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Forge Shop Worker Job Description, Career as a Forge Shop Worker, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training High school diploma or specialized training

Average Salary $50,000

Job Outlook Good

Basic Job Description

Forge shop workers work in a factory that shapes metals through hammering, pressing, and squeezing techniques. They will create and shape metal products for virtually any need, but will do it without weakening the metal through melting or molding. Forge shop workers require extreme precision and strength in order to properly hammer, squeeze or rotate a piece of metal into the exact design, length, shape and consistency a customer needs for a product. They also apply treatments to metals as needed, including hardeners or quenchers to allow the metal to breathe and be less susceptible to breakage.

Education and Training Requirements

Many forge shops require anyone who is working with metal to have at least a high school diploma. Some shops also require metalworkers to have attended a secondary or trade school that specializes in metalwork or metallurgy. There are specialized classes available at trade schools that provide education in metalworking, metallurgy or how to work with steel products and industrial equipment that is used to bend and shape metal. Before working in a shop with metal and steel products, it is beneficial to have some sort of basic training provided by these courses.

Regardless of previous experience or classes taken, most metal shops and factories provide on-the-job training, as their machines and metals may be specific to their company as opposed to a standard practice performed or taught in classes. Even if on-the-job training is provided, it is recommended to take some sort of extended classes to learn the basics on working with metal.

Getting the Job

In order to get a job working in a forge shop, a worker will have to show that they have extreme precision and an eye for detail. Many products made in forge shops are very specific and tailored to a client’s needs, so one slip of the finger could not only ruin the product, but cause danger to the machine operator.

Previous experience working in a shop is often preferred, even if it is not specifically working with metal. Forge shop workers can gain the hands-on experience needed just by working as a car mechanic or in a woodworking shop to get a feel for what the environment and machinery is like. After experience is gained through these types of factories and jobs, a worker may be able to easily adapt to working with metal products and machinery.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Working in a forge shop is a good place to start if someone wants to eventually obtain a career in engineering or design in the automotive industry. A lot of the work done in these shops is done for automotive companies, so working to create customized products for vehicles can lead to education in that type of industry.

Aside from advancing into an engineering type of field, many workers who start off in the plant can advance to machine supervisors or even plant managers. These jobs require knowledge of all aspects of the shop and understanding of how each procedure is performed. The shop managers or supervisors will be able to train new employees on machine operations as well as safety procedures. They are also in charge of hiring shop workers and giving out annual reviews.

Working Conditions and Environment

Working in a forge shop can be strenuous work in a sometimes uncomfortable environment. Shops that work with metal often become extremely hot, but workers must continue working on projects despite any drastic or uncomfortable changes. Forge shop workers also spend most of their day operating heavy machinery, bending and stretching metals and working as part of an assembly line. The grueling work and strength that often needs to be used can be extremely tiring for many workers and cause pain or even injury if they’re not careful and following guidelines.

Teamwork is another integral part of working in any shop. Workers in each department often have to depend on each other in order to successfully perform their own job, otherwise a system may run out of place or come to a halt. It is important for a worker to be dependable as well as communicate well with their coworkers to make sure everyone is able to do what needs to be done in an effective and timely manner.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for someone working in a forge shop is $50,000 per year. Factory jobs that work with dangerous products such as metal often receive larger starting salaries due to the potentially dangerous work they perform.

Forge shop workers often receive an excellent benefits package as well, including full medical and dental insurance, 401K, and vacation and sick leave compensation.

Where to Go for More Information

Sheet Metal Workers International Association
1750 New York Avenue
Washington, DC 20006

Forging Industry Association
25 W. Prospect Avenue, Suite 300
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 781-6260

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesManufacturing & Production