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Career profile Refractory Technician

Also known as Cell Reliner, Cupola Repairer, Furnace Repairer, Hot Repairman, Ladle Liner, Ladle Repairman, Refractory Bricklayer, Refractory Technician, Refractory Worker

Refractory Technician

Also known as Cell Reliner, Cupola Repairer, Furnace Repairer

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$36,190 - $76,550 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Repairing
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Production and Processing
  • Public Safety and Security
Core tasks
  • Measure furnace walls to determine dimensions and cut required number of sheets from plastic block, using saws.
  • Reline or repair ladles and pouring spouts with refractory clay, using trowels.
  • Tighten locknuts holding refractory stopper assemblies together, spread mortar on jackets to seal sleeve joints, and dry mortar in ovens.
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What does a Refractory Technician do?

Refractory Technicians build or repair equipment such as furnaces, kilns, cupolas, boilers, converters, ladles, soaking pits, and ovens, using refractory materials.

What kind of tasks does a Refractory Technician perform regularly?

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

  • Reline or repair ladles and pouring spouts with refractory clay, using trowels.
  • Chip slag from linings of ladles or remove linings when beyond repair, using hammers and chisels.
  • Mix specified amounts of sand, clay, mortar powder, and water to form refractory clay or mortar, using shovels or mixing machines.

The above responsibilities are specific to Refractory Technicians. More generally, Refractory 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.
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.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

What is a Refractory Technician salary?

The median salary for a Refractory Technician is $54,610, and the average salary is $55,080. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Refractory Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Refractory Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Refractory Technicians earn less than $36,190 per year, 25% earn less than $44,560, 75% earn less than $64,040, and 90% earn less than $76,550.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Refractory Technicians is expected to change by -25.0%, and there should be roughly 0 open positions for Refractory Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$36,190 - $76,550
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Refractory 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 Refractory Technician are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Refractory 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 Refractory Technician tend to value Support, Independence, and Relationships.

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

Second, Refractory Technicians moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Refractory Technicians somewhat 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.

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 Refractory Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and persistence.

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

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Refractory Technicians need?

Working as a Refractory Technician usually requires a high school diploma.

Refractory 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 Refractory Technicians

  • 9.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 42.5% completed high school or secondary school
  • 26.8% completed some college coursework
  • 14.5% earned a Associate's degree
  • 5.9% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Refractory Technicians

Refractory Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, production and processing, or public safety and security knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Refractory Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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 Refractory Technicians

Refractory 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, Refractory Technicians need abilities such as arm-hand steadiness, extent flexibility, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Refractory 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.
Extent Flexibility
The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
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 Refractory 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.

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

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
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.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

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.