Furnace Operator

Keep the temperature soaring so industrial materials can be shaped.
picture of Furnace Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$26,000 – $57,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Furnace Operators do?

In industrial manufacturing, furnaces are used for a variety of materials. Heating materials such as plastic and metal makes them more malleable and easier to form into rods, cones, spirals, tubes, or any other shape required by the finished product.

A Furnace Operator makes sure the furnace maintains the proper temperature. If the material gets too hot, it may ruin the product, but if isn’t hot enough, the production will be slowed down while it’s reheated. As a Furnace Operator, you find out whether the temperature is just right by gathering samples and measuring temperature readings. Then you make the necessary adjustments.

Once the material is heated to the proper temperature, you carefully remove it from the furnace using the proper tools, which can be anything from a pair of large tongs to a crane. But your job as a Furnace Operator isn’t done until the material passes your very own inspection. So you grab the calipers, micrometers, and tape measures to take measurements inside and out. You weigh the product and make sure that all components match the required specifications.

Often, you work on a production line, ensuring that each item is identical to the last. To create uniform results, you monitor the length of time the product spends inside the furnace, the temperature, and the behavior of the material. Whether it’s lumber, rubber, glass, aluminum, or plastic, the goal is to come up with identical items.

Along the way, you double-check the work order, deal with equipment malfunctions, make repairs as needed, and record your activities for managerial review.


Should I be a Furnace Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Air-Furnace Operator, Automatic Furnace Operator, Blast Furnace Operator, Caster, Investment Casting See More

    How to become a Furnace Operator

    Most Furnace Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9djaaa&chl=no+college+%2882%25%29|certificate+%284%25%29|associate%27s+%2813%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,82,82
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