Hand Etcher

Etch images on surface of printing rollers coated with photos.
picture of Hand Etcher

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$22,000 – $57,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Hand Etchers do?

Etches images on surface of printing rollers coated with photo or acid resist on which images have been transferred photographically or engraved pantographically, utilizing knowledge of colors, fabrics, and etching and printing techniques: Studies design sheet to determine etching requirements based on colors in design, type and weight of fabric, and printing sequence. Lifts roller onto brackets of rinsing vat with aid of ETCHER HELPER, HAND. Tapes ends of roller with masking tape to limit etching to specified width. Cleans rollers preparatory to etching, using sponge, cleaning chemicals, and water. Transfers roller from rinsing vat to acid vat with aid of ETCHER HELPER, HAND, using electric hoist. Turns valve to agitate acid solution with compressed air and starts machine to rotate roller in solution. Periodically removes roller from acid bath, measures etch with depth gauge, and moves fingers over surface of roller and scans etching through magnifying lens to detect processing defects, such as pinholes and collapsing ground lines. Processes roller through series of acid baths to increase depth of etch and broaden ground lines without collapsing top of design. Verifies depth of etch, using depth gauge. Scratches charcoal into etched cavities to make ground lines stand out and examines engraving to determine whether roller will print with desired effect. Transfers etched roller to cleaning vats, starts machine to spin roller in cleaning solution, and lowers brush to surface of spinning roller to remove acid-resistant coating. Dilutes acid with water to obtain etching chemicals of specified concentration.


Should I be a Hand Etcher?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Etcher, Hand, Stonehand, Stone Hand

    How to become a Hand Etcher

    Most Hand Etchers have an Associate's degree or a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:g9daaa&chl=no+college+%2826%25%29|certificate+%2850%25%29|associate%27s+%2824%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,26,50
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