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Engraver/Etcher  What They Do

Just the Facts


Etchers and Engravers Career Video



Engraves or etches metal, wood, rubber, or other materials.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Adjusts depths and sizes of cuts by adjusting heights of worktables, or by adjusting machine-arm gauges.
  • Engraves and prints patterns, designs, etchings, trademarks, or lettering onto flat or curved surfaces of a wide variety of metal, glass, plastic, or paper items, using hand tools or hand-held power tools.
  • Positions and clamps workpieces, plates, or rollers in holding fixtures.
  • Determines machine settings, and moves bars or levers to reproduce designs on rollers or plates.
  • Examines engraving for quality of cut, burrs, rough spots, and irregular or incomplete engraving.
  • Measures and computes dimensions of lettering, designs, or patterns to be engraved.
  • Starts machines and lowers cutting tools to beginning points on patterns.
  • Cleans and polishes engraved areas.
  • Examines sketches, diagrams, samples, blueprints, or photographs to decide how designs are to be etched, cut, or engraved onto workpieces.
  • Selects and mounts wheels and miters on lathes, and equips lathes with water to cool wheels and prevent dust when grinding glass.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Block Engraver -- Carves designs and lettering in wooden blocks or rollers used to print articles, such as cloth, greeting cards, and posters following sketch or photograph, using gravers handtools and machines.
  • Die Cutter -- Operates machine to cut out parts of specified size and shape from materials, such as cardboard, cloth, leather, mica, paper, plastic, or rubber.
  • Embosser -- Tends machine that imparts raised design or finish on cloth, coated fabrics, or plastic sheeting, by means of heat and pressure from engraved steel rollers.
  • Etched Circuit Processor -- Performs any combination of following tasks to print and etch conductive patterns on copper-faced plastic, fiberglass, or epoxy board to fabricate printed circuit boards.
  • Siderographer -- Reproduces original engravings on metal plates used to print banknotes, bonds, and other securities, using gravers' handtools and machines.
  • Acid Etch Operator --
  • Jewelry Engraver --
  • Laser Engraver --
  • Plate Maker --