Precious Metal Workers

Description

Cast, anneal, solder, hammer, or shape gold, silver, pewter or other metals to form jewelry or other metal items such as goblets or candlesticks.

Tasks

  • Cut and file pieces of jewelry such as rings, brooches, bracelets, and lockets.
  • Solder parts together or fill holes and cracks with metal solder, using gas torches.
  • Polish articles by hand or by using a polishing wheel.
  • Pierce and cut open designs in ornamentation, using hand drills and scroll saws.
  • Position and align auxiliary parts in jigs, and join parts using solder and blowtorches.
  • Examine articles to determine the nature of defects requiring repair, such as dents, uneven bottoms, scratches, or holes.
  • Shape and straighten damaged or twisted articles by hand or using pliers.
  • Anneal precious metal objects such as coffeepots, tea sets, and trays in gas ovens for prescribed times to soften metal for reworking.
  • Rotate molds to distribute alloys and to prevent formation of air pockets.
  • Weigh and mix alloy ingredients, using formulas and knowledge of ingredients' chemical properties.
  • Carry castings or finished items to storage areas or to different work stations.
  • Heat ingots or alloy mixtures to specified temperatures, stir mixtures and skim off impurities, and then fill molds to form ingots from which parts are cast.
  • Design and fabricate models of new casting molds, and chipping and turning tools used to finish product surfaces.
  • Rout out locations where parts are to be joined to items, using routing machines.
  • Determine placement of auxiliary parts, such as handles and spouts, and mark locations of parts.
  • Form concavities in bottoms of articles to improve stability, using tracing punches and hammers.
  • Weigh completed items to determine weights and record any deviations.
  • Design silver articles such as jewelry and serving pieces.
  • Peen edges of scratches or holes to repair defects, using peening hammers.
  • Secure molded items in chucks of lathes, and activate lathes to finish inner and outer surfaces of items.
  • Research reference materials, analyze production data, and consult with interested parties to develop ideas for new products.
  • Position articles over snarling tools and then raise design areas, using foot-powered hammers.
  • Trim gates and sharp points from cast parts, using band saws.
  • Verify that bottom edges of articles are level, using straightedges or by rocking them back and forth on flat surfaces.
  • Engrave decorative lines on items, using engraving tools.
  • Sand interior mold parts to remove glaze residue, apply new glaze to molds, and allow it to dry for mold assembly.
  • Strike articles with small tools, or punch them with hammers, to indent them or restore embossing.
  • Wire parts such as legs, spouts, and handles to article bodies in preparation for soldering.
  • Hammer out dents and bulges, selecting and using hammers and dollies with heads that correspond in curvature to article surfaces.
  • Assemble molds, wrap molds in heat-resistant cloth, and ladle molten alloy into mold openings, repeating casting processes as necessary to produce specified numbers of parts.
  • Strike molds in order to separate dried castings from molds.
  • Glue plastic separators to handles of coffeepots and teapots.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Abilities

Speed of Limb Movement
The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
Dynamic Strength
The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
Extent Flexibility
The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Gross Body Equilibrium
The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
Gross Body Coordination
The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Stamina
The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.

Work Activities

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Innovation
Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Work Values

Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Lay Titles

Artist
Bench Jeweler
Bench Mechanic
Brass Chaser
Bronze Chaser
Caster
Chaser
Engraver
Fabricator
Goldsmith
Goldsmith Apprentice
Hammersmith
Jeweler
Jewelry Designer
Jewelry Finisher
Jewelry Maker
Jewelry Repairer
Jewelsmith
Metal Engraver
Metal Finisher
Metal Polisher
Mold Maker
Pewter Caster
Pewter Fabricator
Pewter Finisher
Pewterer
Platinum Smith
Platinumsmith
Polisher
Restoration Silversmith
Silversmith
Silversmith Apprentice
Solderer
Special Order Jeweler
Stamper
Stone Setter

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$16.99 hourly, $35,350 annual.
Employment (2008):
22,060 employees