View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

Service Occupations
About one out of every eight workers in the
United States is in a service occupation; in
1960, the number of these workers exceeded 8
million. Service workers help to protect peo­
ple’s lives and property and add to their comfort
and convenience in many other ways. Domestic
service workers in private homes are the largest
group. Others are protective service workers
such as policemen and firemen; and workers
such as barbers, beauty operators, and practical
nurses, who give personal services to people.
The remaining group— a large one— is com­
posed of waiters, cooks, janitors, elevator opera­
tors, and other workers who perform services
directly connected with the operation of the
business firms and other organizations which
employ them.
Service occupations should not be confused
with service industries. Service industries—

which include hotels, automobile repair shops,
amusement enterprises, and advertising agen­
cies— employ not only workers in service occu­
pations but also many professional, clerical, and
skilled workers, such as writers, actors, stenog­
raphers, and mechanics. On the other hand,
many workers in service occupations are em­
ployed outside the service industries; watchmen
and cleaners in factories and porters on railroad
trains are examples of service occupations
found in manufacturing and in transportation
industries.
The following chapters give information
about some of the principal protective and per­
sonal service occupations. Information about
some other service occupations is given in the
chapters on hotel and restaurant occupations.
(See index for page numbers.)

PROTECTIVE SERVICE OCCUPATIONS
Protecting life and property is the chief job
of more than three-quarters of a million civilian
workers in the United States. Guards and
watchmen are the largest group of protective
service workers— probably well over one-third
of the total number. Some guards and watch­
men are employed by private companies to pro­
tect their property and enforce company rules
and regulations; others are employed in jails
and other government buildings. Policemen
and detectives are the second largest group of
protective service workers. Most policemen and
detectives are government employees, but some
work for hotels, stores, or other companies, or
as private detectives. Firemen, who work
mainly for city governments, are the third
largest group. The remaining protective service
workers, who together probably represent less
than a tenth of the total number, are sheriffs



and bailiffs, crossing watchmen and bridge
tenders, and marshals and constables.
A college education is needed to enter some
protective service jobs. For many others, highschool graduation is required, but for some
there are no formal educational requirements.
To become an FBI agent, for example, a young
man must be either a lawyer or an accountant
and, in most cities, young people seeking ap­
pointment to the police force are required to
be high school graduates. On the other hand,
the amount of education completed is not an
important consideration for many guard and
watchman jobs.
In addition to specific educational require­
ments, candidates for protective service jobs in
government agencies may have to meet very
rigid standards with respect to health, age,
and strength, as well as to personal reliability.
311

312

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

In contrast, guards and watchmen are some­
times handicapped persons or older men.
The number of protective service workers in
the United States has been growing faster than
the population as a whole, during the past 50
years— owing partly to the increasing propor­
tion of people living in cities where police,
firefighting, and other protective services are
especially needed. In 1910, there was only 1
protective service worker for every 450 per­
sons in the United States. By 1960, the ratio
had nearly doubled— about 1 for every 235 per­
sons. In all probability, the need for protective
service workers will continue to increase faster
than the population. Besides, thousands of new

workers will be required each year to replace
those who retire, die, or transfer to other oc­
cupations. Many openings for protective service
workers will occur even in years when the gen­
eral level of business activity is declining.
Since police and other protective services are
always necessary, employment is steadier in
most protective service occupations than in
many other fields of work.
The employment outlook for FBI agents, fire­
men, and policemen—three large protective
service occupations which offer career oppor­
tunities for young people— is described in the
sections that follow.

FBI Agents
(D.O.T. 2-66.99)

Nature of Work

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
agents investigate many types of violations of
Federal law, such as bank robberies, kidnapings, frauds against the Government, thefts of
Government property, and cases of espionage
or sabotage. The FBI is part of the U.S. De­
partment of Justice. Altogether, it has juris­
diction over some 160 Federal investigative
matters, and each agent may be assigned to
work on any one of them. However, agents
with specialized training in accounting are
likely to be assigned chiefly to cases involving
complex financial records; for example, frauds
involving Federal Reserve Bank records. An
agent can never be certain what his day will be
like, what new assignment may be given him,
or where it will lead him.
Owing to the highly confidential nature of
the FBFs work, agents may not disclose to un­
authorized persons, including members of their
families, any of the information which they
gather in the course of their official duties.
The FBI is primarily a fact-gathering and fact­
reporting agency, and its agents function
strictly as investigators. Agents may be called
upon to testify in court about cases that they
investigate, but they do not make recommen­

dations pertaining to prosecution, express opin­


ions concerning the guilt or innocence of sus­
pects, or issue “ clearances.”
Under ordinary circumstances agents wear
regular business suits. They generally work
alone and must maintain continual contact with
their superiors by radio or telephone. Two or
more agents always are assigned to handle ar­
rests, raids, and other potentially dangerous
duties.
Where Employed

Most of the approximately 6,000 agents em­
ployed in 1960 were assigned to the Bureau’s
54 field offices located in major cities through­
out the Nation. The remainder worked out of
the Bureau’s office in Puerto Rico or were sta­
tioned at FBI headquarters at the U.S. Depart­
ment of Justice, Washington, D.C. In addition
to the field offices, there are FBI resident
agencies, staffed by small numbers of agents,
in many cities and towns across the United
States. These agencies facilitate the prompt
and economical handling of all investigative
matters which are within the FBI’s jurisdic­
tion.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

To be eligible for appointment as an FBI
agent, an applicant must have graduated from

313

SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

C o urtesy o f F ed eral B u rea u o f In v estig atio n

F B I agents in training learn how fingerprints identify
people.

a State-accredited resident law school or a 4year resident accounting school requiring per­
sonal attendance on the part of the student.
The law school training must have been pre­
ceded by at least 2 years of college education.
Accounting graduates must also have had at
least 3 years of experience in accounting or
auditing or a combination of both.
All applicants for positions as FBI agents
must be male citizens of the United States,
between the ages of 25 and 40, and willing to
serve anywhere in the United States or its
territorial possessions. They must be at least
5 feet 7 inches tall and capable of strenuous
physical exertion, and they must have unim­
paired hearing, very good vision, normal color
perception, and no physical defects which would
prevent the use of firearms or participation
in dangerous assignments. Each applicant must
pass a rigid physical examination, as well as
written and oral examinations testing his
knowledge of law or accounting and his aptitude
for meeting the public and conducting investi­
gations. All the tests except the physical exami­
nation are given by the FBI at its field offices.
In addition, all applicants undergo exhaustive
background and character investigations. Ap­



pointments are made on a probationary basis
and become permanent after 1 year of satis­
factory service.
Each newly appointed agent is given 13
weeks of training before he is assigned to a
field office. He takes most of this training at
the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., and
the rest at the FBI Academy at the U.S. Marine
Corps Base in Quantico, Va. During this period,
he is taught judo and defensive tactics and
becomes familiar with FBI rules and regula­
tions, investigative work, fingerprinting, and
the firearms normally used by the FBI. After
assignment to a field office, the new agent works
closely with an experienced agent for a period
of about 2 weeks before he qualifies for inde­
pendent assignments.
All higher grade positions are filled from
within the ranks of FBI agents. It is possible,
therefore, for an experienced agent to advance
to more responsible administrative and super­
visory positions, such as field supervisor, spe­
cial agent in charge of a field office, and in­
spector.
Employment Outlook

The FBI is a career service, and its rate of
personnel turnover traditionally has been lower
than that of private industry and the Govern­
ment as a whole. Accordingly, unless there is
a substantial expansion of its investigative
staff, it is not anticipated that many vacancies
for agents will arise in the immediate future.
Nevertheless, the FBI is always interested in
receiving applications from qualified men who
would like to be considered for positions as
agents.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The entrance salary for FBI agents was
$6,995 in 1960. This was somewhat higher
than the usual starting salary for college grad­
uates entering employment in other Federal
agencies. FBI agents are not appointed under
Federal Civil Service regulations, but, like oth­
er Federal employees, they receive periodic
within-grade salary raises if their work per­
formance is satisfactory, and they can advance

314

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

in grade as they gain experience. The top
salary for regular field agents was $11,935 in
1960; agents in supervisory and administrative
positions received higher salaries.
Agents are subject to call 24 hours a day and
must be available for assignments at all times.
They frequently work longer than the customary
40-hour week and, under certain specified con­
ditions, receive overtime pay at the rate of $977
a year (about $38 each 2-week pay period).

