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MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

nonelectric machines. Greater use
of complex equipment which re­
quires additional maintenance has
increased the need for servicemen,
especially those who have a knowl­
edge of electricity or electronics.
Opportunities for employment
servicing electronic data processing
equipment (computers and asso­
ciated equipment) will be particu­
larly favorable in the years ahead.
As new uses develop and the econ­
omy expands and becomes more
complex, computers will become in­
creasingly useful to business, gov­
ernment, and other organizations.
Business machine servicemen
have year-round employment—
steadier than many other skilled
trades. The office machines serviced
by these men must be maintained,
even when business slackens, since
business records must be kept, corre­
spondence carried on, and statistical
reports prepared. Men who estab­
lish themselves in the business
machine service field can expect
continuing employment for many
years.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Information obtained from a
number of employers of business
machine servicemen in 1970 indi­
cated that experienced servicemen
generally earned from $110 to
$300 a week. Wages depend
on geographic location, machine
serviced, and the length of serv­
ice with employers. Wages gener­
ally were lowest for men who repair
only typewriters, adding machines,
calculators, cash registers, or dictat­
ing machines. Rates usually were
highest for men who service elec­
tronic data-processing equipment,
accounting-bookkeeping machines,
postage and mailing machines, and




483

complex duplicating and copying
equipment.
Trainees begin earning from
$80 to $105 a week. As they be­
come more skilled, their pay in­
creases. Men having previous elec­
tronics training in the Armed
Forces or civilian technical schools
generally receive somewhat higher
beginning wages. In addition, many
business equipment manufacturers
have a merit rating plan that pro­
vides for periodic review of em­
ployee salaries. The merit salary in­
creases resulting from this review
usually are based on the service­
man’s ability, training, and cus­
tomer relationship.
In addition to their salaries, serv­
icemen in some companies receive
commissions for selling supplies or
service contracts. Many servicemen
employed by manufacturers and in­
dependent dealers are covered by
group life and hospitalization insur­
ance plans and pension plans.
Servicing of business machines is
cleaner and lighter then the work in
most other mechanical trades. Serv­
icemen generally wear business
suits and perform most of their
work in the offices where the ma­
chines are used. Work tools usually
are supplied by the employer. The
occupation is comparatively free
from the danger of accidents. Some
of these positions involve considera­
ble traveling within the area served
by the employer. For this reason,
many employers require that serv­
icemen own or have the use of a
car. The serviceman generally is re­
imbursed for company use of his car
on a mileage basis. Other service­
men may work in a very concen­
trated area, depending on the city
size and the number of machines.
Service representatives frequently
find themselves working in a variety
of environments. These include hos­
pitals and laboratories,, government

offices, and military installations,
and colleges and universities—as
well as large industrial plants and
business offices.
Source of Additional Information

Additional information about em­
ployment in the field of business
machines servicing may be obtained
from local dealers who sell and serv­
ice typewriters, adding, and dictat­
ing machines, as well as from
branch sales and service offices of
equipment manufacturers. Techni­
cal and vocational schools that offer
courses in electricity, electronics, or
office machine maintenance and re­
pair can provide helpful information
about the kind of training needed to
qualify as a business machine serv­
ice man. In addition, the local
office of the State employment serv­
iceman will provide information
about training programs under the
Manpower Development and Train­
ing Act.

DIESEL MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 625.281)

Nature of the Work

Diesel mechanics repair and
maintain diesel engines that power
transportation equipment such as
heavy trucks, buses, ships, boats,
and locomotives; and construction
equipment such as bulldozers,
earthmovers, and cranes. In addi­
tion, they maintain and repair diesel
farm tractors and a variety of other
diesel-powered equipment, such as
generators,
compressors,
and

484

pumps, used in public utilities, oilwell drilling rigs, and irrigation.
Before making repairs, a diesel
mechanic inspects and tests engine
components to determine why an
engine is not operating properly.
After the cause of the trouble has
been located, he repairs or replaces
defective parts and makes necessary
adjustments. Preventive mainte­
nance—avoiding trouble before it
starts—is another major responsi­
bility. For example, he may periodi­
cally inspect, test, and adjust engine
components. Many diesel mechanics
make all types of diesel engine re­
pairs; others specialize, for exam­
ple, in rebuilding engines or in
repairing fuel injection systems, tur­
bochargers, cylinder heads, or start­
ing systems. Some mechanics also
repair large natural gas engines used
to power generators, pumps, and
other industrial equipment.
Diesel mechanics job titles often
indicate the type of diesel-powered
equipment the mechanics repair.
For example, those who re­
pair the diesel engines in trucks may
be called truck mechanics (diesel).
Those who work on construction
equipment, such as bulldozers and
earthmovers, are usually called
heavy equipment mechanics (die­
sel). In addition to engine mainte­
nance and repair, the mechanics
listed above may work on other
parts of diesel-powered equipment.
For example, truck mechanics (die­
sel) may work on brake and steer­
ing systems, transmissions, and
other truck parts. (See statement on
Truck Mechanics and Bus Mechan­
ics.)
Diesel mechanics use common
handtools (such as pliers, wrenches,
and screwdrivers), as well as special
tools (including valve refacers and
piston pin-fitting machines). In ad­
dition, they may use complex testing
equipment, such as a dynamometer




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

to measure engine power, and spe­
cial fuel injection testing equipment.
Mechanics may also use machine
tools to make replacement parts for
diesel-powered equipment. They
use powered hoists and other equip­
ment for lifting and moving heavy
parts.

Places of Employment

In 1970, an estimated 85,000
persons repaired and maintained
diesel engines and related equip­
ment. Many are employed in service
departments of distributors and
dealers that sell diesel engines, farm
and construction equipment, and
trucks. Mechanics also work for
companies and government agencies
that repair and maintain their own
diesel-powered equipment, such as
local and intercity buslines, con­
struction companies, trucking com­
panies, railroads, and State highway
departments. Other diesel mechan­
ics are employed by manufacturers
of diesel engines and independent
repair shops that specialize in repair
of diesel engines.
Diesel mechanics are employed
in all parts of the country. Large
numbers of these workers, however,
are employed in California, New
York, Illinois, and Texas—States
where high levels of construction,
commercial, industrial, and farming
activity have resulted in the use of
large numbers of diesel-powered
machines.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Diesel mechanics learn their
skills in several different ways.
Most work first as mechanics repair­
ing gasoline-powered automobiles,
trucks, and buses. They usually start

as helpers to experienced gasoline
engine mechanics, becoming skilled
in 3 or 4 years. When employed by
firms that use or repair diesel-pow­
ered equipment, they are given 6 to
18 months of additional training in
maintenance and repair of this
equipment. While learning to fix
diesel engines, many find it helpful
to take courses in repair and main­
tenance of diesel equipment, offered
by vocational, trade, and corre­
spondence schools.
Some diesel mechanics, such as
those employed by diesel engine
manufacturers, learn their trade
through formal apprenticeship pro­
grams. These programs, which gen­
erally last 4 years, give trainees a
combination of classroom training
and practical experience in repair­
ing diesel engines. Apprentices re­
ceive classroom instruction in blue­
print reading, hydraulics, welding,
and other subjects. In their practical
training, they learn about valves,
bearings, injection systems, starting
systems, cooling systems, and other
parts of diesel engines.
Still another method of entry is
through full-time attendance at
trade or technical schools that offer
comprehensive training in diesel en­
gine maintenance and repair. These
training programs generally last
from several months to 2 years, and
provide practical experience and re­
lated classroom instruction. Gradu­
ates, however, usually need addi­
tional on-the-job training before
they become skilled mechanics.
Training programs for diesel me­
chanics and others in occupations
that involve diesel engine repair
work were in operation in several
cities in 1970, under the provisions
of the Manpower Development and
Training Act. Unemployed and un­
deremployed workers who meet
certain minimum requirements are
eligible to apply for this training,

485

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Experienced mechanics usually
have several hundred dollars in­
vested in their tools.
Diesel mechanics who work for
organizations that operate or repair
large fleets of diesels, such as bus­
lines or diesel equipment distribu­
tors, may advance to leadman and
to supervisory positions such as
shop foreman or service manager.

Employment Outlook

Diesel mechanic reassembles engine after repair is completed.

which usually lasts at least 36
weeks.
Other young men learn the trade
through less formal training pro­
grams. Generally, they are hired as
trainees and are taught by experi­
enced mechanics to do all kinds of
diesel repair jobs.
Experienced diesel mechanics
employed by companies that sell
diesel-powered equipment are some­
times sent to special training
classes conducted by diesel engine
manufacturers. In these classes, me­
chanics learn to maintain and repair
the latest diesel engines, using the
most modern equipment.




Employers prefer to hire trainees
and apprenticeship applicants who
have a high school education as well
as mechanical ability. Shop courses
in automobile repair and machineshop work, offered by many high
schools and vocational schools, are
helpful, as are courses in science
and mathematics. Young persons
interested in becoming diesel me­
chanics should be in good physical
condition because the work often
requires lifting heavy parts.
Many diesel mechanics are re­
quired to buy their own handtools.
A beginner is expected to accumu­
late tools as he gains experience.

Employment of diesel mechanics
is expected to increase very rapidly
through the 1970’s. In addition to
employment growth, many job
openings will result from the need
to replace experienced mechanics
who are promoted, retire, transfer
to other fields of work, or die.
Increased employment of diesel
mechanics is expected mainly be­
cause most industries that use diesel
engines in large numbers are ex­
pected to expand their activities in
the years ahead. In addition, diesel
engines will continue to replace gas­
oline engines in a growing variety of
equipment. For example, small de­
livery trucks powered by diesel en­
gines are expected to be used
increasingly in the future. Dieselpowered farm equipment will also
become more common.
Most new job openings in this
field will be filled by mechanics who
have experience in repairing gaso­
line engines. Companies that re­
place gasoline engine equipment
with diesel-powered equipment usu­
ally retrain their experienced me­
chanics to service the diesel equip­
ment. Men who have school training
in diesel repair, but no practical ex­
perience, may be able to find jobs
only as trainees.

486

Earnings and Working Conditions

National wage data are not avail­
able for diesel mechanics. However,
wage data collected from employers
of workers who repair trucks, buses,
construction equipment, and sta­
tionary engines, indicate that most
diesel mechanics earned from $3.70
to $4.37 an hour in 1970.
The work schedule of diesel me­
chanics usually ranges from 40 to
48 hours a week. Many work at
night or on weekends, particularly if
they work on buses, diesel engines
used in powerplants, or other diesel
equipment used in serving the
public. Some are subject to call for
emergencies at any time. Diesel me­
chanics generally receive a higher
rate of pay when they work over­
time hours, evenings, or weekends.
Many diesel mechanics receive
paid vacations and holidays. In ad­
dition, they may receive health and
life insurance benefits, which are at
least partially paid by their em­
ployers.
Most larger repair shops are
pleasant places in which to work,
but some small shops have poor
lighting, heating, and ventilation.
Diesel mechanics who work for bus­
lines or construction companies
sometimes make repairs outdoors
where the breakdowns occur. If
proper safety precautions are not
taken, there is some danger of in­
jury when repairing heavy parts
supported on jacks or hoists. In
most jobs, mechanics handle greasy
tools and engine parts. It is some­
times necessary to stand or lie in
awkward positions for extended pe­
riods of time.
Many diesel mechanics belong to
labor unions such as the Interna­
tional Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers; the Amalga­
mated Transit Union; the Sheet
Metal Workers’ International Asso­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ciation; the International Union,
United Automobile, Aerospace and
Agricultural Implement Workers of
America; and the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Sources of Additional Information

Young people who wish to obtain
additional information about work
opportunities in this trade should di­
rect inquiries to the local office of
the State employment service. Other
sources are firms that use or service
diesel-powered equipment, such as
truck and buslines, truck dealers,
and construction and farm equip­
ment dealers. The State employ­
ment service also may be a source
of information about the Manpower
Development and Training Act, ap­
prenticeship, and other programs
that provide training opportunities.
Unions listed below may be con­
tacted for information on work and
training opportunities or for the
names and addresses of local unions
that can provide such information:
International Association of Ma­
chinists and Aerospace Workers,
1300 Connecticut Ave. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20036.
Sheet Metal Workers’ Interna­
tional Association, 1000 Con­
necticut Ave. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20036.
International Union, United Auto­
mobile, Aerospace and Agricul­
tural Implement Workers of
America, 8000 East Jefferson
Ave., Detroit, Mich. 48214.

ELECTRIC SIGN
SERVICEMEN
(D.O.T. 824.281)

Nature of the Work

Electric sign servicemen maintain
and repair hundreds of thousands of
neon and illuminated plastic signs
that advertise names, products, and
businesses. Some workers build, as­
semble, and install signs.
Electric sign servicemen diagnose
trouble in improperly operating
signs. Minor repairs, such as burned
out lamps, are made at sign loca­
tions, whereas overhauls of faulty
components, such as a motor, are
made in sign shops.
In repairing neon signs service­
men may repaint portions of neon
tubing to increase the readibility of
the sign, tighten or weld parts
loosened in high winds or dented
during erection, and paint beams,
columns, and other exterior frame­
work.
In replacing bumedout ballasts
in illuminated plastic signs, service­
men may refer to wiring diagrams
and charts. Defective sockets usu­
ally appear cracked and are re­
placed. Small cracks in the face of
the sign also may be repaired.
Electric sign servicemen also per­
form preventive maintenance. They
check signs and remove such things
as birds’ nests and accumulated
water. Also, gears, drives, pinions,
bearings, and other parts of revolv­
ing signs may be checked, adjusted,
and lubricated. Servicemen some­
times suggest to customers ways to
increase the attractiveness and visi­
bility of signs. For example, they
may recommend changing the color
of neon tubing, attaching flashers,
or raising the height of a sign.

487

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Ohio, and Pennsylvania, where
there are large numbers of in­
dustrial and commercial centers.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Servicemen drive trucks equipped
with the necessary tools such as
wrenches, pliers, screw drivers, and
tin snips. They also use test lamps
and voltmeters. A boom crane may
also be necessary for a very high
sign.
Servicemen usually must fill out
reports, noting the date, place, and
nature of service calls. They also
may estimate the cost of service
calls and sell maintenance contracts
to sign owners. Chief servicemen
prepare work schedules for other
electric sign servicemen.




Places of Employment

About 8,000 electric sign service­
men were employed in 1970, pri­
marily in small shops that manufac­
ture, install and service electric
signs. Some servicemen also were
employed in independent electric
sign repair shops. Both types of
shops may service signs that have
been mass produced in large facto­
ries and shipped elsewhere for in­
stallation.
Electric sign servicemen are em­
ployed in every State. However,
more than half are employed in
New York, Illinois, California,

Most electric sign servicemen are
hired as trainees and learn their
trade informally while on the job.
Trainees rotate through the various
phases of signmaking to obtain a
general knowledge of sign fabrica­
tion—such as cutting and assem­
bling metal and plastic signs;
mounting neon tubing; wiring signs;
and installing sockets, lamps, time
switches, and photoelectric circuits.
During each phase, they observe,
work with, and receive instructions
from experienced men. At least 3
years on the job are required to be­
come a fully qualified service man.
After completion of training, train­
ees are usually assigned to a perma­
nent job, depending on their prefer­
ences and employers’ needs.
Some servicemen learn their
trade through electricians’ appren­
tice programs, and specialize in
signmaking and repairing. Appli­
cants are generally required to be
between 18 and 25, have mechani­
cal aptitude, and an interest in elec­
tricity. These programs generally
last from 3 to 5 years and include
on-the-job training in signmaking
and repairing, and classroom in­
struction is such fields as electrical
theory and codes and blueprint
reading. A few servicemen acquire
their skills through special appren­
ticeships in sign contruction, erec­
tion, and servicing. Such programs
usually include courses in metal and
plastic sign fabrication, wiring of
signs, installation techniques, and
trouble shooting, in addition to sim­
ilar courses taken by electrician ap­
prentices.

488

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Employers prefer trainees who
are high school or vocational school
graduates, although many sign serv­
icemen have less education. Math­
ematics, science, electricity, and
blueprint reading can be helpful to
young people who are interested in
learning this trade.
Servicemen need good color vi­
sion because electric wires are fre­
quently identified by color. They
also need manual dexterity to han­
dle tools and physical strength to lift
transformers, scaffolding, or equip­
ment.
All electric sign servicemen must
be familiar with the National Elec­
tric Codes; some also must know
local electric codes. Many cities re­
quire servicemen to be licensed. Li­
censes can be obtained by passing a
comprehensive
examination
in
electrical theory and its application.
Electric sign servicemen generally
purchase their own handtools which
may cost up to $100, but employers
usually furnish power tools.
Highly skilled servicemen may
become foremen. Because of their
experience in servicing signs and
dealing with customers, electric sign
servicemen sometimes become sign
salesmen. Also, servicemen with
sufficient funds can open their own
sign manufacturing or repair shops.

Employment Outlook

Employment of electric sign serv­
icemen is expected to increase
rapidly during the 1970’s and pro­
duce several hundred new jobs an­
nually. A few hundred openings
also will result each year from the
need to replace workers who retire,
die, or transfer to other fields of
work.
A rapid increase in the number
of signs in use will spur demand for
electric sign servicemen. New busi­




nesses, competition among busi­
nesses, and modernization of estab­
lished enterprises will expand the
number of new sign installations. In
addition, many signs already in use
will continue to require mainte­
nance.
Employment, however, will not
increase as rapidly as the number of
signs in use. New equipment, such
as highly versatile boom and ladder
trucks, will speed servicing. Substi­
tution of pressure cleaning equip-,
ment for manual methods also will
increase efficiency.

Earnings and Working Conditions

The earnings of electric sign serv­
icemen compare favorably with
those of other skilled workers. Ac­
cording to a survey of wages and
fringe benefits in 1970 covering 80
cities in 24 States, the average
hourly union wage rate of experi­
enced electric sign servicemen
ranged from $2.50 to $6.44. In
more than three-fourths of these cit­
ies, straight-time hourly earnings
ranged between $4.00 and $6.00.
Apprentice rates usually start at
about half the journeyman’s hourly
wage rate and increase every 6
months, moving up to about 90 per­
cent of the journeyman’s rate during
the final year of the program.
According to the survey, most
electric sign servicemen worked an
8-hour day, 5 days a week, and re­
ceived premium pay for overtime.
In some cities, they also received
premium pay for working at heights
in excess of 30 feet. Servicemen re­
ceived a week of paid vacation after
1 year’s service, and 2 weeks or
more thereafter, depending on the
length of service. They also re­
ceived from 6 to 9 paid holidays a
year. In addition, many employers
paid part or all of the cost of life,

health, and accident insurance;
some also contributed to retirement
plans. When uniforms were re­
quired, the cost was usually partly
or entirely paid for by the employer,
who sometimes provided for their
upkeep.
Because most signs are out-ofdoors, servicemen are exposed to all
kinds of weather. They make emer­
gency repairs at night, on weekends,
and on holidays. They often work
from scaffolds, catwalks, and lad­
ders; sometimes in awkward or
cramped quarters. Some patrol
areas at night for improperly oper­
ating signs. Hazards include electri­
cal shock, burns, and falls from high
places. Safety belts, training pro­
grams emphasizing safety, and bas­
kets on boom trucks for easy access
to signs have reduced the frequency
of accidents.
Sources of Additional Information

For further information regarding
work opportunities for electric sign
servicemen, inquiries should be di­
rected to local sign manufacturing
shops, the local office of the State
employment service, or locals of the
International
Brotherhood
of
Electrical Workers.
General information about the
work of electric sign servicemen
may be obtained from:
National Electric Sign Associa­
tion, 600 Hunter Drive, Oak
Brook, 111. 60521.

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

FARM EQUIPMENT
MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 624.281)

Nature of the Work

Much of the equipment used by
farmers to plant, cultivate, and har­
vest food is serviced by farm equip­
ment mechanics. These craftsmen
maintain the electrical, mechanical,
and hydraulic systems in all types of
farm machinery such as tractors,
combines, pick-up balers, corn pick­
ers, crop dryers, field forage har­
vesters, elevators, and conveyors.
In addition, they may assemble new
farm implements and machinery
that have been shipped in sections
to farm equipment dealers or whole­
salers. Sometimes, they may repair
dented and torn sheet metal on farm
equipment.
Much of the mechanic’s time is
spent repairing and adjusting dieseland gas-powered tractors. When a
tractor is malfunctioning, it may be
driven or hauled to a shop. In plant­
ing or harvesting seasons, however,
the mechanic may have to travel to
the farm where the tractor is lo­
cated. Often mechanics must make
emergency repairs to equipment so
that ripening crops can be harvested
before they spoil.
Farm equipment mechanics use a
variety of testing equipment. For
example, they may use a dynamom­
eter, a device which measures en­
gine performance. A compression
tester also may be used to deter­
mine whether piston rings are worn
or cylinder valves leak. After deter­
mining the cause of the trouble, me­
chanics make the necessary repairs.
They may repair the transmission
and tune or overhaul the engine
completely. If parts of the engine
are worn or broken, they may re­
pair or replace them. They may use




489

welding equipment or power metal­
working tools to repair broken
parts. They also use handtools such
as wrenches, pliers, hammers, and
micrometers.
Mechanics also perform preven­
tive maintenance. Periodically, they
test farm machinery parts, clean
vital components, and tune engines.
In large shops, mechanics may spe­
cialize in certain types of repair,
such as engine overhaul or clutch
and brake repair. They also may
specialize in repairing certain types
of equipment such as tractors or hay
balers. Some farm equipment me­
chanics also repair plumbing, electri­
cal, irrigation, and other equipment
located on farms.

Places of Employment

Most of the estimated 53,000
farm equipment mechanics em­
ployed in 1970 worked in service
departments of farm equipment
dealers. These dealers sell and serv­
ice new and used farm equipment.
Other mechanics worked in inde­
pendent repair shops, in repair
shops on large farms, and in service
departments of farm equipment
wholesalers and manufacturers.
Most farm equipment repair
shops employed fewer than five me­
chanics. These shops were located
in the agricultural areas of the coun­
try. About half of the mechanics
were employed in thirteen States:

Farm equipment mechanic assembles transmission shaft of tractor.

490

Illinois, Texas, Iowa, California,
Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri,
Wisconsin, Nebraska, North Caro­
lina, Pennsylvania, and Kansas.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most farm equipment mechanics
are hired as helpers, and learn the
trade by working on the job. As
helpers, they assist qualified me­
chanics, assemble new farm equip­
ment, and perform rough body re­
pair work. The duration of on-thejob training varies with the helper’s
aptitude and prior experience. Some
helpers can do simple repair jobs
after 6 months. Generally, however,
at least 3 years of on-the-job train­
ing are necessary to become a quali­
fied mechanic.
A few mechanics also learn the
trade by completing an apprentice­
ship training program. Apprentice
trainees are usually chosen from
among shop helpers. These pro­
grams last from 3 to 4 years and in­
clude on-the-job training in all
phases of maintaining and repairing
farm equipment and related class­
room instruction. Upon completion
of an apprenticeship program, train­
ees become qualified mechanics.
A small number of farm equip­
ment mechanics also have received
training in programs approved
under the provisions of the Man­
power Development and Training
Act. Typically, these programs last
between 29 and 56 weeks and in­
clude training in basic electricity,
transmissions, welding, hydraulics,
and diesel engines. Trainees who
complete these programs make sim­
ple repairs and can qualify as skilled
mechanics after some on-the-job ex­
perience.
Some farm equipment mechanics
and trainees receive refresher train­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ing in short-term programs con­
ducted by manufacturers of farm
equipment. These programs usually
last several days. A company repre­
sentative explains the design and
function of equipment, and teaches
maintenance and repair on new
models of farm equipment.
Employers prefer to hire young
men with a farm background and an
aptitude for mechanical work. They
prefer high school graduates, but
some employers will hire young
men having less education. In gen­
eral, employers stress previous ex­
perience or training in diesel and
gasoline engines, hydraulics, and
welding—subjects that may be
learned in high schools and voca­
tional schools.
A young person considering a ca­
reer as a farm equipment mechanic
should have strength and manual
dexterity in order to handle tools
and equipment. Good mechanics
read many service and repair man­
uals to keep abreast of changes in
farm equipment engineering. Me­
chanics work independently and are
able to see the results of their labor.
Farm equipment mechanics may
advance to shop foremen. Some
open their own repair shops. Me­
chanics improve their opportunities
for advancement by attending the
manufacturer-sponsored
training
sessions.

Employment Outlook

Employment of farm equipment
mechanics is expected to increase
slowly through the 1970’s. In addi­
tion to the openings that will arise
from growth in the field, several
hundred job openings will result
each year from the need to replace
experienced mechanics who retire,
die, or transfer to other fields of
work.

Employment requirements will be
determined mainly by the number of
farms, the extent of farm mech­
anization, and the increased relia­
bility of new farm machinery—
especially tractors, which account
for much of the repair work. The
decrease in the number of farms
and the increasing reliability of farm
machinery are expected to limit the
demand for farm equipment me­
chanics. These limiting factors will
be partially offset, however, by the
expected increases in farm mechani­
zation, and the widespread adoption
of specialized farm equipment such
as the tomato harvester. Further­
more, farm operators will find it
more economical to have their ma­
chinery serviced on a regular basis
as farms become larger.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Wage data collected from a small
number of employers indicated that
in 1970 average hourly wages of
farm equipment mechanics were
generally between $2.30 and $3.85.
Farm equipment mechanics usu­
ally work a 44-hour week, which in­
cludes 4 hours on Saturday. During
planting and harvesting seasons,
however, they often work 6 to 7
days each week, 10 to 12 hours
daily. In winter months, they may
work fewer than 40 hours a week.
Many mechanics receive from 1 to
2 weeks’ paid vacation and 7 paid
holidays each year. In large shops,
farm equipment mechanics are usu­
ally covered by health plans and
sometimes by retirement plans.
Farm equipment mechanics often
travel many miles to repair equip­
ment. When working in the field,
they may be exposed to the ele­
ments. They come in contact with
grease, gasoline, rust, dust, and dirt.
There is danger of injury when they

491

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

repair heavy parts which are sup­
ported on jacks or by hoists. Engine
burns and cuts from sharp edges of
farm implements are also possible.
The few farm equipment me­
chanics that belong to labor unions
are members of the International
Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers.

Sources of Additional Information

Information about work oppor­
tunities in this trade may be ob­
tained from the local offices of the
various State employment services,
local farm equipment dealers, and
independent service shops. The
State employment services also can
provide information about programs
set up under provisions of the Man­
power Development and Training
Act. General information about the
occupation can be obtained from:
Farm and Industrial Equipment In­
stitute, 850 Wrigley Building N.,
410 North Michigan Ave., Chi­
cago, 111. 60611.
National Farm and Power Equip­
ment Dealers Association, 2340
Hampton Ave., St. Louis, Mo.
63139.

INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY
REPAIRMEN
(D.O.T. 625. through 632.281, and 637.
through 639.281)

Nature of the Work

The great variety of machinery
and equipment used throughout
American industry is kept in
efficient operating condition by in­
dustrial machinery repairmen—of­




ten called maintenance mechanics.
These skilled workers maintain and
repair machinery and other me­
chanical equipment used in a wide
variety of factories. When break­
downs occur, repairmen must
quickly determine the cause of the
trouble, make the necessary repairs,
and return the equipment to proper
working order in minimum time. In
this process, they may completely or
partly disassemble a machine to re­
pair or replace defective parts.
After the machine is reassembled,
they make the necessary adjust­
ments to insure proper operation.
A repairman spends much time
in preventive maintenance. By regu­
larly inspecting the equipment, oil­
ing and greasing machines, and
cleaning and repairing parts, he
prevents trouble which could cause
breakdowns later. He also may keep
maintenance records of the equip­
ment he services.
The types of machinery on which
industrial machinery repairmen
work depend on the particular in­
dustry in which they are employed.
For example, in the apparel indus­
try, these skilled workers may re­
pair industrial sewing machines.
They may take sewing machines
apart to repair belts, adjust treadles,
or replace motor bearings. In print­
ing and publishing establishments,
repairmen may work on equipment
such as printing presses and folders.
Repairmen often follow blue­
prints, lubrication charts, and engi­
neering specifications in maintaining
and repairing equipment. They also
may use catalogs to order replace­
ments for broken or defective parts.
When parts are not readily available
or the situation demands quick ac­
tion to return a machine to produc­
tion, repairmen may sketch a part
that may be fabricated by the
plant’s machine shop.
Industrial machinery repairmen

use wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers,
and other handtools, as well as port­
able power tools. They also may
use welding equipment in repairing
broken metal parts.

Places of Employment

Industrial machinery repairmen
work in almost every industrial
plant that uses large amounts of
machinery and equipment. How­
ever, most of the 180,000 repair­
men estimated to be employed in
1970 worked in the following indus­
tries: food and kindred products,
primary metals, machinery, chemi­
cals, fabricated metal products, and
transportation equipment. Many re­
pairmen also were employed in the
paper, electrical machinery, and
rubber industries.
Because industrial machinery re­
pairmen work in a wide variety of
plants, they are employed in every
section of the country. The largest
numbers of these workers are found
in New York, Pennsylvania, Cali­
fornia, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan,
New Jersey, Massachusetts, and
other heavily industrialized States.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

492

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most workers who become in­
dustrial machinery repairmen start
as helpers and pick up the skills of
the trade informally through several
years of experience. Others learn
the trade through formal appren­
ticeship programs. Apprenticeship
training usually lasts 4 years and
consists of both on-the-job training
and related classroom (or corre­
spondence school) instruction. Ap­
prentices learn the use and care of
tools, and the operation, lubrication,
and adjustment of the machinery
and equipment which they will
maintain. Classroom instruction is
given in shop mathematics, blue­
print reading, safety, hydraulics,
welding, and other subjects related
to the craft.
Mechanical aptitude and manual
dexterity are important qualifica­
tions for workers in this trade.
Good physical condition and agility
also are necessary because repair­
men are sometimes required to lift
heavy objects or do considerable
climbing in order to reach equip­
ment located high above the floor.
High school courses in mechani­
cal drawing, mathematics, and blue­
print reading are recommended for
those interested in entering this
trade.

repairmen to do major overhaul
jobs during such periods.
In emergencies, industrial ma­
chinery repairmen may be called to
the plant during off-duty hours. In
some factories, repairmen may
work nights and week-ends.
Because motors and other parts
of machines are not always readily
accessible, repairmen may work in
stooped or cramped positions in
limited quarters or from the tops of
ladders. Repairmen are subject to
Earnings and Working Conditions
common shop injuries such as cuts
and bruises. However, accidents
Average straight-time hourly have been reduced by the use of
earnings of industrial machinery re­ goggles, metal-tip shoes, safety hel­
pairmen employed by manufactur­ mets, and other protective devices.
ing establishments in 86 metropoli­ Repairmen must frequently work on
tan areas surveyed in 1969-70, dirty and greasy equipment. Light­
ranged from $3.02 in Lubbock, ing and ventilation are usually good.
Texas, to $4.50 in Detroit. Nearly
Most industrial machinery repair­
two-thirds of the repairmen covered men belong to labor unions. Some
by these surveys earned $3.75 an of the unions to which these
hour or more. Straight-time hourly workers belong are the United
earnings for repairmen in 12 of the Steelworkers of America; the Inter­
metropolitan areas, selected to pre­ national Union, United Automobile,
sent regional variations in wages, Aerospace and Agricultural Imple­
appear in the accompanying tabula­ ment Workers of America; the In­
tion.
ternational Association of Machin­
ists and Aerospace Workers; and
M e tr o p o lita n a r e a
R a te p e r h o u r
Baltimore ............................................ $4.06
the International Union of Electri­
B oston ................................................. 3.70
cal, Radio and Machine Workers.
C hicago............................................... 3.18
Most employer-union contracts
Houston ............................................. 4.14
Miami ................................................... 3.23 provide for paid holidays and vaca­
Minneapolis-St. P a u l........................ 3.98
tions, health and life insurance, re­
New Y o rk ........................................... 4.26
tirement pensions, and other fringe
P hoenix............................................... 3.90
Pittsburgh ............................................ 3.91 benefits.

more machinery and equipment to
fabricate, process, assemble, in­
spect, and handle industrial produc­
tion materials. In addition, as auto­
matic equipment and continuous
production lines become more
wide-spread, breakdowns will lead
to possible greater losses of produc­
tion and make repair work and
preventive maintenance more essen­
tial.

Employment Outlook

San Francisco-Oakland ................... 4.39
Seattle-Everett .................................. 4.35
South B e n d ......................................... 3.89

Employment of industrial ma­
chinery repairmen is expected to in­
crease rapidly through the 1970’s.
In addition to employment growth,
thousands of job openings will result
from the need to replace experi­
enced repairmen who transfer to
other occupations, retire, or die.
Employment is expected to in­
crease mainly because of the use of

Apprentices usually begin at 50
percent to 65 percent of the jour­
neyman rate and receive periodic
increases until that rate is reached.
Industrial machinery repairmen
are not usually affected by seasonal
changes in production. During slack
periods, when some production
workers are laid off, repairmen are
often retained. Many companies use




INSTRUMENT REPAIRMEN
(D.O.T. 710.131; 710.281; 710.381;
710.884; 729.281; 823.281; and 828.281)

Nature of the Work

Instrument
repairmen
(also
called instrument men) maintain

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

493

jewelers loupes, micrometers, or
microscopes. As guides in their
work, instrument repairmen fre­
quently use instruction books and
maintenance manuals that describe
how to install, operate, and main­
tain instruments. They also use
schematic diagrams, assembly draw­
ings, and blueprints. When instru­
ments are reassembled, repairmen
give them final checks for accurate
operation.
Instrument repairmen follow
preventive maintenance schedules
to inspect and correct defects that
might cause breakdowns and result
in production losses. They also
clean, lubricate, and adjust instru­
ments.

the complex industrial and scientific
instruments that measure, record,
or control variables such as heat,
electricity, pressure, liquid flow, and
chemical composition. These work­
ers service instruments used to refine
oil, guide airplanes and missiles,
generate electricity, conduct labora­
tory experiments, and manufacture
a variety of consumer products.
They also service a wide variety of
instruments used in fields such as
nuclear energy, oceanography, sew­
age and water treatment, pipeline
transportation, medicine, dentistry,
optics, and photography. Most re­
pairmen service a variety of instru­
ments; others specialize in elec­
tronic, hydraulic, or pneumatic
instruments. Some repairmen install
and test new instruments and advise
operators on how to use and care for
them.
When an instrument controlled
system is not functioning correctly,
instrument repairmen first deter­
mine whether the trouble is caused
by a malfunction of the instrument
itself or by other equipment con­
nected to the instrument. They may




disassemble malfunctioning instru­
ments and examine and test mecha­
nisms and circuitry for defects.
They use testing equipment such as
pressure and vacuum gages, speed
counters, voltmeters, and ammeters.
Readings shown on test equipment
are compared with readings that
would be shown if the instruments
were operating properly.
Instrument repairmen work with
instruments at the site of trouble or
in specially equipped shops. They
may perform major overhauls, re­
place worn or damaged parts, or
make minor repairs such as resold­
ering loose connections. They use
handtools such as screwdrivers,
wrenches, pliers, and soldering
irons, and bench tools such as jew­
elers’ lathes, pin vises, small buffer
grinders, and ultrasonic cleaners for
small metal parts. In some compa­
nies, instrument repairmen operate
drill presses, grinders, polishers,
and other machine tools to make
new parts or to change standard
parts to fit particular instruments.
When an instrument must be set to
a precise tolerance, they may use

Places of Employment

About 95,000 instrument repair­
men were employed in 1970. Most
of them worked for gas and electric
utilities, petroleum and chemical
plants, and manufacturers of instru­
ments and industrial controls. Large
numbers of instrument repairmen
also were employed by airlines and
by manufacturers of pulp and
paper, metals, rubber, aircraft and
missiles, and automobiles. A few
thousand worked for Federal agen­
cies, mainly the Air Force, Navy,
and Army.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

At least 4 years of on-the-job
training and study is usually re­
quired to become a fully qualified
instrument repairman. However,
training time may vary considera­
bly, depending upon individual abil­
ity, previous experience and train­
ing, and complexity of the instru­
ments serviced.
Instrument repairmen generally

494

are selected from production em­
ployees or hired as trainees. They
may learn their trade informally by
assisting experienced repairmen or
through formal apprenticeship or
other special on-the-job training
programs. Apprenticeship programs
generally last 4 years and in addi­
tion to actual work experience, may
include courses in instrumentation
theory,
mathematics,
blueprint
reading, process theory, physics,
electronics, and chemistry. These
courses may be taken by correspond­
ence or at local schools during or
after working hours.
Some young men train for instru­
ment repair work in technical insti­
tutes and junior colleges. Programs
offered by these schools usually last
about 2 years and emphasize basic
engineering courses, science, and
mathematics. As instruments be­
come more complex, technical
school training will become increas­
ingly important and young men with
this kind of training will have better
advancement opportunities.
Armed Forces technical schools
also offer training in instrument serv­
icing. Young men who enter the
Armed Forces may wish to investi­
gate opportunities for training and
work experience while in military
service. Skills acquired in this way
may help to qualify men for civilian
jobs as instrument repairmen. A
small number of unemployed and
underemployed workers receive
training under the Manpower De­
velopment and Training Act.
Several instrument manufacturers
offer specialized training to experi­
enced repairmen employed by their
customers. This training generally
lasts from 1 week to 9 months, de­
pending upon the number and com­
plexity of the instruments. Courses
are given in theory, maintenance,
and operation of the instruments
produced by these manufacturers.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Students learn how to check instru­
ments and where to find further in­
formation about instrument servic­
ing.
Men hired as trainees or appren­
tices generally must be high school
graduates. Courses in algebra, trigo­
nometry, physics, chemistry, elec­
tricity, electronics, machine-shop
practice, and blueprint reading are
considered particularly useful. Some
employers give tests to applicants
to determine their mechanical or
electrical aptitude. Building and
maintaining a ham radio station or
stereo is good experience for an in­
dividual planning to become an in­
strument repairman, at least for
electrically operated instrumenta­
tion.
,
Young people planning a career
as instrument repairmen must have
mechanical aptitude and above-av­
erage ability to read manuals and
schematic drawings. Other impor­
tant qualifications include ability to
work with little supervision and to
perform a variety of duties often
characterized by frequent change.
Instrument repairmen must be able
to evaluate data revealed by tests
and observations and to work to
precise standards and tolerances.
Good eye-hand coordination and
finger dexterity are needed when
handling delicate parts.
Instrument repairmen having su­
pervisory ability may become group
leaders or foremen in maintenance
and repair departments. Some may
advance to positions as service rep­
resentatives in the branch offices of
instrument manufacturing compa­
nies. A few instrument repairmen
become engineering assistants. Be­
cause the use of electronic compo­
nents in instruments is expected to
increase, a basic knowledge of elec­
tronics may increase the possibility
of advancement.

Employment Outlook

The number of instrument repair­
men is expected to increase very
rapidly through the 1970’s. In ad­
dition to job openings resulting
from growth, a few thousand open­
ings will result annually from the
need to replace experienced repair­
men who retire, die, or transfer to
other fields of work.
More instrument repairmen will
be needed during the 1970’s be­
cause the use of instruments is ex­
pected to increase significantly for a
wide variety of scientific, industrial,
and technical purposes. Rapid in­
creases are expected in areas such
as oceanography, air and water pol­
lution monitoring, nuclear instru­
mentation, and in the health service
field. The number of industrial in­
struments used for process control
in industries such as metals, petro­
leum, chemicals, food, rubber, and
paper also is expected to increase
substantially. In addition, more in­
struments will be needed for re­
search laboratories; flight and navi­
gation systems of aircraft, missiles,
and spacecraft; automotive repair
shops; applications of laser technol­
ogy; temperature control of com­
mercial and residential buildings;
and for optical applications.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Several union-management agree­
ments in the paper and allied
products and petroleum industries
indicated that many instrument re­
pairmen received between $2.93
and $4.77 an hour in 1970. Those
specializing in the repair of elec­
tronic instruments often receive
higher wages. Instrument repairmen
employed by Federal agencies are
paid about the same rates as those
employed by private industry.

495

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Most instrument repairmen work
a 40-hour, 5-day week. Those em­
ployed in petroleum refineries and
chemical plants that operate 24
hours a day and 7 days a week may
work on any of three shifts or rotate
among shifts. Repairmen also may
be called to work with emergency
crews nights, Sundays, and holidays.
They receive premium pay for night
and holiday work, and most compa­
nies provide holiday and vacation
pay. Many companies provide addi­
tional employee benefits such as life
insurance, hospitalization, medical
and surgical insurance, sickness and
accident insurance, and retirement
pensions.
Working conditions for instru­
ment repairmen vary from servicing
instruments located on factory
floors amid noise, oil, and fumes, to
working at benches in quiet, clean,
well-lighted repair shops. In some
industries, such as chemical, petro­
leum, and steel, repairmen may be
required to work outdoors. Those
employed by instrument manufac­
turers may have to travel fre­
quently.
Many instrument repairmen be­
long to unions, including the Inter­
national Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers; Interna­
tional Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers; International Brotherhood
of Pulp, Sulphite and Paper Mill
Workers; International Chemical
Workers
Union;
International
Union of Electrical, Radio and
Machine Workers; International
Union, United Automobile, Aero­
space and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; Oil, Chemical
and Atomic Workers International
Union; and Utility Workers Union
of America.
Sources of Additional Information

The local office of the State em­




ployment service may be a source of
information about the Manpower
Development and Training Act, ap­
prenticeship, and other programs
that provide training opportunities
for persons who wish to enter this
occupation. Additional information
about training, as well as employ­
ment opportunities in the field of in­
strumentation, may be obtained
from:
Instrument Society of America, 530
William Penn PL, Pittsburgh, Pa.
15200.
Scientific Apparatus Makers Associ­
ation, Process Measurement and
Control Section, 370 Lexington
Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017.

Inquiries concerning positions
with • the Federal* Government
should be made at the regional
offices of the U.S. Civil Service
Commission.

MAINTENANCE
ELECTRICIANS
(D.O.T. 825.281 and 829.134 and .281)

Nature of the Work

Maintenance electricians (electri­
cal repairmen) maintain and repair
many different types of electrical
equipment. In addition, they some­
times modify and install electrical
equipment such as motors, trans­
formers, generators, controls, in­
struments, and lighting systems used
in industrial, commercial, and
public establishments.
A large part of a maintenance
electrician’s work is preventive
maintenance—periodic inspection of
equipment to locate and repair de­
fects before breakdowns occur.

When trouble does occur, he must
find and repair the faculty circuit or
equipment quickly to prevent costly
production losses and inconve­
nience. In emergencies, he may ad­
vise management whether immedi­
ate shutdown of equipment is neces­
sary, or if continued operation
would be hazardous.
In his daily work, the mainte­
nance electrician completes many
tasks. For example, he may make
repairs by replacing units or parts
such as wiring, fuses, circuit break­
ers, coils, or switches. When per­
forming repair or installation work,
the electrician may connect wires by
splicing or by using mechanical
connectors. He may measure, cut,
bend, thread, and install conduits
through which wires are run to out­
lets, panels, and boxes. He also may
adjust equipment controls and
check and adjust instruments.
The maintenance electrician uses
devices such as test lamps, amme­
ters, volt-ohm meters, and oscillo­
scopes in testing electrical equip­
ment and wiring. He sometimes
works from blueprints, wiring dia­
grams, or other specifications. He
may make mathematical computa­
tions to determine the current carry­
ing capacities of electrical wiring
and equipment. Maintenance elec­
tricians use pliers, screwdrivers,
wire cutters, drills, reamers, conduit
bending and threading tools, and
other hand and power tools.
Although all maintenance electri­
cians have the same basic skills, the
nature of their work depends mainly
on the size of the plant and the par­
ticular industry in which they work.
In manufacturing plants, these
workers usually maintain electrical
equipment used in the manufacture
of a particular product. For exam­
ple, steel mills and aluminum plants
require a large number of electri­
cians to maintain the electrical and

496

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

local governments also employed
many of these skilled workers.
Maintenance electricians are em­
ployed in every State. Large num­
bers work in heavily industrialized
States such as California, New
York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and
Ohio.
Skilled workers in this occupation
have the advantage of being able to
transfer to maintenance electrician
jobs in many different industries.
After some additional training, they
also may qualify as construction
electricians.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Maintenance electrician rewinds armature.

electronic equipment used to power
and control rolling mills, presses,
and other production machinery. In
plants that use large amounts of
electrical equipment, electricians
may specialize in the maintenance
of particular types of equipment,
such as motors, welding machines,
or transformers. In small plants,
electricians usually are responsible
for all types of electrical repair
work. Maintenance electricians em­
ployed in large office buildings,
apartment houses, and hospitals
maintain lighting systems and other
electrical equipment, such as that
used in air-conditioning systems.




Places of Employment

An estimated 250,000 mainte­
nance electricians were employed
throughout the country in 1970.
More than half of these craftsmen
were engaged in servicing equip­
ment and machinery used in the
manufacturing plants of industries
such as transportation equipment,
primary metal products, electrical
and nonelectrical machinery, chemi­
cals, and fabricated metal products.
Nonmanufacturing firms that em­
ployed large numbers of mainte­
nance electricians included trans­
portation, communications, and
public utilities industries; services;
and mining. Federal, State, and

Maintenance electricians learn
the skills of their trade through for­
mal apprenticeship programs or by
accumulating experience through
informal on-the-job training. Train­
ing authorities generally agree that
apprenticeship programs give train­
ees more thorough knowledge of the
trade and improved job opportuni­
ties during their working life.
Apprenticeship programs for
maintenance electricians usually last
4 years. Apprentices are given onthe-job training and related techni­
cal classroom instruction in subjects
such as mathematics, electrical and
electronic theory, and blueprint
reading. Training may include
motor repair, wire splicing, com­
mercial and industrial wiring, instal­
lation of light and power equipment,
installation and repair of electronic
controls and circuits, and welding
and brazing.
A young man employed in a
plant as a helper to a skilled mainte­
nance electrician gradually may ac­
quire the skills of this craft by ob­
serving the electrician and following
his instructions. Others learn the
trade by working in the mainte­

497

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

nance department of a plant and
picking up some fundamentals of
the job. By moving from job to job,
they eventually acquire sufficient
experience to qualify as skilled
workers. However, it generally
takes more than 4 years to become
a maintenance electrician through
informal on-the-job training.
A young man interested in be­
coming a maintenance electrician
should include courses in mathe­
matics (such as algebra and trigo­
nometry) and basic science in his
high school or vocational school
curriculum. Because the electri­
cian’s craft is subject to constant
technological change, many experi­
enced electricians continue to ac­
quire additional technical knowl­
edge and learn new skills. For
example, some maintenance electri­
cians who entered the trade years
ago must now learn basic electronics
to service the new electronic equip­
ment being introduced in the Na­
tion’s industrial establishments and
large commercial and residential
buildings.
In selecting apprentice applicants
or trainees, employers look for
young men who have manual dex­
terity and are interested in learning
how electrical equipment functions.
These young men also need good
color vision because electrical wires
are frequently identified by their
different colors. Although great
physical strength is not essential,
agility and good health are impor­
tant.
All maintenance
electricians
should be familiar with the National
Electric Code; some must be famil­
iar with local building codes. A
growing number of cities and coun­
ties require maintenance electricians
to be licensed. An electrician can
obtain a license by passing a com­
prehensive examination that tests




his knowledge of electrical theory
and its application.
Skilled maintenance electricians
may become foremen who supervise
the work of other maintenance elec­
tricians or other maintenance per­
sonnel. Occasionally, they may ad­
vance to jobs such as plant electrical
superintendent or plant mainte­
nance superintendent.

Employment Outlook

Employment of maintenance
electricians is expected to increase
moderately through the 1970’s.
Most openings will occur from the
need to replace journeymen who re­
tire, die, or transfer to other fields.
Retirements and deaths alone will
result in several thousand job open­
ings annually. In addition, a few
thousand job openings are expected
each year because of the growing
volume of electrical and electronic
equipment in use in industry.

Earnings and Working Conditions

In general, earnings of mainte­
nance electricians compare favora­
bly with those of other skilled
workers. The average straight-time
hourly earnings of maintenance
electricians in establishments in 85
cities and areas in 1969-70 ranged
from $3.07 in Manchester, N.H., to
$5.29 in Chicago, 111. In about
four-fifths of the cities surveyed,
however,
average
straight-time
hourly earnings of these craftsmen
ranged from $3.60 to $4.75.
In establishments that operate an
apprenticeship program, apprentices
start at about 60 percent of the
journeyman’s basic hourly pay rate.
They receive increases every 6
months, rising to 85 or 90 percent

of the journeyman’s rate during the
last period of apprenticeship.
During a single day, an electri­
cian employed in a plant may repair
electrical equipment both in a clean
air-conditioned office and on the
factory floor, surrounded by the
noise, oil, and grease of machinery.
Maintenance electricians may be re­
quired to climb ladders, work on
scaffolds, or work in awkward or
cramped positions when repairing
or installing electrical equipment.
Because maintenance electricians
often work near high-voltage in­
dustrial equipment, they must be
alert and accurate when performing
their duties. Errors in wiring instal­
lations could have dangerous conse­
quences, both to the electrician and
the operating employees. Safety
principles, part of all electrician
training programs, have greatly re­
duced the frequency of accidents.
Maintenance electricians are taught
to use protective equipment and
clothing, to respect the destructive
potential of electricity, and to handle
small electrical fires.
Several labor unions have main­
tenance electricians in their mem­
bership. Many of these craftsmen
are members of the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Other unions to which maintenance
electricians belong are the Interna­
tional Union of Electrical, Radio
and Machine Workers; the Interna­
tional Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers; the Interna­
tional Union, United Automobile,
Aerospace and Agricultural Imple­
ment Workers of America (Ind.);
and the United Steelworkers of
America. Most labor-management
contracts covering maintenance elec­
tricians provide major benefit pro­
grams that may include paid holi­
days and vacations; hospitalization,

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

498

medical, and surgical insurance; life
insurance; and retirement pensions.

Sources of Additional Information

A young man who wishes to ob­
tain further information regarding
electrician apprenticeships or other
work opportunities in the trade
should apply to local firms that em­
ploy maintenance electricians; to a
local joint union-management ap­
prenticeship committee, if there
is one in his locality; or to the local
office of the Bureau of Apprentice­
ship and Training, U.S. Department
of Labor. In addition, the local
office of the State employment serv­
ice may be a source of information
about training opportunities. Some
State employment service offices
provide services such as screening
applicants and giving aptitude tests.

MILLWRIGHTS
(D.O.T. 638.281)

Nature of the Work

Millwrights are skilled craftsmen
who move and install lathes, mill­
ing machines, automatic assembly
equipment, and many other types of
heavy industrial machinery. They
must have a thorough knowledge of
complex equipment to dismantle,
reassemble, and aline it. In assem­
bling machinery, millwrights fit
bearings, aline gears and wheels, at­
tach motors, and connect belts.
Millwrights often construct concrete
foundations and platforms or fabri­
cate metal framework on which ma­
chinery is mounted. They must be




able to read blueprints and work
with wood, steel, concrete, and
other building materials.
When moving machinery, mill­
wrights use hoists, cranes, jacks,
crowbars, wood blocking, and other
rigging devices. In dismantling and
assembling equipment, they use
wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers
and other handtools, and portable
power tools. They use micrometers,
calipers, squares, plumb bobs, and
other devices to align and level ma­
chinery.
Millwrights employed by contract
installation and construction compa­
nies install a wide variety of heavy
machinery. Those employed in fac­
tories usually specialize in installing
the particular types of machinery
used by their employers. They may
also maintain plant equipment such
as conveyors and cranes. They may
replace worn or broken belts, weld
metal parts, and lubricating machin­
ery.
Places of Employment

Most of the estimated 80,000
millwrights employed in 1970
worked in manufacturing. The
greatest number were in primary
metals, metalworking, paper, lum­
ber, and chemical products indus­
tries. Most of the remaining were in
construction.
Some millwrights are employed
by companies that specialize in
moving, installing, and maintaining
industrial machinery on a contract
basis. Others work for machinery
manufacturers who employ mill­
wrights to install their products in
customers’ plants.
Millwrights work in every State.
However, about half of them are
employed in the heavily industrial­
ized States of Michigan, Ohio,

Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York,
and Indiana.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most workers who become mill­
wrights start as helpers to skilled
workers and learn the trade infor­
mally through several years of expe­
rience. Others learn the trade
through formal apprenticeship pro­
grams. Apprenticeship programs
generally last 4 years and include
training in dismantling, moving,
erecting, and repairing machinery.
Apprentices are trained also in floor
layout, carpentry, welding, rigging,
and the use of structural steel,
wood, and concrete. The appren­
ticeship program includes classroom
instruction in shop mathematics,
blueprint reading, hydraulics, elec­
tricity, and safety. Many companies
require that applicants be high
school graduates between 18 and
26.
High school courses in science,
mathematics, mechanical drawing,
and machine shop practice are use­
ful to young men interested in be­
coming millwrights. Because mill­
wrights often put together and take
apart complicated machinery, me­
chanical aptitude is important.
Strength and agility are also impor­
tant because the work requires con­
siderable lifting and climbing.

Employment Outlook

Employment of millwrights is ex­
pected to increase moderately
through the 1970’s. Factors ex­
pected to increase employment in­
clude construction of new plants,
addition of new machinery, changes
in plant layouts, and maintenance of
increasing amounts of complex ma­
chinery.

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

In addition to new job openings
created by industrial expansion and
increased mechanization, a few
thousand workers will be needed
annually to replace millwrights who
retire, die, or transfer to other occu­
pations.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of millwrights vary by
area and industry. According to a
survey covering 44 metropolitan
areas, average straight-time hourly
earnings of millwrights in manufac­
turing ranged from $3.31 to $4.75
in 1969-70. More than two-thirds
of these workers earned at least $4
an hour. Straight-time hourly earn­
ings for millwrights in 12 of the
areas, representing various regions
of the country, appear in the ac­
companying tabulation.
Rate per hour
Industrial
millwrights
{manufacturing
industries)
Akron ............................ ..................... $4.39
B o sto n ................................................. 3.56
Buffalo ............................................... 4.29
Fort W orth ................... ..................... 3.61
Los Angeles-Long Beach and
Anaheim-Santa Ana--Garden
Grove ............................................. 4.75
Louisville ..................... ..................... 4.50
Minneapolis-St. Paul . . ................... 4.42
New H aven ................... ................... 3.41
New Orleans................. ................... 4.09
Rockford........................ ................... 4.20
St. L o u is........................ ................... 4.19
T renton.......................... ................... 4.50
City

Millwrights employed by contract
installation companies and construc­
tion companies usually have higher
wage rates than those in manufac­
turing. The minimum average
hourly rates for millwrights under
union contracts in construction
ranged from $4.15 to $7.14 in
1969, according to a national survey
of building trades workers in 68
large cities.




499

Apprentices generally start at 50
percent or more of the skilled
worker’s rate and increase to that
rate by the end of their training pe­
riod.
Millwrights employed by facto­
ries ordinarily work year round.
Those employed by construction
companies, contract installation
companies and those that manufac­
ture and install machinery may have
periods of unemployment and fre­
quently work away from home.
The work of millwrights involves
certain hazards. For example, there
are dangers of being struck by fall­
ing objects or by machinery that is
being moved. There also is the dan­
ger of falling from high work places.
In addition, millwrights are subject
to the usual shop hazards* such as
cuts and bruises. Accidents have
been reduced by the use of protec­
tive devices, such as safety belts and
hats.
Most millwrights belong to labor
unions, among which are the Inter­
national Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers; United
Brotherhood of Carpenters and
Joiners of America (construction
millwrights); United Steelworkers
of America; International Union,
United Automobile, Aerospace and
Agricultural Implement Workers of
America; International Brotherhood
of Pulp, Sulphite and Paper Mill
Workers; and the International
Union of Eelctrical, Radio and
Machine Workers. Employer-union
contracts usually provide for bene­
fits such as paid holidays and vaca­
tions.
Sources of Additional Information
United Brotherhood of Carpenters
and Joiners of America, 101 Con­
stitution Ave. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20001.

MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 620.281 and .384)

Nature of the Work

More than 2 million Americans
own motorcycles and motor scoot­
ers. Although many cycling enthu­
siasts repair their own vehicles,
most rely on skilled mechanics.
Motorcycles, like automobiles,
need periodic servicing to operate at
peak efficiency. Spark plugs, igni­
tion points, brakes, and many other
parts that frequently get “out of
whack” have to be adjusted or re­
placed. This routine servicing fre­
quently represents the major part of
the mechanic’s work load. How­
ever, the mark of a skilled mechanic
is his ability to diagnose major me­
chanical and electrical problems
and make necessary repairs in a
minimum of time.
In diagnosing malfunctions, the
mechanic first obtains a description
of the symptoms from the motor­
cycle owner, and then runs the en­
gine or test rides the machine. He
may have to use special testing
equipment and disassemble some
components for further examination.
Once defective parts are located, ad­
justments or replacements are made.
Some jobs require only the replace­
ment of a single item, such as a
carburetor or generator, and may
be completed in less than an hour.
In contrast, an overhaul may re­
quire several hours because the
mechanic must disassemble and re­
assemble the engine to replace worn
valves, pistons, bearings, and other
internal parts.
Mechanics use common handtools such as wrenches, pliers, and
screwdrivers, as well as special tools
for getting at “hard to remove
parts” such as flywheels and bear­

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

500

ings. They also use compression
gauges, timing lights, and other
kinds of testing devices. Hoists are
used to lift heavy motorcycles.
Most mechanics specialize in serv­
icing only a few of the more than
30 brands of motorcycles and motor
scooters. In large shops, some me­
chanics specialize in overhauling
and rebuilding engines and trans­
missions, but most are expected to
perform all kinds of repairs. Me­
chanics may occasionally repair
mini-bikes, go-carts, snowmobiles,
outboard boat motors, lawn mow­
ers, and other equipment powered
by small gasoline engines.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Motorcycle mechanics learn their
trade on the job. Trainees pick up
their skills from experienced
workers. Initially, a trainee learns to
uncrate, assemble, and road test
new motorcycles. Next, he learns
routine maintenance jobs such as
adjusting brakes, spark plugs, and

ignition points. As the trainee gains
experience, he progresses to more
difficult tasks such as repairing
electrical systems and overhauling
engines and transmissions. Gener­
ally, 2 to 3 years on the job are nec­
essary before a trainee becomes a
fully qualified mechanic.
A trainee is expected to accumu­
late handtools as he gains experi-

Places of Employment

Nearly all of the estimated 5,000
full-time and 1,500 part-time mo­
torcycle mechanics employed in
early 1970 worked for motorcycle
dealers. Most of the remainder
maintained police motorcycles for
municipal governments. A small
number of mechanics were em­
ployed by firms that specialized in
modifying or “customizing” motor­
cycles. Most shops employ fewer
than five mechanics.
By State, employment is distrib­
uted much the same as motorcycle
registrations. About one-half of the
registrations in 1970 were in seven
States: California, Michigan, Texas,
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and
New York.
Nearly all mechanics who spe­
cialize in repairing motorcycles are
employed in cities having more than
30,000 population. In smaller cities,
motorcycles usually are repaired by
mechanics who repair all kinds of
equipment powered by small gaso­
line engines.




Motorcycle mechanic overhauls engine.

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

501

ence. Mechanics usually have sev­ to other fields of mechanical work.
The growth of motorcycles in use
eral hundred dollars invested in For example, since all internal com­ is expected to continue through the
tools.
bustion engines are similar, a mo­ 1970’s, but at a considerably slower
Employers sometimes send me­ torcycle mechanic can become an pace than during the previous dec­
chanics and experienced trainees to automobile or diesel mechanic after ade. Increases in the young adult
special training courses conducted some additional training. However, population and personal income lev­
by motorcycle manufacturers and such a transfer would not necessar­ els will create a demand for more
importers. These courses, which ily mean higher earnings.
motorcycles, and additional me­
may last as long as 2 weeks, are de­
Motorcycle mechanics have lim­ chanics will be needed to maintain
signed to upgrade the worker’s skills ited
advancement
possibilities. these machines. Growth in the num­
and provide information on repair­ Those with supervisory ability may bers of mini-bikes and snowmobiles
ing new models.
advance to service manager and, also will stimulate the demand for
When hiring trainees, employers eventually, to general manager in mechanics.
look particularly for cycling enthu­ large dealerships. Managers who
Maintenance per motorcycle may
siasts who have gained practical ex­ have the necessary capital may be­ rise during the next decade as a re­
perience repairing their own motor­ come dealers.
sult of a trend to higher powered,
cycles. However, many employers
more complex engines. However,
will hire young men with no riding
this favorable employment effect
experience if they have mechanical
likely will be offset by increases in
Employment Outlook
aptitude and show an interest in
mechanic efficiency brought about
Employment in this relatively by improved training methods, bet­
learning the work. Trainees must be
free of any physical disabilities that small occupation is expected to ter shop management, and greater
would prevent their obtaining a mo­ grow rapidly through the 1970’s use of special tools and test equip­
and create a few hundred job open­ ment.
torcycle driver’s license.
Most employers prefer high ings for full-time motorcycle me­
school graduates, but will accept ap­ chanics each year. Many additional
plicants with less education. openings will arise from the need to Earnings and Working Conditions
Courses in small engine repair—of­ replace experienced mechanics who
Earnings of motorcycle mechan­
fered by some high schools and vo­ retire, die, or transfer to other fields
ics and trainees vary widely and
cational schools—generally are of work.
The number of motorcycles in depend on level of skill, geographic
helpful, as are courses in automo­
bile mechanics, science, and mathe­ use, the primary determinant of the location, and employer. Limited in­
matics. While in school, a young demand for mechanics, quadrupled formation indicates that mechanics
man may work part time as a me­ between 1960 and 1969. This dra­ employed by motorcycle dealers
chanic trainee. Many motorcycle matic increase resulted largely from earned between $2.50 and $5.50 an
dealers employ students, especially a surge in the sale of imported mo­ hour in early 1970, or 2 to 3 times
during the summer, to help assem­ torcycles, particularly the small, in­ as much as inexperienced trainees.
Some mechanics are paid an
ble new motorcycles and perform expensive machines which were in­
troduced in this country in the late hourly rate or weekly salary. Others
minor repairs.
Public schools in several large 1950’s. Favorable market condi­ are paid a percentage—usually
cities offer post-secondary and adult tions also were an important factor about 50 percent—of the labor cost
education in small engine repair; a behind the rise in sales. Reflecting charged to the customer. If a me­
few schools in California have spe­ the large birth rate after World War chanic is paid on a percentage basis,
cial courses in motorcycle repair. II, the young adult population grew his salary depends on the amount of
Some unemployed and under-em­ rapidly during the 1960’s. Personal work he is assigned and how fast he
ployed workers have received train­ income levels also rose rapidly and completes it. Trainees frequently
ing in small engine repair under the made more money available for rec­ are paid on a piecework basis when
Manpower Development and Train­ reation. In addition, advertising de­ uncrating and assembling new mo­
signed to overcome an unfavorable torcycles. At other times, they are
ing Act.
The skills learned through repair­ public attitude toward motorcycling paid an hourly rate or weekly sal­
ary.
ing motorcycles can be transferred boosted sales.




502

Motorcycling increases sharply as
the weather grows warmer. Conse­
quently, most mechanics work more
than 40 hours a week during the
summer. Employers often hire addi­
tional mechanics and trainees to
help handle the increased work
load. Many of these temporary
workers are part time and are laid
off in the fall. However, a large pro­
portion are students or have full­
time jobs elsewhere.
Many motorcycle mechanics re­
ceive holiday and vacation pay and
additional benefits such as life,
health, and accident insurance.
Some also receive paid sick leave,
contributions to retirement plans,
and laundered uniforms.
Motorcycle shops generally are
well-lighted and ventilated, but are
noisy when engines are being tested.
The work is not hazardous, al­
though mechanics are subject to
cuts, bruises, and other minor inju­
ries. Since motorcycles are rela­
tively light-weight and have easily
accessible parts, mechanics rarely
do heavy lifting or work in awkward
positions.
A small percentage of motorcycle
mechanics are members of the In­
ternational Association of Machin­
ists and Aerospace Workers.
Sources of Additional Information

For further information regarding
employment opportunities for mo­
torcycle mechanics, inquiries should
be directed to local motorcycle
dealers or the local office of the
State employment service.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

TELEVISION AND RADIO
SERVICE TECHNICIANS
(D.O.T. 720.281)

Nature of the Work

Skilled television and radio serv­
ice technicians use their knowledge
of electrical and electronic parts and
circuits to install and repair a grow­
ing number of electronic products.
Of these, television sets are by far
the most prominent. Other major
electronic products are radios (in­
cluding home, automobile, and
two-way mobile radios), phono­
graphs, hi-fidelity and stereophonic
sound equipment, intercommuni­
cation equipment, tape recorders,
and public address systems. Many
service technicians specialize in re­
pairing one kind of equipment; for
example, color television sets or au­
tomobile radios.
Most of the skilled work done by
television and radio service techni­
cians involves diagnosing trouble in
equipment and making necessary
repairs. Equipment may operate un­
satisfactorily or break down com­
pletely because of faulty tubes, tran­
sistors, and other components; poor
connections; aging of parts; or dirt,
moisture, and heat. The service
technician’s job is to check and
evaluate each possible cause of
trouble; they begin with the simplest
and most common cause—tube fail­
ure. In other routine checks, they
look for loose or broken connec­
tions and for parts that are charred
or burned, due to excessive current
or mishandling.
When routine checks do not lo­
cate the cause of trouble, service
technicians use test equipment to
check suspected circuits. For exam­
ple, they may measure voltages until
an unusual or irregular measure­

ment indicates the part causing
trouble. Commonly used test instru­
ments are vacuum tube voltmeters,
multimeters, oscilloscopes, and sig­
nal generators.
On service calls, service techni­
cians advise customers as to what
may be wrong with television sets
and whether sets must be taken to
shops for further analysis and re­
pair. If possible, they explain
what repairs must be made and esti­
mate the cost.
Technicians make simple electri­
cal checks with a voltmeter, change
tubes, and make necessary adjust­
ments, including focusing the pic­
ture or correcting the color balance
on color sets. They check high volt­
age circuits in color TV sets for ex­
cessive X-ray radiation. Service
technicians who make customer
service calls carry tubes and other
components that are easily replaced
in the customer’s home. Appren­
tices or less experienced television
service technicians may install or
repair antennas on roofs or in attics
and run lead-in wires from antennas
to receivers.
Radios, portable televisions, and
other small equipment usually are
repaired in service shops. Larger
television sets are repaired in shops
when trouble develops only after a
few hours of operation, or when the
trouble must be located with more
complex test equipment available in
shops.
Television and radio service tech­
nicians usually refer to wiring dia­
grams and service manuals that
show connections within sets, pro­
vide adjustment information, and de­
scribe causes of trouble associated
with unusual symptoms. They must
know how to use soldering irons,
wire cutters, long-nosed pliers,
wrenches, screwdrivers and, some­
times, magnifying glasses when they
remove, adjust, or replace parts,

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

components, or complete equipment
such as automobile radios.
Places of Employment

More than 130,000 television
and radio service technicians were
estimated to be employed in 1970,
of whom about one-third were selfemployed. About three-fourths of
all service technicians worked in
service shops or in stores that sell
and service television sets, radios,
and other electronic products. Many
of the remaining service technicians
were employed by manufacturers,
including their service branches.
Television and radio service tech­
nicians work in almost every city.
However, employment is distributed
geographically in much the same
way as the Nation’s population.
Thus, they are employed mainly in
the highly populated States and
major metropolitan areas.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Training in electronics is required
to become a highly skilled television
and radio service technician capable
of working on various types of elec­
tronic equipment. Technical, voca­
tional, or high school training in
electronic subjects, mathematics,
and physics has helped men to qual­
ify as expert television and radio
service technicians. The military
service offers training and work ex­
perience that is useful in civilian
electronics work. Home study (cor­
respondence school) courses are
also helpful.
From 2 to 4 years’ combined
training and on-the-job experience
are required to become a qualified
television and radio service techni­
cian. Men without previous training
may be hired as helpers or appren­




503

tices if they show aptitude for the
work or, like the amateur (“ham” )
radio operator, have a hobby in
electronics.
An important part of the service
technicians’ training is provided by
many manufacturers, employers,
and trade associations. These organ­
izations conduct training programs
when new models or new products
are introduced, as part of a continu­
ing effort to keep service technicians
abreast of the latest technical serv­
icing and business methods. Serv­
ice technicians also keep up with
technical developments by studying
manufacturers’ instruction books
and technical magazines, and by at­
tending training meetings covering
electronics service work.
Programs to train unemployed
and underemployed workers for
entry jobs in the television and
radio service field were in operation
in several States in 1970 under the
Manpower Development and Train­
ing Act. These programs usually

lasted from about 6 months to a
year. Given additional experience or
training, which may include an ap­
prenticeship, graduates of these
programs may become skilled serv­
ice technicians.
Television and radio service tech­
nicians must know how electronic
components and circuits work, and
why they function as they do. They
also must be able to understand
technical publications. Other essen­
tial qualifications include the ability
to manipulate small parts and tools,
good hand-eye coordination, normal
hearing, and good eyesight and
color vision.
Television and radio service tech­
nicians who work in large repair
shops or service centers may be
promoted to assistant foreman,
foreman, and service manager. Fre­
quently, they are able to obtain jobs
as electronic mechanics or techni­
cians in manufacturing industries or
government agencies. Those who
are employed by manufacturers can
advance to higher paying occupa­
tions such as technical writer, sales
engineer, design engineer, and serv­
ice training instructor. In addition,
experienced men who have suffi­
cient funds, adequate business man­
agement training, and ability may
open their own sales and repair
shops.
Persons interested in advancing
to positions such as electronic tech­
nician can improve their opportuni­
ties by taking trade school, corre­
spondence, or technical institute
courses in automatic controls, elec­
tronic engineering, television engi­
neering, mathematics, and related
subjects.
In 1969, several cities and four
States—Indiana, Connecticut, Loui­
siana, and Massachusetts—required
that radio and television technicians
be licensed. To obtain a license, ap­
plicants are required to pass an ex­

504

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

amination designed to test their skill
in the use of testing equipment and
their knowledge of electronic cir­
cuits and components.

Employment Outlook

Employment of television and
radio service technicians is expected
to increase rapidly through the
1970’s. In addition to the openings
that will arise from growth, thou­
sands of job openings will result an­
nually from the need to replace ex­
perienced service technicians who
retire, die, or transfer to other fields
of work.
Employment of service techni­
cians is expected to increase in re­
sponse to the growing number of ra­
dios, televisions, phonographs, and
other home entertainment products
in use. Factors that will contribute
to this growth include rising popula­
tion and family formations, and ris­
ing levels of personal income. In
1970, over 95 percent of all house­
holds had at least one television.
During the next decade, the number
of households with two television
sets or more is expected to increase
significantly, mainly because of the
growing demand for color and light­
weight, portable television sets.
Other consumer electronics prod­
ucts that are expected to be used in­
creasingly include stereo equipment
and tape recorder devices such as
cartridge and cassette units. New
consumer products, such as home
video tape recorders, as well as im­
proved styling and design of existing
products, also will stimulate de­
mand. Greater use of nonentertain­
ment products, such as closed-cir­
cuit television, two-way radios, and
various medical electronic devices,
also is expected. For example,
closed-circuit television is being
used increasingly to monitor pro­




duction processes in manufacturing
plants, and to bring educational
programs into classrooms.
Employment of service techni­
cians is not expected to increase as
rapidly as the use of televisions and
other consumer electronic products.
Replacement of tubes with transis­
tors and use of printed circuit
boards instead of handwired chassis
have lengthened the time a product
may be operated before requiring
service. Technological changes are
expected to continue to reduce serv­
icing requirements. Such changes,
however, as well as the increasing
miniaturization of components usu­
ally require servicemen to have
greater skill and technical knowl­
edge.

Many also provide or help pay for
health and life insurance benefits.
Service on television, radio, and
other home entertainment products
is performed in shops and homes
where working conditions are usu­
ally pleasant. Inside men work at
benches, normally provided with
stools. Outside men may spend sev­
eral hours a day driving between
shops and customers. Some physical
strain is involved in lifting and
carrying receivers. Perhaps the
greatest hazards are the risk of fall­
ing from roofs while installing or re­
pairing antennas, and electrical
shock.
Some raido and television service
technicians are members of labor
unions. Most of them belong to the
International Brotherhood of Elec­
trical Workers.

Earnings and Working Conditions

National earnings data are not
available for television and radio
service technicians. However, wage
data obtained from more than one
hundred union-management con­
tracts, in effect in early 1970, indi­
cated that experienced radio and
television service technicians cov­
ered by these contracts averaged
$3.50 to $6.50 an hour. The wide
variations in wage rates reflect dif­
ferences in type of employer, geo­
graphic location, and skill levels.
Television and radio service tech­
nicians employed in local service
shops or dealer service departments
commonly work a 6-day, 48-hour
week. In large shops, including
manufacturers’ service branches,
they usually work a basic 40-hour
week. Service technicians often
work more than 8 hours a day and
receive higher rates of pay for over­
time work. Some employers of tele­
vision and radio service technicians
provide paid vacations and holidays
after a specified length of service.

Sources of Additional Information

Additional information about
jobs in television servicing may be
obtained from local service techni­
cians, local dealers who sell and
service television receivers and other
electronic equipment, local televi­
sion service associations, and manu­
facturers who operate their own
service centers. Technical and voca­
tional schools that offer courses in
television and radio repair, or elec­
tronics, can provide helpful infor­
mation about training. In addition,
the local office of the State employ­
ment service would be a source of
information about the Manpower
Development and Training Act and
other programs that provide training
opportunities.
Information about the work of
television and radio service techni­
cians may also be obtained from:
National Alliance of Television As­
sociations, 5908 South Troy St.
Chicago, 111. 60629.

505

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Nature of the Work

are similar but have different fuel
and ignition systems. A mechanic
who has worked only on gasoline
engines needs special training to
qualify as a diesel mechanic. (See
statement on Diesel Mechanics else­
where in the Handbook.)

Truck and bus mechanics keep
the Nation’s trucks and buses in
good operating condition. Truck
mechanics maintain and repair
heavy trucks used for mining, con­
struction, and intercity travel; and
small trucks used for local hauling.
Bus mechanics maintain and repair
transcontinental buses as well as
those used for local transit. Although
many parts of large trucks and
buses are similar to automobile
parts, truck and bus mechanics re­
pair large engines, complex trans­
missions and differentials, air­
brakes, and other components that
are different from those in automo­
biles.
Mechanics employed by organi­
zations that maintain their own ve­
hicles may spend much time doing
preventive maintenance to assure
safe vehicle operation, prevent wear
and damage to parts, and reduce
costly breakdowns. During a main­
tenance check, mechanics inspect
brake systems, steering mecha­
nisms, wheel bearings, universal
joints, and other parts, and make
needed repairs and adjustments.
In large shops, mechanics may
specialize in one or two kinds of re­
pair. For example, some mechanics
specialize in major engine or trans­
mission repair. If an engine is to be
rebuilt, the mechanic removes it
from the vehicle and disassembles
it. He examines parts, such as
valves or pistons, for wear, and re­
places or repairs defective parts.
Many mechanics specialize in diesel
engines that power large trucks and
buses. Diesel and gasoline engines

Truck and bus mechanics use
common handtools such as screw­
drivers and pliers; power and ma­
chine tools such as pneumatic
wrenches and drills; special purpose
tools, such as pump seal installers
and transmission jacks; and welding
and flame cutting equipment. They
also use testing equipment, such as
oscilloscopes and dynamometers, to
locate malfunctions, and hydraulic
jacks and hoists to lift and move
heavy parts.
When performing heavy work,
such as removing engines and trans­
missions, two mechanics may work
as a team, or a skilled mechanic
may be assisted by an apprentice or
helper. Mechanics generally work
under the supervision of a shop
foreman or service manager.

TRUCK MECHANICS AND
BUS MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 620.281)




Places of Employment

A large proportion of the nearly
100,000 truck mechanics employed
in 1970 worked for firms that own
fleets of trucks. Fleet owners in­
clude trucking companies and com­
panies that haul their own products
such as dairies, bakeries, and con­
struction companies. Other em­
ployers include truck dealers, truck
manufacturers, independent truck
repair shops, firms that rent or lease
trucks, and Federal, State, and local
governments.
Most of the estimated 17,000 bus
mechanics employed in 1970
worked for local transit companies
and intercity buslines. Bus manufac­
turers employed a relatively small
number of mechanics.
Truck and bus mechanics are em­
ployed in every section of the coun­
try, but most of them work in large
towns and cities where trucking
companies, buslines, and other fleet
owners have large repair shops.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most truck or bus mechanics
learn their skills on the job. In
shops where fleets of trucks and
buses are serviced, beginners usu­
ally perform tasks such as cleaning,
fueling, and lubrication. They may
be required to drive vehicles in and
out of the shop. As beginners gain
experience and as vacancies become
available, they usually are promoted
to mechanics’ helpers. In some
shops, young persons—especially
those who have prior automobile re­
pair experience—are hired as me­
chanics’ helpers.
Most helpers are able to make
minor repairs after a few months’
experience and are allowed to han­
dle increasingly difficult jobs as they
prove their ability. Generally, 3 to 4

506

years of on-the-job experience is
necessary to qualify as an all-round
truck or bus mechanic. Additional
training may be necessary for me­
chanics who wish to specialize in
diesel engines.
Most training authorities, includ­
ing joint labor-management com­
mittees for the truck transportation
industry, recommend a formal 4year apprenticeship as the best way
to learn these trades. Typical ap­
prenticeship programs for truck and
bus mechanics consist of approxi­
mately 8,000 hours of shop training
and at least 576 hours of related
classroom instruction. Frequently,
these programs include training in
both diesel and gasoline engine re­
pair.
Unemployed and underemployed
workers seeking entry jobs as truck
mechanics are trained in a large
number of cities under the Man­
power Development and Training
Act. This training, which lasts up to
a year, stresses basic maintenance
and repair work, but additional onthe-job or apprenticeship training is
needed before workers can qualify
as skilled mechanics.
For entry jobs, employers gener­
ally look for young men who have
mechanical aptitude, and are at least
18 years of age and in good physical
condition. Completion of high
school is an advantage in getting an
entry mechanic job because most
employers believe it indicates that a
young man can “finish a job” and
has advancement potential.
When the mechanic’s job in­
cludes driving trucks or buses on
public roads, applicants may have
to get a State chauffeur’s license. If
the employer is engaged in inter­
state transportation, the applicant
also may be required to meet quali­
fications for drivers established by
the U.S. Department of Transporta­
tion. He must be at least 21 years of




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

age, able bodied, have good hear­
ing, and have at least 20/40 eye­
sight with or without glasses. He
must be able to read and speak Eng­
lish; have at least ,1 year’s driving
experience (which may include
driving private automobiles); and
have a good driving record.
Young men interested in becom­
ing truck or bus mechanics can gain
valuable experience by taking high
school or vocational school courses
in automobile repair. Courses in sci­
ence and mathematics are helpful
since they give a young man a bet­
ter understanding of how trucks and
buses operate. Courses in diesel re­
pair provide valuable related train­
ing. Practical experience in automo­
bile repair gained from working in a
gasoline service station, training in
the Armed Forces, and working on
automobiles as a hobby also is valu­
able.
Most employers require mechan­
ics to purchase their own handtools. Experienced mechanics often
have several hundred dollars in­
vested in tools.
Employers sometimes send expe­
rienced mechanics to special train­
ing classes conducted by truck, bus,
diesel engine, and parts manufac­
turers. In these classes, mechanics
learn to repair the latest equipment
or receive special training in sub­
jects such as diagnosing engine mal­
functions.
A young person considering a ca­
reer as truck or bus mechanic
should have strength and manual
dexterity to handle tools and equip­
ment. Good mechanics read many
service and repair manuals to keep
abreast of engineering changes.
Truck and bus mechanics work in­
dependently and are able to see the
results of their work.
Experienced mechanics who have
supervisory ability may advance to
shop foremen or service managers.

Truck mechanics who have sales
ability sometimes become truck
salesmen. Some mechanics open
their own gasoline service stations
or independent repair shops.

Employment Outlook

Employment of truck mechanics
is expected to increase rapidly
through the 1970’s as a result of
significant increases in the transpor­
tation of freight by trucks. More
trucks will be needed for both local
and intercity hauling as a result of
increased industrial activity, contin­
ued decentralization of industry,
and the continued movement of the
population to the suburbs. In addi­
tion to the job openings expected to
occur as a result of employment
growth, more than a thousand open­
ings are expected each year from
the need to replace workers who die
or retire. Job openings also will
occur as some mechanics transfer to
other occupations.
Several hundred job openings for
bus mechanics are anticipated an­
nually through the 1970’s to replace
workers who retire, die, or transfer
to other occupations. Total employ­
ment, however, is expected to re­
main at about the present level, be­
cause of offsetting factors affecting
the demand for bus service. More
buses will be needed for intercity
travel due to increasing population,
new highways, and less railroad pas­
senger service. Local bus travel, on
the other hand, is expected to de­
cline as a result of the growing use of
private automobiles in cities and
suburbs.

Earnings and Working Conditions

According to a survey covering
88 metropolitan areas in 1970, me­

507

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

chanics employed by trucking com­
panies, buslines, and other firms
that maintain their own vehicles had
average straight-time hourly earn­
ings of $4.01. Average hourly earn­
ings of these workers in individual
cities ranged from $2.96 in Port­
land, Me., to $5.02 in San
Francisco-Oakland, Calif.
Apprentices’ wage rates generally
start at 50 percent of skilled
workers’ rates and are increased
about every 6 months until a rate of
90 percent is reached during the last
6 months of the training period.
Most mechanics work between
40 and 48 hours per week. Because
many truck and bus firms provide
service around the clock, mechanics
may work evenings, night shifts, and
weekends, for which they usually
receive a higher rate of pay. A large
number of employers provide holi­
day and vacation pay; many pay
part or all of the cost of financing
employee health and life insurance
programs and other employee bene­
fits. Some employers furnish laun­
dered uniforms.
Truck mechanics and bus me­
chanics are subject to the usual
shop hazards such as cuts and
bruises. If proper safety precautions
are not followed, there is danger of
injury when repairing heavy parts
supported on jacks and hoists. Me­
chanics handle greasy and dirty
parts and may stand or lie in awk­
ward or cramped positions for ex­
tended periods of time when repair­
ing vehicles. Work areas usually are
well lighted, heated, and ventilated,
and many employers provide locker
rooms and shower facilities. Al­
though most work is performed in­
doors, mechanics occasionally make
repairs outdoors where breakdowns
occur.
Many truck and bus mechanics
are members of labor unions. These
include the International Associa­




tion of Machinists and Aerospace
Workers; the Amalgamated Transit
Union; the International Union,
United Automobile, Aerospace and
Agricultural Implement Workers of
America; the Transport Workers
Union of America; the Sheet Metal
Workers’ International Association;
and the International Brotherhood
of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Ware­
housemen and Helpers of America
(Ind.).

Sources of Additional Information

For further information regarding
work opportunities for truck or bus
mechanics, inquiries should be di­
rected to local employers such as
trucking companies, truck dealers,
or bus lines; locals of unions pre­
viously mentioned; or the local
office of the State employment serv­
ice. The State employment service
also may be a source of information
about the Manpower Development
and Training Act, apprenticeship,
and other programs that provide
training opportunities. General in­
formation about the work of truck
mechanics and apprenticeship train­
ing may be obtained from:
American Trucking Associations,
Inc., 1616 P St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20036.

VENDING MACHINE
MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 639.381)

Nature of the Work

The convenience of automatic,
24-hour merchandising and the
great variety of items provided by

vending machines have increased
job opportunities for skilled me­
chanics who maintain and repair
these machines. The familiar gum
ball, cigarette, or other mechanical,
gravity-operated dispensing device
no longer typifies modern vending
machines. Today, vending machines
include growing numbers of com­
plex, electrically operated machines
that dispense hot canned foods and
ready-to-eat dinners, and brew cups
of coffee flavored to taste.
Most vending machine mechanics
work both in repair shops and at lo­
cations where machines are in­
stalled, such as schools, office build­
ings, factories, theaters, transporta­
tion terminals, and hospitals. Some
work only in repair shops; others
work only in the field and travel by
car or small truck from one location
to another to make machine repairs.
In the repair shops, mechanics
repair complex vending machine
components, such as water pumps,
motors, and relays, and overhaul
machines by replacing worn or
damaged parts. They also may as­
semble new machines in the shop,
following instructional materials
supplied by the manufacturer. After
the machines are assembled, they
are filled with products or ingre­
dients and test run. When working
on relatively complex machines—
for example, beverage dispensing
machines—mechanics check to see
that the machines dispense proper
quantities of ingredients and that
their refrigerating or heating units
operate properly. On gravity-oper­
ated machines, mechanics check
springs, plungers, and mechandisedelivery systems. They also test coin
and change-making mechanisms.
When installing a machine on loca­
tion, mechanics make the necessary
water and electrical connections and
recheck the machines for proper
operation.

508

When a machine on location is
reported to be defective, the me­
chanic first determines the cause of
the trouble. He inspects the ma­
chine for obvious troubles, such as
loose electrical wires, malfunctions
of the coin mechanism, and water
and other leaks. He may test the
machine’s components to isolate the
defective parts. After the mechanic
locates the cause of the trouble, he
may remove and repair or replace
the defective parts, either on loca­
tion or in his employer’s service
shop.
Preventive maintenance— avoid­
ing trouble before it starts—is an­
other major responsibility of the
mechanic. For example, he periodi­
cally cleans electrical contact points,
lubricates mechanical parts and ad­
justs machines to perform properly.
Both in the service shop and on lo­
cation, mechanics use handtools,
such as wrenches, screwdrivers,
hammers, pliers, pipe cutters,
electrical circuit testers and solder­
ing irons. In the service shop, they
also may use power tools, such as
grinding wheels, saws, and drills.
Vending machine mechanics use
operating and troubleshooting man­
uals to repair machine systems and
components. They must know how
and when to do soldering or brazing
to repair piping systems; how to
read diagrams of electrical circuits;
and how to test electrical circuits
and components. Mechanics who
install and repair food vending
machines must know State public
health and sanitation standards as
well as those established under local
plumbing codes. They also must
know and comply with safety proce­
dures, especially when working with
electricity and gas and when lifting
heavy objects.
Repairmen are required to do
some clerical work. For example,
they may fill out reports, prepare




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

repair-cost estimates, keep parts in­
ventories, and order parts. If they
are chief mechanics, they prepare
work schedules for other mechanics.
Mechanics employed by small oper­
ating companies frequently service
as well as repair machines. These
combination “repair-routemen” are
responsible for periodically stocking
machines, collecting money, filling
coin and currency' changers, and
keeping daily records of merchan­
dise distributed. (Additional infor­
mation about vending machine
routemen is included in the state­
ment on routemen elsewhere in the
Handbook. See index for page num­
bers.)
Places of Employment

In 1970, an estimated 18,000
mechanics maintained and repaired
approximately 5 million vending
machines. Vending machine repair­
men work mainly for operators who
place machines in selected locations

and provide necessary services, such
as cleaning, stocking, and repairing.
Some repairmen also are employed
by beverage companies which have
coin operated machines on location.
Although vending machine opera­
tors are located throughout the
country, most mechanics are em­
ployed in the major industrial and
commercial centers where large
numbers of vending machines are
located.
Vending machine manufacturers
employ some highly skilled mechan­
ics to explain technical innovations
and ways to repair new machines to
vending machine repairmen. Such
instruction takes place either in
manufacturers’ service divisions in
major metropolitan areas or in op­
erator’s repair shops.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Young men usually enter this
trade as general shop helpers. If

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

shop helpers show promise as me­
chanics, they may become trainees.
Some young men are hired directly
as trainees.
Mechanic trainees acquire skills
on the job—observing, working
with, and receiving instruction from
experienced mechanics. Sometimes,
trainees attend manufacturer-spon­
sored training sessions, which em­
phasize the repair of new and com­
plex machines. Employers usually
pay the wages and expenses of
trainees during these sessions which
may last from a few days to several
weeks.
Because vending machines are in­
creasing in complexity, some opera­
tors encourage both trainees and ex­
perienced mechanics to take eve­
ning courses in subjects related to
machine operation and repair—for
example, basic electricity. At least
part of the tuition and book ex­
penses for these courses is paid for
by the employers.
The duration of on-the-job train­
ing varies with the individual’s ca­
pabilities and the extent of his prior
education. Although IV2 to 2 years
may be required for a trainee to be­
come skilled in his work, within 6 to
9 months he usually can handle sim­
ple repair jobs and may be sent out
alone on trouble calls. Mechanics
are generally “in training” through­
out their working lives, since they
must constantly increase their work­
ing knowledge to handle new and
improved vending equipment.
Many beginners in this trade are
high school graduates, although em­
ployers generally do not require a
high school diploma for employ­
ment. High school or vocational
school courses in electricity and
machine repair help beginners to
qualify for entry jobs. These courses
also may help beginners to skip the
lowest rung of the job ladder—gen­
eral shop helper.




509

Employers require prospective
repairmen to demonstrate mechani­
cal ability, either through their work
experience or by scoring well on
mechanical aptitude tests. The abil­
ity to deal tactfully with people is
important to employers who are
considering applicants. A commer­
cial driver’s license and a good driv­
ing record are essential for most
vending machine repair jobs.
Skilled mechanics may be pro­
moted to senior mechanic or, in
large companies, to shop foreman or
supervisor. Advancement to service
manager, who schedules repair
work, is possible for a few mechan­
ics having administrative ability. A
few mechanics having initiative and
adequate financial backing become
independent operators.

Employment Outlook

Employment of vending machine
mechanics is expected to increase
moderately through the 1970’s. In
addition to new jobs created by
growth, a few hundred jobs will be­
come available each year because of
the need to replace repairmen who
retire, die, or transfer to other fields
of work.
Some of the factors that stimu­
lated past growth and increased the
demand for the services of qualified
mechanics are the introduction of
new and improved machines that
dispense a growing variety of mer­
chandise; convenient, round-theclock service; and the rising costs of
selling low-priced, standard items
through conventional procedures.
Improvements in currency-changing
devices also have stimulated the
growth of the industry by making it
more convenient for customers to
use vending machines.
Other factors that will continue
to contribute to the industry’s

growth include an expanding popu­
lation; rising levels of personal in­
come; movement of industrial
plants, schools, hospitals, depart­
ment stores, and other establish­
ments to the suburbs where restau­
rants are often inconveniently lo­
cated; and the rising popularity of
light meals and snacks.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Wage data for vending machine
mechanics are available from a
number of union-management con­
tracts in effect in early 1970 cover­
ing workers employed by vending
machine companies in 14 States and
the District of Columbia. Although
these contracts show a very wide
range of straight-time hourly pay
rates for mechanics, the majority
provided for hourly rates ranging
between $3.20 and $4.25. Different
hourly rates for shop mechanics and
for field (street) mechanics were
stipulated in several contracts. In a
few, mechanics’ rates differed, de­
pending on the complexity of the
machines being repaired.
Most vending machine repairmen
work 8 hours, 5 days a week, and
receive premium pay for over-time
work. Since vending machines can
be operated 24 hours a day, me­
chanics frequently are required to
work at night and on weekends and
holidays. Some union-management
contracts stipulate higher rates of
pay for nightwork and for emer­
gency repair work on weekends and
holidays.
Many union-management agree­
ments covering vending machine
mechanics include health insurance
provisions for hospital, medical, and
surgical benefits, usually financed by
the employer. Some contracts pro­
vide for employer-financed retire­
ment benefits. Vacation and holiday

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

510

pay provisions are commonly in­
cluded. Paid vacations are granted
according to length of service—usu­
ally, 1 week after 1 year of service,
2 weeks after 2 years, and 3 weeks
after 10 years. The majority of con­
tracts provide for 7 or 8 paid holi­
days annually.
Vending machine repair shops
are generally quiet, well-lighted,
and have adequate work space.
However, when working on ma­
chines on location, mechanics may
work in cramped quarters, such as
passageways, where pedestrian traf­
fic is heavy. Repair work is rela­
tively safe, although mechanics are
subject to shop hazards such as
electrical shocks and cuts from
sharp tools and metal objects.
Many vending machine mechan­
ics employed by large companies
are members of the International
Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauf­
feurs, Warehousemen, and Helpers
of America.
Sources of Additional Information

WATCH REPAIRMEN
(D.O.T. 715.281)

Nature of the Work

Watch repairmen (also called
watchmakers) are skilled craftsmen
who clean, repair, and adjust
watches, clocks, chronometers, and
other time pieces. When a watch is
not operating properly, the repair­
man uses tweezers, screwdrivers,
and other tools to remove the watch
from its case and disassemble the
movement. With the aid of a loupe
(magnifying glass), he examines
carefully various parts of the mech­
anism to determine necessary re­
pairs and replacements.
Depending on the reason for the
malfunction, he may replace the
mainspring, hairspring, balance and
other wheels, stems and crowns,
hands or broken jewels, and ad­
just improperly fitted wheels and
other parts. The parts are cleaned
and oiled before the watch is reas­
sembled and tested for accuracy.

Further information about work
opportunities in this trade can be ob­
tained from local vending machine
operators and local offices of the
State employment service. Addi­
tional information about employ­
ment in this field is available from
the National Automatic Merchan­
dising Association, 7 South Dear­
born St., Chicago, 111. 60603.




The development of interchange­
able mass-produced watch parts has
decreased the watch repairman’s

need to make parts by hand. How­
ever, he frequently must adjust fac­
tory-made parts for complicated
timepieces to insure a “true” fit.
Watch repairmen use timing
machines; cleaning machines, in­
cluding ultrasonic cleaners; and
handtools, such as tiny pliers,
tweezers, and screwdrivers. The re­
pair of electric and electrome­
chanical watches and clocks re­
quires the use of electrical meters.
Watch repairmen are frequently
proprietors of jewelry stores, and
may do minor jewelry repair and
sell watches, jewelry, silverware and
other items. They also may hire and
supervise salesclerks, other watch
repairmen, jewelers, and engravers;
arrange window displays; purchase
goods to be sold; and handle other
managerial duties.

Places of Employment

About 15,000 watch repairmen
were employed in 1970, about half
of whom were self-employed. Most
self-employed watch repairmen
owned small retail jewelry stores
that perform repair work on the
premises. Others operated their own
repair shops and specialized in re­
pairing watches for jewelry stores.
Most of these who were not selfemployed worked in retail jewelry
stores and the remainder worked in
repair shops, wholesale establish­
ments, and plants that manufacture
watches, clocks, or other precision
timing instruments. A few watch re­
pairmen were instructors in voca­
tional schools.
A substantial number of individu­
als who received training as watch
repairmen used their skill in jobs
such as instrument maker, repair­
man, or assembler; laboratory tech­
nician; and microminiaturization
specialist.

511

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Although scattered throughout
the country, retail jewelry stores
and repair shops are concentrated
in large commercial centers such as
New York City, Chicago, Los An­
geles, Philadelphia, and San Fran­
cisco.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Many young people prepare for
this trade through courses given in
private watch repair schools, public
vocational high schools, or posthigh school training. Others are
trained through formal apprentice­
ship or other on-the-job training
programs. Training in instrument
repair work in the armed services
can be helpful to those who wish to
become watch repairmen.
There generally are no specific
educational requirements for en­
trance into any of the approximately
40 watch repair schools, although
most students are high school grad­
uates. The length of time required
to complete the course—usually 18
months—is determined by its con­
tent, the ability of the individual
student, and whether attendance is
full or part time. In most watch re­
pair schools, a considerable amount
of time is spent taking apart and
reassembling various kinds of watch
movements, truing hairsprings, re­
moving and replacing balance staffs,
fitting friction jewels, and learning
how to use a watchmaker’s lathe
and watch cleaning machines. Some
schools offer courses in the repair of
unusual types of timepieces, such as
chronographs,
calendars,
and
timers. Most schools require stu­
dents to furnish their own handtools.
Students or watch repairmen in­
terested in employment outside of
jewelry stores or repair shops may




require training in related subjects
such as basic electronics, instrument
repair or microminiaturization tech­
nology which is provided on the job
in many industries.
The following States require
watch repairmen to obtain a li­
cense: Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Ken­
tucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minne­
sota, North Carolina, North Dakota,
Oregon, and Wisconsin. To obtain a
license, they must pass an examina­
tion designed to test their skill with
tools and their knowledge of watch
construction and repair.
Watch repairmen in all States,
however, can demonstrate their de­
gree of competence by passing one
of two certification examinations
given by the American Watchmak­
ers Institute. Successful examinees
receive the title of either Certified
Watchmaker or Certified Master
Watchmaker, depending on their
proficiency. Annual voluntary up­
grading examinations covering some
new phase of watchmaking also are
offered to those watch repairmen
who desire to prove their ability to
keep up with the times. Those who
pass the up-grading examination re­
ceive a plaque of recognition.
Beginners who have sufficient
funds may open their own watch re­
pair shops. The usual practice, how­
ever, is to work for an experienced
watch repairman before starting
one’s own business. Some owners of
watch repair shops sell various
items of jewelry, and may eventu­
ally establish retail jewelry stores.
These stores require a more sub­
stantial financial investment.
A young person planning a career
as a watch repairman must be will­
ing to sit for long periods and work
by himself with a minimum of su­
pervision. The precise and delicate
nature of the work requires patience
and concentration. Good visual

depth perception helps in working
with tiny parts. Watch repair is
“problem-solving” work because
the repairman must find and elimi­
nate malfunctions.

Employment Outlook

Employment of watch repairmen
is expected to show little or no
change through the 1970’s. How­
ever, hundreds of job openings will
arise annually from the need to re­
place experienced workers who re­
tire, die, or transfer to other fields
of work. Opportunities will be par­
ticularly favorable for highly skilled
watch repairmen because the num­
ber being trained is insufficient to
meet current needs.
The number of watches and
clocks in use will grow fairly rapidly
due to rising population and in­
comes. The trends toward owning
more than one watch, wearing
watches as costume jewelry, and
buying more children’s watches are
expected to continue. Only a limited
number of these watches will be re­
paired, however, because most will
be pin-lever watches which cost lit­
tle more to replace than to repair.
Consequently, the demand for
watch repairmen is not expected to
keep pace with increases in the
number of watches in use.
New openings for watch repair­
men will occur in retail stores and
repair shops in small cities where
business is expanding and in newly
established suburban shopping cen­
ters. In addition, demand will con­
tinue for well-trained workers to use
their watch repair skills in the pro­
duction of miniaturized devices,
especially in industries making sci­
entific instruments and electronic
equipment.

512

Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of watch repairmen in
entry jobs generally ranged from
about $90 to $120 a week in 1970
and depended on individual ability
and place of employment. Experi­
enced watch repairmen employed in
retail stores, repair shops, and
watch manufacturing establishments
received from $120 to $200 for a
40-hour week. In addition, repair­
men in retail stores may receive
commissions based on sales of
watches and other items in the
store. Repairmen in large retail and
manufacturing establishments often
participate in life and health insur­
ance programs and savings and in­
vestment plans. Watch repairmen
who are in business for themselves
usually earn considerably more than




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

those working for a salary. Earnings
of the self-employed depend on the
amount of repair work done and, in
the case of watch repairmen who
own retail jewelry stores, the vol­
ume of sales and working hours.
Watch
repairmen frequently
work longer than the standard 40hour week. Those who are self-em­
ployed or located in small commu­
nities usually work a 48-hour week
or longer. The work involves little
physical exertion and generally is
performed in comfortable, welllighted surroundings. This light, se­
dentary work frequently is recom­
mended to certain handicapped
workers.
Some watch repairmen are mem­
bers of the International Jewelry
Workers Union or the America
Watch Workers Union (Ind.).

Sources of Additional Information

Information on training courses,
as well as on watch repairing as a
career, may be obtained from:
American Watchmakers Institute,
P.O. Box 11011, Cincinnati, Ohio
45211.

Information on watch repair job
opportunities in retail stores can be
obtained from:
Retail Jewelers of America, Inc.,
1025 Vermont Ave., NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20005.

Further information about work
opportunities or training in this
trade may be available from local
offices of the State employment
service.

P R IN T IN G (G R A P H IC A R T S )
O C C U P A T IO N S

Printing is an art, a leading in­
dustry, and one of our chief means
of communication. In 1970, it pro­
vided employment for more than 1
million workers in a wide variety of
occupations. Although these occu­
pations are found principally in the
printing, publishing, and allied in­
dustries, they also are found in gov­
ernment agencies and in private
firms that do their own printing,
such as banks and insurance compa­
nies. About one-third of all printing
employees work in printing craft oc­
cupations. These craft occupations
are described in detail later in this
chapter. Other occupations in the
printing industries include printing
estimator,
printing
technician,
mailer, computer programer, and
computer typist, as well as the usual
administrative, clerical, mainte­
nance, and sales occupations found
in all industries.

Nature and Location of the
Industry

The printing process is basically a
means of transferring ink impres­
sions of words, numerals, symbols,
and photographs or other illustra­
tions to paper, metal, or other mate­
rials. The most commonly used
methods of printing are letterpress,
lithography, gravure, flexography,
and screen printing. Each method
has special advantages and requires
some special skills.
Included in the printing, publish­
ing, and allied industries are the
printing and publishing of newspa­
pers, magazines, books, and adver­
tising matter; the production of
business forms; the production of
greeting cards and gift wrappings;




commercial or job printing; book­
binding; and the provision of type­
setting, photo-engraving, platemak­
ing, and other printing services, pri­
marily for printing establishments.
In 1970, the largest division in
terms of employment was newspa­
per printing and publishing, with
over 370,000 employees in approxinately 8,000 establishments. Most
daily and many weekly newspapers
throughout the Nation do their own
printing. Although some major
newspapers have more than 2,000
employees, many smaller dailies and
weeklies have fewer than 20 em­
ployees.
Commercial or job printing es­
tablishments, the second largest di­
vision, employed about 355,000
workers in approximately 19,000
establishments. Establishments in
this division produce a great variety
of materials, including advertising
matter, letterheads, business cards,
calendars, catalogs, labels, maps,
and pamphlets. They also print lim­
ited-run newspapers, books, and
magazines. More than half of all
workers in commercial shops are in
establishments having fewer than
100 employees. Many establish­
ments, however, have several
hundred employees.
Printing jobs are found through­
out the country. Almost every town
has at least one printing shop of
some kind—frequently, a small
newspaper plant which also may do
other printing. However, more than
half of the nation’s printing em­
ployees are in five States—New
York, Illinois, California, Pennsyl­
vania, and Ohio. Within these
States, most printing activities are in
or near manufacturing, commercial,

or financial areas such as New
York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Phila­
delphia, San Francisco-Oakland,
Cincinnati, and Cleveland. Other
leading centers of printing employ­
ment
are
Boston,
Detroit,
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Washington,
D.C., St. Louis, and Baltimore. Em­
ployment in book and magazine
printing is highly concentrated in
these areas. A much larger propor­
tion of employment in newspaper
plants, however, is found outside
these centers because of the great
number of small local newspapers.

Printing Methods

All methods of printing have cer­
tain common characteristics. A sur­
face of metal, stone, wood, lino­
leum, rubber, or plastic is prepared
so that part of it can be covered
with ink. The ink is then transferred
to a sheet of paper or other material
which is pressed against the pre­
pared surface.
In relief printing, the printing
surface stands up from the rest of
the surrounding printing plate area.
Ink is rolled over the raised surface
and then paper is pressed against it.
The best known and most widely
used example of this method is let­
terpress printing. Other examples of
relief printing are flexography, in
which a flexible rubber plate and
rapid drying fluid inks are used; lino­
leum and wood block printing; and
relief engraving on metal or plastic.
Flexography is widely used for
printing on plastic films and foil
bags, milk containers, gummed
tape, and bread and candy wrap­
pers. In lithography (offset print­
ing), the printing plate surface is
smooth, with both image and non­
image areas on the same level. Li­
thography is based on the principle
that grease and water do not mix.
The image areas of the plate are
coated with a substance to which the
513

514

greasy printing ink will adhere. On
the press, the plate is moistened
with water before each inking so
that only the image areas take up
the greasy ink from the inking
roller. The inked image is trans­
ferred from the plate to a rubber
blanket and then offset to the sur­
face to be printed. The lithographic
method can be used to produce
practically all items printed by any
other method. It is especially satis­
factory for printing on rough-tex­
tured surfaces because of the flexi­
bility of the rubber blanket.
In gravure printing, the image to
be reproduced is etched into the
surface of the printing plate. The
whole surface is covered with ink
and then wiped off; ink is left only
in the sunken or etched areas.
When paper or other material is
firmly pressed against the surface,
the ink is lifted out and appears on
the paper. Copper and steel plate
engraving also uses this technique.
Screen printing is a method in
which inks or other materials such
as paint, varnish, and liquid plastic
are forced by the action of a flexible
blade through a stencil mounted on
a finely woven screen, generally
plastic or stainless steel. The shape
of the stencil openings determines
the design to be printed. This proc­
ess may be applied to a wide vari­
ety of surfaces such as conventional
paper, cardboard, wood, - glass,
metal, plastic, and textiles. Screen
printing is used on irregular surfaces
and cylindrical surfaces as well as
on flat surfaces.
Regardless of the method used,
several basic steps are involved in
the production of printed matter.
They include layout—planning the
composition and content of each
page; typesetting and composition
—producing and assembling the
text type, headings, illustrations,
and other materials into final page




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

form;
platemaking—preparing
printing plates from the original
composition for use on the printing
presses; printing—transferring an
image to a printing surface; and fin­
ishing—binding and mailing opera­
tions.

Printing Occupations

Production of printed materials
involves workers in a wide variety
of occupations. Printing craftsmen
who in 1970 numbered over
400,000 represent a large segment
of these employees. Printing crafts­
men usually specialize in one area
of printing operations; for example,
type composition, photography,
platemaking, presswork, or binding.
Their training, moreover, is confined
largely to only one of the basic
printing methods—letterpress, li­
thography, or gravure.
The estimated 185,000 skilled
composing room workers employed
in 1970 were the largest group of
printing craftsmen. This group in­
cludes hand compositors, typeset­
ting machine operators, makeup
men, tape-perforating machine op­
erators (teletypesetters), and proof­
readers. Other large groups of

skilled workers are printing press­
men and their assistants; and litho­
graphic craftsmen, including cam­
eramen, artists, strippers, platemakers, and lithographic pressmen.
Bookbinders, photoengravers, elec­
trotypers, and stereotypers are other
important printing craftsmen. Indi­
vidual occupations are described in
detail in this chapter.
Maintenance machinists, who re­
pair and adjust typesetting ma­
chines, printing presses, or bindery
equipment, are another group of
skilled workers employed in large
plants.
In the skilled occupations, practi­
cally all the workers are men. How­
ever, many of the less skilled jobs,
especially in the binderies, are held
by women. Printing establishments
also employ a great many persons
as executives, salesmen, account­
ants,
engineers,
stenographers,
clerks, and laborers. Newspapers
and other publishers employ a con­
siderable number of reporters and
editors. These occupations are dis­
cussed elsewhere in the Handbook.
(See index for page numbers.)
Because of the increasingly com­
plex and highly mechanized printing
equipment in use today, the need is
growing for technically trained peo-

PRINTING (GRAPHIC ARTS) OCCUPATIONS

pie in all areas of printing manage­
ment and production. For example,
an increasing number of production
technicians are being employed
throughout the printing industry.
These men are responsible for
seeing that the standards established
for each printing job are met. To do
this, they must be thoroughly famil­
iar with the printing processes, and
the many technical instruments used
in the plant to judge and control the
quality of the printing.
The mailroom, chiefly in newspa­
per and periodical plants, is another
area of employment closely related
to printing production. Here
workers address, bundle, and tie the
printed matter for distribution.
Modern mailroom processes are
mechanized to a considerable ex­
tent. Mailers operate addressing,
stamping, stacking, bundling, and
tying machines.

Training and Other Qualifications

Apprenticeship is a common
method of entry into the printing
crafts. In some instances, it is the
only means by which one may be
trained to become a journeyman
(skilled worker) in a unionized
shop. Formal apprenticeship also is
required for journeyman status in
many larger establishments not cov­
ered by union contracts.
At the beginning of 1970, about
13,800 registered apprentices were
in training in the skilled printing
crafts. A registered apprentice is
an employee who, under an ex­
pressed or an implied agreement,
receives instruction in an apprenticeable occupation for a stipulated
term and is employed in an appren­
ticeship program registered with a
State apprenticeship agency or the
U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau
of Apprenticeship and Training. In




addition, several thousand appren­
tices were in nonregistered pro­
grams. A substantial number of per­
sons also were learning a printing
trade while working as helpers, par­
ticularly in small printing shops or
lettershops, or through a combina­
tion of work experience and school­
ing.
Printing trades apprenticeships
usually last from 4 to 6 years, de­
pending on the occupation and the
shop or area practices. The appren­
ticeship program covers all phases
of the particular trade and generally
includes classroom or correspond­
ence study in related technical sub­
jects in addition to training on the
job. As new printing methods have
been developed and introduced,
they generally have been incorpo­
rated into the duties of the tradi­
tional printing crafts and included in
the apprentice training programs.
Apprenticeship applicants generally
are required to be between 18 and
30 years of age and must pass a
physical examination. However, in
many printing crafts, there is no
maximum age limit for entry into an
apprenticeship.
In selecting applicants for print­
ing craft jobs, most employers re­
quire a high school education or its
equivalent. A thorough knowledge
of spelling, punctuation, the funda­
mentals of grammar, and basic
mathematics is essential in many of
the printing trades. A knowledge of
the basic principles of chemistry,
electronics, and physics is becoming
increasingly important because of
the growing use of photomechanical
and electronic processes in printing.
An artistic sense is also an asset
since the finished product should be
pleasing in balance and design.
Most printing crafts require persons
with good eyesight, about average
physical strength, and a high degree
of manual dexterity. Mental alert­

515

ness, speed combined with accu­
racy, neatness, patience, and the
ability to work with others are also
necessary. The ability to distinguish
colors is important in areas of print­
ing where color is used. Many em­
ployers require applicants to take
one or more aptitude tests devel­
oped for printing industry occupa­
tions by the U.S. Department of
Labor. These tests are given in the
local offices of State employment
services. Apprentices often are
chosen from among the young men
already employed in various un­
skilled jobs in printing establish­
ments who demonstrate the me­
chanical aptitudes essential for the
printing crafts.
About
4,000
schools—high
schools, vocational schools, techni­
cal institutes, and colleges—offer
courses in printing. These courses
may help a young person to be se­
lected for apprenticeships or other
job openings in the printing and
publishing industries.

Employment Outlook

Opportunities to enter the skilled
printing trades through the 1970’s
will be many and will result primar­
ily from the need to replace experi­
enced workers who retire, die, or
transfer to other fields of work.
Slight employment increases in
some printing trades also are ex­
pected to provide a small number of
additional job openings annually.
Many of the opportunities will be in
new types of jobs because of tech­
nological changes in production
methods.
A continued rise in the volume of
printed material is expected because
of population growth, the increas­
ingly high level of education, the ex­
pansion of American industry, and
the trend toward greater use of

516

printed materials for information,
packaging, advertising, and various
industrial and commercial purposes.
However, employment in skilled
printing trades is not expected to in­
crease significantly because of the
continuing introduction of laborsav­
ing technological changes in printing
methods. These changes, primarily
in the areas of type composition,
platemaking, and bindery opera­
tions, include the increasing use of
electronic devices such as comput­
ers, electronic etching and colorseparating equipment, and electronic
controls for highly mechanized bind­
ery equipment.
Employment growth will vary
among the printing trades. For ex­
ample, employment of compositors,
the largest group of printing crafts­
men, is expected to decrease slightly
despite the continued increase in the
volume of printing because of laborsaving technological changes in type­
setting and composition. Employ­
ment of lithographic craftsmen,
however, is expected to increase be­
cause of the growing use of lithog­
raphy (offset printing).

Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of production workers
in the printing and publishing indus­
try, including the unskilled and semi­
skilled workers and printing crafts­
men, are among the highest in man­
ufacturing industries. In 1970,
production workers in the industry
averaged $147.78 for 37.7 hours a
week, or $3.92 an hour. In compar­
ison, production workers in manu­
facturing industries as a whole aver­
age $133.73 for 39.8 hours a week,
or $3.36 an hour.
Earnings of individual printing
craftsmen vary from one occupation
to another. Generally, the wage
rates in large cities are higher than




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

in small communities. Wage rates
also differ by type of printing estab­
lishments. The following tabulation
shows the average union minimum
hourly wage rates for daywork for
selected printing occupations in 69
large cities on July 1, 1970. These
rates are the minimum basic rates
for the individual occupational
classifications. They do not include
overtime, other special payments, or
bonuses.
A v e r a g e u n io n h o u r ly r a te
J u ly 1 , 1 9 7 0 1
N ew s- B ook
p a p e r a n d jo b

Bookbinders ................... .............
Compositors:
Hand ........................... . . .$5.00
Machine operators . . . . . 5.09
Electrotypers ...................
Photoengravers ................ . . 5.56
Pressmen (journeymen) . . . 4.94
Pressmen (cylinder) . ,
Pressmen (platen) . .
Stereotypers ...................... . . 4.87
M ailers............................. . . . 4.61
1
Average day rates.

$4.89
5.14
5.09
4.91
5.00
4.46
5.23
4.11

Most printing trades workers who
are covered by union-management
contracts work fewer than 40 hours
a week. Some contracts specify a
standard workweek of less than 35
hours, but most fall within a 35 to
37Vi hour range. Time and a half
generally is paid for overtime. Work
on Sundays and holidays is paid for
at time and one-half or doubletime
rates in most commercial printing
establishments. In newspaper plants,
however, the craftsmen’s workweek
often includes Sundays. Time and
one-half or double time is paid for
these days only when they are not
part of the employee’s regular shift.
Night-shift workers generally re­
ceive pay differentials above the
standard day rates.
The starting wage rates of ap­
prentices are generally from 40 to
50 percent of the basic rate for
journeymen in the shop. Wages are
increased periodically, usually every

6 months, until in the final year or
half year of training, the apprentice
receives from 80 to 95 percent of
the journeyman rate. Apprentices
who have prior civilian or military
experience sometimes can obtain
credit which will start them above
the beginning apprentice pay rate,
and also reduce the length of time
required to become a journeyman if
they successfully pass examinations
provided for situations of this nature.
In exceptional cases, these provi­
sions also apply to apprentices with
technical school training. In some of
the trades, apprentices may be up­
graded when they show exceptional
progress.
Paid vacations generally are pro­
vided for printing craftsmen. The
most common provision in labormanagement agreements is 2 weeks’
vacation after 1 year’s employment.
Many agreements, however, provide
for 3 weeks’ vacation after 1 year or
more of employment, and an in­
creasing number provide for 4
weeks after 20 or 25 years. Other
major benefits, such as paid holi­
days, retirement pay, life and disa­
bility insurance, hospitalization, and
severance pay, are also common.
In addition, a number of printing
trade unions have for many years
operated their own programs pro­
viding their members with one type
of benefit or more, such as life in­
surance, retirement, sickness, or
disability payments.
The injury-frequency rate in the
printing industry is somewhat lower
than the average for all manufactur­
ing industries.
A large proportion of the printing
trades workers are members of
unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO.
The largest printing trades unions
are the International Printing Press­
men and Assistants’ Union of North
America; the International Typo­
graphical Union; and the Lithogra­

517

PRINTING (GRAPHIC ARTS) OCCUPATIONS

phers and Photoengravers Union.
Other printing trades unions include
the International Brotherhood of
Bookbinders; the International Stereotypers’ and Electrotypers’ Union
of North America; and the Interna­
tional Mailers Union (Ind.). Most
unionized lithographic workers are
in plants under contract with the Li­
thographers and Photoengravers In­
ternational Union, which includes
both printing craftsmen and other
lithographic workers.

Gravure Technical Institute, 60 East
42d St., New York, N.Y. 10020.
International Typographical Union,
P.O. Box 157, Colorado Springs,
Colo. 80901.
Printing Industries of America, Inc.,
1730 North Lynn St., Arling­
ton, Va. 22209.

(See sections on individual print­
ing occupations for names of labor
organizations and trade associations
which can provide more informa­
tion on specific printing trades.)

Sources of Additional Information

Information on opportunities for
apprenticeship or other types of
printing employment in a particular
locality may be obtained from vari­
ous sources. Applicants may apply
directly to the printing establish­
ments in their areas. The names and
locations of local printers usually
can be obtained from the classified
section of the telephone directory.
In addition, the local unions and
employer associations in the print­
ing industry often can provide infor­
mation regarding apprenticeship
openings. In recent years, increasing
use has been made of local offices of
the State employment services as in­
formation exchanges for apprentice­
ship openings. Some of these offices
provide service such as screening
applicants and giving aptitude tests.
General information on the print­
ing industry may be obtained by
writing to the following organiza­
tions :
American Newspaper Publishers As­
sociation, 750 Third Ave., New
York, N.Y. 10017.
Education Council of The Graphic
Arts Industry, Inc., 4615 Forbes
Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.
Graphic Arts Technical Foundation,
4615 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa.
15213.




COMPOSING ROOM
OCCUPATIONS
(D.O.T. 650.582, 654.782, and 973.381)

The printing process begins in a
composing room where manuscript
copy is set in type, proofed, and
checked for errors. Machine and
handset type, and other materials,
such as photoengravings, are assem­
bled there and prepared for the
pressroom.
In 1970, nearly half of all print­
ing craftsmen—about 185,000—
were employed in composing room
occupations. These occupations
offer many opportunities for per­
sons interested in learning a skilled
craft. Composing room workers in­
clude compositors who set type by
hand; typesetting machine operators
who operate semiautomatic typeset­
ting machines; tape-perforating
machine operators who perforate
tapes used to operate some typeset­
ting machines; bankmen who as­
semble type in shallow trays called
“galleys” and make trial proofs of
this type; proofreaders who check
the galley proofs with the original
copy for errors; make-up men who
assemble type and photoengravings

in page forms; and stonehands, who
arrange the pages in proper se­
quence.
Compositors are employed in
newspaper
plants,
commercial
printing shops, book and periodical
printing plants, and typographic
composition firms that set type for
printing establishments, advertising
agencies, and advertising depart­
ments of large business firms. Onethird of all compositors work in
newspaper plants. A large number
are employed in establishments that
specialize in setting type for book
and magazine publishers.
Skilled composing room workers
are employed in almost every com­
munity throughout the country, but
they are concentrated in large met­
ropolitan areas.

Nature of the Work

Hand compositors ( typesetters)
(D.O.T. 973.381) make up the old­
est composing room occupation.
Today most type that is set by hand
is for work requiring very fine com­
position (usually larger size type for
advertising copy) and for small jobs
in which the setting of type by
machine would be impractical.
In setting type by hand, the com­
positor, reading from the manu­
script copy, first sets each line of
type in a “composing stick” (a de­
vice which holds type in place) let­
ter by letter and line by line. When
this stick is full, he slides the com­
pleted lines onto a shallow metal
tray called a “galley.”
Typesetting machine operators
are craftsmen who operate semi-au­
tomatic machines which set type
much more rapidly than the hand
compositors. The type size used in
machine set composition ordinarily
is much smaller than that set by
hand.

518

Linotype (or Inter type) machine
operators (D.O.T. 650.582) read­
ing from the copy clipped to the
machine’s copy board, select letters
and other characters by operating a
keyboard which has 90 keys. As
they press the keys, the letters, in
forms of metal molds called matri­
ces, are assembled into lines of
words. A spaceband key provides
the necessary spacing between
words. As they complete each line,
the operators touch a lever and the
machine automatically casts the line
of type into a solid metal strip
called a “slug.” The slugs are then
deposited in a galley and are later
assembled into the type forms from
which either the printing impres­
sions or the plates are made. Nearly
all newspaper plants, large commer­
cial shops, and typographic compo­
sition firms use these machines and
operators to set type. In the smaller
plants, the typesetting machine op­
erator maintains and repairs as well
as operates the typesetting machine.
In the larger plants, maintenance
machinists are employed to make




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

all but minor adjustments to the
machines. In smaller plants, the

typesetting machine operator main­
tains, repairs, and operates the
typesetting machine. In large plants,
maintenance machinists make all
but minor adjustments to machines.
Monotype keyboard operators
(D.O.T. 650.582) operate key­
boards which are similar to a type­
writer but have about four times as
many keys. The keyboard machine
produces a perforated paper tape
which later is fed into the casting
machine. The keyboard operator
must be able to handle complicated
copy, such as statistical tables.
Monotype
caster
operators
(D.O.T. 654.782) operate casting
machines which automatically cast
and assemble type which is guided
by perforations in the paper tape pre­
pared by the keyboard machine. As
the tape is fed into the machine, the
proper matrices for casting letters

PRINTING (GRAPHIC ARTS) OCCUPATIONS

are selected automatically by perfo­
rations. Molten metal is forced into
the matrix to form the individual
character. As the name suggests, the
monotype casting machine forms
one letter at a time. Corrections
may be made by hand without re­
setting the entire line. Caster opera­
tors insert the tape, adjust and
tend the machine while it is operat­
ing, and do necessary maintenance
and repair work.
Phototypesetting machine opera­
tors (D.O.T. 650.582) set type on
machines which may be similar in
appearance or method of operation,
or both, to those which cast type in
hot metal. In phototypesetting, how­
ever, a photographic process re­
places the function of the hot metal,
and the final product is a film or
photographic paper print of the type
rather than a metal slug. In one type
of machine, as the operator presses
the keys, the individual matrices or
mats, which contain small film nega­
tives, are assembled and photo­
graphed character by character on
film to form a line of type. In other
phototypesetting machines, a per­
forated paper tape or a magnetic
sound tape is fed into a phototype­
setting machine which “reads” the
tapes and photographs the individ­
ual characters indicated on the tape.
Some typesetters operate photo­
lettering machines which produce
lines or individual characters in
large-size type such as those used
for newspaper headlines and for ad­
vertisements. As in phototypeset­
ting, a photographic process is in­
volved, and the final product is on
film or paper.
In addition to machine operation,
the phototypesetter must be familiar
with the fundamentals of photogra­
phy, including darkroom proce­
dures, to develop the film on which
the type has been photographed. He
also may assemble and arrange de­




veloped film into pages. This proc­
ess, called “stripping,” corresponds
to page makeup in the hot metal
type process. The operator also
makes minor repairs on the photo­
typesetting machine. Since much of
this equipment has electronic con­
trols, the operator needs a basic
working knowledge of the principles
of electronics.
Typesetting machine operators
also use machines similar to type­
writers to set “cold type” on paper.
These machines automatically space
letters and lines. “Cold type” com­
position may be set directly on a
paper or even a metal sheet from
which the plate is to be made, or
the cold type images may be cut
from paper and pasted on layout
sheets. The process of assembling
and pasting this type on layout
sheets is called paste makeup, and is
somewhat similar to hand composi­
tion. The worker who asembles and
pastes up all the materials for a
page is called a paste-makeup man.
Cold type composition frequently is
used by newspapers for display ad­
vertising, and by small newspapers
to set regular text copy.
Typesetters frequently operate
tape-perforating machines called
teletypesetters which have keyboards
similar to those of typewriters. The
machines are fitted with reels of
tape that are perforated as the keys
are struck. The perforated tapes are
inserted in line casting machines,
which set the type as directed by the
perforations. After the tape has
been punched, it may be sent by
teletype to other cities where it is
automatically reperforated and used
to control the operation of linecast­
ing machines.

Training and Other Qualifications

Most compositors acquire their

519

Phototype setter sends perforated tape
into phototypesetting machine.

skills through apprenticeship train­
ing. In union shops, apprentices
often are selected from among
the helpers. Some compositors ac-^
quire their skills while working as
helpers for several years (particu­
larly in small shops and in the
smaller communities) or through a
combination of trade school and
helper experience.
Tape-perforating machine opera­
tors must be expert typists. They
generally acquire their typing skill
in commercial courses in high
school or in business school. These
operators do not need to be trained
as journeymen compositors but they
must be familiar with printing terms
and measurements. The training pe­
riod for tape-perforating machine
operators is about a year. Journey­
men compositors sometimes trans­
fer to this occupation.
Generally, apprenticeship covers
a 6-year period of progressively ad­
vanced training, supplemented by
classroom instruction or correspond­
ence courses. However, this period

520

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

may be shortened by as much as 2
to
years for apprentices who
have had previous experience or
schooling or who show the ability to
learn the trade more rapidly. The
time and emphasis spent on any
particular phase of training depend
upon the type of printing establish­
ment and vary from plant to plant.
A typical apprenticeship program
for compositors includes instruction
in elementary hand composition,
page makeup, lockup, lineup, and
proofreading. After basic training as
a hand compositor, the apprentice
receives intensive training in one
specialized field or more, such as
the operation of typesetting ma­
chines, including phototypesetting
and teletypesetting machines, as well
as specialized work in hand compo­
sition and photocomposition.
Applicants for apprenticeship
generally must be high school grad­
uates and in good physical condi­
tion. They sometimes are given ap­
titude tests. Important qualifications
include training in English, espe­
cially spelling, and in mathematics.
Printing and typing courses in voca­
tional or high schools are good
preparation for apprenticeship ap­
plicants, and a general interest in
electronics and photography is be­
coming increasingly useful. Artistic
ability is an asset for a compositor
in layout work.
Apprentices are paid according to
a predetermined wage scale, which
increases as the apprenticeship pe­
riod advances. At the beginning of
1970, nearly 4,300 registered ap­
prentices were in training for skilled
composing room jobs.

to replace experienced workers who
retire, die, or transfer to other occu­
pations.
In spite of the anticipated expan­
sion in the volume of printing in the
United States during the 1970’s,
employment of compositors is ex­
pected to decline slowly because of
technological changes in typesetting
equipment that will make it possible
to set type faster using fewer opera­
tors. For example, over the past
decade automatically operated type­
setting machines have been used in­
creasingly. These machines, which
set lines of type in metal or on film,
are activated by an electronic device
into which perforated tapes are fed.
The perforations indicate charac­
ters, words, sentences, length of
lines, spacing, and hyphenation.
The use of computers, programed
to perforate the codes for spacing,
length of line, and hyphenation,
simplifies the work of the tape-per­
forating machine operator and in­
creases the speed at which type can
be set. The number of firms using
computers for typesetting rose from
fewer than 100 in 1964 to nearly
1,100 in 1969, and further increases
are anticipated.
Technological changes also will
affect significantly the educational
and skill requirements for compos­
ing room workers. For example,
greater use of phototypesetting re­
quires compositors who have some
photographic skills. Since much of
the new typesetting equipment is
operated by electronics systems a
knowledge of the principles of elec­
tronics is becoming increasingly im­
portant for the compositor.

skilled workers generally. However,
wage rates vary from place to place
and from firm to firm. The average
union minimum hourly wage rate
for hand compositors on the day
shift in 69 large cities was $5 in
newspaper plants and $5.14 in book
and job shops on July 1, 1970.
Union minimum wage rates for
compositors in book and job shops
ranged from $3.20 an hour in
Tampa, Fla., to $5.97 in Chicago,
111. In newspaper establishments,
the union minimum hourly wage
rates for dayshift compositors
ranged from $3.94 an hour in Little
Rock, Ark., to $6.12 in New York,
N.Y.
Working conditions for composi­
tors vary from plant to plant. Some
heat and noise are made by hot
metal typesetting machines. In gen­
eral, the newer plants are well
lighted and clean, and many are air
conditioned. Composing room jobs
require about average physical
strength. Hand compositors are re­
quired to stand for long periods of
time and to do some lifting. Young
men with some types of physical
handicaps, such as deafness, have
been able to enter the trade and do
the work satisfactorily. Many com­
positors work at night on the second
or third shift for which they gener­
ally receive additional pay.
A substantial proportion of com­
positors are members of the Inter­
national Typographical Union.

Employment Outlook

Earnings and Working Conditions

A few thousand job openings for
composing room workers are ex­
pected annually through the 1970’s

As for most printing crafts, wages
of skilled composing room workers
are relatively high compared with

International Typographic Composi­
tion Association, Inc., 2233 Wis­
consin Ave. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20007.




Sources of Additional Information
International Typographical Union,
P.O. Box 157, Colorado Springs,
Colo. 80901.

Printing Industries of America, Inc.,

521

PRINTING (GRAPHIC ARTS) OCCUPATIONS
1730 North Lynn St., Arling­
ton, Va. 22209.

See page 517 for additional
sources of information.

PHOTOENGRAVERS
(D.O.T. 971.281 and .382)

Nature of the Work

Photoengravers
make
metal
printing plates of illustrations and
other copy that cannot be set up in
type. The printing surfaces on these
plates stand out in relief above the
nonprinting spaces, as do the letters
and the accompanying type. Simi­
larly, gravure photoengravers, a
specialized type of photoengraver,
make gravure plates in which the
image is etched below the surface
for use in reproducing pictures and
type.
In making a photoengraving plate
for the letterpress process, the en­
tire job may be done either by one
man or by a number of skilled
workers, each specializing in a par­
ticular operation. Specialists include
cameramen, printers, etchers, finish­
ers, routers, blockers, and proofers.
In the large shops, the work is di­
vided almost always among a num­
ber of these specialists.
A cameraman starts the process
of making a photoengraving plate
by photographing the material to be
reproduced. Plates made from line
drawings are called line plates and
those from photographs are called
halftone plates. After the camera­
man develops the negative, the print­
er prints the image on a metal plate
by coating the plate with a solution
sensitive to light and then exposing




it and the negative to arc lights. The
image areas are protected by chemi­
cals so that when the plate is placed
in an acid bath by the etcher, only
the nonimage areas are etched
away. The image areas that are left
stand out in relief.
A number of other photoengrav­
ing operations may be performed,
depending on the quality of the
printing required. Photoengravings
for very high quality books or peri­
odicals, for example, require more
careful finishing than those for
newspapers. The finisher carefully
inspects and touches up the plate
with handtools; the router cuts away
metal from the nonprinting part of
the plate to prevent it from touching
the inking rollers during printing;
the blocker mounts the engraving
on a suitable base to make it reach
the right height; and the proofer
prints a sample copy on a proof
press.
The operations involved in gra­
vure photoengraving are much like
those in letterpress photoengraving,

except that the image areas rather
than the background are etched
away.

Places of Employment

An estimated 17,000 journeymen
photoengravers were employed in
1970. About two-thirds of them
were employed in commercial serv­
ice shops where the main business
is making photoengravings for use
by others. Newspaper and rotogra­
vure shops employ several thousand
photoengravers. In addition, book
and periodical shops and the U.S.
Government Printing Office also
employ photoengravers. Many of
these craftsmen have their own
shops. Photoengravers’ jobs are
highly concentrated in the largest
printing centers, particularly New
York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and
Los Angeles.
Gravure photoengravers work
mainly in independent gravure
plants. Most of them work for the

522

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

small number of big firms which
handle a large proportion of all gra­
vure work. A few large newspaper
and commercial plants also have de­
partments where this work is done.
Gravure plants are concentrated in
a few States, particularly New
York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and
Kentucky.
Training and Other Qualifications

The most common way to be­
come a photoengraver is through
apprenticeship training. At the be­
ginning of 1970, about 630 regis­
tered apprentices were in training
for skilled photoengraving occupa­
tions. The apprenticeship program
generally covers a 5 year period
and includes at least 800 hours of
related classroom instruction. Be­
sides the care and use of tools, the
apprentice is taught to cut and
square negatives, make combination
plates, inspect negatives for defects,
mix chemicals, sensitize metal, and
operate machines used in the pho­
toengraving process.
Apprenticeship applicants must
be at least 18 years of age and gen­
erally must have a high school edu­
cation or its equivalent preferably
with courses in chemistry and phys­
ics and training in art. Credit for
previous experience acquired in
photoengraving work may shorten
the required apprenticeship time.
Many employers require a physical
examination for prospective pho­
toengravers; the condition of the ap­
plicant’s eyes is particularly impor­
tant because a photoengraver’s du­
ties involve constant close work and
color discrimination.
Employment Outlook

A few hundred job openings are
expected each year through the




1970’s because of the need to re­
place photoengravers who retire,
die, or transfer to other occupa­
tions. However, the total number of
these craftsmen is expected to de­
cline slowly despite the growing use
of photographs and other illustra­
tions, and the increasing use of
color. The application of electronics
to engraving and to color separa­
tion, improved photographic equip­
ment, and the increasing use of
offset printing, which requires no
photoengravings, will limit the num­
ber of photoengravers needed.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Photoengravers are among the
highest paid printing craftsmen. The
average union minimum hourly
wage rate for photoengravers in 69
large cities on July 1, 1970, was
$5.73 in book and job shops and
$5.56 for the day shift in newspaper
plants. Union minimum hourly rates
ranged from $3.83 an hour in
Shreveport, La., to $6.53 an hour
in Chicago.
Most photoengravers are union
members. Nearly all unionized pho­
toengravers are represented by the
Lithographers and Photoengravers
International Union.

Sources of Additional Information
American Photoplatemakers Associ­
ation, 166 West Van Buren St.,
Chicago, 111. 60604.
Lithographers and Photoengravers
International Union, 233 West
49th St., New York, N.Y. 10019.
Printing Industries of America, Inc.,
1730 North Lynn St., Arling­
ton, Va. 22209.

See page 517 for additional
sources of information.

ELECTROTYPERS AND
STEREOTYPERS
(D.O.T. 974.381 and 975.782)

Nature of the Work

Electrotypers (D.O.T. 974.381)
and stereotypers (D.O.T. 975.782)
make duplicate press plates of
metal, rubber, and plastic for letterpress printing. These plates are
made from the metal type forms
prepared in the composing room.
Electrotypes are used mainly in
book and magazine work. Stereo­
types, which are less durable, are
used chiefly in newspaper work.
Electrotyping and stereotyping are
necessary because most volume
printing requires the use of dupli­
cate printing plates. When a large
edition of a book, magazine, or
newspaper is printed, several plates
must be used to replace those which
become too worn to make clear im­
pressions. Also, by having duplicate
plates, printers can use several
presses at the same time and finish a
big run quickly. This is especially
important in publishing daily news­
papers. Furthermore, many big
plants use rotary presses which re­
quire curved plates made by either
electrotyping or stereotyping from
flat type forms.
Several steps are required to
produce a duplicate, curved metal
plate for use in the pressroom. In
electrotyping, a wax or plastic mold
of the type form is made and coated
with special chemical solutions be­
fore being suspended in an electro­
lytic solution containing metal. This
leaves a metallic shell on the coated
mold; this shell is stripped from the
mold, backed with metal or plastic,
and carefully finished.
The stereotyping process is much
simpler, quicker, and less expensive

523

PRINTING (GRAPHIC ARTS) OCCUPATIONS

than electrotyping, but it does not
yield as durable or as fine a plate.
Stereotypers make molds or mats of
paper-mache (a strong material
composed of paper pulp) instead of
wax or plastic. The mat is placed on
the type form and covered with a
cork blanket and sheet of fiberboard. The covered form is run
under heavy power-driven steel roll­
ers to impress the type and pho­
toengravings on the mat. Then the
mat is placed in a stereotype casting
machine which casts a composition
lead plate on the mold. In many of
the larger plants, stereotype plates
are cast in automatic machines.
In many of the larger plants,
electrotypers and stereotypers per­
form only one phase of the work,
such as casting, molding, finishing,
or blocking. However, journeymen
must know how to handle all the
tasks involved in their respective
trades.
Many electrotypers work in large
plants that print books and periodi­
cals. Most stereotypers work in
newspaper plants, but some are em­
ployed in large commercial printing
plants. Electrotypers and stereotyp­
ers also are employed in independ­
ent service shops which do this
work for printing firms.

Training and Other Qualifications

Nearly all electrotypers and stere­
otypers learn their trades through
apprenticeship. Electro typing and
stereotyping are separate crafts, and
little transferability takes place be­
tween the two. The apprenticeship
program of each trade covers all
phases of the work and almost al­
ways includes classes in related
technical subjects as well as training
on the job. Apprenticeship training
for electrotypers and stereotypers
usually covers a 5- or 6-year period




of reasonably continuous employ­
ment.
Apprenticeship applicants must
be at least 18 years of age and, in
most instances, must have a high
school education or its equivalent.
If possible, this education should in­
clude mechanical training and
courses in chemistry. Physical ex­
aminations and aptitude tests often
are given to prospective appren­
tices.

Employment Outlook

There will be some opportunities
for new workers to become electro­
typers and stereotypers through the
1970’s because of retirements,
deaths, or transfers of workers to
other occupations. However, the
total number of electrotypers and
stereotypers is expected to continue
to decline moderately.
This decline will occur in spite of
the anticipated increase in the total
volume of printing because of tech­
nological changes. For example, the
increasing use of automatic plate
casting eliminates many steps in
platemaking, and plastic and rubber
plates are being made increasingly
outside electrotyping and stereotyp­
ing shops. Furthermore, the increas­
ing use of offset printing reduces the
need for electrotypers and stereo­
typers, since this type of plate is not
required in offset printing.

for electrotypers in book and job
plants ranged from $3.95 an hour in
Baltimore, Md., to $5.57 an hour in
New York, N.Y., and Newark, N.J.
In newspaper plants, rates for dayshift stereotypers ranged from $3.83
an hour in Shreveport, La., to $6.66
an hour in Chicago, 111.
Much of the work requires little
physical effort since the preparation
of duplicate printing plants is highly
mechanized. However, some lifting
of relatively heavy, hot press plates
is required.
Nearly all electrotypers and ster­
eotypers are members of the Inter­
national Stereotypers’ and Electro­
typers’ Union of North America.
Sources of Additional Information
International Stereotypers’ and Elec­
trotypers’ Union of North Amer­
ica, 10 South La Salle St., Chi­
cago, 111. 60603.
International Association of Electro­
typers and Stereotypers, Inc., 758
Leader Building, Cleveland, Ohio
44114.
Printing Industries of America, 1730
North Lynn St., Arlington, Va.
22209.

See page 517 for additional
sources of information.

PRINTING PRESSMEN
AND ASSISTANTS
(D.O.T. 651.782, .885, and .886)

Earnings and Working Conditions

On July 1, 1970, the union mini­
mum hourly wage rates in 69 large
cities averaged $4.91 an hour for
electrotypers, $5.23 an hour for
stereotypers in book and job shops,
and $4.87 an hour for stereotypers
on day shift in newspaper plants.
Union minimum hourly wage rates

Nature of the Work

The actual printing operation is
performed in the pressroom. Print­
ing pressmen “makeready” (pre­
pare) type forms and press plates
for final printing and tend the
presses while they are in operation.

524

The object of makeready, which
is one of the most delicate and diffi­
cult parts of the pressman’s work, is
to insure printing impressions that
are distinct and uniform. This is ac­
complished by means such as plac­
ing pieces of paper exactly the right
thickness underneath low areas of
the press plates to level them, and
by attaching pieces of tissue paper
to the surface of the cylinder or flat
platen which makes the impression.
Pressmen also have to make many
other adjustments—for example,
those needed to control margins and
the flow of ink to the inking roller.
In some shops, they are responsible
not only for tending the presses but
also for oiling and cleaning them
and making some minor repairs. On
the larger presses, pressmen have
assistants and helpers.
Pressmen’s work may differ
greatly from one shop to another,
mainly because of differences in the
kinds and sizes of presses used.
Small commercial shops generally
have small and relatively simple
presses that often are fed paper by
hand. At the other extreme are the
enormous web-rotary presses used




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

by the larger newspaper, magazine,
and book printing plants. These
giant presses are fed paper in big
rolls called “webs,” up to 50 inches
or more in width. They print the
paper on both sides by means of a
series of cylinders; cut, assemble,
and fold the pages; and, finally,
count the finished newspaper sec­
tions which emerge from the press
ready for mailing. Each of these au­
tomatic steps calls for constant at­
tention. Presses of this kind are op­
erated by crews of journeymen and
less skilled workers under the direc­
tion of a pressman-in-charge.
Although the basic duties of lith­
ographic (offset) pressmen are sim­
ilar to those of letterpress and gra­
vure pressmen, a number of differ­
ences exist, principally because of
the specialized character of litho­
graphic presses. (See p. 525 for fur­
ther details.)
Press assistants feed sheets of
paper into presses and help press­
men operate large and complicated
rotary presses. Workers whose main
responsibility is feeding often are
called press feeders. The ratio of as­
sistants to pressmen depends on the

size of the plant, type of press, and
other factors, and differs from one
plant to another. Many shops are
too small to have pressroom assist­
ants.

Training and Other Qualifications

As in other printing crafts, ap­
prenticeship is the most common
way to become a pressman. Some
workers have learned the skills of
the trade while working as helpers
or press assistants or through a
combination of work experience in
the pressroom and vocational or
technical school training.
The length of apprenticeship and
the content of training depend
largely on the kind of press used in
the plant. The apprenticeship period
in commercial shops is 2 years for
press assistants and 4 years for
pressmen. In newspaper establish­
ments the apprenticeship period is 5
years. The apprenticeship period for
pressmen operating web presses is
generally 5 years. On-the-job train­
ing includes the care of pressroom
equipment, makeready, running the
job, press tending and maintenance
and working with various types of
inks and papers. In addition to onthe-job instruction, the apprentice­
ship includes related classroom or
correspondence schoolwork. At the
beginning of 1970, about 3,000 reg­
istered apprentices were in training.
Individual companies generally
choose apprentices from among
press assistants and others already
employed in the plant. Young men
often may work for 2 or 3 years in
the pressroom before they are se­
lected to begin 2- to 4-year training
periods leading to journeyman sta­
tus. A high school education or its
equivalent generally is required. Be­
cause of technical developments in
the printing industry, a year of

525

PRINTING (GRAPHIC ARTS) OCCUPATIONS

chemistry and a year of physics
should be included. Mechanical ap­
titude is important in making press
adjustments and repairs. An ability
to visualize color is essential for
work on color presses, which are
being used increasingly. Physical
strength and endurance are neces­
sary for work on some kinds of
presses, where the pressmen have to
lift heavy type forms and press
plates and stand for long periods.

Employment Outlook

Employment of pressmen is ex­
pected to increase moderately
through the 1970’s. In addition, a
few thousand job openings will arise
each year because of the need to re­
place workers who retire, die, or
transfer to other occupations.
More pressmen will be needed
because of growth in the amount of
printed materials. Employment
growth, however, will be limited by
continued improvements in the
efficiency of printing presses.

areas frequently wear ear protec­
tors. They are subject to hazards
when working near machinery.
Pressmen often have to lift heavy
type forms and printing press plates.
At times, they work under pressure
to meet deadlines, especially in the
printing of newspapers and maga­
zines. Many pressmen work night
shifts for which the rate of pay is
higher than the basic day rate.
Most pressroom workers are cov­
ered by union agreements. Practi­
cally all of the organized letterpress
and gravure pressmen are members
of the International Printing Press­
men and Assistants’ Union of North
America.
Sources of Additional Information
International Printing Pressmen and
Assistants’ Union of North Amer­
ica, Pressman’s Home, Tenn.
37850.
Printing Industries of America, Inc.,
1730 North Lynn St., Arling­
ton, Va. 22209.

See page 517 for additional
sources of information.

Earnings and Working Conditions

The earnings of pressmen depend
upon the kind of press operated, the
type of printing plant, and the geo­
graphical area of employment. A
survey of union minimum hourly
wage rates for day-work in 69 large
cities shows that the average mini­
mum hourly rate in effect on July 1,
1970 for newspaper pressmen-incharge was $5.24; for newspaper
pressmen (journeymen), $4.94; for
book and job cylinder pressmen,
$5.00; for book and job platen
pressmen, $4.46; and for book and
job press assistants and feeders,
$4.26.
Pressrooms
are unavoidably
noisy. Pressmen working in certain




LITHOGRAPHIC
OCCUPATIONS

Nature of the Work

Lithography (offset printing) is
one of the most rapidly growing
methods of printing. Practically all
items printed by other processes
also are produced by lithography—
including books, calendars, maps,
posters, labels, office forms, cata­
logs, folding cartons, and news­
papers. Lithography has special
advantages when the copy to be re­

produced includes photographs,
drawings, or paintings, since the rub­
ber blanket which transfers the image
from the plate to the surface to be
printed permits greater flexibility in
the type of paper that can be used.
Several operations are involved
in lithography, and each is per­
formed by a specialized group of
workers. The main groups of litho­
graphic workers are cameramen,
artists and letterers, strippers, platemakers, and pressmen.
The cameraman, (D.O.T. 972.382) starts the process of mak­
ing a lithographic plate by photo­
graphing the copy. He generally is
classified as a line cameraman
(black and white), halftone camera­
man (black and white), or color
separation photographer.
After the negatives have been
made, they frequently need retouch­
ing to lighten or darken certain
parts. Thus, it is often necessary for
a lithographic artist (D.O.T.
972.281) to make corrections by
sharpening or reshaping images on
the negatives. Highly skilled
workers perform this work by hand,
using chemicals, dyes, and special
tools.
To qualify as journeymen, these
artists must be adept in one or more
of the various retouching methods.
Like cameramen, they are assigned
to only one phase of the work and
may customarily be known, for ex­
ample, as dot etchers, retouchers, or
letterers.
The stripper (D.O.T. 971.381)
makes layouts on paper, glass, or
film. He arranges and pastes film or
prints of type, pictures, and other
art work on the layout sheets called
flats or “stripups,” from which pho­
tographic impressions are made for
the lithographic press plates. The
job of the stripper in the litho­
graphic process corresponds to that

526

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

man. The specific occupation in
which journeyman status is being
sought is emphasized although an
attempt is made to make the ap­
prentice familiar with all litho­
graphic operations. At the begin­
ning of 1970, about 3,350 registered
apprentices were being trained for
skilled lithographic occupations.
Usually, apprenticeship appli­
cants must be in good physical con­
dition, high school graduates, and at
least 18 years of age. Aptitude tests
are sometimes given to prospective
apprentices.
Vocational
school
training and training in photogra­
phy, mathematics, chemistry, phys­
ics, and art are helpful in learning
these crafts.

Employment Outlook

of the makeup man in the letterpress process.
In lithography, employees in the
platemaking department expose
press plates to photographic films
which are made by the cameramen
and corrected by artists. The platemaker (D.O.T. 972.781) may
cover the surface of the metal plate
with a coating of photosensitive
chemicals, or the metal plate may
come to him with the photosensitive
layer applied. The platemaker ex­
poses the sensitized plate through
the negative or positive to strong
arc lights; this is commonly done in
a vacuum printing frame. When a
large number of the same images
are to be exposed on a single plate,
however, the operation is done in a
photocomposing machine. The plate
then is developed and chemically
treated to bring out the image.
The
lithographic
pressman
(D.O.T. 651.782) makes ready and
tends the lithographic (offset)
printing presses. He installs the




plate on the press, adjusts the pres­
sure for proper printing, cares for
and adjusts the rubber blanket which
takes the impression from the plate
and transfers it to the paper, adjusts
water and ink rollers for correct op­
eration, mixes inks, and operates
the presses. Basically, the duties of
these workers are similar to those of
letterpress and gravure pressmen.
Some differences exist, however,
because of the chemical means used
to separate image and nonimage
areas on lithographic presses. In
large plants, press feeders and help­
ers are employed; their duties are
similar to those of assistants and
helpers to letterpress and gravure
pressmen. (See p. 524)

Training and Other Qualifications

A 4- or 5-year apprenticeship
covering the basic lithographic proc­
ess usually is required to become a
well-rounded lithographic crafts­

Employment of journeymen lith­
ographic workers, who numbered
about 80,000 in 1970, is expected
to increase moderately through the
1970’s. In addition, the need to re­
place workers who retire, die, or
transfer to other fields of work will
provide some job openings.
Employment of lithographic
workers is expected to increase in
response to the continued growth of
offset printing. Commercial printing
firms and small and medium size
newspaper publishers increasingly
are using offset presses. Employ­
ment growth also will be stimulated
by the greater use of photographs
and drawings in printed matter, and
by the more widespread use of color
in many printed products. However,
new technological developments,
particularly in the camera, plate­
making, and press departments, are
expected to limit the increase in
lithographic employment.

527

PRINTING (GRAPHIC ARTS) OCCUPATIONS

Earnings and Working Conditions

Union minimum hourly wage
rates for lithographic occupations
vary within each occupation, and
depend upon the degree of skill re­
quired, the type and size of equip­
ment, and the part of the country in
which the worker is employed. For
example, according to information
on union minimum hourly wage
rates in 69 large cities as of July 1,
1970, wage rates for cameramen,
dot etchers or process artists, and
letterers ranged from $3.71 an hour
in Little Rock, Ark., to $6.46 an
hour in Boston, Mass. Minimum
hourly rates of platemakers ranged
from $3.71 an hour in Little Rock
to $6.15 an hour in Boston. The
wide range of rates for lithographic
pressmen—from $2.96 an hour for
small multilith press operators in
Little Rock to $8.20 an hour for
first pressmen on a large eight-plate
roll-fed offset press in Chicago—is
due largely to the many different
types and sizes of presses operated.
A substantial proportion of all
lithographic workers are members
of the Lithographers and Photoen­
gravers International Union. A con­
siderable number of offset press­
men and other offset workers are
members of the International Print­
ing Pressmen and Assistants’ Union
of North America.
Sources of Additional Information

Lithographers and Photoengravers
International Union, 233 West
49th St., New York, N.Y. 10019.
International Printing Pressmen and
Assistants’ Union of North Amer­
ica, Pressmen’s Home, Tenn.
37850.
Graphic Arts Technical Foundation,
4615 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa.
15213.
National

Association




of

Photo-

Lithographers, 230 West 41st St.,
New York, N.Y. 10036.
Printing Industries of America, Inc.,
1730 North Lynn St., Arling­
ton, Va. 22209.

See page 517 for additional
sources of information.

BOOKBINDERS AND
RELATED WORKERS
(D.O.T. 977.781)

Nature of the Work

Many printed items, such as
books, magazines, pamphlets, busi­
ness forms, and calendars, must be
folded, sewed, stapled, or bound
after they leave the printing shops.
Much of this work is done by skilled
bookbinders (D.O.T. 977.781)
who numbered nearly 30,000 in
1970. Many bookbinders are em­
ployed in shops whose chief busi­
ness is bookbinding. However, a
considerable number are employed
in the bindery departments of large
book, periodical, and commercial
printing plants and large libraries.
There are several different kinds
of binderies. Edition and pamphlet
binderies bind books, magazines,
and pamphlets printed in large
quantities. Trade or job binderies
do bindery work on contract for
printers, publishers, or other cus­
tomers. Blankbook and looseleaf
binderies bind various types of
blank books such as ledgers and
bookkeeping and accounting vol­
umes. They also produce looseleaf
binders and bind books in looseleaf
form.
Edition binding—making books
in quantity from big, flat printed
sheets of paper—is by far the most

complicated. The first step is to fold
the printed sheets into one unit or
more, known as “signatures,” so
that the pages will be in the right
order. The next steps are to insert
any illustrations that have been
printed separately, to gather and as­
semble the signatures in proper
order, and to sew them together.
The resulting book bodies are
shaped with power presses and
trimming machines, and reinforced
with glued fabric strips. Covers are
glued or pasted onto the book bod­
ies, after which the books undergo a
variety of finishing operations and,
frequently, are wrapped in paper
jackets. Machines are used exten­
sively throughout the process.
Skilled bookbinders seldom per­
form all the different edition bind­
ery tasks, although many journey­
men have had training in all of
them. In large shops, skilled book­
binders may be assigned to one or a
few operations, most often to the
operation of complicated machines.
In many binderies, especially
large ones, much of the work is
done by workers trained in only one
operation or in a small number of
relatively simple, related tasks.
Most of these workers, often classi­
fied as bindery workers or bindery
hands, are women (hence the com­
mon designation, bindery women).
Their work closely resembles as­
sembly line factory work.

Training and Other Qualifications

A 4- or 5-year apprenticeship
which includes on-the-job training
as well as related classroom instruc­
tion generally is required to qualify
as a skilled bookbinder. Apprentice­
ship programs may vary considera­
bly among the various types of
bookbinding shops. When large
quantities of books are bound on a

528

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

pected for bindery hands, most of
whom are women, because of the
considerable turnover among this
group. However, some decrease in
the total number of bookbinders
and bindery hands is expected, de­
spite the anticipated growth in the
amount of bound printed materials,
because of the increasing mechani­
zation of bindery operations.
Earnings and Working Conditions

mass production (edition) basis, the
most modern machine methods are
used. In fine hand binding, hand
methods, including artistic designing
and decorating of leather covers are
used. For many years, hand book­
binding has been declining in im­
portance.
Apprenticeship applicants usually
must have a high school education,
mechanical aptitude, and be at least
18 years of age. During the appren­
ticeship, trainees learn to assemble
signatures, renovate old, worn bind­
ings, and use various binding ma­
chines such as punches and folders.
For the less skilled bindery occu­




pations, the training period may last
from several months to 2 years. In
union shops, apprenticeship pro­
grams for women bindery workers
generally last 2 years. These formal
programs include classroom instruc­
tion as well as on-the-job training.

Wage rates for skilled bookbind­
ers tend to be below the average of
other printing crafts. A survey of
union minimum hourly wage rates
in 69 large cities, as of July 1, 1970,
showed that the minimum hourly
wage rate for bookbinders in book
and job establishments averaged
$4.89 an hour, and rates ranged
from $2.69 an hour in Syracuse,
N.Y., to $6.06 in New York, N.Y.
The wage rates for bindery women
are considerably lower and are
among the lowest for printing indus­
try workers. They ranged from
$2.15 an hour in Shreveport, La., to
$3.41 an hour in the San Francisco
area.
Most bindery workers are union
members. Most skilled bookbinders
are represented by the International
Brotherhood of Bookbinders.
Sources of Additional Information

Employment Outlook

Several hundred job openings are
expected each year during the
1970’s because of the need to re­
place experienced workers who re­
tire, die, or transfer to other occu­
pations. Many openings are ex­

International Brotherhood of Book­
binders, 1612 K St., NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20016.
Printing Industries of America, Inc.,
1730 North Lynn St., Arling­
ton, Va. 22209.

See page 517 for additional
sources of information.

SOM E OTHER MANUAL
O C C U P A T IO N S

ASSEMBLERS

mon tools used by semiskilled as­
semblers.

Nature of the Work

Television sets, automobiles, and
refrigerators are typical of the man­
ufactured products which undergo
many assembly operations. The
parts for these and thousands of
other products are put together by
assemblers, most of whom are semi­
skilled workers.
Some assemblers, known as floor
assemblers, put together large,
heavy machinery or equipment on
shop floors, often fastening parts
with bolts, screws, or rivets. Others,
known as bench assemblers, put to­
gether small parts to make subas­
semblies or small complete units
while working at a bench. Many as­
semblers work on items which move
automatically past their work sta­
tions on conveyors. These workers
must complete their assembly job
within the time it takes the part or
product to pass their work station.
The job duties of assemblers de­
pend upon the product being manu­
factured, and the process being
used. In aircraft and missile produc­
tion, these workers may assemble
and install parts into subassemblies.
In the automobile industry, one as­
sembler may start nuts on bolts, and
the next worker tightens the nuts
with power-driven tools. Assem­
blers in electronic plants may con­
nect parts with electrical wire.
The kinds of tools assemblers use
depend upon the work they are
doing and the product on which
they are working. Pliers, screwdriv­
ers, soldering irons, power drills,
and wrenches are among the com­




New York, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio,
New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
About half of all assemblers are
women. They work primarily as
bench assemblers because such
work is relatively light and often in­
volves handling delicate objects.
This is particularly true in the
electrical and electronic equipment
industry. Men are usually employed
as floor or line assemblers, where
the work is physically hard. Final
automobile assembly, for example,
is generally done by men.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Skilled assemblers work on the
more complex parts of subassem­
blies with little or no supervision
and are responsible for the final as­
sembly of complex jobs. These
workers must know how to read
blueprints and other engineering
specifications and use a variety of
tools and precision measuring in­
struments. In relatively new fields
such as electronics, instrumentation,
and missiles, subassembly work may
require a high degree of skill.

Places of Employment

In 1970, approximately 865,000
assemblers were employed in manu­
facturing plants; the great majority
were in plants that made fabricated
metal products, electric and none­
lectric machinery, and motor vehi­
cles. More than half of all assem­
blers were employed in California,

Inexperienced people who are
hired to do assembly work are usu­
ally trained on the job in a few days
or weeks. The new worker may
have his job duties explained to him
by his supervisor and then be placed
under the direction of an experi­
enced employee. When the new
worker has developed sufficient
speed, he is placed “on his own”
and is responsible for the work he
does.
Employers seek applicants who
are physically fit and dependable,
and who have some aptitude for
mechanical work. High school grad­
uates or workers who have taken
vocational school courses, such as
blueprint reading, are preferred by
many employers, although a high
school diploma is not usually re­
quired. Generally, for production­
line jobs, employers look for appli­
cants who can do routine work at a
fast pace. For other types of assem­
bly jobs, applicants may have to
meet special requirements. For ex­
ample, in plants producing electrical
and electronic products, which may
contain many different colored
wires, applicants often are tested for
color blindness.
A relatively small number of
workers who learn to perform a va529

530

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

riety of assembly jobs and who have
a knowledge of blueprint reading
and shop mathematics may become
skilled assemblers. A few also may
become skilled inspectors or fore­
men.

Employment Outlook

Employment of assemblers is ex­
pected to increase moderately
through the 1970’s. However, most
job openings will result as workers
retire, die, or transfer to other occu­
pations. Overall, thousands of open­
ings will become available each
year.
Manufacturing plants will need
more assemblers to produce goods
for the Nation’s growing economy.
Growth in population and personal
income will increase the demand for
consumer products such as automo­
biles and household appliances.
Business expansion will increase the
demand for industrial machinery
and equipment. Employment of as­
semblers, however, is not expected
to keep pace with manufacturing
output because the automation of
assembly processes and other la­
borsaving innovations are expected
to raise output per worker.
Employment in plants that pro­
duce durable goods, such as automo­
biles and aircraft, is particularly
sensitive to changes in business con­
ditions and national defense needs.
Therefore, assemblers in these
plants will be subject to occasional
layoffs.

Earnings and Working Conditions

National wage data on assemblers
are not available. However, infor­
mation from a limited number of
union-management contracts indi­
cate that wages ranged from $2.15




to $3.75 an hour in 1970. Variation
in wages depends on geographic
area, industry, and type of assembly
work.
The working conditions of assem­
blers differ, depending on the partic­
ular job performed. Assemblers of
electronic equipment may put to­
gether small components at a bench
in a room which is clean, well
lighted, and free from dust. Floor
assemblers of industrial machinery,
on the other hand, may install and
assemble heavy parts and are often
exposed to contact with oil and
grease. Workers on assembly lines
may be under pressure to keep up
with the speed of the lines. Some
assemblers are paid incentive or
piece-work rates, and are encour­
aged to work more rapidly by the
prospect of higher earnings.
Many assemblers are members of
labor unions. These unions include
the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers;
the International Union of Electri­
cal, Radio and Machine Workers;
the International Union, United Au­
tomobile, Aerospace and Agricul­
tural Implement Workers of Amer­
ica; and the International Brother­
hood of Electrical Workers. Most
labor-management contracts pro­
vide for fringe benefits such as holi­
day and vacation pay, health insur­
ance, life insurance, and retirement
pensions.
Sources of Additional Information

Additional information about em­
ployment opportunities for assem­
blers may be available from local
offices of the State employment serv­
ice.

AUTOMOBILE PAINTERS
(D.O.T. 845.781)

Nature of the Work

Automobile painters make old
and damaged motor vehicles “look
like new.” These skilled workers re­
paint vehicles that have lost the lus­
ter of their original paint, and the
repaired portions of vehicles dam­
aged in traffic accidents. (Produc­
tion painters who work for motor
vehicle manufacturers are discussed
elsewhere in the Handbook.)
To prepare an automobile for
painting, the painter or his helper
rough sands the vehicle to remove
original paint and rust. He then uses
a spray gun to apply primer coats to
the automobile surface. After the
primer dries, he sands the surface
until it is smooth enough to be
painted. For rough sanding, he usu­
ally uses a pneumatic or electric
sander and a coarse grade of sand­
paper; final sanding may be done by
hand, using a fine grade of sand
paper. Small nicks and scratches
that cannot be removed by sanding
are filled with automobile-body
putty. Masking tape and paper are
used to cover areas not to be
painted.
Before painting repaired portions
of an automobile, the painter may
mix paints to match the existing
color of the car. Before applying the
paint, he adjusts the nozzle of the
spray gun according to the kind of
lacquer or enamel being used and, if
necessary, adjusts the air-pressure
regulator to acquire the needed
amount of pressure. He must handle
the spray gun skillfully so that the
paint is applied evenly, rapidly, and
thoroughly. To speed drying, he
may place the freshly painted auto­
mobile under heat lamps or in a

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

special infrared oven. After the
paint dries, the painter or his helper
may polish the newly painted sur­
face to bring out its luster.

531

the nine States with the largest
number of motor vehicles: Califor­
nia, Texas, New York, Ohio, Penn­
sylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Florida,
and New Jersey.

Places of Employment

Almost two-thirds of an esti­
mated 30,000 automobile painters
employed in 1970 worked in repair
shops that specialize in automobilebody repairs and painting, and in
shops that make general automobile
repairs. Most of the others were
employed in the service depart­
ments of automobile and truck deal­
ers. Some painters were employed
by organizations that maintained
and repaired their own fleets of
motor vehicles, such as trucking
companies and bus lines.
Although automobile painters are
employed in every section of the
country, about half of them work in




Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most automobile painters start as
helpers and acquire their skills in­
formally by working for several
years with experienced painters.
Usually, beginners remove automo­
bile trim, clean and sand surfaces to
be painted, and polish painted sur­
faces. As helpers gain experience,
they progress to more complicated
tasks such as using spray guns to
apply primer coats and paint small
areas. Three to four years of infor­
mal on-the-job training are required
to become a fully qualified automo­
bile painter.

A small number of automobile
painters learn their trade through
apprenticeship. Apprenticeship pro­
grams for automobile painters,
which generally last 3 years, consist
of on-the-job training supplemented
by related classroom instruction.
Training programs for unem­
ployed and underemployed workers
seeking entry jobs as automobile
painters are in operation in several
cities under provisions of the Man­
power Development and Training
Act. Persons who complete these
programs, which usually last up to a
year, generally need additional onthe-job or apprenticeship training to
qualify as skilled painters.
Young persons considering this
work as a career should have good
health, keen eyesight, a discerning
color sense, and a steady hand.
Courses in automobile-body repair
offered by high schools and voca­
tional schools provide helpful expe­
rience. Completion of high school is
generally not a requirement but
may be an advantage in getting a
job as a painter’s helper, because to
many employers high school gradution indicates that a young man can
“complete a job.”
An
experienced
automobile
painter with supervisory ability may
advance to shop foreman. Many ex­
perienced painters who acquire the
necessary capital open their own
shops.

Employment Outlook

Employment
of
automobile
painters is expected to increase
moderately through the 1970’s. In
addition to the few hundred job
openings resulting from employ­
ment growth, several hundred open­
ings are expected each year because
of the need to replace experienced
painters who retire or die. Job

532

openings also will occur as some
painters transfer to other occupa­
tions.
Employment
of
automobile
painters is expected to increase pri­
marily because more motor vehicles
will be damaged in traffic accidents
as the number of vehicles in use
grows. This accident toll will in­
crease, even though new and im­
proved highways, driver training
courses, added safety features on
new vehicles, and stricter law en­
forcement may slow down the rate
of growth. Despite the increasingly
durable paint used on new cars, the
number of motor vehicles that need
to be repainted because the original
finish has deteriorated also is ex­
pected to increase.
The favorable employment effect
of increasing numbers of motor ve­
hicles and traffic accidents may be
offset slightly by improvements that
make automobile bodies more resist­
ant to rust, and new developments
in painting equipment that should
enable painters to complete jobs in
less time.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Automobile painters employed
by automobile dealers in 33 cities
had average straight-time hourly
earnings of $5.59, based on a sur­
vey in late 1969. Average hourly
earnings of these workers in individ­
ual cities ranged from $3.45 in
Providence-Pawtucket, R.I., to
$7.60 in Detroit, Mich. Skilled
painters usually earn between two
and three times as much as inexpe­
rienced helpers and trainees.
Many painters employed by auto­
mobile dealers and independent re­
pair shops are paid a commission
based on the labor cost charged to
the customer. Under this method, a
painter’s earnings depend largely on
the amount of work he is assigned




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

and how fast he completes it. Em­
ployers frequently guarantee their
commissioned painters a minimum
weekly salary. Helpers and trainees
usually are paid an hourly rate until
they are sufficiently skilled to work
on a commission basis. Painters em­
ployed by trucking companies, bus­
lines, and other organizations that
repair their own vehicles usually re­
ceive an hourly rate. Most painters
work 40 to 48 hours a week.
Many employers of automobile
painters provide holiday and vaca­
tion pay, and additional benefits
such as life, health, and accident in­
surance, and contribute to retire­
ment plans. Some shops furnish
laundered uniforms free of charge.
Automobile painters are exposed
to fumes from paint and paint-mix­
ing ingredients. However, in most
shops, the painting is performed in
special ventilated booths that pro­
tect the painters. Masks covering
the nose and mouth are also used.
Painters must be agile because they
often bend and stoop while working.
Only average physical strength is
needed.
Many automobile painters belong
to unions, including the Interna­
tional Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers; the Interna­
tional Union, United Automobile,
Aerospace and Agricultural Imple­
ment Workers of America; the
Sheet Metal Workers’ International
Association; and the International
Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauf­
feurs, Warehousemen and Helpers
of America (Ind.). Most painters
who are union members are em­
ployed by the larger automobile
dealers and by trucking companies
and buslines.
Sources of Additional Information

For further information regarding
work opportunities for automobile

painters, inquiries should be di­
rected to local employers, such as
automobile-body repair shops and
automobile dealers; locals of the un­
ions previously mentioned; or the
local office of the State employment
service. The State employment serv­
ice also may be a source of infor­
mation about the Manpower Devel­
opment and Training Act appren­
ticeship, and other programs that
provide training opportunities.
General information about the
work of automobile painters may be
obtained from:
Automotive Service Industry Asso­
ciation, 230 North Michigan Ave.,
Chicago, 111. 60601.
Independent Garage Owners of
America, Inc., 624 South Michi­
gan Ave., Chicago, 111. 60605.

AUTOMOBILE TRIMMERS
AND INSTALLATION
MEN (AUTOMOBILE
UPHOLSTERERS)
(D.O.T. 780.381 and .884)

Nature of the Work

Automobile trimmers, frequently
assisted by installation men, replace
and repair upholstery and other au­
tomobile fabrics. Trimmers and in­
stallation men together are called
“automobile upholsterers.” (Work­
ers who upholster automobiles in
factories are not included in this
statement.)
Automobile trimmers (D.O.T.
780.381) are skilled upholsterers
who custom-make convertible tops;
coverings for automobile seats,
floors, and door panels; and other
items. To make these items, they
first determine the dimensions of
each piece of vinyl, leatherette,

533

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

broadcloth, or other material to be
used and mark the material for cut­
ting, after allowing for pleats,
seams, shrinkage, and stretching.
Although trimmers often follow
standard designs to make most
items, they may follow original de­
signs specified by customers or
create original designs. After cutting
and fitting, they use heavy-duty
sewing machines to stitch the
pieces. Finished pieces are stretched
and pulled to fit snugly; glued,
tacked, stapled, or fastened in other
ways; and then trimmed of excess
material. In addition to making au­
tomobile upholstery and convertible
tops, trimmers may make items
such as truck seat cushions and tar­
paulins, boat covers, and seats for
buses and small airplanes. Automo­
bile upholsters also repair uphol­
stery that has been torn, cut,
burned, or otherwise damaged.
They may repair power-window and
convertible top mechanisms, and
cut and install automobile glass.
Automobile trimmers often are
assisted by installation men, some­
times called seat-cover installers
(D.O.T. 780.884), who remove
worn seat covers and convertible
tops and install new ones.
Trimmers and installation men
use a variety of handtools including
shears, knives, screwdrivers, special
pliers, various types of wrenches,
tack hammers, mallets, and tape
measures. They also use heavy-duty
sewing machines and power tools
such as air-powered staplers and
wrenches. In some shops, they use
electric steaming machines to shrink
fabrics, and special electronic weld­
ers to bind synthetic materials.

ployed in 1970. Most worked in
shops that specialize in the fabrica­
tion and replacement of automobile
upholstery and convertible tops.
Others worked in automotive repair
and accessories sections of depart­
ment stores, in automobile-body re­
pair shops, and in automobile dealer
shops. Most automobile upholstery
shops employ from 1 to 5 trimmers.
In small shops, the number of in­
stallation men generally equals the
number of trimmers. However, in­
stallation men outnumber trimmers

in many of the larger shops, particu­
larly those that specialize in the in­
stallation of factory-made seat cov­
ers and tops.
Although automobile upholster­
ers are employed throughout the
country, most work in the larger cit­
ies.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most trimmers and installation
men learn their skills on the job.

Places of Employment

Nearly 9,000 automobile trim­
mers and installation men were em­




Automobile upholsterer installs new convertible top.

534

Beginners usually are hired as in­
stallation men trainees. They are
first taught to remove seats and up­
holstery and install seat covers, and
gradually learn to do more difficult
jobs such as installing convertible
tops. After qualifying as installation
men, they progress to making seat
covers, tops, and other items. Al­
though a capable beginner can be­
come a fully qualified installation
man in 3 to 6 months, 3 to 4 years
usually are required to become a
skilled trimmer.
A small number of automobile
trimmers begin as apprentices. Ap­
prenticeship programs for automo­
bile trimmers, which usually last 3
or 4 years, consist of on-the-job
training supplemented by related
classroom instruction.
Training programs for unem­
ployed and underemployed workers
for entry jobs as automobile trim­
mers are in operation in several cit­
ies under the Manpower Develop­
ment and Training Act. Persons
who complete these programs,
which usually last up to a year, may
need additional on-the-job or ap­
prenticeship training to qualify as
skilled trimmers.
Applicants for entry jobs should
be mechanically inclined and in
good physical condition. Employers
are interested in hiring those who
enjoy working creatively with their
hands. A high school education is
desirable but not essential. High
school and vocational school
courses in furniture upholstering
provide valuable training. Courses
in mathematics are useful in laying
out and planning upholstery work.
Experienced trimmers who have
supervisory ability may advance to
foremen in large shops. Many auto­
mobile upholstery shops are owned
by trimmers who acquired the nec­
essary experience, skill, and capital
to establish their own businesses.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Employment Outlook

Employment of automobile trim­
mers and installation men is ex­
pected to increase moderately
through the 1970’s. In addition to
the job openings resulting from em­
ployment growth, a few hundred
openings are expected to result each
year from the need to replace expe­
rienced workers who retire or die.
Job openings also will occur as
some trimmers and installation men
transfer to other occupations.
Employment is expected to in­
crease primarily because the grow­
ing number of automobiles will
stimulate greater demand for cus­
tom-made automobile upholstery
and other fabric products. However,
the demand is not expected to grow
as rapidly as the number of automo­
biles, because of the use of more
durable fabrics. Other stimulants to
employment growth include an in­
creasing demand for truck cushions
and tarpaulins because of growth in
the number of trucks, and an in­
creasing demand for custom-made
boat covers and seats resulting from
the growing popularity of boating.

Earnings and Working Conditions

According to information from a
limited number of automobile up­
holstery shops, beginners earned
from $1.60 to $2.25 an hour in
1970. Experienced installation men
earned $2.30 to $3.10 an hour, and
skilled trimmers earned $3.75 to
$6.25 an hour. Individual earnings
often depend on experience and lo­
cation. Earnings generally are
higher in large metropolitan areas
than in small towns.
Most trimmers and installation
men are paid a weekly salary or
hourly wage and work from 44 to
48 hours a week. Many receive

commissions or bonuses based on
sales, in addition to their regular
pay. Some trimmers are paid on a
straight commission basis.
Trimmers and installation men
receive holiday and vacation pay
and all, or part, of the cost of life,
health, and accident insurance.
Some employers also contribute to
retirement plans.
Trimmers and installation men
generally work in shops that are
clean, well-lighted, and relatively
quiet. Their work often involves
being in awkward and uncomforta­
ble positions for short periods. Au­
tomobile upholstery work is not
hazardous, although these workers
are subject to cuts, bruises, and
other minor injuries.
A small percentage of these
workers are members of the Inter­
national Brotherhood of Teamsters,
Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and
Helpers of America (Ind.).

Sources of Additional Information

For further information regarding
work opportunities for automobile
trimmers and installation men, in­
quiries should be directed to local
automobile upholstery shops or the
local office of the State employment
service. The State employment serv­
ice also may be a source of infor­
mation about the Manpower Devel­
opment and Training Act, appren­
ticeship, and other programs that
provide training opportunities.
General information about the
work of automobile trimmers and
installation men may be obtained
from:
National Association of Auto Trim
Shops, 129 Broadway, Lynbrook,
L.I., N.Y. 11563.

535

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

BLACKSMITHS
(D.O.T. 356.381 and 610.381)

Nature of the Work

Blacksmiths make and repair var­
ious metal articles, such as machine
and agricultural implement parts.
They also sharpen chisels, drills,
and similar tools. Blacksmiths join
pieces of glowing hot metal by ham­
mering them together, a process
called forge or fire welding. In this
process, they heat the metal in a
special furnace called a forge, then
place it on an anvil and shape it
with presses and power hammers,




and finish the piece with handtools
such as chisels and hammers.
After making or repairing a metal
article, the blacksmith may harden
or temper it by heat-treatment. To
harden metal, he first heats it to a
high temperature in the forge, and
then quickly cools it in an oil or
water bath. To temper metal (make
it more durable and less brittle), he
also heats it, but to a lower temper­
ature than for hardening. The metal
is kept at this lower temperature for
a specified time and then removed
to cool gradually at air temperature.
An ancient skill practiced by
many blacksmiths is shoeing horses;
blacksmiths who specialize in this
activity often are called farriers.

Today most blacksmiths use ready­
made horse shoes, but they may
have to make or adjust shoes to
achieve a proper fit.
The jobs of industrial blacksmiths
and forge shop workers are similar.
For a detailed discussion of jobs in
forge shops, see the section on
Forge Shop Occupations.
Places of Employment

In 1970, about two-thirds of the
12,000 blacksmiths employed in the
United States worked as industrial
blacksmiths, primarily performing
maintenance and repair duties.
Nearly half of the industrial black­
smiths worked in manufacturing in­
dustries, especially in the iron and
steel industry, and also in the ma­
chinery, transportation equipment,
and fabricated metal products in­
dustries. The railroad, construction,
and mining industries also employed
blacksmiths.
About one-third of all black­
smiths worked in small shops. Most
of them were self-employed. These
blacksmiths repair farm imple­
ments, tools, and mechanical equip­
ment, and often perform other serv­
ices such as welding, brazing, or
tool sharpening. A small number of
them specialize in the shoeing of
horses.
Blacksmiths work in all parts of
the country, in small rural commu­
nities as well as in large industrial
centers. However, employment is
concentrated
in
Pennsylvania,
Texas, California, Illinois, Ohio,
and New York. Horseshoers are
found in all States and, especially,
where there are numerous horses,
horse farms, and race tracks.
Training and Other Qualifications

Most workers enter the occupa­

536

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

tion by obtaining jobs as helpers in
blacksmith shops, where they gradusually learn the trade on the job.
Others enter through formal appren­
ticeship programs, which generally
last 3 or 4 years. Apprenticeship pro­
grams customarily provide training
in blueprint reading, proper use of
tools and equipment, heat-treatment
of metal, and forging methods, in­
cluding forge welding. Most appren­
tices are found in large industrial
firms rather than in small repair
shops. Vocational school or high
school courses in metalworking,
blueprint reading, and mathematics
are helpful to young persons inter­
ested in becoming blacksmiths.
Blacksmiths must be in good
physical condition. Pounding metal
and handling heavy tools and parts
require considerable strength and
stamina. The use of power hammers
and hoists, however, reduces the
physical demands of the work.

Employment Outlook

Employment of blacksmiths is
expected to decline slowly through
the 1970’s. However, a few
hundred job openings will arise
each year to replace experienced
workers who retire, die, or transfer
to other occupations.
Employment is expected to de­
cline because forge shops are pro­
ducing a growing variety of small
metal articles formerly made by
blacksmiths. Metalworking opera­
tions once performed only by black­
smiths are being done by other spe­
cialized workers such as welders
and forge shop craftsmen. It is often
cheaper to replace small parts than
to have a blacksmith repair them.
However, the skills of all-round
blacksmiths will continue to be re­
quired in the maintenance depart­
ments of large industrial firms and




in many small metalworking and re­
pair shops.
Earnings and Working Conditions

National earnings data for black­
smiths are not available. In unionmanagement contracts covering a
large number of blacksmiths in steel
plants, railroad shops, and in the
shipbuilding and petroleum indus­
tries, straight-time hourly pay rates
ranged from $3.33 to $5.12 in
1970. Industrial blacksmiths gener­
ally work the same number of hours
and have the same holidays, vaca­
tions, and other benefits as their fel­
low plant workers.
Blacksmith shops tend to be hot
and noisy, but conditions have im­
proved in recent years as a result of
large ventilating fans and less vibra­
tion from machines. Blacksmiths
are subject to hazards such as burns
from forges and heated metals, and
cuts, bruises, and other injuries
from handling materials. Increased
use of safety glasses, metal helmets,
metal-tip shoes, face shields, ear
plugs, and other protective equip­
ment has helped reduce injuries.
Many blacksmiths belong to un­
ions. One important union is the In­
ternational Brotherhood of Boiler­
makers, Iron Shipbuilders, Black­
smiths, Forgers and Helpers. Other
unions representing blacksmiths in­
clude the United Steelworkers of
America, the Industrial Union of
Marine and Shipbuilding Workers
of America, and the International
Union of Journeymen Horseshoers.

BOILERMAKING
OCCUPATIONS

Nature of the Work

Boilermakers, layout men, and
fitup men are skilled craftsmen who
specialize in the repairing, fabricat­
ing, and assembling and disassem­
bling of boilers, tanks, vats, pres­
sure vessels, heat exchangers, and
similar structures made of metal
plate. These boilers and other metal
vessels are used throughout industry
to hold liquids and gases under
pressure. Boilermakers are engaged
primarily in erecting and repairing
boilers and pressure vessels; layout
men and fitup men usually are em­
ployed in manufacturing new boilers
and heavy tanks. The repair work
performed by boilermakers requires
these workers to have all-round
skills; fitup men and layout men
have more specialized duties.
Boilermakers (D.O.T. 805.281).
These craftsmen assemble and erect
prefabricated parts and fittings at
construction sites where boilers or
other pressure vessels are used.
After installation is completed, they
conduct tests to check for defects.
Boilermakers also repair all kinds of
boilers. After first determining the
cause of trouble, they may disman­
tle the boilers or other units and
make repairs, such as patching
weak spots with metal stock, replac­
ing defective sections with new
parts, or strengthening joints. In ad­
dition to those working at construc­
tion sites, a large number of boiler­
makers maintain and repair boiler
and other pressure vessels in the
powerplants of industrial firms. In­
stallation and repair work per­
formed by boilermakers often must
meet standards set by State and
local laws covering boilers and
other pressure vessels.

537

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

Many large boilers are assembled
in manufacturing plants and shipped
as complete units. Boilermakers
often perform this assembly work,
using the same skills for plant work
as for field work.
Boilermakers use a variety of
tools and equipment in their work.
They cut and shape metal plate to
size with power shears, power rolls,
power presses, or oxyacetylene
torches. They also use welding or
riveting equipment. When assem­
bling and erecting steel plate units
at a construction site, they may use
rigging equipment such as hoists,
jacks, and rollers.

gages, hammers, and scribers in
their work.
Fitup Men (D.O.T. 819.781).
Before the various parts of boilers,
tanks, vats, and other pressure ves­
sels finally are assembled, fitup men
temporarily assemble and fit them
together in the shop. They bolt or
tack-weld parts together and correct
irregularities. Fitup men also fit to­
gether nozzles, pipes, fittings, and
other parts.
Fitup men read and interpret
blueprints and drawings used in the
manufacturing process, check parts
for accuracy, and make certain the
parts meet specifications. They use
handtools such as hammers, sledges,
wrenches, and punches, and equip­
ment such as welding machines,
portable drills, and grinding tools.

Places of Employment

Layout Men (D.O.T. 809.381
and .781). Metals used in the man­
ufacture of boilers, tanks, vats, and
other pressure vessels initially are
prepared for fabricating operations
by layout men. These workers mark
curves, lines, points, and dimensions
on metal plates and tubes that serve
as guides to other workers who cut
or shape the parts required for
fabrication of the pressure vessel.
They lay out parts to scale as out­
lined on blueprints, sketches, or
patterns. Layout men use com­
passes, dividers, scales, surface




More than 25,000 boilermakers,
layout men, and fitup men were em­
ployed in 1970. Several thousand
were employed in the construction
industry, mainly to assemble and
erect boilers and other pressure ves­
sels. Boilermakers also were em­
ployed in the maintenance and re­
pair departments of industries such
as iron and steel manufacturing, pe­
troleum refining, railroad transpor­
tation, and electric and gas utilities.
Large numbers worked in Federal
Government installations, princi­
pally in Navy shipyards and Federal
powerplants. Layout men and fitup
men were employed mainly in
plants that fabricate fire-tube and
water-tube boilers, heat exchangers,
heavy tanks, and similar boiler-shop
products.
Boilermakers are employed in
every State because of the wide­
spread need for their skills in repair
and installation work. Large num­
bers are employed in the Middle

Atlantic and East North Central re­
gions where metalworking industries
are concentrated. Most layout men
and fitup men also work in these
two regions. Pennsylvania, Califor­
nia, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, New
York, and New Jersey are among
the leading States in the employ­
ment of boilermaking craftsmen.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Many men have become boiler­
makers by working for several years
as helpers to experienced boiler­
makers, but most training authori­
ties agree that a 4-year apprentice­
ship is the best way to learn this
trade. In the apprenticeship pro­
gram, the apprentice works under
the close supervision of a journey­
man boilermaker who instructs him
in the skills of the craft, including
the proper way to use the tools and
machines of the trade. Apprentice­
ship programs usually provide about
8,000 hours of relatively continuous
employment and training, supple­
mented by about 600 hours of re­
lated technical instruction. Some of
the technical subjects studied are
blueprint reading, shop mathemat­
ics, welding techniques, and shop
metallurgical science covering stress
and strain of metals.
Many layout men and fitup men
acquired their skills on the job.
They usually are hired as helpers
and learn the craft by working with
experienced men. It generally takes
at least 2 years to qualify as an ex­
perienced layout or fitup man in a
fabricating shop where boilers and
other pressure vessels are massproduced. Shops which custommake products generally hire quali­
fied boilermakers for layout and
fitup jobs.
When hiring apprentices or help­

538

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ers most employers prefer high
school graduates. Prior training in
mathematics, blueprint reading, and
shopwork is helpful to young men
interested in becoming boilermak­
ers, layout men, or fitup men. Most
firms require prospective employees
to pass a physical examination be­
cause good health and the capacity
to do heavy work are necessary in
these occupations. Mechanical apti­
tude and manual dexterity also are
important qualifications.
Some boilermakers may become
foremen for contractors specializing
in boiler installation and repair
work. A few may go into business
for themselves.

Employment Outlook

Employment in boilermaking oc­
cupations is expected to increase
slowly through the 1970’s. Most
openings will arise from the need to
replace experienced workers who
retire, die, or transfer to other fields
of work.
Employment is expected to in­
crease mainly because of the expan­
sion of industries that use boiler
products—particularly electric and
gas utilities, chemical, petroleum,
steel, and shipbuilding industries. In
addition to increased demand for
boiler products, the trend to erect
large, complex, custom-made boil­
ers on the construction site is ex­
pected to spur employment of
skilled boilermakers. The develop­
ment of atomic energy facilities may
create a need for more boilermak­
ers, layout men, and fitup men, ei­
ther to manufacture or install boil­
ers and related products. In shops
that fabricate boiler products, how­
ever, growth in the number of boil­
ermakers, layout men, and fitup
men is expected to be limited by the
increasing use of more efficient




production techniques and equip­
ment, including improved materials
handling methods and welding
equipment.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Wage rates of skilled boilermak­
ing workers compare favorably with
those of other craftsmen, although
wages vary widely because of differ­
ences in factors such as the experi­
ence and skill of the worker, the
kind of industry in which he is em­
ployed, and the geographical region
in which he works.
Boilermakers in field assembly
and installation
(construction)
work generally receive higher
hourly wage rates than boilermak­
ers, layout men, and fitup men em­
ployed in industrial plants, although
they may not be employed as stead­
ily. According to a national survey
of building trades workers in the
construction industry, union mini­
mum hourly wage rates for boiler­
makers in 68 large cities averaged
$6.48 on July 1, 1970. Straighttime hourly earnings for boilermak­
ers in 15 of the cities, selected to
show wage information from various
areas of the country, appear in the
accompanying tabulation.
C ity

Baltimore ...............
Boston ...................
Buffalo ...................
Chicago .................
Cleveland ...............
Denver ...................
F resn o .....................
Houston .................
Kansas City ...........
Los Angeles ...........
Memphis ...............
New Orleans .........
New York .............
Phoenix .................
Seattle ...................

R a te p e r h o u r

.................$6.90
................. 6.25
................. 7.34
................. 7.60
................. 7.96
................. 5.85
................. 6.80
................. 6.00
................. 5.85
................. 6.80
................. 5.35
................. 6.00
................. 8.68
................. 6.80
................. 6.30

Comparable data were not avail­
able covering boilermakers em­

ployed in industrial plants. How­
ever, information on minimum
hourly wage rates was available
from union-management agree­
ments, in effect in 1970, covering a
large number of boilermakers, lay­
out men, and fitup men employed in
fabricated plate work, petroleum,
and shipbuilding industries. The
majority of these agreements called
for minimum hourly wage rates
ranging from about $3.30 to $5.60.
Generally, layout men received
higher rates than boilermakers, and
boilermakers received higher rates
than fitup men.
Boilermakers, layout men, and fit­
up men in industrial plants usually
work the same number of weekly
hours as other plant workers, gener­
ally 40 hours. Most union-manage­
ment agreements covering these
workers provide fringe benefits such
as hospitalization, and medical and
surgical insurance; paid vacations;
life insurance; sickness and accident
insurance; and retirement pensions.
When engaged in boiler repair
and assembly work, boilermakers
often are required to work in
cramped quarters or at great
heights. Some work also must be
done under conditions of dampness,
heat, and poor ventilation.
Boilermaking is more hazardous
than many other metalworking oc­
cupations. Employers and unions
attempt to eliminate injuries in boilershops by promoting safety train­
ing and the use of protective equip­
ment, such as safety glasses and
metal helmets.
Most boilermakers, layout men,
and fitup men belong to labor un­
ions. The principal union in these
trades is the International Brother­
hood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship­
builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and
Helpers. Some boilermaking crafts­
men are members of industrial un­
ions, such as the Industrial Union of

539

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

Marine and Shipbuilding Workers
of America; the Oil, Chemical and
Atomic
Workers
International
Union; and the United Steelworkers
of America.
Sources of Additional Information

General information about the
work of boilermakers may be ob­
tained from:
International Brotherhood of Boil­
ermakers,
Iron
Shipbuilders,
Blacksmiths, Forgers and Help­
ers, Eighth at State Ave., Kansas
City, Kansas 66101.

DISPENSING OPTICIANS
AND OPTICAL
MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 713.251, .381, .884, and
299.884)

Nature of the Work

Dispensing opticians and optical
mechanics (also called optical labo­
ratory technicians) make and fit
eyeglasses prescribed by physicians
and optometrists to correct defec­
tive vision. Optical mechanics grind
and polish lenses to the specifica­
tions of prescriptions and assemble
lenses in frames. Dispensing opti­
cians then fit and adjust the finished
glasses to the customer’s facial fea­
tures. In some States, dispensing
opticians also fit contact lenses. Oc­
casionally, both the fabricating and
fitting of glasses are performed by
the same person.
The dispensing optician works in
a retail optical establishment. He
makes certain that the glasses follow
the prescription and fit the customer
properly. The optician determines




exactly where the lenses should be
placed in relation to the pupils of
the eyes by measuring the distance
between the centers of the pupils.
He also assists the customer in se­
lecting the proper eyeglass frame by
measuring the customer’s facial fea­
tures and giving consideration to the
various styles and colors of frames.
Before prescription eyeglasses
are fitted, the dispensing optician
prepares a work order which gives
the optical mechanic the informa­
tion he needs to interpret the pre­
scription properly, grind the lenses,
and insert them in a frame. The work
order consists of the lens prescrip­
tion; information on the size, tint
(where appropriate), optical cen­
tering of the lens, and other optical
requirements; and the size, color,
style, and shape of the frame. After
the eyeglasses are made, the opti­
cian adjusts the frame to the con­
tours of the customer’s face and
head to make sure they fit properly
and comfortably. He uses small
handtools, such as optical pliers,

files, and screwdrivers, and also
uses a precision instrument to check
the power and surface quality of the
lenses. In some shops, he may do
lens grinding and finishing, and sell
other optical goods such as binocu­
lars, magnifying glasses, and non­
prescription sunglasses.
In fitting contact lenses, the dis­
pensing optician, following the phy­
sician’s or optometrist’s prescrip­
tion, measures the cornea of the
customer’s eye and then prepares
specifications to be followed by a
firm specializing in finishing such
lenses. The dispensing optician uses
precision instruments to measure
the power and curvature of the len­
ses and the curvature of the cornea
of the eye. Contact lens fitting re­
quires considerably more skill, care,
and patience than conventional
eyeglass fitting. The dispensing opti­
cian instructs the customers in the
insertion, removal, and care of the
contact lenses during the initial pe­
riod of adjustment, which may last
several weeks. The physician or op-

540

tometrist rechecks their fit, as
needed. If minor adjustments are
necessary, the dispensing optician
makes them; if major changes are
needed, he returns the lenses to the
contact lens manufacturer.
Optical mechanics make pre­
scription eyeglasses but not contact
lenses. The two types of optical me­
chanics are surfacer (or prescription
lens grinder) and benchman (or fin­
isher). Starting with standard or
stock size lens blanks, which large
optical firms mass-produce, the sur­
facer lays out the work and grinds
and polishes the lens surfaces. He
uses precision instruments to meas­
ure the lenses and assure that they
fit the prescription. In small labora­
tories, one man may do these opera­
tions and benchwork too. In large
laboratories, work is divided into
separate operations which are per­
formed mainly by workers who op­
erate power grinding and polishing
machines.
The benchman marks and cuts




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

the lenses and smooths their edges
so that they will fit the frame. He
then assembles the lenses and frame
parts into finished eyeglasses. In
large laboratories, these duties are
divided into several operations
which are performed mainly by
semiskilled workers. The benchman
uses small handtools, such as lens
cutters, chippers, pliers, files, pro­
tractors, and diamond point glass
drills. He also uses an automatic
edging machine for shaping lens
edges and precision instruments to
detect any imperfections.

Places of Employment

An estimated 11,000 dispensing
opticians and 15,000 optical me­
chanics were employed throughout
the country in 1970. A few thou­
sand women are employed in these
trades—most as dispensing opti­
cians.
Most dispensing opticians were

employed by retail optical shops or
the optical departments of depart­
ment stores and other retail estab­
lishments. Many also worked for
eye physicians or optometrists who
sell eyeglasses directly to patients.
A small number of dispensing opti­
cians worked in prescription depart­
ments of wholesale optical labora­
tories that did work for retail optical
firms; in special prescription shops
in large ophthalmic goods factories;
and in hospitals.
Most optical mechanics worked
in wholesale optical laboratories.
The remainder worked for the same
types of employers as did dispensing
opticians.
In addition to the dispensing opti­
cians and optical mechanics men­
tioned above, many others are pro­
prietors of retail optical establish­
ments.
Although opticians and mechan­
ics are found in all States, more
than half are located in the follow­
ing States: New York, Massachu­
setts,
Pennsylvania, California,
Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and
New Jersey.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most optical mechanics and dis­
pensing opticians learn their skills
through informal, on-the-job train­
ing. On-the-job training in dispens­
ing work may last several years and
usually includes instruction in opti­
cal mathematics, optical physics, the
use of precision measuring instru­
ments, and other related subjects.
Trainees start in jobs requiring
simple skill and dexterity and grad­
ually work into the more difficult
jobs. For example, they may begin
by processing lenses through a lens
grinding machine. After they have
become skilled in this operation, the

541

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

trainees perform other production
operations such as polishing, edg­
ing, lens cutting, and eyeglass as­
sembly. Their training may include
instruction in the measurement and
curvature of lens surfaces, the meas­
urement of lenses, and other sub­
jects related to their work. When
the trainees have acquired experi­
ence in all types of eyeglass produc­
tion work, which usually takes
about 3 years, they are considered
all-round optical mechanics. Some
trainees become specialists on one
type of work performed by optical
mechanics, such as surfacing or
bench work. The training time re­
quired to become a specialist gener­
ally is less than that needed to be­
come an all-round mechanic.
High school graduates also can
prepare for both optical dispensing
and mechanical work through for­
mal apprenticeship programs. Some
optical firms have 4- or 5-year ap­
prenticeship programs. Apprentices
having exceptional ability may com­
plete their training in a shorter pe­
riod. Most training authorities agree
that optical mechanics and dispens­
ing opticians who learn as appren­
tices have more job opportunities,
improved job security, and more
opportunities for advancement than
those without such training.
Formal institutional training for
the dispensing optician is becoming
increasingly common. In 1970,
seven schools offered 2-year full­
time courses in optical fabricating
and dispensing work leading to an
associate degree. In addition, a
number of vocational schools of­
fered full-time courses lasting 9
months in optical mechanics. Grad­
uates from such schools often go to
work for retail optical stores where
they receive additional on-the-job
training. Large manufacturers of
contact lenses offer nondegree
courses of instruction in contact lens




fitting that usually last a few weeks.
A small number of dispensing opti­
cians and optical mechanics learn
their trades in the Armed Forces.
Employers prefer applicants for
entry jobs as dispensing opticians
and optical mechanics to be high
school graduates who have had
courses in the basic sciences. A
knowledge of physics, algebra, ge­
ometry, and mechanical drawing is
particularly valuable. Interest in,
and ability to do, precision work are
essential. Because dispensing opti­
cians deal directly with the public,
they must be tactful and have a
pleasing personality.
In 1970, 17 States had licensing
requirements governing dispensing
opticians: Arizona, California, Con­
necticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii,
Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada,
New Jersey, New York, North Car­
olina, Rhode Island, South Caro­
lina, Tennessee, Virginia, and
Washington. Some of these States
also require licenses for optical me­
chanics in retail optical shops or for
the retail optical shop itself. Some
States permit dispensing opticians to
fit contact lenses whereas others
prohibit them from doing so. To ob­
tain a license, the applicant gener­
ally must meet certain minimum
standards of education and training
and also pass a written or practical
examination, or both. For specific
requirements, the licensing boards
of individual States should be con­
sulted.
Optical mechanics can become
supervisors, foremen, and manag­
ers. Many of them have become dis­
pensing opticians, although there is
a trend to train specifically for dis­
pensing optician jobs. There are op­
portunities for workers in both oc­
cupations to go into business for
themselves, especially for those hav­
ing all-round training in both shop
and dispensing work. Dispensing

opticians also may become managers
of retail optical stores. Some dis­
pensing opticians may become sales­
men for wholesale optical goods
companies or for manufacturers of
conventional eyeglasses or contact
lenses.

Employment Outlook

Employment of dispensing opti­
cians is expected to increase moder­
ately through the 1970’s. In addi­
tion to the opportunities resulting
from employment growth, a few
hundred job openings will result an­
nually from the need to replace ex­
perienced workers who retire or die.
Some additional job openings will
become available as workers trans­
fer to other occupations.
Little or no change in the number
of optical mechanics is expected
during the 1970’s. Several hundred
job openings, however, will be
available annually because of the
need to replace experienced me­
chanics who retire, die, or transfer
to other occupations.
The production of prescription
lenses is expected to increase con­
siderably during the period. Factors
that will contribute to this growth
include the increasing size, and the
rising literacy and educational level
of the population; a large increase
in the number of older persons (a
group most likely to need eye­
glasses); and the growing emphasis
on good vision (more than half the
population over 6 years of age now
wear eyeglasses). In addition, the
many different styles and colors of
eyeglass frames now available have
increased the number of pairs of
eyeglasses purchased by individuals
and encouraged the wearing of
eyeglasses.
The increase in production of
prescription lenses will result in the

542

growing employment of dispensing
opticians. However, principally as a
result of more efficient methods of
production and improved equip­
ment, employment of optical me­
chanics is not expected to increase.

Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1970, information from a
small number of union-management
contracts indicated that optical lab­
oratory mechanics earned from
$2.50 to $4.25 an hour. Depending
on experience, skill, and responsi­
bilities, foremen earned up to 20
percent more than mechanics.
Dispensing opticians usually earn
about 15 to 25 percent more than
optical mechanics. Opticians who
own their business may earn much
more.
Apprentices start at about 60
percent of the skilled worker’s rate;
their wages are increased periodi­
cally so that upon completion of the
apprenticeship program, they re­
ceive the beginning rate for jour­
neymen.
Optical laboratory mechanics at
wholesale establishments usually
have a 5-day, 40-hour week. Dis­
pensing opticians and mechanics at
retail shops generally work a 5 Vi - or
6-day week. Employment is year
round because demand for glasses
fluctuates little.
Surroundings of the dispensing
optician are pleasant, well-lighted,
and well-ventilated, but noisy be­
cause of the power-grinding and
polishing machines.
Physically handicapped persons
who have full use of their eyes and
hands can perform some of the
more specialized jobs in the larger
laboratories.
Some optical mechanics and dis­
pensing opticians are members of
unions. Most of them are members




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

(D.O.T. 500.380, .782, and .884)

All-round platers in small shops an­
alyze solutions, do a great variety of
small lot plating, calculate the time
and current needed for various
types of plating and perform other
technical duties. They also may
order chemical and other supplies
for their work. Platers in production
shops usually carry out less difficult,
more specialized assignments re­
quiring limited technical knowledge.
Parts of an item not to be electro­
plated are covered with lacquer, rub­
ber or tape. The item is then scoured
or dipped in a cleansing bath before
being placed in the plating solution.
The article may be removed from
the solution at intervals to make
sure the work is progressing satis­
factorily. Unnoticed errors can be
costly.
Many types of plating must be in­
spected for visible defects. Microm­
eters, calipers, and electronic de­
vices are used to determine the
quality of the work. Helpers fre­
quently place objects on racks be­
fore plating, remove them after­
wards, and then clean tanks and
racks.

Nature of the Work

Places of Employment

Electroplaters use plating solu­
tions and electric current (electrol­
ysis) to coat metal and plastic arti­
cles with chromium, nickel, silver,
gold, or other metal to give the arti­
cles a protective surface or a more
attractive appearance. Products that
often are electroplated include items
as widely different as automobile
bumpers, silverware, costume jew­
elry, electrical appliances, and jet
engine parts. A process known as
electroforming forms items such as
spray paint masks, search light re­
flectors, and a variety of molds used
in the manufacture of plastic items.
Skills vary among plating shops.

An estimated 17,000 electropla­
ters were employed in 1970. About
half of them worked in independent
job shops and specialized in metal
plating and polishing for manufac­
turing firms and for individuals. The
remaining platers were employed in
plants that manufactured plumbing
fixtures, cooking utensils, wire prod­
ucts, electric appliances, electronic
components, motor vehicles, me­
chanical measuring instruments, and
other metal products.
Electroplaters are employed in
almost every part of the country, al­
though most work in the Northeast
and Midwest near the centers of the

of the International Union of
Electrical, Radio and Machine
Workers.
Sources of Additional Information

A list of schools offering courses
in opticianry may be obtained from:
Guild of Prescription Opticians of
America, 1250 Connecticut Ave.,
N W , Washington, D.C. 20036

General information may be ob­
tained from the following sources:
American Board of Opticianry, 821
Eggert Rd., Buffalo, N.Y. 14226
International Union of Electrical,
Radio and Machine Workers,
1126 16th St., NW., Washington
D.C. 20036
Optical Wholesalers Association, 222
West Adams St., Chicago, 111.
60606

ELECTROPLATERS

543

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

assigning of technical responsibil­
ities to chemists and other person­
nel will limit growth of this occupa­
tion.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Electroplater prepares to immerse helicopter parts in nickel solution.

metalworking industry. Large num­
bers of electroplaters work in Los
Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago,
New York, Detroit, Cleveland,
Providence and Newark (New Jer­
sey).

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most electroplaters learn the
trade on the job as helpers by work­
ing with experienced platers. Three
years or longer are required to be­
come an all-round plater in this
way. Platers employed in produc­
tion shops who are not required to
have an all-round knowledge of
plating can learn their jobs in much
less time. A small percentage of
electroplaters have received all­
round preparation by working 3 or
4 years as an apprentice.
The program for apprentices
combines on-the-job training and
related classroom instruction in the
properties of metals, chemistry, and
electricity as applied to plating. The
apprentice does progressively more
difficult work as his skill and knowl­
edge increase. By the third or fourth
year, he determines cleaning meth­
ods, does plating without supervi­




sion, makes solutions, examines
plating results, and supervises help­
ers. Qualified journeymen may ad­
vance to foremen.
High school and vocational
school courses in chemistry, elec­
tricity, physics, mathematics, and
blueprint reading will prove valu­
able to young persons interested in
becoming electroplaters. Some col­
leges, technical institutes, and voca­
tional high schools offer 1- or 2year courses in electroplating. In
addition, many branches of the
American Electroplaters Society
conduct basic courses in electroplat­
ing.
Employment Outlook

Employment of electroplaters is
expected to increase moderately
through the 1970’s. Most openings
however, will result from the need
to replace experienced workers who
retire, die, or transfer to other occu­
pations.
Expansion of metalworking in­
dustries and the electroplating of a
broadening group of metals and
plastics are expected to increase the
need for electroplaters. However,
continuing mechanization and the

National wage data are not avail­
able for electroplaters. However,
data obtained from nearly 60 firms
in two large cities indicated that
most experienced electroplaters had
hourly wage rates ranging from $2
to $4 in late 1970. Some highly
skilled platers earned more than
$4.50 an hour. During apprentice­
ship or on-the-job training, a
worker’s wage rate starts at about
60 to 70 percent of an experienced
worker’s rate and progresses to the
full rate by the end of his training
period. Almost all plants pay shift
premiums for night work. Many
employers provide paid holidays
and vacations and pay part or all of
additional benefits such as life,
health, and accident insurance.
Plating work involves some haz­
ards because acid, alkaline, or poi­
sonous solutions are used. Humidity
and odor also are problems in elec­
troplating plants. However, most
plants have installed systems of ven­
tilation and other safety devices
which have considerably reduced
the occupational hazards. Protective
clothing and boots provide addi­
tional protection. Mechanical de­
vices generally are used to handle
most of the lifting required, but at
times the worker must lift and carry
objects weighing up to 100 pounds.
Some platers are members of the
Metal Polishers, Buffers, Platers
and Helpers International Union.
Other platers have been organized
by the International Union, United
Automobile, Aerospace and Agri­
cultural Implement Workers of
America, and the International As­

544

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

sociation of Machinists and Aero­
space Workers. Some of the labormanagement contracts covering
electroplating provide health insur­
ance and other benefits.
Sources of Additional Information

For educational information con­
cerning electroplating and other
metal finishing methods, write to:
American Electroplaters Society,
Inc., 56 Melmore Gardens, East
Orange, N J. 07017.

For information on job opportu­
nities, training, and other questions,
write to:
National Association of Metal Fin­
ishers, 248 Lorraine Ave., Upper
Montclair, N J. 07043.

FURNITURE UPHOLSTERERS
(D.O.T. 780.381)

Nature of the Work

Furniture upholsterers recondi­
tion sofas, chairs, and other uphol­
stered furniture. These craftsmen
repair or replace fabrics, springs,
webbing, frames, and other parts
that are worn or damaged.
(Workers employed in the manu­
facture of upholstered furniture are
not included in this statement.)
The upholsterer usually places
the furniture on padded wooden
horses so that he may work at a
convenient level. Using a tack puller
or chisel and mallet, he pulls out the
tacks that hold the fabric in place
and removes the fabric. He also
may remove padding and burlap
that cover the springs. He examines
the springs and removes the broken




or bent ones. If the webbing that
holds the springs in place is worn,
all of the springs and the webbing
are removed. The upholsterer then
repairs the frame by regluing loose
sections and refinishing wooden
arms.
To reupholster the furniture, the
upholsterer first tacks strips of web­
bing to the frames. Next, he sews
new springs to the webbing and ties
each spring to the adjoining ones,
securing the outside springs to the
frame. He then uses burlap, filling,
and padding to cover the springs,
and sews the padding to the burlap.
Finally, after covering the padding
with muslin and new fabric, he at­
taches these materials to the frame
and makes sure that they are
smooth and tight. He completes the
job by sewing or tacking on fringe,
buttons, or other ornaments ordered
by the customer.

Upholsterers use a variety of
handtools in their work, including
tack and staple removers, pliers,
hammers, and shears. They also use
special tools such as webbing
stretchers and upholstery needles.
Upholsterers who work in small
shops lay out patterns and use hand
shears or machines to cut the uphol­
stery fabric. They also operate sew­
ing machines to form new uphol­
stery covers. In large shops, how­
ever, seamstresses usually perform
these tasks. Sometimes upholsterers
pick up and deliver furniture. Those
who own shops order supplies and
equipment, keep business records,
and perform other managerial and
administrative tasks.
Places of Employment

More than one-half of the esti­
mated 33,000 furniture upholsterers

545

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

employed in 1970 worked in small
upholstery shops. Most of these
shops had fewer than eight em­
ployees. Many upholsterers also
were employed by furniture stores,
and a few worked for organizations
—movie theatres, hotels, motels,
and others—that maintain their own
furniture.
Employment of upholsterers is
distributed geographically in much
the same way as the Nation’s popu­
lation. Thus, they are employed
mainly in major metropolitan areas
and in the more populated States.

coming upholsterers should have
good manual dexterity and be able
to do occasional heavy lifting. An
eye for detail, ability to distinguish
between colors, and a flair for cre­
ative work are helpful.
Upholsterers usually purchase
their handtools, but employers
provide power tools.
Many upholsterers open their
own shops. Almost one out of every
three upholsterers is self-employed
—a much higher proportion than in
most trades.

Employment Outlook
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

The most common way to learn
this trade is through on-the-job
training in an upholstery shop.
Prospective upholsterers are hired
as helpers to perform simple jobs,
such as removing old fabric, pad­
ding, and springs. As they gain ex­
perience, they perform more com­
plex tasks, such as installing web­
bing and springs, and sewing on
fabric and trimming. A helper may
become a skilled upholsterer after
about 3 years of on-the-job training.
Inexperienced persons can learn
many skills of the trade by working
in furniture factories and perform­
ing a variety of jobs closely related
to furniture upholstering. They also
may get valuable training in voca­
tional or high school courses that in­
clude chair caning, furniture mak­
ing, textile fabrics, and upholstery
repair. However, additional training
and experience in a shop usually is
required before these workers can
qualify as skilled upholsterers. A
few people learn the trade through
formal apprenticeship programs that
last from 3 to 4 years and include
classroom instruction.
Young persons interested in be­




Employment of upholsterers is
expected to show little or no change
through
the
1970’s.
Several
hundred job openings, however, will
arise each year because of the need
to replace experienced workers who
retire, die, or transfer to other occu­
pations. There have been many un­
filled job openings in recent years
because the supply of qualified up­
holsterers has been insufficient to
meet the demand.
Among the factors tending to in­
crease requirements for furniture
upholsterers are growing expendi­
tures for furniture, growth in the
number of families, and higher lev­
els of personal income. However,
these factors will be offset by the
rising cost of reupholstering furni­
ture relative to replacing it.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings data for furniture up­
holsterers are not available on a na­
tional basis. However, information
from union-management contracts
covering many of these workers in
1970 indicated that hourly rates for
helpers ranged from $1.60 to $2.50,
and for experienced upholsterers

from about $3.00 to $5.25. A few
upholsterers were paid on a piece­
work basis. Hourly rates depended
on factors such as skill level, length
of time employed, and geographic
location. Hourly rates in the South
were generally lower than those in
the North and West.
Upholsterers generally work 40
hours a week, although overtime is
common during the weeks before
major holidays. Many upholsterers
receive paid vacations and sick
leave, and some are covered by
health insurance plans.
Many upholstery shops are spa­
cious, adequately lighted, and well
ventilated and heated. However,
dust from padding and stuffing
sometimes is present. Upholsterers
stand while they work and do a con­
siderable amount of stooping and
bending. The work generally is safe,
although minor cuts from sharp
tools and back strain from lifting
and moving heavy furniture are not
uncommon.

Sources of Additional Information

For further information on work
opportunities for upholsterers, con­
tact local employers or the local
office of the State employment serv­
ice. General information on uphol­
sterers may be obtained from:
Upholsterers International Union of
North America, 1500 North
Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa.
19121.

546

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

GASOLINE SERVICE
STATION ATTENDANTS
(D.O.T. 915.867)

Nature of the Work

Almost all the 110 million motor
vehicles in the United States are
serviced at one time or another by
gasoline service station attendants
(also called gasoline station sales­
men or servicemen).
In servicing a car, the attendant
pumps gasoline, cleans the wind­
shield, and offers the additional serv­
ices of checking water level in the
radiator and battery, oil level in the
crankcase and automatic transmis­
sion, and air pressure in the tires.
He also may check the tires, fan
belt, and other parts of the car for
excessive wear. The attendant may
perform a variety of other services
for the customer, ranging from giv­
ing street directions to making
minor repairs.
The attendant has other responsi­
bilities besides servicing cars. He
sells and installs parts and acces­
sories such as tires, batteries, fan
belts, and windshield wiper blades.
When a customer pays his bill, he
either makes change, or prepares a
charge slip if the customer uses a
credit card. In small stations, partic­
ularly, he may perform minor main­
tenance and repair work, such as
lubrication, changing engine oil, ro­
tating tires, repairing tires, or re­
placing a muffler. Some attendants,
called mechanic-attendants, per­
form more difficult repairs.
The attendant also may keep the
service areas, building, and rest­
rooms clean and neat. In some sta­
tions, he helps the station manager
take inventory, set up displays, and
perform other duties associated with
the operation of a smafl business.




If a gasoline service station pro­
vides emergency road service, the at­
tendant occasionally may drive a
tow truck to a stalled car and
change a flat tire or perform other
minor repairs. If more extensive re­
pairs are needed, he tows the custo­
mer’s vehicle back to the service
station.
In doing maintenance and repair
work, gasoline service station at­
tendants may use simple handtools
such as screwdrivers, pliers, and
wrenches, and power tools such as
pneumatic wrenches. Mechanic-at­
tendants frequently use more com­
plex equipment such as motor ana­
lyzers and wheel alignment ma­
chines.
Places of Employment

An estimated 410,000 service
station attendants, more than onethird of whom were part-time
workers, were employed in gasoline
service stations in 1970. In addition
to attendants, more than 225,000
gasoline service station managers
and owners did similar work.

Gasoline service station attend­
ants are employed in every section
of the country, in the largest cities,
the smallest towns, and outlying
areas. About half of them, however,
are employed in the nine States that
have the largest number of motor
vehicles: California, Texas, New
York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois,
Michigan, Florida, and New Jersey.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

An applicant for a job as gasoline
service station attendant should
have a driver’s license, a general
understanding of how an automo­
bile works, and some sales ability.
He should be friendly and able to
speak well, present a generally neat
appearance, and have self-confi­
dence. He should know simple
arithmetic so that he can make
change quickly and accurately and
help keep business records. An ap­
plicant should be familiar with local
roads, highways, and points of inter­
est in order to give directions to
strangers and to locate vehicles
whose owners have called for road
service.
Although completion of high
school is not generally a require­
ment for getting an entry job, it is
an advantage because it indicates to
many employers that a young man
can “finish a job.” A high school
education generally is required for
attendants to qualify for service sta­
tion management training programs
conducted by oil companies, and to
advance to the position of service
station manager.
Gasoline service station attend­
ants usually are trained on the job,
although there are some formal
training programs. Attendants who
are trained on the job do relatively
simple work at first, such as clean­

547

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

ing the station, washing cars, pump­
ing gas, and cleaning windshields.
Gradually, they progress to more
advanced work such as making
sales, writing credit charge slips,
doing simple maintenance work, in­
stalling accessories on cars, and
helping to keep the station records.
It usually takes from several months
to a year for a gasoline service sta­
tion attendant to become fully qual­
ified.
Formal training programs for
young people who want to do gaso­
line service station work are offered
in many high schools around the
country. In this curriculum, known
as distributive education, students in
their last 2 years of high school take
business education courses and
work part-time in a gasoline service
station where they receive instruc­
tion and supervision in all phases of
service station work.
Some attendants are enrolled in
formal training programs for service
station managers, which are con­
ducted by most major oil compa­
nies. These programs usually last
from 2 to 8 weeks and emphasize
subjects such as simple automobile
maintenance, salesmanship, and
business management.
Several avenues of advancement
are open to gasoline service station
attendants. Additional training qual­
ifies attendants to become automo­
bile mechanics; those having busi­
ness management capabilities may
advance to station manager. Many
experienced station managers and
automobile mechanics go into busi­
ness for themselves by leasing a sta­
tion from an oil company, the most
common means, or by buying their
own service station. Some service
station managers are hired by oil
companies as salesmen or district
managers.




Employment Outlook

Employment of gasoline service
station attendants is expected to in­
crease moderately through the
1970’s. In addition to the full-time
and part-time job openings resulting
from employment growth, thou­
sands of openings are expected each
year from the need to replace at­
tendants who retire, die, or transfer
to other occupations.
Employment of service station at­
tendants is expected to increase as a
result of the growing consumption
of gasoline and other service station
products. The number of motor ve­
hicles is expected to rise because of
growing population, income, multi­
ple car ownership, and the continu­
ing movement to the suburbs. Also,
greater use of cars is expected as
families have more leisure time and
as the highway systems continue to
be improved.
More attendants also may be
needed to perform additional main­
tenance on newer, more complex
cars. For example, more cars will
have devices that reduce exhaust
fumes, and these devices must be
serviced periodically. On the other
hand, more cars that require oil
changes and lubrication less fre­
quently will offset partially the serv­
icing requirements of additional,
more complex vehicles.

In many stations, employers
provide fringe benefits such as acci­
dent and health insurance and paid
vacations. Some employers furnish
uniforms and pay for their cleaning;
others require the attendants to pay
for these expenses. More than onehalf of the attendants work over 40
hours a week; many work more
than 48 hours. Attendants fre­
quently work at night and on week­
ends and holidays.
A gasoline service station attend­
ant works outdoors in all kinds of
weather. He must be in good physi­
cal condition because he does con­
siderable lifting and stooping and
spends much time on his feet. Possi­
ble injuries include cuts from sharp
tools and burns from hot engines.
The attendant frequently gets dirty
because he pumps gasoline and
works around oil and grease. For
many attendants, however, the op­
portunity to deal with people and
the possibility of someday managing
their own service stations more than
offset these disadvantages. For oth­
ers, the opportunity to get part-time
employment is important.
Some high school and college stu­
dents have been able to work their
way through school by working as
gasoline service station attendants
after school, and on vacations and
holidays. Some workers also supple­
ment their income from regular jobs
by working part-time as attendants.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Hourly earnings of gasoline serv­
ice station attendants vary consid­
erably. Hourly earnings for many
attendants ranged from $1.80 to
$2.91 in 1970, according to wage
data collected from a small number
of major oil companies. Attendants
employed in large metropolitan
areas generally had higher earnings
than those employed in small towns.

Sources of Additional Information

For further information regarding
work opportunities for gasoline serv­
ice station attendants, inquiries
should be directed to local gasoline
service stations or the local office of
the State employment service.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

548

INSPECTORS
(MANUFACTURING)

as screwdrivers or pliers. In some
industries, inspectors make minor
repairs and adjustments and grade
products for quality.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Nature of the Work
Places of Employment

Almost everything manufactured,
including the products we eat,
drink, wear, or ride in, must be
carefully checked by inspectors dur­
ing the manufacturing process. The
millions of automobiles, television
sets, business machines, and other
mass-produced items must be in­
spected to make sure they operate
properly. In addition, inspectors
check the quality of the raw mate­
rials and parts that make up finished
goods.
Inspectors use a variety of meth­
ods to make certain that products
meet specifications. They may
merely look for scratches and other
defects; or they may use gauges, mi­
crometers, and other devices to ex­
amine parts and materials. They
may read work orders, and do arith­
metic involving decimals and frac­
tions when reading measuring in­
struments.
Skilled inspectors work under
general supervision whereas semi­
skilled inspectors usually work under
close supervision. Skilled inspectors
generally have greater discretion in
accepting or rejecting products and
are responsible for inspecting the
most critical parts of mass-produced
goods. Skilled inspectors also use a
much wider variety of testing instru­
ments. In the metal-working indus­
tries, they read blueprints and inter­
pret complex specifications.
Inspectors often keep records of
the number of parts they have re­
jected. When they find too many
faulty pieces, they notify their su­
pervisors so that corrections can be
made on the production line.
Inspectors may use hand-tools, such




in plants that produce small elec­
trical and electronic components.

In 1970, most of the approxi­
mately 665,000 inspectors—largely
semiskilled—worked in plants that
produced durable goods such as
electrical and nonelectrical machin­
ery, fabricated metal products,
transportation equipment, and aero­
space products. Others were em­
ployed in plants that produced
non-durable goods such as chemi­
cals, textiles, apparel, and food
products. Large numbers of inspec­
tors were employed in Ohio, New
York, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylva­
nia, California, and New Jersey.
More than two-fifths of all inspec­
tors were women. Many of these
women were employed in the food,
textile, and apparel industries. Oth­
ers were employed throughout the
metalworking industries, especially

Inspectors generally are trained
on the job for a brief period—from
a few hours or days to several
months, depending upon the skill
required.
Employers look for applicants
who have good health and eyesight,
can follow directions, and can con­
centrate on details. A few large
companies give aptitude tests; for
example, in the electronics industry,
new workers may be given tests to
determine their ability to work with
numbers. Employers may hire ap­
plicants who do not have a high
school diploma but have qualifying
aptitudes or related experience.
Some employers prefer experienced
production workers for inspection
jobs.
Some semiskilled inspectors in
the metal products industries who

549

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

take educational courses, such as
blueprint reading and shop mathe­
matics, may advance to skilled in­
spectors or quality control techni­
cians. After acquiring sufficient
experience and knowledge, a few
become foremen.

Employment Outlook

Employment of inspectors is ex­
pected to increase moderately
through the 1970’s. However, most
openings will result as workers re­
tire, die, or transfer to other occu­
pations, and as women leave their
jobs to marry or rear a family. Ov­
erall, many thousands of openings
for inspectors will be created each
year.
Most of the industries that em­
ploy these workers, especially the
electrical machinery industry, are
expected to increase their employ­
ment in the long run. The growing
complexity of manufactured prod­
ucts should also result in a need for
more inspectors. However, increas­
ing use of mechanized and auto­
matic inspection equipment will
partially offset these factors.

Earnings and Working Conditions

National wage data on inspectors
are not available. However, infor­
mation from a limited number of
union-management contracts indi­
cate that hourly rates for inspectors
ranged from $1.95 to $4.85 in
1970, depending on skill level, type
of product inspected, geographic
area, and industry.
Working conditions vary consid­
erably for inspectors. For example,
some have well-lighted, air-condi­
tioned workplaces in an aircraft or
missile plant; others, who work on
the production floor of a machinery




or metal fabricating plant, often are
exposed to high temperatures, oil,
grease, and noise.
Many inspectors are members of
labor unions, among which are the
International Union, United Auto­
mobile, Aerospace and Agricultural
Implement Workers of America;
the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Work­
ers; the International Union of
Electrical, Radio and Machine
Workers; and the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Most labor-management contracts
provide for fringe benefits such as
paid holidays and vacations, health
insurance, life insurance, and retire­
ment pensions.
Sources of Additional Information

Additional information about em­
ployment opportunities in this field
may be available from local offices
of the State employment service.

JEWELERS AND JEWELRY
REPAIRMEN
(D.O.T. 700.281 and .381)

Nature of the Work

Jewelers are skilled craftsmen
who make or repair rings, pins,
necklaces, bracelets, and other pre­
cious jewelry. They create jewelry
from metal such as gold, silver, and
platinum, and set precious or semi­
precious stones. To repair jewelry,
they solder broken parts, make new
parts, enlarge or reduce the size of
rings, reset stones, and restyle old
jewelry. The jewelers’ work is very
delicate and must be done with care

and precision, as the materials used
usually are expensive. An eye
“loupe,” or magnifying glass held
over the eye, often is used when
working to close tolerances. To
make jewelry, jewelers may follow
their own design or one prepared by
a design specialist. The metal is
formed to follow the design in one
of several ways. For example, work
may involve shaping metal stock
with hand and machine tools or
melting and casting metal in a mold.
When jewelry is produced in vol­
ume, the metal usually is formed ei­
ther by the casting or the stamping
process.
Shaping metal stock by hand may
involve the following metalworking
operations: outlining, cutting, drill­
ing, sawing, filing, shaping, engrav­
ing, and electroplating. Individual
parts are polished and then joined
by soldering. After the article has
been assembled, surface decorations
are made and jewels or stones are
mounted. When jewelry is made in
this manner, tools such as files,
saws, and drills; dapping, carving,
and chasing tools; jewelers’ lathes;
soldering irons; and polishing ma­
chines are used.
To cast gold and platinum jew­
elry, a model is made by a jewelry
modelmaker, a craftsman who has a
thorough knowledge of the casting
process. A rubber mold is produced
from the model and into this
mold wax or plastic is injected
under pressure. The pattern pro­
duced is placed in a plasterlike mate­
rial and burned out, leaving a cavity
in the material. The precious metal
then is cast into this cavity by cen­
trifugal force. After cooling, the
cast piece is removed. Articles
produced by the process require a
minimum of finishing. Jewels or
stones then may be set in the cast
piece and it may be engraved.
Cast costume jewelry is produced

550

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Nearly three-fourths of all pre­
cious jewelry manufacturing plants
are located in New York, New Jer­
sey, Rhode Island, and California.
The New York City metropolitan
area is the center of precious jew­
elry manufacturing.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

similarly, except that the metal is
cast directly into a rubber or metal
mold, and either tumbled and plated
or finished on a polishing machine.
In the stamping process, which is
used to make costume and some
precious jewelry, the metal piece is
formed in a stamping machine that
brings together, under tremendous
force, a die and metal from which
the piece is to be made. The die has
a cavity shaped to the exact contour
and dimension of the desired article.
As a rule, jewelers specialize in
making a particular kind of jewelry,
or in a particular operation, such as
making models and tools, engrav­
ing, polishing, or setting diamonds
and other stones. After years of ex­
perience, some become all-round
jewelers capable of making and re­
pairing any kind of jewelry. Cos­
tume jewelry and some kinds of pre­
cious jewelry are mass produced by
factory workers using assembly line
methods; however, skilled jewelers
are needed to make the models and
tools for this large-scale production.
Skilled jewelers also may perform
finishing operations, such as stone
setting and engraving, on stamped
or cast pieces.




Many jewelers make and repair
jewelry in their own stores where
they also may sell jewelry, watches,
and other merchandise, and repair
watches. Other jewelers operate
trade shops that specialize in mak­
ing jewelry and in doing repair work
for jewelry stores owned or oper­
ated by merchants who are not jew­
elry craftsmen or who take in more
repair work than they can handle.

Places of Employment

About half of the 15,000 jewelers
and jewelry repairmen employed in
1970 were self-employed. Most of
the self-employed owned either re­
tail jewelry stores or repair shops.
About half of those who were not
self-employed worked in jewelry
manufacturing establishments; oth­
ers worked in retail jewelry stores.
Retail jewelry stores are located
throughout the country. The heavi­
est concentration of these stores, as
well as the small repair shops that
service them, is located in large
commercial centers, such as New
York City, Chicago, Los Angeles,
and San Francisco.

Young persons generally learn
the jewelry trade either by serving a
formal apprenticeship or through
informal on-the-job training while
working for an experienced jeweler.
Jewelry repair, which usually is less
complicated than jewelry making,
can be learned in a short time by in­
dividuals already trained in filing,
sawing, drilling, and other basic me­
chanical skills. Courses in jewelry
repair are given in several trade
schools. Other trade schools offer
courses in specific types of jewelry
work, such as diamond setting, jew­
elry design, and engraving.
Formal apprenticeship in this
trade, depending on the type of
training, takes from 3 to 4 years.
For example, 3 years are required
to become a colored-stone setter
and 4 years to qualify as a diamond
setter. Throughout the apprentice­
ship, training on the job is supple­
mented by trade school instruction
in design, quality of precious stones,
chemistry of metals, and other re­
lated subjects. Initial work assign­
ments may be to set up work for
soldering or to do simple soldering
or rough polishing. As an appren­
tice gains experience, he advances
to more difficult work. After com­
pletion of the apprenticeship, he be­
comes a qualified journeyman jew­
eler.
Jewelry manufacturing establish­
ments in the major production cen­
ters offer the best opportunities for

551

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

a young person to acquire all-round
skills, even though the number of
trainees accepted is small. Repair
shops also offer training opportuni­
ties, but their small-size—many are
one- or two-man shops—limits the
number of trainees.
Jewelry workers may advance in
several ways. In manufacturing, they
can advance from production
jewelers to shop foremen. In
retail stores, jewelers may become
heads of sales departments or store
managers. Those craftsmen em­
ployed in jewelry making and repair
departments operated by large retail
establishments may advance to de­
partment managers. Some jewelry
workers establish their own retail
stores or repair shops.
A high school education is desira­
ble for young people entering the
trade. Courses in chemistry, me­
chanical drawing, and art are partic­
ularly useful. Jewelers or repairmen
must be willing to sit for long pe­
riods of time. The precise and deli­
cate nature of jewelry work requires
finger and hand dexterity, good
eye-hand coordination, patience,
and concentration. Jewelry design­
ers should be creative. People
working with precious stones and
metals must be bonded and investi­
gated for honesty, trustworthiness,
and respect for the law.
A substantial financial investment
is required to open a retail jewelry
store and the field is highly competi­
tive in most parts of the country.
Jewelers interested in going into
business for themselves will find it
advantageous to work first in an es­
tablished retail jewelry store, repair
shop, or jewelry manufacturing
plant. Persons planning to open
their own jewelry stores should
have experience in selling jewelry.
Those craftsmen who can repair
watches have an advantage over
those who can repair jewelry only,




since watch repair work is a sub­
stantial part of the business in many
small jewelry stores. Talented and
experienced jewelers of recognized
integrity can establish their own re­
pair shops or small manufacturing
shops with a more moderate finan­
cial investment. The location of
these shops is limited to areas that
have a large volume of jewelry busi­
ness. For manufacturing, this means
the major production centers; repair
shops have best chances for success
in moderate or large cities where
there are many retail jewelry stores.

Employment Outlook

Employment requirements for
jewelers and jewelry repairmen are
expected to show little or no change
although the 1970’s. However, sev­
eral hundred openings will arise an­
nually because of retirements and
deaths among experienced workers.
Most job openings are expected to
be filled by people trained in only
one or two specialties of the trade
such as stone setting, engraving,
modelmaking, casting, or polishing.
Nevertheless, all-round jewelers will
continue to be in demand, and have
been in short supply in recent years.
Rising levels of personal incomes
are expected to result in a substan­
tial increase in the demand for pre­
cious and costume jewelry, and an
expected increase in family forma­
tions will spur demand for engage­
ment and wedding rings. However,
the employment effect of an in­
creased demand for jewelry will be
offset by more efficient means of
producing and repairing jewelry.
The demand for jewelry crafts­
men during the 1970’s is expected
to differ by place of employment. In
jewelry manufacturing, most job
openings will be filled by specialized
craftsmen as mass-production tech­

niques are adopted increasingly. In
repair shops, where a large volume
of repair work permits job special­
ization, job openings also will be
filled mainly by specialized crafts­
men. In retail jewelry stores, how­
ever, there will be job opportunities
for both all-round jewelers and spe­
cialized craftsmen.

Earnings and Working Conditions

National earnings data are not
available for jewelers and jewelry
repairmen. However, information
obtained in several major metropol­
itan areas from retail jewelry stores
and repair shops indicated that be­
ginning pay for jewelers and jewelry
repairmen ranged from $80 to $125
a week in 1970; experienced
workers earned up to $240 weekly.
Wages were highest for jewelry re­
pairmen who worked in large met­
ropolitan areas. Jewelers who own
retail stores or repair shops earn
considerably more than jewelers
working as employees in these es­
tablishments.
One union-management agree­
ment, covering about 2,700 jewelry
workers employed in plants manu­
facturing precious jewelry in New
York City, provides the minimum
hourly rates shown in the accom­
panying tabulation for inexperienced
workers (including apprentices)
and for journeymen in selected
crafts, in 1971. Average hourly
earnings also are shown in the tabu­
lation.
Under this agreement, all inexpe­
rienced workers, including appren­
tices, receive increases of 15 cents
an hour after 30 days of employ­
ment and 15 cents an hour every 3
months until they reach the mini­
mum journeyman rate for their par­
ticular job, which is considerably

552

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
A verage
h o u r ly

M in im u m
h o u r ly

e a r n in g s

j o b r a te

1971

1971
$2.00

. .$4.55
. . 5.50
. . 6.50

3.55
4.05
4.10

..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..

4.05
3.75
4.30
3.55
3.55
3.55
3.35
3.80
4.10
4.55

O c c u p a tio n

Starting rate—all inexperienced workers
Journeyman’s rate:
Production jewelers ..........................
Jewelers—handmade work .............
Modelmakers ......................................
Stone setting:
Diamond ....................................
Colored sto n e s............................
Handmade work .......................
Chasers .................................................
Engravers ............................................
Polishers ..............................................
Casters ...............................................
Lappers ...............................................
Toolmakers ........................................
Hub C utters........................................

lower than average hourly earnings
in the trades.
Skilled workers in the precious
jewelry manufacturing union shops
in the New York City area have a
35-hour workweek and are paid
time and one-half for all work done
before or after the regular workday.
Retail jewelers and jewelry repair­
men work 40 to 48 hours a week.

5.55
4.25
5.80
4.55
4.55
4.55
4.85
5.30
6.10
6.55

Union, Local No. 1, 133 West
44th St., New York, N.Y. 10036.

MEAT CUTTERS
(D.O.T. 316.781, 316.884)

Nature of the Work

Sources of Additional Information

Information on employment op­
portunities for jewelers and jewelry
repairmen in retail jewelry stores
may be obtained from:
Retail Jewelers of America, Inc.,
1025 Vermont Ave. NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20005.

Information on employment op­
portunities in manufacturing estab­
lishments may be obtained from:
Manufacturing Jewelers and Silver­
smiths of America, Inc., SheratonBiltmore Hotel, Room S-75, Prov­
idence, R.I. 02902.
International

Jewelry




Workers’

rib or chuck, and then uses a
butcher knife and a smaller boning
knife to divide the primal cuts into
retail cuts such as T-bone steak or
rib roast.

Meat cutters prepare meat, fish,
and poultry for sale in supermarkets
or wholesale food outlets. Their pri­
mary duty is to divide animal car­
casses into steaks, roasts, chops,
and other serving sized portions.
They also prepare meat products
such as sausage, corned beef, and
meat loaf. Meat cutters who work in
retail food stores may set up coun­
ter displays and wait on customers.
In cutting a beef carcass, the
meat cutter divides it into halves
with a band saw, and then quarters
it by cutting each half between the
ribs with a knife and sawing through
the backbone. He uses special meat
cutting saws to divide the quarters
into major (primal) cuts, such as

The meat cutter may divide the
retail cuts into individually sized
portions. He uses a butcher knife or
slicer to divide boneless cuts and a
band saw or cleaver to divide cuts
containing bones. He removes any
bone chips that remain on the meat
either by scraping it with his
butcher knife or placing the meat on
a machine that has a small revolving
brush. Finally, the meat cutter
grinds trimmings and less expensive
cuts into hamburger.
In addition to cutting meat, the
meat cutter may pickle or “corn”
meat by pumping a brine solution
into the arteries. He may place
some of the cuts on a tenderizer
machine which increases tenderness
by injecting an enzyme into the
meat.

553

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

Places of Employment

The estimated 190,000 meat cut­
ters employed in 1970 were located
in almost every city and town in the
Nation. Only a small proportion
were women. Most meat cutters
worked in retail food stores. A large
number also worked in wholesale
food outlets; a few worked in res­
taurants, hotels, hospitals, and other
institutions.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Meat cutters acquire their skills
either through apprenticeship pro­
grams or on-the-job. Under the
guidance of skilled journeymen
meat cutters, trainees learn the
identity of various cuts and grades
of fresh meats and cold cuts and the
proper use of tools and equipment.
They learn to use scales, make
counter displays, slice luncheon
meats and cheese, wrap meat, and
wait on customers.
Carcass breaking, boning, and por­
tion cutting are a major part of the
meat cutter’s training. To perform
carcass breaking—the successive di­
vision of the carcass into halves,
quarters, and primal cuts—trainees
learn to use the band saw, rotary
saw, and butcher knife. During the
boning operation, in which the ex­
cess skin, bones, and fat are re­
moved and the primal cuts are di­
vided into retail cuts, they learn to
use the boning knife and to increase
their skill with the butcher knife.
Generally, the last cutting function
trainees learn is portion cutting.
During this phase, they learn to op­
erate the sheer, grinder, and small
band saw, and to use the revolving
brush that removes bone chips.
In addition to cutting operations,
beginning meat cutters learn to




dress fish and poultry, roll and tie
roasts, grind hamburger, prepare
sausage, cure and corn meat, and
may learn to use the vacuum and
tenderizer machines. During the lat­
ter stages of training, they may
learn marketing operations such as
inventory control, meat buying and
grading, and recordkeeping.
Meat cutters who learn the trade
through apprenticeship generally
complete 2 to 3 years of supervised
on-the-job training which may be
supplemented by some classroom
work. At the end of the training pe­
riod the apprentice is given a meat
cutting test which is observed by his
employer. A union member is also
present in union shops. If the ap­
prentice passes the test, he becomes
a fully qualified journeyman meat
cutter. In many areas of the coun­
try, the apprentice may become a
journeyman in less than the usual
training time if he is able to pass his
meat cutting test at an earlier date.
The most common method of en­
tering this occupation is to be hired
and trained by an individual retail
or wholesale outlet. A few meat cut­
ters have gained entry by attending
vocational schools that offer courses
in meat cutting. Unemployed and
underemployed workers seeking
entry jobs as meat cutters are
trained in many cities under the
Manpower Development and Train­
ing Act.
Employers prefer entrants who
have a high school diploma and also
have the potential to develop into
meat department or retail store
managers. High school or vocational
school courses in business arithme­
tic are helpful to young people in­
terested in becoming meat cutters,
since they may be called on to
weigh and price meats and to make
change. A pleasing personality, a
neat appearance, and the ability to
communicate clearly also are im­

portant qualifications because meat
cutters may wait on and advise cus­
tomers.
Manual dexterity, good form and
depth perception, color discrimina­
tion, and good eye-hand coordina­
tion are important in cutting meat.
Better than average strength is nec­
essary since meat cutters often must
lift heavy loads and stand on their
feet much of the day. In some com­
munities, a health certificate may be
required for employment.
Meat cutters may progress from
journeyman to first cutter and then
to meat department manager of a
retail food store. Some become
meat buyers, and those who learn
the operation of the grocery section
of a retail outlet can become retail
store managers. In a few instances,
experienced meat cutters have
opened their own meat markets or
retail food stores.

Employment Outlook

Meat consumption is expected to
increase substantially in the future
due to population growth and in­
creased personal income. However,
little or no increase in the total
number of meat cutters is antici­
pated through the 1970’s, since ris­
ing worker productivity is expected
to offset growth in meat consump­
tion. Nevertheless, thousands of
entry jobs for meat cutters will be
available during the next decade to
replace experienced workers who
retire, die, or transfer to other occu­
pations.
A number of technological ad­
vances are expected to limit em­
ployment growth of meat cutters.
Such innovations include power
tools, such as electric saws; elec­
tronic scales; wrapping machines
that can weigh, package, and stamp
prices automatically; and machines

554

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

that tie strings on roasts or other level. Most meat cutters are mem­
boneless cuts. In the future, power bers of the Amalgamated Meat Cut­
assisted knives may be used for ters and Butcher Workmen of
boning and portion cutting. A proc­ North America.
Meat cutters generally work in a
ess is being tested that separates
meat from bones by centrifugal well-lighted and well-ventilated en­
vironment. They must exercise care
force.
Central cutting, the establishment since sharp instruments, such as
of one point from which meat for a knives, grinders, saws, cleavers,
given area is cut and wrapped, is scrapers, and shears, are used. To
expected to limit employment prevent accidents, most machinery
growth because fewer cutters will be is equipped with protective devices
needed in individual retail stores to and safety gloves often are worn.
cut or package meat. Central cutting Meat cutters are exposed to sudden
also permits meat cutters to special­ temperature changes when entering
ized in both the type of meat cut and leaving refrigerated areas and
and the type of cut performed. This may be exposed to unpleasant
specialization reduces the amount of odors.
training necessary to become a
skilled cutter.
In many wholesale outlets, a de­ Sources of Additional Information
gree of specialization similar to that
Information on training and other
of central cutting is already in ef­
aspects of the trade may be ob­
fect. Many wholesale outlets per­
form “portion cutting” for restau­ tained from:
rants, hotels, and other institutions.
American Meat Institute, 59 East
Van Buren Street, Chicago, 111.
Rather than keeping a meat cutter
60605.
on the premises, the hotel or restau­
Amalgamated Meat Cutters and
rant orders a desired number of
Butcher Workmen of North Amer­
serving-size portions from the
ica, 2800 North Sheridan Road,
wholesaler. The effect has been to
Chicago, 111. 60657.
displace some meat cutters formerly
Further information about local
employed by hotels, restaurants,
work opportunities can be obtained
and other institutions.
from local employers or local offices
of the State employment service.
The State employment service also
Earnings and Working Conditions
may furnish information about train­
According to union-management ing opportunities under the Man­
power Development and Training
contracts in eight large cities in
Act, apprenticeship, and other
1970, hourly earnings of most jour­
training programs.
neymen meat cutters ranged from
$3.45 to $4.56 for a standard 40hour work week. Some highly
skilled meat cutters earned as much
as $5.47 an hour.
Beginning apprentices usually re­
ceive between 60 and 70 percent of
journeymen wages and generally re­
ceive increases every 6 to 8 months
until they achieve the journeyman




MOTION PICTURE
PROJECTIONISTS
(D.O.T. 960.382)

Nature of the Work

The projectionist is an important
man behind the scenes in the mo­
tion picture theater. From an ele­
vated room at the back of the the­
ater, he operates the projection
machines and audio equipment, as­
suring high quality screen and
sound presentation for the audience.
In showing a feature length
movie, the projectionist uses two
projectors, audio equipment, a film
rewinding machine, and seven reels
or more of film. Before the first fea­
ture is scheduled to begin, he
checks the equipment to see that it
operates properly and loads the two
projectors with the first and second
reels to be shown. To load a projec­
tor he threads the film through a
series of sprockets and guide rollers,
and attaches it to a take-up reel.
Most projectors burn a carbon rod
to provide light for the screen. After
igniting and adjusting the carbon
rod, the projectionist starts the
projector containing the first reel.
When the reel has reached proper
running speed, he opens a shutter
and the picture appears on the
screen. If the picture is out of focus
or unsteady, he makes the necessary
adjustments on the projector.
A film reel lasts approximately
20 minutes. When the first reel is
near completion, the projectionist
watches for cue marks (small cir­
cles in the upper right hand comer
of the screen) which indicate that it
is time to start the second projector.
When a second series of cue marks
appears, he simultaneously closes
the shutter on the first projector and
opens the shutter on the second

555

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

projector. This changeover happens
so quickly that the viewer in the au­
dience does not notice an interrup­
tion on the screen. Next, the projec­
tionist removes the used reel, and
rewinds it on the rewinding ma­
chine. The projectionist repeats the
process described above until all the
reels have been used. If the film
breaks the projectionist must work
rapidly to rethread it so that the
show may continue.
In addition to operating the
equipment, the projectionist cleans
and lubricates it, checks for defec­
tive parts and damaged film, and
makes minor repairs and adjust­
ments. By keeping his equipment in
good operating condition, the
projectionist reduces the possibility
of malfunctions and breakdowns.
For example, he may replace a
badly worn projector sprocket
which could eventually cause film
damage or an unsteady picture.
Major repairs are made by service­

men who specialize in projection
and audio equipment.

Places of Employment

An estimated 15,000 full-time
motion picture projectionists—
nearly all of them males—were em­
ployed in 1970. More than threefourths of them were employed in
indoor theaters; most of the remain­
der were employed in drive-in
theaters. Other employers of projec­
tionists included large manufac­
turers, television studios, and Fed­
eral, State, and local governments.
Most theaters employ one projec­
tionist per shift; few employ more
than two.
Projectionists work in cities and
towns of all sizes throughout the
country. In a theater located in a
small town, the theater owner or a
member of his family may perform
the duties of the projectionist.

Projectionist adjusts carbon arc lamp in projector.




Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most motion picture theaters in
urban areas are unionized, and
young people who aspire to work as
motion picture projectionists in
these theaters must complete a pe­
riod of apprenticeship. Apprentice­
ship applicants must be at least 18
years of age, and high school gradu­
ates usually are preferred.
The length of time a person must
serve as an apprentice before taking
an examination for union member­
ship may vary from 1 to 2 years, de­
pending on the policies of union lo­
cals. However, if he is capable of
performing the work, an apprentice
may be assigned to a full- or parttime job at journeyman’s pay before
becoming a member. In a few cities
and States, projectionists must be li­
censed.
An apprentice learns the trade by
working full or part time with expe­
rienced projectionists. He first
learns simple tasks, such as thread­
ing and rewinding film. As he gains
experience, he progresses to more
difficult assignments such as adjust­
ing and repairing equipment. He
may work in several theaters to be­
come familiar with different types of
equipment. Some apprentices re­
ceive no pay while being trained. In
a nonunion theater, a young man
may start as an usher or helper and
learn the trade by working with an
experienced projectionist.
Young men interested in becom­
ing projectionists should have good
eyesight, including normal color
perception and good hearing. They
should be temperamentally suited to
working alone in close quarters.
Manual dexterity and mechanical
aptitude are also important personal
qualifications. Practical experience
gained from operating small movie

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

556

projectors at home, at school, or in
the Armed Forces also is helpful.

Employment Outlook

Employment of motion picture
projectionists is expected to in­
crease slowly through the 1970’s.
Most job opportunities will arise as
experienced workers retire, die, or
transfer to other fields of work. Re­
tirements and deaths alone may re­
sult in several hundred job openings
annually, but competition for the
available openings is likely to con­
tinue to be keen. Some of these
openings will be filled by experi­
enced projectionists who are unem­
ployed or underemployed.
Employment of projectionists is
closely related to the number of mo­
tion picture theaters. Following a
rapid decline in the 1950’s and
early 1960’s, the number of theaters
has leveled off in recent years but is
expected to increase slightly during
the 1970’s. Among the factors
which may contribute to this in­
crease are growing population, ris­
ing personal incomes, increased
leisure time, and the continued
movement of people to suburban
areas.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings data for motion picture
projectionists are not available on a
national basis. However, average
straight-time hourly earnings for
many projectionists in large metro­
politan areas ranged from $2.95 to
$8.75 in 1970 according to infor­
mation from several union-manage­
ment contracts. Generally, down­
town theaters pay higher hourly
rates than suburban or drive-in the­
aters.
Most projectionists work eve­




nings. Generally, those employed on
a full-time basis work 4 to 6 hours,
6 evenings a week. They may work
more than 6 hours on Saturday in a
theater which features Saturday
matinees. Some projectionists work
at several theaters. For example, a
projectionist’s weekly schedule may
call for 2 evenings in each of three
theaters. Projectionists employed
in drive-in theaters, particularly
those in Northern States, may be
laid off for several months during
the winter.
Many projectionists receive 2 or
3 weeks of paid vacation and pre­
mium pay for weekend or holiday
work. Some projectionists are cov­
ered by hospitalization and pension
plans.
The motion picture projectionist
works in a room called a projection
booth. In most theaters, these booths
have adequate lighting, ventilation,
and work space. Many booths are
air-conditioned. The work is rela­
tively free of hazards, but there is
danger of electrical shocks and
burns if proper safety precautions
are not taken. The motion picture
projectionist’s work is not physically
strenuous. He frequently lifts and
handles film reels, but most of these
weigh no more than 35 pounds. Al­
though he must be on his feet much
of the time, he can sit for short pe­
riods while the equipment is in op­
eration. Most projectionists work
without direct supervision and have
infrequent contact with other the­
ater employees.

Sources of Additional Information

Further information about ap­
prenticeship programs and employ­
ment opportunities may be obtained
from any local union of the Interna­
tional Alliance of Theatrical Stage
Employees and Moving Picture

Machine Operators of the United
States and Canada.

PARKING ATTENDANTS
(D.O.T. 915.878)

Nature of the Work

Parking attendants are stationed
near entrances of commercial and
private parking facilities to move
cars in and out of parking spaces.
At commercial lots, the attendant
meets incoming cars, records the
time of arrival on a numbered claim
ticket, gives the driver part of the
ticket, and puts the other part in
some clearly visible place on the

car. Some establishments use a
three-part claim ticket. In such
cases, the attendant notes the car’s
parking space on the third part
which is filed in the office. This pro­
cedure eliminates the attendant’s
looking for the car when the cus­
tomer returns. Still other facilities
use a “time plan” for handling
cars. Under this system, customers

557

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

are asked the time they expect to
return, and parking spaces are allo­
cated to reduce the number of cars
that must be moved when the cus­
tomer returns. Next, in both com­
mercial and private lots, the
attendant drives the car to a va­
cant space or instructs the driver
where to park. At multilevel park­
ing garages, some attendants may
drive cars up and down the ramps,
while others park and retrieve cars
on a particular floor. In a single level
parking lot or garage, the attendant
walks back to the entrance after he
has parked the car. However, in
many multilevel garages a moving
manlift belt transports him to and
from any floor.
In some commercial lots and ga­
rages, the attendant meets returning
customers, tallies the parking
charge, collects the fee, and re­
trieves the car. In large establish­
ments, however, customers usually
pay a cashier. The cashier gives the
claim ticket to an attendant, who
then retrieves the car.
Slack periods are common at
most facilities. Some car parkers,
therefore, may be expected to take
on routine maintenance jobs around
the lot or garage, or to wash and
wax cars.

Places of Employment

In 1970, approximately 50,000
parking attendants worked full-time
and thousands more were employed
part-time. Many part-time attend­
ants are young men working their
way through school.
Parking attendants are employed
at facilities that vary in size and
type from small outdoor lots to vast
multilevel parking garages. Al­
though most parking establishments
are commercial, some facilities are
maintained privately by restaurants,




hotels, airports, private clubs, or
stores for the use of their patrons,
members, or employees.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Although no specific educational
requirements exist for parking at­
tendants, employers prefer high
school graduates. Parking attend­
ants must have a valid driver’s li­
cense and be skillful in handling all
types of cars. Clerical and arithmetic
skills are helpful for attendants who
keep records of claim tickets, com­
pute parking charges, and make
change.
Attendants also should be in
good physical condition because the
work involves long periods of stand­
ing and can be strenous during busy
times. Since parking attendants deal
with the public, they should be neat,
tactful, and courteous.
Most organizations have on-thejob-training programs which im­
prove the attendant’s car handling
ability and familiarize him with
good customer relations, company
policy, and record keeping proce­
dures.
Car parkers have limited oppor­
tunities for advancement, although
they may become managers or su­
pervisors of a parking facility. Fre­
quently, attendants use their driving
skill to switch to related jobs such
as truck driver, chauffeur, or routeman.

Employment Outlook

Employment of parking attend­
ants is expected to grow slowly
through the 1970’s. Most new facili­
ties are expected to be self-parking
systems. Commercial parking own­
ers favor the less costly self-park
concept which eliminates many labor

and customer relations problems.
Customers generally prefer to park
rather than entrust their cars to an
attendant. In addition, traffic flow is
smoother and faster in a self-park
facility since attendants do not have
to handle incoming and outgoing
cars. Also, new construction tech­
niques allow garages to be built with
fewer supporting pillars for easier
parking.
Despite the expected slow growth
in the occupation, many openings
are expected annually for parking
attendants through the 1970’s, pri­
marily to replace attendants who die
or retire, but especially to replace
those who transfer to other occupa­
tions. Most job opportunities will be
in large commercial parking facili­
ties in the downtown areas of large
cities.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Although parking attendants usu­
ally are not covered by minimum
wage provisions, beginning salaries
for parking attendants in 1970 were
usually at or near the minimum of
$1.60 an hour required by State and
Federal laws. Some parking attend­
ants, depending on the location and
type of lot or garage, earn up to
$2.00 or $3.00 an hour. Tips, which
are common in this occupation, can
boost regular earnings substantially.
Many car parkers receive fringe
benefits such as life, health, and dis­
ability insurance; paid vacations; a
Christmas bonus; and profit sharing.
Some companies furnish uniforms.
On the other hand, many attendants
work long hours—a 10-hour day,
night, weekend, and holiday work is
not unusual. In addition, many car
parkers spend much time outdoors
in all kinds of weather and con­
stantly breathe automobile exhaust
fumes. In some places, attendants

558

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

nician places it in the developer, a
solution that brings out the image
on exposed film. After the film has
remained in the developer for a
Sources of Additional Information
specified period, the technician
transfers it to a stop bath to pre­
National Parking Association, 1101
vent over-development. Next, he
17th St., NW., Washington, D.C.
places the film in a fixing bath that
10036
makes it insensitive to light, thus
preventing further exposure. He
then washes the film with water to
remove the fixing solution and
places it in a drying cabinet. In
PHOTOGRAPHIC
many photographic laboratories,
LABORATORY
technicians regulate machines that
OCCUPATIONS
automatically perform the steps de­
scribed above.
(D.O.T. 970.281; and 976.381, .687,
.782, .884, .855, .886, and .887)
Developing processes for color
films are more complex than those
used for black-and-white films.
Thus, some laboratories employ
Nature of the Work
color technicians (D.O.T. 976.381)
Amateur snapshots, home mov­ —highly skilled workers who spe­
ies, professional portraits, and pho­ cialize in processing color film.
The darkroom technician makes
tographs to illustrate publications,
a photograph by transferring the
such as magazines and catalogues,
require the skills of thousands of image from a negative to photo­
photographic laboratory employees. graphic paper. Printing frequently is
These workers develop film, make performed on a projection printer,
prints and slides, and perform re­ which consists of a fixture for hold­
lated tasks such as enlarging and re­ ing negatives and photographic
touching photographs. (This chap­ paper, an electric lamp, and a mag­
ter does not discuss employees of nifying lens. The technician places
laboratories that specialize in proc­ the negative between the lamp and
essing professional motion picture lens, and the paper below the lens.
When he turns on the lamp, light
film.)
A ll-round darkroom technicians passes through the negative and lens
(D.O.T. 976.381) perform all tasks and records a magnified image of
necessary to develop and print film. the negative on the paper. During
The technician varies the develop­ printing, the technicians may vary
ing process according to the type the contrast of the image or remove
of film—black-and-white negative, unwanted background by using his
color negative, or color positive. hand or paper patterns to shade
For example, a developing process part of the photographic paper from
for black-and-white negative film the lamp light. After removing the
covers five steps: developer, stop exposed photographic paper from
bath, fixing bath, washing, and the printer, he develops it in much
drying. The first three steps involve the same way as the negative. If the
the use of chemical solutions and customer desires, the technician
are performed in darkness. After mounts the finished print in a frame
unwinding a roll of film, the tech­ or on a paper or cardboard back,

are responsible for any damage they
do to customers’ cars.




using cement or a hand-operated
press.
In addition to working in the lab­
oratory, darkroom technicians may
set up lights and cameras or other­
wise assist experienced photogra­
phers. Many technicians, particu­
larly those in portrait studios, divide
their time between taking and proc­
essing pictures. In some laborator­
ies, helpers assist technicians. They
also may be assisted by workers
who specialize in a particular activ­
ity, such as developers (D.O.T.
976.381) ,
printers
(D.O.T.
976.381) , and photograph retouch­
ers (D.O.T. 970.281).
In large, mechanized photo­
graphic laboratories, darkroom
technicians may supervise semi­
skilled workers who perform special­
ized assignments that require only a
limited knowledge of developing
and printing. Included are film numberers (D.O.T. 976.887), who sort
film according to the type of proc­
essing needed and number each
roll for identification purposes; film

559

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

strippers (D.O.T. 976.887), who
unwind rolls of film and place them
in developing machines; printer op­
erators (D.O.T. 976.782), who op­
erate machines that expose rolls of
photographic paper to negatives;
print developers, machine (D.O.T.
976.885) , who operate machines
that develop these rolls of exposed
photographic paper; chemical mix­
ers (D.O.T. 976.884), who meas­
ure and combine the various chem­
icals that make up developing solu­
tions; slide mounters (D.O.T.
976.885) , who operate machines
that cut, insert, and seal film in
cardboard mounts; and photocheck­
ers and assemblers
(D.O.T.
976.687), who inspect the finished
slides and prints and package them
for customers.

Places of Employment

In 1970, an estimated 37,000
workers were employed in photo­
graphic laboratory occupations.
More than half of them were in
semiskilled photofinishing occupa­
tions; the remainder were darkroom
technicians. Although most dark­
room technicians are men, women
predominate in many of the semi­
skilled occupations. For example,
most printer operators, slide mount­
ers, photocheckers, and assemblers
are women.
A large proportion of darkroom
technicians are employed in photo­
graphic laboratories operated by
portrait and commercial studios and
by business and government organi­
zations. The latter include manufac­
turers, newspaper and magazine
publishers, advertising agencies, and
Federal, State, and local govern­
ments. Darkroom technicians also
are employed in small commercial
laboratories that specialize in proc­
essing the work of free-lance pho­




tographers, advertising agencies,
magazine publishers, and others.
Most semiskilled workers are em­
ployed by large commercial photo­
graphic laboratories that specialize
in processing film for amateur pho­
tographers.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most darkroom technicians learn
their skills through informal onthe-job training. Beginners start as
helpers and gradually learn to de­
velop and print film by assisting ex­
perienced technicians. It generally
takes 3 or 4 years to become a fully
qualified
darkroom
technician.
Some helpers become specialists in
a particular activity such as printing
or developing. Generally, the train­
ing time required to become a spe­
cialist is less than is needed to be­
come an all-round darkroom techni­
cian.
Employers prefer to hire dark­
room technicians’ helpers who have
a high school education. Courses in
chemistry, physics, and mathematics
are helpful to young people inter­
ested in this trade. Some high
schools and trade schools offer
courses in photography that include
training in film processing. The
Armed Forces also offer training for
darkroom technicians. Experience
gained through processing film as a
hobby is helpful.
Two-year curriculums leading to
an associate degree in photographic
technology are offered by a few col­
leges. Completion of college level
courses in this field is helpful to
people who are interested in super­
visory and managerial jobs in pho­
tographic laboratories.
Many
darkroom
technicians
eventually become professional
photographers. Others advance to

supervisory positions in laborator­
ies. Technicians who acquire their
experience in small laboratories
need additional training before they
can qualify for supervisory positions
in large laboratories where mecha­
nized equipment is used.
Training
requirements
for
workers in semiskilled photographic
laboratory occupations range from a
few weeks to several months of onthe-job training. For example, film
numberers and slide mounters usu­
ally can learn their jobs in less than
a month, but printer operators and
chemical mixers need several
months or longer. For many semi­
skilled jobs, manual dexterity, good
vision including normal color per­
ception, and good eye-hand coordi­
nation are important qualifications.
However, some laboratories employ
blind workers as film numberers and
film strippers, since these jobs
may be performed in the dark to
prevent damage to exposed film.
Completion of high school generally
is not required for semiskilled jobs,
but it frequently is needed for ad­
vancement to supervisory jobs.

Employment Outlook

Employment in photographic lab­
oratory occupations is expected to
increase rapidly through the 1970’s.
In addition, many job opportunities
will result from the need to replace
experienced workers who retire,
die, or transfer to other fields of
work. Retirements and deaths alone
are expected to create about a thou­
sand job openings annually.
The need for semiskilled workers
is tied closely to the growth of ama­
teur photography. Film purchases by
amateur photographers are ex­
pected to increase very rapidly
through the 1970’s as a result of ris­
ing population and personal income,

560

more leisure time, and increased
travel. Improvements in still and
movie cameras that make them eas­
ier to load, unload, and operate also
should contribute to increases in the
use of film. However, the more
widespread use of mechanized film
processing equipment and improve­
ments in this type of equipment will
tend to increase the efficiency of
laboratory workers and keep em­
ployment from growing as fast as
the volume of film processed.
The need for all-round darkroom
technicians is expected to increase
as a result of the growing demand
for photography in business and
government. A major factor con­
tributing to this demand will be the
increasing variety of printed matter,
such as sales brochures, catalogs,
and public relations literature that is
illustrated with photographs. The
growing use of photography in re­
search and development activities
also will contribute to the demand
for darkroom technicians. However,
the generally favorable employment
effects of these factors will be par­
tially offset by the greater use of
mechanized film processing equip­
ment in small laboratories.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Information obtained from sev­
eral employers in 1970 indicates
that earnings of workers in photo­
graphic laboratory occupations vary
greatly and depend on factors such
as skill level, experience, and geo­
graphic location. Beginning pay for
inexperienced darkroom techni­
cian’s helpers generally ranged from
$2 to $3.10 an hour. Most of the
experienced all-round darkroom
technicians earned between $2.50
and $5.00 an hour. In addition to
all-round darkroom technicians,




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

color technicians and printers gen­
erally had the highest earnings.
Workers in semiskilled occupa­
tions earned from $1.70 to $3.50 an
hour. Among these workers, printer
operators and chemical mixers gen­
erally had the highest earnings.
In the Federal Government, pho­
tographic laboratory technicians
earned
between
$5,853
and
$10,528 annually.
Many photographic laboratories
provide paid holidays, vacations,
and other benefits such as medicalsurgical insurance. Workers in pho­
tofinishing laboratories operated by
business and government organiza­
tions receive the same fringe bene­
fits as their fellow employees.
The majority of photographic
laboratory employees have a stand­
ard workweek of 40 hours and re­
ceive premium pay for overtime. In
laboratories that specialize in proc­
essing film for amateur photogra­
phers, employees may work a con­
siderable amount of overtime during
the summer and for several weeks
after Christmas. Many laboratories
employ additional workers tempo­
rarily during these seasonal peaks.
Most photographic laboratory
jobs are not physically strenuous. In
many
semiskilled
occupations,
workers perform their jobs while
sitting, but the work is repetitious
and the pace is rapid. Some of these
workers (for example, printer oper­
ators and photocheckers and assem­
blers) are subject to eye fatigue.
Photofinishing laboratories are gen­
erally clean, well lighted, and air
conditioned.

Sources of Additional Information

Additional information about em­
ployment opportunities in photo­
graphic laboratories and schools

that offer degrees in photographic
technology may be obtained from:
Master Photo Dealers’ and Finish­
ers’ Association, 603 Lansing
Ave., Jackson, Mich. 49202.
Professional Photographers of Amer­
ica, Inc., 1090 Executive Way, Des
Plaines, 111. 60018.

POWER TRUCK OPERATORS
(D.O.T. 892.883; 921.782 and .883; and
922.782 and .883)

Nature of the Work

In the past, manual workers in
factories usually did the hard physi­
cal labor of moving raw materials
and products. Today, many heavy
materials are moved by workers
who operate various types of selfpowered trucks. A typical truck op­
erated by these workers has a hy­
draulic or electric lifting mechanism
and special attachments for use on
particular jobs. For example, the
truck may have a fork lift to move
piles of cartons, a scoop to lift coal,
or a tow bar to pull small trailers.
The power truck operator uses
pedals and levers to drive the truck
and to control the lifting mechanism
and attachments. The operator
may be required to keep records of
materials moved and do some man­
ual loading and unloading of mate­
rials. He also may be responsible
for keeping his truck in good work­
ing condition by cleaning, oiling,
checking the water in batteries, and
making simple adjustments.
The driver must use care and
skill in driving his truck. For exam­
ple, when loading or removing ma­
terials from stock, which may be
stacked from floor to ceiling, he

561

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

heavily populated areas where large
manufacturing plants are located.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

must be able to judge distance so
that no damage occurs. The opera­
tor also must know how much the
truck can lift and carry and the
kinds of jobs it can do.

Places of Employment

Approximately 200,000 power
truck operators were employed in
1970. Power truck operators were
employed in all types of manufac­
turing industries. Large numbers
were employed in plants that manu­
factured automobiles and automo­
bile parts, machinery, fabricated
metal products, and iron and steel.
Many power truck operators also
were employed in warehouses, de­
pots, dock terminals, mines, and
other places where great quantities
of materials must be moved.
Because power truck operators
work in many different industries,
they are employed in all parts of the
country. Although some are em­
ployed in small towns, most work in




Most workers can learn to oper­
ate a power truck in a few days. It
takes several weeks, however, to
learn the physical layout and opera­
tion of a plant and the most efficient
way of handling the materials to be
moved.
Large companies generally re­
quire applicants to pass a physical
examination. Many large companies
also have formal training programs
for new employees. In these training
programs, the employee learns to
operate the power truck, to do sim­
ple maintenance work, and to han­
dle materials. He also learns plant
layout and operation, and safe
driving rules.
Young persons who are planning
to become power truck operators
should have manual dexterity, me­
chanical ability and above average
eye-sight including good depth per­
ception.
Some opportunities for advance­
ment exist. A few operators may
become materials-movement fore­
men or supervisors.
Employment Outlook

Employment of power truck op­
erators is expected to increase
slowly through the 1970’s. Most job
openings will result from the need
to replace workers who retire, die,
or transfer to other occupations.
The amount of goods manufac­
tured is expected to increase as the
Nation’s population grows and its
standard of living rises. More power
truck operators will be needed to
move these goods and the materials
used to produce them. In addition,

the growing use of containers for
moving goods will increase the de­
mand for operators. Employment
growth will be limited, however, by
the development of more efficient
power trucks and other mecha­
nized materials-handling equipment.
Earnings and Working Conditions

According to a survey covering
85 metropolitan areas in 1969-70,
power truck operators had average
straight time hourly earnings of
$3.27 in manufacturing industries
and $3.34 in nonmanufacturing in­
dustries. The following tabulation
presents average hourly earnings by
region for operators employed in
manufacturing.
A v e r a g e s tr a ig h t- tim e h o u r ly e a r n in g s o f
p o w e r tr u c k o p e r a to r s in m a n u fa c tu r in g ,

1969-70
A rea

United States ...........
Northeast .................
South .......................
North Central .........
West .........................

H o u r ly r a te

...................$3.27
................... 3.18
................... 2.79
................... 3.43
................... 3.43

Power truck operators are sub­
ject to several hazards—such as
falling objects and collisions be­
tween vehicles. Safety instruction is
an important part of the job training
in power truck work.
The driver may operate his truck
inside buildings or outdoors where
he is exposed to various weather
conditions. Some operators may
handle loose material that may be
dirty or dusty.
Power truck operators have
somewhat varied work in moving
materials throughout a plant. Their
work is likely to be less repetitive
and routine than that of workers
who do semiskilled machine opera­
tor work.
Many power truck operators are
members of labor unions. Most la­

562

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

bor-management contracts in manu­
facturing plants provide for fringe
benefits such as paid holidays and
vacations, health insurance, life in­
surance, and retirement pensions.
Sources of Additional Information

For further information on work
opportunities for power truck oper­
ators, inquiries should be directed
to the local office of the State em­
ployment service.

PRODUCTION PAINTERS

just the nozzle of the spray gun and
the air-compressor so that the paint
will be applied uniformly. Those
who operate semiautomatic painting
machines may load items into the
machine or onto conveyors before
applying paint.
Although the duties of most
production painters are simple and
repetitive, the jobs of some are var­
ied. For example, they may have to
make decisions involving the appli­
cation of finishes, thinning of paint,
and the adjustment of spray equip­
ment. When required to mix paints
and figure the size of the area to be
painted, they use simple arthmetic
involving decimals and fractions.
Some production painters operate
special spray guns such as those
used to spray powdered plastics.

Production painters may replace
nozzles and clean spray guns and
other equipment when necessary. In
addition to the painting equipment,
they use tools, such as wrenches and
mixing paddles, and gages that indi­
cate the consistency of paint.

Places of Employment

About
115,000
production
painters were employed in manufac­
turing in 1970, most of whom were
men. More than four-fifths of the
total worked in plants that manufac­
tured furniture, automobiles, house­
hold appliances, industrial machin­
ery, and other durable goods. Large
numbers of production painters
were employed in New York, Mich-

Nature of the Work

Almost every metal or wood
product manufactured is given a
coating of paint or other protective
material. In mass-production indus­
tries, this painting is done by
workers known as production
painters. Most of them use spray
guns to apply paint, lacquer, var­
nish, or other finishes. Some use
brushes to apply paint and others
operate semiautomatic paint spray­
ing machines, dipping tanks, or
tumbling barrels. The work of pro­
duction painters in factories is differ­
ent from that of skilled painters who
are employed in construction and
maintenance work. (See statements
on Painters and Automobile
Painters.)
Production painters may have to
clean items before painting them.
When working on items requiring
more than one color, they also
apply masking tape to prevent over­
lapping of colors. Those who oper­
ate spray guns pour paints into a
spraygun container that is attached
to an air-compressor unit. They ad­




Production painters apply acrylic enamel to automobile body.

563

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

igan, Ohio, California, Illinois,
Pennsylvania, Texas, North Caro­
lina, and New Jersey.

novations should raise output per
worker.

SHOE REPAIRMEN
(D.O.T. 365.381)

Earnings and Working Conditions
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

The new worker usually learns
his job by observing and assisting
experienced production painters.
The length of training may vary
from 2 weeks to several months.
A person going into this work
needs good eyesight so that he can
distinguish between colors and see
whether the paint is applied evenly.
He also should have a steady hand
and be capable of standing for long
periods. High school graduation is
not generally required.
Opportunities for advancement
are limited. A small number of
production painters become inspec­
tors and foremen.

Employment Outlook

Employment
of
production
painters is expected to increase
slowly through the 1970’s. How­
ever, most openings will result as
workers retire, die, or transfer to
other occupations. Overall, several
thousand job openings will arise
each year during the decade.
Most manufacturing industries
which employ production painters
are expected to increase their out­
put during the 1970’s. Growth in
population and personal income will
increase the demand for consumer
products such as automobiles and
furniture. Business expansion will
increase the demand for industrial
machinery and equipment. Employ­
ment of painters, however, is not
expected to keep pace with manu­
facturing output because automatic
sprayers and other laborsaving in­




National wage data on produc­
tion painters are not available.
However, information from a lim­
ited number of union-management
contracts indicate that hourly rates
ranged from about $2.05 to $4.10
in 1970.
Painters are exposed to fumes
from paint and paint-mixing ingredi­
ents. Some wear protective goggles
and masks which cover the nose and
mouth. When working on large ob­
jects, they may work in awkward
and cramped positions.
Many production painters are
members of unions. Among the
labor organizations to which they
belong are the International Union,
United Automobile, Aerospace and
Agricultural Implement Workers of
America; the United Furniture
Workers of America; and the
United Steelworkers of America.
Many union-management contracts
provide for fringe benefits, such as
holiday and vacation pay, health in­
surance, life insurance, and retire­
ment pensions.

Sources of Additional Information

Additional information about em­
ployment opportunities in this field
may be available from local offices
of the State employment service.

Nature of the Work

Shoe repairmen replace worn
heels, soles, and broken straps, and
repair torn seams of all types of
shoes. Highly skilled shoe repair­
men may design, make, or repair
orthopedic shoes in accordance with
the prescription of orthopedists and
podiatrists. They also may mend
handbags, luggage, tents, boat cov­
ers, and other items made of
leather, rubber, or canvas.
The most frequent tasks per­
formed by shoe repairmen are re­
placing worn heels and soles. To re­
sole a shoe, the repairman prepares
the shoe by removing the worn sole
and old stitching, and roughing the
bottom of the shoe on a sanding
wheel. Next, he selects a new sole
or cuts one from a piece of leather
and cements, nails, or sews it to the
shoe. Finally, he trims the sole. To
reheel a shoe, the repairman first
pries off the old heel. He then se­
lects a replacement heel or cuts one to
the required shape, and cements and
nails the new heel in place. The heel
is then trimmed. After the heels and
soles have been replaced, the shoe
repairman stains and buffs them so
that they match the color of the
shoes. Sometimes he cements
leather tips or nails metal heels and
toe plates to the new heels and soles
to increase their durability. Before
completing the job, the repairman
may replace the insoles, restitch any
loose seams, and polish the shoes.
In large shops, shoe repair work
often is divided into a number of
specialized tasks. For example,
some shoe repairmen may remove
and replace heels and soles only;
others only restitch torn seams.

564

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Shoe repairmen use handtools
and power and manually operated
machines in their work. For exam­
ple, they may use power operated
sole stitchers and heel nailing ma­
chines, and manually operated sew­
ing machines, cement presses, and
shoe stretchers. Among the handtools they use are hammers, awls,
and nippers.
Self-employed shoe repairmen
have managerial, sales, and other
responsibilities in addition to their
regular duties. They make estimates
of repair costs, prepare sales slips,
keep records, and receive payments
for work performed. They also may
supervise the work of other repair­
men.
Places of Employment

Nearly 60 percent of the esti­
mated 25,000 shoe repairmen em­
ployed in 1970 were proprietors of
small, one-man shoe repair shops.
Most of the remaining craftsmen
were employed in large shoe repair
shops. Many of these large shops
offered cleaning and laundering serv­
ices in addition to shoe repairing.
A few shoe repairmen worked in
shoe repair departments of depart­
ment stores, variety chain stores,
shoe stores, and cleaning establish­
ments.
The geographic distribution of
shoe repairmen is similar to that of
the Nation’s population. For exam­
ple, large numbers of shoe repair­
men are employed in California,
New York, Pennsylvania, Texas,
and Illinois.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most shoe repairmen are hired as
helpers and receive on-the-job
training in large shoe repair shops.




Helpers begin by assisting experi­
enced repairmen with simple tasks,
such as staining, brushing, and shin­
ing shoes, and progress to more dif­
ficult duties as they gain experience.
Helpers having an aptitude for the
work and initiative can become
qualified shoe repairmen after 2
years of on-the-job training.
Some repairmen learn how to re­
pair shoes in vocational schools
that offer such training. Others re­
ceive their training under the provi­
sions of the Manpower Develop­
ment and Training Act; still others
enter the occupation through ap­
prenticeship training programs.
Skilled shoe repairmen who work
in large shops can become foremen
or managers. Those who have the
necessary funds can open their own
shops.

hundreds of openings will arise each
year because of the need to replace
experienced workers who retire,
die, or transfer to other fields of
work. Opportunities will be particu­
larly favorable for the highly skilled
because the number being trained is
insufficient to meet current needs.
Although the sale of shoes will
increase as the population grows,
several factors are expected to limit
the demand for repairmen. In re­
cent years, the popularity of canvas
footwear, loafers, sandals, and cush­
ion-soled shoes, has increased. Be­
cause of their construction these
types of shoes often cannot be re­
paired. In addition, many shoes are
being made more durable, and need
repair less frequently. Also, as per­
sonal income rises, many people
buy new shoes rather than repair old
ones.

Employment Outlook

Employment of shoe repairmen is
expected to show little or no change
through the 1970’s. Nevertheless,

Earnings and Working Conditions

National earnings data are not
available for shoe repairmen. How­
ever, information obtained from a
limited number of employers and
union-management contracts in
early 1970 indicated that many
workers earned between $100 and
$115 for a 40-hour week. Some
highly skilled shoe repairmen, in­
cluding managers of shoe repair
shops, earned more than $150 a
week. Inexperienced trainees gener­
ally earned between $65 and $75 a
week.
Shoe repairmen generally work 8
hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week.
The workweek for the self-em­
ployed, however, is often longer,
sometimes 10 hours a day, 6 days a
week. Although shoe repair estab­
lishments are busiest during the
spring and fall, work is steady with
no seasonal layoffs. Employees in
large shops receive from 1 to 4

565

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

weeks’ paid vacation, depending on
the length of time employed. Usu­
ally, at least 6 paid holidays a year
are provided.
Working conditions generally are
good in large repair shops, shoe re­
pair departments of shoe stores and
department stores, and in the more
modern shoe service stores. How­
ever, some repair shops may be
crowded and noisy and have poor
light or ventilation. Strong odors
from leather goods, dyes, and stains
may be present.
Shoe repair work is not strenuous,
but does require physical stamina,
since shoe repairmen must stand a
good deal of the time.
Sources of Additional Information

Information about local work op­
portunities can be obtained from the
local office of the State employment
service, as well as shoe repair shops
in the community. The State em­
ployment service also may be a
source of information about training
opportunities available under the
Manpower Development and Train­
ing Act, apprenticeship, and other
training programs.

tain the equipment according to
State and local laws, since the safety
of many people depends upon its
proper functioning.
Stationary engineers must detect
and identify any trouble that devel­
ops by watching and listening to
machinery and by analyzing their
readings of meters, gauges, and
other monitoring instruments. They
operate levers, throttles, switches,
valves, and other devices to regulate
the machinery so that it works
efficiently. They also record such in­
formation as the amount of fuel
used and the temperature and pres­
sure of boilers.
Stationary
engineers
repair
equipment, using handtools of all
kinds, including precision tools.
Common repairs involve reseating
valves; replacing gaskets, pumps,
packings, bearings, and belting; and
adjusting piston clearance.
The duties of stationary engineers
depend on the size of the establish­
ment in which they work and the
type and capacity of the machinery.
However, their primary responsibil-

STATIONARY ENGINEERS
(D.O.T. 950.782)

Nature of the Work

Stationary engineers operate and
maintain boilers, diesel engines, tur­
bines, generators, pumps, and com­
pressors. This equipment is used to
generate power and to control the
temperature and humidity in facto­
ries and other buildings. Stationary
engineers must operate and main­




ities are very much the same for all
kinds of plants—safe and efficient
operation of their equipment. In a
large plant, the stationary engineer
may have charge of the boiler room,
and direct the work of assistant sta­
tionary engineers, turbine operators,
boiler operators, and air-condition­
ing and refrigeration mechanics. In a
small plant, the stationary engineer
may operate and maintain equip­
ment by himself.
Places of Employment

In 1970, about 200,000 station­
ary engineers were employed in a
wide variety of establishments,
including power stations, factories,
breweries, food-processing plants,
steel mills, sewage and water-treat­
ment plants, office and apartment
buildings, hotels and hospitals. Fed­
eral, State, and local governments
also employed large numbers of
these workers. The size of establish­
ments in which the engineers worked
ranged from giant hydroelectric
plants and large public buildings to
small industrial plants. Most plants
which operate on three shifts em­
ploy from 4 to 8 stationary engi­
neers, but some have as many as 60.
In many establishments, only one
engineer works on each shift.
Because stationary engineers
work in so many different kinds of
industries, they are employed in all
parts of the country. Although some
are employed in small towns and in
rural areas, most work in the more
heavily populated areas where large
industrial and commercial establish­
ments are located.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Stationary engineer checks heat
controls.

Many stationary engineers start
as helpers or craftsmen in other

566

trades and acquire their skills
largely through informal on-the-job
experience. However, most training
authorities recommend formal ap­
prenticeship as the best way to learn
this trade because of the increasing
complexity of the machines and sys­
tems.
In selecting apprentices, most
joint labor-management apprentice­
ship committees prefer high school
or trade school graduates between
18 and 25 who have received in­
struction in mathematics, mechani­
cal drawing, machine-shop practice,
physics, and chemistry. Mechanical
aptitude, manual dexterity, and
good physical condition also are im­
portant qualifications.
A stationary engineer apprentice­
ship customarily lasts 3 to 4 years.
Through on-the-job training, the ap­
prentice learns to operate, maintain,
and repair boilers, pumps, air-con­
ditioning and refrigeration machin­
ery, and other equipment. He is
taught to use electric grinders,
lathes, and drill presses; precision­
measuring instruments, such as cali­
pers and micrometers; and equip­
ment used to move machines, such
as chains and hoists. On-the-job
training is supplemented by class­
room instruction and home study in
practical chemistry, elementary phys­
ics, blueprint reading, applied elec­
tricity, and other technical subjects.
Persons who become stationary
engineers without going through a
formal apprenticeship program usu­
ally do so only after many years of
experience as assistants to licensed
stationary engineers. This practical
experience usually is supplemented
by technical or other school training
or home study.
Eight States, the District of Co­
lumbia, and more than 50 large and
medium-size cities have licensing
requirements for stationary engi­
neers. Although requirements for




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

obtaining a license differ from place
to place, the following are typical:
(1) The applicant must be over 21
years of age; (2) he must have
resided in the State or locality in
which the examination is given for a
specified period of time; and (3) he
must demonstrate that he meets the
experience requirements for the
class of license requested. A license
is issued to applicants who meet
these requirements and pass an ex­
amination which may be written,
oral, or a combination of both
types.
Generally, there are several
classes of stationary engineer licen­
ses, which specify the steam pres­
sure of horsepower of the equip­
ment the engineer may operate. The
first-class license permits the sta­
tionary engineer to operate equip­
ment of all types and capacities.
The lower class licenses limit the
capacity of the equipment the engi­
neer may operate without the super­
vision of a higher rated engineer.
Stationary engineers advance to
more responsible jobs by being
placed in charge of larger, more
powerful, or more varied equip­
ment. Generally, the engineer ad­
vances to these jobs as he obtains
higher grade licenses. Advance­
ment, however, is not automatic.
For example, an engineer having a
first-class license may work for
some time as an assistant to another
first-class engineer before a vacancy
requiring a first-class licensed engi­
neer occurs. In general, the broader
knowledge he has of the operation,
maintenance, and repair of various
types of equipment, the better are
his chances for advancement. Sta­
tionary engineers also may advance
to jobs as plant engineers and as
building and plant superintendents.

Employment Outlook

Employment of stationary engi­
neers is expected to show little or
no change through the 1970’s.
Nevertheless, several thousand job
openings will arise annually because
of the need to replace experienced
workers who retire, die, or transfer
to other occupations.
Industrial growth will result in in­
creased use of large boilers and
auxiliary equipment in factories,
powerplants, and other buildings.
The need for additional stationary
engineers, however, will be limited
by the trend to more powerful and
more centralized equipment with
automatic controls. For example,
larger boilers make it possible to in­
crease capacity without correspond­
ing increases in the number of sta­
tionary engineers. In a growing
number of plants, centralized con­
trol panels and closed circuit televi­
sion monitoring systems will reduce
the need for on-site observation of
equipment. Automatic control sys­
tems which regulate throttles,
valves, and other devices previously
regulated by hand, also will increase
the efficiency of stationary engi­
neers.

Earnings and Working Conditions

According to a survey covering
75 metropolitan areas in 1969-70,
stationary engineers had average
straight-time hourly earnings of
$4.14. Averages in individual areas
ranged from $2.84 in Oklahoma
City, Okla., to $4.98 in Chicago, 111.
Stationary engineers generally
have steady year-round employment.
They usually work a straight 8-hour
day and 40 hours a week. In plants
that operate around the clock, they
may be assigned to any one of three

567

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

shifts—often on a rotating basis—
and to Sunday and holiday work.
Many stationary engineers are
employed in plants which have un­
ion-management contracts. Most of
these contracts provide fringe bene­
fits, which may include hospitaliza­
tion, medical and surgical insur­
ance; life insurance; sickness and
accident insurance; and retirement
pensions. Similar benefits also may
be provided in plants which do not
have union-management contracts.
Among the unions to which these
workers belong are the Interna­
tional Union of Operating Engi­
neers and the International Union,
United Automobile, Aerospace and
Agricultural Implement Workers of
America.
Most engine rooms, powerplants,
or boiler rooms are clean and welllighted. However, even under the
most favorable conditions, some
stationary engineers are exposed to
high temperatures, dust, dirt, con­
tact with oil and grease, and fumes
from oil, gas, coal, or smoke. They
may have to crawl inside a boiler
and work in a crouching or kneeling
position to clean or repair the inte­
rior.
Because stationary engineers
often work around boilers and
electrical and mechanical equip­
ment, they must be alert to avoid
burns, electric shock, and injury
from moving machinery. If the
equipment is defective or is not op­
erated correctly, it may be hazard­
ous to them and to other persons in
the vicinity.

ing Engineers, and from State and
local licensing agencies.
Information about the occupation
also may be obtained from:
International Union of Operating En­
gineers, 1125 17th St., N W ,
Washington, D.C. 20036.
National Association of Power En­
gineers, Inc., 176 West Adam St.,
Chicago, 111. 60603.

STATIONARY FIREMEN
(BOILER)
(D.O.T. 951.885)

Nature of the Work

Stationary

firemen

are

semi­

skilled workers who operate and
maintain the steam boilers which
are used to power industrial ma­
chinery and to heat factories,
offices, department stores, and other
buildings. Highly experienced fire­
men may be responsible for in­
specting boiler equipment, lighting
boilers, and building up steam pres­
sure. On the other hand, the re­
sponsibilities of some firemen are
limited to keeping equipment in
good working order by cleaning, oil­
ing, and greasing parts.
In most plants, stationary firemen
operate mechanical devices that
control the flow of air, gas, oil, or
powdered coal into fireboxes in
order to keep proper steam pressure
in boilers. Duties of these workers
include reading meters and other in­
struments to be certain that the

Sources of Additional Information

Information about training or
work opportunities in this trade may
be obtained from local offices of
State employment services, locals of
the International Union of Operat­




Stationary fireman lights boiler.

568

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

boilers are operating efficiently and
according to safety regulations. In
some plants they make minor re­
pairs.
Stationary firemen often are su­
pervised by stationary engineers
who are responsible for the opera­
tion and maintenance of a variety of
equipment, including boilers, diesel
and steam engines, and refrigeration
and air-conditioning equipment.
(Additional information on station­
ary engineers appears elsewhere in
the Handbook.)
Places of Employment

About 70,000 stationary firemen
were employed in 1970. Most of
them worked in manufacturing in­
dustries. Plants that manufacture
lumber, iron and steel, paper,
chemicals, and transportation equip­
ment are among the leading em­
ployers of stationary firemen. Pub­
lic utilities also employ many of
these workers.
Stationary firemen are employed
in all parts of the country. Al­
though some are employed in small
towns and even rural areas, most
work in the more heavily populated
areas where large manufacturing
plants are located.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Some large cities and a few States
require stationary firemen to be li­
censed. Applicants can obtain the
knowledge and experience to pass
the license examination by first
working as a helper in a boiler room,
or by working as a stationary fire­
man under a conditional license.
License requirements differ from
city to city and from State to State.
However, the applicant usually
must prove that he meets the expe­




rience requirements for the license,
and pass an examination which tests
his knowledge of the job. For spe­
cific information on licensing re­
quirements, consult your State or
local licensing authorities.
There are two types of stationary
firemen licenses—for low and high
pressure boilers. Low pressure fire­
men operate boilers generally used
for heating buildings. High pressure
firemen operate the more powerful
boilers and auxiliary boiler equip­
ment used to power machinery and
to heat large buildings. Both high
and low pressure operators, how­
ever, may operate equipment of any
pressure class if a stationary engi­
neer is on duty.
Stationary firemen should under­
stand the operation of machinery,
and must have normal vision and
good hearing. Because of the mech­
anization of equipment, physical
strength is no longer a major re­
quirement for this type of work.
Stationary firemen may advance
to jobs as stationary engineers. To
help them qualify for advancement,
firemen sometimes supplement their
on-the-job training by taking
courses in practical chemistry; ele­
mentary physics; blueprint reading;
applied electricity; and the princi­
ples of refrigeration, air condition­
ing, ventilation, and heating. Sta­
tionary firemen also may advance to
jobs as maintenance mechanics.

Employment Outlook

Employment of stationary fire­
men is expected to decline through
the 1970’s. Hundreds of job open­
ings, however, will result each year
from the need to replace experi­
enced firemen who transfer to other
occupations, retire, or die.
Although an increase in the use
of stationary boilers and auxiliary

equipment is expected during the
1970’s, the trend to automatic,
more powerful, and more central­
ized equipment is expected to result
in a decline in employment of sta­
tionary firemen. In large plants,
however, where turbines and en­
gines are housed under a separate
roof and where there is a need for
constant surveillance of boilers, fire­
men will continue to be needed.

Earnings and Working Conditions

According to a survey covering
60 metropolitan areas in 1969-70,
stationary firemen had average
straight-time hourly earnings of
$3.47. Averages in individual areas
ranged from $2.18 in Greenville,
S.C. to $4.53 in Detroit, Mich.
Most stationary firemen, even
under the most favorable condi­
tions, are at times exposed to noise,
heat, grease, and fumes from oil,
gas, coal, or smoke. They may have
to crawl inside a boiler and work in
a crouching or kneeling position to
do repair or maintenance work. Sta­
tionary firemen are subject to burns,
falls, and injury from moving ma­
chinery. Boilers and auxiliary
equipment that are not operated
correctly, or are defective, may be
dangerous to these workers and to
other persons in the work vicinity.
Modern equipment and safety pro­
cedures, however, have reduced ac­
cidents considerably in recent years.
Many stationary firemen are em­
ployed in plants that have labormanagement contracts, most of
which provide benefits that may in­
clude paid holidays and vacations,
hospitalization, medical and surgical
insurance, sickness and accident in­
surance, and retirement pensions.
Among the unions to which these
workers belong are the Interna­
tional Brotherhood of Firemen and

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

Oilers and the International Union
of Operating Engineers.
Sources of Additional Information

Information about training or
work opportunities in this trade may
be obtained from local offices of
State employment services, locals of
the International Brotherhood of
Firemen and Oilers, and from State
and local licensing agencies.
Information about the occupation
also may be obtained from:
International Brotherhood of Fire­
men and Oilers, 200 Maryland
Ave. NE., Washington, D.C.

20002

WASTEWATER TREATMENT
PLANT OPERATORS
(SEWAGE-PLANT
OPERATOR)
(D.O.T. 955.782)

Nature of the Work

Clean water is essential for the
health and recreational enjoyment
of the population and for the exist­
ence of fish and other wildlife.
Wastewater treatment plant opera­
tors protect America’s water re­
sources by controlling water pollu­
tion through removal of domestic
and industrial waste.
Domestic and industrial waste is
carried by water through sewers and
arrives at treatment plants in a di­
luted state. Frequently other mate­
rials such as sticks, boards, sand,
rags, and grit also are present.
Wastewater treatment plant opera­
tors control equipment and facilities
to remove waste materials or render
them harmless to human, animal,




and fish life. By operating and
maintaining pumps, piping, and
valves that connect the collection
system to the wastewater treatment
facility, operators move the wastewater through the various treatment
processes.
Operators perform routine tasks
according to a regular schedule.
These routine tasks include reading
meters and gages and entering the
information on log sheets. For ex­
ample, an operator may monitor
meters that record the volume of
flow of wastewater (sewage) into a
plant or he may read gages that
measure the level of water in a well
and provide information needed to
ascertain normal pump action.
Other tasks may include operating
screening devices for removing
larger objects; making minor re­
pairs on valves, pumps, and other
equipment; sampling wastewater at
various stages of treatment for labo­
ratory analysis and testing and cor­
recting the level of chlorine in the
water. Operators also lubricate
equipment and hose down walls and
tanks to break up scum and sludge.
In the performance of their duties,
operators may be required to use
wrenches, pliers, hammers, and
other handtools.
Occasionally operators must
work under emergency conditions
—for example, a pump may break­
down and incoming wastewater may
flood the station. An operator may
make emergency repairs or locate
and report the malfunction to a
foreman or supervisor.
Duties of an operator depend
largely on the size of the treatment
plant and complexity. In smaller
plants, the operator may be re­
sponsible for the entire system, in­
cluding repairs, filling out forms,
handling complaints, as well as pa­
trolling and housekeeping duties
such as painting and cutting grass.

569

In larger plants, the staff may in­
clude helpers, foremen, and chief
operators. Their responsibilities
range from those of helpers, who
perform primarily housekeeping du­
ties, to those of chief operators who
supervise the entire operation.
Places of Employment

Of the approximately 30,000
wastewater treatment plant opera­
tors in 1970, about 4,000 worked in
industrial wastewater treatment
plants, 25,000 in municipal plants
throughout the Nation, and an­
other 1,000 in Federal installations.
The geographical distribution of
treatment plants parallels the popu­
lation pattern of the United States.
About one-half of all wastewater
treatment plant operators worked in
the following eight States: Califor­
nia, Illinois, New York, Ohio,
Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida and
New Jersey.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Entry jobs generally do not re­
quire specific training, and most op­
erators learn their skills on-the-job.
New workers usually start as help­
ers and are assigned to work under
the direction of an operator. They
learn by helping in routine tasks,
such as recording meter readings;
taking samples of wastewater and
sludge; and doing simple mainte­
nance and repair work on pumps,
electric motors, valves, and pipes.
They also are expected to perform
housekeeping tasks such as cleaning
and maintaining plant equipment
and property.
Many wastewater treatment plant
operators are trained in programs
approved under the provisions of
the Manpower Development and

570

Training Act. Young people who
are interested in entry positions
should have some mechanical apti­
tude and be able to perform simple
calculations. Employers generally
prefer applicants who have a high
school diploma or its equivalent.
Some treatment operators, particu­
larly in larger municipalities, are
covered by civil service regulations,
and applicants may be required to
pass written examinations covering
elementary mathematics, mechani­
cal aptitude, and general intelli­
gence. Operators must be agile, since
they have to be able to climb up
and down ladders and move easily
around heavy machinery. They
must have the physical stamina to
work outdoors in all kinds of
weather.
Most State water pollution con­
trol agencies offer some short term
course training to improve the skills




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

of water treatment plant operators.
These courses cover principles of
sludge digestion, odors and their
control, chlorination, sedimentation,
biological oxidation, and flow meas­
urements. In some cases, operators
take advantage of correspondence
courses on subjects related to wastewater treatment. Some large munic­
ipalities will pay part of the tuition
for courses leading to a college de­
gree in science or engineering.
Operators may be promoted to
foremen and chief operators. Chief
operators of large and complex
plants are expected to have a bach­
elor’s degree in science or engineer­
ing. A high school diploma or its
equivalent, and successively re­
sponsible experience usually is suffi­
cient to qualify as chief operator of
a small or medium-sized plant. A
limited number of operators may
become technicians employed by

local or State water pollution con­
trol agencies to collect and prepare
water and biological samples for
laboratory examinations. Some
technical-vocational school or junior
college training is generally pre­
ferred for technician jobs. Some op­
erators become consulting engi­
neers.
All but 3 of the 50 States have
certification programs designed to
improve treatment plant operations
and raise employee stature. Twen­
ty-seven States (California, Con­
necticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illi­
nois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky,
Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mon­
tana, New Hampshire, New Jersey,
New York, North Carolina, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South
Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vir­
ginia, West Virginia, and Wiscon­
sin) have adopted mandatory
certification laws providing for the
examination of operators and cer­
tification of their competence to
supervise the operation of treat­
ment plants. In addition to requiring
the certification of supervisory oper­
ators, these States encourage other
operators to become certified. Vol­
untary certification programs are in
effect in 22 States, and municipali­
ties in these States are urged to em­
ploy certified operators.
Under a typical licensing pro­
gram, there are four classes of certi­
fication that relate as nearly as pos­
sible to corresponding classifications
for wastewater treatment plants.
For example, to be certified a Class
I operator (corresponding to a
Class I plant serving a population of
less than 2,000), an applicant may
be required to demonstrate general
knowledge of treatment operations
by passing a written examination,
be a high school graduate, and have
completed 1 year of acceptable em­
ployment at a treatment plant. Re­
quirements for certification as a

571

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

Class IV operator (corresponding
to a Class IV plant serving a popu­
lation in excess of 40,000) may be
a college degree or completion of 2
years of college in science or engi­
neering; 5 years of treatment plant
experience at a Class III plant or
higher, 2 years of which were in a
position of major responsibility; and
specific knowledge of the entire
field of wastewater treatment as
demonstrated through a written ex­
amination.

Employment Outlook

Employment of operators is ex­
pected to rise rapidly through the
1970’s, mainly as a result of the
construction of new treatment
plants to process the increasing
amount of domestic and industry
wastewater. Employment growth
also should result from expansion of
existing plants to include more ad­
vanced treatment to cope more ef­
fectively with water pollution. In
addition to the new jobs that will re­
sult from growth, approximately
1,200 job openings are expected
each year due to deaths and retire­
ments.
Larger and more complex munic­
ipal and industrial treatment plants
and the consolidation of smaller
plants are expected to increase
through the 1970’s. In 1968, about
9 out of 10 communities having
sewer systems had wastewater treat­
ment plants. By 1980, almost all
communities are expected to have
such services.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Information from a survey cover­
ing a number of municipalities re­
vealed earnings of operators ranged
from approximately $5,000 to




$11,000 a year in early 1971. Fore­
men earned up to $12,000 per year
and chief operators as much as
$22,000. Salaries for trainees were
roughly 80 percent of the operators’
salaries in most cities. These data
reflect information collected from a
number of municipalities in various
parts of the United States.
Fringe benefits provided for plant
operators usually are similar to
those received by other municipal
civil service employees. Many oper­
ators receive paid vacations and
holidays, overtime, shift differential
pay, sick leave, paid life insurance,
paid hospitalization, and retirement
benefits.
Because pollution control is con­
tinuous, operators work different
shifts and in an emergency may have
to work overtime. When working
outdoors, operators are exposed to
all kinds of weather. Operators also
may be exposed to unpleasant odors
and hazardous conditions, dust, and
toxic fumes in the atmosphere, as
well as noise from the operation of
electrical motors, pumps, and gas
engines. However, odor is kept to a
minimum by the use of chlorine.
Many plants are modern, have good
lighting, clean wash-rooms equipped
with showers, and a lunch room for
the operator. The site is usually
landscaped with well groomed
lawns and shrubbery. For the most
part the tanks are open but the
pipes and sludge digestion tanks are
beneath the ground or covered.
Young people interested in a ca­
reer in wastewater treatment should
contact their local or State water
pollution control agencies. Addi­
tional information may be obtained
from:
Water Pollution Control Federation,
3900 Wisconsin Ave., NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20016.
Division of Manpower and Training
Federal Water Quality Adminis­

tration U.S. Department of the
Interior, Washington, D.C. 20242.
Consumer Protection and Environ­
mental Health Services, Depart­
ment of Health, Education, and
Welfare, 200 C. St., SW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20204.

WELDERS AND OXYGEN
AND ARC CUTTERS
(D.O.T. 810. through 819.887)

Nature of the Work

Welding is one of the most com­
mon and dependable means of join­
ing metal parts. Many of the parts
in automobiles, missiles and space­
craft, airplanes, household appli­
ances, and thousands of other prod­
ucts are joined by this process.
Structural metal used in the con­
struction of bridges, buildings, stor­
age tanks, and other structures is
often welded. Welding also is used
widely to repair broken metal parts.
Welding is a method of joining
pieces of metal by applying heat,
pressure, or both, with or without
filler metal, to produce a permanent
bond. Although there are more than
40 different welding processes, most
of the processes fall under three
basic categories; arc, gas, and resist­
ance welding. Arc and gas welding
can be performed manually or by
machine. Resistance welding is
mainly a machine process.
Closely related to welding is oxy­
gen and arc cutting (often referred
to as flame cutting). Oxygen and
arc cutters cut or trim metal objects
to a desired size or shape. They also
remove excess metal from castings
and cut scrap metal into pieces of
manageable size.
Most manual welding is done by

572

skilled or semiskilled arc and gas
welders. The skilled welder plans
and lays out work from drawings,
blueprints, or other written specifi­
cations. He knows the welding
properties of steel, stainless steel,
cast iron, bronze, aluminum, nickel,
and other metals and alloys. He also
is able to determine the proper se­
quence of work operations for each
job and to weld all types of joints in
various positions (flat, vertical, hor­
izontal, and overhead). The semi­
skilled manual welder usually does
repetitive work which requires the
welding of surfaces in only one po­
sition, and does not involve critical
safety and strength requirements.
In one of the most common arc
welding processes, the welder ob­
tains a suitable electrode and ad­
justs the electric current. The
welder first “strikes” an arc (creates
an electric circuit) by touching the
metal with the electrode. After the
arc is made, the welder guides the
electrode at a suitable distance from
the edges to be welded. The intense
heat caused by the arc melts the
edges and the electrode tip. The
molten metal from the electrode is
deposited in the joint and, with the
molten metal edges, solidifies to
form a solid connection. Many
welders specialize in arc-welding
processes that use inert gas to shield
the weld area. This type of welding
is used mainly to join hard-to-weld
metals such as aluminum and stain­
less steel.
In gas welding, the welder uses a
gas torch to apply an intensely hot
flame (obtained from the combus­
tion of a mixture of fuel gas—
mostly commonly acetylene and ox­
ygen) to the metal edges. After ob­
taining the proper welding rods and
torch tips and adjusting the regula­
tors on the oxygen and acetylene
cylinders, the welder lights the
torch. He then adjusts the oxygen




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

and acetylene valves to obtain the
proper size and quality of flame—
depending on the type of metal and
the joint to be made. The welder di­
rects the flame against the metal
until the heat begins to melt it. He
then applies the welding rod to the
molten metal to supply additional
metal for the weld.
In production processes, espe­
cially where the work is repetitive
and the items to be welded are rela­
tively uniform, the welding may be
done by semiskilled workers who
operate welding machines. In resist­
ance welding, the most common
type of machine welding, resistance
welding
operators
(D.O.T.
813.885) feed and aline the work
and remove it after the welding op­
eration is completed. Occasionally,
they may adjust the controls of the
machine for the desired electric cur­
rent and pressure.
Workers other than welders fre­
quently use welding. In construction
for example, the structural steel
worker, plumber and pipefitter, and
sheet-metal worker may do manual
arc and gas welding. Also, mainte­
nance and repair work provide

many welding opportunities for
other metalworking and related oc­
cupations. (See Index for individual
statements on these occupations.)
Semiskilled
oxygen
cutters
(D.O.T. 816.782 and .884) and arc
cutters (D.O.T. 816.884), some­
times called flame or thermal cut­
ters, usually use hand-guided torches
to cut or trim metals. The oxygen
cutter directs a flame of fuel gas
burning with oxygen on the area to
be cut until the metal begins to
melt. He then releases an additional
stream of oxygen which cuts the
metal. He guides the torch along
previously marked lines or follows a
pattern. He may mark guidelines on
the metal by following blueprints or
other instructions. Arc cutting dif­
fers from oxygen cutting because an
electric arc is used as the source of
heat. An arc with a hollow electrode
through which oxygen passes is used
in underwater cutting. Other special
forms of the arc, such as the plasma
arc, are used to cut ferrous and
nonferrous metals.
Oxygen and arc cutters also may
operate a torch or torches mounted
on an electrically or mechanically

Flame cutters operate a travel graph and oxyacetylene cutting machine.

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

controlled machine which automati­
cally follows a pattern.

Training requirements for the re­
sistance-welding machine operator’s
job depend upon the particular type
of equipment used; most of these
operators learn their work in a few
Places of Employment
weeks. Little skill is required for
most oxygen and arc-cutting jobs;
In 1970, an estimated 535,000
welders and oxygen and arc cutters generally, they can be learned in a
were employed throughout the few weeks of on-the-job training.
country. About 385,000 of these However, the cutting of some of the
workers were employed in manufac­ newer alloys requires a knowledge
turing industries, mostly in those of the properties of metals as well
making durable goods, such as as greater skill in cutting.
A young person planning a career
transportation equipment and fabri­
cated metal products. Of the ap­ as a welder or cutter needs manual
proximately 150,000 welders and dexterity, good eyesight, and good
cutters in other industries, the great­ eye-hand coordination. He should
est number were employed in con­ be able to concentrate on detailed
struction firms and establishments work for long periods. He must be
performing miscellaneous repair free of any physical disabilities that
services; the remainder were widely would prevent him from bending,
scattered among other nonmanu­ stooping, and working in awkward
positions.
facturing industries.
For entry in manual welding jobs,
The widespread use of the weld­
ing and cutting processes enables most employers prefer to hire young
these workers to find jobs in every men who have high school or voca­
State. Most of the jobs, however, tional school training in welding
are found in the major metalwork­ methods. Courses in mathematics,
ing areas. In 1970, about half of the mechanical drawing, and blueprint
welders and cutters were employed reading also are valuable.
Beginners often start in simple
in seven States—Pennsylvania, Cal­
ifornia, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, manual welding production jobs
where the type and thickness of
Texas, and New York.
metal, as well as the position of the
welding operation, rarely change.
Occasionally, they are first given
Training, Other Qualifications,
jobs as oxygen or arc cutters; they
and Advancement
later move into manual welding
Generally, several years of on- jobs. Some large companies employ
the-job training are required to be­ general helpers in maintenance jobs
come a skilled manual arc or gas who, if they show promise, may be
welder, and somewhat longer to be­ given opportunities to become weld­
come a combination welder (an in­ ers by serving as helpers to experi­
dividual skilled in both arc and gas enced welders and learning the
welding). Some skilled jobs may skills of the trade on the job.
A formal apprenticeship gener­
require a knowledge of blueprint
reading, welding symbols, metal ally is not required for manual
properties, and electricity. Some of welders. However, a few large com­
the less skilled jobs, however, can panies (for example, automobile
be learned after a few months on- manufacturers) offer apprenticeship
the-job.
programs that run as long as 8,000




573

hours for the welding occupations.
Also, the U.S. Department of the
Navy, at several of its installations,
conducts 4-year welding apprentice­
ship programs for its civilian em­
ployees.
Programs to train unemployed
and underemployed workers for
entry level welding jobs or to up­
grade welding skills were operating
in many cities in 1970 under the
Manpower Development and Train­
ing Act. The training, which may be
in the classroom or on-the-job and
last from several weeks up to 1
year, stresses the fundamentals of
welding. Additional work experi­
ence and further on-the-job training
may qualify graduates as skilled
welders in a relatively short time.
Before being assigned a job
where strength of the weld is criti­
cal, welders may have to pass a
qualification test given by an em­
ployer, municipal agency, naval fa­
cility, or private agency designated
by local inspection authorities. In
addition, some localities require
welders to obtain a license for cer­
tain types of outside construction.
Skill requirements are being in­
creased in some industries, particu­
larly in fields such as atomic energy
or missile manufacture, which have
high standards and require precise
work.
After 2 years’ training at a voca­
tional school or technical institute,
the skilled welder may qualify as a
welding
technician.
Generally,
workers in this small but growing
occupation interpret
engineers’
plans and instructions. Occasionally,
a welder may be promoted to
inspector to check welds for general
conformance with specifications and
quality of workmanship. Welders
also may become foremen. A small
number of experienced welders es­
tablish their own welding and re­
pair shops.

