Picture Engraver

Engrave metal dies to represent portraits, landscapes, and figures.
picture of Picture Engraver

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$18,000 – $45,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Picture Engravers do?

Engraves metal dies to represent portraits, landscapes, figures, and ornamental engravings used to make plates to print bonds, stamps, currency, diplomas, and other paper documents, following models and oral instructions: Traces model of drawing on gelatin sheet, using magnifying glasses and graver. Makes wax impression of tracing, transfers tracing to polished metal die, and stains design with weak acid solution. Engraves or etches lines, dots, and dashes in specified depths, widths, spacings, and directions to portray features, such as drapery, foliage, or flesh by either one or combination of following methods: Draws design through transparent, acid-resistant background on metal plate, using tempered steel point, and washes design with acid that etches lines and other markings in metal surface to produce representations of images, such as wood, stone, foliage, and sky. Cuts or carves lines of design in surface of metal die, using graver. Repeats cuts to obtain required depth for portrayal of images, such as flesh, hair, drapery, and clothing. Makes proof of engraved design, examines proof print, and reworks engraving as required. May engrave lettering on plates and be designated Engraver, Letter.


Should I be a Picture Engraver?

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

  • Also known as: Engraver, Picture

    How to become a Picture Engraver

    Most Picture Engravers 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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