They receive paid vacations and sick leave and
annuities on retirement. Some aspects of the
FBI agent’s work are adventurous; he travels
frequently and meets all kinds of people. The
work is potentially dangerous and involves a
great deal of responsibility.
Where To Go for More Information
The Federal Bureau of Investigation,
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington 25, D.C.

Firemen
(D.O.T. 2-63.)

Nature of Work

Firefighters in city and town fire departments
have the exciting job of protecting the public
against fire. Through efficient teamwork, they
prevent loss of life and minimize property
damage from fire. For many thousands, partic­
ularly in large cities, firefighting is a full-time
job. In small towns, however, there are also
thousands of volunteer firemen and paid “ call
men” who hold themselves ready to help fight
fires whenever their services are needed. This
statement is concerned principally with the
work of full-time firemen.
When an alarm sounds at the station, firemen
put on protective clothing and are ready to
drive to the scene of the fire in a matter of
seconds. They may fight fires ranging from
spectacular waterfront blazes, requiring men
and equipment from several fire companies, to
smoldering trash fires that can be controlled
with a fire extinguisher.
Because firefighting is a dangerous and com­
plicated activity, it must be well organized.
The scene of a fire may appear to be one of con­
fusion, with many fire trucks, thousands of feet,
of fire hose, and firemen working at a feverish
pace. Nevertheless, each fireman performs spe­
cific duties under the direction of a command­
ing officer. Truckmen drive the fire trucks;
hosemen unreel and couple fire hose, put on
nozzles, turn on water hydrants, and direct
streams of water on the fire; and laddermen set
up ladders. Other firefighters may be assigned
to forcible entry jobs, using tools such as axes,



crowbars, and fire hooks to get inside burning
buildings. Still others work as rescue teams to
reach people trapped in burning buildings,
carry them to safety, and administer first aid.
Depending on the judgment of the officer in
charge, firemen may be shifted from one of these
duties to another while the company is in ac­
tion. After a fire is put out, firemen carefully
inspect the premises to make sure no further
danger exists; if necessary, firefighters may be
put on standby watch or hand extinguishers
used on smoldering objects.

Firemen fighting a blaze from a building roof.

SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

Another important responsibility of city fire
departments is fire prevention. In big depart­
ments, certain kinds of fire prevention work
may be handled by specially trained personnel,
and other kinds by regular firemen. In many
cities, however, firefighters do practically all
kinds of fire prevention work. Firemen on as­
signments of this kind inspect factories, thea­
tres, and other public buildings for conditions
that might cause fire, and check on whether
owners are complying with local regulations
relating to fire escapes, fire doors, storage of
inflammable materials, and other possible haz­
ards. Educating the general public about fire
prevention and safety measures is also a part
of their job. Sometimes they speak on this
subject before school assemblies and civic
groups, and in many communities they inspect
private homes in an effort to prevent fires by
pointing out possible hazards to homeowners.
Between alarms, firefighters spend a great
deal of time at the local station improving their
knowledge of firefighting and doing mainte­
nance work. They participate in practice
drills, lubricate and polish firefighting equip­
ment, stretch hoses to dry, stand watch at fire
alarm instruments, and verify and record
alarms. They may also use their spare time
to study fire manuals and textbooks in prepara­
tion for examinations which will qualify them
for promotion. Some firemen, who have to be
at the station 24 hours at a stretch, take turns
performing various housekeeping duties such
as mopping floors or making beds. Firemen
usually have some leisure time in which to
read, watch television, and play table tennis
or other games.
Where Employed

An estimated 125,000 to 150,000 full-time
firefighters were employed in 1960 by city fire
departments. A few large cities— New York,
Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia— each
had several thousands of firemen, while at the
other extreme many very small cities had fewer

than 50 firefighters each.


315
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

To become eligible for appointment as a fire­
man, young men generally have to pass a writ­
ten intelligence test, a rigid physical examina­
tion, and an athletic performance test (running,
climbing, etc.) as specified by local civil service
regulations. In most communities, these exami­
nations are open only to men who are at least
21 years of age, meet certain height and weight
requirements, and have a high school education.
The men who receive the highest grades on
their examinations (with credit usually given
for military service) have the best chances for
appointment. Other factors, such as previous
firefighting training, may also be considered.
Experience gained as a volunteer fireman may
improve a young man’s chances for appoint­
ment to a paid job.
As a rule, the beginner in a large fire de­
partment is given training for several weeks at
the city’s fire service school. During this train­
ing, formal study is combined with practice
drills related to the fundamentals of firefighting
— forcible entry, rescue work, first aid, and
the use of equipment such as axes, bars, life­
lines, chemical extinguishers, ladders, and
pumps. The recruit is then assigned to one of
the city fire companies, usually as a hoseman,
truckman, or ladderman. After 1 to 5 years
of experience, he may be eligible for promotion.
Eventually he may become an officer; in a large
city, the line of promotion is to lieutenant, then
to captain, battalion chief, deputy or assistant
chief, and finally to chief. Chances for advance­
ment generally depend upon the candidate’s
position on the promotion list, as determined
by his rating on a written examination and on
his work as a fireman. Throughout his service,
the fireman continues to receive in-service
training and spends many hours studying such
subjects as hydraulics, ventilation, salvage
work, fire investigation and incendiarism, and
fire prevention. This broadened knowledge
helps him to pass the subject matter sections
of the promotion examinations.
Among the personal qualities which are im­
portant for firefighters are above average physi­
cal stamina, mental alertness, courage, and
mechanical aptitude. Leadership qualities and
good judgment are valuable assets for officers,

316
since they have the responsibility of establish­
ing* and maintaining a high degree of discipline
and efficiency, as well as planning and directing
the activities of firemen.
Employment Outlook

Several thousand employment opportunities
for firefighters are expected each year through
the mid-1960's. Most openings will arise from
the need to replace men who retire, die, or
otherwise leave the occupation; the replace­
ment rate is higher than that for many occupa­
tions. A moderate number of new jobs will
also become available, as city fire departments
enlarge their staffs and as new departments are
formed to replace volunteer fire companies in
rapidly growing communities. In addition, some
openings will probably be created as city fire
departments continue to shorten the scheduled
hours of duty for their firefighters.
The number of young men who apply and
qualify for firefighter jobs in large cities is
usually greater than the number of job open­
ings, even though the written examination and
stiff physical requirements always eliminate
many applicants. Competition for fireman jobs
is apt to be very keen when there is consider­
able unemployment, since this occupation is an
extremely stable one and especially desirable
when many other jobs are insecure.
Over the long run, the number of firefighters
will continue to increase moderately. The need
for more firemen resulting from population
growth, urbanization, and additional building
construction will be offset, to some extent, by
certain other factors— among them, more wide­
spread use of fireproof and fire-resistant ma­
terials in building construction, improved fire­
fighting techniques and equipment, the rebuild­
ing of slum areas and replacement or modern­
ization of old dwellings, and increased efforts
at fire prevention. At the same time, however,
fire departments are likely to be called on to
spend more time in fire prevention activities, as
campaigns are undertaken to inform people
about the measures that can be taken, and as
city governments revise fire and building codes,
improve fire inspection procedures, and enforce

more strictly their fire regulations.


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Earnings and Working Conditions

Average (median) beginning salaries of fire­
fighters in 1960 ranged from $3,900 a year in
small cities (10,000 to 25,000 population) to
$4,840 in larger cities (over 500,000 popula­
tion), according to a study by The Interna­
tional City Managers' Association. Begin­
ning salaries were as low as $2,340 in one rela­
tively small city and as high as $6,000 or more
in a few larger ones. Generally, firemen receive
salary increases annually during the first 2 to
5 years of service. Maximum salaries of fire­
men (below the rank of officer) averaged about
$4,500 in small cities and $5,900 in the largest
ones. Fire chiefs averaged $6,000 in small
cities and almost $14,000 in the largest ones.
Practically all city fire departments furnish or
pay allowances for protective firefighting cloth­
ing (helmets, boots, and rubber coats), and
many also provide for firemen's dress uniforms.
In most cities, firemen are on duty for a
24-hour shift, and then off for 24 hours, with
an extra day off at intervals. In a few cities,
the day shift is 10 hours, and the night shift
14 hours, with firemen rotating shifts at least
once a month. The time firemen are scheduled
to be on duty may range all the way from 40
to 96 hours a week. In most cities, firemen are
on duty 60 or more hours a week, but in the
very largest cities with the biggest fire depart­
ments, weekly schedules are usually shorter
than this.
In addition to their scheduled hours, firemen
must work as much overtime as necessary to
bring a fire under control. As a rule, they
receive time off instead of extra pay for over­
time work.
The job of a firefighter involves risk of life
or injury from sudden cave-ins of floors or top­
pling walls, in addition to the dangers from
exposure to flames, smoke, and bad weather. In
fighting fires in industrial establishments, fire­
men may come in contact with poisonous,
flammable, and explosive gases and chemicals.
Firemen are generally covered by liberal pen­
sion plans, which often provide for retirement
at half pay at age 50 after 25 years of service,
or at any age if disabled in line of duty. Should
disability occur, men may be transferred from
active firefighting to vacancies in such jobs as

317

SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

fire alarm operator or dispatcher. Firefighters
receive regular paid vacations like other city
employees. In addition, because of the hazards
of the occupation, provisions for sick leave
are usually very liberal. Some fire departments
allow firefighters time off for working on holi­
days, although a substantial number give paid
holidays.
A majority of firefighters are members of
the International Association of Fire Fighters
(AFL-CIO).

