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Career profile Metal Finisher

Also known as Buffer, Casting Finisher, Chipper, Deburring Technician, Finisher, Grinder, Jewelry Polisher, Knife Grinder, Metal Finisher, Polisher

Metal Finisher

Also known as Buffer, Casting Finisher, Chipper

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$23,360 - $49,770 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Mechanical
  • Education and Training
Core tasks
  • Grind, sand, clean, or polish objects or parts to correct defects or to prepare surfaces for further finishing, using hand tools and power tools.
  • Verify quality of finished workpieces by inspecting them, comparing them to templates, measuring their dimensions, or testing them in working machinery.
  • File grooved, contoured, and irregular surfaces of metal objects, such as metalworking dies and machine parts, to conform to templates, other parts, layouts, or blueprint specifications.
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What does a Metal Finisher do?

Metal Finishers grind, sand, or polish, using hand tools or hand-held power tools, a variety of metal, wood, stone, clay, plastic, or glass objects.

In addition, Metal Finishers includes chippers, buffers, and finishers.

What kind of tasks does a Metal Finisher perform regularly?

Metal Finishers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Grind, sand, clean, or polish objects or parts to correct defects or to prepare surfaces for further finishing, using hand tools and power tools.
  • Verify quality of finished workpieces by inspecting them, comparing them to templates, measuring their dimensions, or testing them in working machinery.
  • Move controls to adjust, start, or stop equipment during grinding and polishing processes.
  • Remove completed workpieces from equipment or work tables, using hand tools, and place workpieces in containers.
  • Measure and mark equipment, objects, or parts to ensure grinding and polishing standards are met.
  • Trim, scrape, or deburr objects or parts, using chisels, scrapers, and other hand tools and equipment.
  • Transfer equipment, objects, or parts to specified work areas, using moving devices.
  • Repair and maintain equipment, objects, or parts, using hand tools.

The above responsibilities are specific to Metal Finishers. More generally, Metal Finishers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

What is a Metal Finisher salary?

The median salary for a Metal Finisher is $31,750, and the average salary is $34,380. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Metal Finisher salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Metal Finishers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Metal Finishers earn less than $23,360 per year, 25% earn less than $27,170, 75% earn less than $39,310, and 90% earn less than $49,770.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Metal Finishers is expected to change by -13.5%, and there should be roughly 2,100 open positions for Metal Finishers every year.

Median annual salary
$31,750
Typical salary range
$23,360 - $49,770
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-13.5%

What personality traits are common among Metal Finishers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Metal Finisher are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Metal Finishers typically have very strong Realistic interests. 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.

Also, Metal Finishers typically have moderate Conventional interests. 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.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Metal Finisher tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Metal Finishers moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Metal Finishers moderately value 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.

Lastly, Metal Finishers very slightly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Metal Finishers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and self-control.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Metal Finishers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
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.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Metal Finishers need?

Working as a Metal Finisher may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Metal Finishers need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Educational degrees among Metal Finishers

  • 18.7% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 46.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 20.5% completed some college coursework
  • 8.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 4.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Metal Finishers

Metal Finishers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, mechanical, or education and training knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Metal Finishers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Metal Finishers

Metal Finishers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Metal Finishers need abilities such as arm-hand steadiness, manual dexterity, and finger dexterity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Metal Finishers, ranked by their relative importance.

Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by Metal Finishers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Metal Finishers frequently use skills like quality control analysis, operations monitoring, and operation and control to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Metal Finishers, ranked by their relative importance.

Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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