Metal engraver


Metal engravers make incisions of a design onto a metal surface by carving grooves into it, usually for decorative purposes, including metal weaponry. To cut the design into the surface they use tools such as gravers or burins.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to metal engraver:

precious metal engraver
engraving drill operative
engraving mill operative
engraving mill operator
hand metal engraver
engraving drill operator
metal hand engraver
engraving set up technician
engraving drilling operative
engraving set-up operative
engraving set up operative
engraving set-up operator
engraving drill technician
engraving set-up technician
engraving set up operator
engraving mill technician

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally required to work as a metal engraver.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Metal engraver is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Metal engraver career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to metal engraver.

glass engraver
laser marking machine operator
jewellery engraver
stone engraver
engraving machine operator

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of metal engraver. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of metal engraver with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

metallurgical technician
metal production supervisor
metal furnace operator
welding inspector
automated assembly line operator

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of metal engraver.

  • Types of metal: Qualities, specifications, applications and reactions to different fabricating processes of various types of metal, such as steel, aluminium, brass, copper and others.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of metal engraver.

  • Position engraving equipment: Position and clamp work pieces, plates, or rollers in holding fixtures.
  • Engrave patterns: Engrave and print designs and patterns onto a variety of surfaces.
  • Remove inadequate workpieces: Evaluate which deficient processed workpieces do not meet the set-up standard and should be removed and sort the waste according to regulations.
  • Troubleshoot: Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.
  • Remove processed workpiece: Remove individual workpieces after processing, from the manufacturing machine or the machine tool. In case of a conveyor belt this involves quick, continuous movement.
  • Operate precision measuring equipment: Measure the size of a processed part when checking and marking it to check if it is up to standard by use of two and three dimensional precision measuring equipment such as a caliper, a micrometer, and a measuring gauge.
  • Ensure accurate engravings: Closely observe the actions of the mechanical cutting tools, resulting in a flawless engraving process.
  • Ensure equipment availability: Ensure that the necessary equipment is provided, ready and available for use before start of procedures.
  • Operate engraving equipment: Operate mechanical engraving tools and machines, set controls of cutting tools. Make adjustments if necessary.
  • Apply precision metalworking techniques: Comply with precision standards specific to an organisation or product in metalworking, involved in processes such as engraving, precise cutting, welding.
  • Clean engraved areas: Polish and clean engraved etching areas.
  • Determine quality of engraving: Quality control of engravings and etchings; check for cuts, burns, rough spots and irregular or incomplete engraving.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of metal engraver. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Non-ferrous metal processing: Various processing methods on non-ferrous metals and alloys such as copper, zinc and aluminium.
  • Manufacturing of cutlery: The manufacture of different cutlery items, such as forks, spoons, knives, razors or scissors.
  • Ferrous metal processing: Various processing methods on iron and iron-containing alloys such as steel, stainless steel and pig iron.
  • Engraving technologies: The characteristics of various materials and methods used to engrave something on a surface.
  • Types of metal manufacturing processes: Metal processes linked to the different types of metal, such as casting processes, heat treatment processes, repair processes and other metal manufacturing processes.
  • Manufacturing of door furniture from metal: The manufacture of metal items that can be attached to a door in order to support its function and appearance. The manufacture of padlocks, locks, keys, hinges and the like, and hardware for buildings, furniture, vehicles etc.
  • Manufacturing of daily use goods: The manufacturing of items used in the daily life, personal use or daily practice. These products include protective safety equipment, drawing equipment, stamps, umbrellas, cigarette lighters, baskets, candles, and many other miscellaneous articles.
  • Types of engraving needles: Various types of needles used for engraving, their qualities and their applications.
  • Manufacturing of sports equipment: The manufacture of products and equipment used for both outdoor and indoor sports activities, such as balls, rackets, ski’s, surfboards, fishing, hunting, skating or fitness centre equipment.
  • Precious metal processing: Various processing methods on precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of metal engraver. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Apply isopropyl alcohol safely: Use isopropyl alcohol in order to improve the morphology and therefore the surface quality of the engraved material in a moderate and safe manner.
  • Dispose of cutting waste material: Dispose of possibly hazardous waste material created in the cutting process, such as swarf, scrap and slugs, sort according to regulations, and clean up workplace.
  • Select engraving templates: Select, prepare and install engraving templates; operate cutting tools and routers.
  • Prepare etching chemicals: Prepare etching chemicals according to formulas, mixing solutions of specified concentration.
  • Mark processed workpiece: Inspect and mark parts of the workpiece to indicate how they will fit into the finished product.
  • Transpose designs to engravings: Examine diagrams, sketches, blueprints and samples, and calculate how they are to be engraved onto work pieces.
  • Consult technical resources: Read and interpret such technical resources such as digital or paper drawings and adjustment data in order to properly set up a machine or working tool, or to assemble mechanical equipment.
  • Prepare workpieces for etching: Prepare mechanical tools and work pieces for etching by polishing their surface and bevelling the work piece to remove sharp edges. Polishing is done using different sandpapers and sand films which are applied and vary from rough to very fine ones.
  • Prepare workpieces for engraving: Prepare mechanical tools and workpieces for engraving by polishing their surface and bevelling the workpiece to remove sharp edges. Polishing is done using different sandpapers and sand films which are applied from rougher ones to very fine ones.
  • Perform damascening: Perform the art of inserting contrasting materials, such as different types of metal, into one another in order to create detailed patterns.
  • Verify engraving accuracy: Examine design results to verify engraving accuracy, rework engraving where needed.
  • Inspect etched work: Inspect finished etchings in detail, using microscopes and magnifying lenses.
  • Produce customised products: Produce goods designed and created to fit the specific needs or request of a customer.
  • Compute engraving dimensions: Measure and compute dimensions of lettering, designs and patterns to be engraved.

ISCO group and title

7316 – Sign writers, decorative painters, engravers and etchers

  1. Metal engraver – ESCO
Last updated on October 5, 2022

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