Where To Go for More Information

Information on how to obtain a job as a
firefighter may be obtained from your local civil
service commission or fire department.
General information on the occupation may
be obtained from :
International Association of Fire Fighters,
815 16th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.

Additional information on the salaries and
hours of work of firemen in various cities is
published by The International City Managers'
Association in its Municipal Yearbook, availa­
ble in many libraries.

Policemen
(D.O.T. 2-66.)

Nature of Work

Policemen who direct traffic at street cor­
ners, patrol “ beats,” or make newspaper head­
lines by arresting dangerous criminals are all
helping to enforce the law with respect to such
things as people’s lives and property. They are
employed mainly by'police departments in cit­
ies and towns. (Sheriffs, State highway patrol­
men, immigration inspectors, Federal border
patrolmen, and others who help enforce the law
are not covered by this discussion of police­
men; nor does it cover guards, railroad police,
and others employed, for the most part, by
business fims to protect lives and property.)
Policemen usually begin their day by re­
porting to police headquarters or their local
precinct stations. In large police departments,
they may answer rollcall and stand personal
inspection. They take notes while their supe­
rior officer briefs them on such matters as
“ wanted” criminals, stolen cars, and missing
persons. Most policemen patrol an assigned
“ beat” on foot, in police cars, or on motorcycles.
They may be assigned to a congested business
district, a crowded tenement area, or an out­
lying residential district. Patrolmen become
familiar with conditions on their beat: They
know when shopkeepers open and close their
stores; they are aware of local banking hours
and payroll movements; and they know who




the neighborhood “ toughs” are. At night,
patrolmen check to see that the doors of
business establishments are locked and watch
for anything that looks suspicious. Through
signal boxes or by two-way radios, they report
to headquarters at regular intervals and some­
times receive special instructions regarding
problems in their vicinity. In emergencies—

Policemen investigating a burglary.

318
riots, serious accidents, or fires— the patrol­
man on the beat is often the first to take action
before reinforcements can reach the scene.
Although in large cities many policemen are
specifically assigned to traffic duty, patrolmen
on their beats also watch for traffic vio­
lations and direct traffic if necessary.
Whether on or off duty, policemen are ex­
pected to exercise their authority whenever
necessary. Policemen spend part of their time
filling out various forms such as “ tickets” for
parking violations and other traffic offenses,
writing reports on arrests or stolen articles,
and testifying in court.
In large cities, some policemen may be spe­
cially assigned to communications work, labo­
ratory work, firearm or fingerprint identifica­
tion, testing for drivers’ licenses, duty at pre­
cinct jails, or other special work. Detectives
(plainclothes men) are usually assigned to
precinct detective squads or to burglary, homi­
cide, narcotics, or other special squads. A
small number of policewomen are employed,
mainly in crime prevention and detection work
with girls and women. Policemen may also be
detailed to do this kind of work with boys.
Where Employed

More than 170,000 full-time policemen of
all ranks were employed in 1959 by police de­
partments in cities of over 2,500 population.
Additional thousands of workers not clas­
sified as policemen were also employed in these
cities, checking parking meters, and doing
other kinds of work related to law enforce­
ment. New York City had approximately
23,000 policemen in 1959; Chicago had about
11,000. In contrast, many small cities, with
populations under 25,000, employed fewer than
25 policemen each.
Most policemen work outdoors, on beats
which may range from a block or two in a
crowded "downtown district to a wide area in
less congested sections. However, some police­
men perform their duties mainly indoors— for
example, in laboratories or at desks in police
headquarters or in local precinct stations.



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

To become eligible*for appointment as a
policeman, young men generally have to pass
a written intelligence test, a rigid physical
examination, and a test of strength and agility
as specified by local civil service regulations.
In many cities, these examinations are open
only to men who are at least 21 years of age,
meet certain height and weight requirements,
have a high school education, and have been
residents of the city for a specified period. In
an increasing number of cities, however, the
residence requirements are being relaxed.
Many police departments give preference in
hiring to young men trained at the growing
number of colleges and universities which
offer degrees in police science and adminis­
tration.
Since personal characteristics such as honesty
and emotional stability are especially impor­
tant in police work, many departments give
each prospective appointee an interview and
investigate his character and background.
Those who receive the highest grades on ex­
aminations and also rate high on personal
evaluation have the best chances of ap­
pointment. Credit is usually given for military
service.
As a rule, the beginner in a police department
receives from 2 weeks’ to several months’ train­
ing at the police school maintained by the city.
He practices shooting and takes lessons in selfdefense, including boxing, wrestling, and judo.
Formal instruction may cover such subjects as
the law of arrest, search, and seizure, State
criminal laws, and local ordinances; patrol pro­
cedures ; accident investigation; and traffic con­
trol. The beginner may also receive training in
first aid and other subjects so that he will be
able to deal with emergencies of all kinds—
which can range from delivering a baby to han­
dling explosives. The recruit often patrols a
beat with an experienced officer for a week or
so. He is then usually assigned to either patrol
or traffic duty.
After some experience, the patrolman becomes
eligible for promotion. In a large city, pro­
motion to sergeant, lieutenant, and captain
generally depends upon the candidate’s posi­
tion on the promotion list, based on a written

SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

examination and his work as a policeman.
Often, however, patrolmen are promoted to the
job of detective solely because of an aptitude
for investigative work or a citation for out­
standing performance. The latter may also
serve as a basis for promotion to higher ranks
in any type of police work.
Many training opportunities are available to
help policemen improve their performance and
prepare them for advancement. Most laYge
city departments have in-service training pro­
grams. A limited number of police officers are
selected to take advanced training at the Na­
tional Police Academy in Washington, D. C.,
conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investiga­
tion; and others may be given an opportunity
to take college and university courses in police
administration, scientific investigation, traffic
control, and other police science subjects, with
all or part of their tuition paid by the police
departments where they are employed. In the
opinion of many police officials, college-trained
men, especially those who have taken courses
in police science, will have the best chances
for advancement in the future, owing to the
increasing need for men with specialized knowl­
edge who can handle the complex work of
modern police departments.
Some large cities have police cadet systems
which make it possible for high school gradu­
ates interested in police careers to get a start
without waiting until they are old enough to
be eligible for appointment to regular police
jobs. Cadets are paid police department em­
ployees who spend part of their time doing
clerical and other nonenforcement work, and
the remaining time attending courses in police
science. When they reach the age of 21, they
may be appointed to the police force, provided
their work has been satisfactory and they
meet other requirements. Like most policemen,
cadets must serve a probationary term before
their appointments to the police force become
permanent.
Employment Outlook

Many opportunities for qualified young men to
enter police work are expected annually
 the mid-1960’s. Thousands of men will
through


319
be needed each year to fill new jobs created
as police departments expand, and vacancies
which occur as policemen retire, die, or trans­
fer to other occupations. Many policemen re­
tire before the usual retirement age for workers
in most occupations. Chiefly for this reason,
the proportion of policemen who have to be
replaced yearly is higher than in many other
occupations.
Employment of policemen will continue to
rise fairly rapidly over the long run, as growth
in population, particularly in and around cit­
ies, creates a need for more men in traffic
control and crime detection and prevention.
Police authorities, concerned over the rise in
the number of juvenile offenders, will proba­
bly further increase preventive and enforce­
ment work in this field. Of course, the number
of policemen employed depends on the amount
of money made available by local governments.
Because of the essential nature of the work,
however, it is likely that police department
appropriations will be increased to take care
of growing needs.
The number of policemen needed in the
future and the nature of their work will be
influenced also by technological advances—
the use of improved methods and equipment in
police work. For many years, police depart­
ments have used automatic signal lights for
traffic control, cars and motorcycles for patrol
work, scientific methods for crime detection,
and, more recently, trained police dogs for
patrol and detection work, and radar and
closed-circuit television in connection with
traffic enforcement work. Along with these
changes in police methods, police employment
has continued to grow. Further technological
developments will probably increase the need
for policemen with specialized skills and knowl­
edge, as well as help to make police work
more efficient.
The number of young men applying for jobs
as policemen is usually greater than the num­
ber of openings. However, the written exam­
inations and stiff physical requirements
always eliminate many applicants. Competi­
tion for police jobs is very keen during periods
of high unemployment, since this is an unu­
sually stable occupation.

