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Career profile Heat Treat Technician

Also known as Batch Heat Treat Operator, Burner, Coating Line Worker, Furnace Operator, Heat Treat Furnace Operator, Heat Treat Operator, Heat Treat Technician, Heat Treater, Scarf and Anneal Operator

Heat Treat Technician

Also known as Batch Heat Treat Operator, Burner, Coating Line Worker

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$27,310 - $59,700 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Mathematics
  • Education and Training
Core tasks
  • Read production schedules and work orders to determine processing sequences, furnace temperatures, and heat cycle requirements for objects to be heat-treated.
  • Determine flame temperatures, current frequencies, heating cycles, and induction heating coils needed, based on degree of hardness required and properties of stock to be treated.
  • Record times that parts are removed from furnaces to document that objects have attained specified temperatures for specified times.
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What does a Heat Treat Technician do?

Heat Treat Technicians set up, operate, or tend heating equipment, such as heat-treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, soaking pits, or vacuum equipment to temper, harden, anneal, or heat treat metal or plastic objects.

What kind of tasks does a Heat Treat Technician perform regularly?

Heat Treat Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Read production schedules and work orders to determine processing sequences, furnace temperatures, and heat cycle requirements for objects to be heat-treated.
  • Record times that parts are removed from furnaces to document that objects have attained specified temperatures for specified times.
  • Adjust controls to maintain temperatures and heating times, using thermal instruments and charts, dials and gauges of furnaces, and color of stock in furnaces to make setting determinations.
  • Set up and operate or tend machines, such as furnaces, baths, flame-hardening machines, and electronic induction machines, that harden, anneal, and heat-treat metal.
  • Start conveyors and open furnace doors to load stock, or signal crane operators to uncover soaking pits and lower ingots into them.
  • Remove parts from furnaces after specified times, and air dry or cool parts in water, oil brine, or other baths.
  • Move controls to light gas burners and to adjust gas and water flow and flame temperature.
  • Instruct new workers in machine operation.

The above responsibilities are specific to Heat Treat Technicians. More generally, Heat Treat Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
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.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.

What is a Heat Treat Technician salary?

The median salary for a Heat Treat Technician is $39,530, and the average salary is $41,680. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Heat Treat Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Heat Treat Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Heat Treat Technicians earn less than $27,310 per year, 25% earn less than $32,460, 75% earn less than $48,760, and 90% earn less than $59,700.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Heat Treat Technicians is expected to change by -4.1%, and there should be roughly 1,600 open positions for Heat Treat Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$27,310 - $59,700
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Heat Treat Technicians?


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 Heat Treat Technician are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Heat Treat Technicians 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.


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 Heat Treat Technician tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Heat Treat Technicians strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Heat Treat Technicians 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, Heat Treat Technicians somewhat 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 Heat Treat Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, integrity, and independence.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Heat Treat Technicians, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

What education and training do Heat Treat Technicians need?

Working as a Heat Treat Technician usually requires a high school diploma.

Heat Treat Technicians need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Heat Treat Technicians

  • 18.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 48.2% completed high school or secondary school
  • 21.1% completed some college coursework
  • 6.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 4.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Heat Treat Technicians

Heat Treat Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, mathematics, or education and training knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Heat Treat Technicians 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.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.
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.
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Important Abilities needed by Heat Treat Technicians

Heat Treat Technicians 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, Heat Treat Technicians need abilities such as arm-hand steadiness, multilimb coordination, and reaction time in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Heat Treat Technicians, 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.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
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.

Critical Skills needed by Heat Treat Technicians

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.

Heat Treat Technicians frequently use skills like operations monitoring, operation and control, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Heat Treat Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.