574

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

motor vehicles, aircraft and mis­
siles, railroad cars, and other prod­
ucts. The use of faster and more
highly automatic welding machines,
however, will slow down the growth
in the number of these welders.
The number of jobs for oxygen
and arc cutters is expected to rise
somewhat during the years ahead as
the result of the general expansion
of metalworking activity. The in­
creased use of oxygen- and arc-cut­
ting machines, however, will tend to
restrict the growth of this occupa­
tion.

/
Earnings and Working Conditions
Employment Outlook

Employment of welders is ex­
pected to increase rapidly through
the 1970’s as a result of the gener­
ally favorable longrun outlook for
metalworking industries and the
wider use of the welding process. In
addition to job openings created by
employment growth, several thou­
sand openings will arise annually
because of the need to replace ex­
perienced workers who retire, die,
or transfer to other occupations.
Many more manual welders will
be needed for maintenance and re­
pair work in the growing metal­
working industries. The number of
manual welders in production work
is expected to increase in plants
manufacturing sheet-metal prod­
ucts, boilers, storage tanks, ships,
and other structural-metal products.
The construction industry will need
an increasing number of welders as
the use of welded steel structure ex­
pands.
Employment prospects for resist­
ance welders are expected to con­
tinue to be favorable because of the
increased use of machine resist­
ance-welding in the manufacture of




A welder’s earnings depend to a
great extent on the skill require­
ments of his job and on the industry
or activity in which he is employed.
Earnings of highly skilled manual
welders generally compare favora­
bly with those of other skilled
metalworking occupations. Machine
welders, such as resistance welders,
who require little training, usually
earn less than manual welders.
Skilled manual welders in the
fabricated structural steel industry
averaged $3.29 an hour in late
1969, according to a survey con­
ducted in 6 major cities. Averages
for these workers in individual cities
ranged from $2.81 in Houston to
$3.74 in Los Angeles.
Many welders and cutters are
union members. Among the unions
organizing these workers are the
International Association of Ma­
chinists and Aerospace Workers;
the International Brotherhood of
Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders,
Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers;
the International Union, United Au­
tomobile, Aerospace and Agricul­
tural Implement Workers of Amer­
ica; the United Association of Jour­
neymen and Apprentices of the

Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry
of the United States and Canada;
and the United Electrical, Radio
and Machine Workers of America
(Ind.). Only one labor organization
—the International Union, United
Weldors (Ind.), is known to be
composed entirely of welders, em­
ployed largely in the aircraft indus­
try on the west coast.
Labor-management contracts cov­
ering welders and cutters provide
benefit programs which may in­
clude paid holidays and vacations,
hospitalization, medical and surgical
insurance, life insurance, sickness
and accident insurance, and retire­
ment pensions.
Safety precautions and protective
devices are extremely important for
welders and cutters because of the
many hazards associated with the
work. They use protective clothing,
goggles, helmets with protective len­
ses, and other devices to prevent
burns and eye injuries. Although
lighting and ventilation are usually
adequate, they occasionally work in
the presence of toxic gases and
fumes generated by the melting of
some metals. They are often in con­
tact with rust, grease, paint, and
other elements found on the surface
of the metal. Operators of resist­
ance-welding machines are largely
free from the hazards associated
with hand welding. A clear eyeshield or clear goggles generally
offer adequate protection to these
operators.

Sources of Additional Information

For further information regarding
work opportunities for welders and
cutters, inquiries should be directed
to local employers or the local office
of the State employment service.
The State employment service also
may be a source of information

SOME OTHER MANUAL OCCUPATIONS

about the Manpower Development
and Training Act, apprenticeship,
and other programs that provide
training opportunities. General in­
formation about welders may be ob­
tained from:
The American Welding Society, 345
East 47th St., New York, N.Y.
10017.
International Brotherhood of Boiler­
makers, Iron Shipbuilders, Black­




575
smiths, Forgers and Helpers, 8th
at State Ave., Kansas City, Kans.
66101.
International Association of Ma­
chinists and Aerospace Workers,
1300 Connecticut Ave. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20036.
International Union, United Auto­
mobile, Aerospace and Agricul­
tural Implement Workers of
America, 8000 East Jefferson Ave.,
Detroit, Mich. 48214.

United Association of Journeymen
and Apprentices of the Plumbing
and Pipe Fitting Industry of the
United States and Canada, 901
Massachusetts Ave. NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20001.
State Supervisor of Trade and In­
dustrial Education or the local Di­
rector of Vocational Education in
the State or city in which a person
wishes to receive training.




S O M E MAJOR IN D U S T R IE S AND T H E IR
O C C U P A TIO N S







*

A G R IC U LTU R E
The United States is in the midst
of an agricultural revolution that is
having a tremendous impact on the
employment outlook in agriculture.
In brief, fewer and fewer farmers
are producing more and more of
America’s farm products. Employ­
ment on U.S. farms has declined
from 9.9 million in 1950 to 4.5 mil­
lion in 1970. Agricultural econo­
mists predict that by 1980 U.S.
farms will employ only 3 million to
3 Vi million persons.
The reason is simply that each
farmer today can produce far more




than his predecessors. A modern
corn farmer, for instance, will use
6-row or 8-row field equipment, in­
cluding tractors, costing a total of
about $22,000, trucks and field im­
plements costing about $18,000, a
self-propelled combine harvester
worth $18,000, and grain drying
equipment valued at about $18,000.
To make this high-capacity equip­
ment profitable, he may need to
grow 600 to 1,000 acres of corn.
His father, using 2-row equipment,
probably earned a good living from
320 acres. His grandfather, using

horsedrawn equipment, could work
only about 120 acres.
There has been a vast reduction
in the man-hours needed to produce
most of the major farm commodi­
ties. It used to take 135 man-hours
to produce 100 bushels of corn in
1910; today it takes 7 hours. Man­
hours needed to produce 100
bushels of wheat dropped from 106
to 9 in the same period. It took 31
hours to produce 100 pounds of tur­
key in 1910 but takes only 1.1
today.

579

O P P O R T U N IT IE S

Since the demand for farm prod­
ucts is growing much more slowly
than productivity, the number of
opportunities in farming is declining
steadily. The increasing productivity
of our farmers has been a boon to
consumers and the nonfarm econo­
my—but today farmers find them­
selves in an industry that requires
ever-larger farms, more investment,
and better management to stay in
business.
Management is the key to success
in modern farming. Today’s farmer
needs a much higher level of knowl­
edge and skills than his predecessor.
For example, the dairy farmer used
to feed each cow an amount of
grain based on the amount of milk
she had produced the previous day
or week. The modern dairyman
feeds his cows on the basis of their
potential—“pushing” potential highperformance cows to their limits,
cutting back on expensive feed for
cows that already have peaked out.
Figuring the potential is a much
more difficult technique than weigh­
ing milk.
Similar management problems
face the modern farmer in most
areas—which is why college train­
ing is becoming the rule rather than
the exception for the young com­
mercial farmer. It gives him the
technical basis he needs to keep up
with research and technology and to
apply them intelligently on his own
farm. Biology, engineering, soil sci­
ence, and agronomy—not to men­
tion economics and accounting—are
part of the necessary kit of tools for
a successful farmer today.
Capital requirements are another
barrier the beginning farmer must
over come. The average commercial
farm in 1969 had 550 acres, with a
value of more than $100,000 in
580



ON

FARM S

land and buildings alone. Re­
gionally, the value of commercial
farms vary from an average of
$46,000 in Appalachia to nearly
$300,000 in the Pacific region.
For the person who has the train­
ing, the capital, and the manage­
ment ability, the modern farm can
offer much higher incomes than the
old-style farm ever did.
About 210,000 farms in the
United States sold $40,000 worth of
farm products or more during 1969.
These
large
farms
averaged
$37,503 in net income. Another
357,000 farms sold an average of
$20,000 to $39,999 worth of farm
products in 1969. These medium­
sized farms averaged $10,466 in net
income.
Together, these two groups—the
large and medium sized—make up
nearly 20 percent of U.S. farms and
accounted for nearly 72 percent of
U.S. farm sales in 1969. These two
groups represent the expanding
sector of U.S. agriculture.
Although an additional one-half
million farms had gross sales of
$10,000 to $19,999 in 1969, these
small sized farms averaged only
$6,481 in net income. Most of these
farm owners would need to expand
their operations or else supplement
their incomes with off-farm work to
equal the income they could get in
some other type of employment.
Agriculture still offers challenging
and rewarding careers, with larger
incomes and better living conditions
than it used to—but it offers them
to fewer and fewer people.
Many people, of course, prefer
living in the country, and modern
transportation and communications,
public services, and household and
farming appliances have eliminated
most of the disadvantages that at­

tended rural living a generation or
two ago.
Although the number of oppor­
tunities in farming is shrinking, the
number of jobs in farm-related in­
dustries that supply products and
services to the farmer and which
handle marketing activities for farm
products. They have a continuing
need for young people who have a
farming background—plus training
for their specialized functions.

Training Opportunities Available
for Farming

A good initial background in
farming is obtained by growing up
on a farm. Necessary experience
also may be gained by working as a
closely supervised tenant or hired
worker on a successful farm. Col­
lege training in agriculture and in
agricultural business management
are of substantial value to the mod­
ern farmer.
Several types of vocational train­
ing are available under federaly as­
sisted programs of vocational edu­
cation. Training is offered in the fol­
lowing ways:
1. High school courses in agri­
culture are taught by teachers who
are agricultural college graduates.
2. Short courses for young farm­
ers at schools of agriculture, includ­
ing intensive training in farm plan­
ning, farm structures, construction,
welding and related shop and repair
work, as well as instruction in crop
production, livestock feeding and
management, record keeping, and
other aspects of farming.
3. Adult farmer programs in eve­
ning classes (or day classes in off­
seasons) providing intensive in­
struction in subjects such as land
and soil management, crop and live­
stock production, new technology
and equipment, and financial man­
agement.
The most significant general

OPPORTUNITIES ON FARMS

sources of information and guidance
available to farmers are the services
provided by the land-grant colleges
and universities and the U.S. De­
partment of Agriculture. These ser­
vices include research, publications,
teaching, and extension work. The




581

county agricultural agent is often
the best contact for the young per­
son seeking advice and assistance in
farming. The Farmers Home Ad­
ministration system of supervised
credit is one example of credit facil­

ities combined with a form of exten­
sion teaching. Organized groups,
such as the Future Farmers of
America and the 4-H Clubs, also
furnish valuable training to young
farm people.

O P P O R T U N IT IE S O N S P E C IF IC
TYPES OF FARM S

Although the number of farms
and farm jobs are decreasing, desir­
able and rewarding opportunities
occur from time to time in agricul­
ture and related pursuits. The deci­
sion to enter farming may be made
simply because an opening exists on
the family farm or on a farm
nearby. To be successful, a young
man should appraise carefully the
requirements in specific types of
farm operations, and the prospects
for success in them, taking into con­
sideration his aptitude, interests,
preferences, experience, knowledge,
and skills in directing labor and
handling livestock and machinery.
He also must consider his family
labor supply and his financial re­
sources, as the labor and capital re­
quirements for an operation of ade­
quate size vary widely from one
type of farm to another.
A realistic decision to go into
farming can be made only in terms
of a particular area or community.
This section evaluates, from an oc­
cupational standpoint, some of the
more common farm types. The ac­
companying table gives illustrative
data on size of farm, capital re­
quirements, and net farm incomes
received by operators of typical or
representative farms in various
parts of the country. Many farms
are larger than these and offer more
return than is shown here. Some are
smaller and offer the operator little
income or opportunity to improve
his status without major changes.
On most of the farms, the major
part of the work is done by the farm
operator and his family. Whereas,
some of the smaller farms hire
workers only during the peak labor
582



season, large ones often use hired
labor the whole year.
The figures in the table on capital
invested mean that the operator
controls or uses resources valued at
that amount. Many farmers supple­
ment their own capital with bor­
rowed funds; others rent part or all
of the land they use, thus allowing
more of their funds for the purchase
of livestock, feed, machinery, and
equipment. Still others have part­
ners who provide most of the work­
ing capital. For example, many
farmers who raise broilers are in
partnership with a feed dealer.
No brief general statement can be
made about specialization versus
diversification in farming opera­
tions that would apply in all parts of
the country. The general trend is for
more specialized farming. Farms
that produced many products a gen­
eration ago now may produce only
two or three. Efficient production of
most farm products requires a sub­
stantial investment in specialized
equipment. If the farm operator is
to receive the full benefit from his
investment, he must produce on a
large scale. Two other factors con­
tributing to specialization are the in­
creased emphasis on quality of farm
products, and the greater knowledge
and skill required for effective prod­
uction. Few farmers, however, find
it advantageous to produce only one
product. The main reasons for
producing more than one product
are the desirability of spreading
price and production risks, the more
effective use of labor (particularly
family labor), and the fuller utiliza­
tion of most other resources than
can be realized in a one-product
system.

Dairy Farms

Dairy farms are common in most
parts of the country. Despite mod­
em methods of processing and
transporting milk, production is still
concentrated near the large popula­
tion centers particularly in the North­
east and the Great Lakes States.
However, many areas in the Far
West and the South are becoming
large producers of dairy products.
Many of the newer type large dairy
farms are “drylot” or barn opera­
tions with little or no pasture land.
Some are cooperatively operated
units. However, on typical dairy
farms in the Lake States, and to a
lesser extent in the Northeast, crops
are important, often requiring oper­
ators to hire or exchange labor at
harvest time. There is work every
day throughout the year on dairy
farms, so that effective use can be
made of labor, and a regular force
can be occupied most of the time.
Although most people do not like
to be “tied down” 7 days a week,
this obstacle presents no great hard­
ship for the man who enjoys work­
ing with cattle. Dairying is also a
good choice for the man who likes
to work with mechanical equipment.
Dairy farmers who produce much of
their own feed find variety in the
many different jobs that must be
done.
The dairyman’s sales and income
are distributed evenly throughout
the year. Moreover, the prices he
receives are less subject to year-toyear fluctuations than are prices re­
ceived by operators in most other
types of farming. The accompany­
ing table shows the average net
farm income on dairy farms in cen­
tral and southeastern Wisconsin for
1968-69.
Compared with farmers in most
other areas, dairy farmers in the
more concentrated milksheds of the
Northeast (such as the dairy farms
in the Central Northeast shown in

583

OPPORTUNITIES ON SPECIFIC TYPES OF FARMS

the table) generally have larger
herds, purchase a larger proportion
of their feed, and buy rather than
raise their herd replacements. In the
most highly specialized producing
area near Los Angeles, dairy farms
are drylot operations. They are
quite small in acerage but large in
milk production and number of
cows milked. No crops are pro­
duced; these dairy operators buy
their entire feed requirements from
outside the area. Most of the cows
are bought at freshening time and
are replaced when their lactation
period is completed.
Net farm income represents the
return to the farm operator and his
family for their labor and the capital
invested in the farm business—pro­
vided the operator owns his land
and is free from debt. If he rents
part or all of his farm, not all of net
farm income is available for family
living; part of it must be used for
rent. Similarly, the farmer who is in
debt must deduct interest costs and
payments on the principal.

Livestock Farms and Ranches

A general livestock farm is a
good choice for the farmer who is
interested and skilled in working
with livestock and mechanical
equipment. Many farmers prefer
general livestock farms—such as
the hog-beef feeding farms in the
Corn Belt (see table)—because in
much of the year they require fewer
chores than dairy farms. The tim­
ing of daily hog and beef cattle
chores also is more flexible than the
milking schedule on dairy farms.
Practically all of the regular labor
on most general livestock farms is
provided by the operator and his
family. During some seasons of the
year, there is full-time or part-time
work for several members of the




family, but there are usually slack
labor periods when there is time for
leisure or nonfarm activities.
The livestock farmer’s income is
not as well distributed throughout
the year as the dairyman’s, and it is
less likely to be uniform from year
to year. Financial and management
problems result, increasing the risks
of operation. Moreover, on farms of
limited acerages—often found in
the Eastern States—the level of in­
come from general livestock farm­
ing is usually lower than from a
dairy herd on similar acreage.
Most hog producers have their
own breeding stock and raise the
pigs they fatten for market. Some
farmers who fatten cattle and sheep
also raise their calves and lambs.
But most of the cattle and sheep fat­
tened and marketed by the livestock
farmer are bred and raised origi­
nally by someone else—usually the
livestock rancher of the West. The
accompanying table includes data
for four types of Western livestock
operations: Northern Plains and
Northern Rocky Mountain cattle
ranches, sheep ranches in Utah, Ne­
vada, and cattle ranches in the
Southwest. In these areas of low
rainfall, the main source of feed is
range grass, and several acres are
required to support one animal.
Large acreages are required to pro­
vide enough pasture for their stock;
ranchers spend much of their time
in the saddle, truck, or jeep manag­
ing their herds. Much of this range
comes from the public domain. Ex­
cept where irrigation is available,
feed crops usually are not grown.

Poultry Farms

One-third of the farmers in the
United States raise some poultry,
but in 1964, fewer than 3 percent
were classified as poultry farmers.

Many poultry farms concentrate on
egg production. Most of the larger
and more specialized of these farms
are in the southeast, northeast and
in California; others produce broil­
ers. Many highly concentrated cen­
ters of broiler production are east of
the Mississippi River, and a few are
on the West Coast. Turkey produ­
cers also are specialized. A concen­
tration of specialized producers of
ducks is located in Suffolk County,
Long Island, New York.
Very few poultry men produce
crops for sale. They purchase spe­
cial poultry feeds and laying mash.
Crops are not grown by most spe­
cialized poultry producers, particu­
larly those who produce broilers or
large laying flocks. Commercial
poultry farmers in New Jersey, for
example, buy all their feed. The
typical broiler producer in Maine,
the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland,
Virginia) peninsula, and Georgia
devotes almost all of his capital and
labor to the production of broilers.
Poultry farming requires special­
ized skill in handling birds, chiefly
on the part of the operator. Bulk
handling of feed and mechanical
feeding is widespread and requires
little physical strength. For these
reasons, poultry farms make consid­
erable use of family help.
Data on average capital invest­
ment and net farm income for rep­
resentative egg producers in New
Jersey and broiler operators in
Georgia for 1968-69 are given in
the table. These averages do not re­
veal the sharp year-to-year fluctua­
tions in income that occur. Because
they have a high proportion of cash
costs and a thin margin of profit,
relatively small changes in prices of
feed, broilers, and eggs can bring
about sizable fluctuations in net
farm income.
The incomes of most broiler
producers, however, are fairly sta-

584

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Size of farm, capital invested, and net farm income on commercial farms, by type, and location, 1968-69 average
Capita! invested in —
Type of farms and location

Size of farm as
measured by

Dairy farms:
Central N ew York ......................................................
Southeastern W isconsin ...........................................
Egg-producing farms. N ew Jersey................................
Broiler farms, Georgia ......................................................
Corn Belt farms:
Hog-beef feeding ........................................................
Cash grain .....................................................................
Cotton farms:
Mississippi Delta ........................................................
Southern High Plains, Texas
Irrigated ................................................................
Nonirrigated ........................................................
Tobacco farms, Coastal Plan, North Carolina........
Tobacco-livestock farms, Bluegrass area, Kentucky..
Wheat-fallow farms:
Northern Plains ..........................................................
Southern Plains ..........................................................
Pacific Northwest ........................................................
Cattle ranches:
Northern Plains ..........................................................
Northern Rocky Mountain .................................. ..
Southwest .......................................................................
Sheep ranches, Utah-Nevada ........................................

Corn and Wheat Farms

For the man who likes working
with crops and farm machinery,
cash grain farming (growing soy­
beans, corn or wheat) has much to
offer. Many people dislike being
tied down with daily responsibilities




Machinery
and
Livestock
equipment

N et
farm
incom e1
Crops

Total

40 milk cows..............................
40 milk cows.............................
5550 layers ................................
44,600 produced annually......

$ 37620
63300
43320
21640

$17150
18090
2730
4940

$18840
17630
8330
860

$ 6120
9050
0
160

$ 79730
108070
54380
27600

$14372
18669
10592
1973

280 acres of cropland............
375 acres of cropland............

142400
278000

18750
30000

40000
0

19000
2000

220150
310000

22944
19000

900 acres of cropland............

453750

76450

0

0

530200

48700

870 acres of cropland............
860 acres of cropland............
50 acres of cropland..............
64 acres of cropland..............

413700
193750
43860
123000

41000
16100
5520
7020

0
0
680
10520

0
0
690
2280

454700
209850
50750
142820

20350
20950
5888
10998

1800 acres o f cropland..........
1800 acres o f cropland..........
1800 acres o f cropland..........

172000
227000
338000

42000
35000
50000

0
0
0

0
0
0

214000
262000
388000

8312
6698
13007

308 beef cows...........................
307 beef cows...........................
306 beef cows...........................
2025 breeding ewes................

315690
209200
423170
129260

18760
17840
11610
13600

78580
68280
65670
66220

5050
10220
0
2100

418080
305540
500450
211180

22668
22242
9700
19750

1 The information presented here is on an owner-operated basis,
primarily for comparability between types of farms. N et farm income
is the return to operator and unpaid members of the family for their
labor and management on the farm and return to total capital. N o
allowance has been made for payment of rent, interest or mortgage.

ble because they produce “under
contract.” Contract production is
more widespread in broiler produc­
tion that in any other major type of
farming. Under these arrangements,
the financing agency (usually a feed
dealer) furnishes the feed, chicks,
and technical supervision—almost
everything except the buildings,
equipment, and the direct produc­
tion labor. The grower receives a
stipulated amount per 1,000 birds
marketed, and often a bonus for su­
perior efficiency. Many turkey pro­
ducers operate under similar con­
tracts, but these arrangements are
not nearly so universal for the pro­
duction of turkeys as for broilers.

Land
and
buildings

N ote: Prepared in the Farm Production Economics Division, E co­
nom ic Research Division, U .S. Department of Agriculture.

the year around, as with livestock
chores. They prefer, instead, to
work long days with large laborsav­
ing equipment during the busy sea­
sons, as in soil preparation, plant­
ing, and harvesting, and then to
have some free time in slack pe­
riods.
The table shows the investment
required and the recent income ex­
perience of some representative
cash grain farms. Farms of this type
include cash grain farms in the Corn
Belt, spring wheat-fallow farms in
the Northern Plains, winter wheatfallow farms in the Southern Plains,
and wheat-fallow farms in the Pa­
cific Northwest. Some of these
farms—particularly in the Northern
Plains—raise some beef cattle for
sale as feeders, and a small number
keep a few milk cows. However,
this livestock production is usually
of secondary importance. Many of
these cash crop farmers do not raise
any livestock.
Two of the main risks faced by
the commercial wheat grower are

unfavorable weather and low prices.
However, crop insurance has re­
duced the risk of low yields, and
Government price support programs
have lessened the risk of low prices.

Cotton, Tobacco, and Peanut
Farms

In terms of number of farmers,
the production of cotton, tobacco,
and peanuts makes up a large part
of the agriculture in the Southeast­
ern and South Central States. These
products are grown on farms that
range from very small operating
units to comparatively large ones.
Market competition in these crops
has been keen, and many growers
have been forced to diversify and
enlarge their farms—adjustments
which require capital investment.
Competition from cotton growers in
the irrigated areas of the West and
Southwest have forced many farm­
ers in the Southeast to discontinue
cotton production. Some of them

OPPORTUNITIES ON SPECIFIC TYPES OF FARMS

have diversified their operations,
and others have found better oppor­
tunities in Southern Industrial ex­
pansion.

well rewarded for their ability to
manage, produce, and market their
products.

Private Outdoor Recreation Farms
Crop Specialty Farms

Many farmers throughout the
country have unique background,
skills, resources, or other advan­
tages for particular kinds of farming
chiefly because of their location,
home training, or neighborhood
practices. They may specialize in
the production of a single crop—
such as grapes, oranges, potatoes,
sugarcane, or melons—or a combi­
nation of related specialty crops.
Operators of these enterprises
usually employ many seasonal
workers and require relatively ex­
pensive
specialized equipment.
They need specific skills many of
which can be obtained only through
experience. Enterprises of this kind
should be under taken only by per­
sons with considerable experience
and some of the special skills and
techniques required. An individual
having an aptitude for these skills
usually can learn them by working a
few years as a hired hand on such a
specialty farm or as a tenant for a
landlord who can give direction and
assistance.
Annual returns from these spe­
cialty farms usually vary greatly
from year to year because of the va­
garies of nature and the changes in
prices. Operators of these farms
who keep abreast of production and
marketing conditions are usually




585

improve their ponds or irrigation
reservoirs. They stock ponds for
fishing and have swimming areas in
the summer and skating areas in the
winter. Old farm buildings, sheds,
and barns are converted into riding
stables or horse boarding stables, or
a combination of both. Shore and
backwater areas are used to dock
privately owned craft. In so doing,
many farmers have converted a lia­
bility into an asset. Farmers become
guides for hunter during the game
season and mechanics and service
engineers for watercraft. Guides are
also in demand for nature trails and
scenic tours.

Public demand for outdoor recre­
ation is far in excess of the existing
and projected supply of public facil­
ities. The public sector is not flexi­
ble enough to supply the specialized
types of recreation or services de­
mand by smaller groups. The pri­
vately owned outdoor recreation en­
terprise, particularly the farm-base
type, is in a unique position to sup­
ply these types of recreation ser­
vices and activities to the public.
Other Specialties
The 1964 Census of Agriculture
reported over 3 million farms in the
Other highly specialized opera­
United States. Of this total, about
tions, such as fur farms, apiaries,
28,000 earned money from some
greenhouses, nurseries, and flower
type of recreation activity.
farms, require special knowledge
Many farm operators in the vicin­
and skilled management. Special
ity of national, State, and local
skills and equipment are required,
parks, or near wildlife reservations
and risks are high. Even with the
have taken advantage of the loca­
high risk, from the standpoint of
tion in establishing recreation busi­
capital invested and income, the
nesses. The average amount re­
venture is often rewarding to indi­
ceived from this activity was about
viduals who have the ability and the
$1,500 per farm reporting.
resources.
These farmers sell hunting or fish­
ing rights to individuals, form hunt­
ing clubs, or establish private camp­ Sources of Additional Information
grounds. They absorb the overflow
Additional information may be
from public campgrounds or cater
to the individuals who want more obtained from the U.S. Department
privacy in their camping. Vacation of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
farms cater to family groups during 20250; the Department of Com­
the summer and allow hunting later merce, Washington, D.C. 20230;
in the year when children are in and from State Land Grant Colleges
school. Many farmers enlarge and and Universities.

O C C U P A T IO N S R E L A T E D T O
A G R IC U L T U R E

Because of the increased scale
and complexity of modern farming,
farmers are buying a greater range
and volume of production inputs
and services from off-farm sources.
Thus, larger numbers of people are
needed in occupations related to ag­
riculture. These occupations are
many and diverse and offer a wide
range of choice to the person who is
interested in agriculture but does
not have the opportunity, resources,
or desire to enter agriculture di­
rectly. The salary range in occupa­
tions related to agriculture varies
widely, depending on education, ex­
perience and type of job. Salaries of
$10,000 a year or more are not un­
common. The professional and
technical vocations usually require
college training; however, other vo­
cations may be learned on the job.
Some of these occupations are dis­
cussed below.

COOPERATIVE EXTENSION
SERVICE WORKERS
(D.O.T. 096.128)

Nature of the Work

Extension Service workers are
engaged in educational work in ag­
riculture, home economics, youth
activities, and community resource
development. They are employed
jointly by State landgrant universi­
ties and the U.S. Department of Ag­
riculture. Extension workers must
be proficient in both subject matter
and teaching methods.
Extension workers help people
586



analyze and solve their farm and
home problems and aid in commun­
ity improvement. Much of this edu­
cational work is carried on in
groups, through meetings, tours,
demonstrations, and local voluntary
leaders. Individual assistance is
given on problems that cannot be
solved satisfactorily by group meth­
ods. Extension workers rely heavily
on mass communication media such
as newspaper, radio, and television.
County extension workers help
farmers produce higher quality
crops and livestock more efficiently
and assists them in developing new
market outlets and in planning
production to meet market de­
mands, including quality standards
and varieties. This also helps com­
munity leaders to improve the com­
munity and to plan and provide for
economic development, recreation,
and more adequate public facilities
such as schools, water supply and
sewer systems, and libraries. They
assist homemakers to provide more
family enjoyment from existing re­
sources, a higher level of nutrition,
and a more pleasant home environ­
ment. Some extension workers help
youth to become more useful citi­
zens and gain more personal satis­
faction through programs in career
selection, recreation, health, and
leadership. The essence of exten­
sion work is to help people help
themselves to achieve the goals they
think are important.
County extension workers are
supported by State Extension Spe­
cialists. Their job is to keep abreast
of the latest research in their par­
ticular field of interest, interpret this
for use in extension programs, and
assist county extension workers in
developing educational programs,

activities and events to demonstrate
use of this new knowledge.
Cooperative Extension Services
employ persons with a wide range
of skills. Extension staffs include
people skilled in all phases of crop
and livestock production, conserva­
tion, environmental improvement,
farm management and marketing,
family living, human development,
nutrition, home management, child
development, sociology, psychology,
veterinary medicine, engineering,
textiles and clothing, resource eco­
nomics, and business and public ad­
ministration.

Places of Employment

Extension workers are located in
county offices, area offices serving
multi-county units, and State offices
which are usually located on the
campus of the land-grant college or
university.
Agents are located in nearly
every county in the 50 States,
Puerto Rico, and the District of
Columbia. The county staffs range
in size from one agent serving a
wide variety of clientele interests to
staffs of a dozen or more specialized
agents in counties with high-density
population and great diversity of in­
terests. Staffs are located in coun­
tries ranging from the most rural to
the most urban.

Training and Other Qualifications

Cooperative Extension agents as­
signed to counties are required to be
proficient in a discipline related to
the needs and programs of the
clientele with whom they work.
They must have a B.S. degree in
their subject-matter, and some
training in educatical techniques is
desirable.
Often they receive training in ex­
tension techniques in a pre-induc­

587

OPPORTUNITIES RELATED TO AGRICULTURE

tion training program and are up­
graded through regular in-service
training programs in both educa­
tional techniques and the subjectmatter for which they are responsi­
ble. In addition to subject-matter
proficiency and extension tech­
niques, successful extension workers
must like to work with and to help
people.
In most States, specialists and
agents assigned to multicounty and
State staff jobs are required to have
at least one advanced degree and
many must have the Ph. D.

from assistant county agent to more
responsible jobs within that county,
or in another county in the State, to
assignments on the State extension
staff.
Sources of Additional Information

Additional information may be
obtained from county extension
offices, the State Director of the Co­
operation Extension Service located
at each land-grant university; or the
Extension Service, U.S. Department
of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
20250.

Employment Outlook

Extension services employ more
than 15,000 professional people.
The demand for additional work­
ers is expected to continue,
especially in depressed rural areas.
As agricultural technology becomes
more complicated, and as farm peo­
ple become more aware of the need
for organized activity, more help
will be sought from trained Exten­
sion Service personnel. The Exten­
sion Service also is being extended
to new segments of the population,
as residents recognize the value of
their assistance, particularly in help­
ing the disadvantaged.
Counterparts of the Cooperative
Extension Service are being estab­
lished in many countries, and Ex­
tension Service personnel often are
recruited to help initiate and orga­
nize these programs.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The salaries of extension workers
vary from State to State and county
to county. In the main, however,
they are fully competitive with simi­
lar jobs in industry and government.
Generally speaking, the career lad­
der for extension workers proceeds




search to determine the physical
and chemical properties of soils and
their water relationships, in order to
understand their behavior and ori­
gin. They predict the yields of culti­
vated crops, grasses, and trees,
under alternative combinations of
management practices.
Soils science offers opportunities
for those who wish to specialize in
soil classification and mapping, soil
geography, soil chemistry, soil phys­
ics, soil microbiology, and soil man­
agement. Training and experience
in soil science also will prepare per­
sons for positions as farm managers,
land appraisers, and many other
professional positions.
Places of Employment

SOIL SCIENTISTS
(D.O.T. 040.081)

Nature of the Work

Soil scientists study the physical,
chemical and biological characteris­
tics and behavior of soils. They in­
vestigate the soils both in the field
and in the laboratory and grade
them according to a national system
of soil classification. From their re­
search, scientists can classify soils in
terms or of response to management
practices and capability for produc­
ing crops, grasses, and trees, as well
as in terms of their utility as engi­
neering materials and foundations
for buildings and other structures.
Soil scientists prepare maps, usually
based on-aerial photographs, on
which they plot the individual kinds
of soil and other landscape features
significant to soil use and manage­
ment in relation to land lines, field
boundaries, roads, and other con­
spicuous features.
Soil scientists also conduct re­

Most soil scientists are employed
by agencies of the Federal Govern­
ment, State equipment stations, and
colleges of agriculture. However,
many are employed in a wide range
of other public and private institu­
tions, including fertilizer companies,
private research laboratories, insur­
ance companies, banks and other
lending agencies, real estate firms,
land appraisal boards, State high­
way departments, State conserva­
tion departments, and farm manage­
ment agencies. A few are indepen­
dent consultants, and others work
for consulting firms. An increasing
number are employed in foreign
countries as research leaders, con­
sultants, and agricultural managers.
Training and Advancement

Training in a college or university
of recognized standing is important
in obtaining employment, as a soil
scientist. For Federal employment,
the minimum qualification for en­
trance is a B.S. degree with a major
in Soil Science or in a closely re­

588

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

lated field of study, and having 30
semester hours of course work in
the biological, physical, and earth
sciences, including a minimum of 15
semester hours in soils. Those hav­
ing graduate training—expecially
those with the doctor’s degree—can
be expected to advance rapidly into
a responsible and high paying posi­
tion. This is particularly true in soil
research, including the more re­
sponsible positions in soil classifica­
tion, and in teaching. Soil scientists
who are qualified for work with
both field and laboratory data have
a special advantage.
Many colleges and universities
offer fellowships and assistantships
for graduate training or employ
graduate students for part-time
teaching or research.

Employment Outlook

The demand is increasing for soil
scientists to help complete the sci­
entific classification and evaluation
of the soil resources in the United
States. One of the major programs
objectives of the Soil Conservation
Service of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture is to complete the soil
survey of all rural lands in the
United States.
This program includes research, soil
classification and correlation, inter­
pretation of results for use by agri­
culturists and engineers, and train­
ing of other workers to use these re­
sults. Also, demand is increasing for
both basic and applied research to
increase the efficiency of soil use.

Earnings

The incomes of soil scientists de­
pend upon their education, profes­
sional experience, and individual
abilities. The entrance salary in the




Federal service for graduates having
a B.S. degree was $6,938 since Jan­
uary 1971. They may expect ad­
vancement to $8,522 after 1 year of
satisfactory performance. Further
promotion depends upon the indi­
vidual’s ability to do high-quality
work and to accept responsibility.
Earnings of well-qualified Federal
soil scientists with several years ex­
perience range from $12,615 to
$20,815 per year.

Sources of Additional Information

Additional information may be
obtained from the U.S. Civil Service
Commission, Washington, D.C.
20415: Office of Personnel, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Wash­
ington, D.C. 20250; or any office of
the Department’s Soil Conservation
Service.
Also see statements on Chemists
and Biologists.

SOIL CONSERVATIONISTS
(D.O.T. 040.081)

Nature of the Work

Soil conservationists supply farm­
ers, ranchers, and others with tech­
nical assistance for soil and water
conservation. Farmers and other
land managers use this technical as­
sistance in making adjustments in
land use; protecting land against soil
deterioration; rebuilding eroded and
depleted soils; stabilizing runoff and
sediment-producing areas; improv­
ing cover on lands devoted to crop
raising, forest, pasture, range, and
wildlife; conserving water for farm

and ranch use and reducing damage
from flood water and sediment; and
in draining or irrigating farm or
ranches.
The types of technical services
provided by soil conservationists are
as follows: Maps presenting inven­
tories of soil, water, vegetation, and
other details essential in conserva­
tion planning and application; infor­
mation on the proper land utiliza­
tion and the treatment suitable for
the planned use of each field or part
of the farm or ranch, groups of
farms or ranches, or entire wat­
ersheds; and estimates of the rela­
tive cost of, ranches, or entire wat­
ersheds; and estimates of the rela­
tive cost of, and expected returns
from, various alternatives of land
use and treatment.
After the landowner or operator
decides upon a conservation pro­
gram that provides for the land to
be used within its capability and
treated according to the planned
use, the conservationist records the
relevant facts as part of a plan
which, together with the maps and
other supplemental information,
constitute a plan of action for con­
servation farming or ranching. The
soil conservationist then gives the
land manager technical guidance in
applying and maintaining the con­
servation practices.

Where Employed

Most soil conservationists are
employed by the Federal Govern­
ment, mainly by the U.S. Depart­
ment of Agriculture’s Soil Conser­
vation Service and by the Depart­
ment of the Interior’s Bureau of
Indian Affairs. Some are employed
by colleges and State and local gov­
ernments; others by banks and pub­
lic utilities.

OPPORTUNITIES RELATED TO AGRICULTURE

589

Training and Advancement

Sources of Additional Information

A Bachelor of Science degree
with a major in soil conservation or
one of the closely related natural
science or agricultural fields, and
having 30 semester hours in fields
of natural science or agriculture,
including the equivalent of a 3-se­
mester-hour course in soils, consti­
tute the minimum requirement for
professional soil conservationists.
Those who have unusual aptitude in
the various phases of the work have
good chances of advancement to
higher salaried technical administra­
tive jobs.

Additional information on em­
ployment as a soil conservationist
may be obtained from the U.S. Civil
Service Commission, Washington,
D.C. 20415; Employment Division,
Office of Personnel, U.S. Depart­
ment of Agriculture, Washington,
D.C. 20250; or any office of the
Department’s Soil Conservation
Service.

OTHER PROFESSIONAL
WORKERS

Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for
well-trained soil conservationists are
good. Opportunities in the profes­
sion will expand because govern­
ment agencies, public utility compa­
nies, banks, and other organizations
are becoming interested in conser­
vation and are adding conservation­
ists to their staffs. Other new open­
ings will occur in college teaching,
particularly at the undergraduate
level. In addition, some openings
will arise because of the normal
turnover in personnel.
Earnings

Since January 1971, soil conser­
vationists having a bachelor’s de­
gree and employed by the Federal
Government received $6,938 a
year. Advancement to $8,582 could
be expected after 1 year of satisfac­
tory service. Further advancement
depends upon the individual’s abil­
ity to accept greater responsibility.
Earnings of well-qualified Federal
soil conservationists with several
years’ experience range from
$12,615 to $20,815 a year.




Nature of the Work

The discussion that follows deals
primarily with job categories that
are generally termed professional
fields. These occupations generally
require at least a bachelor’s degree,
and master’s and Ph. D. degrees are
becoming increasingly valuable both
from the standpoint of salary and of
executing the functions required on
the job. Some of these jobs are dis­
cussed more fully elsewhere in the
Handbook. (See index.)
Agricultural economists (D.O.T.
050.088) deal with problems re­
lated to production, financing, pric­
ing, and marketing of farm products
both in the United States and in sev­
eral foreign countries. They are
factfinders, evaluators, analysts, and
interpreters who provide economic
information to farmers, policymak­
ers, and other interested persons.
They provide cost-benefit analyses
for evaluating farm programs at the
National, State, and farm level.
They study the effects of mechani­
zation, technological advances, and
other developments that influence
the supply and demand for farm

products and its accompanying ef­
fects on costs and prices of farm
products.
Agricultural engineers (D.O.T.
013.081) develop new and im­
proved farm machines and equip­
ment, deal with the physical aspects
of soil and water problems in farm­
ing; design and supervise installa­
tion of irrigation systems, watershed
protection, flood prevention, and re­
lated works; devise new techniques
for harvesting and processing farm
products; and design more efficient
farm buildings.
Agronomists (D.O.T. 040.081)
are concerned with growing, breed­
ing, and improving field crops such
as cereals and grains, legumes and
grasses, tabacco, cotton, and others.
They also do research in the funda­
mental principles of plant sciences
and study and develop seed propa­
gation and plant adaption.
Animal physiologists and animal
husbandmen (D.O.T. 040.081)
study and do research in the envi­
ronmental influences in relation to
efficient management of farm ani­
mals; they also are concerned with
the breeding, growth, nutrition and
physiology of livestock.
Veterinarians (D.O.T. 073.081)
inspect livestock at public stockyards and points of entry into the
U.S.; inspect establishments that
produce veterinary biological sup­
plies; administer tests for animal
diseases; conduct programs for the
control and eradication of animal
disease; research livestock diseases
and vaccines for disease control;
work directly with farmers in pro­
tection or restoration of livestock
health; and provide services for the
care of small animals and pets. (See
statement on veterinarians else­
where in the Handbook for addi­
tional information.)
Geneticists (D.O.T. 041.081) try
to develop strains, varieties, breeds,

590

and hybrids of plants and animals
that are better suited than those
presently available for the produc­
tion of food and fiber.
Microbiologists (D.O.T. 041.081)
study bacteria and the relation of
other micro-organisms to human,
plant, and animal health and the
function of these micro-organisms
in the making of products such as
vitamins, antibiotics, amino acids,
sugars, and polymers.
Plant scientists (D.O.T. 041.081)
study plant diseases and their
nature, cause, and methods of con­
trol. They also study the struc­
ture of plants and the growth factors
in plants. Methods of improving
fruits, vegetables, flowers, and orna­
mentals, and means by which im­
provements may be made by better
management, environment, and
propagation are also of major
concern.
Plant quarantine and plant pest
control inspectors (D.O.T. 041.081)
who are trained in the biological
sciences, supervise and perform
professional and scientific work
in enforcing plant quarantine
and pest control laws. Plant Quar­
antine Inspectors inspect ships,
planes, trucks, and autos coming
into the country to keep out danger­
ous insect pests. Plant Pest Control
Inspectors conduct programs to pro­
tect the crops of the country by
prompt detection, control, and eradi­
cation of plant pests.
Entomologists (D.O.T. 059.088)
study insects, both beneficial and
harmful to farming. They are con­
cerned particularly with identifying
the populations and distributions of
insects that injure growing crops
and animals; harm human beings;
and damage agricultural commodi­
ties during shipping, storage, pro­
cessing, and distribution. These
concerns are involved particularly




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

toward finding means by which
these insects may be controlled.
Foresters (D.O.T. 040.081) are
concerned with the protection,
production, processing, and distri­
bution of our timber resources.
They also study means by which
wood may be seasoned, preserved,
and given new properties.
Human nutritionists (D.O.T.
077.128) study the means by which
the human body utilizes food sub­
stances.
Rural
sociologists
(D.O.T.
054.088) study the structure and
functions of the social institutions
(customs, practices, and laws) that
are a part of and or affect rural
society.
School
teachers
(D.O.T.
041.081) in vocational agriculture
and related fields supervise and give
instructions in farm management,
communications, mechanics, engi­
neering, and related fields.
Farm managers, including agri­
culture management specialists, su­
pervise and coordinate the produc­
tion, marketing, and purchasing and
credit activities of one farm or a
group of farms.
Places of Employment

Persons trained in these spe­
cialties work in various capacities
that relate to agriculture. Govern­
ment agencies, colleges, agricultural
experiment stations, and private
businesses that deal with farmers
hire many research workers. They
also hire people to take technical
and administrative responsibilities
in public agencies involving farmers
or programs affecting farmers. Agri­
business and farmer cooperatives,
private business, commercial, and
financial companies that buy from,
sell to, or serve farmers also employ
many people. State, county, and

municipalities hire many who serve
as vocational agriculture teachers
and workers in agricultural com­
munications, in farmers’ organiza­
tions, or in trade associations whose
members deal with farmers.
The number of research activities
related to agriculture has increased
very rapidly. The largest agencies in
this field are the State agricultural
experiment stations connected with
the land-grant colleges and the vari­
ous research branches of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. Such
agricultural specialists work for
other research organizations in in­
dependent research, and in compa­
nies that finance farming operations,
market farm products, or produce
chemicals, equipment, and other
supplies or services for farmers.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture
employs workers in research posi­
tions in various parts of the coun­
try: in Washington, D.C., at the
Agricultural Research Center at
Beltsville, Md.; and at land-grant
colleges. Other Government depart­
ments also have many agricultural
research jobs.
Various independent research or­
ganizations, foundations, and pri­
vate business groups in many parts
of the country recently have ini­
tiated research related to agricul­
ture. They tend to be located either
in industrial centers or in areas of
high agricultural activity, and in­
clude producers of feed, seed, ferti­
lizer, and farm equipment; and of
insecticides, herbicides, and other
chemical dusts and sprays.
Public and private lending insti­
tutions, which make loans to farm­
ers, employ men with broad training
in agriculture and business. These
workers ordinarily are required to
have had practical farm experience,
as well as academic training in agri­
culture, economics, and other sub­
jects. Making financially sound

OPPORTUNITIES RELATED TO AGRICULTURE

loans involves careful analysis of
the farm business and proper evalu­
ation of farm real estate and other
farm property. These workers are
employed by the cooperative Farm
Credit Administration in its banks
and in associations operating under
its supervision throughout the coun­
try; by the Farmers Home Adminis­
tration in its Washington, State and
county offices throughout the coun­
try; by rural banks; and by insur­
ance companies that have substan­
tial investments in farm mortgages.
The Federal and State Govern­
ments also employ various special­
ists in activities relating to agricul­
ture. These specialists have techni­
cal and managerial responsibilities
in activities such as programs relat­
ing to the production, marketing,
inspection, and grading of farm
products; prevention of the spread
of plant pests, animal parasites, and
diseases; and management and con­
trol wildlife.
Large numbers of professionally
trained persons are employed by
cooperatives (businesses owned and
run by the farmers) and business
firms that deal with farmers. Em­
ployment in these organizations may
be expected to expand, as farmers
rely increasingly on them ro provide
farm supplies, machinery, equip­
ment, and services, and to market
farm products. The size of the or­
ganization and the types of services
it offers determine the number of its
employees and the nature of their
jobs. Large farm supply coopera­
tives and businesses, for example,
may have separate divisions for
feed, seed, fertilizer, petroleum,
chemicals, farm machinery, public
relations, and credit, each super­
vised by a department head. In
smaller businesses and cooperatives,
such as local grain-marketing eleva­
tors, the business is run almost en­




tirely by the general manager who
has only two or three helpers.
Agricultural communications is
another expanding area of special­
ization. Crop reporters and market
news reporters are employed by the
U.S. Department of Agriculture in
field offices throughout the United
States. Crop reporters gather infor­
mation on crop production during
all stages of the growing season.
Market news reporters collect infor­
mation on the movement of agricul­
tural produce from the farm to the
market. Radio and TV farm direc­
tors are employed by many radio
and TV stations to report prices,
sales, grades, and other agricultural
information to farm people. Agri­
cultural reporters and editors com­
pile farm news and data for farm
journals, bulletins, and broadcasts.
Closely related to agricultural com­
munications is employed in farmers’
organizations or in trade associa­
tions whose members deal with
farmers.
The Nationwide, federally aided
program of vocational education of­
fers employment for persons techni­
cally trained in agriculture and re­
lated subjects. Teachers of voca­
tional agriculture not only teach
high school students interested in
farming, but provide organized in­
struction to assist young farmers in
becoming satisfactorily established
in farming and in becoming com­
munity leaders. They also provide
organized instruction for adult
farmers, giving individual consulta­
tion on their farms to keep them
abreast of modern farm technology.
The qualifications of workers in
all of these fields ordinarily include
a college education and special
training in a particular line of work.
In most of these fields, the demand
for workers exceeds the supply. In
recent years, the demand has been
increased because of the need to re­

591

cruit professional personnel to staff
agricultural missions and to give
technical aid to agricultural institu­
tions and farmers in other countries.
Sources of Additional Information

Opportunities in Research. Addi­
tional information on research op­
portunities at land-grant colleges
may be obtained from the dean of
agriculture at the State land-grant
college. Information on employment
in the U.S. Department of Agricul­
ture is available from the USDA re­
cruitment representatives at landgrant colleges and from the Office
of Personnel, U.S. Department of
Agriculture,
Washington,
D.C.
20250.
The following publications will be
valuable:
“Profiles-Careers in the U.S. Depart­
ment of Agriculture,” U.S. De­
partment of Agriculture, October
1968. Superintendent of Docu­
ments, Washington, D.C. 20402.
Price $3.25.
“Rewarding Careers in the Dynamic
Industry—Agriculture.” American
Association of Land-Grant Col­
leges and State Universities, Wash­
ington, D.C. 1966. Copies can be
obtained free from your State
Agricultural College.

Opportunities in Agricultural Fi­
nance. Inquiries on employment op­
portunities in agricultural finance
may be directed to the following:
Farm Credit Administration, Wash­
ington, D.C. 20578.
Farm Credit District—Springfield,
Mass.; Baltimore, Md.; Columbia,
S.C.; Louisville, Ky.; New Orleans,
La.; St. Louis, Mo.; St. Paul,
Minn.; Omaha, Nebr.; Wichita,
Kans.; Houston, Tex.; Berkeley,
Calif.; Spokane, Wash.
Farmers Home Administration, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Wash­
ington, D.C. 20250.
Agricultural Director, American
Bankers Association, 90 Park
Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016.

592

Opportunities with Cooperatives.
About 22,000 cooperatives serve
rural people in every area of the
United States. These include mar­
keting and farm supply coopera­
tives, rural electric telephone asso­
ciations, rural credit unions, farm
credit cooperatives, mutual irriga­
tion and insurance associations, and
artificial breeding associations.
They range from small local
cooperatives serving one area to the
large regional cooperatives made up
of local cooperatives and their
farmer members in several States.
The locals usually have their head­
quarters in small towns, the re­
gional in larger towns or cities.
Some regionals hire from 3,000 to
4,000 employees.
Cooperatives in the individual
communities are a good source of
information on jobs either in their
own organizations or in other coop­
eratives. Most States have a State
council or association of coopera­
tives that can provide information
on cooperative locations and some
job information.
The Cooperative Foundation, 59
East Van Buren Street, Chicago,
111., 60605, has a publication, Ca­
reers in Cooperatives. It describes
about 100 different kinds of jobs
available in these businesses.
Among the several hundred thou­
sand jobs these cooperatives prov­
ide are included:
—Management positions—jobs
ranging from managing small local
grain elevators to managing cooper­
atives that do several hundred mil­
lion dollars worth of business a
year.
—Marketing
positions—jobs
ranging from responsibility for har­
vesting, transporting, assembling,




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

grading, storing, and selling raw
products to processing, packaging,
selling, and distributing farm prod­
ucts to retail outlets.
—Farm supply positions—jobs
ranging from those in petroleum re­
fineries, and feed mills, or fertilizer
manufacturing plants, to those
working on the floor of a supply
center.
—Farm service positions—jobs
such as those of field men who ad­
vise farmers on soil, seeds, and fer­
tilizer usage, and who do soil test­
ing; bulk feed deliverymen, machine
operators who deliver supplies di­
rect to farms, spread fertilizer on
the field, or haul products to market
for the farmer.
—Personnel administration posi­
tions—jobs such as those of inter­
viewers, position classifiers, counse­
lors, and placement specialists.
—Research positions—jobs cov­
ering product development, product
testing, quality evaluation of prod­
ucts, and economics research.
—Transportation—jobs such as
physical distribution specialists,
truck drivers, garage mechanics,
traffic managers.
—Office positions—jobs such as
secretaries, typists, clerks, recep­
tionists.
Requirements for the jobs vary
widely. Some demand college or
graduate degrees, others high school
education. Still others require no
formal educational background but
do require basic skills such as those
for writing up an invoice or han­
dling a fork lift truck in a ware­
house.
Opportunities for Agricultural
Economists. For additional informa­
tion about opportunities in agricul­
tural economics, check with the De­
partment of Agricultural Economics

at State land-grant colleges. For in­
formation on Federal employment
opportunities, applicants may get in
touch with USDA recruitment rep­
resentatives at the State land-grant
college or write directly to the
Office of Personnel, U.S. Depart­
ment of Agriculture, Washington,
D.C. 20250.
Opportunities as Vocational Ag­
riculture Teachers. As salaries,
travel, and programs of vocational
agriculture teachers vary slightly
among States, prospective teachers
should consult the Head Teacher
Trainer in Agriculture Education at
the land-grant college or the State
Supervisor of Agricultural Educa­
tion at the State Department of
Public Instruction in their respec­
tive States.

FARM SERVICE JOBS

In almost every type of agricul­
ture, farmers require specialized
services which readily can be
learned and performed by other
workers. A person can enter many
of these services, either as an inde­
pendent operator or as an em­
ployee. Some services require an
extensive outlay of capital, and oth­
ers require very little. Some are
highly seasonal; others are per­
formed year round. These services
and the operation of a small farm
can sometimes be combined.
Services that provide year-round
employment include the following:
Cow testing, artificial breeding, live­
stock trucking, whitewashing, well
drilling, fencing, and tilling.

M IN IN G
The mining industry is a major
supplier of the basic raw materials
and energy sources required for in­
dustrial and consumer use. Metal
mines provide iron, copper, gold,
and other ores. Quarrying and other
nonmetallic mining produce many
of the basic materials such as lime­
stone, gravel, and fire clay needed
to build the country’s schools,
offices, homes, and highways. Petro­
leum, natural gas, and coal are the
primary sources of nearly all our
energy, both for industrial and per­
sonal use. Few products extracted
from mines reach the consumer in
their natural state. Nearly all re­
quire further processing in one of
several of the manufacturing indus­
tries.
Mining is the smallest major in­
dustry division, employing about
620,000 wage and salary workers in
1970. About 43 percent of these
workers are employed in the explo­
ration and extraction of crude pe­
troleum and natural gas. Coal min­
ing accounts for about 23 percent of
the industry’s workers, and quarry­
ing and nonmetallic mineral mining
nearly 19 percent. The remaining
15 percent are employed in mining
metal ores.
The mining industry employs
only a small number of women;
most are in clerical positions. As
shown in the accompanying tabula­
tion, nearly 70 percent of all
workers in mining are employed in
blue-collar jobs, primarily as opera­
tives and kindred workers. Included
in the operative group are miners
and mine laborers; mining machin­
ery operators such as drilling and
cutting machine operators, crusher
operators, conveyor operators, and
oil well drillers; and most other
workers engaged in underground




mining operations. Also included,
and especially important in surface
mining, are truck and tractor driv­
ers.
Skilled craftsmen and foremen
constitute the second largest occu­
pational group. Mechanics and re­
pairmen maintain the complex
equipment and machinery used in
mining. Many heavy equipment op­
erators, such as power shovel and
grading operators, are employed in
open pit mining. Large numbers of
pumpers, gagers, and enginemen
are needed in the extraction and
transportation of petroleum and
natural gas. Foremen also constitute
an important part of the industry’s
work force.
The industry’s white-collar em­
ployees are divided nearly equally
among three occupational groups
—professional and technical, cleri­
cal, and managerial workers. Taken
together, these groups make up the
remaining three-tenths of the indus­
try’s employment. Professional,
technical, and kindred workers are
concentrated largely in the petro­
leum and gas extraction industry.
Most of them are engineers, geolo­
gists, or technicians engaged in ex­
ploration and research. Two out of
three clerical employees work in the
petroleum and gas extraction indus­
try. Most are secretaries, office ma­
chine operators, and typists.
Estimated
employment,
1970

(percent
Major occupational group distribution)
All occupational groups 100
Professional, technical, and
kindred workers ..................
12
Managers, officials, and
proprietors .............................
8
Clerical and kindred workers..
10
Sales workers.............................
1

Craftsmen, foremen, and
kindred workers ..................
23
Operatives and kindred
workers1 ...............................
46
Service workers .......................
1
Laborers ..............................................
1 Includes mine laborers.

N ote : Because of rounding, sums of individ­
ual items may not equal total.

Employment in mining is ex­
pected to decline slowly through the
1970’s, despite increases in output.
Increased demand for mining prod­
ucts will be met largely through the
use of improved equipment oper­
ated by a more highly skilled work
force. Even though employment as
a whole is expected to decline, dif­
ferent growth patterns are likely
within the industry. Employment in
coal mining probably will decline
more rapidly than employment in
metal mining and petroleum and
natural gas extraction. Employment
in quarrying and nonmetallic min­
ing, on the other hand, is expected
to increase.
The statement that follows prov­
ides information on employment
opportunities in the petroleum and
natural gas extraction industry.
More detailed information about
occupations that are found in min­
ing as well as other industries ap­
pear elsewhere in the Handbook.
(See index in back of book.)

PETROLEUM AND NATURAL
GAS PRODUCTION AND
PROCESSING

Nature and Location of the
Industry

Petroleum is one of the fossil
fuels formed from the decay of liv­
593

594

ing matter. It is extracted mainly in
the form of crude oil and natural
gas.
Many thousands of petroleum
companies specialize in a single ac­
tivity, such as gas or oil exploration
or drilling wells. A small number of
large integrated firms do much of
the petroleum business and provide
a large share of the industry’s jobs.
This chapter deals with the activ­
ities and jobs involved in (1) find­
ing oil and gas and bringing them to
the surface of the earth, and (2)
converting natural gas to usable
products. It excludes petroleum re­
fining, and the transporting and
marketing of petroleum products.
Occupations in petroleum refining
are discussed in a separate chapter
in the Handbook.
Crude Oil and Natural Gas Prod­
uction. Because the processes of
finding and extracting crude oil and
natural gas are the same, jobs in­
volved are similar until the gas or
oil well starts producing. In this
chapter, “petroleum production”
covers the discovery and extraction
of natural gas and includes three
broad fields of work: exploration,
drilling and oilfield servicing, and
well operation and maintenance.
Firms that specialize in one or more
of these activities under contract to
oil companies employ almost onehalf of all workers in petroleum
production. Major oil companies
also engage in all of these produc­
tion activities.
Since oil is difficult to find—
rarely do any signs appear on the
earth’s surface—an important part
of petroleum production involves
scientific methods. After studies in­
dicate the possible presence of oil
beneath the earth’s surface, a site is
selected and drilling begins.
Before a well can be drilled, a
towerlike steel rig is installed to




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

support the tools and pipes used to
drill and line. Today most rigs are
portable but some are built at the
site.
Although a few large firms do
some of their own drilling, over 95
percent of this work is done by con­
tractors. Other services connected
with drilling include building roads,
hauling supplies, cementing wells,
cleaning, treating and testing wells.
Contractors handle much of this
work.
When oil is reached and the well
is completed, the drilling crew is fin­
ished and the well-operating crew
begins. About half of all petroleum
production workers operate or
maintain
the
approximately
665,000 producing oil and gas wells
in the United States. These wells
are operated by thousands of com­
panies ranging in size from large
firms with wells all over the world
to small firms with only a single
well. Oil or gas is brought out of the
ground and is transported to refi­
neries or processing plants by pipe­
lines or in the case of oil also by
ship, barges and trucks.
Processing plants are usually lo­
cated at or near gas fields to remove
dissolved liquid compounds and to
let natural gas flow more easily
through pipelines for long distances.
The liquid compounds—chiefly
ethane, propane, butane, and natu­
ral gasoline—have important uses
as raw materials for the chemical
industry and oil refineries and as a
fuel for rural areas. In addition, nat­
ural gas may be compressed for de­
livery to pipeline transportation
companies, or for use by oil well
operators to force oil out of the
ground.
In 1970 about 266,800 wage and
salary workers were employed in
the United States in petroleum
production, including the produc­
tion and processing of natural gas.

Although drilling for oil and gas is
done in about three-fourths of the
States, nearly 90 percent of the
workers are employed in 10 States.
Texas is the leading State in the
number of oilfield jobs, followed by
Louisiana, California, Oklahoma,
Kansas, New Mexico, Wyoming,
Colorado, Illinois and Mississippi.
About 15,000 additional American
workers employed by oil companies
work in foreign countries, particu­
larly the Middle East, Africa, West­
ern Europe, South America, and In­
donesia.

Occupations in the Industry

Workers in petroleum explora­
tion and production are required to
have a wide range of education and
skills to drill, operate, and maintain
wells.
Exploration. Exploring for oil is
the first step in petroleum produc­
tion. Small crews of specialized
workers travel to remote areas to
search for geological formations
likely to contain oil. Exploration
parties, led by a petroleum geologist
(D.O.T. 024.081), study the surface
and subsurface composition of the
earth. Geologists seek clues to the
possibility of oil traps by examining
types of rock formations on and
under the earth’s surface. Besides
making
detailed,
foot-by-foot
ground surveys, petroleum geolo­
gists depend on aerial exploration
and magnetic surveys for a broad
picture of the surface and subsur­
face features of the area. They also
may obtain rock samples from the
bottom of the sea in their search for
clues to oil-bearing formations.
Geologists can determine the age of
rocks by measuring their radioactiv­
ity and by studying their fossil re­
mains. Sub-surface evidence is col­
lected by making test boring and

595

MINING

bringing up core samples of the
rocks, clay, and sands that form the
layers of the earth. From these ex­
aminations, geologists draw crosssection maps of the underground
formations being surveyed to pin­
point areas where oil or gas may be
located.

Geologist and petroleum engineer
inspect core sample.

Many geologists work in district
offices of oil companies or explora­
tion firms where they prepare and
study geological maps. They also
study core samples from test drilling
to find any clue to the presence of
oil.
In addition to the petroleum geol­
ogist, exploration parties may in­
clude other geologists specialists :
Paleontologists (D.O.T. 024.081)
who study fossil remains in the
earth to locate oil-bearing sands;
mineralogists who study physical
and chemical properties of mineral
and
rock
samples;
(D.O.T.
024.081) stratigraphers (D.O.T.




024.081) who determine the rock
layers most likely to contain oil and
natural
gas;
photogeologists
(D.O.T. 024.081) who examine and
interpret aerial photographs of land
surfaces; and petrologists (D.O.T.
024.081) who investigate the his­
tory of the formation of the earth’s
crust. Exploration parties may
also include draftsmen (D.O.T.
010.281), and surveyors (D.O.T.
018.188) who assist in surveying
and mapping operations.
More than 95 percent of geo­
physical exploration is done by seis­
mic prospecting. The seismograph is
a sensitive instrument which records
natural and manmade earthquakes.
Manmade earthquakes in petroleum
exploration are commonly made by
detonating charges of explosives in
the ground. The time it takes for
sound waves to reach an under­
ground rock layer and return indi­
cates the depth of the layer. The
seismograph records give informa­
tion by wavy lines on a chart. In­
creasingly, this information is re­
corded on magnetic tape which is
then placed in a computer and ana­
lyzed automatically. By setting off
explosions at a number of points on
the surface underground formations
can be mapped with considerable
accuracy, thus providing a clue to
the whereabouts of traps which may
contain oil.
A
geophysicist
(D.O.T.
024.081) usually leads a seismo­
graph crew which may include
prospecting computers (D.O.T.
010.288) who perform the calcula­
tions and prepare maps from the in­
formation recorded by the seismo­
graph;
observers
(D.O.T.
010.168), who operate and main­
tain electronic seismic equipment;
shothole drillers (D.O.T. 930.782)
and
their
helpers
(D.O.T.
930.886), who operate portable
drilling rigs to make holes into

which explosive charges are placed;
and shooters (D.O.T. 931.381),
who place and detonate explosive
charges.
Before geophysical exploration
the oil company must obtain per­
mission to use the land. The landman or leaseman (D.O.T. 191.
118) makes the necessary business
arrangements with land owners or
with owners of mineral interests.
Drilling. Despite all the explora­
tion methods developed, no device
actually will locate petroleum. Only
by drilling can the presence of oil be
proved. Overall planning and super­
vision of drilling are usually the re­
sponsibilities of the petroleum engi­
neer who helps to prepare drilling
sites.
No matter which method of drill­
ing is used—rotary or cable-tool, all
wells are started in the same way.
Rig builders (D.O.T. 869.884) and
a crew of helpers (D.O.T
869.887) install a drilling rig to
support the machinery and equip­
ment which raise and lower the
drilling tools.
The rotary method drills deep
wells through rock as well as sand
and clay formations.
In rotary drilling, a revolving
steel drill bit, with cutting teeth at
its lower end, bores a hole in the
ground by chipping and cutting
rock. The bit is attached to a length
of joined pipe (drill stem), which is
rotated by a rotary table, driven by
a steam, diesel, or gasoline engine
or an electric motor. As the bit cuts
through the earth, the drill stem is
lengthened by the addition of more
pipe which is screwed on at the
upper end. A stream of mud is con­
tinuously pumped through the hol­
low pipe and through jet ports in
the drill bit. This mixture of clay
chemicals, and water cools the drill
bit, plasters the walls of the hole to
prevent cave-ins, and carries the

596

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Driller guides drill bit.

cuttings to the surface. Its weight
helps to prevent blowouts from
pockets of high-pressure gas.
A typical rotary drilling crew
consists of a driller and four or five
helpers. Divided into three crews,
15 to 20 workers generally operate
a rig 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
A rotary driller (D.O.T. 930.782)
operates the machinery which con­
trols speed and pressure, selects the
proper drill bit, and records opera­
tions. He must meet any emergency,




such as a breakdown of equipment
or unusual geological formations.
A
derrickman
(D.O.T.
930.782), second in charge will
work on a small platform high on a
rig whenever running in or pulling
pipe from a drilled hole. From that
position he can better assist in re­
moving the drill pipe from a well
opening to bring a worn bit to the
surface for replacement. Whenever
in the hole and drilling, he starts
and operates pumps to circulate

mud through drill pipe and borehole
to cool the drill bit.
Other members of a typical ro­
tary drilling crew include rotary
helper (D.O.T. 930.884), (also
known by several other titles such
as roughneck or piperacker) who
guide the lower end of the pipe to
and from the well opening and con­
nect and disconnect pipe joints and
drill bits. An engineman (D.O.T.
950.782) (if diesel or electric
power is used) may be added to op­
erate the engines which provide
power for drilling and hoisting.
The tool pusher or chiefdriller
(D.O.T. 931.130) acts as foreman
of one or more drilling rigs and sup­
plies materials and equipment to rig
builders and crews. Roustabouts
(D.O.T. 869.884) or general labor­
ers, though not considered part of
the drilling crews, are general oil
field maintenance and construction
men who string pipe, clean tanks,
construct foundations and roads,
and work as helpers with welders
and other craftsmen.
In cable-tool drilling, a hole is
broken through rocks by contin­
uously raising and dropping a
heavy, sharpened bit attached to the
end of a cable. Cable-tool drilling is
used mainly to drill shallow wells in
soft rock formations mostly in Ken­
tucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Penn­
sylvania, and certain areas of Texas
and Oklahoma. Cable-tool drilling,
however, is becoming obsolete as
deeper holes are required each year
to reach new oil reserves.
The cable-tool driller (D.O.T.
930.280), who works with a tool
dresser, maintains a detailed record
of drilling. He controls the force
with which the drilling bit strikes
the rocks at the bottom of the well.
He also supervises and helps to set
the machinery and derricks.
Well

Operation

and

Mainte­

597

MINING

nance. Production begins when oil
is found and the equipment is in­
stalled. Drill pipe and a bit are
pulled from the well and casing is
lowered and cemented in place. The
upper ends of the tubing and casing
are fastened to a system of valves
called a “Christmas tree.” Pressure
in the well forces crude oil and gas
to the surface, through the Christ­
mas tree, and into gas traps and
storage tanks. If natural pressure is
not great enough to force the oil to
the surface, pumping or other meth­
ods are used to produce an artificial
flow.
Petroleum engineers generally
plan and supervise the operation
and maintenance of wells. To prev­
ent waste, they decide the rate of oil
flow and anticipate performance of
oil reservoirs by daily analyzing
pressure readings and other data of
oil wells. For this purpose engineers
are increasingly using simulation
methods with computers which ena­
bles them to analyze the most com­
plex oil and gas underground reser­
voirs. They may specialize in over­
coming effects of corrosion on well
casings, in the selection and design
of production equipment and pro­
cesses, or in the prevention of pollu­
tion.
Some companies hire engineer
aides for running tests, keeping rec­
ords, posting maps, and making
standard calculations.
Pumpers (D.O.T. 914.782) and
their helpers (D.O.T. 914.887, usu­
ally referred to as roustabouts) op­
erate and maintain motors, pumps,
and other equipment to force an ar­
tificial flow of oil from wells. Their
chief duty is to regulate the flow of
oil according to a schedule set up by
the petroleum engineer and produc­
tion foreman. Generally, a pumper
operates a group of wells. Switchers
work in fields where oil flows under
natural pressure and does not re­




quire pumping. They open and
close valves to regulate the flow of
oil from wells to tanks or into pipe­
lines. Cagers (D.O.T. 914.381)
measure and record the flow of oil
into tanks or pipelines and take
samples to check quality. Treaters
(D.O.T. 541.782.) test crude oil
for water and sediment and remove
these impurities by opening a drain
at the base of the tank or by using
special chemical or electrical equip­
ment. In some fields, pumping,
switching, gaging, and treating oper­
ations are automatic. Some fields
have computer systems at a central
site enabling an operator to control
the oil flow from a large number of
wells into several pipelines.
Many skilled workers are em­
ployed in maintenance operations.
Welders, carpenters, electricians,
and machinists repair and install
pumps, gages, pipes, and other
equipment.
Natural Gas Processing. Opera­
tors have duties very similar to
those of the oil refinery workers.
The dehydration-plant operator
(D.O.T. 541.782) tends an auto­
matically controlled treating unit
which removes water and other im­
purities from natural gas. The gaso­
line-plant operator, or gasolineplant engineer (D.O.T. 950.782),
operates equipment which removes
natural gasoline and sulfur from
natural gas. The compressor-station
operator, or compressor-station en­
gineer (D.O.T. 914.132), operates
a compressor which raises the pres­
sure of the gas for transmission in
the pipelines. The gas-compressor
operator (D.O.T. 950.782), assists
either of the last two employees
named above.
As in oil refineries, many workers
in the larger natural gas processing
plants are employed in maintenance
activities. However, the equipment
in such plants is subject to less cor­

rosion and wear than that in oil refi­
neries and it is generally more auto­
mated. As a result, the instrument
repairman and the electrician are
two key workers needed to maintain
the instruments that control the au­
tomatic equipment. The welder and
his helper also do much mainte­
nance work in the processing plant.
Other maintenance workers include
engine repairmen,
roustabouts,
helpers or laborers.
A smaller proportion of clerks,
administrators, professional, and
technical workers are employed in
the larger gas processing plants than
in oil refineries.
In numerous smaller natural gas
plants, workers combine skills, usu­
ally of operator and maintenance
man. In addition, many small plants
are so highly automated they are
virtually unattended. They are
checked by maintenance workers or
operators at periodic intervals, or
they are monitored continuously by
instruments which automatically re­
port malfunctions and shut down
the plant if an emergency develops.
Other Oilfield Services. Compa­
nies which offer services on a con­
tract basis provide another impor­
tant source of employment. Among
these employees are skilled workers
such
as
cementers
(D.O.T.
930.281), who mix and pump ce­
ment into the space between steel
casings and side walls of the well to
prevent cave-ins; acidizers (D.O.T.
930.782), who force acid into the
bottom of the well to increase the
flow of oil; perforator operators
(D.O.T. 931.782), who pierce
holes in drill pipes or casings by
using subsurface “guns” to make
passages through which oil can flow;
sample-taker operators (D.O.T.
931.781), who obtain samples of
soil and rock formations from wells
to help geologists determine the
presence of oil; and well puller

598

(D.O.T. 930.883), who remove
pipes pumps and other subsurface
devices from wells for cleaning and
repairing or for salvaging.
Offshore Operations. Most explo­
ration, drilling, and producing activ­
ities are done on land, but an in­
creasing amount of this work is
done offshore, particularly in the
Gulf of Mexico off the coasts of
Louisiana and Texas. Some addi­
tional offshore work is being done
in the Pacific Ocean off California,
Oregon, Washington, Alaska and in
many foreign locations Nigeria, Per­
sian Gulf, Indonesia, Bass Strait,
and North Sea. Some wells have
been drilled more than 100 miles
from shore and in water more than
1,000 feet deep. These offshore op­
erations require the same types of
drilling crews as are employed on
land operations. In addition,
offshore operations require employ­
ment of radio men, ablebodied sea­
men, cooks, mess boys, and pilots
for work on drilling platforms,
crewboats, barges, and helicopters.
(Detailed discussions of profes­
sional, technical, mechanical, and
other occupations found not only in
the petroleum and natural gas prod­
uction industry, but in other indus­
tries as well, are given elsewhere in
the Handbook, in the sections cov­
ering the individual occupations.
See index for page numbers.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Exploration. Most workers in
nonprofessional jobs with an explo­
ration crew begin as helpers and ad­
vance into one of the specialized
jobs. Their training may vary from
several months to several years.
New workers usually are hired in
the field by the party chief or by
local company representatives. For




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

many nonprofessional jobs, compa­
nies hire young men who have a
high school or vocational school ed­
ucation, including training or apti­
tude in mathematics, drafting, and
mechanics. College students major­
ing in physical or earth sciences or
in engineering often work part-time
or summer with an exploration
crew. This may be a means of work­
ing into a full-time job after gradua­
tion.
For entry into professional occu­
pations, such as geologist, geophysi­
cist, chemist, or engineer, college
training with at least a bachelor’s
degree is required. Professional
workers usually start at junior levels
and after several years of experi­
ence in field surveys, are eligible for
promotion to the job of party chief.
After much field survey experience
they may get a position of responsi­
bility in an area or division office
and then perhaps in the central
office. Scientists and engineers hav­
ing research ability, preferably
those with advanced graduate de­
grees, may transfer to research or
consulting work.
Drilling. Members of drilling
crews usually begin work in the in­
dustry as roughnecks. As they ac­
quire experience, they may advance
to more skilled jobs. In rotary drill­
ing, for example, a worker may be
hired as a roughneck, advance to
the job of derrickman. And after
several years, he may become a
driller. He then may be promoted to
the job of tool-pusher, in charge of
one or more drilling crews. Some
drilling companies hire high school
and college students for jobs during
the summer months.
Drilling requires men capable of
doing heavy physical labor. Drilling
crew members usually are between
the ages of 20 and 40. Some com­
panies, however, report that their
best drillers are over 50 and even in

their sixties, for the job of driller re­
quires good judgment combined
with practical experience. The drill­
ers job is less demanding physically
than roughneck or derrickman.
Well Operation and Mainte­
nance. Companies generally hire
persons who live near operating
wells for well operation and mainte­
nance jobs. They prefer men who
have mechanical ability and a
knowledge of oilfield processes. Be­
cause this type of work is less stren­
uous and offers the advantage of a
fixed locale, members of drilling
crews or exploration parties who
prefer not to travel often transfer to
well operation and maintenance
jobs.
New workers may start as rousta­
bouts and advance to jobs as switch­
ers, gagers, or pumpers. Training
usually is acquired on the job; at
least 2 years of experience are
needed to become a good all-round
pumper.
The preferred educational quali­
fication for a petroleum engineer is
a college degree with specialization
in courses on the petroleum indus­
try. However, college graduates
having degrees in chemical, mining,
or mechanical engineering, or in
geology, geophysics, or other re­
lated sciences, sometimes are hired
for petroleum engineering jobs. Pe­
troleum engineering aids frequently
are people with 2-year technical de­
grees but also include former rous­
tabouts or pumpers who are given
several months of specialized onthe-job and classroom training.
Information on occupational
training, qualifications, and ad­
vancement in natural gas processing
plants is similar to that for occupa­
tions in petroleum refining, dis­
cussed on page 709.

599

MINING

Employment Outlook

Many thousants of new workers
will be hired each year during the
1970’s for exploration, drilling, and
oil and gas production, to replace
workers who retire, die, or transfer
to other fields of work.
Employment in petroleum and
natural gas production during the
1970’s is expected to show little
change. More intensive exploration
and drilling anticipated during the
1970’s, particularly in Alaska and
offshore, is expected to keep the
number of workers at present levels
despite the use of data-processing
equipment and improved seismic
techniques.
In addition to untrained field
workers, the petroleum industry will
need workers who have electrical
and mechanical training or experi­
ence to maintain and repair the in­
creasingly complex equipment.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1970 earnings of nonsupervisory employees in oil and gas ex­
traction averaged $153.87 a week,
or $3.57 an hour. This compares
with average earnings of $133.73
weekly or $3.36 an hour for all
production workers in manufactur­
ing establishments.
Most oilfield employees work




outdoors in all kinds of weather. Al­
though some fields may be near cit­
ies, they are more often far from
sizeable communities, sometimes in
swamps or deserts. Increasingly oil­
field employees are involved in
offshore operations. Drilling em­
ployees may expect to move from
place to place since their work in a
particular field may be completed in
less than a year. Exploration field
personnel move even more fre­
quently. They may be away from
home for weeks or months at a time
and live in a trailer or tent. Well op­
eration and maintenance workers
often remain in the same location
for long periods. Drilling is one of
the most hazardous occupations in
all industry.
Most workers in natural gas pro­
cessing plants and oil refineries have
similar working conditions. Only a
moderate amount of physical effort
is involved. Some workers open and
close valves, climb stairs and lad­
ders to considerable heights, and
work 1 of 3 shifts in relatively safe
plants.
Employees in some natural gas
processing plants have unusual
working conditions. They travel
rough, unpaved terrain periodically
in all kinds of weather to check sev­
eral small, unattended automated
plants in widely separated, isolated
locations. These maintenance jobs

may be very satisfying to those who
like working outdoors alone.
In offshore operations, earnings
usually are higher than those in land
operations. Except for drilling activ­
ity that is close to shore, workers
living quarters are on platforms
held fast to the ocean bottom or on
ships anchored nearby. In offshore
operations many work 7 days on at
12 hours a day followed by 7 days
o ff.

Sources of Additional Information

Further information, concerning
jobs, processes, and working condi­
tions in the petroleum industry can
be obtained from the public rela­
tions department of individual pe­
troleum companies and from:
American Petroleum Institute,
1801 K St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
National Petroleum Refiners Asso­
ciation
1725 DeSales St. N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20036
American Association of Petroleum
Geologists
P.O. Box 979
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74101
American Institute of Mining, Metal­
lurgical, and Petroleum Engineers
(AIME)
345 East 47th Street
New York, N.Y. 10017




C O N S T R U C T IO N
The activities of the construction
industry touch nearly every aspect
of our daily lives. The houses and
apartments we live in; the factories,
offices, and schools in which we
work; and the roads we travel upon
are examples of some of the prod­
ucts of this important industry. The
industry encompasses not only new
construction projects but also in­
cludes additions, alterations, and re­
pairs to existing structures.
In 1970, about 3.3 million per­
sons were employed in the contract
construction industry. An additional
1.4 million workers are estimated to
be either self-employed—mostly
owners of small building firms—or
are State and local government em­
ployees engaged in building and
maintaining our Nation’s vast high­
way system.
The contract construction indus­
try is divided into three major seg­
ments. About half of the work force
is employed by electrical, air condi­
tioning, plumbing, and other special
trade contractors. Almost one-third
work in the general building sector
where most residential, commercial,
and industrial construction occurs.
The remaining one-fifth, are en­
gaged in building dams, bridges,
roads, and similar heavy construc­
tion projects.
As illustrated in the accompany­
ing tabulation, workers in all bluecollar occupations made up nearly
four-fifths of the construction indus­
try employment in 1970. Craftsmen
and foremen alone account for
more than one-half of the total em­
ployment in this industry—a much
higher proportion than that of any




other major industry. Most of these
skilled workers are employed as
carpenters, painters, plumbers and
pipefitters, construction machinery
operators, and bricklayers, or in one
of the other construction trades. La­
borers are the next largest occupa­
tional group and account for 1 out
of 6 workers. They provide mate­
rial, scaffolding, and general assist­
ance to the craftsmen at the work­
site. Semiskilled workers (opera­
tives and kindred workers), such as
truck drivers, welders and appren­
tices, represent about one-tenth of
the industry’s total work force.
Managers, officials, and proprietors
—mostly self-employed—also ac­
count for about the same share of
employment. Professional and tech­
nical workers make up 5 percent of
the work force employed in con­
struction. Engineers, together with
engineering technicians, draftsmen,
and surveyors account for most of
the employment in this occupational
Estimated
employment,
1970

(percent
Major occupational group distribution)
All occupational groups 100
Professional, technical, and
kindred workers ..................
5
Managers, officials, and
proprietors ................................
12
Clerical and kindred workers..
5
Sales workers ...........................
0)
Craftsmen, foremen, and
kindred workers ......................
51
Operatives and kindred
workers .....................................
10
Service workers ......................
(*)
Laborers .......................................
17
1 Less than 0.5 percent.

group. Clerical workers, largely
women working as stenographers,
typists, and secretaries, and in gen­
eral office work, constitute another
5 percent of the industry’s employ­
ment.
Through the 1970’s, employment
requirements are expected to rise
rapidly in the construction industry.
As the national economy expands,
as population increases, and as per­
sonal and corporate incomes rise,
the demand for contract construc­
tion activities are expected to un­
dergo a substantial increase. Like­
wise, the number of construction
workers employed by State and
local highway departments also is
expected to increase because of the
need to meet the demands of the
country’s expanding highway sys­
tems. Even though employment in
the construction industry is likely to
grow, the increasing application of
the latest technology in tools, mate­
rial, and work methods, together
with the rising skill level of he
work force, will make it possible to
increase the level of construction
activity without a correspondingly
large increase in employment.
Contract construction is the
major source of employment for
skilled craftsmen such as bricklay­
ers, painters, carpenters, and others
who are discussed more fully else­
where in the Handbook. For in­
formation on these and similar
construction occupations, see the
Building Trades chapter of the
Handbook. For information on oc­
cupations which are found in many
other industries, see the index in
back of the book.

601




■ '■
■
»

'
< .:

V .

\ ‘'

M A N U F A C T U R IN G
Manufacturing is the activity
around which our Nation’s economy
revolves. From factories flow the
goods that have provided a standard
of living unmatched elsewhere in
the world. The products of the man­
ufacturing industries range in com­
plexity from a simple plastic toy to
an intricate electronic computer,
and in size from miniature elec­
tronic components to gigantic nu­
clear powered aircraft carriers.
Many diverse processes are carried
out in manufacturing. Workers re­
fine ores and petroleum, process
foods and chemicals, print books
and newspapers, spin and weave
textiles, fabricate clothing and foot­
wear, and produce the thousands of
products needed for our personal
and national benefit. Our society, as
we know it today, could not have
reached its present level of prosper­
ity without the goods provided by
the manufacturing industries.
About 19.4 million persons
worked in manufacturing—the larg­
est of the major industries—in
1970. Within manufacturing, dura­
ble goods industries accounted for
nearly three-fifths of all workers.
The largest employers in the dura­
ble goods industries were the ma­
chinery, electrical equipment, and
transportation equipment industries,
and the fabricated metal and pri­
mary metals industries. Each of
these industries accounted for at
least 1 million workers and ranged
from 1.3 million in primary metals
to nearly 2 million in machinery.
Producers of nondurable goods ac­
count for another two-fifths of total
employment in manufacturing. The
food processing industries had the
largest single work force within this
group— 1.8 million workers—more
than one-fifth of all nondurable




goods employment. Other large em­
ployers in the nondurable goods in­
dustries are the apparel, printing,
chemicals, and textile industries.
Employing fewer than 80,000
workers, tobacco manufacturers are
the smallest industry in manufactur­
ing.
In 1970, nearly 5.5 million
women were employed in manufac­
turing, and accounted for more than
1 out of every 5 women who
worked. Large numbers are em­
ployed as secretaries, typists, office
machine operators, and in many
other office clerical occupations.
Women represent a large propor­
tion of the production workers in
some industries, particularly the ap­
parel, textiles, tobacco, and leather
products industries. Thousands of
women hold jobs as assemblers,
sewers, checkers and sorters,
inspectors, and other types of prod­
uction workers. In heavy industries
such as primary metals, transporta­
tion equipment, petroleum refining,
and lumber and wood products,
women are employed almost exclu­
sively in white-collar occupations
and consequently make up only a
small part of the total work force.
As illustrated in the following
table, blue-collar jobs made up 67
percent of the employment in man­
ufacturing in 1970. Operatives and
kindred workers alone accounted
for 43 percent of the work force.
Many of these semiskilled workers
were spinners and weavers (textile
industry), sewing machine opera­
tors (apparel and leather indus­
tries), machine tool operators and
welders (metalworking industries),
furnacemen and heaters (primary
metals), or operators of the special­
ized processing equipment used in

the food, chemical, paper, and pe­
troleum industries.
Craftsmen, foremen, and kindred
workers make up the next largest
group of workers and account for
nearly one-fifth of the employment
in manufacturing in 1970. Many of
these skilled workers install and
maintain the wide assortment of
machinery and equipment required
in all manufacturing industries. Oth­
ers are employed in skilled produc­
tion occupations and are engaged
directly in the manufacturing pro­
cess. Machinists, for example, are
especially important in the metal­
working industries, as are skilled
inspectors and assemblers. In the
printing and publishing industries,
compositors and typesetters, pho­
toengravers and lithographers, and
pressmen make up a large share of
the work force. Bakers, millers,
stillmen, tinsmiths, millwrights, and
tool and diemakers are a few of the
other important skilled occupations
in manufacturing.
Clerical workers represent the
third highest concentration of
workers—approximately 1 out of
every 8—and in manufacturing
were the largest white-collar occu­
pational group.
Professional, technical, and kin­
dred workers accounted for 1 out of
every 10 workers employed in man­
ufacturing. Engineers, scientists,
and technicians represent a large
share of the professional workers
employed in manufacturing. These
highly trained workers are required
not only to oversee and guide the
production processes, but also to
carry out the extensive research and
development activities needed in the
aerospace, electronics, chemical,
petroleum, and other industries.
Other important professional occu­
603

604

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

pations in manufacturing are editor
and reporter, accountant, and per­
sonnel and labor relations worker.
E s tim a te d
e m p lo y m e n t,
1970
(p e r c e n t
M a j o r o c c u p a tio n g r o u p d i s t r i b u ti o n )

All occupational groups..........
Professional, technical,
and kindred workers....
Managers, officials, and
proprietors ..................
Clerical and kindred
workers .........................
Salesworkers .....................
Craftsmen, foremen, and
kindred workers ..........
Operatives and kindred
workers .........................
Service workers ..............
Laborers ...........................

100
10
7
12
3
19
43
1
5

N ote : Because of rounding, sums of individ­
ual items may not add to total.




Population growth, rising per­
sonal income, and expanding busi­
ness activity will stimulate a sub­
stantial increase in the demand for
manufactured products through the
1970’s. Employment in manufactur­
ing, however, is expected to in­
crease at a slower pace or about 13
percent between 1970 and 1980.
The increasing application of mod­
ern technology to manufacturing
processes, together with the rising
skill level of the work force, will
make possible substantial increases
in production of goods without a
corresponding increase in the work
force. Although the average rate of
employment growth will be slow,
employment trends of individual in­
dustries within manufacturing will
vary widely. In the rubber and mis­
cellaneous plastics products and fur­
niture and fixtures industries, em­

ployment is expected to increase
about one-third, far above the aver­
age increase. Employment in sev­
eral other industries—including ma­
chinery, apparel, instruments, and
stone, clay, and glass—is expected
to increase more rapidly than the
average for all manufacturing. On
the other hand, some manufacturing
industries expect employment to
decline. Petroleum refining, to­
bacco, food, and textiles all may de­
crease in employment during the
1970’s.
The statements that follow pro­
vide information on employment op­
portunities in several of the manu­
facturing industries. More detailed
information about occupations that
are found in many industries ap­
pears elsewhere in the Handbook.
(See index in the back of the
book.)

O C C U P A T I O N S IN A IR C R A F T ,
M IS S IL E , A N D S P A C E C R A F T
M A N U F A C T U R IN G

Known generally as the “aero­
space” industry, the manufacture of
aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft is
among the largest and most rapidly
changing industries in the country.
Some 1.25 million persons were
employed in the industry in 1970,
many of them work with develop­
ments in supersonic flight and space
exploration. These and other activi­
ties in research and development
have made the industry different
from most manufacturing. Intensive
effort has been required to develop
the materials, products, and con­
cepts for activities such as space
travel.
Because this industry’s products
are complex and changing, scien­
tists, engineers, and technicians re-

Electronic technician conducts system
tests.




present a large proportion of total
employment, and probably will ac­
count for an even larger proportion
through the 1970’s.

Nature and Location of the
Industry

Aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft
have the same main components: A
frame to hold and support the rest
of the vehicle, an engine to propel
the vehicle, and a guidance and
control system. Missiles and space­
craft reach into space and attain
speeds many times that of sound,
whereas aircraft fly in the earth’s at­
mosphere at slower speeds. Aircraft
are manned and missiles and some
spacecraft are not.
Types of aircraft vary from small
personal planes, costing not much
more than an automobile, to multimillion-dollar giant transports and
supersonic fighters. Aircraft plants
also produce smaller planes for
business and personal use, and
helicopters. One-half to two-thirds
of aircraft production in dollar
value is manufactured for military
use; however the proportion for
nonmilitary purposes—for commer­
cial passenger and freight traffic,
private business and pleasure use
and civilian flying instruction has
been increasing.
Missiles and spacecraft also vary
greatly in the purposes for which
they are made, and in their size, and
capabilities. Missiles are produced
chiefly for military use and gener­
ally carry destructive warheads.
Some can travel only a few miles
and are intended for purposes such
as the support of ground troops and

defense against low flying aircraft.
Others, such as the Atlas, Titan,
and Minuteman, have interconti­
nental ranges of 7,000 miles or
more. Some missiles are designed
for launching from land or under­
ground sites; others, for firing from
aircraft, submarines, or ships.
Spacecraft are sent aloft carrying
instruments which can measure and
record conditions in space and
transmit the data to receiving sta­
tions on earth. Manned spacecraft
also include a cabin capsule for as­
tronauts. The first American space
vehicles had payloads (useful
cargo) weighing only 20 to 30
pounds or less; the Saturn V launch
vehicle is able to lift almost 150-ton
payloads into near-earth orbit, or
send 50 tons to the moon. Some
space vehicles probe the space envi­
ronment and then fall back to earth.
Others are put into orbit and be­
come artificial satellites around the
earth, sun, or other celestial bodies
or land on the moon. Nearly all of
this country’s missies and spacecraft
are built for the Air Force, Navy,
Army, or the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration (NASA).
Because the aerospace industry
makes many kinds of finished prod­
ucts, it uses many kinds of engines,
electronic systems, and other com­
ponents. Aircraft engines are reci­
procating (piston), jet, or rocket.
Missile engines are jet or rocket.
Spacecraft are rocket powered be­
cause rockets are the most powerful
type of engine and can operate in
airless space, whereas other engine
types need oxygen from the air for
combustion. Today’s rocket engines
are powered by chemical propel­
lants, either liquid or solid. New
sources of rocket propulsion, such
as nuclear or electric energy, are
being investigated and may be avail­
able in the future. Guidance, con­
trol, and instrument payload sys­
tems are largely electronic. Missies
and spacecraft generally have more
605

606

complex guidance and control sys­
tems than aircraft.

Inspector makes final check on attitude
control engine for spacecraft module.

An aircraft, missile, or spacecraft
is manufactured usually under the
technical direction of a prime con­
tractor. He manages and coordi­
nates the entire project, subject to
periodic inspections by the Federal
agency or the airline ordering the
vehicle. His engineering department
prepares design drawings, blue­
prints, and other specifications.
These go to the production depart­
ment, where planners work on the
many details regarding machines,
materials, and operations needed to
manufacture the vehicle in the num­
bers required. Decisions must be
made as to what part of the produc­
tion work will be done by the prime
contractor, and what part will be
subcontracted to outside firms.
Special tools, dies, jigs, and fix­
tures are required in manufacturing
the vehicle. Many sheet-metal
workers, machinists, machine tool
operators, and other metal proces­
sors produce these tools and the
thousands of parts and components
which make up the craft. All parts




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

and equipment must be inspected flects decreased aircraft require­
and tested many times, both before ments for Vietnam, reduced ex­
and after they are assembled, and penditures for space exploration,
all assembly work must be thorough­ and lower commercial aircraft sales.
ly inspected and checked. In every About 400,000 of these workers
stage of the production process, as­ were producing missiles and space­
semblers and installers are needed craft; approximately 600,000 were
to fit together, hook up, and install making aircraft, aircraft engines,
systems and components. After its and propellers; and about 200,000
final assembly, the vehicle is checked produced electronic equipment for
out by a team of mechanics, flight aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft.
tested if an aircraft, and then pre­ The remainder, mostly civilian em­
ployees of the Federal Government,
pared for delivery.
Many thousands of subcontrac­ worked in the Department of De­
tors participate in the production of fense and NASA. In addition, thou­
parts and subassemblies that make sands of other Federal workers
up aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. were engaged in the negotiation, ad­
Some subcontractors make individ­ ministration, and supervision of re­
ual parts or supplies such as metal lated contracts.
Workers with many different
forgings, bearings, plastic material,
rocket fuels, or special lubricants. kinds of educational backgrounds
Others produce subassemblies, such and job skills are needed to design
as communications or telemetry and manufacture aircraft, missies,
equipment, guidance instruments, or and spacecraft; for example, engi­
jet engines, and may depend on neers and scientists who have ad­
other subcontractors to supply parts vanced degrees, as well as plant
for the subassemblies. The prime workers who can learn their jobs
contractor, too, may manufacture after a few days or weeks of train­
components of a craft and may do ing, are employed.
Depending on the work, occupa­
the final assembly work.
Aerospace plants range in size tional needs vary among estab­
from the large factories of major lishments in the industry. Manu­
manufacturers, each with thousands facturers, universities, independent
of employers, to the shops of small research organizations, and Govern­
subcontractors and suppliers that ment agencies, such as the Air
employ only a few workers each. Force and NASA, operate research
Jobs in aerospace work may be and development laboratories em­
found in practically every State, al­ ploying mainly engineers and scien­
though roughly one-third are con­ tists, and supporting technicians and
centrated in California. Other States craftsmen. On the other hand, prod­
with large numbers of aerospace uction operations in factories have
jobs include New York, Washing­ mostly plant workers, such as as­
ton, Connecticut, Texas, Florida, semblers, inspectors, and machin­
Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Mas­ ists.
sachusetts, Kansas, Alabama, Mary­
Some of the more important jobs
land, New Jersey, and Georgia.
in aerospace are described under
An estimated 1.25 million people three main categories: Professional
—more than one-sixth of them and technical; administrative, cleri­
women—worked in aerospace in cal, and related occupations; and
1970. Employment has dropped plant occupations. Many of these
sharply from 1968 highs and re­ jobs are found in other industries as

OPPORTUNITIES IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE, AND SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING

well and are discussed in greater de­
tail elsewhere in the Handbook in
sections covering individual occupa­
tions.

Physicist uses laser beam during
research on laser development.

Professional and Technical Occu­
pations. Before production of an
aircraft, missile, or spacecraft can
begin, a design must be approved.
This requires many experiments and
“feasibility” studies to determine
how well various design possibilities
meet the conditions under which the
vehicle will be operating. A scale
model is made from the approved
design. It is tested in wind, tempera­
ture, and shock tunnels, on ballistic
ranges, and in centrifuges where ac­
tual flight conditions are simulated.
The next step is to develop a fullsized experimental model or proto­
type, which is thoroughly tested in
the air and on the ground. If test re­
sults are satisfactory, production
may begin. Many modifications in
the craft normally are made during
the course of design and develop­




ment, and often even after produc­
tion has started.
The pace of discovery and
change is so rapid that much equip­
ment becomes obsolete while still in
the experimental stage or soon after
being put into operation. Research
and development are vital in the in­
dustry, particularly in missies and
spacecraft. Efforts are being made
to develop aerospace vehicles with
greater speeds, ranges, and reliabil­
ity; engines with more power; and
metals and plastics with wider capa­
bilities. The industry’s research and
development capability has encour­
aged aerospace firms to apply their
abilities to other areas of explora­
tion such as oceanographic research
and hydrofoil ocean vessels.
Emphasis on research and devel­
opment makes the aerospace indus­
try an important source of jobs for
engineers, scientists, and techni­
cians. In 1970, almost one-fourth of
all employees were engineers, scien­
tists, and technicians, a considerably
higher proportion than in most
other manufacturing industries.
Many kinds of engineers and sci­
entists are employed in aerospace
work. For example, over 30 differ­
ent college degree fields are repre­
sented among the engineers and sci­
entists employed by NASA.
Electronic, electrical, aerospace,
chemical, nuclear, mechanical, and
industrial engineers are among the
larger engineering classifications.
Scientists in the industry include
physicists, mathematicians, che­
mists, metallurgists, physiologists,
and astronomers. Aerospace engi­
neers and scientists work in a wide
and varied range of applied fields
such as materials and structures, en­
ergy and power systems, and space
sciences.
Engineers and scientists are as­
sisted by many types of workers,
such as draftsmen, mathematics

607

aids, and laboratory and electronics
technicians. They also work with
production
planners
(D.O.T.
012.188), who plan the layout of
machinery, movement of materials,
and sequence of operations so that
manufacturing processes will flow
efficiently from one step to the next;
and they work with technical writers
(D.O.T. 139.288) and technical il­
lustrators (D.O.T. 017.281), who
produce technical manuals and
other literature used to describe the
operation and maintenance of air­
craft and spacecraft and their many
parts.
Administrative, Clerical, and Re­
lated Occupations. Managerial and
administrative jobs generally are
comparable with similar jobs in
other industries, except that they
are related most closely to engineer­
ing because of the importance of
research and development in the
aerospace field. Personnel in these
jobs include executives, responsible
for the direction and supervision of
research and production; and
officials in departments such as
sales, purchasing, accounting, and
industrial relations. Many thousands
of clerks, secretaries, stenographers,
typists, tabulating machine opera­
tors, and other office personnel also
are employed.
Plant Occupations. About half of all
workers in the aircraft, missile, and
spacecraft field were employed in
plant jobs in 1970. Plant jobs can
be classified in the following
groups: Sheet-metal work; machin­
ing and tool fabrication; other metal
processing; assembly and installa­
tion; inspecting and testing; flight
checkout; and materials handling,
maintenance, and custodial.
Sheet-Metal Occupations. Sheetmetal workers shape parts from

608

sheet metal by hand or machine
methods. When hand methods are
used, the workers shape the part by
pounding them with mallets and by
bending, cutting, and punching
them with handtools. Machine
methods involve the use of power
hammers and presses, saws, tube
benders, and drill presses. The all­
round sheet-metal worker (D.O.T.
804.281) lays out the sequence of
operations on the basis of blueprints
and other engineering information.
He then fabricates complicated
metal shapes, using handtools or
machines. Less complex parts, as
well as those produced in large
numbers, are fabricated by less
skilled sheet-metal workers or
workers who specialize in operating
a single machine. They have titles
such as power brake operator
(D.O.T. 617.380), power hammer
operator (D.O.T. 617.782), power
shear operator (D.O.T. 615.782
and 615.885), punch press operator
(D.O.T. 615.782), and profile cut­
ting machine operator (D.O.T.
816.782).
Machining and tool fabrication oc­
cupations. Another important group
of workers engaged in shaping and
finishing metal parts with machine
tools are machinists (D.O.T.
600.280 and .281) and machine
tool operators (D.O.T. 609.885).
The most skilled of these are the
all-round or general machinists who
can lay out the work and set up and
operate several types of machine
tools. They perform machining op­
erations of a highly varied and nonrepetitive nature. They are em­
ployed most frequently in depart­
ments engaged in experimental and
prototype production.
Machine tool operators produce
metal parts in large volume. They
generally operate a single type of
machine tool such as a lathe, drill




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

press, or milling machine. More
skilled operators set up work on a
machine and handle difficult and
varied jobs. Less skilled operators
do repetitive work.
Machinists and machine tool op­
erators represent a higher propor­
tion of the work force in engine and
propeller plants, which are basically
metalworking establishments, then
in plants performing the final as­
sembly of air and space vehicles.
Among engine plants, those manu­
facturing reciprocating engines do
relatively more machining and less
sheetmetal woik than those produc­
ing jet or rocket engines.
Many plants in aerospace make a

large proportion of the jigs, fixtures,
tools, and dies they use. Fabrication
of these items requires skilled
metal-processing workers, chiefly jig
and fixture builders (D.O.T.
761.381) and tool and die makers
(D.O.T. 601.280). Jig and fixture
builders make the workholding and
tool-guiding devices used in produc­
tion and assembly operations. On
the basis of information received
from the engineering department,
they plan the sequence of metal
machining operations involved in
making a jig and carry the job
through to completion. Tool and die
makers make the cutting tools and
fixtures used in machine tool opera­

Assemblers rivet wing sections in floor jigs.

