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Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, & Tenders, Metal & Plastic

Also called: Furnace Operator, Heat Treat Operator, Heat Treat Technician, Heat Treater

Where in the Marine Corps? In the Marine Corps: Aircraft Metals Technology Apprentice; Aircraft Metals Technology Craftsman; Aircraft Metals Technology Helper; Aircraft Metals Technology Journeyman; Automotive Maintenance Warrant Officer; Engineer Equipment Maintenance Warrant Officer; Hull Maintenance Technician; Utilities Equipment Repairer

What they do:
Set up, operate, or tend heating equipment, such as heat-treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, soaking pits, or vacuum equipment to temper, harden, anneal, or heat-treat metal or plastic objects.
On the job, you would:
  • Read production schedules and work orders to determine processing sequences, furnace temperatures, and heat cycle requirements for objects to be heat-treated.
  • Record times that parts are removed from furnaces to document that objects have attained specified temperatures for specified times.
  • Adjust controls to maintain temperatures and heating times, using thermal instruments and charts, dials and gauges of furnaces, and color of stock in furnaces to make setting determinations.


Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
  • manufacture and distribution of products
Math and Science
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics


Basic Skills
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


Hand and Finger Use
  • keep your arm or hand steady
  • hold or move items with your hands
Controlled Movement
  • use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
  • quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
  • exercise for a long time without getting out of breath
  • communicate by speaking


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Dependability
  • Integrity
  • Independence
  • Attention to Detail
  • Initiative
  • Leadership


You might use software like this on the job:

Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology
Electronic mail software
  • Microsoft Outlook Hot Technology
Word processing software
  • Microsoft Word


Education: (rated 2 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
no high school diploma/GED
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Find Training Registered Apprenticeship

Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about heat treating equipment setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic.