Metal making and treating process operatives


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Metal making and treating process operatives operate furnaces, ovens and other heating vessels, drawing, rolling, extruding, galvanising, forging and other metal processing equipment to smelt, shape and treat metal and metal products.


There are no formal academic entry requirements. Training is typically provided on-the-job. NVQs/ SVQs in Steel Making, Steel Refining, Steel Casting and Metal Forging are available at Levels 2 and 3.

Typical tasks

  • charges furnace, operates controls to regulate furnace temperature, and adds oxidising, alloying and fluxing agents as required;
  • withdraws samples of molten metal for analysis, taps slag from surface of molten metal and directs flow of molten metal into casts;
  • sets rolling speed, tension and space between rolls, guides the metal to and from rollers, and monitors the rolling process to detect irregularities, and ensure that the gauge and finish match required specifications;
  • operates equipment to remove dirt, scale and other surface impurities by immersion in chemical solution;
  • heats metal or metal articles in furnace, allows to cool for a specified time or quenches in brine, oil or water to harden, reduces brittleness and restores ductility;
  • operates piercing, extruding, pressing and other metal processing equipment to shape and treat metal or metal articles.

Common job titles

Furnaceman, electric
Converter, steel
Hand, mill, rolling
Refiner, nickel
Striker (metal trades)
Maker, lead, printer's
Wirer-up (electroplating)
Helper, press
Smith, coil (tube mfr)
Worker, forge
Hardener, blade
Helper, smith's
Finisher, spring
Attendant, lid, carbonising
Converter (metal mfr)
Driver, skid (rolling mill)
Mangler (steelworks)
Operator, extruder (metal trades)
Foreman, furnace, blast
Foreman (steel drawing)
Operator, tilter
Assistant, forge
Stamper (Assay Office)
Straightener, tube
Worker, muffle (annealing)
Machinist, drawing, wire
Buttoner (rolling mill)
Machinist, casting, pig
Maker, nail, forged
Sprayer, lime (iron and steelworks)
Reelerman (rolling mill)
Riser (metal rolling)
Man, converter (metal mfr)
Man, mill (metal mfr)
Operator, coil, steel
Caster, strip
Maker, punch
Engineer, treatment, heat
Maker, tube, metal
Melter, electric
Teemer (steelworks)
Operator, furnace, treatment, heat
Hand, mill (tinplate mfr)
Riser, mill
Melter, platinum
Shingler (iron works)
Helper (copper refining)
Worker, treatment, heat (metal trades)
Man, fan (lead mfr)
Caster, furnace, blast
Foreman (metal heat treatment)
Worker, plant, sinter
Reliner, bearing
Foreman, furnace (metal trades)
Machinist, rolling (metal trades)
Roller, tube
Refiner, silver
Maker, strap, fork
Roller, side
Ovenman, iron, malleable
Driver, table (rolling mill)
Roller, mill, blooming
Operator, depiler (metal mfr)
Attendant, mill, rod
Worker, mill (metal mfr)
Keeper (blast furnace)
Roller, mill, sheet
Machinist, moulding (lead refining)
Re-roller (wire mfr)
Tender, furnace (metal trades)
Mate, smith's
Bender (rolling mill)
Operator, degrease
Manufacturer (metal mfr)
Foreman, mill, rolling
Slagman (blast furnace)
Potman (metal mfr)
Attendant, bath, salt
Hand, spare (rolling mill)
Helper, pitman's
Ladler (copper lead refining)
Foreman (blast furnace)
Catcher, roll, cold
Rammer (metal mfr)
Filler, wire
Foreman, refining, metal
Stripper (wire drawing)
Assistant, mill, rolling
Setter, spring
Drawer, strip
Patenter, wire
Machinist, bending (iron works)
Breaker (rolling mill)
Fettler (puddling)
Heater, smith's
Leader (abrasive wheel mfr)
Foreman, shop, melting
Foreman (metal tube mfr)
Feeder, furnace
Attendant, baths, salt
Dresser (metal fastening mfr)
Heater, ingot