OPPORTUNITIES IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE, AND SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING

tions, and the dies used in forging
and punch press work. They must
be experts in the use of machine
tools.
Other metal-processing occupations.
Other metalworkers, such as tube
benders, riveters, and welders also
are employed.
Tube benders
(D.O.T. 709.884) form tubings
used for oil, fuel, hydraulic, and
electrical conduit lines. Riveters
(D.O.T. 800.884) and welders
(D.O.T.
810.782
and
.884;
811.782 and .884; 812.884 and
813.380 and .885) join fabricated
parts by hand or machine riveting
and by electric arc, gas, or electric
resistance welding.
Additional metal fabricating is
performed by skilled foundry
workers such as patternmakers,
molders, and coremakers. Drop
hammer operators and other forge
shop workers are employed in the
forging departments.
Many aircraft, missile, and space­
craft parts are chemically and heattreated during several stages of their
manufacture to clean, change, or
protect their surface or structural
condition. Sheet-metal parts are
heat-treated to keep the metal soft
and malleable while it is being
worked into the required shape.
Many processes, such as painting
and plating, are used on the sur­
faces of parts. Workers in these me­
tal-processing jobs have titles such
as heat treater (D.O.T. 504.782),
painter (D.O.T. 845.781), and pla­
ter (D.O.T. 500.380).
Assembly and installation occupa­
tions. Assembly and installation
workers are a major occupational
group, employed in practically all
plants in the industry. Some work in
the production of engines, electronic
equipment, and auxiliary compo­
nents, but most are employed in as­




sembling complete air or space
craft. They perform final assembly
work such as the fitting together of
major subassemblies and the install­
ing of major components. In air­
craft, for example, this work in­
volves joining wings and tail to the
fuselage and installing the engine
and auxiliary equipment such as the
fuel system and flight controls. As­
semblers perform operations such
as riveting, drilling, bolting, and sol­
dering.
A large proportion of assemblers
are semiskilled and do repetitive
work, but some are skilled mechan­
ics and installers. Many of the latter
perform diversified assembly or in­
stallation operations, and often
work on experimental, prototype, or
special craft. They assemble, take
apart, inspect, and install complex

609

mechanical and electronic assem­
blies. They read blueprints and in­
terpret other engineering specifica­
tions. They may be called final as­
semblers of complete aircraft
(D.O.T. 806.781), missile assem­
bly mechanics or rocket assembly
mechanics (D.O.T. 625.281).
Some skilled assemblers are em­
ployed in plants which produce rel­
atively large numbers of aircraft and
missiles rather than a few experi­
mental types. These assemblers usu­
ally specialize in one field of work
or more. They often are assisted by
less skilled assemblers who do the
more routine work. For example, a
class
A armament assembler
(D.O.T. 801.381) typically does
work such as assembling, installing,
and alining power turrets, weapons,
gun cameras, and related acces-

Assembler works on section of fuselage frame.

610

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

sories. Lower rated armament as­
semblers typically do work such as
uncrating and cleaning weapons,
loading
ammunition,
installing
armor plate, and placing parts in
jigs. Power plant installers (D.O.T.
621.381), sometimes known as en­
gine mechanics, install, aline, and
check the various types of engines
and accessories. Skilled electrical
assemblers
(D.O.T.
728.884),
sometimes called electricians, in­
stall, hook up, and check major
units in electrical or radio systems.
They are assisted by less skilled as­
semblers, who do the more routine
installations and wire routings by
following standard wiring diagrams
and charts. Assemblers also special­
ize in other systems such as plumb­
ing, hydraulic, heating and ventilat­
ing, and rigging and controls.

Among the most skilled inspec­
tors, especially in final assembly
plants, are outside production
inspectors (D.O.T. 806.381). They
examine machined parts, subassem­
blies, and tools and dies which have
been ordered from other firms.
They also serve as liaison men be­
tween their own engineering depart­
ments and supplying companies.
Other inspectors, frequently known
as receiving inspectors (D.O.T.
806.384), with less responsibility
than outside production inspectors,
check purchased materials and parts
for conformity with blueprints,
armed services requirements, and
other established standards. They
operate testing equipment and must
be familiar with specifications of the
parts and materials purchased from
different sellers.

Inspecting and testing occupations.
Because aircraft, missies, and
spacecraft are extremely complex,
thousands of painstaking inspections
and tests must be made as each
component and part moves toward
final assembly of the whole system.
Inspections are made not only by
employees of the manufacturers but
also by civilian employees of Fed­
eral agencies which have contracted
for the equipment.
Some inspectors specialize in ex­
amining materials and equipment
purchased from the outside; others
inspect components during fabrica­
tion and subassembly within their
own plants; still others inspect com­
pleted craft after their final assem­
bly. Many inspection jobs require
highly skilled workers. On the other
hand, some tests are made by auto­
matic equipment which can be run
by relatively unskilled persons. Such
equipment not only checks the com­
ponent or assembly under test but
may run simultaneous checks on it­
self.

In the production department,
machined parts inspectors (D.O.T.
609.381) determine, by the use of
precision
testing
instruments,
whether or not a part has been
machined properly to conform to
blueprint specifications. They also
may test for hardness and porosity
and determine the “machineability”
of castings and forgings. Fabrication
inspectors (D.O.T. 807.381) are
generally
skilled - sheet-metal
workers. They inspect fabricated
sheet-metal work and complex parts
which have required numerous fab­
ricating operations.
As the parts are fitted together,
they undergo numerous inspections
by assembly inspectors (D.O.T.
806.381) . These inspectors are em­
ployed, for the most part, in the
later stages of the assembly process.
They usually inspect complete
major assemblies and installations,
such as fuselage, wing, and nose
sections, to insure their proper final
fitting. They also check the func­
tioning of systems such as hydrau­




lics, plumbing, and controls. Less
skilled assembly inspectors usually
check subassemblies.
Flight
checkout
occupations.
Checking out an aircraft or space­
craft before its first flight requires a
team of mechanics having different
levels and types of skills. Sometimes
the checking-out process involves
making repairs or returning the
craft to the plant for repairs. The
chief mechanic or crew chief, who is
the most skilled worker of the team,
is responsible for the entire checking-out operation, including repair
work. He usually directs the work
of a crew of mechanics, each of
whom specializes in one field or
more. For example, engine mechan­
ics specialize in checking out the
powerplant, including the engine,
propellers, and oil and fuel systems.
They use handtools, testing equip­
ment, and precision measuring in­
struments. The electronics checkout
men perform or supervise the final
operational checkout of systems
such as radio, radar, automatic
pilot, fire control, and complete
electronic guidance systems. Other
skilled workers may specialize in
checking out and repairing arma­
ment, instruments, rigging and con­
trols, plumbing, and hydraulic sys­
tems. In some cases, less skilled me­
chanics help conduct tests and make
repairs.
Materials handling, maintenance,
and custodial occupations. Aero­
space plants employ large numbers
of materials handlers such as truckdrivers, shipping clerks, and tool
crib
attendants.
Maintenance
workers, who keep equipment and
buildings in good operating condi­
tion and make changes in the layout
of the plant, include maintenance
mechanics, millwrights, electricians,
carpenters, and plumbers. Guards,

611

OPPORTUNITIES IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE, AND SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING

firemen, and janitors make up a
major portion of the plant’s protec­
tive and custodial employees.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A college degree in engineering
or in one of the sciences usually is
the minimum requirement for engi­
neering and scientific jobs in the
aerospace industry. A few workers
become professional engineers with­
out a college degree, but only after
years of semiprofessional work ex­
perience and some college-level
training. Since many kinds of engi­
neers and scientists are employed in
aerospace, college graduates in
many different degree fields may
qualify for professional jobs. Re­
gardless of his field, the undergrad­
uate preparing for professional
aerospace work is advised to get as
solid a background as possible in
fundamental concepts of engineer­
ing and science. Mathematics and
physics courses are especially im­
portant. Education or training in the
more specialized fields of the aero­
space industry generally is received
in graduate school or on the job.
An increasing number of semiprofessional workers, such as elec­
tronics-technicians, engineering aids,
and draftsmen take 2 years of
formal education in a technical in­
stitute or junior college. Others
qualify through several years of di­
versified shop experience.
Training requirements for plant
jobs vary from a few days of onthe-job instruction to several years
of formal apprenticeship. Appren­
ticeship programs develop crafts­
men such as machinists, tool and die
makers, sheetmetal workers, pat­
ternmakers, aircraft mechanics, and
electricians. These programs vary in
length from 3 to 5 years, depending




on the trade; during this time, the
apprentice handles work of progres­
sively increasing difficulty. Besides
on-the-job experience, he receives
classroom instruction in subjects re­
lated to his craft. Such instruction
for a machinist apprentice, for ex­
ample, would include courses in
blueprint reading, mechanical draw­
ing, shop mathematics, trade theory,
physics, safe working practices, and
other subjects.
Many levels of skill are required
for other factory jobs. Workers who
have little or no previous training or
experience are hired for the less
skilled assembly jobs. On the other
hand, skilled assemblers may need 2
to 4 years of plant experience in ad­
dition to a high school or vocational
school education or its equivalent.
Skilled assemblers must be able to
read and interpret engineering
blueprints, schematic diagrams, and
production illustrations.
Skilled inspectors often have sev­
eral years of machine shop experi­
ence. They must be able to install
and use various kinds of testing
equipment and instruments, read
blueprints and other specifications,
and use shop mathematics. New
workers who have little or no expe­
rience in shop trades also may be
hired and trained for jobs requiring
less skilled inspectors.
Mechanics who do the final
checkout of aircraft and spacecraft
qualify for their jobs in several
ways. Many gain experience work­
ing in earlier stages of the produc­
tion line; others receive all their
training in checkout work or in
“line maintenance” jobs with com­
mercial airlines.
Chief mechanics usually need 3
to 5 years of experience in the man­
ufacture of aircraft, missiles, and
spacecraft, including at least 1 year
as a checkout mechanic. Specialized
mechanics, working under the su­

pervision of the chief mechanic,
usually are required to have at least
2 years’ experience. Less experi­
enced helpers or assistants learn on
the job and through plant training
courses.
Because complex and rapidlychanging products require highlytrained workers aware of new de­
velopments, most aerospace plants
support some kind of formal train­
ing to supplement day-to-day expe­
rience and help workers advance
more rapidly. Many major produ­
cers conduct educational and train­
ing classes or pay tuition and re­
lated costs for outside courses.
Some classes are held during work­
ing hours in which case trainees are
paid for class time; other classes are
conducted after working hours.
Courses are available for practically
every occupational group and cover
many skills and areas, for example,
blueprint reading, drafting, welding,
aircraft maintenance, and electronic
data processing. Most trainees take
short-term courses to meet immedi­
ate needs. Few employees are en­
rolled in long-term programs, such
as apprenticeships.

Employment Outlook

By 1980, employment in aero­
space is expected to be slightly
above 1970 levels. In addition, tens
of thousands of job opportunities
will occur annually to replace
workers who transfer to other fields
of work, retire, or die.
Aerospace products have been
developed primarily to assure our
national security and to advance our
goals in space. Therefore the indus­
try’s future depends largely on the
level of Federal expenditures.
Changes in these expenditures usu­
ally have been accompanied by
sharp fluctuations in aerospace em­

612

ployment. Many workers, including
some scientists, engineers, and tech­
nicians, have been laid off during
production cutbacks. The outlook in
this industry is based on the as­
sumption that defense expenditures
(in constant dollars) in the late
1970’s will be somewhat higher
than the level prior to the Vietnam
buildup, approximating the level of
the early 1960’s. If they should dif­
fer substantially, demand for
workers will be affected accord­
ingly.
By the late 1970’s employment in
aircraft manufacturing is expected
to be slightly higher than the cur­
rent level. Reflecting a drop in com­
mercial aircraft sales and a decrease
in requirements for the Vietnam
War, employment has dropped
sharply since 1968. Jobs in the
spacecraft field may increase mod­
erately because of increased ex­
penditures for space exploration.
Employment in plants that produce
electronic units for this industry also
should increase.
Expenditures for research and
development are expected to rise
above current levels. Employment
opportunities should be more favor­
able for highly trained workers,
such as engineers and technicians.
Many openings will become availa­
ble in manufacturing, university lab­
oratories, independent research or­
ganizations, and Federal agencies,
such as the Air Force and NASA.
Some job openings also will be­
come available for skilled plant per­
sonnel such as machine repairmen.
Because many diversified products
are custom made, employment of
semiskilled and unskilled assembly
line workers is expected to de­
crease.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Plant workers’ earnings in the




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

aerospace industry are higher than
those in most other manufacturing
industries. In 1970, for example,
production workers in plants mak­
ing aircraft and parts averaged
$168.92 a week or $4.12 an hour;
production workers in all manufac­
turing industries as a whole aver­
aged $133.73 a week or $3.36 an
hour. Production workers in the
Department of Defense and other
Federal agencies receive wages
equal to prevailing rates paid for
comparable jobs by local private
employers.
Earnings of professional and
technical workers in the aerospace
field are often higher than those for
similar workers in other industries.
The following tabulation indi­
cates an approximate range of
hourly wages for selected occupa­
tions in mid-1970 obtained from the
collective bargaining agreements of
a number of major aerospace com­
panies; these rates do not include
incentive earnings. The ranges in
various jobs are wide, partly be­
cause wages within an occupation
vary according to workers’ skills
and experience, and partly because
wages differ from plant to plant, de­
pending upon type of plant, locality,
and other factors.
Aircraft mechanics ...................$3.00-4.50
Assemblers ............................... $2.80-4.00
Electronics technicians ............ $3.90-4.80
Heat treaters ............................. $3.00-4.30
Inspectors and testers .............. $3.00-4.90
Jig and fixture builders............ $3.70-4.90
Machine tool operators............ $3.00-4.10
Machinists ................................. $3.70-4.90
Maintenance craftsmen .......... $3.00-4.70
Riveters ......................................$3.00-3.80
Tool and die makers................ $3.80-4.90
Welders ......................................$2.90-4.30

Fringe benefits in the industry
usually include 2 weeks of paid va­
cation after 1 or 2 years of service,
and 3 weeks after 10 to 12 years.
Employees generally get 8 to 10

paid holidays a year and 1 week of
paid sick leave. Other major bene­
fits include life insurance; medical,
surgical, and hospital insurance; ac­
cident and sickness insurance; and
retirement pensions. For fringe ben­
efits in Federal aerospace employ­
ment, see statement on Federal ci­
vilian employment.
Most employees work in modern
factory buildings which are clean,
light, and airy. Some work out of
doors. Operations such as sheetmetal processing, riveting, and weld­
ing may be noisy, and some assem­
blers may work in cramped quar­
ters. Aerospace plants are compara­
tively safe; the injury-frequency rate
in 1969 averaged only about onethird of that for manufacturing as a
whole.
Most plant workers in the aero­
space field are union members.
They are represented by several un­
ions, among them the International
Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers; the Interna­
tional Union, United Automobile,
Aerospace and Agricultural Imple­
ment Workers of America; and the
International Union of Electrical,
Radio and Machine Workers. Some
craftsmen, guards, and truck drivers
are members of unions which repre­
sent their specific occupational
groups.

Sources of Additional Information

Additional information about ca­
reers in the aerospace field may be
obtained from:
National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, Washington, D.C.
20546.
Aerospace Industries Association of
America, Inc., 1725 DeSales St.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.
International Association of Machin­
ists and Aerospace Workers, 1300

OPPORTUNITIES IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE, AND SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING
Connecticut Ave. NW., Washing­
ton, D.C. 20036.

America, 8000 East Jefferson
Ave., Detroit, Mich. 48214.

International Union, United Auto­
mobile, Aerospace and Agricul­
tural Implement Workers of

International Union of Electrical,
Radio and Machine Workers, 1126
16th St. NW., Washington, D.C.
20036.




613

Electronics Industries Association,
2001 Eye St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20006.

EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK AND
O C C U P A T I O N S IN T H E
A L U M IN U M IN D U S T R Y

More than 99,000 workers were
employed in the aluminum industry
in 1970. Employment was concen­
trated mainly in the rolling and ex­
truding sector, although individual
primary reduction plants in some
cases employed more workers than
rolling and extruding plants.
Considered a specialty metal hav­
ing limited application only a short
time ago, aluminum today is massproduced in quantities second only
to iron and steel. It is used in prod­
ucts ranging from appliances and
cooking utensils to automobiles and
aircraft and aerospace applications.
Aluminum siding, containers, and

electrical cables are among the
more important applications of this
versatile metal. During 1970, the
industry produced more than 7.9
billion pounds of primary aluminum
or twice the output of only 10 years
earlier.
This chapter describes occupa­
tions in the primary aluminum in­
dustry which comprises plants en­
gaged in producing aluminum and
aluminum alloys from aluminum
hydrooxide (alumina). It also de­
scribes occupations in plants en­
gaged in rolling, drawing, and ex­
truding aluminum and aluminumbase alloys. The so called secondary

aluminum industry, which produces
aluminum primarily from aluminum
scrap, is excluded as are the mining
of bauxite, fluorspar, and other raw
materials, and the refining of baux­
ite to alumina. Occupations con­
cerned with casting, stamping, forg­
ing, machining, and fabrication of
aluminum are discussed separately
in the Handbook chapters dealing
with forging, foundry, and machin­
ing occupations.
Some companies that produce
aluminum are integrated completely
—that is, they operate bauxite
mines, maintain a fleet of ships to
transfer the ore or alumina to proc­
essing plants, refine the ore into al­
umina, reduce alumina to alumi­
num, and form aluminum into semi­
finished and finished products by
rolling and a wide variety of fabri­
cating methods. Other companies
fabricate metal that they produce
but buy alumina from other sources.
The great majority of companies do
not produce the basic metal, but
purchase aluminum from primary
or secondary (scrap) sources and
form the metal into semifinished
and finished products.
The South Central area of the
country, which includes Alabama,
Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee,
and Texas, leads in the production
of primary aluminum, although the
State of Washington is the Nation’s
largest producer. Plants within its
borders represent about one-fifth of
national primary aluminum capac­
ity. The North Central area, consist­
ing of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan,
and Ohio, is the center for alumi­
num rolling, drawing, and extruding
plants.

Occupations in the Industry

Rolling mill operator produces aluminum foil.

614



Employment in the aluminum in­
dustry falls into several categories.
First, there is a wide assortment of
jobs directly concerned with smelt­

EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK AND OCCUPATIONS IN THE ALUMINUM INDUSTRY

ing and transforming aluminum into
industrial and consumer products.
Workers in another group of occu­
pations maintain and service the
complex machinery and equipment
used in the manufacturing process.
In addition, a fairly large group of
clerical, sales, professional, techni­
cal, administrative, and supervisory
positions is needed to facilitate the
production process and to operate
the companies.
About 3 out of 4 workers em­
ployed in the industry work in pro­
duction occupations. They produce
aluminum from alumina and form
the metal, maintain plant machinery
and equipment, and facilitate the
flow of materials throughout the
plant. The remaining one-fourth are
in clerical, sales, professional, tech­
nical, administrative, research, man­
agerial, and supervisory occupa­
tions.
Women make up only 3 percent
of the work force in primary alumi­
num plants and are employed
mostly in secretarial and other cleri­
cal occupations. In rolling and
drawing plants, on the other hand,
women make up 10 percent of the
work force and are found in clerical
and other occupations, such as
sorter and inspector.

Processing Occupations

The largest proportion of em­
ployees in the aluminum industry
are in factory jobs processing the
metal. To illustrate the types of
processing occupations found in the
industry, a description of the major
steps in the production (reduction)
and fabricating of aluminum fol­
lows.
To produce aluminum, the metal
is separated by electrolysis from the
oxygen with which it is combined in
alumina. This process involves mix­




ing alumina and other additives in a
bath of cryolite (sodium aluminum
fluoride) and occurs in deep rectan­
gular cells or “pots” of thermally in­
sulated steel, lined with carbon. The
cells or furnaces are generally about
20 feet long, 10 feet wide, and
about 3 feet deep.
Reduction—The cells containing
molten cryolite are lined with car­
bon which serve as the cathode or
one electrode. Depending on the
type of cell used, either one large
block of carbon (Soderberg) or a
number of small blocks of carbon
(prebaked) suspended from the top
of the cell acts as the anode or other
electrode. Direct electrical current
is introduced, and the alumina is re­
duced to aluminum and accumu­
lates at the bottom of the cell. The
oxygen is deposited on the anode
and is oxidized to carbon dioxide.
Anode men (D.O.T. 630.884)
are responsible for maintenance of
the anodes on the reduction cells.
Among their duties are pulling pins
from the anodes by means of hy­
draulic pullers and cleaning scales
from the pins using a sandblasting
device. They may replace the pins
using a steel driver.
Pot liners (D.O.T. 519.884) re­
build the Soderberg type anode and
reline the reduction furnaces when
they burn out. To line the pot, the
pot liners pour water into it to
loosen the sediment. They then dig
out the material using jackhammers
or diggers. Next, they lay a brick
base in the pot floor and drop car­
bon mix into the cell. The potliners
line the walls and floor with carbon
blocks and tamp carbon paste into
cracks using a pneumatic hammer.
Potmen (D.O.T. 512.885) tend
the reduction pots and are responsi­
ble for their continuous operation.
Each potman attends a number of
different cells. During the operation
of the pot, the alumina gradually is

615

consumed. When the dissolved alu­
mina content of one of the cells de­
creases from approximately 5 per­
cent to 2 percent of the electrolyte,
the electrical resistance of the pot
rises suddenly from about 5 to 30
volts or more causing an electric
bulb on the side of the pot to light.
This development, known as “anode
effect,” signals the potman to break
the crust of the electrolyte bath and
stir in hot alumina which has been
laying on the surface. This opera­
tion causes the voltage to return to
normal levels and the crust re-forms.
In operating the pots, operators try
to reduce anode effects by adding
specified amounts of materials at
designated time intervals.
Every 24 to 72 hours, part of the
molten aluminum is syphoned from
the bottom of the reduction cells
into huge cast-iron crucibles which
have airtight lids. The tapper
(D.O.T. 514.884) and tapper
helper (D.O.T. 514.887) signal the
hot-metal crane operator (D.O.T.
921.883) to place the overhead
crane near the pot to be tapped.
They then break a hole in the elec­
trolytic crust by using an automatic
pot puncher. One end of a curved
cast iron tube is inserted into the
pot, the other into a crucible of up
to 8,000 pounds capacity. A com­
pressed air hose is attached to the
siphon and the molten metal is
drawn into the crucible. After the
completion of several tappings, an
overhead crane removes the loaded
crucible to a remelting or holding
furnace.
A scaleman (D.O.T. 502.887)
weighs and samples the molten
metal for laboratory analysis, and
separates grades and types of alloys
to be blended with the molten alu­
minum. The molten metal in the
crucibles is poured into a “charging
hearth” or remelt furnace. A remelt
operator (D.O.T. 512.885) adds

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

616

Tapper directs aluminum from potline.

specified portions of aluminum
scrap and molten metal from other
crucibles. Other metals are added
(alloying) to the furnace to obtain
desired properties.
Final steps in the preparation of
the metal are fluxing and degassing.
A compound is added to flux the
molten metal and force oxides of
aluminum to the surface for a hand
skimmer to remove. Before the
molten metal is removed from the
charging furnace, nitrogen or chlor­
ine gas is added to eliminate the hy­
drogen gas.
After the alloying and fluxing
processes, the metal is transferred
to the second compartment of the
furnace, the “holding” section, until
a sufficient supply is obtained for
pouring. The d.c. casting operator
(D.O.T. 514.782) has charge of the




pouring station in which the molten
metal is cast into ingots. He controls
the cooling condition of the casting
unit by maintaining a constant level
of metal in the molds and operates a
series of instruments which spray
water against the molds to produce
ingots of uniform crystal-line struc­
ture.
Rolling—Over half of aluminum
wrought products consist of plate,
sheet, and strip, which are produced
by rolling. The first step in rolling
operations is to remove surface im­
purities from the ingot. The scalper
operator (D.O.T. 605.782) manip­
ulates levers of a scalper machine
and cuts approximately one-fourth
inch layers of metal from the ingots.
To improve corrosion resistance of
the surface, ingots are sometimes
clad with thin layers of high purity

aluminum. These layers which are
clamped on the sides of the ingot
join with the central layer of the
sheet during the rolling process.
The ingots are brought to proper
working temperatures for rolling by
heat treating. Overhead cranes
lower the ingot vertically into fur­
naces, or “soaking pits,” where they
are kept hermetically sealed for 12
to 18 hours. The soaking pit op­
erator (D.O.T. 613.782) manages
the furnace and sets controls to
adjust temperature and heating time.
The huge rolling ingots are posi­
tioned on the “breakdown” or hot
rolling mill where they are con­
verted into elongated slabs of alumi­
num. Reduction operations are con­
trolled by trained rolling mill opera­
tors (D.O.T. 613.782) who manip­
ulate the ingots back and forth be­
tween powerful rollers of a large
tandem hot reversing mill until they
are reduced in thickness to about 3
inches. The slabs then move down
the line on rollers to additional hot
mills where they are worked down
to about one-eighth of an inch thick.
At the end of the hotline, a coiler
o p era to r (D.O.T. 613.885) tends a
coiler which automatically winds the
metal onto reels.
Coiled aluminum is cooled at
room temperature and then cold
rolled to a still thinner size. Cold
rolling assures a better surface finish
and increases the metal’s strength
and hardness. Since continual cold
rolling could make the metal too
brittle, intermediate steps of heat
treating are necessary. Heat treating
(annealing) takes place in furnaces
under the control of an annealer
(D.O.T. 504.782).
After annealing, the metal may
be further cold rolled to a specified
thickness and again heat treated to
soften it for future fabrication. To
relieve internal stress from rolling
and annealing or contour defects, the

EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK AND OCCUPATIONS IN THE ALUMINUM INDUSTRY

Cable mill worker operates machines and strands aluminum wire into thick
electrical tape.

finished sheet or plate may be placed
in large stretchers which pull the
metal from end to end. Stretcherleveler-operators (D.O.T. 619.782)
and stretcher-leveler-operator help­
ers (D.O.T. 619.886) position the
metal in a stationary vise, determine
stretch requirements to meet pro­
duction specifications, and operate
the machine.
During both the production and
fabricating processes, the metal is
inspected to assure quality and con­
sistency. Radiographic testing and
ultrasonic testing are two processes
used for inspection. Radiographers
(D.O.T. 199.381) operate various
types of X-ray equipment to take
radiographs of the metal. Comput­
ers monitor operations and adjust
any differences that may occur be­




tween scheduled temperatures, di­
ameter of metals, and speed of op­
erations.
Fabrication of Rods, Bars, and
Structural—In the rod and bar
mill, square castings called “blooms”
are heated to make them softer and
then rolled through pairs of open­
ings, each progressively smaller,
until the proper size is reached. To
produce wire, hot rolling is con­
tinued until the rod is about threeeights of an inch in diameter. Then
it is cold-worked and drawn through
dies which have openings smaller
than the rod to reduce cross-sec­
tional dimensions. Wire draw op­
erators (D.O.T. 614.782) operate
machines which draw the wire
through the series of dies and auto­
matically coil it on revolving reels.

617

Structural shapes such as I beams
and angles may be hot rolled or ex­
truded. Hot rolled structurals are
made by passing a square bloom
with rounded corners between rolls
having a series of grooves. As the
grooves become smaller, the bloom
is reduced in cross section and elon­
gated. The shape of the structural is
determined by the contour of the
grooves in the rolls.
Extrusion. Extruding of metal
often is compared with squeezing
toothpaste from a tube. Extruded
aluminum shapes are produced by
placing heated billets (aluminum
logs) in an enclosed cylinder in a
powerful press. A hydraulic ram
which usually has a force of several
million pounds pushes the metal
through a design cut in a die at the
other end of the cylinder. The metal
takes the contour of the die in
cross-section and then may be cut
into desired lengths. By designing
different dies, almost any shape of
aluminum product may be formed.
The press is operated by an ex­
trusion press operator (D.O.T.
614.782) who regulates the rate of
extrusion to prevent metal rupture
and adherence of metal to contour
walls.
Another type of extrusion is im­
pact extrusion, a combination of ex­
trusion and forging. Shapes of alu­
minum are inserted in dies of pow­
erful presses. A punch gives the slug
a forceful downward blow, and the
metal of the slug is forced around
the punch. The production process
is basically complete in the one
blow.

Maintenance, Transportation and
Plant Service Occupations

Large numbers of workers are
employed in the aluminum industry
to keep machines and equipment

618

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Professional, Technical, and
Related Occupations

Workers check aluminum being shaped by extrusion press.

operating properly. Others are en­
gaged in moving materials, supplies,
and finished products throughout
the plants; still others are employed
in service occupations such as
guard, policeman, and custodian.
Many of these occupations also are
common to other industries. (See
index to the Handbook.)
The critical importance of elec­
tricity to the reduction process re­
quires a relatively large number of
electricians to install electrical wir­
ing and maintain electrical fixtures,
apparatus, and control equipment.
Electronics mechanics repair com­
puters, industrial controls, radiogra­
phy equipment, and other complex
electronic gear.
Millwrights move, maintain, and
repair mechanical equipment. They
take apart and restore to operating
use machinery essential to alumi­




num production and fabrication.
Maintenance machinists are em­
ployed in plant machine shops to
make and repair mechanical parts
used in the plant machinery and
equipment. Stationary engineers op­
erate and maintain the powerplants,
turbines, steam engines, and motors
used in aluminum plants.
Diemakers lay out, assemble, and
repair dies used in aluminum metal­
working operations. Bricklayers
build, rebuild, and reline boilers,
furnaces, soaking pits, and similar
installations. Plumbers and pipefit­
ters lay out, install, and maintain
piping and piping systems for steam,
water, and industrial materials used
in aluminum manufacture. Mainte­
nance welders join metal parts by
hand or machine riveting and by re­
sistance welding and electric arc
and gas welding.

Engineers, scientists, and techni­
cians make up a significant propor­
tion of nonproduction worker em­
ployment in the industry.
Quality control is essential in
producing aluminum. Companies
employ quality control chemists to
analyze the aluminum and the raw
materials used in its production.
Process metallurgists determine the
most efficient methods of producing
aluminum from raw materials.
Physical metallurgists conduct mi­
croscopic, X-ray, spectroscopic, and
physical and mechanical property
tests of aluminum and alloys to de­
termine their physical characteris­
tics. They also develop new alloys
and new uses for aluminum and al­
loys.
Chemical engineers and mechani­
cal engineers design and supervise
the construction and operation of
reduction and fabricating facilities.
Most mechanical engineers are em­
ployed in the fabricating sectors of
the industry, where they may de­
sign, regulate, and improve rolling
mills and related equipment.
Electrical engineers plan and
oversee the installation, operation,
and maintenance of the electric gen­
erators, transmission, and distribu­
tion systems used in the manufacture
of aluminum.
Industrial engineers conduct
work measurement studies, develop
management control systems to aid
in financial planning and cost analy­
sis, and, in general, determine the
most effective methods of using the
basic factors of production: man­
power, machines, and materials.
Engineering technicians, labora­
tory technicians, and chemical ana­
lysts assist engineers and chemists in
research and development work.
Draftsmen prepare the working

EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK AND OCCUPATIONS IN THE ALUMINUM INDUSTRY

drawings that are required for the
manufacture and repair of reduction
and fabricating machinery.
A wide range of other profes­
sional and administrative occupa­
tions is needed to facilitate the
manufacture of aluminum. Top
executives manage the companies
and determine policy decisions. Mid­
dleline managers and superintend­
ents direct individual departments,
offices, and operations. The industry
also employs accountants, lawyers,
statisticians, economists, and mathe­
maticians, and other administrative
personnel.
Clerical and Related Occupations

A large group of clerical workers,
including bookkeepers, secretaries,
stenographers, clerk typists, and
keypunch and computer operators
keep records for the company and
transact everyday business.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Aluminum companies generally
hire and train inexperienced
workers for processing and mainte­
nance jobs. For most professional
occupations, the minimum require­
ment is a bachelor’s degree. For re­
search and development work, most
companies prefer graduate degrees.
Administrative and managerial posi­
tions usually are filled by people
who have engineering or other spe­
cialized backgrounds and have been
promoted to such jobs. Sales posi­
tions often are filled by people hav­
ing engineering or related technical
backgrounds.
Applicants and employees who
demonstrate a capacity for technical
work have opportunities to qualify
as technicians, laboratory assistants,
and other semiprofessionals. Some
college background in science or




graduation from a technical institute
or community college is required
for many technical jobs.
Some jobs in the industry can be
learned in a few days; craft, engi­
neering, and scientific positions re­
quire years of preparation. New,
unskilled workers often begin their
careers in labor pools from which
they are assigned to fill in for regu­
lar workers who are absent. After
working in the pool for a specified
period, they become eligible for a
permanent position in a shop or de­
partment. As workers acquire addi­
tional skills and seniority with the
company, they usually move to
more responsible and better paying
positions. Former production and
maintenance workers fill many fore­
men and supervisory positions.
Craftsmen are trained most often
on the job. A number of companies,
particularly the larger ones, have
apprenticeship programs. Under
these programs, apprentices take re­
lated instruction courses in class­
rooms or at home and also work
with experienced craftsmen to ob­
tain practical on-the-job experience.
The length of the apprenticeship
varies according to the requirements
of the particular craft, although
most require 3 or 4 years. The fol­
lowing crafts are included among
the apprenticeship programs cur­
rently in force in the industry: elec­
trician, welder, brickmason, carpen­
ter, pyrometer man, machinist,
maintenance mechanic, pipefitter,
diemaker, roll grinder, sheet-metal
worker, and automotive mechanics.
Generally, candidates for programs
are chosen from promising young
men already employed by the com­
pany.

619

expected to rise moderately through
the 1970’s, although the amount of
aluminum produced annually is
likely to increase much more
rapidly. Most job opportunities will
stem from the need to replace
workers who retire, die, or leave the
industry for other reasons. Openings
arising from deaths and retirements
alone are expected to average sev­
eral thousand a year.
Demand for aluminum is ex­
pected to continue to grow at a fast
rate because of its natural prop­
erties and the industry’s aggressive
marketing program. Moreover, in­
dustries that represent major mar­
kets for aluminum are growing in­
dustries with potential for new
product development. For example,
motor vehicle manufacturers are ex­
panding the use of the metal in au­
tomobile components, and virtually
the entire bodies of many trucks
and buses are made of aluminum.
Aluminum is being used widely in
the construction of large office and
institutional buildings and for resi­
dential construction and remodel­
ing. To take advantage of this
potential, the aluminum industry
supports a strong research and de­
velopment program which should
continue to develop new alloys,
processes, and products. As a result,
the number of engineers, scientists,
and technical personnel is expected
to increase as a proportion of total
employment. On the other hand,
larger cell and plant capacities and
technological developments, such as
continuous casting and computer
controlled rolling operations, will
limit employment growth among
some production occupations.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Employment Outlook

Employment in the industry is

Earnings of plant workers in the
aluminum industry are higher than

620

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

the average for other manufacturing
industries. For example, in 1970,
production workers in primary alu­
minum plants averaged $167.69 a
week or $4.09 an hour for a 41.0
hour week. Production workers in
aluminum rolling and drawings
plants averaged $154.84 a week or
$3.74 an hour for a 41.4 hour
week. This compared with average
earnings of $133.73 per week or
$3.36 an hour for a 39.8 hour week
for production workers in all manu­
facturing.
Skilled operators and skilled
maintenance and craft workers hold
the highest paying plant jobs. Stand­
ard hourly rates effective in early
1971 for selected occupations in a
number of plants of a large alumi­
num producer are shown as follows:
O c c u p a tio n

H o u r ly
w a g e r a te

Reduction:
Laborer ................................. $
Scaleman .............................
Industrial trucker................
Soaking pit operator ..........
Annealing furnace operator..
Potman .................................
Pourer ...................................
Tapper .................................

3.092
3.482
3.417
3.547
3.612
3.687
3.417
3.947

Fabricating:
Mill helper...........................
Stretcher-leveler operator....
Scalper operator ................
Inspector ...............................
Hot mill operator ..............
Continuous mill operator....
4-Hi mill operator..............

3.157
3.547
3.547
3.612
4.067
4.132
4.132

Maintenance:
Boiler fireman .....................




3.872

Carpenter .............................
Welder, pipefitter,
millwright .......................
Layout man .........................
Electrician, machinist,
pyrometer man ..............

4.197
4.262
4.392
4.459

In addition to the above rates,
premium pay is given for over-time
work and for work on Sundays and
holidays. Aluminum workers also
receive other benefits, such as paid
vacations and holidays; retirement
benefits; life, sickness and accident
hospital, medical and surgical insur­
ance; shift differentials; supplemen­
tal jury pay; and supplemental un­
employment benefits. Most workers
receive vacation pay ranging from 1
to 4 weeks, depending on length of
service. In addition, an extended
vacation plan provides 13-week va­
cations (including regular vacation
time) every 5 years.
Salaried personnel generally re­
ceive benefits comparable to those
for hourly employees. Starting sala­
ries are determined by the job being
filled, the applicant’s qualifications,
comparable area and industry wage
scales, and the structure of the
hourly pay scale at the plant. Grad­
uates of accredited colleges receive
good starting salaries, and engineer­
ing graduates usually receive the
highest offers.
The reduction of alumina to alu­
minum requires high temperatures.
The potroom is often hot, dusty,
and smoky. In recent years working
conditions in reduction plants have
been improved as a result of fume

control programs and other proj­
ects. The fabricating side of the in­
dustry offers more favorable work
conditions though workers in cer­
tain jobs are subject to high
temperatures, noises, and other dis­
comforts. Maintenance shops offer
favorable working atmosphere. Be­
cause aluminum reduction is a con­
tinuous operation, some workers are
required to work at night and on
weekends.
The industry stresses safe work­
ing conditions and conducts inten­
sive programs of worker safety edu­
cation. For example, reduction
plants have had a consistently lower
frequency rate of injuries per man­
hour than in other primary nonferrous metal smelting and refining
plants.
Most process and maintenance
workers in the aluminum industry
belong to labor unions. In addition,
labor organizations represent some
office, technical, and security per­
sonnel. The unions having the
greatest number of members in the
industry are United Steelworkers of
America; Aluminum Workers Inter­
national Union; and International
Union, United Automobile, Aero­
space and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America.

Sources of Additional Information
The Aluminum Association, 750
Third Ave., New York, N.Y.
10017.

O C C U P A T I O N S IN T H E
A P P A R E L IN D U S T R Y

Although apparel factories are
located in nearly all States, approxi­
mately 7 out of every 10 of the
workers are employed in 10 States:
New York, Pennsylvania, New Jer­
sey, California, Georgia, Tennessee,
North Carolina, Texas, Massachu­
setts and South Carolina.
In women’s outerwear manufac­
turing—of dresses, blouses, skirts,
suits, and coats—almost one-half of
the workers were employed in
plants located in the New YorkNortheastern New Jersey metropol­
itan area and in areas of Pennsylva­
nia such as Wilkes-Barre-Hazelton,
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, and
Philadelphia. However, many jobs
for workers manufacturing women’s
outerwear also are found in Los
Angeles-Long Beach and San Fran­
Nature and Location of the
Industry
cisco, California; Fall River-New
Bedford, Massachusetts; Miami,
About 1.4 million men and Florida; Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Il­
women were employed in the ap­ linois; and St. Louis, Missouri.
parel industry in 1970. Approxi­
In the men’s and boy’s tailored
mately 624,000 produced women’s
clothing industry—suits, coats, and
and children’s apparel and about
overcoats—the majority of jobs are
506,000 men’s. Among women’s
in metropolitan centers, namely;
and children’s garment workers,
Philadelphia, New York City, Balti­
about 432,000 workers made
more, Chicago, Rochester-Buffalo,
dresses, skirts, blouses, suits, and
Cleveland, Boston, St. Louis, Los
coats for women and girls and an­
Angeles-Long Beach, Knoxville,
other 118,000, undergarments for
and Cincinnati. In manufacture of
women and children. In the men’s
men’s, youths’ and boys’ furnishings
apparel industry, 126,000 workers
such as work clothing and shirts,
produced tailored clothing (suits,
and undergarments for women and
overcoats, topcoats, and sportcoats)
children, most jobs are located in
for men and boys and 380,000
the South, Southwest, and Central
made men’s and boys’ shirts, slacks
Atlantic states, primarily in small
and trousers, work clothes, night­
wear, undergarments, and other communities.
Most apparel factories are small.
furnishings. Another 92,000 made
such items as fur goods, raincoats, Although plants have been growing
hats, gloves, and dressing gowns. larger in recent years, only about
About 163,000 workers produced one out of seven of them employ
more than 100 workers. Many of
curtains and draperies.
The apparel industry is an impor­
tant source of jobs for a range of
workers who have widely different
skills and interests. Many of the
jobs in this industry can be learned
in a few weeks; others take several
years.
The apparel industry is the Na­
tion’s largest employer of women in
manufacturing. Four out of five gar­
ment workers are women. Most
sewing machine operators are
women. However, many others work
in jobs such as hand sewer and de­
signer. Men usually predominate in
jobs such as cutter and marker,
presser, production manager, engi­
neer, and salesman.




the large plants make men’s and
boys’ apparel. Plants that manufac­
ture garments that are subject to
rapid style change tend to be
smaller than those making stan­
dard-type garments such as work
pants.

Occupations in the Industry

The major operations in making
apparel are designing the garment,
cutting the cloth, sewing the pieces
together, and pressing the assem­
bled garment. Generally, high-grade
apparel and style-oriented garments
are more carefully designed and in­
volve more handwork and fewer
machine operations than the
cheaper, more standardized gar­
ments. For example, much hand-de­
tailing goes into a woman’s highpriced fashionable cocktail dress or
into a man’s high-priced suit or
coat. In contrast, standardized gar­
ments such as men’s undershirts,
overalls, and work shirts usually
are sewn entirely by machine. To
make the many different types,
styles, and grades of garments,
workers with various skills and edu­
cational backgrounds are employed
in the apparel industry.
Designing Room Occupations. Typ­
ically, the manufacturing pro­
cess begins with the designer
(D.O.T. 142.081) who creates
original designs for new types and
styles of apparel. The designer usu­
ally works with one type of apparel,
such as men’s suits or women’s
dresses. Due to some manufacturers
who have diversified, especially in
sportswear, designers work with
more than one type of apparel.
For women’s apparel, the designer
may get ideas by visiting museums,
libraries, and major fashion centers
in both the United States and Eu­
rope. The designer makes sketches
of his designs and presents them to
621

622

the management and sales staff of
his company for approval. The
sketches include information about
the type of fabric, trim, and color.
In designing women’s or children’s
garments, he may make an experi­
mental garment in muslin from ap­
proved sketches. He cuts, pins, sews
and adjusts the muslin on a dress
form or on a live model until the
garment matches his sketch. In
large manufacturing plants, a sam­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ple stitcher (D.O.T. 785.381 ) pre­
pares these sample garments by fol­
lowing the designer’s sketch and
performing all necessary machine
and hand sewing operations.
Since designing is a creative job,
designers usually work without
close supervision, but they must
produce a satisfactory number of
successful styles during a season,
especially when designing women’s
fashion garments. A large garment

manufacturer generally has one de­
signer and several assistants who
often have specialized designing re­
sponsibilities of their own. Many
small plants and plants making stan­
dardized garments do not employ
designers but purchase ready-made
designs or patterns.
When the sample garment or
sketch has been approved, it is
sent to a patternmaker (D.O.T.
781.381) who constructs a full-size
master pattern. Working closely
with the designer, the patternmaker
translates the sketch or sample gar­
ment into paper or fiberboard pat­
tern pieces to be used as guides for
cutting fabric. In drawing and cut­
ting pattern pieces, the pattern­
maker must make allowances for
pleats, tucks, yokes, seams and
shrinkage. In some shops designers
or all-round tailors make patterns;
in others, the assistant designer per­
forms the patternmaking tasks.
The master pattern serves as a
guide for the pattern grader
(D.O.T. 781.381) who makes a
wide range of sizes in each garment
style. In a sense, the pattern grader
is a specialized draftsman. He mea­
sures the pieces that make up the
master pattern and modifies them to
fit all sizes. The pattern grader then
outlines each revised pattern piece
on fiberboard and cuts out the
pieces by following the outlines.
After he completes a set of pattern
pieces for each garment size, he at­
taches a label to identify the part
and size of the garment. Some large
plants use computers to reduce the
length of time required to draw up
the pattern for each garment size
from the master pattern.
Cutting Room Occupations. Work­
ers in the cutting room prepare
cloth for sewing into articles of
wearing apparel. There are five
basic operations in the cutting de-

623

OCCUPATIONS IN THE APPAREL INDUSTRY

partment: spreading marking, cut­
ting, assembling, and ticketing.
Small shops may combine two or
more of these operations into a sin­
gle job. Most jobs in the cutting
room are held by men.

parts will match when the garment
is assembled. Before making the
full-size paper markers, larger
plants may photograph miniature

(D.O.T. 781.687) bring together
and bundle garment pieces and ac­
cessories (linings, tapes, and trim­
mings) needed to make a complete

Marker traces outline of pattern.

Hand
spreaders
(D.O.T.
781.887) lay out neat bolts of cloth
into exact lengths on the cutting
board. Machine spreaders (D.O.T.
781.884) are aided by machines in
laying the cloth evenly back and
forth across the table.
In most plants, markers (D.O.T.
781.484) trace the fiber-board pat­
tern pieces on large sheets of paper
and make several carbons of these
tracings. Some plants that make
men’s and boys’ suits and coats
trace the pattern pieces with chalk
directly on the cloth itself, rather
than on paper. To get the greatest
number of cuttings from a given
quantity of cloth, markers arrange
pattern pieces so that there is just
enough distance between them for
the cutter to work. Plaids, stripes,
and other patterned fabrics must be
marked so that adjoining garment




Cutter directs electrically powered cutting knife.

patterns which have been arranged
in acceptable positions to minimize
fabric waste.
A cutter (D.O.T. 781.884) cuts
out the various garment pieces from
the layers of cloth which are spread
on the cutting table. He follows the
outline of the pattern on the cloth
with an electrically powered cutting
knife which cuts through all the lay­
ers at once. Sometimes layers of
cloth are as high as 9 inches. The
work of a cutter and a marker fre­
quently is combined into a single
job of cutter-marker.
The pieces of cloth that have
been cut are prepared for the sew­
ing room by another group of spe­
cialized workers. Assemblers, some­
times called bundlers or fitters,

garment. They match color, size,
and fabric design and use chalk or
thread to mark locations for pock­
ets, buttonholes, buttons, and other
trimmings. They identify each bun­
dle with a ticket, which is also used
to figure the earnings of workers
who are paid for the number of
pieces they produce. The bundles
are then routed to the various sec­
tions of the sewing room.
Sewing Room Occupations. Almost
half of all apparel workers are
handsewers and machine stitchers.
Most of the employees in these jobs
are women. The quality and style of
the finished garment usually deter­
mine how much hand sewing is in­
volved. Generally, higher priced

624

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

stitch machine operator, and by the
type of work performed, such as
collar stitcher or sleeve finisher.
Most hand sewing is done on bet­
ter quality or highly styled dresses,
suits and coats to produce garments
for better fit. Hand sewers (D.O.T.
782.884) use needle and thread to
perform various operations ranging
from simple sewing to complex
stitching. Many hand sewers spe­
cialize in a single operation, such as
lapel basting or lining stitching.
In a typical apparel plant, bun­
dles of cut garment pieces move
through the sewing department,
where the garments take form as
they pass through a series of sewing
operations. Each operator performs

clothing, such as suits and coats, re­
quire more hand sewing than do
standardized garments. In the aver­
age plant, however, the work is bro­
ken down into a large number of
machine operations. Some hand
sewing is done when the garment
nears completion.
Sewing
machine
operators
(D.O.T. 787.782) use sewing
machines that are generally heavier
and capable of faster speeds than
the sewing machines found in the
home. Special devices or attach­
ments that hold buttons, guide
stitches, or fold seams are often
used. Sewing machine operators




generally specialize in a single oper­
ation such as sewing shoulder
seams, attaching cuffs to sleeves, or
hemming blouses. Some make gar­
ment sections such as pockets, col­
lars, or sleeves; others assemble and
join these completed sections to the
main parts of the garment. Sewing
machine operators employed in
shops making high priced dresses
and women’s coats and suits may
perform all the machine operations
on a garment.
Sewing machine operators gener­
ally are classified by type of mach­
ine they use, such as single-needle
sewing machine operator or blind-

one or two assigned tasks on each
piece in the bundle and then passes
the bundle to the next operator.
Many plants employ material han­
dlers (D.O.T. 929.887) often
called floor boys or floor girls who
move garment bundles from one
sewing operation to another.
At various stages of the sewing
operations, inspectors and checkers
(D.O.T. 789.687) examine gar-

OCCUPATIONS IN THE APPAREL INDUSTRY

ments for proper workmanship.
They mark defects such as skipped
stitches or bad seams, which are re­
paired before the garments are
passed on to the next sewing opera­
tion. Inspectors sometimes make
minor repairs. Trimmer, hand
(D.O.T. 781.887) often called
thread trimmers and cleaners, re­
move loose threads, basting stitches,
and lint from garments. This is
called “in-process inspection.”
Tailoring
Occupations.
Tailors
(D.O.T. 785.381 and .261) and
dressmakers (D.O.T. 785.361) are
able to make garments from start to
finish by hand or by machine. Some
skilled tailors who are employed in
plants to make men’s, women’s, and
children’s outer garments may make
up sample garments from the de­
signer’s specifications.
Bushelmen (D.O.T. 785.281),
repair defects in finished garments
that were rejected by the inspector.
They alter garment parts that have
not been sewn correctly, rearrange
padding in coats and suits, and do
other sewing necessary to correct
defects.
Pressing Occupations. The shape
and appearance of the finished gar­
ments depend, to a large extent, on
the amount of pressing that is done
during and after sewing operations.
Pressing is particularly important in
making high-quality garments. For
example, from time to time during
the sewing of suits, coats, and better
quality dresses, seams are pressed
open in order to produce a better fit­
ting and neater garment and to
make it easier to assemble the gar­
ment. This is called “under-press­
ing.” In the manufacture of lighter
weight garments, on the other hand,
pressing is done only after comple­
tion of all the sewing operations.
Pressers (D.O.T. 363.782, .884,




and .885) use various types of
steam pressing machines, and may
work with manikins and body
forms, or use hand irons to flatten
seams and to shape garment parts
and finished garments. Pressers may
specialize in one type of pressing or
ironing. For example, in a shirt fac­
tory, a collar pointer (D.O.T.
583.885) operates a pressing ma­
chine that shapes and presses points
of shirt collars.
There are two basic types of
pressers—underpressers and finish
pressers. Underpressers specialize
on particular garment parts, such as
collars, shoulders, seams, or pock­
ets. Their duties vary from simple
smoothing of cloth and flattening of
seams to skillful shaping of garment
parts. Finish pressers generally do
final pressing and ironing at the end
of the sewing operations.
Fur Shop Occupations. The apparel
industry includes plants that manu­
facture garments made of fur. Be­
cause furs are expensive and diffi­
cult to work with, each operation in
making a fur garment requires
skilled handwork by an experienced
craftman. Many of these workers
have special skills not found in
plants that make other types of ap­
parel.
The most skilled job in a fur gar­
ment manufacturing plant is that of
a cutter who sometimes is also the
foreman in the shop. A fur cutter
(D.O.T. 783.781) selects and
matches enough fur skins to make a
single garment, such as a fur coat or
jacket. He arranges and cuts the
skins on pattern pieces so that the
choice sections of fur are placed
where they will show. Following the
sewing instruction given by the cut­
ter, fur machine operators (D.O.T.
787.782) stitch these pelts together
to form the major garment sections.
A fur nailer (D.O.T. 783.884) wets

625

the sewn garment sections, stretches
them by hand, and nails them on a
board so that they will cover the
pattern. When the sections are dry,
the nailer removes the nails and
trims the fur exactly along the out­
line of the pattern. The fur machine
operator then finishes sewing the
various sections together to make
the complete garment. Fur finishers
(D.O.T. 783.381) sew in the lining,
tape edges, make prockets and sew
on buttons and loops.
Administrative, Sales and Mainte­
nance Occupations. The majority of
the administrative positions in an
apparel plant are in the production
department. The production man­
ager occupies a strategic position in
apparel firms. He is responsible for
estimating production costs, sched­
uling the flow of work, hiring and
training workers, controlling qual­
ity, and supervising the overall
production activities of the plant.
The industrial engineer advises
management about the efficient use
of
machines,
materials,
and
workers. (Further discussion of in­
dustrial engineers is included else­
where in the Handbook.)
Clerks, bookkeepers, stenogra­
phers, and other office workers make
up payrolls, prepare invoices, keep
records, and attend to other paper­
work required in this industry. In
some larger plants, many clerical
functions are being handled with
computers. This requires keypunch
operators, computer programers
and operators, and systems analysts.
Salesmen, purchasing agents, mod­
els, credit managers, and accoun­
tants are among other types of
workers in the apparel industry.
Sewing machine mechanics are re­
sponsible for keeping the industry’s
large number of sewing machines in
good running order. (Discussions of

626

many of these jobs can be found
elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Training requirements for prod­
uction (plant) jobs in the apparel
industry range from a few weeks of
on-the-job training to several
months of training and experience.
The difference in training time
needed before an employee can
reach his maximum speed and
efficiency depends on the type of
job, the worker’s aptitude, and the
employer’s training program. Many
plant workers pick up their skills
while working as helpers or assist­
ants to experienced workers. Ap­
prenticeship is infrequent and is
limited mainly to designing, cutting,
or tailoring jobs. Some private and
public schools in garment manufac­
turing centers offer instruction in
occupations such as designing, pat­
ternmaking, and cutting, as well as
sewing by machine and by hand.
Good eyesight and manual dex­
terity are essential for most produc­
tion jobs in the apparel industry.
Many occupations are well suited
for handicapped workers since most
jobs are performed while the
worker is seated. Little physical ex­
ertion is required. Older workers
and women also perform well in a
variety of jobs. Many workers in
their fifties and sixties are among
the most skilled and productive.
Women are employed in most of the
occupations in this industry, al­
though men hold most of the cut­
ting, tailoring, and pressing jobs.
Designers enter the industry in
various ways. Many receive their
training by working on the job with
experienced designers, by advancing
from cutting or pattemmaking jobs,
or through apprenticeship. There is




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

an increasing tendency for apparel
firms to recruit designers from col­
leges that offer specialized training
in design. Some young people with
a background in designing may take
jobs as designers with small firms,
and once their reputations have
been established, transfer to jobs in
larger, better paying firms. In large
firms, young people may start as as­
sistant designers.
A designer should have artistic
ability, including a talent for sketch­
ing, a thorough knowledge of fab­
rics, a keen sense of color, and the
ability to translate design ideas into
a finished garment. He should also
be acquainted with garmentmaking
techniques which he may learn by
working briefly at various operative
jobs, such as machine sewing, drap­
ing, sample making, and cutting.
The production manager usually
begins as a management trainee,
and the industrial engineer as a jun­
ior engineer. A college education is
increasingly being required for these
jobs. For those without this educa­
tional background, many years of
on-the-job training in all production
processes, ranging from selection of
fabrics to shipment of finished ap­
parel, are often required to qualify
as a production manager.
Most patternmakers pick up the
skills of the trade by working for
several years as helpers to experi­
enced patternmakers. Pattern grad­
ers and cutters are occasionally
promoted to patternmaking jobs.
Patternmakers must have the ability
to visualize from a sketch or model,
furnished by the designer, the size,
shape, and number of pattern pieces
required. Patternmakers must also
have a detailed understanding of
how garments are made as well as a
knowledge of body proportions.
Like the designer, they must also
have a thorough knowledge of fab­
rics.

Pattern graders usually are se­
lected from employees working in
the cutting room or in other plant
jobs. Training in drafting is helpful
since much of the work requires the
use of drafting tools and techniques.
Most workers enter the cutting
room by taking jobs as assemblers
(bundlers or fitters). Patience and
the ability to match colors and pat­
terns are necessary qualifications for
these jobs. Assemblers (bundlers, or
fitters), may be promoted to jobs
such as spreader. Several years of
experience in the cutting room are
required before an employee can
become a skilled marker or cutter.
A small number of the larger plants
have
apprenticeship
programs
which usually last 4 years and in­
clude training in spreading, cutting,
marking, and patternmaking.
Entry into beginning hand- or
machine-sewing jobs is relatively
easy for young women, since there
are few restrictions regarding edu­
cation and physical condition. Some
previous training in sewing opera­
tions is preferred, but many apparel
plants hire workers who have had
no experience in sewing. Generally,
training is informal and received on
the job. New workers usually start
by sewing straight seams, under the
supervision of a section foreman or
experienced worker.
Some large companies have for­
mal on-the-job training programs
for sewing machine operators.
Training usually consists of learning
how to perform a single operation
with minimal finger, arm, and body
movements.
Most sewing jobs require the
ability to do routine work rapidly.
The same sewing operation is re­
peated on each identical garment
piece. Since almost all these
workers are paid on the basis of the
number of pieces produced, any
clumsiness of hand may reduce the

627

OCCUPATIONS IN THE APPAREL INDUSTRY

worker’s earnings. Good eyesight
and ability to work at a steady and
fast pace are essential for both
hand- and machine-sewing jobs.
The average sewing machine op­
erator has little opportunity for pro­
motion beyond section forelady, al­
though some sewing machine opera­
tors have worked their way up to
production manager. Most sewers
stay on the same general type of op­
eration throughout most of their
working lives. However, some
workers may be moved from sim­
pler sewing operations to more
complicated tasks that pay higher
piece rates.
Some tailors and dressmakers
learn the trade through vocational
training in day or evening schools.
Graduates from vocational schools
frequently are hired and given addi­
tional training on the job. Others
learn the trade informally, on the
job starting with relatively easy sew­
ing operations and progressively
advancing to more difficult opera­
tions. It requires several years of
experience to become an all-round
tailor or dressmaker.
Tailors and dressmakers may
qualify for jobs as fitters or altera­
tion tailors in department stores,
clothing stores, and cleaning and
dyeing shops.
Pressers usually begin as underpressers working on simple seams
and garment parts. This job can be
learned in a very short time. After
the pressers gain experience, they
work on more difficult operations
and eventually may be promoted to
the job of finish presser. Pressing,
like tailoring, is one of the few nee­
dle trades in which workers can find
similar employment in stores and in
cleaning and dyeing shops. There is
some transferring back and forth
between pressing jobs inside and
outside the apparel industry.




automatically position fabric pieces
under the needle and remove and
Employment in the apparel in­ stack completed pieces; equipment
dustry is expected to increase that automatically spreads fabrics
moderately through the 1970’s. In on cutting tables; and the more
addition to the thousands of job widespread use of computers and
opportunities expected to result from conveyor systems for controlling
employment growth, a considerable and improving the movement of
number of opportunities for young fabrics and apparel. The major im­
people will occur because of the pact of machanization is expected to
tens of thousands of experienced be in reducing the time an operator
workers who will leave the industry. must spend in positioning and re­
About 4 out of 5 of the industry’s moving work done at each stage of
workers are women, a large number a production process. Most sewing,
of whom leave the industry each pressing, and cutting operations are
year to marry or to raise families. expected to continue primarily as
Also, this industry employs more manual operations through the
older workers than many industries. 1970’s.
It is estimated that deaths and re­
Most employment opportunities
tirements alone will provide 74,000 will be in sewing machine operator
job openings annually.
jobs because this occupational
Demand for apparel in the years group is the largest and is made up
ahead is expected to increaee mostly of women who have a high
rapidly. The increased demand for turnover rate. Designers will have
apparel will result mainly from in­ many opportunities because a large
creasing population and affluence. proportion of this group also is
Increased emphasis on styling by composed of women. Some job
the industry is also expected to be openings will occur also in tailoring
reflected in more frequent pur­ occupations in which a large pro­
chases of apparel. Rising per capita portion of the employees are older
income during the 1970’s should workers.
Several thousand job opportuni­
whet the consumer appetite for
greater novelty in clothing. Further­ ties will develop for industrial and
more, as per capita income increases mechanical engineers, salaried man­
people will, undoubtedly, go in for agers, and skilled machine mechan­
more leisure activities which should ics. Shortages of these workers
generate demand for special pur­ probably will continue because of
expected growth in the size of indi­
pose apparel such as ski clothing.
Employment in the industry, how­ vidual apparel establishments, in the
ever, is not expected to increase as number and size of companies oper­
rapidly as demand for apparel. ating more than one establishment,
Gradual increases in the use of and in the installation of new me­
mechanized equipment and other chanical equipment.
Openings for tailors, sample
laborsaving devices resulting from
anticipated increases in research makers, and other skilled personnel
and development expenditures are in the apparel industry will continue
expected to result in greater output to be found mainly in the metropoli­
per worker. Examples of such tan centers where plants manufac­
equipment include sewing machines turing dresses, women’s suits and
that can position needles and trim coats, or men’s and boys’ suits and
threads automatically; devices that coats are located. There will be a
Employment Outlook

628

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

small number of new jobs in men’s
clothing designing, patternmaking,
and cutting room jobs.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1970, average earnings of
production workers in the apparel
industry were $84.37 a week or
$2.39 an hour, compared with
$133.73 a week or $3.36 an hour
for those in all manufacturing indus­
tries. Production workers in this in­
dustry generally worked fewer
hours per week than those in manu­
facturing as a whole. Production
workers have much higher earnings
in some kinds of garment factories
than in others. For example, those
making men’s and boy’s suits and
coats averaged $101.85 a week in
1970, whereas those producing
men’s work clothing averaged
$73.53 a week. Earnings of apparel
workers also vary by occupation
and geographical area. For exam­
ple, average hourly earnings of cut­
ters and pressers in almost all areas
are higher than those of sewing
machine operators; and average
hourly earnings generally are lower
in the South than in the Middle At­
lantic States. The following tabula­
tion gives estimated average hourly
earnings for selected occupations
and geographical areas in one seg­
ment of the apparel industry in
April 1970.
Because most production workers
in the apparel industry are paid on
the basis of the number of pieces
M e n ’s a n d B o y s ’ S u its a n d C o a ts
C o a t F a b r ic a tio n




they produce their total earnings
depend upon speed as well as skill.
Sewing machine operators, hand
sewers, and pressers generally are
paid on a piecework basis. Cutters
are paid either piecework rates or
hourly wages, depending upon the
practice in the area or shop in
which they work. Most of the other
workers, including tailors, pattern­
makers, graders, inspectors, and
work distributors, are generally paid
by the hour or week.
In most metropolitan areas, most
apparel employees work in shops
that have union contracts. New em­
ployees in plants which have these
agreements are required to join the
union after 30 days of employment.
These agreements deal with such
subjects as wages; hours of work;
vacation and holiday pay; seniority;
health, insurance, and pension
plans; and other employment mat­
ters. Among the unions to which ap­
parel workers belong are the Amal­
gamated Clothing Workers of
America (ACWA), International
Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union
(ILGWU), and United Garment
Workers of America (UGW). The
ILGWU sponsors vacation resorts
for union members and their fam­
ilies. Both the ACWA and the
ILGWU operate health centers for
garment workers in major produc­
ing areas. The Amalgamated Cloth­
ing Workers of America operates
child day care centers in the Balti­
more, Maryland area and in Chi­
cago and cooperative housing in
E s t i m a te d a v e r a g e h o u r ly e a r n in g s
P h ila d e lp h ia
C h ic a g o
S t. L o u is

$3.06
4.45
4.02
2.60
3.17
3.71
3.38
3.05

$3.26
4.34
3.82
2.82
3.24
3.21
3.07
3.07

$2.52
2.75
3.59
2.50
2.50
2.67
2.52
2.45

New York City, Chicago, and Phila­
delphia. The International Ladies’
Garment Workers’ Union also spon­
sors cooperative housing in New
York City.
Workers in the apparel industry
can expect to lose very little work
time as a result of strikes or other
work stoppages because the indus­
try has had many years of peaceful
labor-management relations. How­
ever, workers making certain type
of garments may have layoffs of
several weeks during slack seasons.
Generally, such layoffs occur more
often in plants making seasonal gar­
ments, such as women’s coats and
suits, than in plants producing stan­
dardized garments, such as pajamas
and men’s shirts, which are worn all
year long. In many plants, the avail­
able work during slack periods is di­
vided so that workers can be as­
sured of at least some earnings.
Many apparel establishments,
especially those in metropolitan
areas are housed in old buildings
whose surroundings and facilities
may frequently leave much to be
desired. Newly constructed plants
usually have ample space, good
lighting, and air conditioning. Some
of the new plants have cafeterias
and health clinics with a registered
nurse on duty.
Most sewing jobs are performed
while sitting and are not physically
strenuous. The working pace is
rapid because workers’ earnings de­
pend on their production. In addi­
tion, many tasks are extremely mo­
notonous. Serious accidents among
sewers are rare, although a sewer
may occasionally pierce a finger
with a needle. On the other hand,
pressing may be strenuous work and
involves working with hot steam.
Working conditions in cutting
and designing rooms are pleasant.
In manufacturing establishments,
designing and cutting are often per-

OCCUPATIONS IN THE APPAREL INDUSTRY

formed in a separate area away
from the main sewing and pressing
operations. Jobs in designing and
cutting operations are more inter­
esting and less monotonous than
most other apparel jobs. Moreover,
since accuracy, skill, individual tal­
ent, and judgment are valued more
than speed in these jobs, the work
pace is less rapid.

Information concerning appren­
ticeships may be obtained from the
Apprenticeship Council of the State
Labor Department or the local
office of the U.S. Employment Ser­
vice. Some local Employment Ser­
vice offices give tests to determine
hand-eye coordination, which is im­
portant for many apparel industry
jobs.
Information may be obtained
from the following sources:

Sources of Additional Information

Information relating to vocational
and high schools that offer training
in designing, tailoring, and sewing
may be obtained from the Division
of Vocational Education of the De­
partment of Education in the State
capital.




Amalgamated Clothing Workers of
America, 15 Union Square, New
York, N.Y. 10003.
American Apparel Manufacturers
Association, Inc., 2000 K St. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20006.
Associated Fur Manufacturers, Inc.,
101 West 30th St., New York,
N.Y. 10001.

629
Clothing Manufacturers Association
of U.S.A., 135 West 50th St.,
New York, N.Y. 10020.
National Outerwear and Sports­
wear Association, Inc., 347 Fifth
Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016.
International
Ladies’
Garment
Workers’ Union, 1710 Broadway,
New York, N.Y. 10019.
United Garment Workers of Amer­
ica, 31 Union Square, New York,
N.Y. 10003.
International Association of Cloth­
ing Designers, 12 South 12th
Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107.
National Board of the Coat and
Suit Industry, 450 Seventh Ave.,
New York, N.Y. 10001.
National Dress Manufacturers’ As­
sociation, Inc., 570 Seventh Ave.,
New York, N.Y. 10018.

O C C U P A T I O N S IN T H E
A T O M IC E N E R G Y F IE L D

Atomic energy is a very compact for propulsion of submarines and
source of enormous heat and radia­ surface vessels. By eliminating re­
tion that can be used for peaceful as fueling, nuclear propulsion extends
well as military purposes. Peaceful the range and mobility of our naval
applications are still in the early forces. Research towards develop­
stages of development, and continu­ ing nuclear propulsion for space ve­
ing research and development pro­ hicles may extend space flights be­
grams will be needed during the yond lunor-range.
Although existing reactors gener­
next several decades to find new
and more efficient ways of utilizing ate tremendous amounts of power
from a small amount of uranium,
this force.
In 1970 more than 225,000 research is continuing to develop
workers were employed in a variety more efficient reactors. Scientists al­
of atomic energy activities. Large ready have produced uncontrolled
numbers were engaged in research fusion in the hydrogen bomb, but
and development work. Others were have not yet produced a controlled
in activities such as the manufacture fusion reaction on a relatively small
of nuclear weapons and other de­ scale. Research is being conducted
fense materials, the design and in the “Plowshare” program to de­
manufacture of nuclear reactors, velop peaceful uses for nuclear ex­
and the production of nuclear fuels. plosives. The program has many
Most atomic energy workers are sci­ potential applications in areas such
entists, engineers, technicians, or as gas and oil recovery, and the ex­
craftsmen. Employment opportuni­ cavation of harbors, canals, and
ties for these workers will be favor­ mountain passes.
able through the 1970’s.
Another application is in the use
of radioisotopes which decay or dis­

integrate spontaneously, by emit­
ting radiation that special instru­
ments, such as thickness gages, can
detect. Radioisotopes are valuable
as research tools in agriculture,
medicine, and industry.
Nuclear radiation also has good
potential as an aid in the preserva­
tion of food. One of the major
causes of food spoilage is the activ­
ity of micro-organisms. When food
is treated with radiation, these or­
ganisms are killed and the spoilage
is greatly inhibited. This treatment
makes possible the long term stor­
age of certain foods without refri­
geration, and extends the time for
marketing perishable refrigerated
items.

How Atomic Energy Is Produced

Atomic energy, or more accur­
ately nuclear energy, may be prod­
uced through several processes, the
two most important of which are fis­
sion and fusion. In fission, the nu­
cleus of a heavy atom is split, and
energy released in the form of heat
and radiation produces two or more
lighter elements. Fission is the split­
ting of the uranium or plutonium

Applications of Atomic Energy

One of the most significant uses
of atomic engery is in the produc­
tion of commercial electricity, by
using nuclear reactors as the heat
source. (See chart 28.) Steam pro­
duced by such reactors is not gener­
ating electricity for several com­
munities. These reactors have be­
come competitive with systems
using fossil fuels, such as coal and
oil, and more than 150 nuclear fa­
cilities will be built by 1980. Dualpurpose nuclear power-desalting
plants, which could provide a new
source of fresh water as well as
electric power, are being studied.
Nuclear reactors provide power
630



Nuclear reactor generating electricity
NUCLEAR REACTOR
Reactor Control

Uranium Rods-

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ATOMIC ENERGY FIELD

nucleus under neutron bombard­
ment. When neutrons emitted from
this fission process bombard other
nuclei, further fission takes place
and, under proper conditions, re­
sults in a “chain” reaction. This
reaction liberates energy which, if
controlled, can be converted into
useful power. In fusion, energy is
released by combining the nuclei of
two light atoms into a heavier atom.
The detonation of atomic bombs is
an application of the explosive re­
lease of enormous amounts of
atomic energy. Non-weapon applica­
tions require that release of this
energy be carefully controlled and
regulated so that it proceeds at a
manageable rate.
Controlled fission is the essential
feature of a nuclear reactor. The
reactor, being a furnace, requires
fuel to operate. The principal
source material for reactor fuel is
uranium 235. Uranium in its natural
state contains less than 1 percent of
readily fissionable material, uranium
U-235. Although natural uranium is
sometimes used as reactor fuel, a
more concentrated and enriched
fuel can be produced and used by
increasing the proportion of U-235
isotopes through a process called
gaseous diffusion. U-235 undergoes
fission readily, but manmade fission­
able materials, such as plutonium,
also can be used as reactor fuel.
The level of the chain reaction in
a nuclear reactor is carefully con­
trolled, usually by inserting special
neutron-absorbing rods into the fuel
chamber or “core,” of the reactor.
In this way, the rate of the fission
reaction and of the energy produced
can be regulated or stopped com­
pletely.
Thus, harnessed atomic energy is
produced in a nuclear reactor in the
form of heat and radiation. How­
ever, if reactors are to be used for
power, the heat must be removed




from the reactors and converted to
electricity by conventional equip­
ment. The major difference between
nuclear and conventional thermal
electric power stations is that the
heat needed to generate steam to
drive turbines comes from a nu­
clear reactor rather from a conven­
tional
steam-generating
boiler
fueled with coal, gas, or oil.
During the fission process, nu­
clear radiation is released. This ra­
diation, identifiable only by sensi­
tive instruments, can be ruinous to
equipment and can be highly dan­
gerous to unprotected personnel.
Therefore, special materials, resis­
tant to damage by radiation, are
used in reactors and great care is
taken to protect personnel.

Nature of the Atomic Energy Field

Many different kinds of research
and industrial activities are required
for the production and application
of nuclear energy. Included in the
various industrial processes are the
mining, milling, and refining of ura­
nium-bearing ores; the production
of nuclear fuels; the manufacture of
nuclear reactors, reactor compo­
nents, and nuclear instruments; the
production of special materials for
use in reactors; the design, engi­
neering, and construction of nuclear
facilities; the operation and mainte­
nance of nuclear reactors; the dis­
posal of radioactive wastes; the proc­
essing and packaging of radiois­
otopes; the production of nuclear
weapons; and research and develop­
ment work.
These activities are performed in
plants, in several different indus­
tries, as well as in laboratories and
other types of facilities. Much of
this work, such as ore mining and
milling, manufacture of heat trans­
fer equipment, and construction of

631

facilities, differs little from similar
nonatomic energy work. Other ac­
tivities, such as manufacture of the
fuels needed to run reactors, are
unique to the atomic energy field.
The Federal Government sup­
ports most of the basic atomic en­
ergy activities. The U.S. Atomic
Energy Commission (AEC) directs
the Federal Government’s atomic
energy program and regulates the
use of nuclear materials by private
organizations. The operation of
AEC-owned facilities, including lab­
oratories,
uranium
processing
plants, nuclear reactors, and weap­
ons manufacturing plants, is con­
tracted out to private organizations.
More than half of all workers in
atomic energy are employed in
these government-owned facilities.
In their own installations, private
firms are engaged in many types of
atomic energy activity, except de­
velopment and production of mili­
tary weapons and certain nuclear
fuel-processing operations.
A large amount of research and
development work is done in the
atomic energy field. Much of this
work is carried on by the AECowned laboratories and by univer­
sity and college laboratories, other
nonprofit institutions, and industrial
organizations under Commission
contracts.

Occupations in the Atomic Energy
Field

Engineers, scientists, technicians,
and craftsmen account for a higher
proportion of total employment in
this field than in most other fields,
largely because much of the work is
still in the research and develop­
ment phase. Office personnel in ad­
ministrative and clerical jobs repre­
sent another large group. Most of
the remaining employment consists

632

of semiskilled and unskilled workers
in production work, and plant pro­
tection and other service workers.
Although many engineers in
atomic energy are highly trained in
nuclear technology, engineers in all
other major engineering fields are
employed. Mechanical engineering
is the largest single engineering oc­
cupation, but large numbers of
electrical and electronics, nuclear
and reactor, chemical, civil, and
metallurgical engineers also are em­

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ployed. Many of these engineers do
research and development work;
others design nuclear reactors, nu­
clear instruments, and other equip­
ment used in atomic energy, and in
the operation of production plants.
Research laboratories and other
organizations engaged in atomic en­
ergy employed a large number of
scientists to perform basic and ap­
plied nuclear research. Physicists
and chemists predominate, but in­
cluded are many types of scientists,

such as mathematicians, biological
scientists, and metallurgists.
A large number of technicians as­
sist engineers and scientists in re­
search and development and in de­
signing and testing equipment and
materials. These workers include
draftsmen; electronics, instrument,
chemical, and other engineering and
physical science technicians; and ra­
diation monitors.
The atomic energy field employs
many highly skilled workers to fab­
ricate equipment to use in experi­
mental and pilot work and to main­
tain the considerable amount of
complex equipment and machinery.
Maintenance mechanics (e.g., ma­
chinery repairmen and millwrights)
and all-round machinists are em­
ployed extensively in most atomic
energy activities, as are electricians,
plumbers, pipefitters, and other
craftsmen and chemical process op­
erators.

Activities in the Atomic Energy
Field

A brief description of some im­
portant atomic energy activities and
the types of workers employed in
them follows.

Laboratory ecologist uses a radiation detecting instrument to measure radio­
activity in a live fish.




Uranium Exploration and Mining.
The 6,500 persons employed in ura­
nium exploration and mining in
1970 had jobs similar to those in
the mining of other metallic ores.
Their jobs are largely concentrated
in the Colorado Plateau area of the
Far West, in the States of New
Mexico, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado,
and Arizona. A relatively few mines
account for the bulk of production
and employment. Most workers in
uranium mines are in production
jobs, such as miner and driller in
underground mines; and as truckdriver, bulldozer operator, and

633

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ATOMIC ENERGY FIELD

machine loader in open pit mines.
About 1 out of 8 employees in ura­
nium exploration and mining is in a
professional job, such as mining en­
gineer and geologist.
Uranium Ore Milling. In uranium
mills, metallurgical and chemical
processes are used to extract ura­
nium from mined ore. Uranium
mills, located primarily in the Colo­
rado Plateau, employed about
1,700 workers in 1970.
These mills employ skilled
machinery repairmen, millwrights,
pipefitters carpenters, electricians,
and chemical process operators. A
small proportion of the employees
in milling operations are scientists
and engineers.
Uranium Refining and Enriching.
Milled uranium is chemically proc­
essed to remove impurities and
then converted to metal or interme­
diate chemical products for reactor
fuel preparation.
Conventional
chemical and metallurgical proc­
esses are used, but they must meet
more exacting standards than in
most other industries. The output
of refining plants may be further
processed to obtain enriched ura­
nium.
Activity in this segment of the
atomic energy field is centered in
Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Il­
linois. In 1970, uranium refining
and enriching plants employed
about 7,000 workers.
Maintenance craftsmen, particu­
larly in the high automated uranium
enriching plants, account for a large
proportion of skilled workers. Large
numbers of chemical process opera­
tors also are employed. Chemical
engineers and chemists accounted
for more than a third of the engi­
neers and scientists. Many of the
technicians worked in chemical ana­




Plant ecologists investigate radioactivity in the soil.

lytical laboratories associated with
production processes.

engineers, and technicians. Engi­
neers alone represent more than
one-quarter of the employment; me­
Reactor Manufacturing. About chanical engineers and reactor engi­
22,500 workers were employed in neers, who are specialists in reactor
1970 to design and manufacture nu­ technology, predominate. Among
clear reactors and unique reactor scientists, the largest group of
parts. Reactor manufacturers do ex­ workers are physicists, but many
tensive development work on reac­ chemists, mathematicians, and me­
tors and auxiliary equipment, design tallurgists also are employed. As­
the reactor, and generally fabricate sisting these engineers and scientists
some of the intricate components, are many draftsmen, engineering
such as fuel elements, control rods, aids, and physical science techni­
cians.
and reactor cores.
Skilled workers are employed by
More than two-fifths of the em­
ployees in firms that design and reactor manufacturers in experi­
manufacture reactors are scientists, mental, production, and mainte­

634

nance work. All-round machinists
account for a large proportion of
these craftsmen. Other craftsmen
such as sheet metal workers, instru­
ment makers, machinery repairmen,
instrument repairmen, and electri­
cians also are employed. Reactor
manufacturers employ nuclear reac­
tor operators to operate experimen­
tal and test reactors.
Reactor Operation and Mainte­
nance. Almost 2,300 workers op­
erated and maintained nuclear
reactors producing commercial elec­
tricity in 1970. Some of the
occupations found in the operation
of a nuclear power station are me­
chanical engineer, electrical and
electronics engineer, instrument
technician, electronics technician,
radiation monitor, reactor operator,
and other power plant operators and
attendants. Among the employees
needed to maintain and repair reac­
tors are machinery repairmen, in­
strument repairmen, electricians,
and pipefitters.
Research and Development Facili­
ties. A number of research and de­
velopment laboratories and other
research facilities are owned by the
Atomic Energy Commission and are
operated for the AEC by universi­
ties and industrial concerns. These
facilities are major centers for basic
and applied nuclear research in the
physical, engineering, and life sci­
ences and in the development of nu­
clear reactors and other nuclear
equipment. In 1970, these facilities
employed nearly 50,000 workers.
More than half of the employees in
AEC research and development fa­
cilities are engineers, scientists, and
supporting technicians. Among the
engineers and scientists are me­
chanical, electrical and electronics,
chemical, reactor, and metallurgical
engineers; physicists; chemists;




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

mathematicians; metallurgists; bio­
logical scientists; and health physi­
cists. Assisting scientists and engi­
neers are many physical science and
engineering aids; draftsmen; elec­
tronics, instrument, and biological
technicians; and radiation monitors.
Administrative
and
clerical
workers together account for a large
proportion of employment. The
skilled worker group includes large
numbers of all-round machinists,
electricians, machinery repairmen,
and millwrights, as well as substan­
tial numbers of tool and die makers,
instrument makers, and pipefitters.
Nuclear reactor operators are em­
ployed to operate research and test
reactors and many service workers
are employed in plant protection
and security operations.
Although most nuclear energy re­
search is performed in AEC re­
search and development facilities,
additional research is performed in
the privately owned research labo­
ratories of educational institutions,
other nonprofit institutions, and in­
dustrial concerns. Like the AEC fa­
cilities, these laboratories employ a
large proportion of workers in sci­
entific, engineering, and other tech­
nical jobs.
Production of Nuclear Weapons
and Other Defense Materials. More
than 31,000 workers were em­
ployed in 1970 in establishments
producing nuclear weapons and
weapon components, plutonium,
and other defense materials. The
skilled workers in this industry in­
clude large numbers of machinery
repairmen and millwrights, chemical
process operators, all-round ma­
chinists, electricians, instrument re­
pairmen, pipefitters, tool and die
makers, and instrument makers.
Among the large number of sci­
entists and engineers employed at
these facilities are many chemists,

physicists, and mechanical, chemi­
cal, and electrical and electronics
engineers. Many engineering and
physical science aids, draftsmen, ra­
diation monitors, and electronics
technicians, are employed to assist
scientists and engineers.
Other Atomic Energy Activities.
Nearly 1,700 workers were em­
ployed in 1970 to produce special
materials such as beryllium, zirco­
nium, and hafnium for use in reac­
tors.
More than 6,500 workers were
employed by companies that manu­
facture reactor control instruments,
radiation detection and monitoring
devices, and other instruments for
the atomic energy field. Production
of these instruments involves work
similar to that in instrument manu­
facturing in general. Engineers and
technicians represent a substantial
proportion of employment in this
field.
More than 700 persons were em­
ployed in companies which special­
ize in the manufacture of particle
accelerators or their specialized
components. These machines enable
scientists to study the structure and
properties of the elementary parti­
cles that make up the nucleus of
an atom. Workers employed in the
design and manufacture of these
machines include electrical and
electronics engineers, mechanical
engineers, physicists, draftsmen,
electronics technicians, and machin­
ists.
Other workers in the atomic en­
ergy field are engaged in activities
such as processing and packaging
radioisotopes, manufacturing ra­
diography units and radiation gages,
packaging and disposing of radioac­
tive wastes, and industrial radiogra­
phy.
Government

Employment.

The

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ATOMIC ENERGY FIELD

Atomic Energy Commission, which
directs the Federal Government’s
atomic energy program, employed
more than 7,300 workers in its
headquarters and field offices in
1970. Over 1,800 engineers and sci­
entists were employed by the Com­
mission, including personnel in
nearly every major engineering and
scientific occupation. Since the AEC
is primarily an administrative and
regulatory agency, nearly 9 out of
10 Commission employees are in
administrative and other profes­
sional positions or in clerical jobs.
This proportion of administrative
and clerical personnel is much
larger than among other employers
in the atomic energy field.
In addition to those employed by
the Atomic Energy Commission,
several thousand government em­
ployees are engaged in atomic en­
ergy work in other Federal agencies
and in regulatory and promotional
activities of State and local govern­
ments. Their responsibilities involve
atomic energy research and applica­
tion, and establishment of radiation
health and safety measures.




Unique Atomic Energy Occupa­
tions. Most of the occupations dis­
cussed in the preceding sections are
similar to those found in other in­
dustrial activities, although they
may have job titles unique to the
atomic energy field (such as nuclear
engineer, radiation chemist, and nu­
clear reactor operator) and require
some specialized knowledge of
atomic energy. A detailed discus­
sion of the duties, training, and em­
ployment outlook for most of these
occupations appears elsewhere in
the Handbook.
The health physics occupations,
which are unique to the atomic en­
ergy field, and some other occupa­
tions that are unique in that they re­
quire training in the handling and
use of radioactive materials or radi­
ation-producing equipment, are dis­
cussed briefly in the following sec­
tions.
Health physicists (sometimes
called radiation or radiological phy­
sicists or chemists) are responsible
for detecting radiation and applying
safety standards to control exposure
to it. In 1970, nearly 1,100 health

635

physicists were employed in radia­
tion protection work, research, or
teaching.
Health physicists are responsible
for planning and organizing radiol­
ogical health programs at atomic
energy facilities. They establish
standards of inspection and deter­
mine procedures for protecting em­
ployees and eliminating radiological
hazards. They supervise the inspec­
tion of work areas with potential ra­
diation hazards and prepare instruc­
tions covering safe work procedures
in these areas.
Health physicists also plan and
supervise training programs dealing
with radiation hazards and advise
others on methods of dealing with
such hazards. In some cases, they
are employed on research projects
dealing with the effects of human
exposure to radiation and may de­
velop procedures to be followed in
using radioactive materials.
Radiation monitors (also called
health-physics technicians) gener­
ally work under the supervision of
health physicists. An estimated
1,600 radiation monitors were em­
ployed in the atomic energy field in
1970. They use special instruments
to monitor work areas and equip­
ment to detect radioactive contami­
nation. Soil, water, and air samples
are taken frequently to determine
radiation levels. Monitors may also
collect and analyze radiation detec­
tors worn by workers, such as film
badges and pocket detection cham­
bers.
Radiation monitors inform their
supervisors when a worker’s expo­
sure to radiation or the level of ra­
diation in a work area approaches
specified maximum permissible lim­
its and they recommend work stop­
page in potentially unsafe areas.
They calculate the amount of time
that personnel may work in contam­
inated areas, considering maximum

636

radiation exposure limits and the ra­
diation level in the area. Monitors
also may give instructions in radia­
tion safety procedures and prescribe
special clothing requirements and
other safety precautions for work­
ers entering radiation zones.
Nuclear reactor operators per­
form work in nuclear power stations
similar to that of boiler operators in
conventional power stations; how­
ever, the controls operated are dif­
ferent. In addition, reactor opera­
tors may assist in the loading and
unloading of reactor cores. Nuclear
reactor operators who work with re­
search and test reactors check reac­
tor control panels and adjust con­
trols to maintain specified operating
conditions within the reactor, such
as power and radiation levels.
Nearly 1,200 persons were em­
ployed as nuclear reactor operators
in 1970.
Accelerator operators set up and
coordinate the operation of particle
accelerators. They adjust machine
controls to accelerate electrically
charged particles, in accordance
with instructions from the scientist
in charge of the experiment, and set
up target materials which are to be
bombarded by the accelerated parti­
cles. They also may assist in the
maintenance of equipment.
Radiographers take radiographs
of metal castings, welds, and other
objects by adjusting the controls of
an X-ray machine or by exposing a
source of radioactivity to the object
to be radiographed. They select the
proper type of radiation source and
film to use and apply standard
mathematical formulas to determine
exposure distance and time. While
taking radiographs, they use radia­
tion detection instruments to moni­
tor the work area for potential radi­
ation hazards. Radiographers also
may remove and develop the film or
plate and assist in its analysis.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Hot-cell technicians operate re­
mote-controlled equipment to test
radioactive materials that are placed
in hot cells—rooms that are en­
closed with radiation shielding ma­
terials, such as lead and concrete.
By controlling “slave manipulators”
(mechanical devices that act as a
pair of arms and hands) from out­
side the cell and observing their ac­
tions through the cell window, these
technicians perform standard chem­
ical and metallurgical operations
with radioactive materials. Hot-cell
technicians also may enter the cell
wearing protective clothing to set up
experiments or to decontaminate
the cell and equipment. Decontami­
nation men have the primary duty
of decontaminating equipment,
plant areas, and materials exposed
to radioactive contaminants. They
use radiation-detection instruments
to locate the contamination; elimi­
nate it by the use of special equip­
ment, detergents, and chemicals;
and then verify the effectiveness of
the decontamination measures.
Waste-treatment operators operate
heat exchange units, pumps, com­
pressors, and other equipment to
decontaminate and dispose of ra­
dioactive waste liquids. Waste-dis­
posal men seal contaminated wastes
in concrete containers and transport
the containers to a burial ground.
Radioisotope-production opera­
tors use remote control manipula­
tors and other equipment to prepare
radioisotopes for shipping and to
perform chemical analyses to ensure
that radioisotopes conform to speci­
fications.

Training and Other Qualifications

Training and educational require­
ments and advancement opportuni­
ties for most workers in atomic en­
ergy activities are generally similar

to those for comparable jobs in
other fields and are discussed else­
where in the Handbook under the
specific occupation. However, spe­
cialized training is required for
many workers because the atomic
energy field is relatively new, re­
quires rigorous work standards in
both its research and production ac­
tivities, and has unique health and
safety problems.
Engineers and scientists at all lev­
els of professional training are em­
ployed in the atomic energy field.
Many of them have had advanced
training, particularly those engaged
in research, development, and de­
sign work. Of the scientists and en­
gineers employed in research and
development by major AEC con­
tractors, about one-fourth have a
Ph. D. degree. The proportion of
engineers with Ph. D. degrees is
smaller than the proportion of sci­
entists with such degrees. However,
graduate training is also preferred
for an increasing number of engi­
neering jobs. Training in nuclear
engineering, although increasing at
the under graduate level, is predom­
inately at the graduate level.
Specialized knowledge of nuclear
energy, which is essential for most
scientific and engineering positions
in atomic energy, may be obtained
at a university or sometimes onthe-job.
Colleges and universities have ex­
panded their facilities and curriculums to provide training in nuclear
energy. Engineers and scientists
who plan to specialize in the atomic
energy field generally take graduate
work in nuclear energy, although in­
troductory or background courses
may be taken at the undergraduate
level. Some colleges and universities
award graduate degrees in nuclear
engineering or nuclear science. Oth­
ers offer graduate training in these
fields, but award degrees only in the

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ATOMIC ENERGY FIELD

traditional engineering or scientific
fields.
Craftsmen in some atomic energy
jobs need more training than most
craftsmen in comparable nonatomic
jobs. High skill requirements are
often needed because of the ex­
treme precision required to insure
efficient operation and maintenance
of complex equipment and machin­
ery. For example, pipefitters may
have to fit pipe to tolerances of less

than one ten-thousandth of an inch
and work with pipe made from rare
costly metals. Welding also may
have to meet higher reliability stan­
dards than in most nonatomic fields.
Craftsmen in atomic energy gener­
ally obtain the required special
skills on the job. Many AEC instal­
lations also have apprentice training
programs to develop craft skills.
Health physicists should have at
least a bachelor’s degree in physics,

Scientists test electron accelerator.




637

chemistry, or engineering, and a
year or more of graduate work in
health physics. A Ph. D. degree
often is required for teaching and
research.
A radiation monitor can qualify
for on-the-job training with a high
school education with courses in
mathematics, physics, and chemis­
try. Radiation monitors must be­
come familiar with characteristics of
radiation, maximum permissible ra­
diation exposure levels, and meth­
ods of calculating exposure periods.
They also must learn how to cali­
brate the instruments they use.
Nuclear power reactor operators
need a basic understanding of reac­
tor theory and a working knowledge
of reactor controls. Most operator
trainees have a high school educa­
tion. Trainees usually are selected
from conventional power plant per­
sonnel having experience as opera­
tors of boiler, turbine, or electrical
machinery. Preference sometimes is
given to those who have completed
courses in science and engineering
at the college level. Workers who
operate the controls of private nu­
clear reactors must be licensed by
the AEC. To qualify for a license,
the trainee must pass an operating
test, a written test given by the
AEC, and a medical examination.
An accelerator operator usually
requires a high school education
that includes courses in mathemat­
ics and physics to qualify for onthe-job training. Accelerator opera­
tors receive several months of onthe-job training covering operating,
repair, and safety procedures. To
qualify for on-the-job training as a
radiographer, a high school educa­
tion, including courses in mathemat­
ics, chemistry, and physics, usually
is sufficient.
Hot-cell technicians and decon-'’
tamination men may be high school
graduates with some mechanical ex­

638

perience who can qualify for onthe-job training. They may be given
in-plant training lasting several
months.
Radioisotope-production
operators usually require a high
school education with courses in
chemistry. High school graduates
can qualify as waste-treatment oper­
ators, but experience in reading
electronic instruments or in a chem­
ical laboratory is desirable. High
school graduates also can qualify
for employment as waste-disposal
men. They receive on-the-job train­
ing in the operation of equipment
and the avoidance of radiation haz­
ards.
Other workers in the atomic en­
ergy field also need special training
because of the presence of potential
radiation hazards. Employees who
work in the vicinity of such hazards
are always given on-the-job training
in the nature of radiation and the
procedures to follow in case of its
accidental release.
Individuals who handle classified
data (restricted for reasons of na­
tional security) or who work on
classified projects in the atomic en­
ergy field must have a security
clearance, based on an investigation
of a person’s character, loyalty, and
associations.
The Atomic Energy Commission,
at its contractor-operated facilities,
supports on-the-job and specialized
training programs to help prepare
scientists, engineers, technicians,
and other workers for the atomic
energy field. The AEC also offers
graduate fellowships in specialized
nuclear fields.
More than 600 fellowships were
awarded for the 1969-70 academic
year. In addition, other Federal
agencies also gave a number of fel­
lowships for graduate work in nu­
clear science and technology. The
prerequisite for consideration for a




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Employment Outlook

Technicians check reactor using
remote-control manipulators.

fellowship is a bachelor’s degree in
engineering or physical science.
Additional educational and train­
ing opportunities are offered in
cooperative programs arranged by
AEC laboratories with colleges and
universities. Temporary employ­
ment at AEC-owned laboratories is
available to faculty members and
students. Undergraduates and grad­
uate engineering students may work
at laboratories and other Commis­
sion facilities on a rotation basis
with classroom studies, and many
graduate students do their thesis
work at AEC laboratories.
Many Commission contractors
provide employees with training at
their own plants or at nearby col­
leges and universities.

Total employment in the atomic
energy field is expected to increase
moderately during the 1970’s as
commercial activities in atomic en­
ergy expand, and as new applica­
tions of this energy form are devel­
oped.
Many factors point to a long-term
expansion in this field. Expenditures
for atomic energy research and de­
velopment should lead to further
employment growth in production
activities; the use of nuclear reac­
tors in electric power generating
stations is becoming increasingly
widespread; and the use of reactors
in conjunction with power genera­
tion to desalt sea water also is ex­
pected to increase. Growth in the
use of nuclear reactors for propul­
sion of surface ships is anticipated,
although progress in this area may
not be as rapid as in electric power
generation. Expansion also is ex­
pected in the “Plowshare” program
to develop peaceful uses for nuclear
explosives, in programs to further
develop radioisotope technology,
and in the use of nuclear power in
space.
Employment opportunities are
expected to rise significantly for
workers who design and manufac­
ture nuclear power reactors and in­
struments, and who process and
package radioisotopes. As more nu­
clear reactors are built and put into
operation, employment will further
increase both in the operation and
maintenance of reactors, and in re­
lated activities such as the fabrica­
tion and reprocessing of reactor fuel
elements and the disposal of ra­
dioactive wastes. Employment in
mining, milling, refining, and en­
richment of uranium will increase as
the demand for nuclear fuel in­
creases. As the use of nuclear power
becomes more widespread, there

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ATOMIC ENERGY FIELD

also will be an increase in employ­
ment of regulatory workers in both
the Atomic Energy Commission and
in State agencies to insure safe use
of atomic energy. Expansion in
these areas of atomic energy will
create very good employment op­
portunities for trained professional
and technical workers and for skilled
craftsmen.
In addition to the employment
opportunities created by expansion
in atomic energy activities, other job
openings will occur because of the
need to replace workers who retire,
die, or transfer to other industries.

Earnings and Working Conditions

In 1970, blue-collar workers em­
ployed by contractors at AEC labo­
ratories and other installations had
average straight-time hourly earn­
ings of $4.11; blue-collar workers in
all manufacturing industries had av­
erage earnings of $3.36 an hour.
Professional workers employed at
AEC installations averaged $15,000
a year in base pay in 1970, and
other white-collar workers (largely
clerical and other office personnel)




averaged nearly $7,300 a year.
(Earnings data for many of the oc­
cupations found in the atomic en­
ergy field are included in the state­
ments on these occupations else­
where in the Handbook.)
Working conditions in uranium
mining and milling, instrument and
auxiliary equipment manufacturing,
and facilities construction are gener­
ally similar to those in comparable
nonatomic energy activities, except
for radiation safety precautions. All
uranium mines are equipped with
mechanical ventilation systems that
reduce the concentration of radioac­
tive radon gas—a substance that
can cause lung injury if inhaled over
a number of years. Efforts to elimi­
nate this hazard are continuing. In
the other atomic energy activities in
which the major proportion of
workers in the field are employed,
working conditions generally are
very good. Buildings and plants are
well lighted and ventilated. Equip­
ment, tools, and machines are mod­
ern and sometimes the most ad­
vanced of their type. Only a small
proportion of employees in the
atomic energy field actually work in
areas where direct radiation hazard

639

dangers exist. Even in these areas,
shielding, automatic alarm systems,
and other devices and clothing given
ample protection to the workers. In
some cases, plants are located in re­
mote areas.
Extensive safeguards and operat­
ing practices ensure the health and
safety of workers, and the AEC and
its contractors have maintained an
excellent safety record. The AEC
regulates the possession and use of
radioactive materials, and AEC per­
sonnel inspect nuclear facilities to
insure compliance with the AEC’s
health and safety requirements.
Constant efforts are being made to
provide better safety standards and
regulations.
Most plant hourly paid workers
belong to unions that represent their
particular craft or industry.
Sources of Additional Information

Additional information about the
atomic energy field may be obtained
from:
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission,
Washington, D.C. 20545.

O C C U P A T I O N IN T H E
B A K IN G IN D U S T R Y

The baking industry is one of the
largest food-processing employers in
the United States. Occupations in
bakeries provide steady, year-round
employment for thousands of
workers throughout the country.
The industry provides jobs to suit
a variety of interests, skills, and tal­
ents. Workers make, wrap, and
pack bakery products and deliver
them to stores, homes, and restau­
rants. Mechanics maintain and re­
pair the machinery used in modern
bakeries and service delivery trucks.
Managers and sales specialists di­
rect operations and clerical workers
do the regular office duties.