320
Earnings and Working Conditions

Beginning* salaries for patrolmen ranged
from slightly less than $3,000 a year in several
small cities to considerably more than $5,000
in some large ones in 1960, according to a
study by The International City Managers’
Association. The average (median) entrance
salary for patrolmen in middle-size cities
(50,000 to 100,000 population) was $4,340 a
year. Generally, patrolmen’s salaries are raised
at regular intervals during their first years
of employment, until a specified maximum is
reached. In small cities, top salaries paid pa­
trolmen in 1960 were generally from $500 to
$600 more than starting salaries; in the larg­
est cities, the difference was close to $1,000.
Detectives, sergeants, lieutenants, and other
officers are paid higher salaries than the
patrolmen in their police departments. For
police chiefs, salaries ranged from less than
$5,000 a year in several small cities to more
than $20,000 a year in a few of the largest.
Most policemen are paid special allowances
for uniforms and are furnished the special
equipment they use, such as revolvers, night
sticks, handcuffs, and badges.
The majority of policemen have a 40-hour
workweek, although the average is 48 hours in
small cities. They often work nights, since
they generally rotate on a 3-shift basis; for
example, shifts may be from 8 a. m. to 4 p. m.,
from 4 p. m. to midnight, and from midnight
to 8 a. m. Those who are called to work in




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

emergencies often receive additional time off
or extra pay for overtime worked.
Policemen are generally covered by liberal
pension plans which often provide for retire­
ment at age 55 after 25 years of service, or
at any age if disabled in line of duty. They
receive regular paid vacations and, in a number
of cities, are given time off to compensate for
work on holidays. Sick leave and medical,
surgical, and life insurance plans are also
among the benefits provided.
In this occupation, men must often stand
or walk for long periods in bad weather. The
higher-than-average injury rate of policemen
reflects the risks they take in pursuing speed­
ing motorists, capturing lawbreakers, and
rescuing would-be suicides. Relatively few
policemen are killed in line of duty, however.
Where To Go for More Information

Information on how to become a policeman
may be obtained from local civil service com­
missions or police departments.
General information on the occupation may
be obtained from :
International Association of Chiefs of Police,
704 17th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.

Additional information on the salaries and
hours of work of policemen in various cities
is published by The International City Manag­
ers’ Association in its Municipal Year Book,
available in many libraries.

OTHER SERVICE OCCUPATIONS
About 7.5 million workers were employed in
service occupations in 1960 (not counting
protective service workers, discussed in the
preceding chapter). These occupations are
of many different kinds and afford opportuni­
ties for workers with entirely different back­
grounds and personal qualifications. Many of
the service occupations require workers with
considerable skill and training; others require
comparatively little. Barbers and beauty oper­
ators are among those who need specialized
vocational training. Chefs and cooks in restau­
rants must also be specially trained for their
work, either in school or on the job. On the
other hand, such workers as kitchen helpers,
maids, charwomen, and janitors need little,
if any, special training. For porters, life
guards, and certain other service occupations,
physical strength is necessary. A pleasant
manner and nice appearance are particularly
important for such workers as elevator oper­
ators, hat check girls, and theater ushers. Still
other service workers— for example, practical
nurses and travel guides— need to have a
special knack for dealing with people.
Private household workers, who numbered
more than 2 million in 1960, are the largest
group in the service field. The number of
domestic workers fell sharply during World
War II, as is likely to happen whenever there
is a general and acute shortage of labor, but
in recent years, it has been rising again. Be­
tween 1950 and 1960, employment of private
household workers increased by about 17 per­
cent, somewhat faster than the work force as
a whole, though not as fast as employment in
most service occupations.
Employment in service occupations outside
private households increased by 32 percent
between 1950 and 1960— or considerably faster
than the average for the entire work force.



For the most part, this increase resulted from
rising income levels and changing patterns of
American living. The proportion of women
who work outside their homes has risen steadi­
ly, for example; this has led to a growing need
for such services outside the home as meal
preparation and care of the sick, and to a
substantial rise in the employment of service
workers in eating and drinking places and in
hospitals and nursing homes. Educational
institutions are among the other types of es­
tablishments where employment of service
workers has grown— reflecting the rapid rise
in school and college enrollments and the fact
that it has become customary to provide meals
not only for college students but also for many
pupils attending elementary and secondary
schools.
In the long run, employment in service oc­
cupations will probably continue to rise sub­
stantially. Most of this growth will probably
continue to be in jobs outside private house­
holds. Some rise in employment of domestic
workers is also probable, because of the in­
creasing number of working mothers with
young children. However, most job openings for
workers in all service occupations, both in and
outside private households, will result from the
need to replace the thousands of workers who
annually leave their jobs. Turnover is high in
these occupations for several reasons— the
high proportion of women, especially in pri­
vate household work, the many temporary and
part-time jobs, and the relatively low rates of
pay. Turnover will no doubt continue high
because of these factors, and will result in
many thousands of job openings each year.
Additional information on service workers
is given in the statements on barbers, beauty
operators, and practical nurses which follow.
321

322

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Barbers
(D.O.T. 2-32.01)

Nature of Work

About 200,000 barbers were employed full
time in the occupation in 1960, and many
others did some part-time barbering. Besides
cutting hair, barbers give hair and scalp treat­
ments, fit hair pieces, and provide customers
with other personal services such as shaves,
facial massages,' and shampoos. They some­
times sell hair tonics, shampoos, and related
preparations, and give advice on care of the
hair and scalp. Barbers must know all hair
styles and be alert to follow customers’ wishes
on the type of haircut wanted. They must also
try to finish each haircut in the way best
suited to the shape of the customer’s head.
A barber builds up a steady clientele not only
by giving good haircuts but also by putting
customers at ease, giving them quick and cour­
teous service, and keeping a clean, attractive
shop. In small shops, a barber may be expected
to keep his own work area clean or take his
turn sweeping the shop. Each barber is usu­
ally responsible for keeping his barbering in­
struments sterilized and in good condition.
Barbers who run their own shops have respon-

sibilities common to many small businessmen,
such as ordering supplies, paying bills, and
hiring and managing employees.
The few women barbers sometimes perform
all types of barbering services, or sometimes
specialize in a particular type of work, for
example, cutting children’s hair.
Where Employed

More than half of the barbers in the more
than 100,000 barbershops in the country in
1960 owned or operated their own shops. Most
barbershops are one- or two-man establish­
ments, where the owner either works alone
or with one other barber. However, shops em­
ploying several barbers are to be found in
large hotels and office buildings in downtown
areas of cities and in a growing number of
suburban shopping centers. A few thousand
barbers are employed in combination barber
and beauty shops. A small number have jobs
in such places as hospitals and on ocean liners,
or work in government agencies.
All cities and towns and most villages have
barbershops. However, barbers are concen­
trated in large cities and in the most popu­
lous States.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Student barbers practice their trade besides attending
classes.




