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Furnace and Kiln Operator  What They Do

Just the Facts


Operates or tends heating equipment other than basic metal, plastic, or food processing equipment. Includes activities, such as annealing glass, drying lumber, curing rubber, removing moisture from materials, or boiling soap.

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


A person in this career:

  • Monitors equipment operation, gauges, and panel lights to detect deviations from standards.
  • Confers with supervisors or other equipment operators to report equipment malfunctions or to resolve production problems.
  • Presses and adjusts controls to activate, set, and regulate equipment according to specifications.
  • Records gauge readings, test results, and shift production in log books.
  • Reads and interprets work orders and instructions to determine work assignments, process specifications, and production schedules.
  • Examines or tests samples of processed substances, or collect samples for laboratory testing, to ensure conformance to specifications.
  • Transports materials and products to and from work areas, manually or using carts, handtrucks, or hoists.
  • Stops equipment and clears blockages or jams, using fingers, wire, or hand tools.
  • Loads equipment receptacles or conveyors with material to be processed, by hand or using hoists.
  • Removes products from equipment, manually or using hoists, and prepares them for storage, shipment, or additional processing.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • 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.
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • 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
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Kiln Fireman --
  • Kiln Operator --
  • Lime Kiln and Recausticizing Operator --
  • Oven Operator --
  • Annealing Operator --
  • Control Room Operator --
  • Dry Kiln Operator --
  • Dryer Feeder --
  • Evaporator Operator --
  • Furnace Operator --