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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. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers.

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


A person in this career:

  • Inspects etched work for depth of etching, uniformity, and defects, using calibrated microscopes, gauges, fingers, or magnifying lenses.
  • Examines sketches, diagrams, samples, blueprints, or photographs to decide how designs are to be etched, cut, or engraved onto workpieces.
  • Cleans and polishes engraved areas.
  • Prepares workpieces for etching or engraving by cutting, sanding, cleaning, polishing, or treating them with wax, acid resist, lime, etching powder, or light-sensitive enamel.
  • 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.
  • Prepares etching chemicals according to formulas, diluting acid with water to obtain solutions of specified concentration.
  • Uses computer software to design patterns for engraving.
  • Exposes workpieces to acid to develop etch patterns such as designs, lettering, or figures.
  • Adjusts depths and sizes of cuts by adjusting heights of worktables, or by adjusting machine-arm gauges.
  • Cuts outlines of impressions with gravers, and removes excess material with knives.

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 use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • 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 requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions 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:

  • Acid Etch Operator --
  • Award Machine Operator --
  • Chemical Engraver --
  • Electronic Engraver --
  • Engraver --
  • Etcher -- Etches a design on glass or metal by using a chemical, such as acid, to wear away the surface.
  • Laser Engraver --
  • Photo Engraver --
  • Screen Making Technician --
  • Wet Process Technician --