Almost every State requires that barbers be
licensed or certified by the State board of
barber examiners or some other State au­
thority. In order to qualify for his license or
certificate, a barber is required in most States
to pass a State examination which includes
both a written test and a demonstration of his
ability to perform barbering services. Nearly
all States admit to their licensing examina­
tions only those candidates who are at least
16 or 18 years old, meet certain health stand­
ards, and have completed at least the 8th grade
and then graduated from a State-approved bar­
ber school. In most States, the new barber
school graduate is required first to take an
examination for a license as an apprentice

323

SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

barber and then— usually after 1 or 2 years of
work experience— he takes another examina­
tion for his journeyman barber's license. A
few States issue journeyman licenses to be­
ginners without requiring any apprenticeship.
Barbers who move to another State must meet
whatever licensing requirements may have been
established by that State.
Barber training is offered in more than 100
public vocational schools and private barber
colleges. Courses may be up to a year in length.
The student barber studies principally the
basic barber services— haircutting, shaving,
massaging, and facial and scalp treatments—
and, under supervision, practices these ser­
vices on people. Besides attending lectures
on barber services and the use and care of
barber instruments, the student also takes
courses in anatomy, sanitation, and hygiene,
including the recognition of skin diseases.
Instruction is also given in salesmanship and
general business practices.
A beginner may obtain his first job as a
barber by being recommended to an employer
by the barber school where he received his
training, or he may locate a job through the
barber's union or through personal contacts
in his own local community. He customarily
buys his own tools— usually at a cost of about
$75 to $100. Experienced barbers may advance
by opening their own shops, by becoming
managers of large shops, or by moving to shops
which have more patrons. If they meet the
requirements, a few barbers may eventually
teach at barber schools. Barbers who go into
business for themselves must have the capital
necessary to buy or rent a shop and install
equipment. The usual cost of equipping a onechair barbershop
is roughly
estimated
at $1,500. Costs differ greatly, however, as
some barbershop owners may buy used equip­
ment and fixtures at reduced prices, whereas
others pay higher prices to procure the newest
and best equipment.
Dealing with customers may call for patience
and a better-than-average disposition on the
part of the barber. Good general health and
stamina are important also, as barbers must
stand for long periods, much of the time
working with both hands above shoulder level.



Employment Outlook

Several thousand openings for barbers are
expected each year through the mid-1960's.
Most of the openings will arise from the need
to replace barbers who retire, die, or trans­
fer to other fields of work. The death and
retirement rates in this occupation are rela­
tively high, since barbers are somewhat older,
on the average, than workers in many other
occupations. Also, experienced barbers as well
as beginners are often attracted to other types
of jobs and many vacancies have to be filled
as they leave the occupation.
In addition, employment of barbers will
probably increase moderately during the
1960's. This employment increase will be due
principally to population growth and the re­
sulting need for more barbering services. The
small shop with only one or two barbers will
probably remain the most common type of es­
tablishment; however, the continuing shift of
population to suburban communities should re­
sult in more opportunities to open large shops
in these areas and in a need for larger staffs
in suburban shops which are already
established.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Most full-time barbers earned between $50
and $150 a week in 1960, according to the
limited data available. A few barbers in the
most desirable locations in big cities probably
earned up to $175 or more a week. These esti­
mates include tips, which are often an im­
portant part of barbers' earnings. Aside from
tips, most barbers not in business for them­
selves are either paid commissions— usually
65 to 80 percent of the money they take in—
or receive salaries plus commissions. A few
barbers are paid straight salaries. In the
Federal Government, where this is the prac­
tice, most barbers earned from $70 to $85 a
week in 1960.
A barber's earnings depend to a great extent
on the size of the community where he works
and the location of his shop, since the income
level and tipping customs of the community,
the competition from other barbershops, and

324

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

the prices that can be charged all affect earn­
ings. The price of haircuts, for example,
ranged from $1 in most cities in 1960 to as
much as $2 in others, with some special types
of haircuts costing $2.50 or more. Earnings,
of course, depend also on the barber's skill
and personality, which help bring him regular
customers. Barbers who own and work in their
own shops generally earn considerably more
than other barbers.
Most full-time barbers work between 5 and
6 days and 40 and 50 hours weekly. A barber
may have to serve a steady stream of customers
during peak hours and on especially busy days,
such as Saturday, but there are slack peri­
ods when he can have time off to attend
to personal matters. Under some union con­
tracts, barbers receive 1- or 2-week paid vaca­
tions, insurance, and medical benefits.
The principal union which organizes barbers
— both employed barbers and barbershop
owners— is the Journeymen Barbers, Hair­

dressers, Cosmetologists, and Proprietors'
International Union of America. Some shopowners and managers are represented by the
Associated Master Barbers and Beauticians
of America.
Where To Go for More Information

Information on State licensing require­
ments may be obtained from the State board
of barber examiners or other State authority
at each State capital, and information about
approved barber schools from each State's
division of vocational education.
General information on the occupation of
barber may be obtained from :
Journeymen Barbers, Hairdressers, Cosmetologists,
and Proprietors’ International Union of America,
1141 North Delaware St., Indianapolis 7, Ind.
National Educational Council, Associated Master
Barbers and Beauticians of America,
537 South Dearborn St., Chicago 5, 111.

Beauty O perators*
(D.O.T. 2-32.11 through .31)

Nature of Work

Most beauticians provide their customers
with a variety of services, largely related to
the care of the hair. They give permanent
waves and cut, style, shampoo, set, straighten,
bleach, dye, or tint the hair. In addition,
beauticians may give manicures and scalp,
facial, and body treatments; provide make-up
analysis; shape eyebrows; tint eyebrows and
eyelashes; give treatments for damaged hair;
remove superfluous hair; and arrange wigs and
chignons. General duties of a beauty operator
may occasionally include making appoint­
ments; cleaning the shop, equipment, and fur­
niture ; and sterilizing implements.
In a small shop, which primarily provides
hair and manicuring services, an operator may
perform a great variety of tasks. In larger
shops, where a wider range of services is avail­
able, operators may specialize in a particular
* Prepared by the Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor.



phase of the work, such as hair styling, hair
coloring, permanent waving, facial and body
treatments, or manicuring.
A beauty shop owner, in addition to working
as an operator herself, usually performs a num­
ber of administrative duties, such as record­
keeping, property maintenance, control of sup­
plies, and supervision of employees.
Where Employed

Beauticians, also called hairdressers or cos­
metologists, work in all parts of the country.
Job opportunities were formerly concentrated
in cities, but in recent years, the demand for
beauty services in small towns and rural areas
has shown a substantial growth.
In 1959, most beauty operators worked in the
estimated 190,000 commercial beauty shops li­
censed by State cosmetology boards. These
licensed shops were generally individual busi­
ness establishments, but quite a few were lo­
cated in department or specialty stores and in

SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

hotels. A smaller number of shops were on
Government bases, ocean liners, and in hos­
pitals, schools, and other institutions. Some
beauticians rented booths within a shop from
the shopowner and operated independently.
A large proportion of beauty operators are
either owner-operators of small shops or are
employed in small establishments with 1 to 3
operators; few shops have as many as 15 work­
ers. Other operators are employed in branch
shops of citywide or nationwide chains. In
States and communities where the practice is
permitted, a beautician may set up a small
shop within her home. Some manicurists work
in barber shops.
Nearly 692,000 State licenses were issued to
beauty operators in 1959. Beauticians may ob­
tain a license even though not actually em­
ployed, and some hold a license in more than
one State. The number of operators actually
employed in 1960 was, therefore, probably
closer to 300,000. Men make up only a small
part of the total number of operators, but
their number has been increasing steadily since
World War II. They are more often engaged
in specialized work than are women and fre­
quently work as hair stylists or shop managers.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

All but two States (Delaware and Virginia)
require that a beauty operator be licensed. To
obtain a license, an applicant must pass an
examination on the theory and practice of cos­
metology given by an agency of the State in
which she intends to practice. Most States
charge a fee (ranging from $3 to $20) for ad­
mittance to the examination and/or a fee
(ranging from $2 to $15) for issuance of an
operator’s license.
Requirements which a candidate must meet
before being admitted to examination vary by
State. However, all States (except Delaware
and Virginia) have set a minimum age for
operators and require applicants to complete
an approved cosmetology course which has
included an established minimum number of
hours of training. In about half, the age is
16 years; in the others, 17 or 18. Most States
have set a minimum requirement for formal




325

Beautician brushing hair of customer after shampoo and
set.

education— generally completion of the eighth
grade, but the education required ranges from
completion of elementary school to graduation
from high school. A health certificate is re­
quired by a majority of States.
Nearly two-thirds of the States require a
separate license for manicurists, for which sub­
stantially fewer hours of training are required
than for the all-round operator’s license. Many
State boards require teachers and shop man­
agers to obtain special licenses. Moreover, many
States set higher age, education, and experi­
ence requirements for a teaching license than
for an operator’s license.
Beauty operators are often able to practice
in a different State from the one in which they
are licensed; over 85 percent of the States
provide for reciprocity, usually without an ad­
ditional examination.
There were 1,922 private cosmetology
schools in 1960, according to the National
American Cosmetology Schools. A course in
most private schools consists of combined
classroom work and practice in beauty service,
lasting from 1,000 to 1,500 hours, depend­
ing on State licensing requirements.
It
usually takes from 6 to 9 months to complete
such a course. In a few States, where 2,000
hours or more of study and practice are re­
quired, the course may last up to 12 months.