Nature and Location of the
Industry

In 1970, the baking industry em­
ployed 282,000 workers in about
4,500 bakeries. About 85 percent of
these workers were employed in
bakeries that produced perishable
goods such as bread, rolls, pies,
cakes, and doughnuts. The remain­
ing workers were employed in bak­
eries that produced “dry” goods
such as cookies, crackers, pretzels,
and ice cream cones. Included in
this industry are large wholesale
bakeries that sell to retail stores,
restaurants, hotels, and other large
customers; home service bakeries
that deliver their products directly
to the customers’ homes; bakeries
owned and operated by grocery
chains; and the central baking
plants of companies operating sev­
eral retail bake shops.
In addition to the bakeries de­
scribed above, over 19,000 single­
shop retail bakeries employed about
100,000 men and women including
640



shop owners. Although some retail
bakeshops employed 20 individuals
or more, the average shop em­
ployed about 5 or 6. Many baking
operations are done by hand rather
than machine, and therefore, retail
bakeries offer many opportunities
not available in large bakeries to the
skilled baking craftsman.
Most bakeries producing perish­
able goods are relatively small be­
cause they serve only their local
area. However, an increasing num­
ber serve markets up to 200 miles
away, and a few serve even wider
areas. In contrast, bakeries that
produce dry baked goods generally
are large plants and distribute their
products regionally or nationally.
These bakeries employed an aver­
age of 120 workers compared with
about 50 in bakeries producing per­
ishable products.
Almost every community in the
United States has at least one bak­
ery. However, more than half of all
industrial bakery employees are in
New York, Pennsylvania, Califor­
nia, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey,
Texas, and Massachusetts.
Nearly 60 percent of the indus­
try’s employees are production
workers. They do the actual baking,
handle raw materials, maintain
equipment, wrap and pack the
products, and keep the bakeries
sanitary. Another 20 percent of the
employees deliver the industry’s
products. Most of these employees
work as driver-salesmen, selling to
retail stores or directly to customers
in their homes. Other drivers with
no sales duties deliver bakery prod­
ucts to distribution centers, hotels,
restaurants, and stores. The remain­
ing 20 percent of the work force are
employed in administrative, profes­

sional, technical, and clerical jobs.
Approximately 1 out of 5 in­
dustrial bakery workers are women,
most of whom are office workers
such as secretaries or bookkeepers.
Some are employed in production
jobs, such as slicing machine opera­
tor, wrapping machine operator, or
pie and cake packer, but very few
women are bakers.
Production Occupations. The prin­
cipal baking processes consist of
blending, sifting, mixing, proofing,
baking, and wrapping and packing.
Since bread is the primary product
of the industry, the following de­
scriptions of occupations relate
principally to the production of
bread. With some variations, de­
pending on the product and the
amount of mechanization, these are
the occupations in any industrial
bakery.
In general, production workers
load and unload machines, watch
the operation of the machines, and
inspect the output. Mixers (D.O.T.
520.885) weigh ingredients and
combine them in blending mach­
ines. By means of instruments, they
carefully control timing and temper­
ature in order to produce a uniform,
well-blended dough. The dough is
sent to a “proofing” room where the
warm temperature produces a fer­
menting process which causes the
dough to rise. When the dough has
risen, it is poured into another
blending machine, and additional
flour, liquids, sugar, salt, and short­
ening are added and mixed. The
dough then goes through another
fermenting process before it is
shaped into loaves or rolls. Dividermen (D.O.T. 526.782) operate
machines which divide the dough
according to the weight of the loaf
to be produced. The pieces of
dough are rolled into balls which
are dusted with flour in a rounding
machine Dough molders or molding
machine
operators
(D.O.T.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE BAKING INDUSTRY

520.885) operate machines which
press all the air bubbles from the
dough and form it into loaves or
rolls. “Continuous mixing,” an au­
tomatic process that is being used
increasingly, eliminates many of the
steps described above. When fancy
shaped bread or rolls are made,
bench hands (D.O.T. 520.884)
knead and form the dough by hand
into various shapes and place the
pieces of dough in the pans. The
pans containing the machine and
hand-shaped dough go to the final
proofing room where the dough
rises for about an hour before it is
removed and placed in the oven.




Ovenmen (D.O.T. 526.885) adjust
temperature and timing devices on
the ovens.
In small bakeries, all-round bak­
ers (D.O.T. 526.781), assisted by
helpers, usually do all the steps
needed to turn out finished baked
products. In large bakeries, all­
round bakers are employed as
working foremen. They supervise
the men and machines in their de­
partment and coordinate their activ­
ity with that in other departments in
order to meet production schedules.
A considerable number of help­
ers (D.O.T. 526.886) are em­
ployed in baking operations. They

641

may assist all-round bakers and spe­
cialized bakery workers. They have
job titles such as dough mixer
helper, bench hand helper, and
ovenman helper. Helpers also per­
form such jobs as greasing pans, re­
moving bread from pans, pushing
troughs and racks, and washing
pans.
After baked foods leave the oven
and are cooled, several types of
workers prepare them for delivery
to customers. Slicing-and-wrapping
machine
operators
(D.O.T.
521.885) feed loaves of bread onto
conveyors leading into the mach­
ines, watch the slicing and wrapping
operations, adjust the machines, and
keep them supplied with plastic
bags, paper, and labels. A conveyor
then takes the wrapped loaves to
the shipping platform.
Many bakery employees work in
icing departments where they give
the finishing touches to cakes, pas-

642

tries, and other sweet goods. Icing
mixers (D.O.T. 520.885) prepare
cake icings and fillings, following
special formulas of the bakery.
They weigh and measure ingre­
dients and mix them by machine.
They also prepare cooked fillings
for pies, tarts, and other pastries.
In small plants, icing mixers may
also spread icing on cakes and
cookies. Hand icers (D.O.T.
524.884) are skilled craftsmen who
decorate special products such as
wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and
fancy pastries. When the product is
uniform or requires no special deco­
ration, the frosting may be applied
by machine icers (D.O.T. 524.885).
Bakeries also employ many
workers in their storage, warehous­
ing, and shipping departments. Re­
ceiving and stock clerks check and
keep records of incoming supplies
and ingredients, and deliver them to
various departments. Packers and
checkers make up orders of bakery
products for delivery by driversalesmen.
Maintenance Occupations. Baking
firms employ skilled maintenance
workers such as machinists, electri­
cians, and stationary engineers and
their helpers to keep machinery and
equipment in good condition. Large
plants, which are usually highly
mechanized, employ many of these
workers. In addition, since many
baking firms have fleets of trucks,
many truck mechanics are em­
ployed for maintenance.
Sales and Driving Occupations. The
selling and delivery of finished
baked foods to grocers, restaurants,
hotels, homes, and other customers
provide jobs for many thousands of
workers. Some of these workers sell
baked goods, some drive trucks,
and many do both.
Driver-salesmen,
also
called




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

routemen (D.O.T. 292.358), work
for either wholesale bakeries or
home-service bakeries. They deliver
baked foods to grocery stores or to
homes along their routes and collect
payment for delivered products. A
major part of their job is to increase
customers’ orders and gain new cus­
tomers. Wholesale driver-salesmen
arrange their baked products on
shelves or display racks in grocery
stores and may restock shelves sev­
eral times a day in busy stores.
Home-service driver-salesmen make
deliveries directly to customers’
homes. At the end of each day,
driver-salesmen
return
unsold
baked goods to the bakery, report
the day’s transactions, and turn in
money collected. They also make a
list of the items that they think gro­
cers or housewives will buy the next
day. These estimates guide produc­
tion managers in making up produc­
tion schedules for the next morning.
A large bakery may employ sev­
eral route supervisors, each in
charge of 6 to 10 driver-salesmen.
In a smaller bakery, one route su­
pervisor may be in charge of all
salesmen. In addition to training
new driver-salesmen, route supervi­
sors may serve as temporary re­
placements for absent salesmen.
Chain grocery store bakeries and
multioutlet retail bakeries employ
truckdrivers rather than driversalesmen to drive large vans, and
deliver baked foods to each of their
company’s stores. Stock clerks or
sales clerks then arrange the display
of baked goods in the stores.
Administrative, Clerical, and Pro­
fessional and Technical Occupa­
tions. Administrators in large bak­
ing firms and proprietors of small
firms coordinate all baking activities
from the purchase of raw materials
to the production and delivery of
baked products. In large baking

firms, activities are divided into sep­
arate departments or functions and
supervised by plant managers,
comptrollers, sales managers, and
other executives. Some administra­
tive employees specialize in ac­
counting, purchasing, advertising,
personnel and industrial relations,
or other fields. Bakeries employ
many types of clerical workers, in­
cluding
bookkeepers,
cashiers,
clerks, business machine operators,
typists, and switchboard operators.
A large proportion of these office
workers are women. Some large
baking companies have laboratories
and test kitchens where chemists,
home economists, and their assist­
ants test ingredients and prepare
formulas and recipes for bread and
other baked items. (Detailed dis­
cussions of the duties, training, and
employment outlook for mainte­
nance, sales, driving, administrative,
clerical, and technical personnel ap­
pear elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Training requirements for occu­
pations in the baking industry range
from a few days on the job to sev­
eral years. For example, some bak­
ery workers, such as slicing machine
operators, can be trained in a few
days. Skilled workers, such as all­
round bakers and baking specialists,
require at least 3 or 4 years of train­
ing. Professional personnel and
some administrative workers must
have a college degree or equivalent
experience in their particular spe­
cialty.
Most inexperienced production
workers in the baking industry are
hired as helpers (utility workers).
They may be assigned such tasks as
carrying ingredients to mixing
machines, or pushing troughs of

643

OCCUPATIONS IN THE BAKING INDUSTRY

dough to the proofing room. By
working alongside bakers, helpers
are able to acquire baking skills.
Some bakers learn their trade
through formal apprenticeship pro­
grams. Generally, apprentices are
selected from among the helpers.
Employers usually require that ap­
prentice applicants be between 18
and 26 years of age and have a high
school or vocational school educa­
tion. Apprenticeship programs last
3 or 4 years and include on-the-job
training in all baking operations and
classroom instruction in related sub­
jects.
Training programs for unem­
ployed and underemployed workers
seeking entry jobs as bakers or cake
decorators are in operation in sev­
eral cities under provisions of the
Manpower Development and Train­
ing Act.
Some workers take courses in vo­
cational school or learn the trade in
the Armed Forces. Such training
may not qualify a young man as a
skilled baker, but it may help him to
become an apprentice and perhaps
shorten his apprenticeship.
Bakers may be promoted to jobs
such as working or department fore­
man. Some bakers who have devel­
oped special skill in fancy cakemak­
ing or piemaking may find jobs in
hotel or restaurant bakeries. All­
round bakers with some business
ability sometimes open their own
bakeshops.
Employees of the baking industry
must be in good health because
most States require a health certifi­
cate indicating that the worker is
free from communicable diseases.
Good health is also important be­
cause of the irregular working hours
and extremes in temperature found
in bakeries.
Some bakeries have apprentice­
ship programs for maintenance jobs
such as machinists, electricians, and




mechanics. Other plants hire inex­
perienced workers as mechanics’
helpers, who gain experience and
know-how while working with
skilled mechanics. Some bakeries
hire only skilled maintenance men.
For jobs as driver-salesmen or
truckdrivers, baking firms generally
hire inexperienced young men with
a high school education. These
workers often begin as stock clerks,
packers, or checkers, and may be
promoted to driving jobs as va­
cancies occur. Applicants must be
able to get a chauffeur’s license and
are sometimes tested by the baking
companies to determine whether or
not they are safe drivers. A new
worker who wishes to sell as well
as drive should have a pleasant ap­
pearance and the ability to get along
well with people. Classroom in­
struction in sales, display, and deliv­
ery procedures is sometimes given
to new driver-salesmen, but most
training is given on the job by route
supervisors. Driver-salesmen may
be promoted to route supervisor
and sales manager.
Administrative jobs are usually
filled by upgrading personnel al­
ready employed in the firm. Some
owners and production managers of
bakeries have come from the ranks
of baking craftsmen and some
begin their careers in sales occupa­
tions. In recent years, large baking
firms have required their new ad­
ministrative workers to have a col­
lege degree in one of the adminis­
trative fields, such as marketing, ac­
counting, labor relations, personnel,
or advertising. Kansas State Univer­
sity at Manhattan offers a bachelor
of science degree in baking science
and management. The American
Institute of Baking conducts a
school of baking for persons with a
bachelor’s degree who wish to qual­
ify for managerial positions in the
industry.

Young persons who have com­
pleted a commercial course in high
school, junior college, or a business
school usually are preferred for the
secretarial, stenographic, and other
office jobs.

Employment Outlook

Employment in the baking indus­
try is expected to decline slowly
through the 1970’s. Nevertheless,
several thousand job openings are
anticipated each year because of the
need to replace workers who retire,
die, or transfer to other fields of
work.
The demand for bakery products
is expected to rise moderately dur­
ing this period in response to in­
creases in population. However, be­
cause of increasing efficiency in
production, total employment is ex­
pected to decline. Even so, employ­
ment in some occupations is ex­
pected to increase. For example,
more truckdrivers will be needed as
suburban developments increase
and sales territories expand. Addi­
tional maintenance workers will be
needed to keep machinery and
other equipment in operating order
as bakeries become more mecha­
nized. Some increase may occur in
the number of clerical workers as a
result of additional recordkeeping
requirements. However, the antici­
pated increases in these occupations
will be more than offset by the con­
tinuing decline in the number of
production workers resulting from
the installation of mechanized proc­
essing and materials handling
equipment, and improvements in
the methods of processing baked
goods. Pneumatic conveyors, for ex­
ample, greatly increase efficiency in
materials handling operations, and
the “continuous mix” process elimi­
nates dough mixing and proofing

644

operations. In addition, the freezing
of baked goods for storage until
ready for sale permits bakeries to
prepare a week’s requirements at
one time rather than small batches
daily.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of production workers
in the perishable bakery products
industry averaged $128.18 a week,
or $3.27 an hour, in 1970. The
rates were slightly lower in biscuit
and cracker bakeries. Wage rates
tend to be higher in the West and
North than in the South or South­
west.
According to union-management
contracts covering employees in 24
wholesale bakeries producing bread
and related products, minimum
hourly rates in major occupations in
1970 ranged as follows:
Baking foremen and all-round
bakers ....................................$3.55-5.03
Molders and dividers and
molding and dividing ma­
chine operators .................... 3.16-4.72
Mixers (dough or icing).......... 3.01-4.72
Ovenmen ................................... 3.01-4.72
Benchmen ................................. 3.01-4.63
Wrapping machine operators.. 2.83-3.86
Utilitymen (general helpers).. 2.66-4.12
Porters and cleaners ................ 2.66-4.12

Some plant employees work night
shifts and weekends because baking
is done around the clock in many
plants. Workers receive extra pay
for night-work. However, the night
shift is being eliminated in some
bakeries because the increasing use
of freezing processes makes it possi­
ble to prepare baked goods in ad­
vance and store them until needed.
Most plant workers are on a 40hour workweek, although some
work 35 or 37 Vi hours and others
44 or 48 hours regularly. For those
who work a 35- or 3 7 Vi-hour week,
time and a half is paid for work be­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

yond their regular schedule. For all
others, time and a half is paid for all
work over 40 hours.
Driver-salesmen usually receive a
guaranteed minimum salary plus a
percentage of their sales. According
to limited information from unionmanagement contracts in effect in
1970, driver-salesmen for both
wholesale and home-service baker­
ies had minimum weekly salaries of
from $87 to $175. By selling more
baked products to more customers,
driver-salesmen can increase their
earnings. Companies generally pay
for uniforms and their maintenance.
Truckdrivers for baking plants
are paid by the hour. Hourly rates
and hours worked vary from city to
city. In 1970, the minimum wage
rates and maximum hours a week
before overtime rates prevail, pro­
vided by union-management con­
tracts for truckdrivers of bakeries
producing bread, cakes, pies, etc. in
10 selected cities were as follows:
M in im u m
w age
r a te

Atlanta, Ga..................... ..$3.25
Cleveland, Ohio ............ .. 3.89
Dallas, Tex....................... .. 3.25
Detroit, Mich, (bread).. .. 3.74
Houston, Tex................... .. 3.25
Little Rock, Ark............ .. 3.15
New York, N.Y. (cake
and pastry) ................ .. 4.18
Oklahoma City, Okla. . . 3.35
Pittsburgh, Pa. (bread).. .. 3.29
Oakland, Calif.
(transport) ................ .. 4.63

H o u rs
per
w eek

40
40
40
40
40
45
40
40
44
40

Working conditions in bakeries
are generally good. However, many
jobs involve some strenuous physi­
cal work, despite the considerable
mechanization of baking processes.
Work near ovens can be hot, espe­
cially in the summer.
Paid vacations for employees are
almost universal in industrial baking
firms. Vacation periods range from
1 to 4 weeks, according to length of

service. Paid holidays range from 5
to 11 days, depending on the local­
ity. Most baking firms have adopted
some type of insurance or pension
arrangement for their employees,
such as life insurance, health insur­
ance programs, or retirement pen­
sion plans. A large number of em­
ployees are covered by joint unionindustry health and welfare plans,
and pension systems which are paid
for entirely by employer contribu­
tions.
Most plant workers and drivers
belong to a labor union. Bakers,
baking specialists, and other plant
workers have been organized by the
Bakery and Confectionery Workers’
International Union of America.
Driver-salesmen and transport driv­
ers are generally members of the In­
ternational Brotherhood of Team­
sters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen
and Helpers of America (Ind.).
Some maintenance men are mem­
bers of craft unions such as the In­
ternational Association of Machin­
ists and Aerospace Workers and the
International Union of Operating
Engineers.
Sources of Additional Information

Information on local job openings
may be obtained directly from bak­
eries in the community, local offices
of the State employment service, or
locals of the labor unions noted pre­
viously.
General information on job op­
portunities in the baking industry
and on requirements for entering
accredited schools which offer
courses or degrees in baking science
and technology may be obtained by
writing to:
American Bakers Association, 1700
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20006.

O C C U P A T I O N S IN T H E
D R U G IN D U S T R Y

Potions and spells for the cure
and prevention of pain and disease
are legion in medical folklore. But
twentieth-century
science
has
created a supply of drugs un­
dreamed of by even the most imagi­
native apothecaries of the past.
More than 10,000 prescription
drugs alone are available to today’s
physician. These drugs have re­
sulted in the control of cardiovascu­
lar disease, malaria, pneumonia,
and even some forms of cancer.
Hormones have relieved the pain
and crippling effects of arthritis and
other diseases. Tranquilizers and
other drugs have done much to re­
duce the afflictions of mental illness.
Vaccines have reduced dramatically
the toll of polio, whooping cough,
and measles.
The American drug industry has
risen to a position of world-wide
prominence in the research and de­
velopment of new drugs. The drug
industry spends a higher proportion
of its funds for research than any
other American industry. A large
pharmaceutical firm in the United
States may test 2,000 or more sub­
stances a year and spend millions of
dollars to develop one new drug.
Although the drug industry looks
to its many scientific and technical
personnel to carry out its vast re­
search programs, three out of every
five jobs in the industry do not re­
quire that the worker have more
than a high school education.

Nature and Location of the
Industry

In 1970, an estimated 150,000
workers were employed in the drug
industry. About 115,000 of these




worked in plants that made pharma­
ceutical
preparations
(finished
drugs), such as antibiotics and aspi­
rin. Another 20,000 were employed
in plants that produced bulk medici­
nal chemicals and botanicals used in
making finished drugs; and nearly
15,000 worked in plants that made
biological products, such as serums
and vaccines.
Drug plants typically employ
large numbers of workers. About
two-thirds of the industry’s em­
ployees were in plants having more
than 500 workers. Some of the larg­
est plants employed more than
5,000.
About three-fourths of the indus­
try’s workers were employed in six
States: New Jersey, New York, In­
diana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and
Michigan. Large plants are located
in Indianapolis, Ind.; Chicago, 111.;
Nutley and Rahway, N.J.; Philadel­
phia, Pa.; Detroit and Kalamazoo,
Mich.; and Pearl River, N.Y.
One of the most striking charac­
teristics of the drug industry is the
large volume of new products devel­
oped in its research laboratories.
Examples of important new drugs
reaching the market during the last
decade are: vaccine for the preven­
tion of German measles; oral vac­
cine for the prevention of polio; and
oral agents for the control of diabe­
tes. Because of the strong emphasis
on the discovery of new products,
the drug industry has a larger pro­
portion of its employees in research
and development activities than
most other industries.
A primary research method for
testing new drugs is a procedure
called screening. For example, an
antibiotic sample may be placed in a

virus culture. If the antibiotic affects
the culture, it is next tested on labo­
ratory animals that have been in­
fected with the same virus. Promis­
ing compounds are studies further
for evidence of useful—and harmful
—effects. A new drug will be se­
lected for testing in man only if it
promises to have therapeutic advan­
tages over comparable drugs al­
ready in use, or if it offers the possi­
bility of being safer than those al­
ready in use.
After screening, a clinical investi­
gation, or trial of the drug in human
patients, is made. Supplies of the
drug are given to a small circle of
doctors, called clinical investigators,
who administer it to carefully se­
lected patients. The patients are ob­
served closely and special studies
are made to determine the drug’s
effect. If a drug proves useful, ar­
rangements are made for additional
tests with a larger group of physi­
cians, including some in private
practice.
Once a drug has successfully
passed animal and clinical tests and
has been approved by the Food and
Drug Administration, problems of
production methods and costs must
be worked out before the actual
manufacturing process begins. If the
process originally used in the re­
search laboratory to prepare and
compound the ingredients is compli­
cated and expensive, pharmacists,
chemists, packaging engineers, and
production specialists are then as­
signed to develop improved proc­
esses that can be economically
adapted to mass production tech­
niques.
Drug manufacturing plants have
developed a high degree of automa­
tion in many production operations.
Milling and micronizing machines
(which pulverize substances into
extremely fine particles) are used to
reduce bulk chemicals to the re­
quired size. These finished chemi645

646

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

cals are combined and processed
further in mixing machines. The
mixed ingredients may then be me­
chanically capsulized, pressed into
tablets, or bottled. One type of
machine, for example, automatically
fills, seals, and stamps capsules.
Other machines fill bottles with cap­
sules, tablets, or liquids, and seal,
label, and package the bottles. Drug
products are inspected at various
stages during the manufacturing
process to assure that they conform
to specifications. Although some
inspection operations are mecha­
nized, many are performed manu­
ally.
Occupations in the Industry

Workers with many different lev­
els of skill and education are em­
ployed in the drug industry. More
than half of the industry’s workers
are in white-collar jobs (scientific,
technical, administrative, clerical,
and sales); most of the remainder
are in plant jobs (processing or
production, maintenance, transpor­
tation, and custodial).
Nearly two-fifths of the drug in­
dustry’s workers are women, a
higher proportion than in most
other manufacturing industries.
Most of them are semiskilled plant
workers and office workers. Some
are scientists and technicians.
The duties of some of the impor­
tant occupations are described
briefly below. (Detailed discussion
of professional, technical, clerical
and other occupations found in drug
manufacturing, as well as in other
industries, are given elsewhere in
this Handbook, in the sections cov­
ering individual occupations.)
Scientific and Technical Occupa­
tions. About 1 out of every 5 em­
ployees in the industry is a scientist,
engineer, or technician—a far




Research scientist operates nuclear magnetic resonance instrument.

greater proportion than in most
other industries. The majority re­
search and develop new drug prod­
ucts. Others work to streamline
production methods and improve
quality control.
Chemists (D.O.T. 022.081, .168,
.181) comprise over one-fourth of
the scientific and technical person­
nel in the industry. Organic chem­
ists combine new compounds for
biological testing. Physical chemists
separate and identify substances,
determine molecular structure, help
to create new compounds and im­
prove manufacturing processes.
Biochemists study the action of
drugs on body processes and cells.
Radiochemists trace the course of
drugs through body organs and tis­
sues. Pharmaceutical chemists set
standards and specifications for
form of product and storage condi­
tions and see that labeling and liter­
ature meet the requirements of
State and Federal laws. Analytical
chemists test raw and intermediate
materials and finished products for
quality.

Over one-fifth of the industry’s
scientific and technical workers are
biological
scientists
(D.O.T.
041.081, .181, and 049.384). Biol­
ogists and bacteriologists study the
effect of chemical agents on infected
animals.
Microbiologists
grow
strains of microorganisms which
produce antibiotics. Physiologists
investigate the effect of drugs on,
for example, reproduction and cir­
culatory functions. Pharmacologists
and zoologists study the therapeutic
and toxic effect of drugs on animals.
Virologists grow viruses, develop
vaccines, and test them in animals.
Botanists with their special knowl­
edge of plant life, contribute to the
discovery of botanical ingredients
for drugs. Some other biological sci­
entists include pathologists, who
study normal and abnormal cells or
tissues, and toxicologists, who are
concerned with the safety, dosage
levels, and the compatibility of dif­
ferent drugs. Pharmacists perform
research in product development,
compounding and studying many
forms of medicines at various stages

647

OCCUPATIONS IN THE DRUG INDUSTRY

of production. Some set specifica­
tions for the purchase and manufac­
ture of materials, and handle corre­
spondence relating to products.
Drug manufacturers also employ
physicians and veterinarians.
Engineers make up about onetwelfth of scientific and technical
employment. Chemical engineers
(D.O.T. 008.081) design equip­
ment and devise manufacturing proc­
esses. Industrial engineers (D.O.T.
012.081, .168, .187, .188, and
.281) plan equipment layout and
workflow to maintain efficient utili­
zation of plant facilities. Mechanical
engineers (D.O.T. 007.081, .151,
.168, .181, and .187) coordinate
the installation and maintenance of
sterilizing, heating, cooling, humidi­
fying, and ventilating equipment.
Technicians (D.O.T. 073.381,
078.128, .168, .281, .368, .381,
and .687) represent over one-fifth
of the drug industry’s scientific and
technical workers. Laboratory tests
play an important part in the detec­
tion and diagnosis of a disease and
in the discovery of medicines. Labo­
ratory technicians perform these
tests under the direction of scientists
in such areas as bacteriology, para­
sitology, biochemistry, microbiology,
virology (the study of viruses), cy­
tology (analysis of blood cells), and
nuclear medical technology (the use
of radioactive isotopes to help de­
tect diseases).
Administrative, Clerical, and Re­
lated Occupations. About 1 out of
every 3 workers in drug manufac­
turing is in an administrative, cleri­
cal, or other office job. At the top of
the administrative group are the ex­
ecutives who make policy decisions
concerning matters of finance, mar­
keting, and types of products to re­
search and develop. Other adminis­
trative and executive workers are
accountants, lawyers, purchasing




agents, personnel and industrial re­
lations workers, and advertising and
market research workers. Clerical
employees keep records on person­
nel, payroll, raw materials, sales,
shipments, and plant maintenance.
Salesmen, often called pharma­
ceutical detail men, represent a
small (three percent) but important
group of drug industry employees.
Detail men are employed and
trained by drug manufacturers to in­
form physicians of the availability
and appropriate utilization of the
company’s products. They visit
practicing and teaching physicians,
pharmacists, dentists, and hospital
administrators to distribute samples
of and information on the latest
products. Other functions include
reporting information from custom­
ers back to their companies and
transmitting knowledge and experi­
ence from one user to another.
Plant Occupations. Nearly half of

the industry’s employees work in
plant jobs. The majority of these
workers can be divided into three
major occupational groups: produc­
tion or processing workers who op­
erate the drug producing equip­
ment; maintenance workers who
install, maintain, and repair machin­
ery and other equipment; and truck
drivers, shipping clerks, and mate­
rial handlers who help transport the
drugs.
Pharmaceutical operators (D.O.T.
559.782) control machines that
produce tablets, capsules, ointments,
and medicinal solutions. Granulator
machine operators (D.O.T. 559.782) tend milling and grinding ma­
chines that reduce mixtures to desig­
nated sized particles. Compounders
(D.O.T. 550.885) operate tanks
and kettles in which solutions are
mixed to make up creams, oint­
ments, liquid medications, and
powders. Compressors (D.O.T.

Pharmaceutical salesman informs physician of latest product information.

648

556.782) operate machines that
compress ingredients into tablets.
Pill and tablet coalers (D.O.T.
554.782) control a battery of ma­
chines that apply coatings to tablets
to flavor, color, preserve, add medi­
cation, or control disintegration
time.
Tablet testers
(D.O.T.
559.687) inspect tablets for hard­
ness, chippage, and weight to assure
conformity with specifications. Am ­
poule fillers (D.O.T. 559.885) op­
erate machines that fill ampoules
(special glass containers) with meas­
ured doses of liquid drug prod­
ucts. Ampoule sealers (D.O.T.
559.887) melt the glass at the neck
of the ampoule in order to seal it.
Ampoule
examiners
(D.O.T.
559.687) examine the ampoules
for discoloration, foreign particles,
and flaws in the glass.
After the drug product is pre­
pared, it is inspected, and bottled or
packaged. Most of the inspection
and bottle filling jobs are done by
women operating machines that
measure exact amounts of the prod­
uct and seal containers.
The drug industry employs many
skilled maintenance workers to as­
sure that production equipment is
operating properly and to prevent
costly breakdowns. Included among
maintenance workers are power
plant operators who are responsible
for high pressure boilers, turbo gen­
erators, compressors, refrigeration
equipment, and plant water systems;
electricians who install, maintain
and repair wiring, motors, switches,
and other electrical equipment; pipe­
fitters who install and maintain
heating, plumbing, pumping, and
hot water systems; machinists who
make and repair metal parts for
machines and equipment; and in­
strument repairmen who periodi­
cally inspect instruments and con­
trols and repair or replace malfunc­
tioning parts.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Pharmaceutical operator tends
capsule filling machine.

Plant workers who do not oper­
ate or maintain equipment perform
a variety of other tasks. Some drive
trucks to make deliveries to other
parts of the plant; some load and
unload trucks and railroad cars; and
others keep inventory records of
stock and tools. The industry also
employs custodial workers, such as
guards and janitors, whose duties
are similar to those of such workers
in other industries.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

The training requirements for
jobs in the drug industry range from
a few hours of on-the-job training to
years of preparation.
For production and maintenance
occupations, drug manufacturers

generally hire inexperienced work­
ers and train them on the job;
young high school graduates are
preferred by most firms. Unskilled
men who start in production assist
more skilled workers in the per­
formance of their duties, while
learning the operation of the proc­
essing equipment. With experi­
ence, an employee may advance to
more skilled jobs in his department.
Most maintenance jobs are filled by
young men who start as helpers to
electricians, pipefitters, machinists,
and other craftsmen.
Many companies encourage pro­
duction and maintenance workers
to take courses related to their jobs
in local schools and technical insti­
tutes, or to enroll in correspondence
courses. Some companies reimburse
the workers for part, or all, of the
tuition. Skilled production and main­
tenance workers with leadership
ability may advance to supervisory
positions.
For technicians in the drug indus­
try, methods of qualifying for jobs
vary in many ways. Most techni­
cians enter the field with a high
school degree and advance to jobs
of greater responsibility after they
have acquired experience and addi­
tional formal education. However,
companies prefer to hire men and
women who are graduates of techni­
cal institutes or junior colleges, or
those who have completed college
courses in chemistry, biology, math­
ematics, or engineering. In many
firms, inexperienced workers begin
as laboratory helpers or aids, per­
forming routine jobs such as clean­
ing and arranging bottles, test tubes,
and other equipment.
The experience required for
higher levels of technician jobs var­
ies from company to company.
Generally, one year of experience is
usually required for assistant techni­
cian jobs, 3 years for technicians, 6

649

OCCUPATIONS IN THE DRUG INDUSTRY

years for senior technicians, and 10
years for technical associates. Some
companies require senior techni­
cians and technical associates to
complete job-related college courses.
For most scientific and engineer­
ing jobs, a bachelor of science de­
gree from a recognized college is
the minimum requirement. Some
companies have formal training pro­
grams for young college graduates
with engineering and scientific back­
grounds. These trainees work for
brief periods in the various divisions
of the plant to gain a broad knowl­
edge of drug manufacturing opera­
tions before being assigned to a par­
ticular department. In other firms,
newly employed scientists and engi­
neers are immediately assigned to a
specific activity such as research,
process development, production,
or sales.
Job prospects and advancement
are usually best for professionals
with advanced degrees. Some com­
panies offer training programs to
help scientists and engineers keep
abreast of new developments in their
fields and to develop administrative
skills. These programs may include
meetings and seminars with consult­
ants from academic and nonaca­
demic fields. Most companies en­
courage scientists and engineers to
further their education; some pro­
vide financial assistance for this pur­
pose. Publication of scientific papers
is also encouraged.
Employment Outlook

Drug manufacturing employment
is expected to grow rapidly through
the 1970’s, creating several thou­
sand job openings annually. Addi­
tional openings will result from the
need
to replace
experienced
workers who transfer to other fields
of work, retire, or die.
The demand for drug products is




Technician uses complex equipment in the laboratory.

expected to grow very rapidly. De­
mand will be stimulated primarily
by increases in population—particu­
larly the growing number of older
people and children. Other factors
which are expected to increase the
demand for drugs include greater
personal income levels, the rising
health consciousness of the general
public, growth of coverage under
prepayment programs for hospital­
ization and medical care (including
Medicare), and the discovery of
new drugs that will be effective in
treating illness not yet responding to
drug therapy.
The industry’s employment will
not increase as rapidly as the de­
mand for drug products, because
technological
improvements
in
production methods will increase
output per worker. The more wide­
spread use of automatic processing
and control equipment in operations
formerly done by hand will tend to
reduce labor requirements, particu­
larly in plants where products such
as tablets, ointments, and liquid
medicines are mass-produced.

Rates of employment growth will
vary greatly among occupations.
The numbers of scientists, engi­
neers, detail men, technicians, and
maintenance workers are expected
to increase faster than other occu­
pational groups in the industry. De­
mand for scientists, engineers, and
technicians will be stimulated by
continued growth in research and
development activities. The increas­
ingly technical nature of the detail
man’s job and the rising demand for
drug products are expected to make
this occupation one of the most
rapidly growing in the industry.
More skilled maintenance men,
such as electricians, machinists, pipe­
fitters, and instrument repairmen
will be needed to service the grow­
ing amount of automatic processing
and control equipment. Employ­
ment of administrative and clerical
workers is expected to increase
moderately; however, most semi­
skilled plant occupations are ex­
pected to increase slowly, as more
processes are adapted to automatic
equipment.

650

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

most plants, workers receive extra
pay when assigned to second or
Earnings of plant workers in the third shifts. They also receive pre­
drug industry are higher than the mium pay for working more than 40
average for manufacturing indus­ hours a week. Most of the industry’s
tries. For example, in 1970, produc­ workers have year round employ­
tion workers in the drug industry ment because drug production is not
averaged $143.37 for a 40.5 hour subject to seasonal variations.
week, or $3.54 an hour. In compar­
Paid vacations and holidays are
ison, production workers in manu­ common in this industry. Workers
facturing as a whole averaged generally receive 2 weeks of vaca­
$133.73 for a 39.8 hour week, or tion after 1 year of employment, 3
weeks after 5 years, 4 weeks after
$3.36 an hour.
National wage data are not avail­ 15 years, and 5 weeks after 25
able for individual occupations in years. Most workers also receive in­
the drug industry. However, the fol­ surance and pension benefits,
lowing tabulation, based on data ob­ financed at least partially by their
tained from one of the Nation’s employers. These benefits include
largest drug manufacturers, pro­ life, sickness, accident, hospitaliza­
vides an example of ranges in week­ tion, and surgical insurance. Em­
ly earnings for selected occupations ployee stock-purchase plans are in
effect in many firms.
in 1969.
Working conditions in drug
Many employees work in plants
that operate around the clock— plants generally are better than in
three shifts a day, 7 days a week. In other manufacturing plants. Because
Earnings and Working Conditions

E x a m p le s o f e a r n in g s o f w o r k e r s in a la r g e d r u g m a n u f a c tu r in g fir m in 1 9 6 9
P la n t o c c u p a tio n s
M in im u m M a x im u m

Processing:
Unskilled ....................................................
Semiskilled..................................................
Skilled ........................................................
Supervisor ..................................................
Maintenance:
Helper ........................................................
General mechanic.....................................
Carpenter, Pipefitter .................................
Electrician, Machinist...............................
Instrument repairman...............................
Supervisor ..................................................

...$ 98.31
... 117.92
... 128.31
... 138.69

$162.46
184.62
205.38
265.62

...
...
...
...
...
...

113.31
128.31
130.62
134.08
135.23
138.69

162.46
205.38
215.31
226.38
233.77
265.62

...
...
...
...
...

111.00
116.77
123.69
130.62
130.62

158.77
168.69
193.15
215.31
241.15

...
...
...
...

186.54
200.00
269.23
384.62

C)
C)
C)
C)

T e c h n ic a l o c c u p a tio n s

Beginning technician.........................................
Laboratory technician I ...................................
Laboratory technician II .................................
Laboratory technician III ...............................
Technical associate ...........................................
P r o f e s s io n a l o c c u p a tio n s

Biologist, chemist, pharmacist ........................
Engineer ............................................................
Veterinarian ......................................................
Physician ............................................................
1 = not available.




of the danger of contaminating
drugs, much emphasis is placed on
keeping equipment and work areas
clean. Plants usually are air-condi­
tioned, well-lighted, and quiet. Ven­
tilation systems protect workers
from dust, fumes, and disagreeable
odors. Special precautions are taken
to protect the relatively small num­
ber of employees who work with
diseased cultures and poisonous
chemicals. With the expection of
work performed by materials han­
dlers and maintenance workers,
most jobs require little physical ef­
fort. The frequency of injuries in
drug manufacturing has been about
half the average for all manufactur­
ing industries in recent years.
Many of the industry’s employees
are members of labor unions. The
principal unions in the industry are
the Oil, Chemical and Atomic
Workers International Union; the
International Chemical Workers
Union; and District 50, United Mine
Workers of America (Ind.)
Where To Go For More
Information

Further information concerning
careers in drug manufacturing may
be obtained from the personnel de­
partments of individual drug manu­
facturing companies and from:
Pharmaceutical Manufacturers As­
sociation, 1155 Fifteenth St. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20005
National Pharmaceutical Council,
Inc., 1030 15th St. NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20005
The Proprietary Association, 1700
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Wash­
ington, D.C. 20006

O C C U P A T I O N S IN
E L E C T R O N IC S M A N U F A C T U R IN G

The science of electronics has
contributed greatly to the achieve­
ments of the age in which we live.
Electronic instruments guide un­
manned missiles for our Nation’s
defense and control the flights of
our astronauts. Other electronic in­
struments make it possible for man
to communicate over vast distances.
Electronic devices direct, control,
and test production processes in in­
dustries such as steel and chemicals.
Electronic data-processing equip­
ment enables business and govern­
ment to handle tons of paper work
with great accuracy and speed. Hos­
pitals use electronic instruments to
perform laboratory tests and to
check body functions. In homes,
television and radio receivers pro­
vide information and entertainment.
Indications are that electronics will
play an even greater role in the
future.
In 1970, an estimated 1.1 million
workers were employed in electron­
ics manufacturing in a wide range of
occupations. Job requirements var­
ied from graduate college degrees
for some scientists and engineers to
a few days of on-the-job training for
some plant workers. A very rapid
increase in employment is antici­
pated through the 1970’s. Job op­
portunities are expected to be par­
ticularly favorable for engineers,
scientists, technicians, and skilled
maintenance workers. Many job op­
portunities also will be available for
semiskilled plant workers.

Nature and Location of
Electronics Manufacturing

Electronic products may be
grouped into four major categories:




(1) government products, (2) in­
dustrial products, (3) consumer
products, and (4) components. In
1970, government products ac­
counted for nearly half of total elec­
tronic sales. Industrial products ac­
counted for about one-third, and
consumer products accounted for
about one-seventh. Components
produced as replacement parts were
only a small percentage of total
sales. (Components produced as
original equipment for end products
are included in the shipments value
of the end products.)
Government products include
electronic guidance and tele-meter­
ing systems for missiles and space­
craft; radar and other detection de­
vices; automatic communications
and computing systems; gyroscopes
and other navigational equipment;
and fire controls (such as air-to-air
target seeking and detonating equip­
ment). Government products are
also used in the fields of medicine,
education, crime detection, and
traffic control.
Important industrial electronic
products include computers; com­
mercial radio and television broad­
casting equipment; commercial and
private aircraft communications and
navigational apparatus; and in­
dustrial testing, measuring, and
production control equipment. Prin­
cipal consumer products include
television sets, radios, phonographs,
tape recorders, and hearing aids.
Electronic components fall into
three broad classifications: tubes,
semiconductors, and “other compo­
nents.” Tubes include receiving
tubes, power tubes, television pic­
ture tubes, and special purpose
tubes. Principal semiconductor de­
vices are transistors, diodes, recti­

fiers, and microelectronic devices,
which include combinations of min­
iaturized semiconductors. “Other
components” include items such as
capacitors,
antennas,
resistors,
transformers, relays, connectors,
and electronic switches.
Of the estimated 1.1 million
workers employed in electronics
manufacturing establishments in
1970, about three-fifths—670,000
worked in plants producing end
products. About 355,000 of these
workers produced military and
space equipment; 200,000 produced
industrial and commercial products;
and 115,000 produced consumer
items. The remaining 405,000
workers were in plants making elec­
tronics components.
Electronics manufacturing plants
are located in nearly every State,
but the majority of electronics manu­
facturing workers in 1970'were em­
ployed in eight States: California,
New York, New Jersey, Illinois,
Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
and Indiana. Metropolitan areas
with large numbers of electronics
manufacturing workers included
Chicago, Los Angeles, New York,
Philadelphia, Newark, Boston, Balti­
more, and Indianapolis.
In addition to the employees in
electronics manufacturing plants,
about 80,000 electronics workers
were employed by the Federal Gov­
ernment in activities such as re­
search, development, and the nego­
tiation and administration of con­
tracts. A relatively small number of
electronics workers were employed
by universities and nonprofit re­
search centers.
Electronics Manufacturing
Occupations

A wide variety of occupations,
requiring a broad range of training
and skills, is found in plants manu­
facturing electronic products. About
half the workers in electronics man651

652

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ufacturing are in plant jobs (pro­
duction, maintenance, transporta­
tion, and service); the rest are in
white-collar jobs (engineering, sci­
entific, finance, administrative, cleri­
cal, and sales).
The proportions of plant and
white-collar workers differ from one
establishment to another, depending
mainly on the products being manu­
factured. For example, the propor­
tion of plant workers is generally
higher in establishments producing
consumer products than in estab­
lishments manufacturing govern­
ment products.
More than two-fifths of the
workers employed in electronics
manufacturing plants are women. In
some plants, particularly those
producing electron tubes and semi­
conductors, women account for half
or more of total employment. Most
women are employed as semiskilled

plant workers, chiefly as assemblers,
inspectors, and testers, and as office
workers. However, opportunities
for women exist in nearly all types
of jobs in electronics manufacturing.
Professional and Technical Occupa­
tions. A large proportion of elec­
tronics manufacturing workers are
in engineering, scientific, and other
technical jobs. Engineers and scien­
tists alone represent about 1 out of
every 9 electronics workers. Gener­
ally, they account for a much larger
proportion of employment in plants
making military and space equip­
ment than in those producing other
types of electronic products.
The largest group of engineers is
electrical or electronics engineers.
They generally are employed in re­
search and development, although
many work in production operations
as design engineers or as test meth­

Electronics engineer adjusts instrument panel of spacecraft.




ods and quality control engineers.
Electronics engineers also work as
field engineers, sales engineers, or
engineering liaison men.
Substantial numbers of mechani­
cal engineers and industrial engi­
neers also are employed in electron­
ics manufacturing plants. Mechani­
cal engineers work as design
engineers in product development
and in tool and equipment design.
They work also as plant engineers—
chiefly concerned with the mainte­
nance layout and operation of plant
equipment. Most industrial engi­
neers work as production engineers
or as efficiency, methods, or timestudy engineers. Other engineers em­
ployed in electronics manufacturing
include chemical, metallurgical, and
ceramic engineers.
Physicists make up a large group
of scientists in electronics manufac­
turing. Now that smaller package
circuitry has been achieved through
the development of microminia­
turization, physicists are working to
produce the complete circuit. This
process is accomplished by integrat­
ing elements that duplicate the func­
tions formerly performed by dis­
crete components such as capaci­
tors, resistors, and inductors,
together with transistors. Many
scientists in electronics manufactur­
ing are chemists and metallurgists,
employed mainly in research work
and in materials preparation and
testing. Mathematicians and statis­
ticians work with engineers and
scientists on complex mathematical
and statistical problems, especially
in the design of military and space
equipment and computers. Statisti­
cians also are employed in the fields
of quality control, production sched­
uling, and sales analysis and plan­
ning. Industrial designers work on
the design of electronic products
and the equipment used to manu­
facture them.

OCCUPATIONS IN ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING

Technicians—such as electronics
technicians, draftsmen, engineering
aids, laboratory technicians, and
mathematical assistants—represent
about 1 out of every 20 electronics
manufacturing workers.
Many electronics technicians are
engaged in research and develop­
ment work, helping engineers in the
design and construction of experi­
mental models. They also are em­
ployed by manufacturers to work on
electronic equipment in customers’
establishments. Other electronics
technicians work in highly technical
inspecting, testing, and assembly
jobs in the engineering laboratories
of firms manufacturing electronic
products.
Draftsmen usually are employed
in engineering departments to pre­
pare drawings from sketches or
specifications furnished by engi­

neers. Manufacturers of military
and space equipment generally em­
ploy a higher proportion of drafts­
men than do manufacturers of other
types of electronic products.
Engineering aids are another im­
portant group of technicians. They
assist engineers by making calcula­
tions, sketches, and drawings, and
by conducting performance tests on
components and systems. Labora­
tory technicians help physicists,
chemists, and engineers by perform­
ing duties such as setting up appa­
ratus and assisting in laboratory
analyses and experiments. Some
laboratory technicians themselves
may conduct analyses and experi­
ments, usually of a standardized,
routine nature. Mathematical assist­
ants help to solve mathematical
problems, following procedures out­
lined by mathematicians. They also

Technician tests aircraft flight director indicator in clean room atmosphere.




653

operate test equipment used in the
development of electronic comput­
ers.
Technical writers work closely
with engineers, particularly in plants
making government and industrial
products, and in establishments
doing research and development
work. They prepare training and
technical manuals describing the op­
eration and maintenance of elec­
tronic equipment. They also pre­
pare catalogs, product literature,
and project reports and proposals.
Specifications writers compile lists
of required measurements and ma­
terials. Technical illustrators draw
pictures of electronic equipment for
technical publications and sales lit­
erature.
Administrative, Clerical, and Re­
lated Occupations. About 1 out of 5
workers in electronics manufactur­
ing plants is in an administrative or
other office job. Administrative
workers include purchasing agents,
sales executives, personnel workers,
advertising personnel, and market­
ing research specialists. Clerks, sec­
retaries, stenographers, typists, and
business machines operators, many
of whom are women, are among the
thousands of other office workers
employed by electronics manufac­
turing firms. A small but growing
proportion of these office workers
operate electronic computers and
auxiliary equipment. Most of these
computers are used to process office
records, including payroll, produc­
tion, costs, sales, and inventory
data.
Plant Occupations. About half of
electronics
manufacturing
em­
ployees work in assembly, inspect­
ing and testing, machining, fabricat­
ing, processing, maintenance, and
other plant operations. The propor­
tion of workers in each of these op-

654

erations differs among electronics
plants,
depending largely on
whether end products or compo­
nents are produced and the types
manufactured. For example, the
proportion of assemblers is higher
in plants making components and
consumer end products than in
plants producing military space
equipment and industrial-commer­
cial products. The proportion of
machining and fabricating workers
is higher among manufacturers of
military space equipment and in­
dustrial-commercial products than
among manufacturers of other types
of products.
Assembly Occupations (D.O.T.
729.884; 720.884; 726.781 and
.884). Assemblers make up the
largest group of electronics plant
workers. Both end-product and
component manufacturing firms em­
ploy assemblers with many different
skills. However, most assemblers
are semiskilled workers.
Most end products are assembled
mainly by hand, using small handtools, soldering irons, and light
welding devices. Assemblers use di­
agrams, models, and color-coded
parts and wires to help them in their
work. Some assembly work is done
by following instructions presented
on color slides and tape recordings.
Color slides flash a picture of an as­
sembly sequence on a viewing
screen, while the assembler listens
to recorded directions.
Precision assemblers install com­
ponents and subassemblies into end
products in which moving parts and
mechanisms must operate within
clearances measured in thousandths,
or even millionths, of an inch. Some
of these assembly workers do repair
work, experimental and develop­
mental work, and model assembly
work. Most precision assemblers are
employed in the manufacture of
military space and industrial-com­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

mercial electronic equipment.
Machines are used in some as­
sembly work on end products. For
example, in putting together subas­
semblies such as circuit boards, au­
tomatic machines often are used to
position components on the boards
and to solder connections. Here the
assemblers work as machine opera­
tors or loaders.
Most components are assembled
by machines, since their assembly
involves many separate but simple
and repetitive operations. Even
some types of miniaturized semi­
conductors and other components,
made with parts small enough to
pass through the eye of a needle,
now are assembled on highly com­
plex machines. Some of these ma­
chines are automatically controlled.
Hand assembly is needed for
some components, such as receiving
tubes and special purpose tubes,
and some types of transistors, di­
odes, capacitors, and resistors.
Hand assemblers may perform only
a single operation on these compo­

nents as they move down the assem­
bly line, but some may assemble
completely a particular type of com­
ponent. Tiny components often are
hand-assembled under magnifying
lenses or powerful microscopes.
Hand assemblers may use ma­
chines to assist them in performing
assembly operations on components.
For example, precision welding
equipment may be used to weld
connections in microminiature com­
ponents and circuit assemblies.
Some circuit assemblies are so small
that hundreds of components may
be precision welded in a cubic inch
of space. Machines also may be
used to position and hold compo­
nent parts during assembly opera­
tions.
Hand assemblers also are em­
ployed in electronics research labo­
ratories and in the research and de­
velopment departments of electron­
ics manufacturers. These workers
—frequently called electronics tech­
nicians—generally do difficult as­
sembly work on small quantities of

OCCUPATIONS IN ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING

complex, often experimental, equip­ glass lathe operators (D.O.T.
ment. They also may work on the 674.782) are employed chiefly in
development of new ways to assem­ electronic tube experimentation and
ble large quantities of components development work; in the manufac­
or subassemblies by machine. Some ture of special purpose tubes, which
electronics technicians install subas­ are made in small numbers; and in
semblies into complex systems such rebuilding television picture tubes.
as those in guided missiles. These Other fabricating workers include
hand assemblers usually must know punch press operators, blanking
enough electronics theory to under­ machine operators and shear opera­
stand the operation of the items tors.
being assembled.
Some fabricating jobs involve the
Most assemblers are women. molding, firing, and glazing of ce­
They are employed mainly as ma­ ramics used as insulating materials
chine operators or tenders, and as in many components. Workers may
hand assemblers of items made in also operate machines that mold
large quantities. Men are employed plastic components. In electron tube
chiefly in experimental assembly manufacturing, special fabricating
work, in model assembly, and in as­ workers are employed. For example,
sembly jobs requiring relatively grid lathe operators (D.O.T.
heavy work. Men also are employed 725.884) make grids (devices in
in assembly departments as “trouble electronic tubes which control the
shooters.” These workers analyze flow of electrons) by winding fine
end products and subassemblies, wire around two heavy parallel
which have failed routine perform­ wires. Other fabricating workers in­
ance tests, to pinpoint the cause of clude spot welders, coil winders
faulty operation.
(D.O.T. 724.781 and .884) and
Machining occupations. Metal crystal grinders and finishers
machining workers are employed in (D.O.T. 726.884).
Processing occupations. A rela­
most electronics manufacturing
plants, particularly those making tively small but important group of
military-space and industrial-com­ electronics manufacturing workers
mercial products. Machine-tool op­ is engaged in processing activities,
erators and machinists operate pow­ chiefly in plants producing elec­
er-driven machine tools to produce tronic components. Electroplaters
metal parts of electronic products. and tinners (D.O.T. 501.885) coat
Toolmakers construct and repair many parts with metal. Anodizers
jigs and fixtures used in the fabrica­ (D.O.T. 501.782) treat parts in
tion and assembly of parts. Diemak- electrolytic and chemical baths to
ers specialize in making metal forms prevent corrosion. Silk screen print­
(dies) used in punch and power ers (D.O.T. 726.887) print pat­
terns on circuit boards and on parts
presses to shape metal parts.
Fabricating occupations. Fabri­ of electronic components. Etching
cating workers are employed in equipment operators (D.O.T. 590.many electronics manufacturing 885) do chemical etching of copper
plants, but the largest proportion is on circuit boards.
Processing workers also impreg­
in establishments producing in­
dustrial products. Among the fabri­ nate or coat coils and other elec­
cating workers are sheet-metal tronic components with waxes, oils,
workers who make frames, chassis, plastics or other materials. Some
and cabinets. Glass blowers and operate machines which encase mi­




655

crominiature components in plastic
resin to join and insulate them in
circuits, seal out moisture, and re­
duce chances of connection failure
caused by heat and vibration.
Another group of processing
workers operate furnaces, ovens,
and kilns, used chiefly to harden ce­
ramics, bake on coatings, and elimi­
nate contamination by gases and
foreign materials. Operators of in­
frared ovens and hydrogen furnace
fires (D.O.T. 590.885) rid tubes of
foreign deposits. In tube manufac­
turing, exhaust operators (D.O.T.
725.884) and sealers (D.O.T.
692.885) operate gas flame ma­
chines which seal the mount (the
part of an electronic tube consisting
of a Bakelite base and stem) in the
tube, clear the tube of impurities, ex­
haust the gas, and seal the tube.
Testing and inspection. Testing
and inspection in electronics manu­
facturing begin when raw materials
enter the plants and continue
throughout fabricating operations.
Finished components and end prod­
ucts undergo thorough testing and
inspection, frequently including op­
eration for a period of time, before
shipment.
In end-product manufacturing
plants, testers use voltmeters, oscil­
loscopes, and other test meters to
make certain that components, subassemblies, and end products con­
form to specifications. Many of
these workers have job titles that in­
dicate the type of work they do,
such as analyzer, final tester, tuner
tester, and operational tester.
Some testing jobs require techni­
cally trained workers who have had
several years of experience in elec­
tronic testing. These jobs are com­
monly found in research and devel­
opment work, where electronics
technicians test, adjust, and aline
circuits and systems as part of their
overall responsibility. These jobs

656

also are found in complex produc­
tion work, such as the manufacture
of missiles and spacecraft.
In component manufacturing
plants, components are checked
manually by testers using various
types of test meters or routed me­
chanically through automatic test
equipment. Some automatic equip­
ment can check a large number of
component characteristics, produce
a punched tape of test results, and
sort the components into batches for
shipping. Although many of these
workers simply are called compo­
nent testers, others have job titles
which reflect the type of compo­
nents they test, such as transformer
tester or coil tester. Workers who
feed or monitor automatic test
equipment often are called test-set
operators or testing-machine opera­
tors.
The work of inspectors in endproduct plants varies from checking
incoming materials to inspecting
subassemblies and final products for
flaws in circuit assembly, etching,
plating, painting, and labeling. Elec­
tronic assembly inspectors (D.O.T.
722.281) examine assembled elec­
tronic units to make certain that
they conform to blueprints and
specifications, and check wire rout­
ing, electrical connections, and
quality of units. Mechanical and
precision inspectors check mechani­
cal assemblies and precision parts.
Inspectors in end-product plants
may use tools such as measuring
scales, micrometers, calipers, and
magnifying glasses in their work.
Inspectors in component manu­
facturing plants check incoming raw
materials and subassemblies before,
during, and after fabricating and
processing operations. They may in­
spect wire leads on diodes for
straightness or length, wire winding
on coils for evenness or breakage,
and completed tubes for loose




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

wires, scratched paint, corrosion,
defective etches, and identifying la­
bels. Some inspectors make repairs
on defective components.
Tools used by inspectors in com­
ponents plants may include mag­
nifying lenses, micrometers, calipers,
tweezers, and, in some circum­
stances, microscopes. These inspec­
tors may have job titles that indicate
the work they do, such as incoming
materials inspector, plating inspec­
tor, power tube inspector, coil
inspector, machine parts inspector,
and precision inspector.
Maintenance occupations. Many
workers are employed in electronics
manufacturing plants to maintain
machinery and equipment. Skilled
electricians are responsible for the
proper operation of electrical equip­
ment. Machine and equipment
repairmen perform mechanical re­
pairs. Hydraulic mechanics special­
ize in maintaining hydraulic equip­
ment. Maintenance machinists and
welders build and repair equipment,
jigs, and fixtures. Air-conditioning
and refrigeration mechanics are em­
ployed in electronics plants which
are air-conditioned and have special
refrigerated and dust-free rooms.
Painters, plumbers, pipefitters, car­
penters, sheet-metal workers, and
other building maintenance crafts­
men also are employed in electron­
ics plants.
Other plant occupations. Parts
changer (D.O.T. 729.381) is an­
other important occupation in elec­
tronic manufacturing plants. These
workers repair assembled electronic
products which have been tagged
for replacement of defective parts.
Women frequently are employed as
parts changers.
Many workers are employed in
materials movement and handling.
These workers include operators of
plant trucks and tractors; forklift
operators who stack crates and load

and unload trucks and boxcars; and
truckdrivers who handle transporta­
tion outside the plant. Other occu­
pations include boiler operator and
stationary engineer.
(Detailed discussions of profes­
sional, technical, mechanical, and
other occupations, found not only in
electronics manufacturing plants but
also in other industries, are given
elsewhere in the Handbook in sec­
tions covering the individual occu­
pations.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Electronic manufacturing plants
employ many engineers, scientists,
and technicians because of the tech­
nical nature of plant production op­
erations and the great emphasis on
research and development work.
Beginning engineering jobs usually
are filled by recent graduates of en­
gineering colleges (some with ad­
vanced degrees). A small number
of workers without college degrees
are upgraded to professional engi­
neering classifications from occupa­
tions such as engineering assistant
and electronics technician. Workers
who become engineers in this way
usually have taken advanced elec­
tronics courses in night school or in
other training programs. To keep up
with new developments in their
fields and to help them qualify for
promotion, professional and techni­
cal personnel obtain additional
training, read technical publications,
and attend lectures and technical
demonstrations.
Almost all mathematicians, phys­
icists, and other scientists em­
ployed in electronics manufacturing
plants have college degrees, and
many have advanced degrees. Job
prospects are usually better for sci­
entists who have at least a master’s

OCCUPATIONS IN ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING

degree than for those with only a
bachelor’s degree.
Technicians generally need some
specialized training to qualify for
their jobs. Most electronics techni­
cians have attended either a public,
private, or Armed Forces technical
school. Some have obtained their
training through apprenticeships,
usually of 3 or 4 years’ duration.
Applicants with a high school edu­
cation including courses in mathe­
matics and science, are preferred
for these apprenticeships. Some
workers become electronics techni­
cians by being upgraded from jobs
such as tester and experimental as­
sembler, after they have developed
skills on the job and acquired the
necessary knowledge in basic elec­
tronics theory, mathematics, draft­
ing, and reading of schematic dia­
grams. This knowledge usually is
obtained by taking courses in com­
pany-operated classes, night school,
junior college, technical school, or
by correspondence.
Electronics technicians need
color vision, manual dexterity, and
good eye-hand coordination. As in
the case of other technical workers,
they must be able to understand
technical publications. Some techni­
cians who do final testing that
requires the operation of radio
transmitting equipment must hold
licenses from the Federal Communi­
cations Commission as first- or sec­
ond-class commercial radiotele­
phone operators.
Laboratory technicians engineer­
ing and scientific aids, and mathe­
matical assistants frequently have
had 1 year of college training or
more in a scientific or engineering
field, but have not completed course
requirements for a degree. In other
cases, these workers have been up­
graded from jobs as lower grade as­
sistants in engineering laboratories
or as high-grade testers in produc­




tion departments. In hiring lower
grade assistants, electronics firms
give preference to applicants who
have completed high school courses
in mathematics, physics, and chem­
istry.
Draftsmen usually enter their
trade by taking a course in drafting
at a trade or technical school; a few
have completed a 3- or 4-year ap­
prenticeship. Some qualify for their
jobs under an informal arrangement
with their employers which provides
for both on-the-job training and
part-time schooling. Because many
draftsmen must understand the
basic principles of electronic circuits
to do their work, they should study
basic electronic theory and circuits
and the reading of electronic sche­
matic diagrams.
Technical writers must have a
flair for writing and are usually re­
quired to have some technical train­
ing. Electronics firms prefer to hire
those who have had some technical
institute or college training in sci­
ence or engineering. Some have col­
lege engineering degrees. Many
have college degrees in English and
journalism and have received their
technical training on the job and by
attending company-operated eve­
ning classes. Technical illustrators
usually have attended special
schools of art or design.
Many tool and die makers, ma­
chinists, electricians, pipefitters, car­
penters, and other craftsmen learn
their trades by completing a 4- or
5-year apprenticeship. Some enter
these trades through upgrading from
helpers’ jobs. Some take courses at
vocational schools.
Formal training in electronics
usually is not necessary for workers
entering plant jobs, but completion
of high school frequently is re­
quired. Job applicants may have to
pass aptitude tests and demonstrate
skill for particular types of work.

657

On-the-job training, usually for a
short period, generally is provided
for workers who have had no pre­
vious experience. Assemblers, test­
ers, and inspectors need good vi­
sion, good color perception, manual
dexterity, and patience.
Requirements for filling adminis­
trative and other office jobs are sim­
ilar to those in other industries.
Certain beginning administrative
jobs in electronics manufacturing
generally are open only to college
graduates having degrees in busi­
ness administration, accounting, or
engineering. More and more em­
ployers are requiring college train­
ing for administrative jobs in adver­
tising, personnel, accounting, and
sales. For clerical jobs, employers
usually prefer applicants who are
high school graduates with special
training in stenography, typing,
bookkeeping, and office machine
operation.
Employment Outlook

Employment in electronics manu­
facturing is expected to increase
very rapidly through the 1970’s. In
addition, large numbers of job

658

openings will result from the need
to replace workers who transfer to
other fields of work, retire, or die.
The employment outlook pre­
sented here assumes relatively full
employment in the Nation’s econ­
omy and the high levels of eco­
nomic activity needed to achieve
this goal. It also assumes that de­
fense expenditures, an important
determinant of electronics manufac­
turing employment, will be some­
what higher than the level before
the Vietnam buildup; approximately
the level of the early 1960’s. If the
Nation’s economic activity and de­
fense expenditures should differ
substantially from the assumed lev­
els, employment will be affected ac­
cordingly.
Several factors will stimulate
growth in the output of electronic
products. Businessmen are expected
to spend increasing amounts for
computers and other electronic
equipment to automate and mecha­
nize data processing and production
processes. Business expenditures for
communications and industrial test­
ing equipment also will grow. The
demand for consumer items, such as
television receivers and stereo sys­
tems, will rise in response to in­
creases in population, family forma­
tions, and personal incomes. Gov­
ernment purchases for defense
needs will continue to account for a
large proportion of electronics man­
ufacturing output. An increasing
share of government purchases,
however, is likely to be for elec­
tronic equipment used in medicine,
education, pollution abatement, and
most other nondefense related
fields.
The increase in electronics manu­
facturing employment will not be as
great as the expansion in output,
however, because technological im­
provements in production methods
are expected to increase output per




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

worker. For example, increasing
mechanization of operations for­
merly done by hand will tend to re­
duce labor requirements, particu­
larly in plants where products are
mass-produced, such as television
and radio sets, and components.
However, mechanized manufactur­
ing processes are difficult to adapt
to the fabrication of many types of
highly complex electronic products.
Although total employment in
electronics manufacturing is ex­
pected to grow at a very rapid pace
through the 1970’s, the rates of
growth will vary among occupa­
tional groups and individual occupa­
tions. For example, employment of
skilled maintenance personnel, par­
ticularly instrument repairmen, is
expected to rise at a more rapid rate
than total employment because of
the need to maintain and repair the
increasing amounts of complex ma­
chinery. On the other hand, em­
ployment of semiskilled workers
probably will rise at a slower rate
because of the growing mechaniza­
tion and automation of assembly
line operations.
Employment of engineers, scien­
tists, and technicians is expected to
increase faster than total employ­
ment because of continued high ex­
penditures for research and devel­
opment, and the continuing trend
toward the production of complex
equipment. Among professional and
technical workers, the greatest de­
mand will be for engineers having
advanced degrees, particularly those
who have a background in certain
T yp e o f pro d u ct

specialized fields, including quan­
tum mechanics, solid-state circuitry,
product design, and industrial engi­
neering. Many opportunities also
will be available for engineers pos­
sessing selling ability because the in­
creasing complexity of industrial
and commercial equipment will re­
quire salesmen with highly technical
backgrounds. The demand for
mathematicians and physicists will
be particularly good because of ex­
panding research in computer and
laser technology.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Average hourly and weekly earn­
ings of production workers in elec­
tronics manufacturing industries
vary considerably by type of prod­
uct produced. As shown in the ac­
companying tabulation, production
workers in industries making gov­
ernment and industrial end products
had higher average earnings in 1970
than those in industries producing
other types of electronic products.
Earnings of individual production
workers may differ from the aver­
ages shown above, since such earn­
ings depend not only on the type of
plant in which they work but also
on factors such as skill level and ex­
perience, length of service, geo­
graphic location, and amount of
overtime.
Electronics workers generally re­
ceive premium pay for overtime
work and for work on Sundays and
holidays. Virtually all plants provide
A v e r a g e h o u r ly
e a r n in g s

All manufacturing industries.....................................$3.36
Major electronics manufacturing industries:
Government and industrial electronics end products.. 3.68
Radio and television receiving sets, and phono­
graphs ............................................................................ 3.19
Electron tubes ................................................................. 2.96
Semiconductors and other components, except
tubes .............................................................................. 2.80

A v e r a g e w e e k ly
e a r n in g s

$133.73
149.78
126.64
113.96
108.36

OCCUPATIONS IN ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING

extra pay for evening and night shift
work.
Many workers in electronics
manufacturing plants receive 2 or 3
weeks’ vacation with pay, depend­
ing on their length of service, and
from 6 to 8 paid holidays a year.
Almost all electronics workers are
covered by health and life insurance
plans; many are covered by pension
plans and other fringe benefits.
Working conditions in electronics
manufacturing compare favorably
with those in other industries.
Plants are usually well lighted,
clean, and quiet. Many plants are
relatively new and are located in
suburban and semirural areas. Most
plant departments are air condi­
tioned where dust-free conditions or
air temperature control is necessary




for the manufacture of certain types
of electronic equipment. The work
in most electronics occupations is
not strenuous. Many assembly line
operations are repetitious. Music
during working hours, cafeterias,
recreational facilities, and social
programs are provided for em­
ployees by some electronics manu­
facturing firms.
The frequency of injuries in elec­
tronics manufacturing is far below
the average in manufacturing as a
whole, and injuries are usually less
severe.
Many workers in electronics
manufacturing are covered by la­
bor-management agreements. The
principal unions involved are the
International Union of Electrical,
Radio and Machine Workers; Inter­

659

national Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers; International Association
of Machinists and Aerospace
Workers; and the United Electrical,
Radio and Machine Workers of
America (Ind.).

Sources of Additional Information

Further information concerning
careers in electronics manufacturing
can be obtained from the public re­
lations departments of electronics
manufacturing
companies
and
from:
Electronic Industries Association,
2001 Eye St. NW., Washington,
D.C. 20006.

O C C U P A T IO N S

IN

F O U N D R IE S

particular alloy since somewhat dif­
ferent methods and equipment are
used to melt and cast various met­
als. Some foundries cast ferrous
metals, such as steel or gray iron.
Others cast nonferrous metals, such
as aluminum, brass, or zinc. How­
ever, many nonferrous foundries
and some ferrous foundries cast
several metals.
There are six principal methods
of casting, each named for the type
of mold used. In the most common
method, green-sand molding, sand
composed chiefly of silica, clay, and
moisture is packed in a boxlike con­
tainer, called a flask, around a pat­
tern. After the pattern is withdrawn,
molten metal is poured into the
mold cavity to form the desired
metal shape. Sand molds can be
used only once, but the sand is usu­
ally reconditioned and reused.
A second method, called perma­
nent molding, employs a metal in­
stead of a sand mold. Metal molds,
which can be used many times, are
chiefly for casting nonferrous prod­
ucts. However, some ferrous cast­
ings are also produced by this
Nature and Location of
Foundry Work
method.
Precision investment casting, a
More than two-thirds of the third method (often known as the
450,000 foundry workers in 1970 “lost wax” process), uses ceramic
were employed in independent molds. In this method, a wax or
foundries that sell their castings to plastic pattern is coated with refrac­
other firms. Most of the remainder tory clay. After the coating hardens,
were employed in the foundries of the pattern is melted and drained,
plants that use castings in their final so that a mold cavity is left into
products, such as automobile and which molten metal is poured. Cast­
industrial machinery plants. A small ings produced from these molds are
proportion of foundry workers were precise and require little machining.
employed in foundry pattern shops
Shell molding, a fourth process, is
of various metalworking plants and becoming increasingly important. In
in shops that make patterns on this method, a heated metal pattern
order.
is covered with sand coated with
Foundries usually specialize in a resin. The sand forms a thin shell

Metal castings produced by
foundry workers are essential for
thousands of products ranging from
automobile engines to cooking uten­
sils. In early 1970, 450,000 workers
were employed in foundries and
foundry departments of other
metalworking establishments.
Casting is a method of forming
metal into intricate shapes. To cast
metal, a mold is prepared with a
cavity in it that has been shaped by
a pattern or model of the object to
be cast. Metal is then melted and
poured into the mold cavity, where
it cools and solidifies.
Castings may range from a frac­
tion of an inch to many feet and
weigh from less than an ounce to
many tons. The strength and rigidity
of cast objects makes casting suit­
able for thousands of household and
industrial items, including automo­
bile parts, plumbing fixtures, ma­
chine tools, dies, railroad car
wheels, and aircraft and missile
components.

660



mold that, after curing, is stripped
from the pattern. Castings produced
from these molds are precise and
have a smooth surface. The process
is even used more widely to make
cores, which form designed cavities
in the castings.
Die casting, a fifth process, is
done entirely by machines operated
by die-casting machine operators. In
this method, molten metal under
high pressure is forced into dies
from which the castings are later
automatically ejected, or removed
by hand, when the metal solidifies.
A sixth method, centrifugal cast­
ing, permits production of pipe cyl­
inders and rolls having cylindrical
cavities. Molten metal is poured
into a spinning mold where centrifu­
gal force distributes the metal
against the cavity.
Most foundries are small. More
than 90 percent employ fewer than
250 workers each. However, about
one-third of all foundry workers are
in establishments which employ 500
workers or more.
Small foundries generally pro­
duce small amounts of different
kinds of castings for nearby metal
fabricating plants. They employ
hand and machine molders and
coremakers (the key foundry occu­
pations), and a substantial number
of unskilled laborers. Many of these
foundries produce large castings,
and require the skills of floor mold­
ers.
Large foundries are often highly
mechanized and produce great
quantities of identical castings.
These shops employ relatively few
unskilled laborers because cranes,
conveyors, and other types of
equipment are used in place of hand
labor to move materials, molds, and
castings. However, proportionately
greater numbers of skilled mainte­
nance workers, such as millwrights
and electricians, are employed in
these foundries to service and repair
the large amount of machinery and

661

OCCUPATIONS IN FOUNDRIES

equipment. Also, these shops em­
ploy proportionately fewer skilled
molders and coremakers.
There are foundry jobs in every
State and in most large- and med­
ium-size cities in the country. Be­
cause foundries usually are located
near plants where their castings are
used, foundry jobs tend to be con­
centrated in States where there is
considerable metalworking activity;
for example, in Michigan, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and
Wisconsin.

Foundry Occupations

More than four-fifths of the ap­
proximately 450,000 workers in
foundries and foundry departments
in early 1970 were employed in
plant occupations. More than half
of the plant workers were employed
in occupations not found in other
industries. To illustrate more clearly
the duties of these workers, a brief
description of the jobs involved in
the most common casting process
—sand casting—follows:
After the casting is designed, the
patternmaker makes a wood or
metal pattern in the shape of the
casting desired. Next, a hand
molder (D.O.T. 518.381) makes
sand molds by packing and ram­
ming sand, specially prepared by a
sand mixer (D.O.T. 579.782),
around the pattern. A molder’s
helper (D.O.T. 519.887) may as­
sist in these operations. If large
numbers of identical castings are to
be made, molding machines may be
used to make the molds at a faster
speed than is possible by hand. The
operator of this equipment is called
a machine molder.
A coremaker shapes sand, spe­
cially prepared by a sand mixer,
into cores (bodies of sand designed
usually to create hollow spaces in




castings). Most cores are baked in
an oven by a core-oven tender
(D.O.T. 518.885). Core parts or
sections are put together by a core
assembler
(D.O.T.
518.887).
After the cores are assembled, they
are placed in the molds by coreset­
ters (D.O.T. 518.884) or molders.
Now, the molds are ready for the
molten metal to be poured.
A furnace operator, or melter
(D.O.T. 512.782) operates the fur­
nace that melts the metal. The
metal is usually poured into molds
by a pourer (D.O.T. 514.884), al­
though in some small foundries
molders may perform this task.
When the castings have solidified,
they are dumped from the molds by
a shakeout man (D.O.T. 519.887)
and sent to the cleaning and finish­
ing department.
Dirty and rough surfaces of cast­
ings are cleaned and smoothed by
blasting or tumbling, and chipping
and grinding. A shotblaster (D.O.T.
503.887) operates a machine that
cleans the castings by blasting them
with air mixed with metal shot or
grit. The castings may be smoothed
by tumbling. In this process, the
castings together with an abrasive
material, and sometimes water, are
placed in a barrel which is rotated.
As the barrel turns, the castings
tumble against each other, thereby
removing sand, burrs, and scale.
The man who controls the barrel is
called a tumbler operator (D.O.T.
599.885). Sandblasters and tumbler
operators may also operate a ma­
chine which both tumbles and blasts
the castings. A chipper (D.O.T.
809.884) and a grinder (D.O.T.
809.884) use pneumatic chisels,
powered abrasive wheels, power­
saws, and handtools, such as ham­
mers, chisels, and files, to remove
excess metal and to finish the cast­
ings.
Castings are frequently heat

treated in furnaces to improve the
mechanical properties of the metal;
a heat treater, or annealer (D.O.T.
504.782), operates these furnaces.
Before the castings are packed for
shipment, a casting inspector
(D.O.T. 514.687) checks them to
make sure they are structurally
sound and meet blue-print specifi­
cations.
Many foundry workers are em­
ployed in occupations that are com­
mon to other industries. For ex­
ample, foundry maintenance me­
chanics, machinists, carpenters, and
millwrights maintain and repair
plant equipment. Crane and derrick
operators and truckdrivers move
castings and casting materials from
place to place. Machine tool op­
erators finish castings in the many
foundries that do machine finishing
work. Foundries also employ thou­
sands of workers in unskilled jobs,
such as guard, janitor, and laborer.
Nearly a fifth of all foundry
workers are employed in profes­
sional, technical, administrative,
clerical, and sales occupations. Of
these personnel, the largest number
are clerical workers, such as secre­
taries, stenographers, typists, and
accounting clerks.
Foundries also employ substan­
tial numbers of professional and
technical workers, such as engi­
neers, and metallurgists. Some of
these employees do research; others
make designs and layouts of ma­
chinery and equipment; control the
quality of castings; or supervise
plant operations and maintenance.
In recent years, increasing numbers
of these workers have been hired to
sell castings and to assist customers
in designing cast parts. Foundry
technicians are employed in a vari­
ety of functions concerning the con­
trol of quality in casting production.
For example, they may test molding
and coremaking sand, make chemi-

662

cal analyses of metal, and operate
machines that test the strength and
hardness of castings. In this work
they may use X-ray, magnetic, or
sound apparatus to inspect the in­
ternal structure of castings.
Administrative workers employed
in foundries include office manag­
ers, personnel workers, purchasing
agents, plant managers, and other
supervisory workers.
The foundry work force is pre­
dominately male, since much of the
work connected with the production
of castings is strenuous. Women are
employed primarily in office jobs,
although some are employed in
production occupations such as
coremaker. Women also assemble
wax and plastic patterns in invest­
ment casting foundries.
Detailed discussions of three
principal foundry occupations—pat­
ternmakers, coremakers, and molders—follow this chapter. (Detailed
discussions of professional, techni­
cal, mechanical, office, and other
occupations found in foundries as
well as in many other industries are
given in the sections of the Hand­
book covering individual occupa­
tions. )

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Most foundry plant workers start
in unskilled jobs, such as laborer or
helper. A worker may begin as a la­
borer and, after receiving informal
on-the-job training from a foreman
or experienced worker, he may
gradually learn how to perform the
more skilled jobs. This is the usual
practice in training workers for such
casting process jobs as melter, chip­
per, and grinder.
Some skilled foundry workers—
particularly hand molders, hand
coremakers, and patternmakers—




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

learn their jobs through formal ap­
prenticeship. In this type of train­
ing, the young worker is given su­
pervised on-the-job training for a
period of 4 or 5 years, usually sup­
plemented by classroom instruction.
A worker who has completed an ap­
prenticeship program is usually pre­
ferred by foundry management be­
cause he has a greater working
knowledge of all foundry operations
and is, therefore, better qualified to
fill supervisory jobs.
An increasing number of skilled
foundry workers learn their jobs
through a combination of trade
school and on-the-job training. Be­
ginning workers may attend trade
schools that offer training in foun­
dry work before entering a formal
apprenticeship program; in some
cases, trade school courses may be
credited toward completion of for­
mal apprenticeships. Training pro­
grams for updating and upgrading
the knowledge and skills of experi­
enced workers are conducted by

some foundries and by the Ameri­
can Foundry Society Training and
Research Institute.

Employment Outlook

Employment in foundries is ex­
pected to show little or no change
through the 1970’s, despite an an­
ticipated substantial increase in the
production of metal castings. Nev­
ertheless, thousands of job openings
will become available each year be­
cause of the need to replace experi­
enced workers who retire, die, or
transfer to other fields of work.
The growing population and ris­
ing levels of personal income will
result in a greater demand for cast­
ings and products that have cast
parts. Examples of these products
are automobiles, household appli­
ances, plumbing fixtures, and gas
and water lines. In addition, new in­
dustrial machinery and transporta­
tion equipment, much of which will

663

OCCUPATIONS IN FOUNDRIES

be made of cast components, will be
needed to produce and distribute
goods for the growing population.
However, laborsaving technological
developments are expected to ena­
ble foundries to make more castings
without increasing employment sig­
nificantly. For example, continued
improvements in production meth­
ods, particularly in machine mold­
ing and coremaking, and increasing
use of machinery for materials han­
dling will result in greater output
per worker.
Although foundry employment as
a whole is not expected to change
significantly through the 1970’s,
employment will rise in some occu­
pations. For example, scientists, en­
gineers, and other technical person­
nel are expected to increase as a
result of expanding research and de­
velopment activities. Technicians
also will be needed in greater num­
bers as foundries introduce im­
proved quality control procedures
and new production techniques.
More maintenance workers and op­
erators of materials moving ma­
chines will be required because of
the increasing use of materialshandling equipment and more com­
plex processing equipment. In con­
trast, the number of hand molders,
hand coremakers, and other hand
processing workers is expected to
show little change, because of the
increasing substitution of machine
molding and coremaking for hand
processes. The number of laborers
and other unskilled workers will
continue to decline.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Foundry production workers have
higher average hourly earnings than
production workers in manufactur­
ing as a whole. In 1970, earnings of
production workers in iron and steel




foundries averaged $ 151.44 a week,
or $3.73 an hour. In nonferrous
foundries, the average was $138.55
a week, or $3.49 an hour. By com­
parison, production workers in all
manufacturing industries had aver­
age earnings of $133.73 a week, or
$3.36 an hour.
Collective bargaining contracts
negotiated between foundry em­
ployers and unions generally in­
cluded provisions for fringe benefits,
such as holiday pay, vacation pay,
and retirement pensions. Other im­
portant benefits often included in
such contracts were life, medical,
and accident insurance.
Working conditions in foundries
have improved in recent years.
Many foundries, through the instal­
lation of modern ventilating sys­
tems, new equipment, and improved
plant layout, have reduced heat,
fumes, and smoke. Although the
rate of disabling work injuries in
foundries is higher than the average
for all manufacturing industries,
employers and unions attempt to
eliminate injuries by promoting
safety training and by using protec­
tive equipment, such as face shields,
metal toe shoes, helmets, and safety
glasses.
Various labor unions have found­
ry workers in their membership.
Among these unions are the Inter­
national Molders’ and Allied
Workers’ Union; the United Steel­
workers of America; the Interna­
tional Union, United Automobile,
Aerospace and Agricultural Imple­
ment Workers of America; and the
International Union of Electrical,
Radio and Machine Workers. Many
patternmakers are members of the
Pattern Makers’ League of North
America.
Sources of Additional Information

For further information about

work and/or training opportu­
nities in foundry occupations, in­
quiries should be directed to local
foundries; the local office of the
State employment service; the near­
est office of the State apprenticeship
agency or the Bureau of Apprentice­
ship and Training, U.S. Department
of Labor; and the following organi­
zations :
American Foundrymen’s Society,
Golf and Wolf Rds., Des Plaines,
111. 60016.
Foundry Educational Foundation,
1138 Terminal Tower, Cleveland,
Ohio 44113.
Gray and Ductile Iron Founders’
Society, Inc., 930 National CityEast 6th Bldg., Cleveland, Ohio
44114.
International Molders’ and Allied
Workers’ Union, 1225 East Mc­
Millan St., Cincinnati, Ohio 45206.
Malleable Founders’ Society, 781
Union Commerce Bldg., Cleve­
land, Ohio 44115.
National Foundry Association, 9838
Roosevelt Road, P.O. Box 76,
Westchester, 111. 60156.
Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society, Inc.,
21010 Center Ridge Rd., Cleve­
land, Ohio 44116.
Steel Founders’ Society of America,
Westview Towers, 21010 Center
Ridge Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44116.

PATTERNMAKERS

Nature of the Work

Foundry
patternmakers
are
highly skilled craftsmen who build
patterns used in making molds in
which metal castings are formed.
Most of the workers in the occupa­
tion are metal patternmakers
(D.O.T. 600.280); a somewhat
smaller number are wood pattern­
makers (D.O.T. 661.281). A grow-

664

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

reproduced in the castings made
from it. Throughout his work, the
patternmaker carefully checks each
dimension of the pattern, using a
variety of measuring instruments
such as shrink rules, calipers, mi­
crometers, and gauges. He also
makes core boxes (in much the
same manner as patterns are con­
structed) and repairs patterns and
core boxes.
More than half of the pattern­
makers work in foundry pattern
shops of plants making products
such as machinery, transportation
equipment, and fabricated metal
products.
Other
patternmakers
work in plants that make patterns
on order, or in pattern shops in in­
dependent foundries.
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

ing number of patternmakers work
with both metal and wood. In the
last decade or so, increasing use has
been made of plaster and plastics in
patternmaking. A small number of
patternmakers work exclusively
with plaster and plastics. However,
these materials also are used by
some metal and wood patternmak­
ers.
Patternmakers work from blue­
prints prepared by the engineering
department or the customer’s design
engineer. They make a precise pat­
tern for the product, allowing for
shrinkage of molten metal used in
the casting process and for other
factors.
The metal patternmaker prepares
patterns from metal stock or from
rough castings made from an origi­
nal wood pattern. To shape and
finish the patterns, he uses a variety




of metal-working machines, includ­
ing the engine lathe, drill press,
shaper, milling machine, power
hacksaw, and grinder, as well as
small handtools.
The wood patternmaker selects
the appropriate woodstock, lays out
the pattern, marks the design for
each section on the proper piece of
wood, and saws each piece roughly
to size. He then shapes the rough
pieces into final form, using various
woodworking machines, such as cir­
cular saws, lathes, planers, band­
saws, and sanders, as well as many
small handtools. Finally, he assem­
bles the pattern segments by hand,
using glue, screws, and nails. Stand­
ardized colors are used to finish
the pattern.
A high degree of accuracy is re­
quired to make patterns, since any
imperfection in the pattern will be

Apprenticeship is the principal
means of qualifying as a journey­
man patternmaker. Because of the
high degree of skill and the wide
range of knowledge needed for pat­
ternmaking, it is difficult to learn
the trade informally on the job. In
some instances, skilled machinists
have been able to transfer to metal
patternmaking with additional onthe-job training or experience.
Trade school courses in pattern­
making provide useful preparation
for the prospective apprentice. Such
courses may be credited toward
completion of the apprenticeship
period. However, these courses do
not substitute for apprenticeship or
other on-the-job training.
The usual apprenticeship period
for patternmaking is 5 years. At
least 144 hours of classroom in­
struction in related technical sub­
jects are normally provided an­
nually. There are separate appren­
ticeship programs for wood and
metal patternmaking.

665

OCCUPATIONS IN FOUNDRIES

The apprentice patternmaker be­
gins by helping journeymen in rou­
tine duties. He makes simple pat­
terns under close supervision. As he
progresses, the work becomes in­
creasingly complex and the supervi­
sion more general.
Patternmaking, although not
strenuous, requires considerable
standing and moving about. Manual
dexterity is especially important be­
cause of the precise nature of the
work. The ability to visualize ob­
jects in three dimensions is also im­
portant. Employers generally re­
quire patternmaker apprentices to
have at least a high school educa­
tion.

as cabinetmaker, and metal pattern­
makers can transfer their skills to
machining occupations such as
machinist or layout man.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Patternmakers generally have
higher earnings than other skilled
foundry workers. However, earn­
ings depend on skill requirements of
the job, type of metal poured, geo­
graphic location, and other factors.
In January 1970, average (median)
straight-time hourly earnings of
wood patternmakers ranged from
$3.95 in steel foundries to $4.50 in
gray iron and malleable iron found­
ries, according to a survey of wages
and fringe benefits in 52 labor
Employment Outlook
areas, made by the National Found­
Employment of foundry pattern­ ry Association. Generally, metal
makers—who numbered about patternmakers have higher earnings
20,000 in early 1970—is expected than wood patternmakers.
See “Sources of Additional Infor­
to show little or no change through
mation” in the introductory section
the 1970’s, despite the anticipated
substantial increase in foundry of this chapter.
production. Nevertheless, several
hundred job openings will arise
each year because of the need to re­
place experienced patternmakers
MOLDERS
who retire, die, or transfer to other
occupations. Most of these openings
will be for metal patternmakers.
The need for patternmakers will
Nature of the Work
not keep pace with increases in the
The molder prepares a mold
production of castings, because of
the greater use of metal patterns. which contains a hollow space in the
These patterns can be used many shape of the item to be made. The
times to make identical molds, mold is made by packing and ram­
thereby reducing the number of in­ ming specially prepared sand
dividual patterns needed to produce around a pattern—a model of the
object to be duplicated—in a box
castings.
Because patternmakers learn called a flask. A flask is usually
either basic metalworking or wood­ made in two parts which can be sep­
working, they are prepared for em­ arated to allow removal of the pat­
ployment in related fields when pat­ tern without damaging the mold
ternmaking employment is not cavity. Molten metal is poured into
available. Wood patternmakers can the cavity which, when solidified,
qualify for woodworking jobs, such forms the casting. A molder uses




pneumatic-powered rammers and
handtools, such as trowels, shovels,
and mallets, to handle, compact,
and smooth the sand in molds made
by hand.
Most of the more than 55,000
workers in this occupation in early
1970 were machine molders; the
rest were hand—bench and floor—
molders. Machine molders (D.O.T.
518.782) operate machines which
simplify and speed the making of
large quantities of identical sand
molds. Machine molders assemble
the flask and pattern on the ma­
chine table, fill the flask with pre­
pared sand, and operate the ma­
chine by use of control levers and
pedals. Many machine molders set
up and adjust their own machines.
Some semiskilled workers operate
machines already set up by more
experienced molders or mainte­
nance men.
Bench and floor molders use
mainly hand methods to make the
sand molds. Power tools, such as
pneumatic hammers, and handtools,
such as trowels and mallets, are
used to smooth the sand. Molds for
small castings are usually made on

666

the workbench by bench molders
(D.O.T. 518.381); those for large
and bulky castings are made on the
foundry floor by floor molders
(D.O.T. 518.381). Skills required
vary. An all-round hand molder
makes many different kinds of
molds. A less skilled molder does
more repetitive work and specializes
in a few simple types of molds.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Completion of a 4-year appren­
tice training program, or equivalent
experience, is needed to become a
journeyman molder and thus qualify
both for all-round hand molding
and for the specialized skilled or su­
pervisory jobs. Men with this train­
ing are also preferred for some
kinds of machine molding.
The apprentice works under the
close supervision of journeymen.
About half of the apprentice train­
ing is devoted directly to molding.
The apprentice begins with a simple
job, such as shoveling sand; and
gradually takes on more difficult
and responsible work, such as ram­
ming molds, withdrawing patterns,
and setting cores. He also learns to
operate the various types of mold­
ing machines. As his training pro­
gresses, he makes complete molds,
beginning with simple shapes and
progressing to those of increasing
complexity. This training includes
both floorwork and benchwork. In
addition, the apprentice may work
in other foundry departments to de­
velop all-round knowledge of found­
ry methods and practices. The ap­
prentice usually receives at least
144 hours of classroom instruction
each year in such subjects as shop
arithmetic, metallurgy, and shop
drawing.
Molders’ helpers and less-skilled




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

hand molders frequently learn
molding skills informally on the job.
However, this way of learning the
trade takes longer and is less reli­
able than apprenticeship.
Hand molders who do highly re­
petitive work usually learn their
jobs during a brief training period.
“Learners” (either men without
previous foundry experience or up­
graded foundry helpers) work with
a molder to make a particular kind
of mold. After 2 to 6 months, the
learner is usually competent to
make the same or a similar mold,
without close supervision.
The more difficult and responsi­
ble types of machine molding jobs
also require formal or equivalent
training. However, most machine
molding jobs can be learned in 60
to 90 days of on-the-job training.
An eighth grade education usu­
ally is the minimum requirement for
apprenticeship. Many employers,
however, require additional educa­
tion up to and including high school
graduation for apprenticeship in
skilled hand molding or machine
molding jobs.
Physical standards for molding
jobs are fairly high. Hand and floor
molders stand at their work, move
about a great deal, and do frequent
lifting. Hand molders need a high
degree of manual dexterity and
good vision. Since molding work is
strenuous, few women are em­
ployed.

Employment Outlook

Employment of molders is ex­
pected to show little or no change
through the 1970’s, despite the an­
ticipated substantial increase in
foundry production. The demand
for molders will not keep pace with
the increase in production, since the
trend is toward more machine

molding and less hand molding, and
the increasing use of permanent
molds and shell molds. Neverthe­
less, the need to replace experi­
enced molders who retire, die, or
transfer to other occupations will
provide more than 1,000 job open­
ings each year. Several hundred of
these openings will be for molding
apprentices. Openings also will
occur for workers in entry jobs in
machine molding and in less skilled
types of hand molding.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of molders depend on
several factors, including type of
molding work—hand or machine;
skill requirements of the job; type
of metal poured; and geographic lo­
cation. In January 1970, the aver­
age (median) straight-time hourly
earnings of floor molders was
$3.55; bench molders, $3.45;
squeezer machine molders, $3.35;
and heavy machine molders, $3.35,
according to a survey of wages and
fringe benefits in 52 labor areas,
made by the National Foundry As­
sociation. As shown in the following
tabulation, floor molders in steel
foundries received the highest aver­
age (median) straight-time hourly
earnings.
Type of molder

Type of foundry
Gray iron
and
Nonmalleable Steel ferrous

Floor ....................... ....$3.55 $3.65 $3.55
Bench ...................... .... 3.45 3.45 3.25
Heavy machine ..... .... 3.35 3.35 3.45
Squeezer machine ....... 3.35 3.25 3.35

See “Sources of Additional In­
formation” in the introductory sec­
tion of this chapter.

667

OCCUPATIONS IN FOUNDRIES

COREMAKERS

Nature of the Work

Coremakers prepare the “cores”
which are placed in molds to form
the hollow sections or holes usually
required in metal castings. The
poured metal solidifies around the
core so that when the core is re­
moved, the desired cavity or con­
tour remains. A core may be made
either by hand or machine. In both
instances, prepared sand is packed
into a core box, a block of wood or
metal into which a hollow space of
the size and shape of the desired
core has been cut. After the core
has been removed from the box, it
is hardened either by baking or by
other drying methods. When hand
methods are used to make a core,
the coremaker uses mallets and
other handtools to pack and ram
sand into the core box.
In hand coremaking, small cores
are made on the workbench by
bench
coremakers
(D.O.T.
518.381) and bulky cores are made
on the foundry floor by floor core­
makers (D.O.T. 518.381). There is
a wide range of skill requirements
in hand coremaking. All-round
hand coremakers (journeymen)
prepare large and intricate cores.
The less skilled coremakers make
smaller and simpler cores. Their
work is highly repetitive because
they frequently produce large
quantities of identical cores. Many
skilled coremakers are employed as
supervisors.
Machine coremakers (D.O.T.
518.885) operate machines which
make sand cores by forcing sand
into specially shaped hollow forms.
Most machine made cores are
blown by compressed air. Some
machine coremakers are required to




set up and adjust their machines
and do finishing operations on the
cores. Other coremakers are pri­
marily machine tenders. They are
closely supervised and their ma­
chines are adjusted for them.

The apprentice works with jour­
neymen coremakers in routine du­
ties and then in more advanced
work such as making simple cores
and operating ovens. As his skill in­
creases, the apprentice makes more
complex cores. He acquires experi­
ence in benchwork and floorwork
and in the operation of coremaking
machines. Classroom instruction
covering subjects such as arithmetic
and the properties of metals, gener­
ally supplement on-the-job training.
Hand coremakers who have all­
round training may be promoted to
supervisor.
An eighth grade education is usu­
ally the minimum required for core­
making apprentice training; some
employers require graduation from
high school. For the less skilled
coremaking jobs, persons without
previous experience may be hired,
or foundry laborers or helpers may
be upgraded. Some types of hand
coremaking require a high degree of
manual dexterity. Light coremaking
is not very strenuous, and women
are frequently employed.

Employment Outlook
Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Completion of a 4-year appren­
tice training program or the equiva­
lent in experience is needed to be­
come a skilled hand coremaker.
Coremaking apprenticeships are
also sometimes required for the
more difficult machine coremaking
jobs. Only a brief period of on-thejob training is needed for less
skilled hand coremaking and for
most machine coremaking jobs.
Training in coremaking and mold­
ing are often combined in a single
apprenticeship.

Employment of coremakers—
who numbered about 25,000 in
early 1970—is expected to show lit­
tle or no change through the 1970’s,
despite the anticipated substantial
increase in foundry production. The
demand for coremakers will not
keep pace with the increase in pro­
duction, because of the growing use
of machine-made rather than hand­
made cores. Nevertheless, several
hundred job openings will arise
each year because of the need to re­
place experienced coremakers who
retire, die, or transfer to other occu­
pations.

668

Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of coremakers depend
on skill requirements of the job,
type of metal poured, geographic lo­
cation, and other factors. In Janu­
ary 1970, the average (median)
straight-time hourly earnings of
floor coremakers was $3.55; bench
coremakers, $3.35; and machine




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

coremakers, $3.25, according to a
survey of wages and fringe benefits
in 52 labor areas, made by the Na­
tional Foundry Association. As
shown in the following tabulation,
the highest average (median)
straight-time hourly earnings were
received by floor coremakers in
steel foundries:

Occupation

Type of foundry
Gray iron
and
Nonmalleable Steel ferrous

Floor coremaker........$3.42 $3.65 $3.35
Bench coremaker ...... 3.35 3.25 3.25
Machine coremaker.... 3.25 3.55 3.05

See “Sources of Additional In­
formation” in the introductory sec­
tion of this chapter.

O C C U P A T I O N S IN T H E
IN D U S T R IA L C H E M IC A L S
IN D U S T R Y

The industrial chemical industry
has grown in just a few decades
into one of the great manufacturing
industries of our Nation. An impor­
tant reason for this growth has been
the industry’s huge expenditures for
research and development which
have provided many new and im­
proved products for its customers
—mainly manufacturing industries.
A wide variety of industrial chemi­
cal products contribute to our
everyday needs; for example, syn­
thetic fibers for clothing and rugs,
and plastics for automobiles and
furniture. Chemical products also
are essential for the manufacturing
of missile and space equipment,
rocket propulsion fuels, and other
defense and space materials.
In 1970, nearly 545,000 wage
and salary workers were employed
in the industrial chemical industry
in a wide range of occupations. Job
requirements varied from graduate
college degrees for some scientists
and engineers to a few days of onthe-job training for some plant
workers.

drugs and detergents, which are
sold directly to the consumer with­
out further processing, are not dis­
cussed in this statement.
Industrial chemical plants make
organic chemicals from fossil mate­
rials such as coal and petroleum, or
from living materials such as agri­
cultural and forest products. Some
products of organic chemicals, such
as synthetic fibers and plastics, are
well known. Among those less
known are coal tar crudes, benzene,
and acetone. The principal users of
organic chemicals are textile, plas­
tics products, rubber, and food­
processing industries. Inorganic
chemicals come from nonliving mat­
ter; for example, sulfur and mineral
ores. They are basic materials for
making other chemicals as well as
finished products such as paper and
gasoline. In at least one respect, the

manufacture of chemicals differs
from the manufacture of most other
products—the ingredients used to
make chemicals undergo reactions
which produce compounds vastly
different in nature and appearance
from the raw materials. For exam­
ple, nylon is produced from coal,
air, and water.
A modern chemical plant is made
up of huge towers, tanks, and build­
ings linked together by a network of
pipes. These structures contain the
various types of processing equip­
ment. Raw materials go through
several operations including dis­
solving, heating, cooling, mixing,
evaporating, filtering, and drying.
Between each operation the mate­
rials, which may be liquid, solid, or
gas, are transported by pipes or
conveyors. Throughout these opera­
tions, automatic control devices reg­
ulate the flow of materials, the com­
bination of chemicals, and the tem­
perature, pressure, and time for
each operation. These controls
make possible the processing of tons
of material in one continuous opera­
tion with little manual handling.

Nature of the Industry

The industrial chemical industry
(SIC 281 and 282) is made up of
plants which manufacture industrial
inorganic and organic chemicals,
plastic materials and synthetic
resins, synthetic rubber and syn­
thetic and other man-made fibers,
except glass. These chemicals are
used mainly by other companies in
the chemical industry, and by other
manufacturing industries as raw ma­
terials or as processing agents.
Other chemical products such as




669

670

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Approximately 3,000 plants in
the United States make industrial
chemicals. About two-thirds of
them have fewer than 50 em­
ployees. However, more than onehalf of the industry’s workers are
employed in plants that have 500 or
more workers. Chemical plants are
usually located on the outskirts of
industrial centers. Sometimes plants
are built near the sources of raw
material; for example, plants which
produce chemicals made from pe­
troleum and natural gas are located
near the oilfields and refineries of
Texas, California, and Louisiana.
Although industrial chemical
workers are employed in most
States, more than 65 percent of
them and nearly 40 percent of the
plants are in the following 10
States: New Jersey, Texas, Tennes­
see, New York, Pennsylvania, Vir­
ginia, Delaware, Ohio, Michigan,
and West Virginia.

