Heat Treat Operator

Heat, shape, and cool metal and plastic.
picture of Heat Treat Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$21,000 – $49,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Heat Treat Operators do?

When someone turns off their alarm clock in the morning, pops a piece of bread into the toaster, and mixes up a smoothie in their blender, they’re using items created by Heat Treat Operators. As a Heat Treat Operator, you use complex knowledge of various metalworking machinery to create the metal and plastic parts found all around us. Without Heat Treat Operators, the world as we know it would cease to function.

On the job, you review the parts needed for the day’s order. Whether it’s little metal levers for microwaves or large metal pieces for a car, you must review charts and paperwork to determine the exact process for creating each piece.

Next, its off to the furnace to set the temperature and insert the raw metal. Understanding safety procedures, such as wearing safety glasses and picking up hot metal with tongs, is crucial for your own well-being. Once the machinery is at the correct setting and temperature and the materials inserted, you start timing.

Depending on the piece you’re making, your responsibilities vary from adjusting temperatures to dunking the parts in a chemical bath to cool and harden them. You write down each action, along with the current settings of the machines and the time. This ensures your work is accurate.

If necessary, the finished parts are cooled and treated with other chemicals to form the finished product. Then you box up each item and send it out for delivery. As you wind up your workday, you find satisfaction in having been a crucial behind-the-scenes player in keeping modern day technology functioning.


Should I be a Heat Treat Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Annealing Oven Operator, Annealing Torch Operator, Batch Heat Treat Operator, Billet Heater Operator See More

    How to become a Heat Treat Operator

    Most Heat Treat 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:9saaaa&chl=no+college+%2877%25%29|certificate+%2823%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,77,77
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