Industrial Etcher

Program a machine that applies acid to precision-etch metal and plastic.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$18,000 – $45,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Industrial Etchers do?

Pour acid on metal and it will bubble, fizz, and melt away. This makes acid seem extremely destructive, but it’s actually a useful tool when manufacturers want to create designs on metal, or turn large pieces of metal into incredibly small pieces. It’s not an easy process, though. It requires special machines run by experts called Industrial Etchers.

Company logos are expensive to develop, and many companies get the most out of their investment by placing those logos on almost everything. Sometimes, they even want their logos placed on metal doors, pipes, or plaques. These are some of the items you work with when you’re an Industrial Etcher.

When these orders come in, you look at the design and the item that will hold it. You then program your machine to accept that design, and you load the item into it. Next, you monitor the machine as it applies acid to the item in small streams.

Stopping the machine several times allows you to check on the etching progress and ensure that everything is going as it should. At the end of the process, you wash the acid away and make sure the item looks perfect.

Very small metal parts go into machines like microwaves, cell phones, and computers, and these are the other items you usually work with. When these orders come in, you program the metal part’s design into the computer and load the machine with a large metal plate. The machine then applies acid all around the design, like a giant cookie-cutter, and only the completed piece is left intact.

When you’re an Industrial Etcher, the etching machine is your best friend, if you maintain it well. Checking it frequently to make sure the gears are oiled and the springs and clamps are clean keeps the machine running smoothly.

Should I be an Industrial Etcher?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • How to become an Industrial Etcher

    Most Industrial Etchers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Master's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9uaaaa&chl=no+college+%2874%25%29|certificate+%2825%25%29|||master%27s+%281%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,74,74
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