£20,800 Average salary at age 20
£31,200 Average Salary
48 Average hours per week


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.

Main 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.


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.

UK Prospects

13600 Workforce Size
5.80% Predicted decline 2024 - 2027
1028 Predicted Replacement 2024 - 2027

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