Occupations in the industry

Industrial chemical firms employ
workers with many different levels
of skill and education. About 3 out
of every 5 employees are engaged in
processing, maintenance, or other
plant-related activities. A large
number of scientists, engineers, and
other technical personnel also are
employed because of the highly
technical nature of chemical prod­
ucts and the methods of production.
Administrative and professional em­
ployees, including salesmen, ac­
countants, lawyers, and personnel
officers, make up another sizeable
segment of the industry’s work
force. In addition, large numbers of
bookkeepers, typists, office machine
operators, and other clerical
workers are employed.
About 1 out of every 8 workers
in the industrial chemical industry is




a woman. Most women in this in­
dustry work in clerical jobs, al­
though some work in chemical labo­
ratories as research chemists or as
laboratory technicians and assist­
ants. In a few industrial chemical
plants, women are employed as
chemical operators or as packers.
Plant Occupations. Plant workers,
who represent 3 out of every 5 em­
ployees in the industrial chemical
industry, generally can be divided
into three major occupational
groups: processing workers, mainte­
nance workers, and other plant
workers.
Process equipment operators and
their helpers are the largest occupa­
tional group. Many of these opera­
tors are highly skilled. Chemical op­
erators (D.O.T. 558.885 and
559.782) control the various pieces
of equipment which convert raw
materials into chemical products.
Operators set dials on devices that
measure the exact amount of mate­
rials to be processed and control
temperature, pressure, and flow of
materials. They keep a record of
operations and report any sign of
equipment breakdown. They use in­
struments to measure and test
chemicals, or they may send sam­
ples of chemicals to laboratory tech­
nicians in the testing laboratory.
They may be assisted by chemical
operators of less skill and by help­
ers. Sometimes chemical operators
are classified according to the type
of equipment they operate, such as
filterer or mixer.
The industry employs many
skilled maintenance workers to
prevent interruptions of highly auto­
mated production processes. Main­
tenance is very important because
of the extremes of temperature,
pressure, and corrosion to which
pipes, vats, and other plant equip­
ment are subjected. Included among

maintenance workers are pipefitters,
who lay out, install, and repair pip­
ing; maintenance machinists, who
make and repair metal parts for
machines and other equipment;
electricians, who maintain and re­
pair wiring, motors, and other
electrical equipment; and instru­
ment repairmen, who install and re­
pair instruments and control de­
vices. In some chemical plants one
worker may do several maintenance
jobs.
Plant workers who do not oper­
ate or maintain equipment may do
many other jobs. Some drive trucks;
some load and unload materials on
trucks, railroad cars, or ships; and
other workers keep inventory of
stock and tools. The industry also
employs custodial workers.
Scientific and Technical Occupa­
tions. The industrial chemical indus­
try is one of the Nation’s largest
employers of scientific and technical
personnel. About 1 out of every 6
employees is a scientist, engineer, or
technician. About 40 percent work
in laboratories to develop new prod­
ucts and new methods of produc­
tion, and to do basic research. Most
of the remainder are in plant opera­
tions. Some scientists and techni­
cians are in administrative or sales
positions requiring technical back­
grounds.
Chemists and chemical engineers
make up the largest proportion of
scientific and technical personnel.
Many chemists, work in research
and development. A large number
in production departments analyze
and test chemicals for quality con­
trol during processing. Some che­
mists supervise plant workers; oth­
ers are salesmen, writers, or admin­
istrators who must have technical
knowledge.
Chemical engineers apply their
knowledge of both chemistry and

OCCUPATIONS IN THE INDUSTRIAL CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

671

industries are given elsewhere in
this Handbook in the sections cov­
ering the individual occupations.
See index for page numbers.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Operator monitors control of autoclave.

engineering to the design, construc­ record the results of their work in
tion, operation, and improvement of reports and charts for chemists and
chemical equipment and plants. chemical engineers.
They convert processes developed
in laboratories into large-scale pro­ Administrative, Clerical and Re­
duction methods. Some chemical lated Occupations. About 1 out of
engineers are employed in produc­ every 4 employees in the industry is
tion departments and others are in an administrator, clerk, or other
selling, customer service, market re­ white-collar worker. Many highsearch, and writing jobs.
level administrative and manage­
Mechanical engineers design and ment positions are filled by chemists
lay out power and heating equip­ and chemical engineers. At the top
ment such as steam turbines. They of the administrative group are ex­
often supervise the installation, op­ ecutives who make policy decisions
eration, and maintenance of chemi­ about finance, products to be manu­
cal processing equipment. Electrical factured, and plant locations. Mak­
engineers design and develop elec­ ing such decisions requires the help
trical and electronic equipment, of a large body of specialists, in­
such as control devices and instru­ cluding accountants, sales represent­
ments, and facilities for generating atives, lawyers, and personnel in in­
and distributing electric power.
dustrial relations, advertising, and
The industry employs many tech­ market research. Other workers as­
nical assistants such as laboratory sist these specialists. For example,
technicians and draftsmen. Labora­ clerical employees keep records on
tory technicians assist chemists and personnel, payroll, raw materials,
engineers in research and develop­ sales, shipments, and maintenance.
(Detailed discussions of profes­
ment and quality control. Depend­
ing on their training and experience, sional, technical, mechanical, and
they may run simple tests or do other occupations found in the in­
highly technical analyses. They may dustrial chemical industry and other




The industrial chemical industry
generally hires and trains inexperi­
enced workers for processing and
maintenance jobs. Companies pre­
fer to hire high school graduates.
In many plants, a new worker is
sent to a labor pool for assignment
to jobs such as filling barrels and
moving materials. When a vacancy
occurs, he may be transferred to
one of the processing departments.
As he gains experience, he moves to
more skilled jobs. Thus, he may ad­
vance from laborer to chemical op­
erator helper, to assistant chemical
operator, and then to skilled chemi­
cal operator. Skilled processing
workers are rarely recruited from
other plants.
Many companies have mainte­
nance training programs which last
from a few months to several years
and include classroom instruction.
Many companies encourage skilled
maintenance workers and trainees
to enroll in correspondence courses
or take job-related courses at voca­
tional schools and technical insti­
tutes. After successfully completing
these courses, workers are reim­
bursed for part or all of their tui­
tion.
A bachelor’s degree in engineer­
ing, chemistry, or another science is
the minimum educational require­
ment for scientists and engineers.
For research jobs, applicants with
advanced degrees are generally pre­
ferred. Some firms have formal
training programs for young college
graduates with engineering or scien­
tific backgrounds. Before being as­

672

signed to a particular department,
these employees work in various
parts of the plant for brief periods
to gain a broad knowledge of chem­
ical
manufacturing
operations.
Other firms immediately assign jun­
ior chemists or engineers to a spe­
cific activity such as research or
sales. Some firms sponsor advanced
academic training through tuitionrefund programs.
Technicians qualify for their jobs
in many ways. Graduates of techni­
cal institutes and junior colleges are
preferred. Many workers qualify
through on-the-job training and ex­
perience. Sometimes trainees are
sent to a technical institute at com­
pany expense. Students who have
not completed all requirements for
a college degree, especially those
who have received some education
in mathematics, science, or engi­
neering, often are employed as tech­
nicians.
Laboratory technicians begin as
assistants and advance to jobs of
greater responsibility. Inexperi­
enced draftsmen usually begin as
copyists or tracers. As they gain ad­
ditional experience and training and
show ability to work without close
supervision, they advance to more
skilled and responsible drafting
jobs.
Administrative positions fre­
quently are filled by men and
women who have college degrees in
business administration, marketing,
accounting, economics, statistics, in­
dustrial relations, or other special­
ized fields. Some companies have
advanced training programs in
which they give their new em­
ployees additional training in their
chosen specialties.
Clerks, bookkeepers, and secre­
taries generally have had commer­
cial courses in high school or busi­
ness school.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Employment Outlook

Employment in the industry is
expected to grow slowly through the
1970’s, although production of in­
dustrial chemicals is likely to con­
tinue to increase rapidly. Most job
opportunities will result from the
need to replace workers who retire,
die, or transfer to other industries.
Openings from deaths and retire­
ments alone are expected to average
several thousand a year.
Continued emphasis on research
and development is expected to
stimulate growth in the industrial
chemical industry, which has far
outstripped most other major indus­
tries in the development of new
products. Some of these products,
such as plastics and synthetics, not
only have created new markets but
also have competed successfully in
markets previously dominated by
wood, metals, and natural textiles.
Chemical products are expected to
continue to make inroads in these
markets.
Although industrial chemical
production more than doubled be­
tween 1960 and 1970, employment
increased only 24 percent as a re­
sult of the industry’s emphasis on
technological improvements and the
use of automatic processing and
control equipment. Increases in out­
put per worker are expected to con­
tinue as new plants with the latest
equipment are constructed and
older plants are modernized.
Some occupational groups in the
industry are expected to grow faster
than others. The number of profes­
sional, technical, and administrative
workers is expected to grow more
rapidly than the number of plant
workers. Emphasis on research and
development and greater complexity
of products and processes will in­
crease the need for chemists, engi­

neers, technicians, and related per­
sonnel.
Because of the increasing use of
automatic processing and control
equipment, most of the demand for
additional plant workers will be for
instrument repairmen, pipefitters,
electricians, maintenance machin­
ists, and other skilled maintenance
workers. Process equipment opera­
tors, however, will continue to be
the largest occupational group in
the industry, although employment
of these workers is not expected to
increase as much as employment of
maintenance workers.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Because a large proportion are
skilled, production workers in in­

OCCUPATIONS IN THE INDUSTRIAL CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

dustrial chemicals have relatively
high average earnings. In 1970,
production workers in inorganic and
organic chemicals averaged $172.58
for a 42.3 hour week or $4.08 an
hour; production workers in plastic
materials and synthetic rubber,
resins, and fibers averaged $151.73
for a 41.8 hour week or $3.63 an
hour. In comparison, production
workers in manufacturing as a
whole averaged $133.73 for a 39.8
hour week or $3.36 an hour.
Entry salaries for inexperienced
chemists and chemical engineers in
industrial chemicals are among the
highest in American industry, ac­
cording to a 1970 survey conducted
by the American Chemical Society.
The median starting salary was
$810 a month for chemists with a
bachelor’s degree and $906 a month
for chemical engineers. Chemists
and chemical engineers with gradu­
ate degrees received higher starting
salaries.
Paid vacations are universal in
this industry and generally are
based on length of service. For ex­
ample, workers in many plants re­
ceive 2 weeks of vacation after 1
year of employment, 3 weeks after
5 years, 4 weeks after 10 years and
5 weeks after 20 years.
Most workers are covered by life,




sickness, accident, hospitalization,
and surgical insurance. Practically
all plants have pension plans.
Many employees work in plants
that operate around the clock—
three shifts a day, 7 days a week.
Owing to the widespread industry
practice of rotation, processing
workers can expect to work the sec­
ond or third shift at one time or
another, usually for extra pay. Very
few maintenance workers are em­
ployed on shifts. The industry has
little seasonal variation and regular
workers have year-round jobs.
Except for laborers and material
handlers, most industrial chemical
jobs require little physical effort.
Much of the plant work involves
tending, inspecting, repairing, or
maintaining machinery and equip­
ment, since most of the processing
is controlled automatically or semiautomatically. Some workers are
required to climb stairs and ladders
to considerable heights. Some jobs
are performed out of doors in all
kinds of weather.
Workers may be exposed to dust,
disagreeable odors, or high temper­
atures. Chemical companies, how­
ever, have reduced these discom­
forts by installing ventilating or airconditioning systems. Protective
clothing, eye glasses, showers and

673

eye baths near dangerous work sta­
tions, and other safety measures
have reduced injuries. These de­
vices have helped to make the inju­
ry-frequency rate in industrial
chemicals less than half that for
manufacturing as a whole.
Many production workers in the
industrial chemical industry are
members of labor unions. The lead­
ing unions are the International
Chemical Workers Union; Oil,
Chemical and Atomic Workers In­
ternational Union; and International
Union of District 50, Allied and
Technical Workers of the U.S. and
Canada.

Sources of Additional Information

Further information concerning
careers in the industry may be ob­
tained from the public relations de­
partments of industrial chemical
companies, locals of the unions
mentioned above, and from:
American Chemical Society, 1155
16th St. N W , Washington, D.C.
20036.
Manufacturing Chemists’ Associa­
tion, Inc., 1825 Connecticut Ave.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20009.

O C C U P A T I O N S IN T H E
IR O N A N D S T E E L IN D U S T R Y

Steel is the backbone of any in­
dustrialized economy. There is
hardly a product in daily use that
has not been made from steel or
processed by machinery made of
steel. In 1970, United States steel­
makers produced approximately
131 million tons of raw steel—
about one-fifth of the world’s out­
put.
The iron and steel industry is one
of the Nation’s largest employers.
About 629,000 wage and salary
workers were on the payrolls of the
industry’s more than 850 plants in
1970. Employees work in a broad
range of jobs requiring a wide vari­
ety of skills—from unskilled to
technical and professional jobs.
Many of these jobs are found only
in iron and steelmaking or finishing.
The iron and steel industry, as
discussed in this chapter, consists of
blast furnaces, steelmaking fur­
naces, and rolling mills. These in­
clude mills engaged in finishing and
rolling steel products from pur­
chased sheets, strips, bars and
rods, and other materials. The
production of iron and steel consists
of a closely related series of produc­
tion processes. First, iron ore is
converted to molten iron in blast
furnaces. The molten iron is poured
into “hot metal cars” and either
transported directly to the steelmak­
ing furnace or cast into “pigs” (iron
in rough bar form) for use by
foundries or by steel mills that do
not produce their own iron. (See
chart 29 below.) Molten iron or pig
iron is then converted into steel in
various types of steelmaking fur­
naces, including basic oxygen, open
hearth, and electric furnaces. Molten
steel is either poured into ladles and
then into ingot molds, or is poured
674



from the ladle directly into continu­
ous casting machines. The ingots are
converted into blooms, billets, or
slabs on roughing mills, while the
steel poured into the casting ma­
chine is converted to these semi­
finished forms, thus bypassing the
roughing mill operation. The steel
then is rolled into basic products,
such as plates, sheets, strips, rods,
bars, rails, and structural shapes.
Many plants carry the manufactur­
ing processes beyond the primary
rolling stage to produce finished
products such as pipe, wire, and
coated products. (The chapter does
not describe the mining or the
processing of raw materials used to
make steel, or the casting, stamping,
forging, machining, or fabrication of
steel. These activities are not con­
sidered to be in the iron and steel
industry, though many domestic
steel companies are involved in one
or more of these activities. (Employ­
ment opportunities in foundry, forg­
ing, and machining occupations are

@

discussed elsewhere in the Hand­
book.)
Steel companies differ in the
number of operations they perform.
Many of them, known as integrated
companies, mine and quarry their
own coal, ore, and limestone; pro­
duce their own coke from coal; re­
duce ore to pig iron; make steel;
and form the steel into products by
rolling and other finishing methods.
These companies account for the
bulk of total steel production and
employ most of the industry’s
workers. Another group of compa­
nies makes various types of steel
from steel scrap and pig iron pur­
chased from other companies. A
third group rolls and finishes pur­
chased raw steel. A fourth type
makes only pig iron to be sold to
small steel plants and foundries.
Most of the basic products made
by steel mills are shipped to the
plants of other industries, where
they are made into thousands of dif­
ferent products. Some products,
however, such as rails, pipe, and
nails, are produced in their final
form at the mills. The leading steel
consuming industries are automo­
bile, construction and building ma­
terials, machinery and machine

blast
furnace

The steelmaking processes
RAW MATERIAL
limestone, iron ore, coal, coke

open
hearth
furnace

IRON & SCRAP
—
basic
oxygen
,j S f l » furnace

electric
furnace

soaking
pit

slabs
plate, sheet & strip

blooms

Tjgiyjj billets

structural steel
& rails

rods, bars, seamless
pipes & tubes
^
1

OCCUPATIONS IN THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY

tools, containers, and household ap­
pliances.
Steel sheets are made into auto­
mobile bodies, household appli­
ances, and metal furniture. Steel
bars are used to make parts for au­
tomobiles and machinery and to
reinforce concrete in building and
highway construction. Steel plates
become parts of ships, bridges,
heavy machinery, railroad cars, and
storage tanks. Strip steel is used in
the manufacture of items such as
pots and pans, automobile body
parts, razor blades, and toys. Tin
coated steel, known as tinplate, is
used primarily to make “tin” cans.
Individual plants in this industry
typically employ a large number of
workers. About 70 percent of all
the industry’s employees work in
plants which have more than 2,500
wage and salary workers. A few
plants have more than 20,000 em­
ployees. However, many plants em­
ploy fewer than 100 workers, par­
ticularly those plants which make
highly specialized steel products.
Iron and steel producing plants
are located mainly in the northern
and eastern parts of the United
States. Most of the secondary man­
ufacturers who process steel, most
of the warehouses that distribute
steel sheets and other forms of the
metal, and most of the contractors
who use I-beams and other con­
struction materials are located in
the Northeastern quadrant of the
Nation. The heart of U.S. steel
manufacturing is a triangular area,
about 250 miles on a side, marked
off by Johnstown, Pa., Buffalo,
N.Y., and Detroit, Mich. Included
in this area are major steel produc­
ing centers, such as Pittsburgh, Pa.,
and Cleveland and Youngstown,
Ohio. Large plants also are located
on the south shore of Lake Michi­
gan near Chicago. The Nation’s two
largest steel plants, however, are lo­




cated at Sparrows Point, Md. (near
Baltimore), and Gary, Ind. Much of
the steelmaking in the South is in
the vicinity of Birmingham, Ala.,
and Houston, Tex. Other steelmak­
ing facilities are located in the Far
West at Pueblo, Colo.; Provo, Utah;
and Fontana and San Francisco,
Calif.
About 7 out of 10 of the indus­
try’s workers are employed in five
States—Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indi­
ana, Illinois, and New York. Penn­
sylvania alone accounts for nearly 3
out of 10.

Occupations in the Industry

Workers in the iron and steel in­
dustry hold more than 1,000 differ­
ent types of jobs. Some workers are
directly engaged in making iron and
steel and converting it into semifin­
ished and finished products. Others
maintain the vast amount of ma­
chinery and equipment used in the
industry, operate cranes and other
equipment which move raw mate­
rials and steel products about the
plants, or perform other kinds of
work. In addition, many workers
are needed to do clerical, sales, pro­
fessional, technical, administrative,
and supervisory work.
Four-fifths of all employees in
the iron and steel industry in 1970
were production and maintenance
workers. These workers were di­
rectly concerned with the produc­
tion and finishing of iron and steel,
the maintenance of plant equip­
ment, and movement of materials
within and among plant depart­
ments. The remaining employees
were in clerical, sales, professional,
technical, administrative, research,
managerial, and supervisory occu­
pations.
Men constitute 96 percent of all
employees in the industry, and an

675

even higher proportion of the pro­
duction workers. About two-thirds
of the women employed in the in­
dustry work in supervisory, ad­
ministrative, technical, research,
and clerical jobs. Women in pro­
duction departments work in jobs
such as assorter and inspector.
Processing Occupations. The major­
ity of the workers in the industry
are employed in the many process­
ing operations involved in convert­
ing iron ore into steel and then into
semifinished and finished steel prod­
ucts. To provide a better under­
standing of the types of jobs, brief
descriptions of the major steelmak­
ing and finishing operations and of
the more important occupations
connected with them are given
below.
Blast furnaces. The blast furnace
is used to reduce iron ore to molten
iron. Iron ore, coke, and limestone
are fed into the top of the furnace.
Hot air, blown in from the bottom
of the furnace, rises through the
mass of material and causes com­
bustion. The gases formed by the
burning of the coke combine with
and remove the oxygen from the
ore.
Molten iron trickles down
through the charge and collects in a
pool at the bottom of the furnace.
At the same time, the intense heat
causes the limestone to combine
with silica and other impurities in
the iron ore and coke and to form
molten “slag,” a useful byproduct.
This, too, trickles down through the
charge and floats on top of the
heavier molten iron. The slag and
molten iron ore are separately
tapped or “cast” from the blast fur­
nace.
A blast furnace operates contin­
uously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week, unless it is shut down for re­
pairs or for other reasons. Molten

676

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Molten pig iron is tested for quality.

iron may be removed every 3 to 4 rials from storage bins. They weigh
hours; slag is removed more fre­ all raw materials according to a
quently. The charging of iron ore, prearranged schedule, determined
coke, and limestone into the furnace by the kind of hot metal desired.
is a continuous operation. A single The loaded stock cars are emptied
blast furnace may produce up to into waiting “skip cars,” which
5,000 tons of molten iron in a 24- carry the materials up tracks to the
hour period. Output can be in­ top of the blast furnace where they
creased to over 7,000 tons per day are automatically dumped. Other
if pre-reduced iron pellets are used. stockhouse men or skipmen
The raw materials used in blast (D.O.T. 921.883), stationed on the
furnaces are stored in a stock house ground below, control the skip cars
below furnace level. Here stock- through electric and pneumatic con­
(D.O.T.
house men or stockhouse larrymen trols. Stove tenders
(D.O.T. 919.883) load traveling 512.782) and their assistants oper­
stock or larry cars with raw mate­ ate huge, bricklined stoves which




heat air for the blast furnace. They
regulate valves to control the heat­
ing cycle of the stoves and regulate
the flow of heated air to the fur­
nace.
The men responsible for the
quantity and quality of iron pro­
duced are called blowers (D.O.T.
519.132). They direct the operation
of one or more blast furnaces, in­
cluding loading and tapping the fur­
nace, and regulating the air blast
and furnace heat. Blowers carefully
check the metal produced, periodi­
cally sending samples of the molten
iron and slag to the laboratory
where quality tests are made and
the results reported to the blower.
Keepers (D.O.T. 502.884), under
the direction of the blower, are re­
sponsible for tapping the furnace.
They direct their helpers and
cindermen or slaggers (D.O.T.
519.887) in lining (with special re­
fractory sand) the troughs and run­
ners through which the molten iron
and slag are run off into waiting
cars.
Steel furnaces. The second major
step in steelmaking is to convert the
iron into steel. This is done in sev­
eral types of furnaces: basic oxy­
gen, open hearth, and electric.
About half of all domestic steel is
made in basic oxygen furnaces
(BOF), and this proportion is ex­
pected to increase. Basic oxygen
furnaces can make steel faster than
any other type of furnace currently
in use, and continual displacement
of the open-hearth steelmaking
process by the basic oxygen method
is expected. Many basic oxygen fur­
naces can produce more than 6,000
tons of steel in a 24-hour period. In
this steelmaking process, oxygen is
“blown” into the furnace through
vertical pipes, or “lances,” after it
has been loaded with steel scrap
and molten pig iron. Limestone and
other slag forming materials are

OCCUPATIONS IN THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY

Melter helpers take temperature of steel in basic oxygen furnace.

added to remove impurities from
the steel. The use of oxygen speeds
the steelmaking process because it
is blown directly onto the molten
metal forcing a faster chemical
reaction and a higher bath tempera­
ture. BOF’s are often computer
controlled to improve the quality of
the steel produced and to speed up
the steelmaking process.
A melter (D.O.T. 512.132) is in
charge of one or more furnaces and
is responsible for the quality and
quantity of the steel produced. The




melter makes the steel to the de­
sired specifications by varying the
proportions of limestone, iron ore,
scrap steel, and molten pig iron in
the furnace, and by adding small
amounts of other materials such as
manganese, silicon, copper or other
alloy additives. He supervises three
grades of helpers— first (D.O.T.
512.782), second (D.O.T. 502.884), and third (D.O.T. 519.887).
These helpers prepare the furnaces
for the heat, regulate furnace tem­
peratures, take samples of molten

677

steel for laboratory tests, direct the
adding of various alloying materials,
and tap the molten steel from the
furnace into a ladle. One first helper
is responsible for each furnace.
When the heat of steel is ready to
be tapped, the furnace crew knocks
out a plug in the furnace with a “jet
tapper” (small explosive charge
which is fired into the plug) which
allows the molten metal to flow into
a ladle. The slag, which floats to the
top of the ladle, overflows into a
smaller ladle called a slag pot.
The molten steel then is poured
or “teemed” from the ladle into
ingot molds (hollow cast iron
forms). A ladle craneman (D.O.T.
921.883) operates an overhead
crane which picks up the ladle and
moves it over a long row of ingot
molds resting on flat-bottom cars.
The steel pourer (D.O.T. 514.884)
operates a stopper on the bottom of
the ladle to let the steel flow into
the molds.
As soon as the steel in the molds
has solidified sufficiently, an ingot
stripper (D.O.T. 921.883) operates
an overhead crane, which removes
the molds from the ingots. The
still-hot steel ingots are placed on
“ingot buggies” (four-wheel carts
running on rails) for movement to
the soaking pits or storage areas.
Open-hearth steel, which ac­
counts for slightly more than onethird of all steel manufactured in
the United States, is produced by
adding molten pig iron to previously
charged and heated steel scrap and
limestone and melting the mixture
in furnaces. It is possible to make
from about 125 to more than 600
tons of steel per load or “heat”, de­
pending upon the size of the fur­
nace. Most of the open-hearth steel­
making facilities now use oxygen in
the refining operation to speed up
the process.
Electric furnaces account for the

678

remainder—about 15 percent—of
domestic steel production. In elec­
tric furnaces, steelmaking can be
controlled very closely. Conse­
quently, such furnaces are used to
produce high quality and high alloy
specialty steels, such as tool and
stainless, as well as the more com­
mon steels.
Rolling and finishing. The three
principal methods of shaping metal
in steel plants are rolling, casting,
and forging. About three-fourths of
all steel products are shaped by the
rolling process. In this method,
heated steel ingots are squeezed
longer and flatter between two cyl­
inders or “rolls.” Before ingots of
steel are rolled, they are heated to
the temperature specified by the
plant’s metallurgist. The heating is
done in large furnaces called “soak­
ing pits,” located in the plant floor.
A heater (D.O.T. 613.782) con­
trols the soaking pit operation. He
directs helpers in heating the ingots
to the specified temperature and,
with the help of control equipment,
determines when they are ready for
rolling. A soaking pit craneman
(D.O.T. 921.883) operates an ov­
erhead crane, by means of electrical
controls, to lift the stripped ingots
from an ingot car and place them
into the soaking pit. When the in­
gots are sufficiently “soaked” with
heat, the heater opens the furnace
covers and the craneman removes
the ingots and places them on an
ingot buggy, which carries them to
the first rolling mill, sometimes
called a “break down” mill. Here,
the ingots are rolled into semifin­
ished shapes—blooms, slabs, or bil­
lets. Blooms are generally more
than 6 inches wide and 6 inches
thick. Slabs are much wider than
blooms. Billets are the smallest of
these three shapes.
The rolling of blooms illustrates
the semifinishing process. In the




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Hot steel ingots are reduced to slabs and blooms.

blooming mill, as in other rolling
mills, the ingot moves along on a
roller conveyor to a machine which
resembles a giant clothes wringer. A
“two-high” blooming mill has two
heavy grooved rolls which revolve
in opposite directions. The rolls grip
the approaching ingot and pull it
between them, squeezing it thinner
and longer. When the ingot has

made one pass through the rolls, the
rolls are reversed, and the ingot is
fed back through them. Throughout
the rolling operation, the ingot is
periodically turned 90 degrees by
mechanical devices called “manipu­
lators,” and passed between the
rolls again so that all sides are
rolled. Guides, located on each side
of the roll table, properly position

679

OCCUPATIONS IN THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY

the ingot for entry into the rolls.
This operation is repeated until the
ingot is reduced to a bloom of the
desired size. The bloom then is
ready to be cut to specified lengths.
A blooming mill roller (D.O.T.
613.782), the man in charge of the
mill, works in a glass-enclosed con­
trol booth, or “pulpit,” located
above or beside the roller line. His
duties, which appear to consist prin­
cipally of moving levers and push­
ing buttons, look relatively simple.
However, the quality of the product
and the speed with which the ingot
is rolled depends upon his skill. The
roller regulates the opening between
the rolls after each pass. Long expe­
rience and a knowledge of steel
characteristics are required for a
worker to become a roller. A ma­
nipulator operator (D.O.T. 613.782) sits in the pulpit beside
the roller and coordinates his con­




trols over the ingot’s position with
those of the roller.
Upon leaving the rolling mill, the
red-hot bloom moves along a roller
conveyor to a place where a shear­
man (D.O.T. 615.782) controls a
heavy hydraulically operated shear
which cuts the steel into desired
lengths.
In a blooming mill with auto­
matic (electronic) process controls,
a rolling mill attendant is given a
card which has been punched with a
series of holes. The holes represent
coded information and directions as
to how the ingot is to be rolled. The
attendant inserts the card into a
card “reader,” then presses a button
that starts the rolling sequence. The
information in punched-card form
governs the setting of the roll open­
ing, the speed of the rolls, the num­
ber of passes to be made, and the
number of times the ingot must be

turned. When the automatic process
is used, the roller’s function is
shifted from operating the rolling
controls to directing and coordinat­
ing the entire rolling process. This
consists of heating, rolling, and
shearing.
Of increasing use in steel shaping
is the continuous casting process. In
this process, which eliminates the
necessity of conventional pouring
pits to produce large ingots that in
turn must be put through huge
blooming and slabbing mills, molten
steel is poured into a water-cooled
mold of the desired product shape
located at the top of a tower. As the
mold is filled, the steel solidifies
along the bottom and lower sides.
The mold bottom is then withdrawn
and the slab or billet starts its de­
scent through the tower. As the rib­
bon emerges from the mold, addi­
tional molten steel is continuously

Operators oversee cold reduction of steel in tandem mill.

680

added at the top. Continuing down­
ward, it passes through a spray
chamber where it is further cooled
by a water spray to solidify the still
liquid core. Pinch rolls control its
descent and support its weight. Fi­
nally, the slab or billet is cut into
lengths as it emerges from the rolls.
In some continuous casting installa­
tions, a curved mold is used so that
the product comes out horizontally
rather than vertically.
After the steel is rolled into semi­
finished shape—blooms, slabs, or
billets—most of it is put through fin­
ishing operations. For example,
steel slabs may be reduced and
shaped into plates and sheets. Even
after additional rolling, some steels
must be worked further. Some rods,
for instance, are reduced to wire by
drawing. Wire can be further proc­
essed into wire rope, nails, fencing,
or other end products. Much sheet
steel is reduced further by cold-roll­
ing, and then it may be run through
galvanizing or tinplating lines.
Equipment operator, inspector,
and assorter are among the major
occupations in finishing operations;
women frequently are employed in
these jobs.
An important occupation in wire
making is the wire drawer (D.O.T.
614.782). This worker pulls the
pointed end of a steel rod through a
die (a block of hard steel or sin­
tered carbide with a tapered hole in
it). The rod end then is attached to
a reel which, while revolving, pulls
the rest of the rod through the die.
As the rod passes through the die, it
is made thinner and longer and be­
comes wire, which is coiled auto­
matically around the revolving reel.
If extensive reduction of the rod is
required, it is passed through a se­
ries of dies, each die reducing the
diameter of the wire slightly.
Pipe, both welded and seamless,
is also an important steel mill prod­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Worker checks production of pipe in electric-resistance weld mill.

uct. In making welded pipe, the flat
steel is fed into a machine which
through a series of forming rolls
converts it into tube shape; then the
edges of the pipe are fused by con­
tinuous welding.
Seamless pipe and tubing are
formed from a solid billet of steel,
called a tube round. In the seamless
operation, the piercer-machine op­
erator (D.O.T. 613.885) passes a
preheated “tube round” between
two barrel-shaped rolls. The revolv­
ing rolls spin the “tube round” and

force one end against a piercing
plug or “mandrel.” The combined
rolling action and the pressure of
the rolls tend to make the steel
draw apart providing space for the
mandrel to enter. The mandrel
smooths the inside walls and makes
the diameter of the hole uniform.
Tinplate is another important
steel product. To make tinplate,
thin gauge steel in coil form is fed
continuously through an electrolytic
bath where a coat of tin is deposited
on the steel.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY

Maintenance, Transportation, and
Plant Service Occupations. Large
numbers of workers are required in
steel plants to support processing
activities. Some maintain and repair
machinery and equipment, and oth­
ers operate the equipment which
provides power, steam, and water.
Other groups of workers move ma­
terial and supplies and perform a
variety of service operations.
In the machine shops, machinists
and machine tool operators make
and repair metal parts for machin­
ery or equipment. Diemakers use
machine tools to form dies, such as
those used in wire drawing units.
Roll turners (D.O.T. 613.780) use
lathes, grinders, and other machine
tools to finish steel rolls to desired
shapes and sizes for use in the roll­
ing mills.
Millwrights in this industry main­
tain mechanical equipment. They
overhaul machinery and repair and
replace defective parts. Electricians
install electric wiring and fixtures
and hook up electrically operated
equipment. Electrical repairmen
(motor inspectors) keep wiring,
motors, switches, and electrical
equipment in good operating condi­
tion and make repairs when electri­
cal equipment breaks down.
Electronic repairmen install, re­
pair, and adjust the increasing num­
ber of electronic devices and sys­
tems used in steel manufacturing
plants. Typically, this equipment in­
cludes communication systems such
as public address systems; closedcircuit television installations; elec­
tronic computing and data recording
systems; and measuring, processing,
and control devices such as X-ray
measuring or inspection equipment.
Bricklayers repair and rebuild the
brickwork in furnaces, soaking pits,
ladles, and coke ovens, as well as
mill buildings and offices. Pipefit­
ters lay out, install, and repair pip­




ing that is used to carry the large
amount of water, gas, steam, oil,
air, oxygen, and acetylene used in
the steelmaking process. Boilermak­
ers test, repair, and rebuild heating
units, storage tanks, stationary boil­
ers, and condensers. Locomotive
engineers and other train crew
members operate diesel or electric
trains used to transport materials
and products in the vast yards of
iron and steel plants. Welders use
welding equipment to join metal
parts in repairing and rebuilding
plant machinery and in fabricating
steel products. Skilled workers op­
erate the various boilers, turbines,
and switchboards in the powerplants
which provide the large amounts of
electric power needed in steelmak­
ing.
Other types of maintenance and
service workers found in steel plants
include carpenters, oilers, painters,
instrument repairmen, scale me­
chanics, loaders, riggers, greasers,
janitors, and guards. Many laborers
are employed to load and unload
materials and do a variety of
cleanup operations.
Administrative, Clerical, and Tech­
nical Occupations. Professional,
technical, administrative, clerical,
and sales workers account for about
one-fifth of the industry’s total em­
ployment. Of these, the majority are
clerical workers, such as secretaries,
stenographers, typists, accounting
clerks, and general office clerks.
Engineers, scientists, and techni­
cians make up a substantial propor­
tion of the industry’s white-collar
employment. Several thousand of
these workers perform research and
development work to improve exist­
ing iron and steel products and
processes, and to develop new
products and processes.
The technical specialists in iron
and steel plants also include me­

681

chanical engineers, whose principal
work is the design, construction,
and operation of mill machinery and
material handling equipment. Many
mechanical engineers work in oper­
ating units where their jobs include,
for example, determination of roll
size and contour, rolling pressures,
and operating speeds. Others are re­
sponsible for plant and equipment
maintenance. Metallurgists and me­
tallurgical engineers work in labora­
tories and production departments
where they have the important task
of specifying, controlling, and test­
ing the quality of the steel during its
manufacture. They also develop and
improve the industry’s products and
processes through research. Civil
engineers are engaged in the layout,
construction, and maintenance of
steel plants, and the equipment used
for heat, light, and transportation.
Electrical engineers design, lay out,
and supervise the operation of
electrical generating distribution
facilities that provide the power
essential in modern steel mill opera­
tion. These engineers also are con­
cerned with the operation of electri­
cal machinery and electrical and
electronic control equipment.
Chemists work in the laborator­
ies, making chemical analyses of
steel and raw materials used in steel
manufacture. Laboratory techni­
cians do routine testing and assist
chemists and engineers. Draftsmen
prepare working plans and detailed
drawings required in plant construc­
tion and maintenance.
Among the employees in admin­
istrative, managerial, and supervi­
sory occupations are office manag­
ers, labor relations and personnel
managers, purchasing agents, plant
managers, and industrial engineers.
Working with these personnel are
several
thousand
professional
workers other than scientists and
engineers. By far, the largest group

682

of these professional employees are
accountants, but there are also
many nurses, lawyers, economists,
statisticians, and mathematicians. In
addition, the industry employs sev­
eral thousand professional workers
in sales positions.
(Detailed discussions of profes­
sional, technical, mechanical, and
other occupations found in the iron
and steel industry, as well as in
many other industries, are given
elsewhere in the Handbook.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

New workers in processing oper­
ations usually are hired at the un­
skilled level as laborers. Openings
in higher rated jobs usually are
filled by promoting workers from
lower grade jobs. Factors consid­
ered when selecting workers for
promotion are ability to do the job,
physical fitness, and length of serv­
ice with the company.
Training for processing occupa­
tions is done almost entirely on the
job. Workers move to operations re­
quiring progressively greater skill as
they acquire experience. A crane­
man, for example, first is taught
how to operate relatively simple
cranes, and then he advances
through several steps to cranes
much more difficult to run, such as
the hot-metal crane.
To help them advance in their
work, many employees take parttime courses in subjects such as
chemistry, physics, and metallurgy.
In some cases, this training is pro­
vided by the steel companies and
may be given within the plant.
Other workers take evening courses
in high schools, trade schools, or
universities in their communities or
enroll in correspondence courses.
Workers in the various operating




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

units usually advance along fairly
well-defined lines of promotion
within their department. Examples
of possible lines of advancement in
the various operating units are de­
scribed in the next paragraph.
To become a blast furnace
blower, a worker generally starts as
a laborer, advancing to cinderman
or slagger, keeper’s helper, keeper,
blower’s helper, and finally to
blower. In the open-hearth depart­
ment, a man may begin by doing
general cleanup work around the
furnace and then advance to third
helper, second helper, first helper,
and eventually to melter. A possi­
ble line of job advancement for a
roller in a finishing mill might be
pitman, roll hand, manipulator,
rougher, and finish roller. Workers
may be trained for skilled jobs, such
as blower, melter, and roller, which
are among the highest rated steel­
making jobs, in a minimum of 4 or
5 years, but usually they have to
wait a much longer time before
openings occur.
Most companies conduct some
type of apprenticeship program to
meet the needs of their maintenance
shops. There are apprentice training
programs for more than 20 different
crafts in the steel industry. The ap­
prenticeship programs for mainte­
nance workers usually are of 3 or 4
years’ duration and consist mainly
of shop training in various aspects
of the particular jobs. In addition,
classroom instruction in related
technical subjects usually is given,
either in the plant or in local voca­
tional schools.
Steelmaking companies have dif­
ferent qualifications for apprentice
applicants. Generally, employers re­
quire applicants to have the equiva­
lent of a high school or vocational
school education. In most cases, the
minimum age for applicants is 18
years. Some companies give apti­

tude and other types of tests to ap­
plicants to determine their suitabil­
ity for the trades. Apprentices
generally are chosen from among
qualified young workers already em­
ployed in the plant. The following
occupations are among those most
often included in apprentice training
programs in iron and steel plants:
blacksmith, boilermaker, bricklayer,
carpenter, coremaker, electrician,
instrument repairman, lead burner,
machinist, millwright, molder, pat­
ternmaker, pipefitter, rigger, roll
turner, sheet-metal worker, tool and
die maker, and welder.
Applicants for jobs as mainte­
nance workers’ helpers usually are
given aptitude tests. Helpers receive
on-the-job training and may be
promoted to jobs requiring greater
skill as openings occur. However,
vacancies in these higher grades
may not occur for several years, de­
pending on the rate of turnover.
The minimum requirement for
engineering and scientific jobs is
usually a bachelor’s degree with an
appropriate major. Practically all
the larger companies have formal
training programs for collegetrained technical workers. In these
programs, the trainees work for
brief periods in various operating
and maintenance divisions to get a
broad picture of steelmaking opera­
tions before they are assigned to a
particular department. In other
companies, the newly hired scientist
or engineer is assigned directly to a
specific research, operating, mainte­
nance, administrative, or sales unit.
Engineering graduates frequently
are hired for sales work and many
of the executives in the industry
have engineering backgrounds. En­
gineering graduates, as well as grad­
uates of business administration and
liberal arts colleges, are employed
in jobs in sales, accounting, and

683

OCCUPATIONS IN THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY

labor-management relations, as well
as in managerial positions.
Completion of a business course
in high school, junior college, or
business school usually is preferred
for entry into most of the office oc­
cupations. Office jobs requiring spe­
cial knowledge of the steel industry
generally are filled by promoting
personnel already employed in the
industry.

Employment Outlook

Employment in the iron and steel
industry is expected to decline
slowly through the 1970’s, princi­
pally because of increased output
per worker resulting from continued
mechanization. Nevertheless, many
thousands of new workers will be
needed annually to replace those
who retire, die, or leave the industry
for other reasons.
Demand for iron and steel is ex­
pected to increase moderately dur­
ing the 1970’s. Rising population
and income levels will result in a
greater need for products that re­
quire large amounts of steel—for
example, automobiles and house­
hold appliances, industrial plants
and machinery, and residential and
commercial buildings. Domestic
production, however, probably will
not increase as fast as demand be­
cause imported steel has absorbed
some of the market growth in recent
years and this trend may continue.
Despite the expected decline in
overall employment, employment in
some occupations or occupational
groups still is expected to rise.
Among white-collar workers, for
example, employment of engineers,
metallurgists, laboratory techni­
cians, and other technical personnel
will increase because of the indus­
try’s expanding research and devel­
opment programs. Job opportunities




for accountants, statisticians, elec­
tronics technicians, computer pro­
gramed, and other personnel
trained in the preparation of data
for use in these machines also are
expected to increase. Among skilled
plant
personnel,
maintenance
workers (particularly instrument
and electronics repairmen) are ex­
pected to be needed in greater num­
bers because of the increasingly
complex machinery, instruments,
and other equipment used. In con­
trast, the number of unskilled labor­
ers is expected to decline.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of production workers
in iron and steelmaking establish­
ments are among the highest in
manufacturing. In 1970, their earn­
ings averaged $166.40 a week or
$4.16 an hour. This compares with
average earnings of $133.73
weekly, or $3.36 an hour, for all
production workers in manufactur­
ing establishments.

Agreements between most steel
companies and the United Steel­
workers of America include some of
the most liberal benefits in industry.
Most workers receive vacation pay
ranging from 1 to 4 weeks, depend­
ing on length of service. A worker
in the top 50 percent of a seniority
list receives an additional 13-week
vacation every 5 years; the remain­
ing workers receive 3 extra weeks
vacation once in a 5-year period.
Professional and executive person­
nel in a few companies receive simi­
lar benefits.
Workers may retire on full pen­
sion after 30 years of service, re­
gardless of age. Retiring workers
are eligible for a company-paid pen­
sion, in addition to social security
benefits for which they may be eligi­
ble. Employees having 2 years or
more of service are eligible to re­
ceive supplemental unemployment
benefits for up to 52 weeks. Other
important provisions include acci­
dent and sickness, hospitalization,
surgical, and life insurance benefits,

Basic Straight-time Hourly Earnings1 of Workers
In Selected Occupations in Basic Iron and
Steel Establishments. Early 1971
Hourly earnings

Blast furnaces:
Larrymen ............................................................................................
Stock unloaders ..................................................................................
Basic oxygen furnaces:
Steel pourers ......................................................................................
Furnace operators .............................................................................
Open hearth furnaces:
Charging machine operators.............................................................
First helpers ........................................................................................
Bloom, slab, and billet mills:
Soaking pit cranemen .......................................................................
Manipulators ......................................................................................
Continuous hot-strip mills:
Assorters ............................................................................................
Coilers ................................................................................................
Maintenance:
Bricklayers ..........................................................................................
Millwrights ..........................................................................................

$3,565
3.055
4.075
4.500-4.7552
4.075
4.755
3.990
3.820
3.480
3.650
4.160
4.075

1 Excludes premium pay for overtime and for work on weekends, holidays, and late shifts. Incen­
tive payments, such as those resulting from piecework or production bonus systems and cost-ofliving allowances, are included.
2 Depending on size of furnace.

684

and education and scholarship as­
sistance.
Working conditions vary by de­
partment. Maintenance shops gen­
erally are clean and cool. Rolling
mills, however, generally are hot
and noisy. Some plants are develop­
ing methods to reduce job discom­
fort. For example, the use of remote
control enables employees to work
outside the immediate vicinity of
processing operations. In other in­
stances, the cabs in which the men
work while operating mechanical
equipment, such as those on cranes,
are air-conditioned. Some of the




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

workers near blast and steel fur­
naces are exposed to considerable
dirt, noise, and heat. Because cer­
tain processes are operated contin­
uously, many workers are on night
shifts or work on weekends.
The iron and steel industry is a
leader in the development of safety
programs for workers, emphasizing
the use of protective clothing and
devices on machines to prevent ac­
cidents. In recent years, steel plants
had an average injury frequency
rate (injuries per million hours of
work) that was less than half the
rate of all manufacturing.

Most plant workers in the iron
and steel industry are members of
the United Steelworkers of Amer­
ica.
Sources of Additional Information
American Iron and Steel Institute,
150 East 42nd St., New York,
N.Y. 10017.
United Steelworkers of America,
1500 Commonwealth Building,
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222.

M O T O R V E H IC L E A N D
E Q U IP M E N T M A N U F A C T U R IN G
O C C U P A T IO N S

Few products have as great an im­
pact on everyday life as the auto­
mobiles, trucks, buses, and other
vehicles manufactured by the motor
vehicle and equipment industry
(automobile industry). In 1970, 4
out of 5 families owned at least one
automobile, and 1 family out of 4
owned two or more. Altogether,
about 105 million passenger cars,
trucks, and buses traveled the Na­
tion’s streets and highways.
The widespread use of motor ve­
hicles has contributed significantly
to the Nation’s economy by creating
new industries including automotive
repair shops, gasoline service sta­




tions, and truck and bus transporta­
tion facilities. Moreover, the auto­
mobile industry is a major consumer
of many basic commodities such as
steel, rubber, and plate glass.
To manufacture the nearly 8.3
million motor vehicles (mainly au­
tomobiles) produced in 1970, the
motor vehicle industry (SIC 371)
employed approximately 810,000
workers. In addition to workers dis­
cussed in this chapter, thousands of
people are employed in other indus­
tries which produce automotive
stampings, automobile glass, light­
ing systems, storage batteries, tires,
and many other components.

The automobile industry employs
men and women having widely dif­
ferent education and training. Job
requirements vary from a college
degree for engineers and other pro­
fessional and technical personnel, to
a few hours of on-the-job training
for assemblers, materials handlers,
and custodial employees. The larg­
est number of employees work in
factory (plant) occupations. Plant
occupations range from the skilled
tool and die maker, millwright, and
electrician, to those requiring little
skill such as machine tender, assem­
bler, materials handler, and cus­
todial worker. A great number of
employees also work as clerks, busi­
ness machine operators, stenogra­
phers, purchasing agents, and per­
sonnel assistants.

Nature and Location of the
Industry

This industry’s ability to produce
millions of complex motor vehicles
is due mainly to mass production of
standardized parts and assembly
line manufacturing methods. These
mass-produced parts are put to­
gether to form the completed ve­
hicle. As a result, new cars can be
driven off assembly lines at the rate
of more than one a minute.
The motor vehicle industry in
1970 consisted of about 2,700 es­
tablishments ranging in size from
huge assembly plants employing
several thousand workers, to small
parts plants having only a few
workers. About 85 percent of the
industry’s employees, however,
worked in plants having 500 or
more employees.
About 43 percent of the indus­
try’s employees worked in plants
that produced complete vehicles.
Another 43 percent worked in
plants that produced parts and ac­
cessories such as brakes and trans­
missions. The remainder worked in
685

686

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

plants that produced automobile velop the original design which de­
bodies, truck and bus bodies, and termines the overall appearance of
the automobile. They work closely
truck trailers.
Eighty-six percent of the workers with engineers and other technical
in the industry are employed in 10 personnel to improve mechanical
States. Michigan alone accounts for operation, design, and safety. From
40 percent of the total; Ohio, Indi­ blueprints, drawings, and sketches
ana, and New York account for an­ of stylists and engineers, skilled
other 27 percent. The six other modelmakers make scale and full
leading States are Missouri, Califor­ size clay models of the automobile
nia, Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylva­ interior and exterior, which are used
to develop refinements in styling
nia, and New Jersey.
The center of the industry is the and design. To mass-produce the
Detroit metropolitan area where 1 automobile, master dies based on
out of 4 motor vehicle workers is the final model are made.
employed. Other important areas in
the Great Lakes region include
Flint, Lansing, and Saginaw, Michi­
gan; Cleveland, Lorain, Toledo, and
Cincinnati, Ohio; Indianapolis and
Fort Wayne, Ind.; Chicago, 111.;
Buffalo, N.Y.; and Milwaukee and
Kenosha, Wis.
Much of the motor vehicle manu­
facturing on the East Coast is cen­
tered in the New York-New JerseyPhiladelphia industrial area in
localities such as Newark, Paterson,
Linden, and New Brunswick, N.J.;
and New York, N.Y.
Leading automobile manufactur­
ing centers in the Pacific Coast re­
gion are Los Angeles and San Fran­
cisco, California.

In recent years, computers and
numerically controlled drafting
machines have played an increas­
ingly important role in engineering.
These drafting machines automati­
cally produce engineering drawings
from a tape containing instructions
prepared on a computer. Another
technique is the use of photographic
equipment to record points on a
clay model, which the computer
then converts into full scale draw­
ings. Computerized data also are
fed into numerically controlled die
making machines which produce

How Motor Vehicles Are Made

Automobiles and other motor ve­
hicles are produced in three stages:
preliminary designing and engineer­
ing, production of motor vehicle
parts and subassemblies, and final
assembly of parts into complete ve­
hicles.
Preliminary Designing and Engi­
neering. Approximately 2 to 3 years
of designing, planning, and testing
often precede the actual production
of each year’s model. Stylists de­




Woodworker builds skeleton for full-size model of car interior.

MOTOR VEHICLE AND EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

master dies. These methods have
enabled manufacturers to shorten
the lead time required to prepare
new models for production.
Production of Motor Vehicle Parts.
After the design and engineering
phases have been completed, thou­
sands of parts that will later be as­
sembled into a complete vehicle
must be produced. A large variety
of materials are used, including
steel, aluminum, copper, zinc,
nickel, plastic, rubber, fabric, glass,
iron, and lead.
Metal parts are shaped by several
different methods, depending on the
purpose and size of the part and the
metal being used. The casting proc­
ess is used to produce bulky parts
such as engine blocks. Parts which
must withstand great stress, such as
axles, are forged. Huge presses
form the sheet metal and aluminum
that compose the exterior body.
Metal parts requiring precise di­
mensions, such as pistons and en­
gine blocks, undergo further ma­
chine processing. These various
processes are explained more fully
under plant occupations.
The production of parts does not
consist entirely of metalworking op­
erations. For example, many parts
are painted, seat cushions are pre­
pared, and engines are test run.
Throughout production numerous
inspections are made to insure that
assembled vehicles will meet quality
and safety standards.
Assembling the Final Product.
Banks of parts and subassemblies
located in storage areas along the
assembly line are continually fed to
assemblers according to a carefully
scheduled system. As the conveyor
carries the chassis along the line, as­
semblers attach the parts and subas­
semblies in proper sequence. Near
the end of the line, accessories such




as hubcaps and floor mats are
added; gasoline is pumped into the
fuel tank, and the new vehicle is
driven off the line. Finally, the
headlights and wheels are aligned
and the finished vehicle is inspected.
The sequence of models to be
built may be transmitted to the vari­
ous stations along the line by tele­
type or telautograph. Information
on color and special equipment for
each car is obtained from orders
placed by automobile dealers. By
this scheduling program, cars of dif­
ferent colors and types follow each
other on the assembly line—for ex­
ample, a blue sedan may follow a
beige station wagon.

Occupations in the Industry

The motor vehicle industry em­
ploys workers in hundreds of occu­
pations. Semiskilled plant workers,
such as assemblers, inspectors, and
materials handlers, made up about
one-half of all employees. An addi­
tional one-quarter were employed
as foremen, mechanics and repair­
men, machinists, tool and die mak­
ers, and in other skilled occupa­
tions. Clerical employees made up
about one-tenth of the total. The re­
maining workers were employed in
professional, technical, sales, and
managerial occupations, and as un­
skilled workers and guards. More
than nine-tenths of the industry’s
employees are men. Of the women
employed, about half are in produc­
tion jobs such as assembling and in­
specting. The rest are in clerical and
other office jobs, including research
and technical work.
The duties and training require­
ments of some of the important oc­
cupations are described briefly
below. (Detailed discussions of pro­
fessional, technical, mechanical, and
other occupations found in the auto­

687

mobile industry, as well as in many
other industries, are given in the
sections of the Handbook covering
individual occupations.)
Professional and Technical Occupa­
tions. The modern automobile is a
product of the research, design, and
development work of thousands of
engineers, chemists, metallurgists,
mathematicians, draftsmen, and
other professional, scientific, and
technical personnel. About 30,000
scientists and engineers were em­
ployed in the industry in 1970. En­
gineers make up the largest group
of professional and technical
workers in the industry. Motor vehi­
cle companies hire engineers spe­
cializing in mechanical, electrical,
industrial, and other fields. The me­
chanical engineer seeks ways of im­
proving the engine, transmission, or
other parts of the automobile
through research and development.
The electrical engineer designs
electrical parts, such as ignition sys­
tems and voltage regulators. The in­
dustrial engineer concentrates on
the layout of plant equipment, es­
tablishing work standards, and im­
proving production processes and
scheduling. The industry also em­
ploys metallurgists, and civil, chemi­
cal, and ceramic engineers.
About two-fifths of the scientists
and engineers are engaged princi­
pally in research and development.
Others may supervise technical
production workers. For example,
metallurgists may supervise the
melting operations in the precision
casting and forging departments,
and chemists may head the testing
and analytical laboratory.
Draftsmen, the largest group of
technical employees, work closely
with engineers to design and de­
velop components. The industry
also employs thousands of other
technicians, such as engineering aids

6 88

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Machining Occupations. Machining
is the method generally used to
shape parts to precise dimensions.
Lathes, drill presses, boring, grind­
ing, and milling machines, and other
machine tools cut or chip away ex­
cess metal.
One of the largest metalworking
occupations in the industry is the
machine tool operator who runs
machines which cut, shape, drill, or
grind metal. The job title, such as
engine lathe operator or drill press
operator, depends on the type of
machine tool operated.
Among the most highly skilled
machining workers are tool and die
makers. Toolmakers build and re­
pair tools and the jigs, fixtures, and
other accessories that hold the
metal being machined. Diemakers
construct the dies used in stamping,
pressing, forging, and other metal­
forming operations. Tool and die
makers read blueprints, set up and
operate machine tools, use precision
measuring instruments, and make
shop computations.

Draftsman checks automobile design drawings prepared by numerically controlled
drafting machine.

and laboratory assistants, to assist
engineers and scientists.
Administrative, Clerical, and Re­
lated Occupations. Executives de­
termine the number and styles of
vehicles to produce, what prices to
charge, which parts to buy, and
plant locations. Other administra­
tive personnel such as purchasing
agents and personnel managers di­
rect individual departments or spe­
cial phases of operations. Assisting
administrators are accountants, law­
yers, market analysts, economists,
statisticians, and industrial relations
experts. Many supervise specific




groups of office or plant employees.
The large staff of clerical
workers, many of whom are
women, includes secretaries, stenog­
raphers, bookkeepers, clerk-typists,
key punch operators, and business
machine operators.
Plant Occupations. About threefourths of the employees in the
motor vehicle industry work in
production operations. Most plant
employees make and assemble parts
into complete vehicles. Others serv­
ice and maintain machinery and
equipment.

Press operator runs automatic index
machine to form automobile parts.

MOTOR VEHICLE AND EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

As a step in the automation of
machining processes, manufacturers
have linked automatic machine
tools to perform a continuous series
of operations. Less labor is required
because the parts or pieces being
machined are not handled manually.
For example in an automated en­
gine plant, a rough engine block
goes through hundreds of different
cutting, drilling, and grinding opera­
tions using little direct manual
labor. The engine block is moved
through work stations mechanically
and is machined automatically by a
battery of machine tools. Much of
the
inspection
is
automatic.
Workers watch control panels for
interruptions in the machines’ nor­
mal functioning.
Other Metalworking Occupations.
Large numbers of workers are em­
ployed in other metalworking oc­
cupations. These include punch
press operators who run presses
varying in size from small presses
used to form brackets, clips, or
other small parts, to massive presses
which form, trim, and punch holes
in automobile doors, body panels,
and frames.
Automobile plants employ thou­
sands of welders to join metal parts.
Some manual electric-arc welders
and gas welders work in production
jobs in parts and body manufactur­
ing plants, and others work in main­
tenance jobs repairing and rebuild­
ing machinery and equipment.
Machine (resistance) welders are
employed on assembly lines to weld
separate parts of bodies and subas­
semblies.
Foundry Occupations. Castings for
automobile parts such as engine
blocks are produced by pouring
metal into molds where it cools and
hardens in the shape of the molds.
Patternmakers make a wood or




metal pattern in the shape of the
final casting desired. Coremakers
shape the bodies of sand, or
“cores,” which are placed inside
molds to form hollow spaces needed
in castings. Machine molders make
the sand mold into which the metal
is poured.
Melters operate electric furnaces
and cupolas used to melt metal for
castings. The actual pouring is done
by metal pourers. After the casting
cools, shakeout men remove it from
the mold. Other workers clean the
castings and remove excess metal.
Forging Occupations. Parts which
must withstand great stress, such as
axles, are shaped by forging ham­
mers and presses in the forge shop.
Hammermen operate drop hammers
which pound metal into various
shapes between closed dies. The
hammermen are assisted by heaters
who heat the metal stock in a fur­
nace to prepare it for forging and
then pass the stock to the hammer­
men. Other forge shop workers are
engaged in cleaning, finishing, heat
treating, or inspecting forgings.
Inspection Occupations (D.O.T.
806.281; 283; 381; 382; 387; 684
and 687). Automobiles can be
mass-produced because parts and
subassemblies for the same make of
automobile are interchangeable.
These parts are made to exact meas­
urements and are subject to close
quality control and inspection. The
industry employs statisticians and
engineers in quality control depart­
ments who use statistical techniques
designed to control product qual­
ity.
Inspectors check incoming raw
materials, examine parts during the
manufacturing stages, and make
quality and conformity checks dur­
ing the subassembly and assembly
operations. Micrometers, specially

689

designed gauges, and other measur­
ing and testing instruments are used
by inspectors and testers.
Assembling Occupations (D.O.T.
806.887) . Assemblers, who make
up the largest occupational group in
the automobile industry, put to­
gether small parts to form subas­
semblies, and subassemblies to form
the complete motor vehicle (line as­
semblies). Most assembly jobs are
repetitive and require little skill;
however, they do require coordina­
tion and may be strenuous. Each
employee is assigned a job to be
done when the vehicle passes his
work station. For example, one em­
ployee may start nuts on bolts and
the next worker may tighten the
nuts.
Finishing Occupations. Many finish­
ing operations must be performed
as the vehicle is assembled. For ex­
ample, metal surfaces must be read­
ied for finishing, exteriors painted,
interiors covered, and seats up­
holstered. Metal finishers (D.O.T.
705.884) file and polish rough
surface areas of metal parts in
preparation for painting. Platers
(D.O.T. 500.885) put a thin coat
of chrome on bumpers and on other
parts such as grills, mirrors, and
hubcaps.
Sprayers
(D.O.T.
741.887) operate spray guns to
apply paint or other finishes to the
metal parts. Polishers (D.O.T.
705.884) rub the finished surfaces
by hand or polish them with a port­
able motor-driven buffing wheel.
Cutters, sewing machine opera­
tors, and trimmers combine their
skills to provide comfortable and at­
tractive interiors. With hand shears
or an electric knife, the cutter
(D.O.T. 781.884) cuts fabric or
leather to the specific shape accord­
ing to a pattern. The sewing ma­
chine operator (D.O.T. 787.782)

690

sews together the upholstery sec­
tions. Trimmers (D.O.T. 780.884)
arrange and fasten springs and pad­
ding or foam rubber for the seats
and other upholstered areas, and in­
stall the covering material.
Materials Handling, Custodial, and
Plant Protection Occupations. The
assembly-line production process
requires an elaborate system of ma­
terials movement to supply the lines
and to move finished products.
Power truck operators deliver parts
and subassemblies to the line or
move materials between plants. Ma­
terials handlers load and unload
parts from trucks or containers.
Overhead crane operators use ma­
chines to move raw steel stock,
heavy dies, and other materials that
cannot be lifted by hand.
Many employees are needed to
keep the production workers sup­
plied with tools, parts, and mate­
rials, and to keep records of mate­
rials. Factory clerks, such as check­
ers, stock chasers, and stock clerks,
coordinate the delivery of parts to
the proper location on the assembly
line. They check, receive, and dis­
tribute materials and keep records
of incoming and outgoing ship­
ments.
The industry also employs many
workers in plant protection and cus­
todial work. These include plant pa­
trolmen, gatemen, janitors, and
porters.
Maintenance Occupations. A large
staff is required to keep machines
and equipment in good operating
condition and to make changes in
the plant layout. The maintenance
and repair of complex electrical,
electronic, and hydraulic equipment
require well-trained electricians,
electronic technicians, and mainte­
nance mechanics. Millwrights move
and install heavy machinery and




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

equipment. Plumbers and pipefitters
lay out, install, and repair piping,
valves, pumps, and compressors.
Other maintenance employees in­
clude carpenters, stationary engi­
neers, and sheet metal workers.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

The training requirements for
jobs in the motor vehicle industry
range from a few hours of on-thejob training to years of preparation.
Many plant workers can learn their
jobs in a day or two. On the other
hand, engineering and scientific
jobs, as well as craft and technical
jobs, require many years of training.
The minimum requirement for
professional engineering jobs is a
bachelor of science or a bachelor of
engineering degree. Advanced de­
grees often are necessary for scien­
tists, particularly those engaged in
research and development. Newly
hired engineers and scientists often
are offered specialized training
courses. Many of the industry’s top
executives have been selected from
this professional group.
The requirements for other tech­
nical employees vary according to
their specialities. For example,
many engineering aids, laboratory
assistants, and draftsmen are techni­
cal institute or junior college gradu­
ates. Some firms train their techni­
cal employees at company-run
schools, or subsidize students at
local junior colleges or technical in­
stitutes. These employees also may
take advanced training and acquire
engineering degrees.
Although a college education is
not always required, administrative
positions are often filled by men and
women who have degrees in busi­
ness administration, marketing, ac­
counting, industrial relations, or

similar fields. Some companies have
advanced training programs for em­
ployees in these specialties.
Most motor vehicle firms hire
people who have had commercial
courses in high schools or business
schools for office jobs such as key­
punch operator and typist. These
people usually have not been
trained specifically for jobs in this
industry.
Applicants for most plant jobs
must be in good physical condition
and have an aptitude for mechanical
work. For semiskilled jobs, the in­
dustry seeks employees who can do
routine work at a fast pace. Most
assembly jobs can be learned in a
few hours or days. Some of the less
skilled machine operating jobs can
be learned in a few weeks.
Extensive training periods are re­
quired for craft jobs in the motor
vehicle industry. Tool and die mak­
ers, patternmakers, electricians,
millwrights, and machinery repair­
men are some of the highly skilled
workers who generally need at least
4 years of training before they can
perform their specialized jobs. Al­
though many craft workers acquire
their skills by working with experi­
enced workers, apprenticeship gen­
erally is the best way to learn a
skilled trade. Automobile firms, in
cooperation with labor unions, con­
duct apprenticeship programs for
many skilled trades.
Applicants for apprenticeship
training are often required to be
high school, trade, or vocational
school graduates. Young people in­
terested in apprenticeship training
should prepare themselves by taking
courses in mathematics and science.
Apprentice applicants must take
physical examinations, mechanical
aptitude tests, and other qualifying
tests.
Apprenticeship training includes
both on-the-job and classroom in-

MOTOR VEHICLE AND EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

Worker spot welds paneling on automobile body.

struction. Mathematics, blue print
reading, shop theory, and special­
ized subjects are studied in the
classroom, and the operation and
use of tools and machinery are
learned in the shop.
Most foremen are selected from
workers already employed. Fre­
quently, people who have com­
pleted apprenticeship training and
acquired further experience become
supervisors. Successful applicants
go through a training period after
promotion.
In a large number of cities, train­
ing programs are in operation under
the Manpower Development and
Training Act for many of the pro­
duction, clerical, and technical occu­
pations discussed earlier. These
programs, which are for unem­
ployed
and
underemployed
workers, may last up to a year.
Some occupations may require ad­
ditional on-the-job or apprentice­
ship training.




Employment Outlook

The motor vehicle industry will
provide thousands of openings an­
nually during the 1970’s, mainly to
replace workers who retire, die, or
transfer to other industries. Produc­
tion of motor vehicles and parts,
and therefore employment, have
fluctuated sharply since the end of
World War II because of the indus­
try’s sensitivity to changes in gen­
eral business conditions, consumer
preferences, availability of credit,
and defense production needs. For
example, in 1970 employment aver­
aged 810,000 or 13 percent below
the 1969 level of 914,000.
In the future, assuming a high
rate of economic growth, the de­
mand for motor vehicles and equip­
ment is expected to increase sub­
stantially. Factors that will stimulate
demand include increases in popula­
tion and personal income, growth of
multicar ownership, a continuing
shift of families from cities to the

691

suburbs, and the need to replace ve­
hicles that wear out. However, be­
cause of laborsaving technological
developments, employment is not
expected to keep pace with in­
creases in production.
The industry’s continued empha­
sis on mechanization and automa­
tion of production methods is ex­
pected to increase output per man­
hour. Motor vehicle manufacturers
increasingly are using computerized
machines for assembly and machin­
ing operations. A recent laborsaving
innovation is the “industrial robot”
which is more versatile than con­
ventional automated equipment and
can be adjusted to weld body pan­
els, assemble parts, and do a variety
of other tasks. New materials also
are expected to increase output per
man-hour. A recent example is the
substitution of plastics for metal
parts, which reduces the amount of
labor needed for parts production
and assembly, since plastic parts
generally are molded in one piece
and require fewer finishing opera­
tions. More efficient machining
techniques such as electrical dis­
charge machining are expected to
be more widely used in the future.
In addition, new and modernized
plants incorporating the latest pro­
duction-line materials handling and
parts conveyor equipment should
further efficiencies in production.
Some of the increased efficiency,
however, will be offset by the
greater number of man-hours
needed to produce a variety of
models and to provide additional
safety equipment and exhaust con­
trol devices.
The occupational distribution of
employment in the industry has
been changing as a result of empha­
sis upon research and development,
and the increasing use of automatic
manufacturing operations. Follow­
ing recent trends, the number of en-

692

gineers, scientists, and other profes­
sional and technical personnel is
expected to increase because of ex­
pansion in research and develop­
ment. Systems analysts and program­
ed will be employed in greater
numbers as the use of computers in­
creases. Employment of clerical and
administrative workers is expected
to remain at about the present level.
Although computers may reduce
employment in some clerical occu­
pations, a slight increase in the
number of stenographers and typists
is anticipated.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

1970, they averaged $170.47 for
40.3 hours a week, or $4.23 an
hour, compared with $133.73 for a
39.8 hour week, or $3.36 an hour
for production workers in all manu­
facturing industries.
Average straight-time hourly
earnings for several production oc­
cupations shown in the following
table are based on a survey of
motor vehicle and motor vehicle
parts manufacturers in early 1969.
Earnings vary according to size of
firm and geographic location, partic­
ularly in parts manufacturing.

Occupation

Average Hourly
Earnings
Motor
vehicles
Motor
vehicles parts and
accessories

Assemblers .................... ..$3.60
Tool and die makers...... 4.91
Punch press operators.... 3.62
Resistance welding
operators .................... .. 3.67
Machine tool operators,
production ................ .. 3.64
Machine tool operators,
toolroom ................ .. 4.76
Heat treaters ................ .. 3.58
Inspectors ...................... .. 3.67
Maintenance mechanics .. 4.79
Power truck operators.. .. 3.57
Custodians .................... .. 3.37

The employment of skilled
workers, as a group, may decline
very slightly. Although some skilled
occupations, including millwright,
pipefitter, and machinery repair­
man, are expected to increase, oth­
ers, such as machinist, are expected
to decline. The number of semi­
skilled workers is expected to re­
main relatively stable.

Earnings and Working Conditions

The earnings of production
workers in this industry are among
the highest in manufacturing. In




$3.03
4.32
3.33
3.31
3.55
4.34
3.51
3.38
4.04
3.26
3.03

In addition to wages and salaries,
employees receive a wide range of
benefits, most of which are paid for
entirely by employers. These in­
clude life insurance; accidental
death and dismemberment benefits;
and hospitalization, surgical, and
medical benefits.
Most employees also receive paid
vacations (or payments in lieu of
vacations) and an average of 12
paid holidays a year. Most compa­
nies provide regular annual wage in­
creases as well as automatic in­
creases when the cost of living rises.
Employees are paid at one and
one-half their normal rate for work­
ing more than 40 hours a week or
for working on Saturdays. They re­

ceive premiums for working late
shifts and double the hourly rate
for Sundays or holidays.
Most workers are covered by
supplemental unemployment benefit
plans paid for solely by the em­
ployers. These plans also provide
supplementary pay (short work­
week benefits) to help stabilize the
income of hourly rated employees
and some salaried employees when
they are required to work less than
a normal week. In addition, during
layoff, provisions are included for
hospitalization, surgical, drug and
medical benefits; life and accident
insurance; survivor income benefit
coverage; separation payments for
those laid off 12 continuous months
or more; and relocation allowances.
A great majority of the motor ve­
hicle workers are covered by com­
pany-paid retirement plans. Retire­
ment pay varies with length of serv­
ice. Many of these plans include
provisions for retirement as early as
age 55, or after 30 years of service
regardless of age.
Usually within 40 days of their
hiring date, most hourly rated
workers and some salaried workers
in the industry are required to join a
union. Most production and mainte­
nance workers in assembly plants,
and a majority employed in parts
plants, belong to the International
Union, United Automobile, Aero­
space and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America. In some parts
of plants, the International Union,
Allied Industrial Workers of Amer­
ica is the bargaining agent for the
employees. Other unions with mem­
bership in the industry include the
International Association of Ma­
chinists and Aerospace Workers;
the Pattern Makers’ League of
North America; the International
Molders’ and Allied Workers’
Union of North America; the Metal
Polishers, Buffers, Platers and

MOTOR VEHICLE AND EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

Helpers International Union; the
International Union, United Plant
Guard Workers of America (Ind.);
the Mechanics Educational Society
of America; the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers;
and the International Die Sinkers’
Conference (Ind.).
Most motor vehicle workers are
employed in plants which are rela­
tively clean and free from dust,
smoke, and fumes. Some work sur­
roundings, however, particularly in
the foundry and forge departments,
may be hot and the worker may be
exposed to noise, dust, and fumes.
Working conditions in foundries
and forge departments have been
greatly improved by the introduc­




tion of larger, more efficient ventila­
tion systems.
Motor vehicle plants are, on the
whole, comparatively safe places to
work, although safety conditions
vary somewhat among the individ­
ual departments or facilities. The
rate of disabling injuries in motor
vehicle plants has been less than
half that of all manufacturing indus­
tries in recent years. Some plants
have fully equipped hospital facili­
ties with doctors and nurses in at­
tendance.

693

Sources of Additional Information

Further information on employ­
ment and training opportunities in
motor vehicle manufacturing can be
obtained from local offices of the
State employment service; person­
nel departments of individual motor
vehicle manufacturing firms; locals
of the labor unions noted above;
and from:
International Union, United Auto­
mobile, Aerospace and Agricul­
tural Implement Workers of
America, 8000 East Jefferson
Ave., Detroit, Mich. 48214.
Automobile Manufacturers Asso­
ciation, Inc., 320 New Center
Building, Detroit, Mich. 48202.

O F F IC E M A C H IN E A N D
C O M P U T E R M A N U F A C T U R IN G
O C C U P A T IO N S

During the last decade, employ­
ment in the office machine and com­
puter industry grew four times
faster than employment in manufac­
turing as a whole. Growth was
spearheaded by a rapid expansion
in the production of electronic com­
puters. For many years, the indus­
try’s chief products were typewrit­
ers, adding machines, calculators,
and other conventional office ma­
chines. The production of computers
did not begin until after World War
II, and as late as 1953 only a small
number of them had been pro­
duced. Today, plants that make
computers account for more than
half of the industry’s production.

Nature and Location of the
Industry

In 1970, the office machine and
computer manufacturing industry
employed about 285,000 men and
women in approximately 700
plants. Two-thirds of them worked
in plants that produce computer
equipment, and the remainder, in
conventional office machines, in­
cluding scales and other weighing
devices.
Computer equipment manufac­
turing plants employed 190,000
workers in 1970. These plants man­
ufacture general purpose computers
as well as those used for special ap­
plications, such as space exploration
and missiles. They also manufacture
peripheral equipment. Examples in­
clude machines that read magnetic
numbers, such as those on bank
checks, and storage devices, for fu­
ture reference.
In addition to computer and pe­
694



ripheral equipment, plants in this
industry may furnish “software”
(computer programs and operating
systems). Thousands of people
whose employment is not included
in this chapter are employed outside
manufacturing plants by firms that
specialize in software or that rent
or lease computers and provide re­
lated services.
In early 1970, more than 90,000
people were employed in factories
that produced conventional office
machines and scales; about 40,000
produced desk calculators, cash
registers, coin and ticket counters,
and adding, accounting, and voting
machines; about 25,000 produced
miscellaneous office machines, in­
cluding items as diverse as postage
meters and dictating machines;
nearly 20,000 produced typewriters;
and fewer than 7,000 made in­
dustrial and household scales and
other weighing devices.
Large plants account for most of
the employment in office machine
and
computer
manufacturing.
About three-fourths of the indus­
try’s employees are in plants that
have 1,000 or more employees, but
several computer plants have more
than 5,000 employees.
New York, California, and Minne­
sota have more than two-thirds of
the computer manufacturing employ­
ment, and the following States ac­
count for most of the remainder:
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ari­
zona, Florida, and Colorado. In New
York, the lower Hudson River Val­
ley area has many important com­
puter
manufacturing
centers:
Poughkeepsie, East Fish Kill, and
Kingston. Large manufacturing

plants also are located in Rochester
and Utica, N.Y., and in the Boston,
Mass., and Philadelphia, Pa. areas.
The leading center in the Midwest is
Minneapolis-St. Paul. The Los An­
geles industrial area is the most im­
portant computer manufacturing
center in the West, followed by
Pheonix, Ariz., and San Jose, Calif.
The following States account for
more than four-fifths of the employ­
ment in plants manufacturing con­
ventional business machines and
scales: Ohio, New York, Connecti­
cut, Illinois, Michigan, California,
and Kentucky. The following areas
are some of the important manufac­
turing centers: Dayton, Toledo, and
Euclid. O.; the New York-North­
eastern New Jersey industrial area;
Hartford and Stamford, Conn.; Chi­
cago, 111.; Detroit, Mich.; and Lex­
ington, Ky.

Occupations in the Industry

A wide variety of occupations,
requiring a broad range of training
and skills, are found in plants man­
ufacturing office machines and com­
puters. About half of the industry’s
workers are in white-collar jobs
(engineering, scientific, technical,
administrative, sales, and clerical);
the other half are in plant jobs (as­
sembly, inspection, maintenance,
transportation, and service).
Because of its complex nature,
white-collar workers represent a sig­
nificantly larger proportion of total
employment in the computer in­
dustry than in most other manufac­
turing industries. In manufacturing
as a whole, white-collar workers rep­
resent less than one-third of total
employment.
Nearly three-fourths of the indus­
try’s employees are men. Women
employees are concentrated in cleri­
cal, assembly, and inspection occu­
pations, although some women
work in nearly all types of jobs.

695

OFFICE MACHINE AND COMPUTER MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

Some of the key occupations in
this industry are described briefly.
(Detailed discussions of profes­
sional, technical, skilled, and other
occupations found in the office
machine and computer industry, as
well as in many other industries, are
given elsewhere in this Handbook,
in sections covering individual occu­
pations.)
Engineering and Scientific Occupa­
tions. Nearly 1 out of every 10
workers in the office machine and
computer industry is an engineer or
scientist—a much greater propor­
tion than in most industries. Most of
them work in computer plants.
The largest group of engineers
work with electricity or electronics.
Most of them are engaged in re­
search and development, although
many work in production, in fields
such as quality control. The indus­
try also employs large numbers of
mechanical and industrial engineers.
Some mechanical engineers are en­
gaged in product development and
tool and equipment design. Others
are concerned with the mainte­
nance, layout, and operation of
plant equipment. Industrial engi­
neers determine the most effective
means of using the basic factors of
production—manpower, machines,
and materials.
Mathematicians make up the
largest group of scientists in office
machine and computer manufactur­
ing. They work with engineers on
complex mathematical problems,
for example, in the design of com­
puters. Physicists are employed in
research and development work in
connection with items such as min­
iaturized components and circuits.
Statisticians work in fields such as
quality control and production
scheduling.
The industry also employs sys­
tems analysts and computer pro­




grammers, many of whom have sci­
entific or engineering backgrounds.
Systems analysts primarily divise
new techniques and improve exist­
ing techniques. Programmers design
and test new computer programs.
Some systems analysts and pro­
grammers specialize in scientific and
engineering problems, while others
process accounting, inventory, sales,
and other business data. Systems
analysts and programmers may as­
sist salesmen in determining data
processing needs of customers.
Technical Occupations. More than
1 out of every 10 workers in the
industry is a technician. Most of
them are electronics specialists who
assist engineers and scientists in re­
search and development, test and
inspect electronic components, and

do highly complex assembly work.
Some electronics technicians spe­
cialize in repairing computers.
Chemical control technicians pre­
pare solutions used in the etching of
circuit boards. Photographic techni­
cians set up light beams and other
equipment used in the tracing proc­
ess to create copper etchings on
circuit boards. Draftsmen prepare
drawings from sketches or specifica­
tions furnished by engineers. Engi­
neering aids assist engineers by
making calculations, sketches, and
drawings, and by conducting per­
formance tests on components.
Administrative and Sales Occupa­
tions. About 1 out of every 10
workers is an administrator. In­
cluded are top executives who man­
age companies and determine policy

Electronic technicians debug computer and peripheral equipment.

696

decisions, and middle managers
who direct departments such as ad­
vertising and industrial relations.
Other administrative employees in
staff positions include accountants,
lawyers, and market researchers.
Sales personnel hold about 1 out
of every 25 jobs in the industry.
Salesmen of conventional office
machines usually work on their
own. Computer salesmen, on the
other hand, are assisted by a host of
technical experts, such as engineers
and systems analysts. Because the
computer is complex and expensive,
the computer salesman may have to
spend several months to complete a
sale.
Clerical Occupations. Nearly 1 out
of every 6 workers in the industry is
in a clerical job. Included in this
group are secretaries, clerk-typists,
file clerks, bookkeepers, and busi­
ness machine operators, as well as
computer personnel such as key­
punch operators and console opera­
tors.
Plant Occupations. Half of the
office machine and computer manu­
facturing industry employees are
plant (blue-collar) workers. Most
plant workers are engaged directly
in making computers and office
machines. Included in this group are
assemblers, inspectors or testers,
machinists, machine tool operators,
and the foremen who supervise
these workers. Truckdrivers, mate­
rial handlers, power truck opera­
tors, guards, and janitors move ma­
terials and perform custodial duties.
In addition, plumbers and pipefit­
ters, electricians, carpenters, and
other workers maintain production
machinery and building facilities.
Assembly Occupations. (D.O.T.
590.885;
692.782;
706.884;
726.781 and .884.) Workers who




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

assemble computers and office
machines have many different skills
and.make up the largest group of
plant workers. Most of them are
semiskilled.
Assemblers may put together
small parts to form components or
components to form the finished
product. Hand assembly is needed
for many operations. Some hand as­
semblers do a single operation as
components move down the assem­
bly line. The assembly of typewrit­
ers, for example, is divided into
many simple operations. Each as­
sembler is assigned a job to do as
the typewriter passes the work sta­
tion. Some assembly jobs are diffi­
cult and require great skill. Elec­
tronics assemblers, for example, use
schematic diagrams as guides to
wire complex memory and logic
panels for computers.
Electronic technicians usually do
the most difficult hand assembly
work. In research laboratories, they
put together complex experimental
equipment. In the plant, they as­
semble those items the operation of
which requires a knowledge of elec­
tronics theory.
Tools which assemblers use de­
pend on their job and the products
on which they work. Screw drivers,
pliers, snippers, and soldering irons
are common. They use special de­
vices to position and hold parts dur­
ing assembly. Precision equipment
may be used to weld connections in
circuit assemblies.
Machines do many assembly op­
erations. For example, automatic
machines form cores from chemical
mixtures. These are used in com­
puter memory panels. In making
circuit boards, automatic machines
position components on the boards
and solder connections. Automatic
wire-wrapping machines wire panels
and plugboards. To make sure the
machines are functioning properly,

semiskilled operators feed the
machine and remove and inspect fin­
ished items.
Machining Occupations. Most office
machine and computer manufactur­
ing plants employ metal machining
workers. Machine-tool operators
and machinists operate powerdriven machine tools to produce
metal parts for computers, typewrit­
ers, accounting machines, calcula­
tors, and other products. Numerical
control machine operators tend
machines that have been pro­
grammed to perform machining op­
erations automatically. Toolmakers
construct and repair jigs and fix­
tures used in the fabrication and as­
sembly of parts. Diemakers special­
ize in metal forms (dies) for punch
and power presses to shape metal
parts.
Inspection and Testing Operations.
When raw materials enter the
plants, testing and inspection of
office machines and computers
begins and continues throughout op­
erations. Finished components and
products are tested and inspected
thoroughly.
Some inspectors examine individ­
ual parts; others inspect components
during fabrication and subassembly;
still others inspect completed office
machines and computers. Many
jobs require highly skilled workers.
On the other hand, relatively un­
skilled people can run some auto­
matic equipment, which not only
checks the component or assembly
under test, but may run simulta­
neous checks on itself. Workers
who feed or monitor automatic test
equipment are called test-set opera­
tors or testing machine operators.
Job titles indicate the work many
inspectors do. Machined parts
inspectors (D.O.T. 609.381) use
precision testing instruments to de­

OFFICE MACHINE AND COMPUTER MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

termine whether parts have been
machined properly to conform to
blueprint
specifications.
Type
inspectors (D.O.T. 706.687) exam­
ine typewriter type under magnify­
ing glass for defects such as burrs
and incomplete or off-center char­
acters.
Electronic subassembly
inspectors (D.O.T. 726.384) use
continuity meters and measuring de­
vices such as calipers and microme­
ters to examine computer circuits
and other electronic subassemblies.
Electronic assembly inspectors
(D.O.T. 722.281) use frequency
meters and other instruments to test
electronic systems such as computer
memory units.
In plants that manufacture con­
ventional office machines, such as
typewriters and adding machines,
final inspection is relatively simple.
Inspectors operate the machines,
look for defects, and refer malfunc­
tioning machines to repairmen. The
final inspection or “debugging” of
computers, on the other hand, is
very complex. Electronic techni­
cians inspect new computers under
the supervision of electronic engi­
neers. They use oscilloscopes and
other devices to run tests and sche­
matic drawings to locate causes of
malfunctions. Performances of new
computers are checked against per­
formances of computers already in
operation.
Maintenance Occupations. Many
maintenance workers with different
types of training take care of ma­
chinery and equipment. Skilled elec­
tricians are responsible for the
proper maintenance of electrical
equipment. Machine and equipment
repairmen make mechanical repairs.
Maintenance machinists and welders
build and repair equipment and fix­
tures. Air-conditioning and refrig­
eration mechanics are employed in
plants which are air-conditioned




and have special refrigerated and
dust-free rooms. Painters, plumbers,
pipefitters, carpenters, sheet-metal
workers, and other building mainte­
nance craftsmen also are employed
in office machine and computer
plants.
Other Plant Occupations. Employed
in materials movement and handling
are operators of plant trucks and
tractors; forklift operators who
stack crates and load and unload
trucks and boxcars; and truckdrivers who handle transportation out­
side the plant. Other occupations in­
clude boiler operator and stationary
engineer, plant guard, and janitor.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

A bachelor’s degree in engineer­
ing or one of the sciences is usually
the minimum requirement for engi­
neering and scientific jobs. For re­
search and development work, ap­
plicants with advanced degrees
generally are preferred. Some com­
panies have formal training pro­
grams designed to give young college
graduates a broad picture of manu­
facturing operations before they are
assigned to a particular department.
Because of the highly technical na­
ture of computers, many of the in­
dustry’s executives have back­
grounds in engineering or science.
Engineers and scientists, as well
as graduates of business administra­
tion and liberal arts colleges, are
employed as salesmen, program­
mers, and systems analysts. How­
ever, most business and liberal arts
graduates are employed in account­
ing, labor-management relations,
and other administrative activities.
Technicians qualify for their jobs
in a number of ways. Some have at­

697

tended either a public, private, or
Armed Forces technical school.
Others have had 1 or more years of
scientific or engineering training,
but have not completed all of the
requirements for a degree. Techni­
cians may be promoted from lower
grade jobs in the plant. A few wellqualified technicians have advanced
to engineering jobs, after complet­
ing courses in mathematics, engi­
neering, and related subjects.
People who have completed com­
mercial courses in high school or
business school are trained in cleri­
cal jobs such as stenographer or
office machine operator. For com­
puter console operators, most firms
prefer to hire people who have
some college or technical training in
data processing. With additional
training, clerical workers can ad­
vance to programmer jobs.
In selecting workers for plant
jobs, firms generally prefer high
school or vocational school gradu­
ates. Training varies from a few
days to years of on-the-job instruc­
tion and experience. Skilled inspec­
tors and craftsmen, such as machin­
ists and tool and die makers, may
spend 3 to 4 years in learning their
jobs. Frequently, openings for
skilled jobs are filled by qualified
young workers already in the plant.
Some firms have formal apprentice­
ship programs, which include both
on-the-job training and classroom
instruction related to the particular
craft. For example, a machinist ap­
prentice would study blueprint read­
ing, mechanical drawing, shop
mathematics, physics, and other
subjects.
Workers who have little or no
previous experience or training are
hired for less skilled inspection, as­
sembly, and machining jobs. Appli­
cants may have to pass aptitude
tests and demonstrate ability for
particular types of work. Most as­

698

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

sembly and inspection jobs require
good vision and color perception,
manual dexterity, and patience. In­
experienced workers receive onthe-job training, usually ranging
from a few days to several weeks.
In addition, some plants conduct
classroom training of short duration.
Experienced plant workers can
advance to higher grades. Assem­
blers can become semiskilled
inspectors, and eventually skilled
inspectors. Machine tool operators
can move to skilled machinists.
Craftsmen and skilled inspectors
can become technicians, after com­
pleting courses in company-oper­
ated schools, junior colleges, or
technical schools. Foremen jobs are
open to well qualified plant workers
who have supervisory ability.

Employment Outlook

During the 1970’s employment in
this industry is expected to rise
rapidly and create several thousand
new jobs each year. Additional
openings will result from the need
to replace experienced workers who
retire, die, or transfer to other fields
of work.
Employment growth is expected
to be concentrated in plants pro­
ducing electronic computer equip­
ment. A rapid increase in the de­
mand for computers is anticipated
during the 1970’s. As the economy
expands and becomes more com­
plex, computers will become in­
creasingly useful to business, gov­
ernment agencies, and other organi­
zations. Demand also will be
stimulated as new uses for comput­
ers are developed.
Growth in the number of com­
puters will be accompanied by a
need for additional peripheral
equipment—input and output, stor­
age, and communication devices.




Much of the peripheral equipment
is used for computer time sharing
—the multiple use of a large central
computer via remote control termi­
nals located at a desk or in a labora­
tory—to make computer technology
available to small organizations.
Time sharing is expected to expand
rapidly into areas such as hospital
administration and education. A
growing number of small busi­
nesses, laboratories, schools, and
other organizations also are ex­
pected to buy or lease “mini-com­
puters.” Introduced in the late
1960’s, these relatively inexpensive
small units also are being used by
large organizations to control manu­
facturing processes and screen and
prepare data before it is fed into
large computers.
Employment in plants producing
conventional office machines is ex­
pected to grow slowly. Most job
openings will result from the need
to replace experienced workers who
retire, die, or transfer to other fields
of work. The demand for most
types of office machines is expected
to rise rapidly during the 1970’s, as
business and governm ent organiza­
tions grow and the volume of paper­
work increases. However, Japanese
and European imports have been
gaining a greater share of the do­
mestic office machinery market and
this trend may continue. Moreover,
technological
improvements
in
production methods are expected to
increase output per worker. For ex­
ample, increasing mechanization of
operations formerly done by hand
will tend to reduce labor require­
ments, particularly in plants where
products are mass-produced, such
as typewriters and calculators.
Some occupational groups in the
office machine and computer manu­
facturing industry are expected to
grow faster than others. For exam­
ple, the number of professional and

administrative workers particularly
engineers, scientists, technicians,
systems analysts, and programers,
is expected to increase more rapidly
than the number of clerical and
plant workers. Demand for these
workers will be spurred by contin­
ued high levels of research and de­
velopment expenditures to improve
production
processes,
advance
machine capabilities, and broaden
the use of computers.
Secretaries, stenographers, typ­
ists, and computer operating per­
sonnel will account for most of the
growth in clerical occupations.
More extensive use of computers in
routine paperwork may result in a
decline in the employment of book­
keepers and file clerks.
Semiskilled production ^workers,
such as assemblers and inspectors,
are expected to account for most of
the increase in plant occupations
despite the growing use of auto­
mated and mechanized assembly
line equipment. However, employ­
ment of maintenance and repair
workers to keep this equipment in
good working order will increase
m ore rapidly than em ploym ent of

semiskilled production workers.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of plant workers in the
office machine and computer indus­
try are higher than the average for
other manufacturing industries. In
1970, their earnings averaged
$152.11 a week, or $3.71 an hour
compared with $133.73 a week, or
$3.36 an hour, for plant workers in
manufacturing industries as a
whole.
National wage data are not avail­
able for individual occupations in
the office machine and computer in­
dustry. However, the following tab­
ulation, based on data obtained

699

OFFICE MACHINE AND COMPUTER MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

from a small number of union-man­
agement contracts, provides an ex­
ample of the range in hourly wage
rates for selected occupations in
1969-70.
Assemblers ............................... $2.11-3.37
Inspectors ................................. 2.11-3.83
Maintenance workers .............. 2.71-3.83
Machinists and machine tool
operators ............................... 2.58-4.01
Electronics technicians ............ 3.12-4.63

Some employees work night
shifts and weekends because many
plants operate around the clock.
Employees working second or third
shifts or more than 8 hours a day or
40 hours a week generally receive
extra pay.
Paid vacations and holidays are
almost universal in this industry.
Most employees receive 1 to 4
weeks of vacation, depending on
length of service. Most employees




also receive insurance and pension
benefits at least partially financed by
the employer, including life, sick­
ness, accident, hospitalization, and
surgical benefits. Employee stock
purchase plans are in effect in many
firms.
In general, the work surroundings
in office machine and computer
plants are more favorable than
those in most other types of manu­
facturing plants. Work stations usu­
ally are well-lighted and clean, and
free from dust, fumes, and loud
noises. Many computer factories are
relatively new and are located in
suburban areas.
Some plant jobs are repetitious,
but very few require great physical
effort. Office machine and computer
manufacturing has fewer and less
severe injuries than the average for
all manufacturing.

Many plant workers are covered
by labor-management contracts.
The principal unions in this industry
are the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers;
the International Union, United Au­
tomobile, Aerospace and Agricul­
tural Implement Workers of Amer­
ica; the International Union of
Electrical, Radio and Machine
Workers; and the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Where To Go For Additional
Information
Business Equipment and Manufac­
turers Association, 1728 L Street,
N W , Washington, D.C. 20006.
American Federation of Information
Processing Societies, Inc., 210
Summit Avenue, Montvale, N.J.
07645.

operate and control specialized pa­
permaking, finishing, and converting
machines. Some workers install and
repair papermaking machinery,
converting equipment, pumps, and
measuring instruments. Truck driv­
duced paperboard boxes and con­ ers make deliveries to and from
tainers; the remainder worked in plants, and other workers load and
plants that produced a variety of unload trucks, railroad cars, and
ships. Guards, watchmen, and jani­
other paper products.
More than 80 percent of the in­ tors do custodial work. Other
dustry’s employees worked in facto­ workers keep inventory records of
ries employing 100 workers or stock and tools.
more.
The industry employs many
Workers in this industry are lo­ workers in clerical, sales, and ad­
cated throughout the country, al­ ministrative occupations. For exam­
though about half are employed in ple, it employs purchasing agents,
eight States: New York, Pennsylva­ personnel managers,
salesmen,
nia, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Mas­ office clerks, stenographers, book­
sachusetts, New Jersey, and Califor­ keepers, and business machine op­
nia. Other States having large num­ erators. Also, because of the com­
bers of paperworkers are Michigan, plex processes and equipment used,
Georgia, Washington, Maine, Flor­ the industry employs many profes­
ida, Texas, North Carolina, and Al­ sional and technical workers, in­
abama.
cluding chemical and mechanical
engineers,
chemists, laboratory
technicians, and pulp and paper
testers. (Detailed discussions of
Occupations in the Industry
professional, technical, and me­
Workers in the paper industry are chanical occupations, found not
employed in a wide variety of occu­ only in the paper industry but in
pations, requiring a broad range of other industries, are given elsewhere
training and skills. Many workers in the Handbook in sections cover-

O C C U P A T I O N S IN T H E P A P E R ,
A N D A L L IE D P R O D U C T S
IN D U S T R IE S

In 1970, the paper and allied
products industry employed approx­
imately 710,000 people to produce
many different kinds of paper and
paperboard products. The industry
employs workers in occupations
ranging from unskilled to highly
specialized technical and profes­
sional jobs, many found only in the
paper industry.
About 150,000 women were em­
ployed in this industry in 1970.
Many worked in plant jobs, mainly
as machine operators and inspectors
in paper finishing and converting
plants; others worked in office jobs.
Few women were employed in the
actual production of pulp and
paper.

Nature and Location of the
Industry

The paper industry is highly
mechanized. Pulp, paper, and many
finished paper products are manu­
factured by machines—some as
long as a football field—in a series
of nearly automatic operations that
require very little handling of mate­
rials by workers. Manufacturing
plants in the paper industry are en­
gaged in one or more of three dif­
ferent operations. The production
of pulp (the basic ingredient of
paper) from wood, reused fibers, or
other raw materials; the manufac­
ture of paper or paperboard (thick
paper) from pulp; or the conversion
of rolls of paper or paperboard into
finished products.
The largest group of employees
in the industry in 1970 worked in
mills that produced pulp, paper, or
paperboard. The next largest group
was employed in plants that pro­
700



OCCUPATIONS IN THE PAPER, AND ALLIED PRODUCTS INDUSTRIES

sure; he also directs the loading of
the digester with wood chips and
chemicals. By checking an instru­
Production Jobs. More than three- ment panel, he makes certain that
fourths of all employees in the in­ proper conditions are being main­
dustry in 1970 worked in produc­ tained. When the pulp fibers are re­
tion jobs. The simplified description moved from the digester, they are
of papermaking occupations and washed to remove chemicals, par­
processes that follows applies to a tially cooked chips, and other im­
plant which combines the produc­ purities. These fibers, called pulp,
tion of pulp, paper, and finished resemble wet, brown cotton.
paper products into one continuous
To turn pulp into paper, the pulp
operation. (See chart 30.)
is mixed thoroughly with water and
After pulpwood logs are received further refined in a machine oper­
at the pulp mill, the bark is re­ ated by a skilled worker called a
moved. One machine used for this beater engineer (D.O.T. 530.782).
operation is a large revolving cylin­ The kind and amount of chemicals
der known as a “drum barker.” and dyes he uses and the length of
Logs are fed mechanically into this time he “beats” the solution deter­
machine by a semiskilled worker mines the color and strength of the
called a barker operator (D.O.T. paper.
The pulp solution, now more
533.782) . The machine cleans bark
from the logs by tumbling them than 99 percent water, is turned
against each other and also against into paper or paperboard by ma­
the rough inner surface of the drum. chines which are among the largest
Next, pulp fibers in the logs are sep­ in American industry. The machines
arated from other substances not are of two general types. One is the
used in papermaking. This is done Fourdrinier machine, by far the
by a chemical or mechanical proc­ most commonly used; the other is
ess, or both, depending on the type the cylinder machine used to make
of wood used and the grade of
paper desired.
In the mechanical process, pulpwood is held against a fast-revolving
grindstone that separates the fibers.
In the more commonly used chemi­
cal process, pulpwood is carried on
conveyor belts to a chipper machine
operated by a chipperman (D.O.T.
668.885). The machine cuts the
pulpwood into chips about the size
of a quarter. These wood chips are
“cooked” with chemicals under high
temperature and pressure in a
“digester,” a kettlelike vat several
stories high. The digester is oper­
ated by a skilled worker called a
digester
operator
(D.O.T.
532.782) . He determines the
amount of chemicals to be used and
the cooking temperature and pres­

ing individual occupations.
index for page numbers.)




See

701

particular types of paper such as
building and container board. In the
Fourdrinier, the pulp solution pours
into a continuously moving and vi­
brating belt of fine wire screen. As
the water drains, millions of pulp
fibers adhere to one another, form­
ing a thin wet sheet of paper. After
passing through presses that
squeeze out more water, the newly
formed paper passes through the
dryer section of the papermaking
machine to evaporate remaining
water.
The quality of the paper pro­
duced largely depends on the skill of
the
paper machine
operator
(D.O.T. 539.782). His principal
responsibility is to control the
“wet-end” of the papermaking
machine, where paper of a specified
thickness, width, and physical
strength is formed. He checks con­
trol-panel instruments to make cer­
tain that the flow of pulp and the
speed of the machine are coordi­
nated. The paper machine operator
also determines whether the paper
meets required specifications by in­
terpreting laboratory tests or, in

702

some instances, by visually checking
or feeling the paper. He supervises
the less skilled workers of the
machine crew and, with their help,
keeps the paper moving smoothly
through the machine. The paper
machine operator and his crew also
may replace Worn felts and wire
screens. The backtender (D.O.T.
532.885), who is supervised by the
paper machine operator, controls
the “dry-end” of the papermaking
machine, where paper is dried and
prepared either for shipment or
conversion into finished products.
He controls the pressure and tem­
perature of the rolls that dry and
finish the paper and give it the cor­
rect thickness, inspects the paper
for imperfections, and makes sure
that it is being wound tightly and
uniformly into rolls. The backtender
also adjusts the machinery that cuts
the rolls into smaller rolls and, with
the help of assistants, may weigh
and wrap the rolls for shipment.
Paper mills that produce a fine
grade of paper for books, maga­
zines, or stationery usually maintain
finishing departments. Most workers
in these departments are either semi­
skilled or unskilled. One semi­
skilled worker, the supercalendar op­
erator (D.O.T. 534.782), aided by
several helpers and by mechanical
handling equipment, places huge
rolls of paper onto a machine that
gives the paper a smooth and glossy
finish. He also inspects the finished
paper to make sure that specifica­
tions have been met. Another semi­
skilled worker in the finishing de­
partment, the paper sorter and
counter (D.O.T. 649.687), inspects
sheets of paper for tears, dirt spots,
and wrinkles, counts them, and may
fill customer orders.
In converting plants, machines
operated by semiskilled or skilled
workers convert paper and paperboard into envelopes, napkins, cor­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

rugated shipping containers, and
other paper products. Occupations
in converting plants differ widely,
depending largely on the product
being manufactured. An example of
a semiskilled worker in an enve­
lope-making plant is the envelope
machine
operator
(D.O.T.
641.885) who feeds and tends an
automatic machine that makes en­
velopes from either rolls of paper or
prepared envelope blanks. An ex­
ample of a skilled worker in a con­
verting plant is the corrugator oper­
ator (D.O.T. 643.782) who regu­
lates the speed of the machine that
glues together pieces of paperboard
into corrugated paperboard used for
shipping containers. Another of the
few skilled workers in a converting
plant is the printer-slotter operator
(D.O.T. 651.782) who sets, ad­
justs, and operates a machine that
cuts and creases corrugated or pa­
perboard sheets and prints designs
or lettering on them. He also posi­
tions the printing plates and cutting
devices and turns keys to control
the distribution of printing ink,
pressure of rollers, and speed of the
machine. Another skilled worker is
the die maker (D.O.T. 739.381)
who makes cutting dies used on
machines that produce folding car­
tons (the familiar collapsible car­
tons used by clothing stores to pack
purchases).
Converting plants employ thou­
sands of workers to print text, de­
signs, and lettering on paper prod­
ucts, such as cartons, bags, labels,
wallpaper, and envelopes. Among
these are skilled compositors who
set type, and pressmen who prepare
and operate printing presses.
Maintenance Jobs. The paper in­
dustry employs many skilled main­
tenance workers to care for its com­
plex machinery and electrical equip­
ment.

Millwrights install and repair ma­
chinery and equipment and examine
paper machine rolls, bearings, and
pumps to insure that they are in
good working condition. They also
take apart and reassemble machines
and equipment when they are
moved about the plant.
Instrument repairmen install and
service electrical, electronic, and
mechanical instruments that meas­
ure and control the flow of pulp,
paper, water, steam, and chemical
additives. The job of instrument re­
pairman is becoming increasingly
important with the greater use of
automatic control equipment.
Other important maintenance
employees include electricians, who
repair wiring, motors, control pan­
els, and switches; maintenance ma­
chinists, who make replacement
parts for mechanical equipment;
and pipefitters, who lay out, install,
and repair pipes.
Stationary engineers are em­
ployed to operate and maintain
powerplants, steam engines, boilers,
air compressors, motors, and tur­
bines.
Professional and Technical Occupa­
tions. The complexity of pulp and
paper manufacturing requires thou­
sands of workers who have engi­
neering, chemical, or other techni­
cal training. Approximately 15,000
scientists and engineers and 7,000
technicians were employed by the
paper industry in 1970.
Many chemists are employed to
control the quality of the product by
supervising the testing of pulp and
paper. In research laboratories,
chemists study the influence of vari­
ous chemicals on pulp and paper
properties. In addition, some chem­
ists and engineers are employed as
salesmen, supervisors of plant
workers, or as administrators in po-

OCCUPATIONS IN THE PAPER, AND ALLIED PRODUCTS INDUSTRIES

703

tively, executives require informa­
tion from a wide variety of person­
nel, including accountants, sales
representatives, lawyers, and per­
sonnel employed in industrial rela­
tions, transportation, market re­
search, and other activities. Book­
keepers, secretaries, shipping clerks,
and other clerical workers keep rec­
ords of personnel, payroll, invento­
ries, sales, shipments, and plant
maintenance.

