Etchers and Engravers
SOC: 51-9194.00


Engrave or etch metal, wood, rubber, or other materials. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
9,700 employed

Projected (2024):
9,500 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Acid Etch Operator
  • Block Engraver
  • Bowling Ball Engraver
  • Computer Engraver
  • Decorative Engraver Apprentice
  • Die Cutter
  • Die Maker
  • Dynamic Etching Processor
  • Electronic Engraver Operator
  • Embosser
  • Engraver
  • Engraving Patternmaker
  • Engraving Plate Maker
  • Engrosser
  • Equipment Operator
  • Etched Circuit Processor
  • Etcher
  • Glass Calibrator
  • Glass Decorator
  • Glass Engraver
  • Glass Etcher
  • Hand Engraver
  • Hand Engraver Apprentice
  • Hand Etcher
  • Hand or Machine Precision Engraver
  • Hand or Machine Precision Etcher
  • Hand Roller Engraver
  • Hand Screen Printer
  • Hard Metals Hand Engraver
  • Internal Carver
  • Jewelry Engraver
  • Jewelry or Silverware Etcher
  • Jogger Operator
  • Laser Engraver
  • Leaf Stamper
  • Lens Engraver
  • Letterer
  • Liner
  • Machine Engraver
  • Mechanical Engraver Operator
  • Metal Engraver
  • Metals Engraver
  • Mold Engraver
  • Mold Stamper
  • Music Engraver
  • Optical Glass Etcher
  • Pantograph Engraver
  • Pantograph Operator
  • Photo Engraver
  • Photochemical Etcher
  • Picture Engraver
  • Plastic Engraver
  • Plate Cutter
  • Plate Maker
  • Printer
  • Proof Plate Maker
  • Re Etcher
  • Retoucher
  • Rework Operator
  • Roller Engraver
  • Roller Mechanic
  • Roller Repairer
  • Rotary Engraver
  • Rubber Engraver
  • Screen Making Technician
  • Seals Engraver
  • Show Card Letterer
  • Show Card Writer
  • Siderographer
  • Siderographist
  • Silk Screen Etcher
  • Silk Screen Processor
  • Sketch Maker
  • Soft Metals Hand Engraver
  • Steel Die Engraver
  • Steel Engraver
  • Stone Engraver
  • Textile Engraver
  • Transferrer
  • Wax Engraver
  • Wood Block Artist
  • Wood Engraver
  • Zinc Plate Cutter

  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed


    Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    Job 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.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Adjust depths and sizes of cuts by adjusting heights of worktables, or by adjusting machine-arm gauges.
  • Engrave and print 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.
  • Position and clamp workpieces, plates, or rollers in holding fixtures.
  • Determine machine settings, and move bars or levers to reproduce designs on rollers or plates.
  • Examine engraving for quality of cut, burrs, rough spots, and irregular or incomplete engraving.
  • Measure and compute dimensions of lettering, designs, or patterns to be engraved.
  • Start machines and lower cutting tools to beginning points on patterns.
  • Clean and polish engraved areas.
  • Examine sketches, diagrams, samples, blueprints, or photographs to decide how designs are to be etched, cut, or engraved onto workpieces.
  • Select and mount wheels and miters on lathes, and equip lathes with water to cool wheels and prevent dust when grinding glass.
  • Prepare etching chemicals according to formulas, diluting acid with water to obtain solutions of specified concentration.
  • Observe actions of cutting tools through microscopes and adjust stylus movement to ensure accurate reproduction.
  • Reduce artwork to be used, using reduction cameras.
  • Sandblast exposed areas of glass to cut designs in surfaces, using spray guns.
  • Set reduction scales to attain specified sizes of reproduction on workpieces, and set pantograph controls for required heights, depths, and widths of cuts.
  • Brush or smear abrasives on cutting wheels.
  • Neutralize workpieces to remove acid, wax, or enamel, using water, solvents, brushes, or specialized machines.
  • Inspect etched work for depth of etching, uniformity, and defects, using calibrated microscopes, gauges, fingers, or magnifying lenses.
  • Prepare workpieces for etching or engraving by cutting, sanding, cleaning, polishing, or treating them with wax, acid resist, lime, etching powder, or light-sensitive enamel.
  • Insert cutting tools or bits into machines and secure them with wrenches.
  • Print proofs or examine designs to verify accuracy of engraving, and rework engraving as required.
  • Transfer image to workpiece, using contact printer, pantograph stylus, silkscreen printing device, or stamp pad.
  • Sketch, trace, or scribe layout lines and designs on workpieces, plates, dies, or rollers, using compasses, scribers, gravers, or pencils.
  • Guide stylus over template, causing cutting tool to duplicate design or letters on workpiece.
  • Remove completed workpieces and place them in trays.
  • Carve designs and letters onto metal for transfer to other surfaces.
  • Remove wax or tape from etched glassware by using a stylus or knife, or by immersing ware in hot water.
  • Select and insert required templates into pattern frames beneath the stylus of a machine cutting tool or router.
  • Cut outlines of impressions with gravers, and remove excess material with knives.
  • Fill etched characters with opaque paste to improve readability.
  • Brush or wipe acid over engraving to darken or highlight inscriptions.
  • Expose workpieces to acid to develop etch patterns such as designs, lettering, or figures.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Applicator brushes
  • Automatic feeding eyelet machines
  • Bench grinders
  • Bench vises
  • Benchtop drill presses
  • Binocular benchtop microscopes
  • Burnishing tools
  • Chasing hammers
  • Contact printers
  • Curing ovens
  • Drafting compasses
  • Engraving lathes
  • Flat cold chisels
  • Gravers
  • Hand arbors
  • Laser engraving systems
  • Magnifying lamps
  • Magnifying lenses
  • Mechanical engraving systems
  • Pantograph engraving machines
  • Personal computers
  • Polishing machines
  • Power routers
  • Precision file sets
  • Precision rulers
  • Protective glasses
  • Reduction cameras
  • Rotary engraving machines
  • Sandblasting spray guns
  • Scriber markers
  • Sheet metal shears
  • Silkscreen printing devices
  • Stamp pads
  • Ultraviolet UV lamps
  • Utility knives
  • Whirler machines
  • Work tables
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing CAD/CAM engraving software
  • Data entry software
  • Delcam ArtCAM Express
  • Gravograph GravoStyle
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Western Engravers Supply Vision EXPERT

  • production

    industry stats

    SOC: 51-0000

    Total Employed: 9,073,290

    Average Annual Salary: $36,220