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Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic - 51-4191.00

O*NET-SOC Description

Set up, operate, or tend heating equipment, such as heat-treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, soaking pits, or vacuum equipment to temper, harden, anneal, or heat treat metal or plastic objects.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Batch Heat Treat Operator
  • Burner
  • Coating Line Worker
  • Furnace Operator
  • Heat Treat Furnace Operator
  • Heat Treat Operator
  • Heat Treat Technician
  • Heat Treater
  • Scarf and Anneal Operator

SOC Occupation Groups

51-0000 Production Occupations
51-4000 Metal Workers and Plastic Workers
51-4190 Miscellaneous Metal Workers and Plastic Workers
51-4191.00 Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Related Occupations


  • Adjust controls to maintain temperatures and heating times, using thermal instruments and charts, dials and gauges of furnaces, and color of stock in furnaces to make setting determinations.
  • Clean oxides and scales from parts or fittings, using steam sprays or chemical and water baths.
  • Determine flame temperatures, current frequencies, heating cycles, and induction heating coils needed, based on degree of hardness required and properties of stock to be treated.
  • Determine types and temperatures of baths and quenching media needed to attain specified part hardness, toughness, and ductility, using heat-treating charts and knowledge of methods, equipment, and metals.
  • Examine parts to ensure metal shades and colors conform to specifications, using knowledge of metal heat-treating.
  • Heat billets, bars, plates, rods, and other stock to specified temperatures preparatory to forging, rolling, or processing, using oil, gas, or electrical furnaces.
  • Instruct new workers in machine operation.
  • Load parts into containers and place containers on conveyors to be inserted into furnaces, or insert parts into furnaces.
  • Mount fixtures and industrial coils on machines, using hand tools.
  • Mount workpieces in fixtures, on arbors, or between centers of machines.
  • Move controls to light gas burners and to adjust gas and water flow and flame temperature.
  • Place completed workpieces on conveyors, using cold rods, tongs, or chain hoists, or signal crane operators to transport them to subsequent stations.
  • Position parts in plastic bags, and seal bags with irons.
  • Position stock in furnaces, using tongs, chain hoists, or pry bars.
  • Read production schedules and work orders to determine processing sequences, furnace temperatures, and heat cycle requirements for objects to be heat-treated.
  • Record times that parts are removed from furnaces to document that objects have attained specified temperatures for specified times.
  • Reduce heat when processing is complete to allow parts to cool in furnaces or machinery.
  • Remove parts from furnaces after specified times, and air dry or cool parts in water, oil brine, or other baths.
  • Repair, replace, and maintain furnace equipment as needed, using hand tools.
  • Set and adjust speeds of reels and conveyors for prescribed time cycles to pass parts through continuous furnaces.
  • Set up and operate die-quenching machines to prevent parts from warping.
  • Set up and operate or tend machines, such as furnaces, baths, flame-hardening machines, and electronic induction machines, that harden, anneal, and heat-treat metal.
  • Signal forklift operators to deposit or extract containers of parts into and from furnaces and quenching rinse tanks.
  • Stamp heat-treatment identification marks on parts, using hammers and punches.
  • Start conveyors and open furnace doors to load stock, or signal crane operators to uncover soaking pits and lower ingots into them.
  • Test parts for hardness, using hardness testing equipment, or by examining and feeling samples.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate gas flow.
  • Adjust temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment.
  • Clean production equipment.
  • Determine metal or plastic production methods.
  • Heat material or workpieces to prepare for or complete production.
  • Inspect metal, plastic, or composite products.
  • Instruct workers to use equipment or perform technical procedures.
  • Lift materials or workpieces using cranes or other lifting equipment.
  • Load items into ovens or furnaces.
  • Load materials into production equipment.
  • Maintain production or processing equipment.
  • Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information.
  • Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
  • Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
  • Operate heating or drying equipment.
  • Position raw materials on processing or production equipment.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Remove products or workpieces from production equipment.
  • Repair production equipment or tools.
  • Replace worn equipment components.
  • Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
  • Set up production or processing equipment.
  • Signal others to coordinate work activities.
  • Study blueprints or other instructions to determine equipment setup requirements.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Aeronautical Welder (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Aircraft Metals Technology (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aircraft Metals Technology Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aircraft Metals Technology Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aircraft Metals Technology Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aircraft Metals Technology Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Aircraft Welder (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Automotive Maintenance Warrant Officer (Army - Warrant Officer only)
  • Damage Controlman (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Engineer Equipment Maintenance Warrant Officer (Army - Warrant Officer only)
  • Heat Treatment of Metals Machinist (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Hull Maintenance Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Hull Systems Maintainer (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Hull Systems Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Marine Safety Specialist Engineer (Coast Guard - Warrant Officer only)
  • Material Maintenance Specialty (Coast Guard - Warrant Officer only)
  • Utilities Equipment Repairer (Army - Enlisted)
  • Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic (Army - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Heat Treater I

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Annealer
  • Bagger
  • Base-Draw Operator
  • Case Hardener
  • Dental-Amalgam Processor
  • Flame-Annealing-Machine Setter
  • Flame-Hardening-Machine Operator
  • Flame-Hardening-Machine Setter
  • Furnace Operator
  • Hardener
  • Heat Treater I
  • Heat Treater II
  • Heat-Treater Apprentice
  • Heat-Treating Bluer
  • Heater
  • Heater I
  • Induction-Machine Operator
  • Induction-Machine Setter
  • Production Hardener
  • Spike-Machine Heater
  • Temperer