Helper, first (rolling mill)
Passer (rolling mill)
Piercer (tube mfr)
Flattener, sheet
Attendant, instrument (steelworks)
Marker, plate (rolling mill)
Taker, temperature
Operator, castings (metal mfr)
Moulder, battery
Operator, mill, hot (metal trades)
Fireman, furnace (metal trades)
Cleaner, press (rolling mill)
Operator, mill, foil
Drawer, wire
Operator, hammer
Caster, needle
Granulator, aluminium
Smelter, steel
Gauger, furnace
Furnaceman, hearth, open
Furnaceman (metal trades)
Assistant, electroplating
Backer-up (steelworks)
Rackman (metal mfr)
Helper (blast furnace)
Finisher (spring mfr)
Pickler, underhand
Feeder (rolling mill)
Maker, block, radiator
Rammer, plug
Roller, strip
Melter (zinc smelting)
Finisher (rolling mill)
Hardener, section
Watcher (metal mfr)
Feeder, rolls (metal mfr)
Lapper (metal tube mfr)
Attendant, stove, core
Coiler (steel mfr)
Maker, plate, accumulator
Operator, bench, draw
Helper (rolling mill)
Founder (metal trades)
Machinist, forging
Stoker (metal mfr)
Worker, process (steelworks)
Shopman, bottle (iron, steel tube mfr)
Foreman (razor blade mfr)
Skimmer (metal mfr)
Helper, roller's
Worker, wire, tungsten
Doorman, furnace
Operator, plant, degreasing
Driver, gear (rolling mill)
Maker, nail, frost
Operator, furnace (metal mfr)
Striker, wheel
Striker, forger's
Tester, furnace
Distributor, paste (aluminium mfr)
Foreman (annealing)
Operator, extrusion (metal trades)
Operator, furnace, annealing
Coiler, copper
Flattener, patent
Man, extractor (tube mfr)
Degreaser (metal trades)
Marker, billet (steelworks)
Pickler, iron
Driver, roller (steelworks)
Catcher, finishing
Springer (tube mfr)
Tuber, wire (wire mfr)
Coverer, lead
Scourer (tinplate mfr)
Fitter, mould
Machinist, upsetting
Drawer (zinc refining)
Drawer (metal trades)
Potter, furnace, blast
Roller, hot (steel mfr)
Operator, steel (metal mfr)
Man, ladle, direct
Controller, converter
Filler, pan (steelworks)
Fireman, oven, annealing
Foreman (wire mfr)
Operator, shear, flying
Bolter-down (metal trades)
Boxman (steel mfr)
Straightener, steel
Maker, nail, wrought
Man, casting (blast furnace)
Breaker, skull
Hand, stretcher (aluminium mfr)
Melter, silver
Reeler, bar
Striker, iron
Helper (forging)
Furnaceman, blast
Hardener, file
Mangler, plate
Straightener, plate
Roller, mill, roughing
Worker, plate, tin (tinplate mfr)
Driver, spray, water (rolling mill)
Distiller (lead, zinc refining)
Fabricator (tube mfr)
Man, muffle (steel mfr)
Furnaceman, treatment, heat
Smith, chain
Catcher (steelworks)
Operator, control (steelworks)
Operator, furnace, carburising
Furnaceman, spring, coach
Foreman (metal cutlery mfr)
Presser, fitter's
Mate, blacksmith's
Man, annealing
Driver, caster
Operator, pilger
Tuber (wire mfr)
Worker, tinplate (tinplate mfr)
Hand, bench (brass foundry)
Operator, mill, rolling
Roller, cogging
Descaler (steelworks)
Stripper, ingot
Operator, plant, sinter
Packer, oven (foundry)
Burner (metal sinter plant)
Drawer, tube
Caster, shot
Operator, furnace, electrical (metal mfr)
Operator, furnace, slab, pusher
Machinist, wire
Cellarman (steelworks)
Operator, shears, flying
Cogger (rolling mill)
Worker, treatment, heat
Attendant, oven, core
Operator, manipulator (steel mfr)
Drawer, bar
Builder, mop (steelworks)
Dragger, bar
Drawer and marker (Assay Office)
Marker, hall (Assay Office)
Hardener, drill
Driver, assistant (iron and steelworks)
Hardener, case
Man, bell (blast furnace)
Slagger (blast furnace)
Hand, pit (tube mfr)
Rougher (rolling mill)
Attendant, cupola
Mixer, sand (metal mfr)
Operator, mill, tube
Heater, mill (rolling mill)
Roller, mill (iron, steel tube mfr)
Clipper (metal trades)
Doubler (metal rolling)
Heater, iron (foundry)
Worker, furnace (metal trades)
Hardener, die and mill
Furnaceman, chrome
