Pressure Test Operator

Measure propellant force of powder charges by firing small arms cartridges.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$20,000 – $56,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Pressure Test Operators do?

Measures propellant force of powder charge by firing small arms cartridges and shotshells in pressure-testing device: Selects test barrel according to type and caliber of cartridge to be fired. Secures breech end of barrel in fixture containing breech-block, hammer, and firing pin, using handtools and gauges. Inserts gas check and steel piston into vent in barrel wall. Positions lead or copper slug of standard length on piston and tightens yoke-mounted setscrew which acts as anvil to secure it. Fires cartridge and measures compressed slug for reduction in length, using micrometer. Converts reduction in slug length to pressure expressed in pounds-per-square inch, using conversion chart. Computes average pressure for specified number of cartridges. May perform velocity tests on projectiles.

Should I be a Pressure Test 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.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Pressure Tester, Pressure Tester Operator

    How to become a Pressure Test Operator

    Most Pressure Test 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:9zcaaa&chl=no+college+%2869%25%29|certificate+%2828%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,69,69
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