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.
What they do:
Engrave or etch metal, wood, rubber, or other materials. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers.
On the job, you would:
Inspect etched work for depth of etching, uniformity, and defects, using calibrated microscopes, gauges, fingers, or magnifying lenses.
Examine sketches, diagrams, samples, blueprints, or photographs to decide how designs are to be etched, cut, or engraved onto workpieces.
Clean and polish engraved areas.
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
Engineering and Technology
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
reading work related information
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
listen and understand what people say
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:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Graphics or photo imaging software
Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
Computer aided manufacturing CAM software
Delcam ArtCAM Express
Western Engravers Supply Vision EXPERT
Operating system software
high school diploma/GED or no high school diploma/GED usually needed
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.