Cleaner, wire (wire mfr)
Presser, pipe
Hand, roll (steel mfr)
Cleaner (electroplating)
Roller, wire
Dipper, acid
Driver, press
Changer, roll
Driver, rack (rolling mill)
Operator, line, pickle (steel mfr)
Depositor (welding)
Roller, section
Turner, core
Former, tube
Filler, plug
Fireman (shipbuilding)
Operator, block, bull
Machinist, stoving
Charger (tinplate mfr)
Passer, sample
Bender, bar, handle
Cutter-out (cutlery mfr)
Driver, roll
Worker, furnace, blast
Tankman (non-ferrous metal mfr)
Worker, mill, rolling
Baller (iron works)
Roller, head
Threader (needle mfr)
Tenter, furnace
Worker, process (nickel mfr)
Pickler, tube
Hand, leading (blast furnace)
Caster, lead (battery mfr)
Moulder, fork
Operator, pulpit (steel mfr)
Roller, forge
Attendant, pyrometer (metal mfr)
Pickler, aluminium
Presser, extruding (metal trades)
Rectifier, tube
Refiner, bullion
Pourer (foundry)
Setter, mould (steelworks)
Melter (Royal Mint)
Fireman (annealing)
Stover (iron foundry)
Helper, straightener's (rolling mill)
Operator, hot
Rounder (tube mfr)
Blower (steelworks)
Man, cupel
Extruder, cable (metal trades)
Man, platform (steelworks)
Mixer, metal
Operator, sinter
Backer (rolling mill)
Melter, hand, first
Helper (metal tube mfr)
Chipper-in (rolling mill)
Worker, lead, tea
Striker, forge
Temperer (metal trades)
Feeder (foundry)
Smelter, lead
Trailer-down (rolling mill)
Pickler (metal trades)
Roller, rod
Opener, hot (steel mfr)
Sheather, cable
Moulder, lead (battery mfr)
Straightener, shaft, crank
Feeder, roll (metal mfr)
Extruder, metal
Assistant, hammerman's
Dipper, brass
Straightener (metal mfr)
Fireman, retort
Striker (coal mine)
Grouter, mould (steelworks)
Maker, fittings, tube
Breaker-down (rolling mill)
Oiler, tube (tube mfr)
Operator, process (aluminium mfr)
Hardener, saw
Operator, bath, salt (metal goods mfr)
Manipulator (metal mfr)
Firer, stove (blast furnace)
Attendant, furnace (annealing)
Helper, blacksmith's
Operator, treatment, heat
Furnaceman, annealing
Driver, tilter
Worker, hammer, power
Assistant, plating (electroplating)
Assistant, smith's
Driver, rest (rolling mill)
Sprayer, copper
Lifter-up (rolling mill)
Man, cupola
Assistant, pickler's
Attender (tinplate mfr)
Foreman, cupola
Catcher and sticker
Cutter-down (rolling mill)
Machinist, coiling (metal tube mfr)
Hand, forge
Recoverer, zinc
Hand, leading (foundry)
Operator, pusher (metal mfr)
Feeder (metal tube mfr)
Roller, under
Pickler, wire
Attendant, roll, cold
Tagger (steel mfr)
Roller, finishing
Foreman (metal extrusion)
Striker (railways)
Assistant, roller's
Maker, screw, frost
Setter, die (wire mfr)
Washer (metal trades)
Airman, hot
Driver, control (steelworks)
Fuser (metal trades)
Firer (metal mfr)
Melter, lead
Man, foundry
Straightener, mills, rod
Hand, mill (galvanised sheet mfr)
Straightener, roller
Hand, furnace, blast
Melter, bullion
Foreman (tinplate mfr)
Finisher, tube (steelworks)
Layer, core
Striker, smith's
Roller (metal trades)
Finisher (metal tube mfr)
Operator, transfer (metal mfr)
Heater (metal trades)
Drawer (puddling)
Man, pit (steelworks)
Man, still (metal smelting)
Haulier, shop (tube mfr)
Straightener, drill
Operator, mill (rolling mill)
Controller, furnace (sherardizing)
Receiver (rolling mill)
Leveller, plate
Hand, second (steelworks)
Wheelman (copper refining)
Inspector, furnace
Roller, plate
Stripper, gold
Man, vice, spring
Attendant, mill (rolling mill)
Doorman (forging)
Attendant, furnace, blast
Heater, pit, soaking
Stoker (shipbuilding)
Controlman (blast furnace)
Minder, stove
Tongsman, back
Hardener, tool
Stretcher, tube
Man, mixer (steel mfr)
Bedman (blast furnace)
Busher, lead
Roller, cold
Sinterer (mine: not coal)
Straightener, iron
Helper, first (tinplate mfr)
Maker, pipe, lead
Mate, forger's, drop
