Metallurgical technicians provide technical support in researching and performing experiments on minerals, metals, alloys, oil and gas. They also assist in improving the methods of extraction.
A metallurgical technician typically does the following:
- studies the properties of metals and other materials
- develops and improves existing materials
- develops new combinations of metals (alloy development) and creates products that combine metals with other materials
- develops techniques to repair metal damage
- advises engineers and manufacturers on industrial processes that use metals and the correct selection of metals for specific uses
- checks the quality of metals or other materials used in new products
- conducts quality tests and other tests to detect defects
- uses ultrasonic, radiographic and other non-destructive testing methods
- interprets results from radiographs, meters and other indicators
- write evidence briefs for litigation cases and appear as an expert witness in court.
The following job titles also refer to metallurgical technician:
metallurgical quality technician
metallurgy quality technician
metallurgy test technician
quality technician, metals
metallurgy research technician
metallurgical test technician
metallurgical research technician
Many metallurgical technicians spend most of their time in laboratories. They usually work as part of a team with other technicians, engineers, or scientists. They must use precise instruments and keep careful records. They usually work thirty-five to forty hours a week.
Metallurgical technicians must often wear hard hats and protective clothing and glasses.
Although it is possible to become a metallurgical technician with a high school diploma, an associate’s degree in metallurgy, materials science, or a related field is generally recommended. Some community colleges and technical institutes offer these programs.
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.
Metallurgical technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Metallurgical technician career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to metallurgical technician.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of metallurgical technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of metallurgical technician with significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of metallurgical technician.
- Non-ferrous metal processing: Various processing methods on non-ferrous metals and alloys such as copper, zinc and aluminium.
- Precious metals: Types of rare metal that occur naturally and have a high economic value.
- Corrosion types: The various types of oxidation reactions with the environment, such as rusting, copper pitting, stress cracking, and others.
- Alloys of precious metals: Types of material that consist of two or more metals or non-metals.
- Ferrous metal processing: Various processing methods on iron and iron-containing alloys such as steel, stainless steel and pig iron.
- 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.
- Metal drawing processes: The various types of drawing processes in metal fabrication, such as wire drawing, bar drawing, tube drawing, and others.
- Precious metal processing: Various processing methods on precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of metallurgical technician.
- Record test data: Record data which has been identified specifically during preceding tests in order to verify that outputs of the test produce specific results or to review the reaction of the subject under exceptional or unusual input.
- Maintain laboratory equipment: Clean laboratory glassware and other equipment after use and inspect it for damage or corrosion in order to ensure its proper functioning.
- Interpret extraction data: Process and interpret extraction data and send feedback to the development teams; apply learnings to concrete operational activities.
- Apply safety procedures in laboratory: Make sure that laboratory equipment is used in a safe manner and the handling of samples and specimens is correct. Work to ensure the validity of results obtained in research.
- Analyse test data: Interpret and analyse data collected during testing in order to formulate conclusions, new insights or solutions.
- Analyse experimental laboratory data: Analyse experimental data and interpret results to write reports and summaries of findings
- Perform sample testing: Examine and perform tests on prepared samples; avoid any possibility of accidental or deliberate contamination during the testing phase. Operate sampling equipment in line with design parameters.
- Conduct field work: Conduct field work or research which is the collection of information outside of a laboratory or workplace setting. Visit places in order to collect specific information about the field.
- Test raw minerals: Take samples of mineral materials for testing purposes. Execute various chemical and physical tests on the materials.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of metallurgical technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Metal and metal ore products: The offered metal and metal ore products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
- Materials science: Field of science and engineering that researches new materials on the basis of their structure, properties, synthesis, and performance for a variety of purposes, including increasing fire resistance of construction materials.
- Chemical technologies in metal manufacture: The chemical procedures and technologies used in basic metal production.
- Innovation processes: The techniques, models, methods and strategies which contribute to the promotion of steps towards innovation.
- Mine safety legislation: The laws, regulations and codes of practice relevant to safety in mining operations.
- Chemical processes: The relevant chemical processes used in manufacture, such as purification, seperation, emulgation and dispergation processing.
- Excavation techniques: The methods to remove rock and soil, used in an excavation site and the associated risks.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of metallurgical technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Advise on construction materials: Provide advice on and test a wide range of construction materials.
- Ensure compliance with environmental legislation: Monitor activities and perform tasks ensuring compliance with standards involving environmental protection and sustainability, and amend activities in the case of changes in environmental legislation. Ensure that the processes are compliant with environment regulations and best practices.
- Conduct metallurgical structural analysis: Perform detailed analysis related to researching and testing new metal products.
- Manipulate metal: Manipulate the properties, shape and size of metal.
- Develop alternative mining methods: Develop new mine development methods and procedures to maximise mine performance; ensure compliance to company standards and industrial regulations and requirements.
- Test construction material samples: Randomly select samples from a batch of construction materials and test their quality visually and using a variety of tests to gauge their relevant characteristics.
- Report analysis results: Produce research documents or give presentations to report the results of a conducted research and analysis project, indicating the analysis procedures and methods which led to the results, as well as potential interpretations of the results.
- Separate metals from ores: Apply various chemical and physical methods to separate minerals from their ores such as magnetic, electric or chemical methods
- Determine characteristics of mineral deposits: Prepare and conduct geological mapping, logging, sampling and assay of drill core and other subsurface rock samples. Analyse results in plans and sections, with particular emphasis on geostatics and sampling theory. Examine in 3D the maps, deposits, drilling locations or mines to determine the location, size, accessibility, contents, value and potential profitability of mineral deposits.
ISCO group and title
3117 – Mining and metallurgical technicians
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- Metallurgical and Materials Technician – Your Career
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- Metallurgical Technician Job Description – StateUniversity.com
- Featured image: By NASA on The Commons – Technician Allen Larkins and engineer David Willinger in metallurgical laboratory, No restrictions