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Details for Furnace, Kiln, Oven, Drier, and Kettle Operators and Tenders


Operate or tend 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.


  • Weigh or measure specified amounts of ingredients or materials for processing, using devices such as scales and calipers.
  • Press and adjust controls in order to activate, set, and regulate equipment according to specifications.
  • Monitor equipment operation, gauges, and panel lights in order to detect deviations from standards.
  • Read and interpret work orders and instructions in order to determine work assignments, process specifications, and production schedules.
  • Record gauge readings, test results, and shift production in log books.
  • Confer with supervisors or other equipment operators in order to report equipment malfunctions or to resolve production problems.
  • Examine or test samples of processed substances, or collect samples for laboratory testing, in order to ensure conformance to specifications.
  • Clean, lubricate, and adjust equipment, using scrapers, solvents, air hoses, oil, and hand tools.
  • Transport materials and products to and from work areas, manually or using carts, handtrucks, or hoists.
  • Stop equipment and clear blockages or jams, using fingers, wire, or hand tools.
  • Remove products from equipment, manually or using hoists, and prepare them for storage, shipment, or additional processing.
  • Calculate amounts of materials to be loaded into furnaces, adjusting amounts as necessary for specific conditions.
  • Feed fuel, such as coal and coke, into fireboxes or onto conveyors, and remove ashes from furnaces, using shovels and buckets.
  • Melt or refine metal before casting, calculating required temperatures; and observe metal color and adjust controls as necessary in order to maintain required temperatures.
  • Replace worn or defective equipment parts, using hand tools.
  • Load equipment receptacles or conveyors with material to be processed, by hand or using hoists.
  • Sprinkle chemicals on the surface of molten metal in order to bring impurities to surface and remove impurities, using strainers.
  • Direct crane operators and crew members to load vessels with materials to be processed.


  • Realistic - 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.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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