, 2500 Carlyle Ave, Belleville, IL 62221-5899. Southwestern Illinois College is a large college located in Belleville, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,308 students. Southwestern Illinois College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist which graduated nine and five students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.