An etcher and engraver uses hand tools, machines, and small power tools to etch or engrave designs or text into any number of objects such as glass, metal, and even plastic. If the project is intricate and has small detail, they would also use magnifying glasses to help them achieve the level of detail requested by a client.
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How to Become an Etcher and Engraver
Most etchers and engravers hold at least a high school diploma though it is possible to gain an entry level position without one. According to O*NET OnLine, more than 10% of those surveyed held an associate’s degree.
Job Description of an Etcher and Engraver
An etcher and engraver must be highly detail-oriented and focused. If working to add a small amount of text to an object the project may be quick. However, some assignments may be complicated, very detailed, and take a long time. An etcher and engraver must be able to stay focused on the project so the integrity of their work does not falter.
When the work is complete, they would also ensure the object is clean and looking it’s best. This may require them to polish or wax the item to have it looking like new. Etchers and engravers may also be required to learn graphic software programs and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software.
Etcher and Engraver Career Video Transcript
Etchers and engravers use cutting-edge technology to perform a century-old craft. They operate specialized tools and machinery to create decorative engravings on items such as awards and trophies, gifts, and signs, or identification plates and circuit boards. Etchers and engravers use both hand tools and power tools to inscribe lettering and designs on surfaces, usually metal, glass, or plastic.
Skilled with computer aided design and manufacturing software, they also create digital versions of designs to program their equipment to create a perfect execution of each piece. An exacting eye is essential in this field. You must have a steady hand, patience, and good eyesight to draw layout lines and designs using a compass, scribe, or pencil. The work can be wearing when deadlines require many hours of intense focus at a stretch.
Most etchers and engravers work in retail and manufacturing settings. Usually, employers prefer to hire candidates with a high school diploma or the equivalent, then teach them skills on-the-job. Whether engraving a simple metal plate, or etching intricate details on a fine crystal glass, etchers and engravers create the heirlooms of the future.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Etchers and Engravers.
National Center for O*NET Development. 51-9194.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.