The quality of paper is tested by workers in the laboratory.

sitions requiring technical knowl­
edge.
Chemical and mechanical engi­
neers transform new pulp and pa­
permaking techniques developed
in the laboratory into practical
production methods. Some chemical
engineers are employed in plant
jobs to supervise the production
process.
Electrical engineers are employed
to supervise the operation of electri­
cal and electronic instruments and
power-generating and distributing
equipment.
Packaging engineers (D.O.T.
019.187) design and supervise the
production of paper and paperboard containers and packages. A
few box manufacturers also employ
artists who develop letterings, de­
signs, and colors for containers.
Professionally trained foresters
manage large areas of timberland
and assist in the wood-buying oper­
ations of pulp and paper companies.
They map forest areas, plan and su­
pervise the harvesting and cutting of
trees, and seed or plant new trees to
assure continuous production of
timber.
Systems analysts and computer
programers are becoming increas­
ingly important to this industry.




They analyze business and produc­
tion problems and convert them to a
form suitable for solution by auto­
matic data-processing equipment.
Frequent tests are performed
during the manufacture of pulp or
paper to determine whether size,
weight, strength, color, and other
properties of the material meet
specified standards. Some testing is
done by machine operators, but in
many mills testing technicians are
employed. These employees, who
have job titles such as laboratory
technician, paper tester, pulp tester,
paper inspector, and chemical ana­
lyst, work in plant laboratories.
They use chemicals and laboratory
testing equipment when performing
tests. They also assist professional
engineers and chemists in research
and development activities. De­
pending on their training and expe­
rience, technicians may perform
simple, routine tests or do highly
skilled technical or analytical work.
Administrative, Clerical and Related
Occupations. The paper industry
employs many administrative, cleri­
cal, and other office personnel. Ex­
ecutives, many of whom are techni­
cally trained, plan and administer
company policy. To work effec­

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Training for new workers ranges
from a few days to years. Many op­
erating jobs can be learned in a few
days of on-the-job training. On the
other hand, maintenance jobs, some
machine operating jobs, and, partic­
ularly, engineering and scientific
jobs require years of specialized
training.
Paper and pulp companies gener­
ally hire inexperienced workers for
processing and maintenance jobs
and train them on the job. Many
companies prefer to hire high
school graduates between the ages
of 18 and 25. Production workers
usually start as laborers or helpers
and advance along fairly welldefined paths to more skilled jobs.
Maintenance jobs generally are
filled by men trained in the plant.
When no qualified workers are
available, however, jobs are filled
by hiring experienced men from
outside the plant.
Some large plants have formal
apprenticeship programs for main­
tenance workers. Under these pro­
grams, which usually last 3 to 4
years, young men are trained for
jobs such as machinist, electrician,
millwright, and pipefitter. Gener­
ally, an applicant is given a physical
examination, mechanical aptitude

704

tests, and similar qualifying tests.
Apprenticeship includes both onthe-job training and classroom in­
struction related to the occupation.
For example, the machinist appren­
tice receives classroom instructions
in mathematics, blueprint reading,
shop theory, and specialized sub­
jects. During shop training he
learns the use and care of the tools
of his trade.
A bachelor’s degree from a rec­
ognized college is usually the mini­
mum educational requirement for
scientists, engineers, foresters, and
other specialists. For research work,
persons with advanced degrees are
preferred. Many engineers and chem­
ists (called process engineers and
paper chemists) have specialized
training in paper technology. A list
of schools offering such training is
available from the American Paper
Institute, 260 Madison Ave., New
York, N.Y. 10016. Many compa­
nies hire students specializing in
papermaking for summer work, and
upon graduation frequently hire
them on a permanent basis. Some
associations, colleges, universities,
and individual companies offer
scholarships in pulp and papermak­
ing technology.
Some companies have formal
training programs for college gradu­
ates having engineering or scientific
backgrounds. These employees may
work for brief periods in various
plant operating divisions to gain a
broad knowledge of pulp and paper
manufacturing before being as­
signed to a particular department.
Other firms immediately assign jun­
ior chemists or engineers to a spe­
cific research operation or mainte­
nance unit.
Generally, no specialized educa­
tion is required for laboratory as­
sistants, testing technicians, or other
kinds of technicians. Some em­
ployers, however, prefer to hire




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

those who have had training in a
technical institute or junior college.
Training usually is given on the job.
Laboratory assistants, for example,
begin in routine jobs and advance
to positions of greater responsibility
after they have acquired experience
and demonstrated ability to work
with minimum supervision.
Administrative positions are filled
frequently by men and women who
have college degrees in business ad­
ministration, marketing, accounting,
industrial relations, or other special­
ized business fields. A knowledge of
paper technology is helpful for ad­
ministrative and sales occupations.
This is true especially for sales jobs,
where customers often require tech­
nical assistance. Most pulp and
paper companies employ clerks,
bookkeepers, stenographers, and
typists who have had commercial
courses in high school or business
school.
Factors affecting advancement of
plant workers include the length of

time a worker has held a plant job,
how well he performs his job, and
his physical condition. Promotion
generally is limited to jobs within a
“work area,” which may be a de­
partment, section, or an operation
on one type of machine. To become
a paper machine tender, for exam­
ple, the worker may start as a la­
borer, wrapping and sealing finished
rolls of paper as they come off the
papermaking machine. As he gains
experience and skill, he moves to
more difficult assignments, finally
becoming a machine tender in
charge of operating a machine.
These promotions may take years,
depending on the availability of
jobs. Experience gained within a
work area usually is not transfera­
ble; unskilled or semiskilled
workers who transfer to jobs outside
their seniority area or to other
plants usually must start in entry
jobs.
Many plant foremen and supervi­
sors are former production workers.

705

OCCUPATIONS IN THE PAPER, AND ALLIED PRODUCTS INDUSTRIES

In some plants, qualified workers
may be promoted directly to fore­
man or other supervisory positions.
In others, workers are given addi­
tional training before they are eligi­
ble for promotion to higher level
jobs. This training often is contin­
ued after the worker is promoted—
through conferences, special plant
training sessions, and sometimes by
taking courses at universities or
trade schools. Most firms provide
some financial assistance for em­
ployees who take training courses
outside their plant.

Employment Outlook

Employment in the paper and al­
lied products industry is expected to
increase slowly through the 1970’s.
Most job openings will stem from
the need to replace experienced
workers who retire, transfer to
other fields of work, or die.
Production of paper is expected
to increase substantially during the
1970’s to meet increased demand
resulting from population growth,
business expansion, and new uses of
paper. For example, rising popula­
tion will create a greater demand
for textbooks, writing papers, peri­
odicals, and newspapers. Business
expansion will increase the need for
paper products such as business
forms and packaging. The greater
use of paper products such as dis­
posable garments and refuse bags
also is expected to stimulate pro­
duction. Employment will increase at
a slower rate than production, how­
ever, because of the increasing use
of more efficient, laborsaving ma­
chinery and automatic control
equipment.
Occupational groups in the indus­
try are expected to increase at dif­
ferent rates. The numbers of engi­
neers, scientists, technicians, and




skilled workers, such as electricians
and machinery repairmen, are ex­
pected to increase faster than other
occupational groups in the industry.
More scientific and technical per­
sonnel will be needed as research
and development activities increase,
and more skilled repairmen will be
required to service the growing in­
ventory of complex machinery. The
employment of administrative and
clerical workers also is expected to
increase at a faster pace than total
employment. On the other hand,
employment of semiskilled workers
will grow more slowly, while the
number of helpers, laborers, and
other unskilled plant workers is ex­
pected to remain about the same or

decline slightly as more automatic
machinery is introduced.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Production workers in the paper
and allied products industry had av­
erage earnings of $3.44 an hour, or
$144.14 for a 41.9 hour workweek
in 1970. In the same year, earnings
of production workers in all manu­
facturing industries averaged $3.36
an hour, or $133.73 for a 39.8 hour
workweek.
The following tabulation, based
on information obtained from a
score of union-management con­
tracts in the paper industry, illus-

Supercalendar operator checks paper finish.

706

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

trates the approximate range of
hourly wage rates for selected pro­
duction and maintenance occupa­
tions in 1970. Local wage rates
within these ranges depend on geo­
graphic location, type and size of
mill, kinds of machines used, and
other factors.
P u lp p la n ts

H o u r ly r a te
ra n g es

Woodyard and wood prepara­
tion occupations:
Crane operator .................$3.41-4.46
Barker, drum .................. 3.27-4.15
Chipperman ..................... 2.87-4.03
Pulpmaking occupations:
Digester operator (cook).. 3.35-4.84
Grinderman .................... 2.94-3.75
Screenman ......................... 3.01-4.49
Bleacherman .................... 3.12-4.84
Pulp tester......................... 3.18-3.68
P ap er an d p a p erb o a rd
p la n ts

Stock preparation occupations:
Head stock preparer
(beater engineer) ........ $3.21-4.84
Beaterman ......................... 2.92-3.92
Machine room occupations:
Paper machine tender .... 3.66-5.86
Backtender ...................... 3.28-5.30
Third hand ...................... 3.01-4.48
Fourth hand .................... 2.80-4.48
Paper tester ...................... 3.10-4.11
Finishing occupations:
Supercalendar operator.... 3.16-4.24
Rewinder operator .......... 3.12-3.85
Rewinder helper .............. 2.89-3.48
Cutters ............................... 3.01-3.86
Miscellaneous occupations:
Pipefitter ........................... 3.22-4.74
Machinists ......................... 3.25-4.97
Electrician ......................... 3.53-4.87
Oiler ................................. 3.15-3.92
Janitor ............................... 2.75-3.43

Most workers in pulp and paper
producing operations work in plants
that operate around the clock—
three shifts a day, 7 days a week.
Owing to the widespread industry
practice of rotating shifts, produc­
tion workers can expect to work on
evening or night shifts from time to
time. Maintenance workers, for the
most part, are employed on the reg­




ular day shift. Many plants pay be­
tween 7 and 11 cents more an hour
for work on the evening shift and
between 12 and 15 cents extra an
hour for the night shift. Most
workers have year-round employ­
ment because paper production is
not subject to seasonal variations.
A work schedule of 40 hours a
week is in effect in most mills. A
few plants have a standard work­
week of 36 hours or less.
Paid vacations are almost always
provided and are generally based on
length of service. In most mills,
workers receive 1 week of vacation
after 1 year of employment, 2
weeks after 3 to 5 years, and 3
weeks after 8 to 10 years. Many
companies give 4 weeks vacation to
employees who have been with
them 20 years and 6 weeks after 30
years. Nearly all workers receive 6
to 11 paid holidays annually.
Insurance or pension plans,
financed completely or partially by
employers, are in effect in most
plants. These plans generally in­
clude life, sickness, accident, hospi­
talization, and surgical insurance
benefits for the employee and, in
some cases, his dependents. Em­
ployee stock-purchase and savings
plans, to which the company makes
contributions, are also in effect in
some firms.
Most pulp and papermaking jobs
do not require strenuous physical
effort. Some employees, however,
work in hot, humid, and noisy
areas. They also may be exposed to
disagreeable odors from chemicals
used in the papermaking process.
Pulp and paper companies have
made intensive efforts in recent
years to improve working condi­
tions.
The rate of disabling injuries in
this industry has been about the

same as the rate for all manufactur­
ing in recent years. Protective cloth­
ing, warning signs in danger areas,
locking devices on potentially dan­
gerous equipment, guards and rails
around moving machinery, and in­
struction in safe practices have been
important in reducing the accident
rate. Some of the more hazardous
jobs are located in converting plants
where many cutting tools and mov­
ing equipment are used.
A majority of production workers
in this industry are members of
trade unions. A large number be­
long to the International Brother­
hood of Pulp, Sulphite and Paper
Mill Workers; the United Papermakers and Paperworkers; or the
Association of Western Pulp and
Paper Workers. Many printing
workers belong to the International
Printing Pressmen and Assistants’
Union of North America. Some
maintenance workers and other
craftsmen belong to various craft
unions.
Sources of Additional Information

Further information about job
opportunities and working condi­
tions in this industry is available
from local offices of the State em­
ployment service and from:
American Forest Institute, 1835 K
St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20006.
American Paper Institute, 260 Mad­
ison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016.
Fibre Box Association, 224 South
Michigan Ave., Chicago, 111.
60604.
National Paper Box Manufacturers
Association, Inc., 121 North
Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa.
19107.
Paper Industry Management Asso­
ciation, 2570 Devon Ave., Des
Plaines, 111. 60018.

PETROLEUM

The petroleum and natural gas
industries provide about 75 percent
of all the energy fuels consumed in
this country. Products refined from
crude oil supply the fuels and lubri­
cants used for nearly all motor vehi­
cles, locomotives, aircraft, and
ships. Oil and gas provide much of
the heat for homes, factories, and
commercial establishments, as well
as the fuel for over one-quarter of
the electric power generated in this
country. In addition, basic petro­
leum compounds are essential in the
manufacture of hundreds of prod­
ucts in everyday use, such as syn­
thetic rubber, and plastics.
In 1970 about 153.4 thousand
workers, who have a wide range of
educational backgrounds and skills,
were employed in the various activi­
ties that make up the petroleum re­
fining industry. This chapter deals
with the jobs and activities involved
in refining oil. The Handbook dis­
cusses in a separate chapter occupa­
tions concerned with petroleum and
natural gas production and process­
ing.

R E F IN IN G

flow, volume, temperature, and
pressure of liquids and gases going
through the equipment. Manual
handling of materials is virtually
eliminated in the modern refinery.
Briefly, the first step in petroleum
refining consists of heating crude oil
as it flows through a series of pipes
in a furnace. The vapors from the
heated oil pass into a tower where
the various “fractions,” or parts, of
crude oil are condensed. The heavi­
est parts (for example, asphalt) are
drawn off along the bottom of the
tower where temperatures are high­

est; lighter parts, jet fuel and auto­
motive diesel fuel are drawn off
along the middle of the tower; and
the lightest and most volatile (gaso­
line and gases) are taken off at the
top where temperatures are lowest.
Further processing by more com­
plicated methods combines or modi­
fies compounds obtained through
fractionating.
About 280 refineries were in op­
eration in this country in 1970.
They ranged in size from small
plants which employed fewer than
50 employees to those which em­
ployed several thousand. Although
most States have refineries, approxi­
mately 9 out of every 10 barrels of
crude oil were refined in only 10

Nature and Location of the
Industry

Petroleum
refining
converts
crude oil into gasoline, jet fuel, ker­
osene, fuel oil, lubricants, asphalt,
and other products for use in homes
and industry. The modern refinery
is a complicated facility made up of
tanks and towers connected by a
maze of pipes. From the time crude
oil enters the refinery to the ship­
ment of finished products, the flow
of production is almost continuous.
The refining process is highly instru­
mented. Operators use the instru­
ments to measure and regulate the




Operator regulates processing of crude oils from central controls.

707

708

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

States: Texas, California, Louisi­
ana, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma,
Ohio, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and
New Jersey. Refineries usually are
located near oil fields, consuming
centers, or deepwater ports where
tankers can dock.

Occupations in the Industry

About 1 out of every 4 workers
in refineries are operators. A key
worker in converting crude oil into
usable products is the Stillman
(D.O.T. 542.280), or chief opera­
tor. The Stillman is also known by
such job titles as coker operator and
cracking operator. He is responsible
for the efficient operation of one
processing unit or more. The opera­
tor monitors instrument readings for
any changes in temperature, pres­
sure, and oil flow. In the modern re­
fineries, the operator can watch in­
struments on graphic panels which
show the entire operation of all proc­
essing units in the refinery. He reg­
ulates the instruments so that oil
products will meet specifications.
From time to time, the operator pa­
trols all units for which he is re­
sponsible to check their operating
condition and to take samples for
testing. The number and size of the
units determine whether he has
more than one assistant (D.O.T.
542.782).
Other plant workers whose jobs
are related to the processing of
crude oil include pumpmen or pump­
ers (D.O.T. 549.782) and their
helpers (D.O.T. 549.884), who
maintain and operate power-driven
pumps which circulate petroleum
products, chemicals, and water
through units during processing; and
treaters (D.O.T. 549.782), who op­
erate equipment to remove impuri­
ties from gasoline, oil, and other pe­
troleum products.




In many refineries, a large per­
centage of the plant workers repair,
rebuild, and clean the highly com­
plicated refinery equipment. In
other plants, maintenance work is
contracted to companies outside the
petroleum industry. A large number
of maintenance workers are needed
because of the complex equipment
and the fact that high heat and pres­
sure and corrosion quickly wear out
equipment. Included among these
are skilled boilermakers, carpenters,
electricians, instrument repairmen,
lead burners, machinists, masons,
painters, pipefitters, insulators, rig­
gers, sheetmetal workers, and weld­
ers. Many helpers and trainees are
also in these trades. Some skilled
workers have a primary skill in one
craft as well as the ability to handle
the duties of closely related crafts.
For example, a pipefitter also may
be able to do boilermaking and
welding repair work on a piece of
equipment. Maintenance workers
who have such combined jobs are
sometimes called refinery mechan­
ics.
Plant workers who do not oper­
ate or maintain equipment do a vari­
ety of other tasks in refineries.
Some workers are employed in the
packaging and shipping department;
some load and unload materials on
trucks, trains, or ships; some drive
trucks and tractors to deliver mate­
rials to various parts of the plant;
and others keep inventory records
of stock and tools. The industry also
employs custodial workers such as
guards and watchmen.
About 13 percent (slightly fewer
than 20,000), of the workers in pe­
troleum refining are scientists, engi­
neers, and technicians, compared
with almost 12 percent (slightly
fewer than 32,000) in petroleum
production. Among these profes­
sional and technical refinery
workers are chemists, chemical en­

gineers, mechanical engineers, pe­
troleum engineers, systems engi­
neers, waste treatment engineers,
electrical engineers, metallurgical
engineers, laboratory technicians,
and draftsmen. Chemists and labo­
ratory technicians control the qual­
ity of petroleum products by making
tests and analyses to determine
chemical and physical properties.
Some chemists and chemical engi­
neers are engaged in research and
development activities to develop
new products and processes and to
improve those already produced.
Laboratory technicians also assist
chemists in research projects or do
routine testing and sample taking.
Some engineers design chemical
processing equipment and plant lay­
out and others supervise refining

709

PETROLEUM REFINING

processes. Waste treatment engi­
neers and technicians are engaged
in improving treatment and disposal
of refinery waste waters and gases.
Draftsmen prepare detailed plans
and drawings needed in refinery
construction and maintenance.
Many administrative, clerical,
and other white-collar personnel are
employed by refining companies. A
large number of top administrative
and management positions are filled
by technically trained people, many
of whom are chemists or engineers.
Other specialized workers in the
field of administration include ac­
countants, purchasing agents, law­
yers, and personnel and training
specialists. Many typists, stenogra­
phers, secretaries, bookkeepers, and
business machine operators are em­
ployed to assist these specialized
workers. The increasing use of com­
puters in petroleum refining re­
quires workers trained as systems
analysts, coders, programmers, and
key punch operators. (Detailed dis­
cussions of professional, technical,
mechanical, and other occupations
found not only in the petroleum re­
fining industry but also in other in­
dustries are given in the section of
this Handbook covering the individ­
ual occupations. See index for page
numbers.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Petroleum refineries typically re­
quire new plant workers to have a
high school or vocational school ed­
ucation. In large refineries, aptitude
and psychological testing and inter­
viewing may be used in selecting
employees. Usually, a new worker
begins as an aid in a labor pool
where he does such jobs as moving
materials, packing cartons, or filling
barrels. Depending on his particular




aptitudes and seniority he may be
transferred to the processing depart­
ment or maintenance shop when a
vacancy occurs.
A worker newly assigned to a
processing department learns to op­
erate processing equipment under
the supervision of experienced
workers. As he gains experience
and know-how, he moves to the
more skilled jobs in his department.
For example, one line of advance­
ment for a processing worker may
be from helper to assistant operator
to chief operator. Formal training
courses frequently are provided to
assure thorough and current knowl­
edge in a variety of operations.
An inexperienced worker who is
assigned to a maintenance shop re­
ceives training on the job under the
supervision of the foreman. In some
refineries, he also may receive class­
room instruction related to his par­
ticular work. Over a period of 3 or 4
years, he may advance from helper
to skilled craftsman in one of the
maintenance jobs. Some large refin­
eries have programs under which
workers are given training in several
related maintenance crafts. For ex­
ample, a qualified instrument re­
pairman may be given additional
training as electrician or machinist.
For scientists and engineers a
bachelor’s degree in science or engi­
neering usually is the minimum edu­
cational requirement. For research
jobs, scientists and engineers with
advanced degrees are preferred. For
most laboratory assistant jobs, 2year technical school certificates are
required.
Laboratory assistants begin their
work in routine jobs and advance to
positions of greater responsibility as
they acquire additional experience
and demonstrate ability to work
without close supervision. Inexperi­
enced draftsmen begin as copyists
or tracers. With additional experi­

ence and training, they may ad­
vance to more skilled and responsi­
ble drafting positions. Administra­
tive positions generally are filled by
men and women who have college
degrees in business administration,
marketing, accounting, industrial re­
lations, or other specialized fields.
For positions as clerks, bookkeepers,
stenographers, and typists, most re­
fineries employ persons who have
had commercial courses in high
school or business school. For occu­
pations associated with computers,
educational requirements range
from a high school level for key
punch operators to a college degree
in the physical science field for ana­
lysts.

Employment Outlook

Through the 1970’s several thou­
sand job openings are expected
each year in petroleum refineries to
replace workers who die, retire, or
transfer to other fields.
Total employment will change lit­
tle despite continued expansion of
refinery output for the expected in­
crease in the consumption of petro­
leum products. Improved methods
of refining crude oil and larger refin­
eries with greater productive ca­
pacity will limit requirements for
new workers.
Most jobs created by turnover in
petroleum refining will be for pro­
fessional, administrative, and tech­
nical workers, particularly chemical
engineers, and technicians for re­
search and development. Among
plant workers most jobs will be in
maintenance occupation and will in­
clude instruments repairmen, pipe­
fitters, machinists, maintenance elec­
tricians, instrumentmen, and weld­
ers because of the increasing use
of automated equipment and com­
plex control instruments.

710

Earnings and Working Conditions

Refinery workers are among the
highest paid employees in American
industry. In 1970 production work­
ers in petroleum refining averaged
$189.93 a week, or $4.49 an hour
for a 42.3 hour workweek. This
salary compares with an average for
all manufacturing industries of
$133.73 a week, or $3.36 an hour.
The higher average earnings of
production workers in refineries re­
flect the relatively large proportion
of workers in skilled occupations.
Entry salaries for chemical engi­
neers in the petroleum refining in­
dustry were among the highest in
American industry, according to a
survey conducted by the American
Chemical Society in 1970. The sur­
vey showed that in this industry the
average starting salary for chemists
who have a bachelor’s degree and
no experience was $800 a month
and for chemical engineers, $925 a
month.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Most petroleum refinery workers
receive a 2-week vacation with pay
after 1 year of service; 3 weeks,
after 5 years; 4 weeks, after 10
years; and 5 weeks after 20 years.
Most refineries have adopted life in­
surance, pension, and medical and
surgical plans for their employees.
Employee stock-purchase and sav­
ings plans, to which the employer
makes contributions, are in effect in
many firms.
Because petroleum refining is a
continuous round-the-clock opera­
tion, operators may be assigned to
one of the three shifts, or they may
be rotated on various shifts and be
subject to Sunday and holiday work.
Employees usually receive 15 to 30
cents an hour additional pay when
they work on the second or third
shift. Most maintenance workers
are on duty during the day shift;
only a few work at night to handle
emergencies. Work in the industry
has little seasonal variation and re­

gular workers have year-round jobs.
Most refinery jobs require only
moderate physical effort. A few
workers, however, have to open and
close heavy valves and climb stairs
and ladders to considerable heights
in the course of their duties. Others
may work in hot places or may be
exposed to unpleasant odors. Refin­
eries are relatively safe places in
which to work. The injuryfrequency rate is about half that of
manufacturing as a whole.
A majority of refinery plant
workers are union members. A
large number of refineries have
been organized by the Oil, Chemi­
cal and Atomic Workers Interna­
tional Union. Some refinery workers
are members of AFL-CIO craft
unions or of various independent
unions.
See the petroleum and natural
gas production and processing chap­
ter for Sources of Additional Infor­
mation.

T R A N S P O R T A T IO N , C O M M U N IC A T IO N S ,
AND PU B LIC U T IL IT IE S
The transportation, communica­
tions, and public utilities industries
make possible the smooth function­
ing of our society and produce most
of the energy that powers, heats,
and lights our factories and homes.
The transportation industry moves
goods and people by air, rail, water
and highway; the communications
industry provides communications
systems such as telephones and
radio and TV broadcasting. Other
public utilities supply the Nation
with electricity and gas, and with
sanitation services. Transportation,
communications, and public utility
firms are all semipublic in character.
Some State and local governments
operate their own transit lines or
electric companies as well as other
types of utilities. Privately owned
transportation and public utility
firms are regulated closely by com­
missions or by other public authori­
ties to make sure they operate in
the public interest.
In 1970, 4.5 million persons were
employed in the transportation,
communications, and public utilities
industry group. In addition, more
than one-half million persons were
employed by State and local govern­
ments in publicly owned transit and
utility systems. Almost half of the
workers in this major industry
group were employed in two indus­
tries: the communications industry
with 1.1 million workers (including
telephone, telegraph, and radio and
TV broadcasting); and the motor
freight industry with 1.0 million
workers (including local and long­
distance trucking). Electric, gas,
and sanitary services companies em­
ployed about 685,000 workers and
railroads about 625,000. Other in­




dustries with significant employment
included air transportation and local
and interurban passenger transit.
The remaining workers were em­
ployed by firms that provided water
and pipeline transportation and
transportation services.
About one-fifth of the persons
employed in transportation, com­
munications, and public utilities
were women, a ratio substantially
lower than for the economy as a
whole. Employment of women
varies greatly among the individual
industries. For example, they repre­
sented only 7 percent of employ­
ment in water transportation; how­
ever, in communications, where
many work as telephone operators,
women accounted for one-half of
employment.
Blue-collar workers made up
more than half of employment in
the transportation, communications,
and public utilities industry group in
1970. Operatives alone accounted
for 27 percent of employment. Most
of these semiskilled workers were
truck, bus, and taxi drivers, and
railroad brakemen and switchmen.
Craftsmen, foremen, and kindred
workers made up another 21 per­
cent of employment. Among the
major occupations in this group are
airplane mechanic, motor vehicle
mechanic, telephone lineman, loco­
motive engineer, and stationary engi­
neer. Another eight percent of the
employees were laborers, such as
material handlers and truckdrivers’
helpers.
About two-fifths of the industry
group’s employees were white-collar
workers, mostly in clerical occupa­
tions such as telephone operator,
ticket agent, secretary, and book­

keeper. Nine percent of all em­
ployees were managerial workers,
and 7 percent were professional and
technical workers. Many of the lat­
ter groups were in the communica­
tions industry, where, in addition to
large numbers of engineers and
technicians, many actors, entertain­
ers, and writers were employed.
Estimated
employment,
1970

Major occupational group

(percent
distribution)

All occupational groups..........
Professional, technical,
and kindred workers....
Managers, officials, and
proprietors ...................
Clerical and kindred
workers .........................
Sales workers ..................
Craftsmen, foremen,
and kindred workers....
Operatives and kindred
workers .........................
Service workers................
Laborers ...........................

100
7
9
25
1
21
27
3
8

N o t e —Due to rounding, sum of in­
dividual items may not add to total.

Employment in the transporta­
tion, communications, and public
utilities industry group is expected
to increase slowly through the
1970’s. In addition, many thousands
of job openings are expected each
year because of the need to replace
workers who die or retire. Transfer
of employees to other industries will
provide still additional job oppor­
tunities. Replacement needs will be
particularly high in clerical positions
because many women leave work
each year to take on family respon­
sibilities.
Employment growth in individual
industries will vary significantly. In­
creasing popularity of air transpor­
711

712

tation for both passengers and cargo
will spur continued rapid employ­
ment growth in this area. Rising
population, business expansion, and
growth of suburbs will stimulate
employment in trucking. On the
other hand, little employment
change is expected in local and interurban passenger transportation
(buses, taxis, and subways) because
consumers probably will continue to
rely heavily on private automobiles.
The longrun decline in railroad em­
ployment is expected to continue,
but at a decreasing rate.
Employment in communications
is expected to grow slowly through




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

the 1970’s. Although demand for
the industry’s services will increase
rapidly, advances in technology are
expected to limit employment
growth, particularly in telephone
communications. The computer and
other electronic equipment are ex­
pected to be applied increasingly to
functions that have been performed
by workers.
Employment in electric and gas
utilities also will be affected strongly
by advancing technology and em­
ployment will grow slowly despite
rapid increases in output. Substan­
tial improvements in electric gener­
ating equipment through the in­

creasing use of nuclear power,
electronic controls, and improved
coal-handling techniques, as well as
more efficient methods of construct­
ing and maintaining transmission
lines will limit employment growth
in this industry.
The statements that follow cover
major occupations in the transporta­
tion, communications, and public
utility fields. More detailed informa­
tion about occupations that cut
across many industries—for exam­
ple, secretaries and drivers—appear
elsewhere in the Handbook. (See
index in the back of the book.)

C IV IL A V IA T IO N

The rapid development of air
transportation in the past two dec­
ades has increased the mobility of
the population and has created
many thousands of job opportuni­
ties in the civil aviation industry.
By 1970 about 500,000 persons
were employed in a variety of inter­
esting and responsible occupations
in this field.

Nature and Location of Civil
Aviation Activities

Many different types of organiza­
tions provide civil aviation services
for a variety of purposes. Scheduled
airlines transport passengers, cargo,
and mail. Other airlines, called sup­
plemental, provide charter and nonscheduled flight service for passen­
gers and cargo. A wide range of
other civil aviation activities are
conducted in general aviation, in­
cluding company-owned aircraft to
transport business employees or
cargo (business flying); application
of insecticides, fertilizers, and seed
on land, crops, or forest (aerial ap­
plication); small aircraft charter
service on scheduled routes to small
airports to deliver mail and light
cargo (air-taxi operation); and
inspection of pipelines and power­
lines for breaks (industrial flying).
In addition, general aviation in­
cludes maintenance and repair by
government-licensed repair stations
for general aviation aircraft (certi­
fied repair stations).
Civil aviation activities also in­
clude the regulatory and accident
investigation functions of the Fed­
eral
Aviation
Administration
(FAA), the Civil Aeronautics
Board (CAB), and the National
Transportation
Safety
Board




O C C U P A T IO N S

(NTSB)—all part of the Federal
Government. The FAA develops air
safety regulations, inspects and tests
aircraft and airline facilities, pro­
vides ground electronic guidance
equipment, and gives tests for
licenses to personnel such as pilots,
flight engineers, dispatchers, and air­
craft mechanics. The CAB estab­
lishes policy concerning matters
such as airline rates and routes. The
NTSB investigates all airlines acci­
dents and general aviation aircraft
accidents involving fatalities.
In 1970, the scheduled airlines
employed 300,000 workers. Of
these about 80 percent (240,000)
were employed to fly and service
aircraft and passengers on domestic
routes—between cities in the
United States. Nearly 50,000 other
workers handled the operations of
the scheduled airlines that fly inter­
national routes. The remaining
workers handled only cargo.
In addition to scheduled airline
employees, several thousand work­
ers—all in ground occupations—
were employed in the United States
by foreign airlines that operate be­
tween overseas points and the
United States.
An additional 5,285 workers
were employed by 13 supplemental
airlines in many of the same occu­
pations
as
scheduled
airline
workers.
An estimated 18,000 pilots and
52.000 mechanics were employed
full time in general aviation opera­
tions in 1970. In addition to full­
time workers, thousands of pilots
and a small number of mechanics
were employed part time.
The FAA employed about
52.000 people and the CAB about
670 in 1970. The largest group of
FAA employees worked mainly in

occupations relating to the direction
of air traffic and the installation and
maintenance of mechanical and
electronic equipment used to con­
trol traffic. CAB workers were em­
ployed mainly as administrators and
clerks concerned with the economic
regulation of the airlines, supervi­
sion of international air transpor­
tation, promotion of air safety, and
investigation of accidents.
Civil aviation workers are em­
ployed in every State, but an esti­
mated half work in five States; New
York, California, Florida, Illinois,
and Texas.
Civil Aviation Occupations

In addition to employing the larg­
est number of air transportation
workers, scheduled airlines employ
workers in a variety of occupations.
By 1970, about 4 out of 5 were in
ground occupations. Mechanical
and other aircraft maintenance per­
sonnel was the largest category, fol­
lowed by traffic agents and clerks.
Other workers included cargo and
freight handlers, custodial and other
aircraft servicing personnel, and
office, administrative, and profes­
sional personnel.
Flight occupations constituted the
other one-fifth of airline employ­
ment. These occupations include
stewardesses and stewards, the larg­
est flight occupation, as well as
pilots, copilots, and flight engineers.
Most of the general aviation
workers were mechanics and pilots.
Clerks and administrators made up
nearly all of the remainder.
In the Federal Government, the
largest group of 23,800 civil avia­
tion workers were in air traffic serv­
icing work. Of these, about 19,600
were air traffic controllers and
4,200 were flight service station
specialists.
A detailed description of the du­
ties, training, qualifications, employ­
713

714

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ment outlook, earnings, and work­ of chemicals or seeds in agriculture, move greatly increased amounts of
ing conditions for each of the fire fighting, and the restocking of baggage and cargo without compara­
following air transportation jobs ap­ fish and other wild life, will require ble growth in employment of bag­
pear in the later sections of this a few thousand additional em­ gage and cargo handlers. Economy
chapter: (1) Pilots and copilots, ployees, mainly pilots.
flights, which offer fewer inflight
A slow increase is expected in the services than first-class flights, will
(2) flight engineers, (3) steward­
esses, (4) aircraft mechanics, (5) employment of civil aviation permit airlines to fly greatly in­
airline dispatchers, (6) air traffic workers by the Federal Govern­ creased numbers of passengers
controllers, (7) ground radio oper­ ment. Openings that occur will be without a corresponding rise in em­
ators and teletypists, and (8) traffic primarily those resulting from re­ ployment of flight attendants.
tirements, deaths, and transfers to
agents and clerks.
The rapid growth in some airline
The total number of workers in other fields of work. Although em­ occupations, particularly those con­
civil aviation occupations is ex­ ployment declines may occur in cerned with the operation and main­
pected to increase very rapidly dur­ some occupations, increasing em­ tenance of aircraft, will result from
ing the 1970’s, but the rates of ployment opportunities are ex­ a substantial increase in the number
growth among the major civil avia­ pected for those who maintain and of aircraft in service. Continuing re­
repair the increasing array of visual placement of present equipment by
tion divisions will differ.
General aviation employment is and electronic aids to air traffic.
faster, larger capacity jet planes will
expected to show a rapid rise,
Airline employment growth will accomodate part of the increased
mainly because the anticipated result from anticipated increases in traffic, but a significant increase in
greater demand for general aviation passenger and cargo traffic. By the total number of aircraft in serv­
services will lead to an increase in 1980, the scheduled airlines will fly ice also will be necessary. In addi­
the number of aircraft. About about two times the number of rev­ tion to the growth of the industry in
225,000 general aviation aircraft enue passenger miles flown in 1970. creating jobs, replacement needs
may be flying by 1980—an increase An even larger increase is expected will remain high throughout the
of about 90,000 over the number in in air cargo traffic which, however, 1970’s because of retirements and
1970. A significant employment in­ represents a relatively small percent deaths.
crease will occur in business flying; of total traffic. Among the factors
most new job openings will be for which will contribute to increased
pilots. Employment growth also will air travel are a larger population, Earnings and Working Conditions
be rapid in air-taxi operations, increased consumer purchasing
Earnings among various civil avi­
largely because of the demand for power, the trend toward longer va­
air transportation in cities not serv­ cations, the greater use of air travel ation occupations vary greatly be­
iced by the scheduled airlines. These by businessmen, faster flights on jet cause of factors such as skill re­
jobs will be about equally divided aircraft which will save considerable quirements, length of experience,
between qualified pilots and copilots time in long-distance travel, and and amount of responsibility for
and aircraft mechanics. An esti­ more economy-class passenger serv­ safe and efficient operations. Within
particular occupations, earnings
mated 23,000 job openings—prac­ ices.
As in the past, airline occupa­ vary according to the type of civil
tically all for aircraft mechanics—
will occur in certificated repair tions will grow at different rates. aviation activity. The statements on
stations because of the need for ad­ Occupations, such as stewardess individual occupations which follow
ditional maintenance and repair and cargo and baggage handler, contain detailed discussions of earn­
services by a larger general aviation which provide services for passen­ ings.
As a rule, airline employees and
gers and cargo directly, will grow
fleet.
The number of operators who very rapidly. However, employment their immediate families are entitled
give flight instruction and engage in in these occupations is not expected to a limited amount of free or re­
patrol and survey flying will grow to increase as fast as the increases in duced-fare transportation on their
very rapidly by 1980, and require air traffic for several reasons, for companies’ flights, depending on the
example, more widespread installa­ employees’ length of service. In ad­
thousands of additional pilots.
Use of aircraft for aerial applica­ tion of mechanical equipment, such dition, they may fly at greatly re­
tion, which includes the distribution as conveyors, will permit airlines to duced rates with other airlines.




715

CIVIL AVIATION OCCUPATIONS

Flight personnel may be away from
their home bases about one-third of
the time or more. When they are
away from home, the airlines pro­
vide either living accommodations
or pay expenses.
Airlines operate flights at all hours
of the day and night. Personnel in
some occupations, therefore, often
have irregular work schedules. Max­
imum hours of work per month for
workers in flight occupations have
been established by the FAA as a
safety precaution against fatigue. In
addition, union-management agree­
ments often stipulate payment for a
minimum number of hours each
month.
Ground personnel who work as
dispatchers,
mechanics,
traffic
agents, communications operators,
and administrators usually work a
5-day, 40-hour week. Their working
hours, however, often include
nights, weekends, or holidays. Air
traffic controllers work a 5-day,
40-hour week; they are periodically
assigned to night, weekend, and hol­
iday work. Ground personnel gener­
ally receive extra pay for overtime
work or compensatory time off.
In domestic operations, airline
employees usually receive 2 to 4
weeks’ vacation with pay, depend­
ing upon length of service. Most
flight personnel in international op­
erations get a month’s vacation.
Employees also receive paid sick
leave, retirement benefits, life insur­
ance, and long-term disability hospi­
talization benefits. FAA and CAB
employees are entitled to the same
benefits as other Federal personnel,
including from 13 to 26 days of an­
nual leave and 13 days of sick
leave a year, as well as retirement,
life insurance, and health benefits.
Many of the workers in air trans­
portation are members of labor un­
ions. The unions are identified in




the statements covering the individ­
ual occupations.

PILOTS AND COPILOTS
(D.O.T. 196.168, .228, .268, and .283)

Sources of Additional Information

Information about job openings
in a particular airline, and the quali­
fications required may be obtained
by writing to the personnel manager
of the company. Addresses of indi­
vidual companies are available from
the Air Transport Association of
America, 1000 Connecticut Ave.
NW., Washington, D.C. 20036.
Inquiries regarding jobs with the
Federal Aviation Administration
should be addressed to the Person­
nel Officer, Federal Aviation Ad­
ministration, at any of the following
addresses:

Nature of the Work

The men who have the responsi­
bility for flying a multimillion dollar
plane and safely transporting pas­
sengers are the pilot and copilot.
The pilot (called “captain” by the
airlines) operates the controls and
performs other tasks necessary for
flying a plane, keeping it on course,
and landing it safely. He supervises
the copilot, flight engineer, and
flight attendants. The copilot is sec­
ond in command. He assists the
captain in air-to-ground communi­
cations, monitoring flight and engine
instruments, and in operating the
Eastern
Federal Building, John
Region.
F. Kennedy Interna­
controls of the plane.
tional Airport, Ja­
Both captain and copilot must do
maica, Long Island,
a great deal of planning before their
N.Y. 11430.
plane may take off. They confer
Southwest P.O. Box 1689, Fort
with the company meteorologist
Region.
Worth, Tex. 76101.
Southern P.O. Box 20636, Atlanabout weather conditions and, in
Region.
ta, Ga. 30320.
cooperation with the airline dis­
Central
601 E. 12th St., Kansas
patcher, they prepare a flight plan
Region.
City, Mo. 64106.
along a route and at altitudes which
Western
5641 West Manchester
offer the best weather and wind
Region.
Ave., Box 90007, Air­
port Station, Los An­
conditions so that a safe, fast, and
geles, Calif. 90009.
smooth flight may be possible. This
Alaskan
632 Sixth Ave., Anchorflight plan must be approved by Fed­
Region.
age, Alaska 99501.
eral
Aviation
Administration
Pacific
P.O. Box 4009, Honolu(FAA) air traffic control personnel.
Region.
lu, Hawaii 96812.
The copilot plots the course to be
Information concerning FAA- flown and computes the flying time
approved schools offering training between various points. Before
for work as an aircraft mechanic, takeoff, both men check the opera­
pilot, or in other technical fields re­ tion of each engine and the func­
lated to aviation may be obtained tioning of the plane’s many instru­
from the Information Retrieval ments, controls, and electronic and
Branch, Federal Aviation Admin­ mechanical systems.
istration Library, HQ-630, Federal
During the flight, the captain or
Aviation Administration, Washing­ copilot reports by radio to ground
ton, D.C. 20553.
control stations regarding their alti­
tude, air speed, weather conditions,
and other flight details. The captain
also supervises the navigation of the

716

flight and keeps close watch on the
many instruments which indicate
the plane’s fuel load and the condi­
tion of the engines, controls, elec­
tronic equipment, and landing gear.
The copilot assists in these duties.
Before landing, the captain or the
copilot recheck the operation of the
landing gear and request landing
clearance from air traffic control
personnel. If visibility is limited
when a landing approach is being
made, the captain may have to rely
primarily on instruments such as the
altimeter, air speed indicator, artifi­
cial horizon, and gyro compass and
instrument landing system. Both
men must complete a flight report
and file trip records in the airline
office when the flight is ended.
Some pilots, employed by airlines
as “check pilots,” make at least two
flights a year with each captain to
observe his proficiency and adher­
ence to FAA flight regulations and
company policies. Airlines employ
some pilots to fly planes leased to
private corporations. Airlines also
employ pilots as instructors to train
both new and experienced pilots in
the use of new equipment.
Although pilots employed in gen­
eral aviation usually fly planes




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

smaller than those used by the
scheduled airlines, their preflight
and flight duties are similar to those
of airline pilots. These pilots seldom
have the assistance of flight crews.
In addition to flying, they may per­
form minor maintenance and repair
work on their planes. In some cases,
such as in business flying, they may
mingle with and act as host to their
passengers. Pilots who are self-em­
ployed, such as airtaxi operators, in
addition to flying and doing some
maintenance work, have duties sim­
ilar to those of other small business­
men.

Places of Employment

The scheduled airlines employed
over 27,000 pilots and copilots in
1970. In addition, approximately
1,600 pilots were employed by the
certificated supplemental airlines
(airlines that provide charter and
nonscheduled service).
An estimated 18,000 pilots and
copilots were employed full-time in
general aviation in 1970. Several
thousand worked in business flying
and air-taxi operations. About 1,600
pilots were employed in aerial ap­

plication flying. The Federal Gov­
ernment employed approximately
2,500 pilots (about one-fifth in the
FAA) to perform a variety of serv­
ices such as examining applicants
for pilots’ licenses, inspecting navi­
gation facilities along Federal air­
ways, testing planes that are newly
designed or have major modifica­
tions, enforcing game laws, fighting
forest fires, and patrolling national
boundaries. In addition, State and
local governments employed about
800 pilots. Several thousand pilots
were employed by companies to in­
spect pipelines and installations for
oil companies, and to provide other
aerial services such as private flight
instruction, and flights for sightsee­
ing and aerial photography. A small
number worked for aircraft manu­
facturers as test pilots. In addition,
thousands of pilots were employed
on a part-time basis. These workers
were distributed among all the vari­
ous general aviation activities.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

To do any type of commercial
flying, pilots or copilots must be li­
censed by the FAA. Airline cap­
tains must have an “airline trans­
port pilot’s” license. Copilots, and
most pilots employed in general avi­
ation, must have a “commercial air­
plane pilot’s” license. In addition,
pilots who are subject to FAA in­
strument flight regulations or who
anticipate flying on instruments
when the weather is bad, must have
an “instrument rating.” Pilots and
copilots also must have a rating for
the class of plane they can fly (sin­
gle-engine, multi-engine, or sea­
plane), and for the specific type of
plane they can fly, such as DC-9 or
Boeing 747.
To qualify for a license as a com-

717

CIVIL AVIATION OCCUPATIONS

mercial pilot, applicants must be at
least 18 years old and have at least
200 hours of flight experience. To
obtain an instrument rating, appli­
cants must have at least 40 hours of
instrument time, 20 hours of which
must be in actual flight. Applicants
for an airline transport pilot’s li­
cense must be at least 23 years old
and have a total of 1,500 hours of
flight time during the previous 8
years, including night flying and in­
strument flying time.
Before a person may receive any
license or rating, he must pass a
physical examination and a written
test given by the FAA covering sub­
jects such as principles of safe flight
operations, Federal Aviation Regu­
lations, navigation principles, radio
operation, and meterology. He also
must submit proof that he has com­
pleted the minimum flighttime re­
quirements and, in a practical test,
demonstrate flying skill and techni­
cal competence. His certification as
a professional pilot remains in effect
as long as he can pass an annual
physical examination and the peri­
odic tests of his flying skills required
by Government regulation. An air­
line transport pilot’s license expires
when the pilot reaches his 60th
birthday.
A young man may obtain the
knowledge, skills, and flight experi­
ence necessary to become a pilot
through military service or from a
private flying school. Graduation
from flying schools approved by
the FAA satisfies the flight experi­
ence requirements for licensing.
Applicants who have appropriate
military flight training and experi­
ence are required to pass only the
Federal Aviation Regulations exam­
ination if they apply for a license
within a year after leaving the serv­
ice. Those trained in the armed
services have the added opportunity
to gain experience and accumulate




flying time on large aircraft similar
to those used by the airlines.
As a rule, applicants for a copilot
job with the airlines must be be­
tween 20 and 35 years old, although
preference is given to applicants
who are between ages 21 and 28.
They must be 5 feet 6 inches to 6
feet 4 inches tall and weigh be­
tween 140 and 210 pounds. All ap­
plicants must be high school gradu­
ates; some airlines require 2 years
of college and prefer to hire college
graduates. Physical requirements
for pilots, especially in scheduled
airline employment, are very high.
They must have at least 20/100
vision corrected to 20/20, good
hearing, outstanding physical stam­
ina, and no physical handicaps that
would prevent quick reactions.
Since flying large aircraft places
great responsibilities upon a pilot,
the airlines use psychological tests
to determine an applicant’s alert­
ness, emotional stability and matu­
rity, and his ability to assume re­
sponsibility, command respect, and
make quick decisions and accurate
judgments under pressure.
Men hired by the scheduled air­
lines (and by some of the larger
supplemental airlines) usually start
as flight engineers, although they
may begin as copilots. An applicant
for a flight crew member job with a
scheduled airline often must have
more than the FAA minimum quali­
fications for commercial pilot licens­
ing. For example, although the
FAA requires only 200 flying hours
to qualify for such a license, the air­
lines generally require from 500 to
1,000 flying hours. Airlines also re­
quire a “restricted” radio-telephone
operator permit, issued by the Fed­
eral Communications Commission,
which allows the holder to operate
the plane’s radio.
Pilots employed in business flying
are required to have a commercial

pilot’s license. In addition, some
employers require their pilots to
have instrument ratings, and some
require pilot applicants to have air
transport pilot ratings. Because of
the close relationship between pilots
and their passengers, employers
look for job applicants who have
pleasant personalities.
All newly hired airline copilots
go through company orientation
courses. In addition, some airlines
give beginning copilots or flight en­
gineers from 3 to 10 weeks of train­
ing on company planes before as­
signing them to a scheduled flight.
Trainees also receive classroom in­
struction in subjects such as flight
theory, radio operation, meteorol­
ogy, Federal Aviation Regulations,
and airline operations.
The beginning copilot generally is
permitted only limited responsibil­
ity, such as operating the flight con­
trols in good weather'over a route
that is easy to navigate. As he gains
experience and skill, his responsibil­
ities are increased gradually, and he
is promoted to copilot on larger,
more modern aircraft. When he has
proved his skill, accumulated suffi­
cient experience and seniority; and
passed the test for an airline trans­
port pilot’s license, a copilot may
advance to captain as openings
arise. A minimum of 2 or 3 years’
service is required for promotion
but, in actual practice, advancement
often takes at least 5 to 10 years or
longer. The new captain works first
on his airline’s smaller equipment
and, as openings arise, he is ad­
vanced to larger, more modern air­
craft.
A few opportunities exist for cap­
tains who have administrative abil­
ity to advance to chief pilot, flight
operations manager, and other su­
pervisory and executive jobs. Most
airline captains, however, spend
their entire careers flying. As they

718

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

increase their seniority, they obtain
a better selection of flight routes,
types of aircraft, and schedules
which offer higher earnings. Some
pilots may go into business for
themselves if they have adequate fi­
nancial resources and business abil­
ity. They may operate their own
flying schools or air-taxi and other
aerial services. Pilots also may shift
to administrative and inspection
jobs in aircraft manufacturing and
Government aviation agencies, or
become dispatchers for an airline
when they are no longer able to fly.
Employment Outlook

A rapid rise in the employment
of airline pilots is expected through
the 1970’s. In addition to those
needed to staff new positions, sev­
eral thousand job openings will re­
sult from the need to replace pilots
who transfer to other fields of work,
retire, or die. Although larger,
faster, and more efficient jet planes
are likely to be used in the years
ahead, increased passenger and
cargo miles may exceed substan­
tially the increase in capacity real­
ized from the new equipment.
Therefore, employment of pilots is
likely to increase to the extent that
increased growth of traffic exceeds
increased capacity.
Employment of pilots in general
aviation activities is expected to
continue to grow very rapidly, par­
ticularly in business flying, aerial
application, air-taxi operations, and
patrol and survey flying. Growth in
these areas will result from the
greater use of aircraft to perform
these general aviation activities.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Captains and copilots are among
the highest paid wage earners in the




Nation. Those employed by the
scheduled airlines averaged about
$30,000 a year in domestic air
transportation and nearly $37,000
in international operations in 1970.
Most of the senior captains on large
aircraft earned well over 35,000 a
year; those assigned to large jet air­
craft may earn as much as $48,000.
Pilots employed by the scheduled
airlines generally earn more than
those employed elsewhere, although
pilots who work for supplemental
airlines may earn almost as much.
Some experienced copilots were
earning as much as $27,000 a year
in domestic flying and more than
$30,000 in international flying in
1970.
The earnings of captains and co­
pilots depend on factors such as the
type, size, and speed of the planes
they fly, the number of hours and
miles flown, and their length of serv­
ice. They receive additional pay
for night and international flights.
Captains and airline copilots who
have at least 3 years of service are
guaranteed minimum monthly earn­
ings which represent a substantial
proportion of their earnings.
Under the Federal Aviation Act,
airline pilots cannot fly more than
85 hours a month; some unionmanagement contracts, however,
provide for 75-hour a month maximums. Though pilots and copilots,
in practice, fly approximately 60
hours a month, their total duty
hours, including before- and after­
flight activities and layovers before
return flights, usually exceed 100
hours each month.
Some pilots prefer shorter dis­
tance flying usually associated with
local airlines and commercial flying
activities, such as air-taxi opera­
tions, because they are likely to
spend less time away from their
home bases and fly mostly during
the daytime. These pilots, however,

have the added strain of making
more takeoffs and landings daily.
Although flying does not involve
much physical effort, the pilot often
is subject to stress because of his
great responsibility. He must be
constantly alert and prepared to
make decisions quickly. Poor
weather conditions also can make
his work more difficult.
Most airline pilots are members
of the Airline Pilots Association, In­
ternational. The pilots employed by
one major carrier are members of
the Allied Pilots Association.
Sources of Additional Information
Air Line Pilots Association, Inter­
national, 1329 E St., N W , Wash­
ington, D.C. 20004.

(See the introductory section for
additional sources of information
and for general information on sup­
plementary benefits and working
conditions.)

FLIGHT ENGINEERS
(D.O.T. 621.281)

Nature of the Work and
Places of Employment

The flight engineer monitors the
operation of the different mechani­
cal and electrical devices aboard the
airplane. Before takeoffs, he may in­
spect the tires and other outside
parts of the plane and make sure that
the plane’s fuel tanks have been
filled properly. Inside the plane, he
assists the pilot and copilot in mak­
ing preflight checks of instruments
and equipment. Once the plane is
airborne, the flight engineer watches

719

CIVIL AVIATION OCCUPATIONS

and operates many instruments and
devices to check the performance of
the engines and the air-conditioning,
pressurizing, and electrical systems.
In addition, he keeps records of en­
gine performance and fuel con­
sumption. He reports any mechani­
cal difficulties to the pilot and, if
possible, makes emergency repairs.
Upon landing, he makes certain that
mechanical troubles that may have
developed are repaired by a me­
chanic. Flight engineers employed
by smaller airlines may have to
make minor repairs at those few air­
ports where mechanics are not sta­
tioned.
Flight engineers or second
officers are required by the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA), to
be on almost all three- and fourengine aircraft and some two-engine
jet aircraft. An evaluation of the
aircraft and the functions to be per­
formed by the crew determines the
need for a flight engineer. In 1970
about 8,500 workers were em­
ployed to perform flight engineers’
duties, mostly by major airlines.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

All flight engineers must be li­
censed by the FAA. A man can
qualify for a flight engineer’s certifi­
cate if he has had 2 years of training
or 3 years of work experience in the
maintenance, repair, and overhaul
of aircraft and engines, including a
minimum of 6 months’ training or a
year of experience on four-engine
piston and jet planes. He also may
qualify with at least 200 hours of
flight time as a captain of a four-en­
gine piston or jet plane, or 100
hours of experience as a flight engi­
neer in the Armed Forces. The
most common method of qualifying
is to complete a course of ground




and flight instruction approved by
the FAA.
In addition to such experience or
training, an applicant for a license
must pass a written test on flight
theory, engine and aircraft perform­
ance, fuel requirements, weather as
it affects engine operation, and
maintenance procedures. In a prac­
tical flight test on a four-engine
plane, he must demonstrate his skill
in performing preflight duties and
normal and emergency in-flight du­
ties and procedures. He also must
pass a rigid physical examination
every year. Most scheduled airlines
now require applicants for flight en­
gineer positions to have a commer­
cial pilot’s license.
Young men can acquire the
knowledge and skills necessary to
qualify as airline flight engineers
through military training as aircraft
pilots, mechanics, or flight engi­
neers. They also may attend a civil­
ian ground school and then gain ex­
perience as an airplane mechanic.
For flight engineers, airlines gen­
erally prefer men who are 21 to 35
years of age, from 5 feet 6 inches to
6 feet 4 inches tall, and in excellent
physical condition. Good eyesight

(including color-vision) and eyehand co-ordination are essential. All
the major carriers require a high
school education but prefer at least
2 years of college. They prefer to
hire young men who already have
a flight engineer certificate and a
commercial pilot’s license, although
they may train applicants who have
only a commercial pilot’s license. A
young person considering a career
as a flight engineer must be able to
cope with the pressures and respon­
sibilities that are part of the occupa­
tion, and he must be concerned with
details. He also must be able to
function as part of a team and
quickly learn to operate new equip­
ment.
Advancement opportunities usu­
ally depend on qualifications and
seniority provisions established by
airline union-management agree­
ments. The flight engineer with pilot
qualifications, generally called the
second officer, advances on the basis
of his seniority to copilot, and then
follows the regular line of advance­
ment open to other copilots. Flight
engineers without pilot qualifica­
tions can advance from less desir­
able to more desirable routes and
schedules as they gain seniority.

Employment Outlook

Employment of flight engineers is
expected to increase very rapidly
during the 1970’s as the number of
heavier jet-powered aircraft, requir­
ing flight engineers, increases. This
development will contribute to em­
ployment growth in this field, since,
in most cases, the third required
crew member will be a qualified
pilot serving as a flight engineer
until his promotion to copilot. (See
also the Handbook statement for
Pilots and Copilots.)

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

720

Earnings and Working Conditions

STEWARDESSES

Flight engineers earned from
$1,277 a month for new employees
to approximately $2,465 for experi­
enced flight engineers on jet aircraft
on international flights. Many flight
engineers earned between $1,590
and $2,020 a month. Average
monthly earnings for all flight engi­
neers in domestic operations was
nearly $1,702. Those employed on
international flights averaged nearly
$1,920. The earnings of flight engi­
neers depend upon size, speed, and
type of plane; hours and miles
flown; length of service; and the
type of flight (such as night or inter­
national). Engineers are guaranteed
minimum monthly earnings, which
represent a substantial proportion of
their total earnings. Their flight
time is restricted, under the Federal
Aviation Act, to 85 hours a month.
Flight engineers in international op­
erations are limited to 100 hours a
month, 300 hours every 90 days, or
350 hours every 90 days, depending
on the size of the flight crew.
Most flight engineers who are not
qualified pilots belong to the Flight
Engineers’ International Association
or the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Those who are qualified pilots (Sec­
ond Officers) are represented by
the Air Line Pilots Association, In­
ternational.

(D.O.T. 352.878)

Sources of Additional Information
Flight Engineers’ International As­
sociation, 100 Indiana Ave. NW.,
Washington, D.C. 20001.

(See the introductory section for
additional sources of information
and for general information on sup­
plementary benefits and working
conditions.)




Nature of the Work and
Places of Employment

Stewardesses or stewards (some­
times called flight attendants) are
aboard almost all commercial pas­
senger planes to make the passen­
gers’ flight safe, comfortable, and
enjoyable. Like other flight person­
nel, they are responsible to the cap­
tain.
Before each flight, the stewardess
attends the briefing of the flight
crew. She sees that the passenger
cabin is in order, that supplies and
emergency passenger gear are
aboard, and that necessary food and
beverages are in the galley. As the
passengers come aboard, she greets
them, checks their tickets, and as­
sists them with their coats and
small luggage. On some flights, she
may sell tickets.
During the flight, the stewardess
checks seat belts and gives safety in­
structions. She answers questions
about the flight and weather, dis­
tributes reading matter and pillows,
helps care for small children and
babies, and keeps the cabin neat.
On some flights, she heats and
serves meals that have been pre­
viously cooked. On other flights, she
may prepare, sell, and serve cock­
tails, wine and other alcoholic bev­
erages. After the flight, she com­
pletes flight reports. On interna­
tional flights, she also gives customs
information, instructs passengers on
the use of emergency equipment,
and repeats instructions in an ap­
propriate foreign language to ac­
commodate foreign passengers.
About 35,000 stewardesses and
stewards worked for the scheduled
airlines in 1970. About 80 percent

were employed by the domestic air­
lines, and the rest worked for inter­
national lines. Nearly all stewards
were employed on overseas flights.
Airliners generally carry 1 to 6
flight attendants, depending on the
size of the plane and what propor­
tion of the flight is economy or firstclass. Large aircraft like the
Boeing 747 require as many as 16
stewardesses. Most flight attendants
are stationed in major cities at the
airlines’ main bases. A few who
serve on international flights are
based in foreign countries.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

The airlines place great stress on
hiring young women who are attrac­
tive, poised, tactful, and resource­
ful. As a rule, applicants must be 19
to 27 years old, from 5 feet 2 inches
to 5 feet 9 inches tall, weight in pro­
portion to height but not exceeding
140 pounds, and be in excellent
health. They also must have a pleas­
ant speaking voice and good vision.
The major airlines require that stew­
ardesses be unmarried when hired

721

CIVIL AVIATION OCCUPATIONS

but permit girls to work as steward­
esses after they marry.
Applicants for stewardesses’ jobs
must be high school graduates.
Those having 2 years of college,
nurses’ training, or experience in
dealing with the public are pre­
ferred. Stewardesses who work for
international airlines generally must
be able to speak an appropriate for­
eign language fluently.
Most large airlines give newly
hired stewardesses about 5 weeks’
training in their own schools. Girls
may receive free transportation to
the training centers and also may
receive an allowance while in at­
tendance. Training includes classes
in flight regulations and duties,
company operations and schedules,
emergency procedures and first aid,
and personal grooming. Additional
courses in passport and customs
regulations are given trainees for
the international routes. Toward the
end of their training, students go on
practice flights and perform their
duties under actual flight conditions.
A few airlines that do not operate
their own schools may employ grad­
uates who have paid for their own
training at private stewardesses’
schools. Girls interested in becom­
ing stewardesses should check with
the airline of their choice before en­
tering a private school to be sure
that they have the necessary qualifi­
cations for the airline, and that the
school’s training is acceptable.
Immediately upon completing
their training, stewardesses report
for work at one of their airline’s
main bases. They serve on proba­
tion for about 6 months, and usually
work with an experienced stew­
ardess on their first flights. Before
they are assigned to a regular flight,
they may work as reserve flight at­
tendants, on extra flights or replace
stewardesses who are sick or on va­
cation.




Stewardesses may advance to first
stewardess or purser, supervising
stewardess, stewardess instructor, or
recruiting representative. Advance­
ment opportunities often come
quickly because stewardesses work
only about 2 or 3 years, on the av­
erage, and then resign to get mar­
ried.
Employment Outlook

Several thousand stewardesses
will be needed each year to replace
about 30 percent of those who will
resign each year. Some resign after
they marry, others leave for other
jobs. Despite thousands of applica­
tions each year for this glamorous
occupation, airlines have difficulty
obtaining enough" young women to
meet their high standards of attrac­
tiveness, personality, and intelli­
gence.
Earnings and Working Conditions

An examination of union-man­
agement contracts covering several
large domestic and international air­
lines indicates that in 1970, begin­
ning stewardesses earned approxi­
mately $523 to $645 a month for
80 hours of flying time. Stewardesses
having 2 years’ experience earned
approximately $587 to $836 a
month.
Stewardesses employed on do­
mestic flights averaged $600 a
month in late 1970; those working
on international flights averaged
about $800.
Since commercial airlines operate
around the clock, 365 days a year,
stewardesses usually work irregular
hours. They may work at night, on
holidays, and on weekends. They
usually are limited to 80 hours of
flight time a month. In addition,
they devote up to 35 hours a month

to ground duties. As a result of ir­
regular hours and limitations on the
amount of flying time, some steward­
esses may have 15 days or more
off each month. Of course, some
time off may occur between flights
while away from home.
Airlines generally use the senior­
ity bidding system for assigning
home bases, flight schedules, and
routes. Stewardesses who have the
longest service, therefore, get the
more desirable flights.
The stewardess’ occupation is ex­
citing and glamorous, with oppor­
tunities to meet interesting passen­
gers and see new places. However,
the work can be strenuous and
trying. A stewardess may be on her
feet during a large part of the flight.
She must remain pleasant and
efficient during the entire flight, re­
gardless of how tired she may be.
Most flight attendants are mem­
bers of either the Air Line Stewards
and Stewardesses Association of the
Transport Workers Union of Amer­
ica or the Stewards and Steward­
esses Division of the Air Line Pilots
Association, International.
(See introductory section for
general information on supplemen­
tary benefits and working condi­
tions.)

AIRCRAFT MECHANICS
(D.O.T. 621.281)

Nature of the Work

Aircraft mechanics keep planes
operating efficiently. They make
emergency repairs (line mainte­
nance work) at the larger terminals
or major repairs and periodic
inspections at a particular part of

722

the aircraft, such as propellers or
landing gear, or work on sheet
metal sections. Mechanics fre­
quently dismantle a complex com­
ponent to replace damaged or worn
parts. After putting the plane to­
gether, they test it for perfect opera­
tion.
Line-maintenance
mechanics
must be all-round mechanics. The
flight engineer or lead mechanic
may instruct a line-maintenance me­
chanic or the mechanic may exam­
ine the aircraft to discover the cause
of malfunction. He then makes the
necessary adjustments or installs a
new part. He may replace an entire
engine which cannot be repaired.
Aircraft mechanics employed in
general aviation usually do mainte­
nance and repair work comparable
with the work performed by linemaintenance mechanics. However,
the planes which these mechanics
service are generally smaller and
less complex than those flown by
the airlines. One mechanic fre­
quently does the entire servicing job
with little supervision, and he works
on many different types of planes
and engines. Mechanics who work
for employers such as certificated
supplemental airlines, air-taxi oper­
ators, and independent repair shops
also may do overhaul work. Inde­
pendent repair shops usually spe­
cialize in engine, instrument, or air­
frame overhaul. (The airframe con­
sists of the plane’s fuselage, wings,
landing gear, flight controls, and
other parts which are not part of the
engine, propeller, or instruments.)
Aircraft mechanics use many dif­
ferent kinds of tools ranging from
simple handtools, such as screw­
drivers and wrenches, to expensive
machines, such as magnetic and
black light inspection equipment
which detects flaws and cracks in
metal parts.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Places of Employment

Over 54,000 mechanics were em­
ployed by the scheduled airlines in
1970. An estimated 52,000 me­
chanics and supervisors were em­
ployed by independent repair shops.
A few thousand also were employed
by certificated supplemental airlines,
aerial application and air-taxi
firms, and businesses that use their
own planes to transport key em­
ployees or cargo. Many other me­
chanics work in aircraft manufac­
turing plants. (These workers,
whose duties are somewhat different
from those of airline mechanics, are
discussed in the chapter on Occupa­
tions in the Aircraft, Missile, and
Spacecraft Field.)
About 20,500 civilian aircraft
mechanics were employed by the
Air Force in 1970. Another 10,300
worked for the Navy. The FAA em­
ploys several hundred skilled men
with maintenance experience to in­
spect aircraft manufacturing plants;
examine airline and other commer­
cial flying organizations’ aircraft
maintenance methods, training pro­
grams, and spare parts stock; and
test applicants for FAA mechanic
licenses. This agency also employs

approximately 500 aircraft mechan­
ics to maintain its own planes. Most
of these men are employed at the
FAA Aeronautical Center in Okla­
homa City. Some mechanics are
employed by other Government
agencies, principally the National
Aeronautics and Space Administra­
tion and the Army.
Most airline mechanics are em­
ployed in the larger cities on the
main airline routes. Each airline
usually has one main overhaul base
where more than half of its mechan­
ics are employed. Mechanics are
concentrated in important domestic
and international air traffic centers
such as New York, Chicago, Los
Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Mechanics responsible for any re­
pair or maintenance operation must
be licensed by the FAA as either an
“airframe mechanic” (to work on
the planes fuselage, covering sur­
face, landing gear, and control sur­
faces such as rudder or ailerons);
“powerplant mechanic” (to work
on the plane’s engines); “airframe

723

CIVIL AVIATION OCCUPATIONS

and powerplant mechanic” (to
work on all parts of the plane); or
as a “repairman” who is authorized
to make only specified repairs. Me­
chanics who maintain and repair
electronic communications equip­
ment are required to have at least a
Federal Communications Commis­
sion Second Class Radio Telephone
Operator License.
At least 18 months’ experience
working with airframes or engines is
required to obtain an airframe or
powerplant license, and at least 30
months’ experience working with
both engines and airframes is re­
quired for the combined airframe
and powerplant license. However,
this experience is not required of
graduates of mechanic’s schools ap­
proved by the FAA. In addition to
these requirements, applicants must
pass a written test and give a practi­
cal demonstration of their ability to
do the work. Mechanics who main­
tain and repair their employers’
planes have FAA authorization.
Mechanics may work as trainees
or apprentices, or as helpers to ex­
perienced mechanics to prepare for
their licenses. The larger airlines
train apprentices or trainees in a
carefully planned 3- or 4-year pro­
gram of instruction and work expe­
rience. Men who have learned air­
craft maintenance in the Armed
Forces usually are given credit for
this training towards the require­
ments of apprenticeship or other
on-the-job training programs.
For trainee or apprentice jobs,
airlines prefer high school or trade
school graduates between 20 and 30
who are in good physical condition
and who have had courses in math­
ematics, physics, chemistry, and
machine shop. Experience in auto­
motive repairs or other mechanical
work also is helpful.
Aircraft mechanics must be able
to do detailed work as part of a




team. They should have manual
dexterity, good eye-hand coordina­
tion, depth perception, and strength
to lift heavy parts and tools. Agility
is important for reaching and climb­
ing that are part of the job. Aircraft
mechanics must be willing to work
in high places.
Other mechanics prepare for
their trade by graduating from an
FAA approved mechanics school.
Most of these schools have an 18to 24-month program. Several col­
leges and universities also offer
2-year programs that prepare the
student for the FAA mechanic ex­
aminations, and for jobs as engineer­
ing aids and research and de­
velopment technicians in aircraft
manufacturing.
Mechanics generally are required
to have their own handtools which
they acquire gradually.
Several advancement possibilities
are available to skilled mechanics
employed by the scheduled airlines.
The line of advancement is usually
mechanic, lead mechanic (or crew
chief), inspector, lead inspector,
shop foreman, and, in a few cases,
supervisory and executive positions.
In most shops, mechanics in the
higher grade positions are required
to have both airframe and powerplant ratings. In many cases, the
mechanic must pass a company ex­
amination before he is promoted.
To qualify for jobs as FAA
inspectors, mechanics must have
broad experience in maintenance
and overhaul work, including super­
vision over the maintenance of air­
craft. Applicants also must have
both airframe and powerplant rat­
ings or a combined rating.

Employment Outlook

The number of aircraft mechan­
ics employed by scheduled airlines

is expected to increase rapidly
through the 1970’s because of the
substantial increase in the number
of aircraft in operation. Rapid
growth anticipated in general avia­
tion flying will lead to an increase in
the number of aircraft. An increase
is expected in the number of me­
chanics employed both in firms
providing general aviation services
and in independent repair shops.
Employment opportunities for air­
craft mechanics in the Federal Gov­
ernment will depend largely on the
size of the Government military air­
craft program.
In addition to growth, a few
thousand job openings will result
annually from the need to replace
mechanics who transfer to other
fields of work, retire, or die.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Mechanics employed by the
scheduled domestic and interna­
tional airlines averaged between
$800 and $1,100 a month in 1970.
Other aircraft mechanics generally
had lower average earnings. Airline
mechanics work in hangars or in
other indoor areas, whenever possi­
ble. However, when repairs must be
made quickly, as in line-mainte­
nance work, mechanics may work
outdoors.
Aircraft mechanics sometimes
must work in cramped places. Fre­
quently they work under noisy con­
ditions.
Mechanics employed by most
major airlines are covered by union
agreements. Most of these em­
ployees are members of the Interna­
tional Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers. Many others
belong to the International Brother­
hood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs,
Warehousemen and Helpers of
America
and
the
Transport

724

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Workers Union of America. (See
introductory section for sources of
additional information and for gen­
eral information on supplementary
benefits and working conditions.)

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

AIRLINE DISPATCHERS
(D.O.T. 912.168)

Nature of the Work and
Places of Employment

Dispatchers (sometimes called
flight superintendents) are em­
ployed by the airlines to coordinate
flight schedules and operations
within an assigned area; they also
make sure that all Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) and com­
pany flight and safety regulations
are observed. After examining
weather conditions, the dispatcher
makes a preliminary decision as to
whether a flight may be undertaken
safely. He frequently must arrange
to notify the passengers and crew if
there is any change from the sched­
uled departure time. The dispatcher
confers with the captain about the
quantity of fuel needed, the best
route and altitude at which the
plane will fly, the total flying time,
and the alternate fields that may be
used if landing at the scheduled air­
port is hazardous. The dispatcher
and the captain must agree on all
details of the flight before the plane
leaves the airport. In some in­
stances, the dispatcher is also re­
sponsible for keeping records and
checking matters such as the availa­
bility of aircraft and equipment, the
weight and balance of loaded cargo,
the amount of time flown by each
aircraft, and the number of hours




Airline dispatcher assists pilot in
pre-flight planning.

flown by each crew member based
at his station.
After the flight has begun, the
dispatcher plots the plane’s progress
as reported at regular intervals by
the captain on the radio, and keeps
the captain informed of changing
weather and other conditions that
might affect his flight.
The assistant dispatcher helps the
dispatcher plot the progress of
flights, secure weather information,
and handle communications with
aircraft.
In 1970 only about 1,200 dis­
patchers and assistants were em­
ployed in scheduled domestic and
international operations, primarily
at large airports in the United
States. An even smaller number
worked for large certificated supple­
mental airlines, and for private
firms which offer dispatching serv­
ices to small airlines.

Dispatchers are required to have
an FAA dispatcher certificate. To
qualify, an applicant has to work at
least a year under the supervision of
a certified dispatcher or complete
an FAA-approved
dispatcher’s
course at a school or an airline
training center. If an applicant has
neither schooling nor experience, he
also may qualify if he has spent 2 of
the previous 3 years in air traffic
control work, or in airline jobs such
as dispatch clerk, assistant dis­
patcher, or radio operator, or in
similar work in military service.
An applicant for an FAA dis­
patcher certificate must pass a writ­
ten examination on subjects such
as Federal aviation regulations,
weather analysis, air-navigation fa­
cilities, radio procedures, and air­
port and airway traffic procedures.
In an oral test, he also has to dem­
onstrate his ability to interpret
weather information, his knowledge
of landing and cruising speeds and
other aircraft operational character­
istics, and his familiarity with airline
routes and navigational facilities. A
licensed dispatcher is checked peri­
odically by his employer to make
sure that he is maintaining the
skills required by Federal regula­
tions. All qualified dispatchers are
given additional instruction by their
airlines at special training centers so
that they may become familiar with
new flight procedures and with
characteristics of new aircraft. Each
year, he also is required to “fly the
line” as an observer over the por­
tion of the system which he services,
to maintain his first hand familiarity
with airline routes and flight opera­
tions.
An airline dispatcher must be
able to make independent decisions.
Oral skills are essential because dis­

CIVIL AVIATION OCCUPATIONS

patchers’ instructions must be con­
cise and easily understood.
For assistant dispatcher jobs,
which may not require certification,
airlines prefer men who have at
least 2 years of college or who have
worked an equivalent amount of
time in some phase of air transpor­
tation, such as communications.
Preference is given to college grad­
uates who have had courses in
mathematics, physics, and related
subjects. Some experience in flying,
meteorology, or business adminis­
tration is also helpful.
Men who have worked in ground
operations as dispatch clerks, me­
teorologists, or radio operators are
preferred when assistant dispatcher
positions are filled. A few jobs are
filled by former pilots.
Employment Outlook

The number of workers in this
very small occupation is not ex­
pected to change much during the
1970’s. Most new workers will be
hired as assistant dispatchers or dis­
patch clerks.
The need for some additional dis­
patchers will result from the in­
crease in air traffic, the addition and
extension of routes, and the extra
difficulties in dispatching jet air­
craft. However, these factors will be
largely offset by improved radio and
telephone communication facilities
which allow dispatchers at major
terminals to dispatch aircraft at
other airports and over large geo­
graphic areas. Foreign-flag airlines,
which fly between overseas points
and cities in the United States, also
will provide a few job opportunities
for dispatchers.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Beginning dispatchers earned be­




725

tween $860 to $1,140 a month in characteristics of aircraft. The men
1970. Dispatchers having 10 years’ who control traffic in the areas
service earned between $1,185 and around airports are known as air­
$1,670 a month. Assistant dispatch­ port traffic controllers; those who
ers earned $572 and over a month guide aircraft between airports are
to begin and up to $950 a month called air-route traffic controllers.
after 3 years. Assistant dispatchers
Airport traffic controllers are sta­
who have FAA certificates may tioned at airport control towers to
earn $25 a month extra. Most dis­ give all pilots within the vicinity of
patchers are members of the Air- the airport weather information and
Line Dispatchers Association. Oth­ take-off and landing instructions
ers are represented by the Trans­ such as which approach and airfield
port Workers Union of America runway to use and when to change
and the International Association of altitude. They must control simulta­
Machinists and Aerospace Workers. neously several aircraft which ap­
pear as tiny bars on a radar scope.
Using numbers and remembering
Sources of Additional Information
positions of planes in the air, they
instruct each pilot by radio. These
Air Line Dispatchers Association,
workers also keep records of all
929 West Broad St., Falls Church,
Va. 22130.
messages from aircraft and operate
runway lights and other airfield
(See introductory section for ad­ electronic equipment. They also
ditional sources of information and send and receive information from
for general information on supple­ air-route traffic control centers
mentary benefits and working con­ about flights over the airport.
ditions.)
Air-route traffic controllers are
stationed at air traffic control cen­
ters to coordinate the movements of
aircraft which are being flown “on
instruments.” They use the written
flight plans which are filed by pilots
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS
and dispatchers before aircraft leave
the airport. To make sure that air­
(D.O.T. 193.168)
craft remain on course, they check
the progress of flights, using radar
and other electronic equipment and
Nature of the Work
information received from the air­
Air traffic controllers are the craft, other control centers and tow­
guardians of the airways. These em­ ers, and information from FAA or
ployees of the Federal Aviation Ad­ airline communications stations.
ministration (FAA) give instruc­
tions, advice, and information to
pilots by radio to avoid collisions
Where Employed
and minimize delays as aircraft fly
About 19,600 air traffic control­
between airports or in the vicinity of
airports. When directing aircraft, lers were employed by the FAA in
traffic controllers must consider 1970. Of these, about half were air­
many factors, including weather, ge­ port traffic controllers, employed at
ography, the amount of traffic, and airport control towers located at key
the size, speed, and other operating airfields. A few of these jobs are lo-

726

cated at towers and centers outside
the United States. About 10,900
air-route traffic controllers worked
in 24 control centers scattered
throughout the United States.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Applicants for positions as airroute or airport traffic controller
must be able to speak clearly and
precisely. They enter the field
through the competitive Federal
Civil Service system after passing a
rigid physical examination, which
they must pass every year. Appli­
cants must pass a written test de­
signed to measure their ability to
learn, perform the duties of air traf­
fic controller, and meet certain ex­
perience, training, and related re­
quirements.
Successful applicants for traffic
controller jobs are given approxi­
mately 9 weeks of formal training to
learn the fundamentals of the air­
way system, Federal Aviation Regu­
lations, and radar and aircraft per­
formance
characteristics.
After
completing this training, controllers
qualify for a basic air traffic control
certificate. At an FAA control




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

tower or center, they receive addi­
tional classroom instruction and
on-the-job training to become famil­
iar with specific traffic problems.
Only after he has demonstrated his
ability to apply procedures, and to
use available equipment under pres­
sure and stress, may he work as a
controller. This usually takes about
2 to 3 years.
Controllers can advance to the
job of chief controller. After this
promotion, they may advance to
more responsible management jobs
in air traffic control and to a few top
administrative jobs in the FAA.
Employment Outlook

Total employment of air traffic
controllers is expected to increase
moderately through the 1970’s. The
number of air traffic controllers is
expected to increase despite the
greater use of automated equip­
ment.
Additional air traffic controllers
will be needed because of the antici­
pated growth in the number of air­
port towers that will be built to re­
duce the burden on existing facili­
ties and to handle increasing airline
traffic. More airport controllers also

will be needed to provide services to
the growing number of pilots out­
side of the airlines, such as those
employed by companies to fly exec­
utives.
A number of additional air-route
traffic controllers will be needed
during the next few years to handle
increases in air traffic. However,
with the expected introduction of an
automatic air traffic control system
and a further decline in the number
of control centers, employment of
air-route traffic controllers may
moderate in the long run.
A few hundred openings will
occur each year for controller jobs
because of the need to replace those
workers who leave for other work,
retire, or die.

Earnings and Working Conditions

The monthly salary for air traffic
controllers during their first 6 to 12
months of training averaged about
$578 in 1970. Depending on the
type of work, the amount of traffic
at the facility, and length of time on
the job, air traffic controllers can
earn between $872 to $1,480 a
month. In addition, traffic control­
lers are eligible for periodic wage
increases. In areas that handle ex­
tremely large volumes of air traffic,
a chief controller may earn more
than $2,020 a month. These em­
ployees receive the same annual
leave, sick leave, and other benefits
provided other Federal workers.
FAA controllers work a basic
40-hour week; however, they may
work overtime, for which they re­
ceive equivalent time off or addi­
tional pay. Because control towers
and centers must be operated 24
hours a day, 7 days a week, control­
lers are periodically assigned to
night shifts on a rotating basis.
However, an additional 10 percent

727

CIVIL AVIATION OCCUPATIONS

is paid for work between 6 p.m. and
6 a.m.
Because of the congestion in air
traffic, a controller works under
great stress. He must check simulta­
neously flights already under his
control, know the flight schedules of
air-craft approaching his area, and
coordinate these patterns with other
controllers as each flight passes
from his control area to another.
(See introductory section for
sources of additional information
and for general information on sup­
plementary benefits and working
conditions.)

GROUND RADIO OPERATORS
AND TELETYPISTS
(D.O.T. 193.282 and 203.588)

Nature of the Work

Ground radio operators and tele­
typists transmit highly important
weather and flight information be­
tween ground station personnel and
flight personnel. Radio operators
use a radio-telephone to send and
receive spoken messages. Radio op­
erators occasionally may make
minor repairs on their equipment.
Teletypists transmit only written
messages between ground person­
nel. They operate a teletype mach­
ine which has a keyboard similar to
that of a typewriter.
Flight service station specialists
employed by the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) do some
work similar to that of airline
ground radio operators and teletyp­
ists. They use radio-telephones,
radio-telegraph, and teletype ma­
chines in their work. In addition to
providing pilots with weather and




navigational information before and
during flights, these workers relay
messages from air traffic control fa­
cilities to other ground station per­
sonnel and to pilots.
Places of Employment

About 7,000 ground radio opera­
tors and teletypists were employed
in air transportation in 1970. Flight
service station specialists employed
by the FAA made up about half of
these employees. The scheduled air­
lines employed about 3,000 radio
operators and teletypists. An addi­
tional 420 were employed by a
cooperative organization which of­
fers the airlines, private pilots, and
corporation aircraft its services over
a centralized communications sys­
tem. A few hundred were employed
by the Army and Navy in civilian
communications occupations.
FAA flight service station spe­
cialists work at stations scattered
along the major airline routes; some
stations are located in remote
places. Ground radio operators and
teletypists employed by the airlines
work mostly at airports in or near
large cities.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Applicants for airline radio oper­
ator jobs usually must have at least
a third-class Federal Communica­
tions Commission radio-telephone
or radio-telegraph operator’s per­
mit. However, a second-class opera­
tor’s permit is preferred. They also
must be high school graduates, have
a good speaking voice, the ability to
type at least 40 words a minute, and
a basic knowledge of the language
used in weather reports. Teletypists
must be able to type at least 40
words a minute and have had train­

ing or experience in operating tele­
type equipment. Applicants for jobs
as radio operators and teletypists
also must have a knowledge of
standard codes and symbols used in
communications.
To qualify for entry positions as
FAA flight service station special­
ists, applicants must pass a written
test and meet certain experience re­
quirements. Permanent appoint­
ments are made on the basis of Fed­
eral civil service examinations.
The airlines usually employ
women as teletypists, and an in­
creasing number are being hired as
radio operators. Both airline radio
operators and teletypists, and FAA
flight service station specialists serve
probationary periods during which
time they receive on-the-job train­
ing. Skill gained in communications
is helpful experience for transfer­
ring into such other higher paying
jobs such as airline dispatcher.

Employment Outlook

Openings for entry positions as
radio operators or teletypists will
number fewer than a hundred each
year during the 1970’s. These open­
ings will occur as workers transfer
to other fields of work, retire, or
die.
Overall employment of these
workers may decline somewhat be­
cause of the use of more automatic
communications equipment which
permits communications for longer
distances.
The number of flight service sta­
tion specialists employed by the
FAA is expected to increase slowly
in the years ahead. Need for addi­
tional workers to perform more serv­
ices for pilots will be offset by im­
provements in equipment, and an
increase in two-way radios that per­
mit communications between pilots

728

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

and air traffic controllers. The num­
ber of radio operators and teletyp­
ists employed by airlines will in­
crease slowly as communications
systems becoming more automatic
and centralized.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The beginning salary for airline
radio operators who held the mini­
mum third-class permit was be­
tween $628 and $788 a month in
1970. The beginning salary for tele­
typists was $505 a month and
ranged up to $634 after 5 years.
Beginning FAA flight service station
specialists receive between $578
and $715 a month, depending on
education and experience; experi­
enced flight service specialists earn
from $872 to $1,480 a month.
Radio operators and teletypists in
a number of airlines are unionized.
The major union in these occupa­
tional fields is the Communications
Workers of America.
(See introductory section for
sources of additional information
and for general information on sup­
plementary benefits and working
conditions.)

TRAFFIC AGENTS
AND CLERKS
(D.O.T. 912.368, 919.368)

Nature of the Work

Selling flight tickets, reserving
seats and cargo space, and taking
charge of the ground handling of
planes are some of the duties of
traffic agents and clerks. This group
of workers includes ticket or reser­




vation agents and clerks, operations
or station agents, and traffic repre­
sentatives.
Reservation sales agents and
clerks give customers flight schedule
and fare information over the tele­
phone. Reservation control agents
record reservations as they are
made and report the reservations by
teletype machine to a central com­
puter or to clerks in other cities so
that the same space will not be sold
twice.
On some of the larger airlines,
data processing systems receive,
record, and transmit flight space
information to personnel at airports
and reservations officers throughout
the entire airline system at great
speeds. Ticket agents sell tickets and
fill out ticket forms, including in­
formation such as the flight number
and the passenger’s name and desti­

nation. They also check and weigh
baggage, answer inquiries about
flight schedules and fares, and keep
records of tickets sold. Traffic rep­
resentatives contact potential cus­
tomers to promote greater use of the
airline services.
Operations or station agents are
responsible for the ground handling
of airplanes at their stations. They
supervise the loading and unloading
of the aircraft and sometimes do
this work themselves. They see that
the weight carried by the planes is
distributed properly, compute gas
loads and the weight carried by the
plane, prepare a list of the cargo,
and keep records of the number of
passengers carried. They also may
make arrival and departure an­
nouncements and prepare the
weather forms that pilots use when
they plan their routes.

729

CIVIL AVIATION OCCUPATIONS

Places of Employment

About 45,000 men and women
were employed as traffic agents and
cleiks by the scheduled airlines in
1970. A few thousand others also
were employed by the supplemental
airlines, and by foreign-flag airlines
that operate between the United
States and overseas points.
Traffic staffs are employed princi­
pally in downtown offices and at
airports in or near large cities where
most airline passenger and cargo
business originates. Some are em­
ployed in smaller communities
where airlines have scheduled stops.

Training, Other Qualifications,
and Advancement

Traffic agents and clerks must
deal directly with the public, either
in person or by telephone. For this
reason, airlines have strict hiring
standards with respect to appear­
ance, personality, and education. A
good speaking voice is essential be­
cause these employees frequently
use the telephone or public address
systems. High school graduation
generally is required, and college
training is considered desirable.
College courses in transportation
such as “traffic management” and
“air transportation,” as well as ex­
perience in other areas of air trans­
portation, are helpful for a higher




grade job, such as traffic representa­
tive. Both men and women are em­
ployed as reservation and ticket
agents; however, most operations
agents are men.
Traffic agents may advance to
traffic representative and supervi­
sor. A few eventually may move up
to city and district traffic and station
manager.

Employment Outlook

Employment of traffic personnel
will increase rapidly over the
1970’s, mainly because of antici­
pated growth in passenger and
cargo traffic. In addition to growth,
additional opportunities will arise as
young women leave their jobs to
marry or rear children.
Most of the major airlines are in­
stalling new machines to record and
process reservations, keep records,
and perform a variety of other rou­
tine tasks. Mechanization will affect
the reservation clerks in particular.
The employment of ticket agents,
however, whose main job involves
personal contacts, will not be af­
fected very much, although their
paper work will be reduced consid­
erably. The small group of traffic
representatives probably will in­
crease substantially as the airlines
compete for new business.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Limited wage data collected from
union-management contracts cover­
ing reservations and ticket agents
employed by several airlines indi­
cate that their beginning salaries
ranged from $495 to $674 a month
in 1970. Those workers having 5
years or more of experience earned
between $605 to $771 a month.
Station and operations agents
started between $510 and $695 a
month and progressed to about
$854 a month after several years.
Many reservation and transporta­
tion agents belong to labor unions.
Four unions cover most of the organ­
ized agents: the Air Line Employees
Association International, the Trans­
port Workers Union of America,
the Brotherhood of Railway and
Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers,
Express and Station Employees, and
the International Brotherhood of
Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehouse­
men and Helpers of America (Ind.)
Sources of Additional Information
Air Line Employees Association,
5600 S. Central Ave., Chicago,
111. 60638.

(See introductory section for
sources of additional information
and for general information on sup­
plementary benefits and working
conditions.)

O C C U P A T IO N S
E L E C T R IC P O W E R

Many types of workers are
needed to produce electricity, de­
velop additional markets for it, and
distribute it to the consumer. These
workers include power plant opera­
tors, linemen, electricians, engi­
neers, research scientists, salesmen,
technicians, meter readers, and
office workers. Electric utilities offer
interesting jobs and steady employ­
ment for men and women in several
thousand communities throughout
the country.

Nature and Location of the
Industry

The electric power industry in­
cludes about 3,700 electric utility
systems that vary greatly in size and
type of ownership. Utilities range
from large, interconnected systems
serving broad regional areas to
small power companies serving indi­
vidual communities. Most utilities
are investor owned (private) or
owned by cooperatives; others are
owned by cities, counties, and
public utility districts, as well as by
the Federal Government. Utility
systems include power plants, which
generate electric power; substations,
which increase or decrease the volt­
age of this power; and vast net­
works of transmission and distribu­
tion lines.
The delivery of electricity to the
user at the instant he needs it is the
distinctive feature of the operation
of electric power systems. Electric­
ity cannot be stored efficiently but
must be used as it is produced. Be­
cause a customer can begin or in­
crease his use of electric power at
any time by merely flicking a
switch, an electric utility system
730



IN T H E
IN D U S T R Y

must have sufficient capacity to
meet peak consumer needs at any
time.
Some utilities generate, transmit,
and distribute only electricity; oth­
ers distribute both electricity and
gas. This chapter is concerned with
employment opportunities in those
jobs relating only to the production
and distribution of electric power.
In 1970, an estimated 495,000
privately owned utilities and coop­
eratives employed about 425,000 of
these workers; Federal, and munici­
pal government utilities employed
an additional 70,000. A few large
manufacturing establishments, which
produce electric power for their own
use, also employ electric power
workers.
Three principal groups of con­
sumers purchased more than 95
percent of all electricity sold in
1970. Industrial customers, such as
chemical and aluminum plants,
purchased almost 45 percent of all
the electric power sold. Residential

customers purchased about 30 per­
cent, and commercial customers,
such as stores and hotels, purchased
about 20 percent.
Electric utility service now
reaches almost every locality and,
therefore, electric utility jobs are
found throughout the country. Hy­
droelectric power projects have
created jobs even in relatively iso­
lated areas. Most utility jobs, how­
ever, are in heavily populated urban
areas, especially where there are
many industrial users, or where a
large utility has its headquarters.
Producing and distributing large
quantities of electrical energy in­
volves many processes and activi­
ties. The accompanying chart shows
how electric energy is generated,
and how it travels from the generat­
ing station to the users. The first
step in providing electrical energy
occurs in a generating station or
plant, where huge generators con­
vert mechanical energy into electric­
ity. Electricity is produced primarily
in steam-powered generating plants
which use coal, gas, or oil for fuel.
Some new steam generating stations
use nuclear energy as a fuel. A con­
siderable amount of electricity also
is produced in hydroelectric gener-

How electricity is made and brought to the users
Generating Plant

High Voltage Transm ission

High Voltage Distribution in Cities
»T «[

V

n

ML

rr

L

j *Ljl
SUBSTATION

Low Voltage Residential and Com m ercial Distribution

[ L I U TJf

r “ ^
4
an
L
[I 1111MIf

STORES

SCHOOLS

—

731

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ELECTRIC POWER INDUSTRY

ating stations which use water
power to operate the turbines. Some
generators, primarily for use in
standby service or to provide elec­
tricity for special purposes, are
powered by diesel or gas turbine en­
gines.
After electricity is generated, it
passes through a “switchyard”
where the voltage is increased so
that the electricity may travel long
distances without excessive loss of
power. After leaving the generating
plant, electricity passes onto trans­
mission lines. These lines carry
electricity from the generating plant
to substations, where the voltage is
decreased and passed on to the dis­
tribution networks serving individ­
ual customers. Transmission lines
tie together the generating stations
of a single system and also the
power facilities of several systems.
In this way, power can be inter­
changed among several utility sys­
tems to meet varying demands.

Electric Utility Occupations

Workers are needed in many dif­
ferent occupations to produce elec­
tric power. About 10 percent of the
employees in this industry work in
occupations directly related to the
generation of electricity. About 20
percent are in jobs related to the
transmission and distribution of
power to the customers. Another 20
percent are in maintenance and re­
pair work and in jobs such as guard
and janitor. Approximately 30 per­
cent are employed in administrative
and clerical jobs, 10 percent in cus­
tomer service jobs, and 10 percent
in scientific, engineering, and other
technical occupations.
In addition to the powerplant,
transmission, and customer service
occupations (discussed in detail
later in this chapter), the industry




employs large numbers of workers
in maintenance, engineering, scien­
tific, administrative, sales, and cleri­
cal occupations. The latter occupa­
tions are discussed briefly below.
Detailed discussions of these and
other occupations in the electric
power industry and in many other
industries are given in the Hand­
book sections covering the individ­
ual occupations.
Maintenance Occupations. A con­
siderable number of workers main­
tain and repair equipment. The du­
ties of these skilled craftsmen are
similar to those of maintenance
workers in other industries. Among
the more important skilled workers
are electricians, instrument repair­
men, maintenance mechanics, ma­
chinists, pipefitters, and boilermak­
ers.
Engineering and Scientific Occupa­
tions. Many job opportunities are
available for engineers and techni­
cal workers in electric utilities. En­
gineers plan generating plant addi­
tions, interconnections of complex
power systems, and installations of
new transmission and distribution
equipment. They supervise con­
struction, develop improved operat­
ing methods, and test the efficiency
of the many types of electrical
equipment. In planning modern
power systems, engineers select
plant sites, types of fuel, and types
of plants. Engineers also help in­
dustrial and commercial customers
make the best use of electric power.
They stimulate greater use of elec­
tricity by demonstrating the advan­
tages of electrical equipment and
suggesting places where electricity
can be used more effectively.
Administrative and Clerical Occu­
pations. Because of the enormous
amount of recordkeeping necessary
to run the business operations, elec­
tric utilities employ a higher propor­
tion of administrative and clerical

personnel than many other indus­
tries. Nearly one-third of the indus­
try’s work force is employed in cler­
ical and administrative jobs. Many
of these workers are women. Large
numbers of stenographers, typists,
bookkeepers, office machine opera­
tors, file clerks, accounting and au­
diting clerks, and cashiers are em­
ployed. These workers keep records
of the services rendered by the com­
pany, make up bills for customers,
and prepare a variety of statements
and statistical reports. An increasing
amount of this work in the larger
offices now is being performed by
electronic data-processing equip­
ment. This generally results in more
clerical work being done with the
same or fewer employees. The use
of this equipment also creates re­
quirements for programers and
computer operators. Administrative
employees include accountants, per­
sonnel officers, purchasing agents,
and lawyers.

Employment Outlook

Although the production of elec­
tric power will increase substantially
through the 1970’s, employment is
expected to grow slowly. In addition
to new jobs created by employment
growth, several thousand job oppor­
tunities will occur each year be­
cause of the need to replace
workers who retire, die, or leave the
industry for other work.
Industrial customers are expected
to use more electricity because of
the widening application of electric
power to industrial processes. Use
of electricity by residential custom­
ers is expected to rise because of
the growth in population and the
number of households. In addition,
residential customers are expected
to increase their use of electricity
for heating and air conditioning,

732

and for an increasing number and
variety of appliances. The construc­
tion of new stores and office build­
ings and the modernization of exist­
ing structures will expand the use of
electricity by commercial custom­
ers.
However, the growing use of au­
tomatic controls in this highly mech­
anized industry makes possible
large increases in the production of
electric power with little increase in
employment. For example, since
operators in generating stations are
needed chiefly to check gages and
control instruments, improvements
in generating equipment have made
possible great increases in the in­
dustry’s capacity and production
with only small increases in the
number of operators. Continuing
development of larger and more
highly mechanized equipment with
many automatic controls will result
in a decline in the number of these
operators. The employment of sub­
station operators will continue to
decline because of the installation of
completely automatic equipment in
all but the largest substations. Em­
ployment decreases in these occupa­
tions may be offset by the expected
growth in the number of mainte­
nance and repair craftsmen needed
to keep the industry’s increasing
amount of complex machinery in
operating condition.
The employment of workers in
maintenance and repair of transmis­
sion and distribution lines is ex­
pected to remain relatively stable.
Fewer men per crew will be needed
to work on electric power lines be­
cause of the increasing use of mech­
anized equipment for setting poles
and for stringing and maintaining
lines. However, this reduction in
jobs per crew may be offset by the
larger number of crews needed to
service the expanding distribution
systems required by the growing




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

number of electric power custom­
ers.
Because of the increasing use of
electronic data-processing equip­
ment for billing and record-keeping,
only a small increase in office em­
ployment is expected. However, the
relatively high turnover in office
jobs will provide many additional
openings for new workers each
year. Some increase in employment
also is expected in administrative
jobs; scientific, engineering, and
other technical jobs; and in areas
such as sales and market develop­
ment.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings in the electric utility in­
dustry generally are higher than in
other public utility industries and
in many manufacturing industries.
In 1970, nonsupervisory employees
in private electric power utilities
averaged $175.98 for a 41.8 hour
week, or $4.21 an hour.
Many nonsupervisory electric
utility workers in production, trans­
mission, and distribution depart­
ments are union members. The bar­
gaining representative for most of
these workers is either the Interna­
tional Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers or the Utility Workers
Union of America. Independent un­
ions represent some utility workers.
Because supplying electricity is a
24-hour, 7-day-a-week activity,
some employees work evenings,
nights, and weekends. Most union
contracts with electric utilities pro­
vide a higher rate of pay for evening
and night work than the basic day
rate. In 1970, most workers on the
second shift received from 4 to 26.5
cents an hour more than the basic
day rate, and those on the third
shift, from 6 to 39.5 cents an hour
more.

Overtime work often is required,
especially during emergencies such
as floods, hurricanes, or storms.
During an “emergency callout,”
which is a short-notice request to
report to work during nonscheduled
hours, the worker generally is guar­
anteed a minimum of 3 or 4 hours’
pay at IVi times his basic hourly
rate. Travel time to and from the
job is counted as worktime.
In addition to these provisions
which affect pay, electric utilities
provide other employee benefits.
Annual vacations are granted to
workers according to length of serv­
ice. Usually, contracts or employee
benefit programs provide for a 1week vacation for 6 months to 1
year of service, 2 weeks for 1 to 10
years, and 3 weeks for 10 to 20
years. A number of contracts and
programs provide for 4 weeks after
18 years and for 5 weeks after 25
years or more. The number of paid
holidays ranges from 6 to 12 days a
year. Nearly all companies have
benefit plans for their employees. A
typical program provides life, hospi­
talization, and surgical insurance
and paid sick leave. Retirement
pension plans supplement Federal
social security payments and gener­
ally are paid for in full or in part by
the employer.
The number of injuries per mil­
lion man-hours worked is much
lower in this industry than in most
manufacturing industries. Some oc­
cupations are more subject to acci­
dents than others. Accidents occur
most frequently among the line and
cable splicing crews. Because of the
dangers of electrocution and other
hazards, electric utilities and unions
have made intensive efforts to en­
force safe working practices.
Sources of Additional Information

More information about jobs in


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102