Pourers and Casters, Metal
Operate hand-controlled mechanisms to pour and regulate the flow of molten metal into molds to produce castings or ingots.
Sample of reported job titles: Casting Operator, Die Cast Operator (DCO), Direct Chill Caster (DC Caster), Iron Pourer, Ladleman, Melter, Metal Handler, Pourer, Vacuum Caster
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Examine molds to ensure they are clean, smooth, and properly coated.
- Pour and regulate the flow of molten metal into molds and forms to produce ingots or other castings, using ladles or hand-controlled mechanisms.
- Pull levers to lift ladle stoppers and to allow molten steel to flow into ingot molds to specified heights.
- Read temperature gauges and observe color changes, adjusting furnace flames, torches, or electrical heating units as necessary to melt metal to specifications.
- Collect samples, or signal workers to sample metal for analysis.
- Load specified amounts of metal and flux into furnaces or clay crucibles.
- Add metal to molds to compensate for shrinkage.
- Skim slag or remove excess metal from ingots or equipment, using hand tools, strainers, rakes, or burners, collecting scrap for recycling.
- Remove metal ingots or cores from molds, using hand tools, cranes, and chain hoists.
- Position equipment such as ladles, grinding wheels, pouring nozzles, or crucibles, or signal other workers to position equipment.
- Transport metal ingots to storage areas, using forklifts.
- Repair and maintain metal forms and equipment, using hand tools, sledges, and bars.
- Turn valves to circulate water through cores, or spray water on filled molds to cool and solidify metal.
- Stencil identifying information on ingots and pigs, using special hand tools.
- Assemble and embed cores in casting frames, using hand tools and equipment.
- Remove solidified steel or slag from pouring nozzles, using long bars or oxygen burners.
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- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Industrial control software — Husky Injection Molding Systems Shotscope NX
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
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- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
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- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
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- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Adjust equipment controls to regulate flow of production materials or products.
- Place materials into molds.
- Inspect production equipment.
- Adjust temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment.
- Monitor instruments to ensure proper production conditions.
- Signal others to coordinate work activities.
- Collect samples of materials or products for testing.
- Load materials into production equipment.
- Adjust equipment controls to regulate coolant flow.
- Apply parting agents or other solutions to molds.
- Remove workpieces from molds.
- Skim impurities from molten metal.
- Trim excess material from workpieces.
- Engrave designs, text, or other markings onto materials, workpieces, or products.
- Assemble mechanical components or machine parts.
- Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
- Move products, materials, or equipment between work areas.
- Operate forklifts or other loaders.
- Clean production equipment.
- Maintain production or processing equipment.
- Repair templates, patterns, or molds.
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- Exposed to Contaminants — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 99% responded “Every day.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 99% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 86% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 12% responded “More than half the time.”
- Spend Time Standing
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 54% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 57% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 58% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 43% responded “Very important.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 34% responded “More than half the time.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 42% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 39% responded “More than half the time.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 35% responded “Important results.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 36% responded “High responsibility.”
- Consequence of Error — 33% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Physical Proximity — 40% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 44% responded “Some freedom.”
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 47% responded “Every day.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 51% responded “Every day.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 40% responded “Important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 38% responded “Important.”
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|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|48||High school diploma or equivalent
|43||Less than high school diploma|
|8||Some college, no degree|
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Interest code: RC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$19.31 hourly, $40,170 annual|
|Employment (2020)||7,100 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||600|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Foundry Society
- Association for Manufacturing Technology
- Ductile Iron Society
- Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International
- International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
- Investment Casting Institute
- National Institute for Metalworking Skills
- National Tooling and Machining Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Metal and plastic machine workers
- Precision Machined Products Association
- Precision Metalforming Association
- United Steelworkers
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