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Career and Education Opportunities for Layout Technicians in Charleston, West Virginia

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for layout technicians in the Charleston, West Virginia area. The national trend for layout technicians sees this job pool shrinking by about 11.6% over the next eight years. 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 average wage in the general category of Foundry and Metal Work jobs is $15 per hour or $30,472 per year in West Virginia, and an average of $15 per hour or $32,166 per year nationwide.

There are seventeen 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:

  • 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.
  • 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

Ben Franklin Career Center - Dunbar, WV

Ben Franklin Career Center, 500 28th St, Dunbar, WV 25064. Ben Franklin Career Center is a small school located in Dunbar, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 390 students. Ben Franklin Career Center has a one to two year program in Machine Shop Technology/Assistant which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.