326
Typically;'one-fourth of the training time
in a private school is devoted to classroom
study, lectures, and demonstrations, and threefourths to practical work. Beginning students
get practice by working on each other and/or
manikins. When they have completed the be­
ginning training course satisfactorily, they
may practice in the “ clinic” on customers
who pay a small fee for the services rendered.
Some beauty schools provide a free lifetime
placement service for their graduates. Other
schools may have no formal placement service,
but advise their students of openings.
Cosmetology courses conducted as part of
public vocational education programs meet
State license requirements and are usually part
of a curriculum leading to a high school or a
vocational high school diploma. There were
329 public vocational schools throughout the
country which offered this type of program in
1960. Because of the required academic sub­
jects, the program may run from 2 to 3 years.
However, in some States, students who meet
State agency requirements in cosmetology be­
fore completing the vocational high school aca­
demic program may secure a license and work
part time as beauty operators while completing
the other courses necessary for a high school
diploma.
Some junior colleges also offer programs in
beauty culture.
In addition to formal educational programs,
nearly half of the States accept apprenticeship
training as the basis for admittance to exami­
nation. This type of training is usually spread
over a longer period than formal training pro­
grams.
Over 107,000 students were enrolled in pub­
lic and private beauty schools in 1959.
Another 5,700 students were enrolled in ap­
prenticeship programs.
A beautician may continue her training by
taking post-graduate courses. Schools offering
such courses are licensed and regulated in the
same manner as basic training schools. Usu­
ally one must be a licensed operator in order
to take an advanced course. Some employers
provide special training for their personnel
by holding demonstrations of the latest hair

styles and beauty techniques, and a number


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

of manufacturers of beauty supplies and equip­
ment conduct beauty shows.
The entry job of a beautician is usually that
of an all-round operator, performing a variety
of services. Advancement in this occupation
may come as one gains experience and becomes
specialized in one or more phases of the work,
such as hair tinting or styling.
A trained and experienced operator may ad­
vance to the job of a manager of a large shop
or a teacher in a beauty school. She may even
set up her own shop, either working alone or
employing other beauticians.
An experienced operator may also have the
opportunity to utilize her training in related
fields. She may be employed as a representative
of a manufacturer of cosmetics or beauty
shop equipment, as a beauty editor for a news­
paper or magazine, as a make-up artist, or as
an inspector for a State licensing board.
To be successful, a beauty operator should
keep abreast of changing hair styles and
beauty techniques through reading trade and
fashion magazines and taking refresher train­
ing. She must be able to establish and main­
tain friendly relationships with people. She
should be well groomed, since many customers
identify her appearance with the results they
expect to see in their own appearance. Dexter­
ity is necessary in almost every operation. A
sense of form and artistry in cutting and styl­
ing hair is important, as are ability and
willingness to follow instructions and custom­
ers’ wishes. The work also calls for physical
stamina, since a great deal of standing is
normally required.
In smaller shops, an operator may be re­
quired to furnish such equipment as brushes,
combs, clips, rollers, nets, scissors, thinning
shears, and rods for permanent waves. In larg­
er establishments, most of the equipment is
provided by the shop. Almost without ex­
ception, an operator furnishes her own uni­
form.
Employment Outlook

Employment is expected to continue expand­
ing to meet the needs of a growing population
with an increasing awareness of the part good

327

SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

grooming- plays in social and business life.
Beauty shop receipts increased nearly 60 per­
cent and beauty shop payrolls by over 55 per­
cent, between 1954 and 1958, according to the
Bureau of the Census. In this 4-year period,
the number of beauty shops, including beauty
and barber shop combinations, increased by
40 percent.
In addition to jobs created by expansion,
many job opportunities are created annually
by turnover. Many young women who enter
this field leave because of home or family re­
sponsibilities.
A career as a beautician is open to men and
women. There are opportunities for young
workers and for mature workers. The avail­
ability of part-time work is especially at­
tractive to married women who wish to in­
crease their income but are unable to work
full time.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The earnings of a beautician depend on such
factors as experience, speed of performance,
and ability to please customers. The location
of place of employment may be a major factor.
For example, earnings of an individual working
in a small shop in a rural area might be quite
different from those of an operator in a large
multiservice salon located in the main busi­
ness center of a large city.
Beauty operators who work in shops as em­
ployees are often paid a basic wage plus a
commission. Under a customary arrangement,
an operator must take in twice her basic wage
in customers’ fees before being eligible for a
commission. She then receives a specified per­
cent of any receipts she takes in over this
amount, often as high as 40 or 50 percent.
However, some operators are paid only a salary
or a commission. In some shops where cosmet­
ics are sold directly to the customer, a small
commission (up to 10 percent) may be paid
to the beautician selling these products. A
number of States have minimum-wage laws
which are applicable to beauty operators.
It is difficult to estimate the basic wage of
a beginning beautician because of the great
variation in salary arrangements. Some esti­

mates placed the basic wage in 1960 at about


$50 a week. Expert operators in exclusive
shops earn considerably more. Top salon styl­
ists or teachers in advanced cosmetology
schools may earn from $150 to $800 a week,
and possibly as much as $500 a week, includ­
ing tips. The practice of tipping varies in
different parts of the country; it is likely to
be more prevalent and the tips more liberal
in the larger cities.
Incomes of owners of beauty shops are de­
termined, among other things, by the size and
location of the shop. For example, the income
of an owner of a salon of wide reputation in
a large city may be many times greater than
that of a beautician who owns a shop in a
small town.
Most full-time beauticians work 40 hours a
week, although in some areas, the 44-hour week
is common. Hours frequently include evening
and Saturday work. Some States have laws
which require employers to pay overtime for
hours worked beyond a specified minimum.
Most beauty shops have too few employees
to be eligible for membership in group life
and health insurance plans. However, beauti­
cians who work in establishments such as de­
partment stores usually participate in employee
benefit plans sponsored by the employer. Most
shops allow their employees at least 1 week’s
vacation with pay. In some organizations, a
beautician may have as much as 3 weeks of
paid vacation, depending on length of service.
Although the occupational field is not highly
organized, one union— The Journeymen Bar­
bers, Hairdressers, Cosmetologists, and Propri­
etors’ International Union— is active in the
United States. Other organizations in the field
include: The National Hairdressers’ and
Cosmetologists’ Association, an organization
which includes both shopowners and operators;
the National Beauty Culturists’ League, made
up of Negro operators, teachers, managers,
and shopowners; and the Associated Master
Barbers and Beauticians of America, an as­
sociation for shopowners and managers.
Where To Go for More Information

State boards of cosmetology can supply in­
formation on approved beauty operator train-

328

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

mg schools and requirements for licensing.
Local vocational schools and private beauty
schools can provide information on how the
student can meet these requirements. The fol­
lowing publication includes detailed informa­
tion about the beauty service field:

Employment Opportunities for Women in Beauty
Service (Women’s Bureau Bull. 260, 1956).
Superintendent of Documents, Washington 25,
D.C. Price 25 cents.

Practical Nurses and Auxiliary Nursing Workers *
Nature of Work

Practical nurses and auxiliary nursing
workers assist in the care and treatment of the
physically or mentally ill, under the direction of
physicians or professional nurses. Their im­
portance on the nursing team has increased
over the past decade as they have been utilized
more and more to perform many of the less com­
plex nursing tasks, thus freeing professional
nurses for more skilled and specialized nursing
duties.
Licensed practical nurses (D.O.T. 2-38.20),
known also as licensed vocational nurses, usu­
ally perform such duties as giving prescribed
treatments and medications; taking patients’
temperature, pulse, and blood pressure; and
helping with personal hygiene tasks. They may
provide nursing care for newborn babies,
mothers, the handicapped, the chronically ill,
or the convalescent. Practical nurses may also
assist physicians or professional nurses with
more complicated diagnostic procedures or
treatments.
In doctors’ offices, practical nurses assist
physicians or professional nurses in the exami­
nation of patients, give simple medications or
treatments as directed, carry out routine labo­
ratory tests, and perform some clerical tasks.
In industrial establishments, their duties may
vary from first aid at the place of business to
home-visiting services for workers and their
families.
Among auxiliary nursing workers, most of
the women are called nursing aids (D.O.T. 2 42.20) and most of the men, orderlies (D.O.T.
2-42.10) or hospital attendants. These auxil­
iary nursing workers are not licensed. They

* Prepared by the Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department o f Labor.




