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Career and Education Opportunities for Layout Technicians in Charleston, South Carolina

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for layout technicians in the Charleston, South Carolina area. The national trend for layout technicians 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.

Layout technicians earn about $14 per hour or $31,160 per year on average in South Carolina and about $16 per hour or $34,920 annually on average nationally. Earnings for layout technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Foundry and Metal Work in South Carolina and better than general Foundry and Metal Work category earnings nationally.

There are fourteen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Charleston 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.
  • 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

Trident Technical College - Charleston, SC

Trident Technical College, 7000 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, SC 29423-8067. Trident Technical College is a large college located in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,758 students. Trident Technical College has 2 areas of study related to Layout Technician. They are:

  • Machine Tool Technology/Machinist, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Machine Shop Technology/Assistant, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina photo by AudeVivere

Charleston is situated in Charleston County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 111,978, which has grown by 15.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston cost $157,600 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, five hundred eight new homes were built in Charleston, down from eight hundred seventy-eight the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 37.5% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 10.5%, which is less than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Plymouth Congregational Church, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Charleston is home to the United State Department of Agriculture and the The Center as well as Harmon Field and Stoney Field. Shopping malls in the area include Church Creek Plaza Shopping Center, Citadel Mall Shopping Center and South Windermere Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from French Quarter Inn, Fulton Lane Inn and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.