Forge Operator

Heat metal and plastic into moldable shapes at hair-singeing temperatures.
picture of Forge Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$22,000 – $47,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Forge Operators do?

When metal is at room temperature, it doesn’t like to take on different shapes. When it’s heated to extreme temperatures, however, it can be pounded into a variety of shapes. A Forge Operator uses a forge to heat and reshape metal. As a Forge Operator, you may also work with plastics.

Since Forge Operators work with extremely hot materials all day long, you must be a stickler for safety. By wearing the appropriate goggles, gloves, and protective clothing, you ensure that your eyebrows and arm hairs stay intact rather than being singed away every day.

You’re given a mold to fit into your forge. You heat the metal or plastic, watching the gauges closely to make sure the material reaches the proper temperature. After that, you use the forge to stamp the material into the die.

With the help of tongs, you take the finished product out of the forge. Or if you have a fancy forge, you flick a switch and the material drops from the die onto a conveyer belt. You check your completed products carefully to make sure they’re exact copies of the die. Occasionally, you may need to sand rough edges.

If you work in a more rustic setting, your job is slightly different. You heat up materials on a fire or in a gas oven, and pound those materials by hand into the proper shape. These are the same methods that Blacksmiths have been using for centuries, and you’ll feel a kinship with those who have done the job before you.

Should I be a Forge Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Drop Forge Operator, Forge Press Operator, Gang Punch Operator, Lever Operator, Set Up Operator, Upset Operator

    How to become a Forge Operator

    Most Forge Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9baaaa&chl=no+college+%2898%25%29|certificate+%282%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,98,98
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