Practical nurse administering an injection under
supervision of professional nurse.

generally are trained on the job and perform
duties requiring less nursing skill than those
of professional or practical nurses. Working
under the direction of nurses in either of these
groups, auxiliary nursing workers may make
beds, bathe patients, deliver messages, count
and stack linens, escort patients to other de­
partments of the hospital, help with exami­
nations, or take care of hospital equipment.
In recent years, psychiatric aids or
assistants have been trained in many hospitals
and institutions which lack sufficient numbers
of professional and practical nurses in their
psychiatric wards. Psychiatric aids assist in
providing the specialized type of care and
treatment needed by mentally ill patients.
Their duties and level of responsibility, how­
ever, vary considerably among hospitals.
Where Employed

In 1958, there were an estimated 220,700
licensed practical nurses. Auxiliary nursing

SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

workers in hospitals numbered approximately
364,000. Hospitals employ the largest propor­
tion of both groups. According to a survey
of the American Hospital Association in 1959,
hospitals had on their staffs 95,900 practical
nurses; 309,300 nursing aids and attendants;
37,900 orderlies; and 29,600 other auxiliary
nursing personnel.
A large number of licensed practical nurses
are also engaged for private duty. They are
hired by patients or their families to provide
individual nursing care in hospitals or private
homes. Practical nurses also work in doctors’
offices and in some industrial firms. In ad­
dition, employment of practical nurses— and to
some extent auxiliary nursing personnel— by
public health agencies and nursing homes is
increasing.
Many practical nurses and nursing aids are
mature women who have returned to paid em­
ployment after a period devoted to homemak­
ing responsibilities. Many of these women had
wanted a career in nursing, but lacked the
time or money necessary for the extensive prep­
aration required for professional nursing. To­
day, a growing number of younger women also
are entering the field of practical nursing. Al­
though most practical nurses are women, the
number of men is increasing. Most men per­
forming nursing services, however, are em­
ployed as orderlies, hospital attendants, or psy­
chiatric aids.
Training and Other Qualifications

Practical nurses, today, receive formal
training in nursing skills. Not very long ago,
the majority of practical nurses were either
self-trained or learned their skills through
practice on the job.
Auxiliary nursing
workers, for the most part, still do not have
formal preemployment training.
Practical nurse training may be obtained in
two major types of schools: Those operated
by public school systems, usually as part of a
vocational school or adult education program;
and private schools, usually controlled by
hospitals, health agencies, junior colleges and
universities, or community organizations. Ap­
Digitized proval of schools of practical nursing is given
for FRASER


329
by State boards of nursing. In addition, stand­
ards of operation are established by State
boards of vocational education for schools un­
der their control.
Over the past 30 years, there has been a
very rapid growth in the number of practical
nurse training programs. In 1930, there were
only 11 approved programs. By 1960, this num­
ber had grown to 661, of which about threefifths were operated by public school systems.
In recent years, an increasing number of high
schools have included practical nursing
courses in their regular curriculum. Admis­
sions to approved practical nurse programs
exceeded 23,700 in 1960.
Entrance requirements vary among schools
of practical nursing. In most cases, applicants
under 25 years of age must have completed at
least 2 years of high school or its equivalent;
however, for those over 25 years of age, a
grammar school education is often accepted.
Most schools prefer applicants between the
ages of 18 and 50, but occasionally relax these
limits. A main requirement is that candidates
be in good physical and mental health. Candi­
dates usually must have a preentrance health
examination, take a psychological test, come
for a personal interview, and submit references
and school records.
In schools of practical nursing which charge
tuition, the amounts range between $50 and
$200 a year. Vocational education programs
under public school systems may charge tui­
tion to local students in States which have no
tax funds for adult education or to out-of-State
students. All programs entail certain expenses
such as those for books, equipment, laboratory
fees, and uniforms. During their period of
practice training, students may receive a month­
ly allowance to help pay for living costs; in
some cases, the hospital may provide room and
board.
Practical nursing courses in most schools
last 1 year. Training includes classroom study
of basic nursing skills and related subjects such
as body structure and function, conditions
of illness, nutrition, and types of medicine and
medications, as well as supervised clinical
practice in applying these skills to actual nurs­
ing situations. The practice period is arranged

330

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

to offer a wide variety of nursing experiences
so that students may gain confidence in caring
for patients and increase their knowledge of
different types of services.
After graduating from a training program
approved by the State board of nursing and
passing the State examination, practical
nurses may obtain a State license. Thirty-one
States have citizenship requirements; in most
cases the practical nurse must be a citizen or
an applicant for naturalization. Fees for li­
censes ranged between $5 and $20 in 1959. Most
employers hire only licensed practical nurses.
This requirement is a comparatively new de­
velopment as most legislation covering licensure
has been enacted since 1945. By 1960, all
States and the District of Columbia had pro­
vided for the licensing of practical nurses.
Postgraduate training and in-service edu­
cation are provided in some hospitals. Such
programs usually prepare practical nurses to
give nursing care in specialized areas such as
psychiatry and operating room technique.
Auxiliary nursing workers generally are
given from 1 week to 3 months of training on
the job. In some hospitals or institutions,
classroom instruction and demonstration may
be supplemented by specified practice work.
In others, training may be informal and con­
sist of daily instruction by supervisors on the
tasks at hand.
The entry jobs held by auxiliary nursing
workers in most hospitals and institutions sel­
dom have any formal educational requirements.
However, at least a grammar school education
is preferred. Usually the only formal require­
ments are that the applicant be physically able
to perform the work and be at least 17 years
of age.
Many of the personal qualities required of
other health workers apply also to practical
nurses and auxiliary nursing personnel. The
basic requisites are the desire to help sick
people and an aptitude for the work. Also im­
portant are tact, patience, understanding,
emotional stability, and dependability.
Employment Outlook

Throughout
portunities for



the 1960’s, employment op­
practical nurses and auxiliary

nursing workers should continue to expand
rapidly. Factors affecting this rising demand
for nursing personnel are the growth in popu­
lation ; increased public interest in good
health; new medical discoveries; and the
steady uptrend in hospital, medical, and surgi­
cal insurance coverage. Moreover, a substan­
tial number of openings will arise from re­
placement needs as workers retire, die, or
leave the nursing field.
As a result of the shortage of professional
registered nurses which began during World
War II, most hospital and other health organi­
zations have redistributed nursing duties
among various personnel with different
amounts of preparation and training. Although
the number of professional nurses has increased
steadily, the gain has been more phenomenal
for practical nurses and auxiliary nursing
workers. The successful use of these workers
as members of nursing teams, under the di­
rection of professional nurses or physicians,
indicates even greater utilization of these
personnel in most hospitals and health
agencies.
Over the past 20 years, the number of practi­
cal nurses who have received formal training
in approved schools has risen sharply. From
September 1959 through August 1960, almost
16,500 practical nurses completed their train­
ing. However, leaders in the nursing field state
that many more newly licensed practical
nurses are needed to help meet the mounting
demand for nursing services.
Earnings

Average weekly salaries of women practical
nurses in hospitals in 15 metropolitan areas
surveyed during mid-1960 ranged from $42 a
week in Atlanta to $75.50 a week in the Los
Angeles-Long Beach area. Women nursing
aids averaged between $32.50 in Memphis and
$67 in the San Francisco-Oakland area; aver­
age earnings of men nursing aids ranged from
$36 in Memphis to $68.50 in the San Francisco
-Oakland area and in Baltimore. Practical
nurses and nursing aids had an average work­
week of 40 hours or less in most of the cities
surveyed.

381

SERVICE OCCUPATIONS

Graduates of approved schools of practical
nursing who met the civil service require­
ments and passed a written examination were
hired by the Federal Government at $3,760 a
year in 1961. Auxiliary nursing workers who
qualified for employment in the Federal
Government by passing an aptitude test and
an oral interview started at $3,500 in 1961.
Most were employed in Veterans Administra­
tion hospitals.
Practical nurses on private duty usually re­
ceived three-fourths of the prevailing pay for
professional nurses in the same area in 1959.
Those working in public health nursing serv­
ices (non-Federal) averaged $3,210 in 1959,
as indicated in a survey made by the National
League for Nursing.