Assistant, gilder's
Reeler (rolling mill)
Mixer (steelworks)
Injector, wax
Helper, forge
Operator, swaging
Guider (tube mfr)
Presser (metal tube mfr)
Worker, mill, sheet
Cleaner (enamelling)
Marker-off (foundry)
Helper, stamper's
Dipper and stripper
Attendant, furnace (metal trades)
Tapper (iron and steelworks)
Holder, double (rolling mill)
Maker, last
Bender, spoke (cycle mfr)
Tupper (steel mfr)
Man, muffle (annealing)
Closer (foundry)
Opener, plate
Stripper (gold refining)
Foreman (rolling mill)
Man, ingot (non-ferrous metal mfr)
Maker, block, cylinder
Melter, gold
Watcher, furnace
Straightener, rail
Bender, arch
Melter, steel
Smelter (metal mfr)
Helper, potman's
Man, lime (steelworks)
Potman (cable mfr)
Fireman, furnace (annealing)
Hand, cupola (metal mfr)
Tongsman (rolling mill)
Tongsman (steel hoop mill)
Furnaceman, hardening, case
Roller, tyre
Caster, metal
Setter, core
Furnaceman, cupola
Driver, hammer
Foreman, shop, steel
Hand, first (steelworks)
Machinist, forge
Roller, roughing
Carboniser (ball bearing mfr)
Caster, ingot
Coiler (wire rod mfr)
Keeper, furnace (metal mfr)
Maker, runner
Dipper, core
Setter (type foundry)
Breaker, bear
Leverman (iron and steelworks)
Sinterer (metal mfr)
Presser, bending
Backer, spindle (rolling mill)
Setter, guide (steel mfr)
Catcher, bar
Assistant, stamper's (drop forging)
Beater, leaf
Maker, tube
Slagger (steel casting)
Drawer, plate
Helper, keeper's
Middler (rolling mill)
Dresser, wire
Refiner, gold
Stover (blast furnace)
Helper, furnaceman's
Foreman (iron, steel mfr)
Softener, lead
Tongsman (wrought iron mfr)
Straightener, bar
Worker, muffle, foundry
Man, ladle (metal mfr)
Feeder, pass, skin (steelworks)
Carrier, bar
Worker, strip, copper
Man, condenser (blast furnace)
Striker, chain
Screwer-down (rolling mill)
Machinist, casting, centrifugal
Stripper, silver
Teazer (metal trades)
Scaler (steel mfr)
Hand, second, roller's
Helper, pickler's (metal trades)
Foreman, extrusion, metal
Tenter, cupola
Tagger (tube mfr)
Cutter, nut
Man, crucible
Caster, type
Operator, degreaser
Pickler, steel, strip
Caster, iron
Man, drop (blast furnace)
Dryer, core (foundry)
Fireman, stove
Assistant, heater's (metal trades)
Leveller, roller (steelworks)
Worker, tube
Fireman, soaker
Founder, type
Hand, third (foundry)
Uncoiler (tinplate mfr)
Hardener, ring
Man, vessel (steelworks)
Runner, metal
Staver (tube mfr)
Stoker, furnace (metal mfr)
Foreman (metal refining)
Striker, anvil
Stamper, ingot
Furnaceman, brass
Caster, brass
Operator, pot (aluminium mfr)
Catcher, mill, sheet
Melter (steelworks)
Fuser, enamel
Former (tube mfr)
Caster (metal trades)
Hand, third (rolling mill)
Controller, furnace (metal mfr)
Helper, caster's
Foreman, treatment, heat
Screwer (rolling mill)
Unreeler (steel mfr)
Spinner, pipe (iron, steel tube mfr)
Screwman (metal mfr)
Helper, pit
Fabricator, pipe (heavy engineering)
Hooker (rolling mill)
Assistant, furnace (metal trades)
Opener (tinplate mfr)
Machinist, extruding (metal tube mfr)
Treater, heat
Presser, lead (cable mfr)
Teemer, ladle
Coiler (wire mfr)
Scaler (rolling mill)
Squirter, lead (cartridge mfr)
Drawer, tape
Hand, second (metal rolling)
Fireman (metal trades)
Scourer (wire mfr)
Man, moulds (metal mfr)
Rollsman (copper rolling)
Forker (wrought iron mfr)
Puller-out (metal mfr)
Hand, furnace (metal mfr)
Jigger (metal trades)
Drawer, fork
Heater, tube, steel
Straightener, section
Worker, aluminium
Billeter (rolling mill)
Man, muffle (foundry)
Presser, clipping
Operator, forge
Marker, ingot (metal mfr)
Temperer, wire
Refiner (metal mfr)
Operator, mangle
Drawer, steel
Cleaner, core
Maker, tube (musical instruments mfr)
Cleaner (cartridge mfr)
Potter (lead smelting)
Roller, bar, puddled
Stretcher (metal mfr)
Drawer, rod