Where To Go for More Information

Additional details about practical nurses
and auxiliary nursing workers are given in a
publication of the U. S. Department of Labor's
Women's Bureau, The Outlook for Women as
Practical Nurses and Auxiliary Workers on the
Nursing Team, Bulletin 203-5. 66 pp. Wash­
ington, D. C., 1953. Price 40 cents.
Information about these occupations may
also be obtained from :
National League for Nursing, Committee on
Careers,
10 Columbus Circle, New York 19, N. Y.
National Association for Practical Nurse Education
and Service,
475 Riverside Dr., New York 27, N.Y.
National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses,
250 West 57th St., New York 19, N.Y.

Skilled Trades and Other Industrial
Occupations
The skilled trades and other industrial oc­
cupations— skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled—
together provided jobs for more than a third
of all employed workers in the United States
in 1960.
Young persons with mechanical or manual
interests and abilities who do not plan to go
to college will find most of their employment
opportunities among the hundreds of different
occupations in this group. Levels of skill vary
considerably among these occupations, which
range from those of the unskilled laborer to
the highly skilled tool and die maker.
The men and women in these jobs perform
important functions in industry by helping to
transform the ideas of scientists and the plans
of engineers into goods and services. Many of
them help to operate transportation systems,
communication facilities, and atomic instal­
lations. Others build homes, office buildings,
and factories. Large numbers work in facto­
ries where they build, install, control, main­
tain, and repair the complex machinery needed
by our highly mechanized society. Still others
repair automobiles, television sets, and wash­
ing machines. The efficient operation of the
Armed Forces depends on skilled workers in
uniform, as well as upon civilian craftsmen
who produce and maintain weapons, vehicles,
ships, tanks, planes, and communication
equipment.
During the past two centuries, the oc­
cupational structure of our economy has under­
gone a major but gradual transformation as a
result of the widespread introduction of ma­
chinery and mass-production methods. The
development of the factory system of produc­
tion, which emphasized the division of labor'
and specialization of function, changed our
economy and resulted in the appearance of
many new skills and trades. New occupations
 332


developed and others changed drastically. The
manufacturing industries, with their greater
potential for division of labor, were particu­
larly influential in these occupational changes.
The grouping of labor into such categories as
skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled was primari­
ly a result of factory production methods.
Some of the types of work formerly done
by skilled workers have been broken down into
several simpler jobs, each requiring a much
shorter period of training than was originally
demanded of the craftsmen. These simpler
jobs can be performed by workers who are
usually classified in the semiskilled category,
although, in some cases, they still retain the
titles of skilled workers. (The classification of
jobs in terms of skill must always be some­
what arbitrary because job titles sometimes
fail to indicate levels of skill.)
In recent decades, the steady advance of
technology in the factory and on the construc­
tion site has been chiefly responsible for the
sharp reduction in the number and proportion
of unskilled workers in the work force. On the
other hand, the numbers and proportions of
skilled and semiskilled workers in the working
population have increased.
The United States appears to be on the
threshold of a new age of technological pro­
gress which may result in major changes in
the future occupational composition of the
labor force. Rapid advances in the industrial
application of scientific knowledge and inven­
tion, particularly in the field of electronics,
are making possible greater use of electronic,
mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and other
devices to feed, control, handle, and adjust
the machinery and equipment used in factory
production processes.
These developments
(popularly called “ automation” ) have not yet
been applied generally in industry and, there-

SKILLED TRADES AND OTHER INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS

fore, it is difficult to assess their impact on
employment and occupational skills. However,
the numbers of skilled and semiskilled workers
are expected to continue to increase substan­
tially during the 1960's despite the increasing
rate at which industry is mechanizing and
automating its production processes. With re­
spect to skill requirements, it is expected that
our increasingly complex technology generally
will require workers with higher levels of skill.
Changes in employment and skills in the
skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled groups in the
1960's generally will represent extensions of
recent trends that have resulted from techno­
logical gains. Employment of skilled workers
is expected to increase somewhat more rapidly
than the Nation's total working population
which, it is estimated, will grow by about 20
percent in the 1960's. The semiskilled group
is expected to grow at a somewhat slower rate
than the skilled worker group, because many
simple repetitive operations such as the load­
ing or unloading of machines will be taken
over increasingly by automatic and semiauto­

matic devices. Little change in the number
of unskilled laborers is expected.
As a proportion of the working population,
the number of skilled workers will increase,
while semiskilled workers may remain about
the same and may even decline somewhat. The
proportion of unskilled laborers in the work
force is expected to continue its long-term de­
cline, but the rate of decline probably will not
be as rapid as in previous decades.
The reports on the trades and other indus­
trial occupations which follow this introduc­
tion are grouped by industry or field of work,
rather than by level of skill, since this is the
most useful grouping for practical vocational
guidance. The occupations which are found
in a wide variety of industries or activities,
or in industries for which an entire chapter
has not been prepared, are included in this
section of the Handbook. The great majority
of the skilled trades and other industrial oc­
cupations, however, are described in the section
on Some Major Industries and Their Occupa­
tions.

Skilled Workers
The Nation's economic and military strength
depends to a great extent on the initiative and
competence of its craftsmen. The contribu­
tions of physicists, engineers, chemists, and
other professional workers to the national se­
curity and well-being are transformed into
goods and services by a skilled, intelligent,
and flexible work force.
Skilled workers make the patterns, mo­
dels, tools, dies, machines, and equipment
without which industrial processes could not
be carried out by semiskilled and unskilled
workers. They repair the equipment used in
industry, as well as the mechanical equipment
and appliances used by consumers. They also
construct homes, commercial and industrial
buildings, and highways.
More than half of the country's skilled work­
ers in 1960 were employed in three broad
occupational groupings— building trades, me­
chanics and repairmen, and skilled machining

occupations. At least 15 skilled occupations


333

had more than 100,000 workers each in 1960.
Among these were more than a million car­
penters and more than three-quarters of a mil­
lion automobile mechanics. (See chart 19.)
Many skilled occupations, such as instru­
ment maker and stonemason, however, have
relatively small numbers of workers.
Skilled workers are employed in almost every
branch of industry, but the largest numbers
are employed in manufacturing and construc­
tion. A large majority of employed craftsmen
work for private employers; others are selfemployed, or work for Federal, State, or local
governments. The building trades have a fairly
large percentage of self-employed craftsmen.
As might be expected, employment of the
skilled work force is concentrated in the highly
industrialized States, for example, New York,
California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio.
Job opportunities for skilled workers, however,
are found in every State. Only a very small
proportion of skilled workers are women.

334
Training, Qualifications, and Advancement

Skilled workers must have a thorough knowl­
edge of the processes involved in their work.
They exercise considerable independent judg­
ment and often need a high degree of manual
dexterity. In some instances, they are respon­
sible for valuable equipment or products.
Workers in skilled occupations usually receive
extensive training.
Skilled workers learn their jobs in several
different ways. Many acquire their skills
through apprenticeship or other formal train­
ing programs. Many others, particularly dur­
ing periods of labor shortage, acquire the skills
of their trades through experience on the job,
but without participation in a planned train­
ing program. Large numbers* of young men
also acquire skills in the armed services. For
others, vocational school training has an impor­
tant role in developing skills.
Most training authorities agree that the best
way to learn a skilled trade is through a formal
apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship is a
period of systematic on-the-job training, sup­
plemented by related trade instruction, which
is designed to familiarize the apprentice with
the materials, tools, and principles of the trade.
The apprenticeship program provides the
worker with a balanced knowledge of his trade
and the ability to perform duties competently.
The formal apprenticeship agreement stipu­
lates the number of hours of training the ap­
prentice is to receive in the various aspects
of the trade. Most apprenticeship programs
last from 3 to 6 years.
Apprenticeship has a number of advantages
over less formal methods of learning a trade.
An apprentice receives broad training and ex­
perience which enable him to adjust more
easily to changing job requirements, and to
work in a wide range of jobs. The completion
of an apprenticeship gives the worker a recog­
nized status which is an advantage in finding
and holding jobs. Many firms select foremen
from among their former apprentices, because
they are usually familiar with all aspects of
the work being performed.
Many companies have other kinds of train­
 programs which also provide systematic
ing


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

on-the-job training and, frequently, supple­
mentary classroom instruction. In these pro­
grams, new workers begin on the simplest tasks
under the direction of a foreman or an ex­
perienced worker and gradually progress to
more difficult work.
Many young persons, in moving from one
semiskilled job to another among different em­
ployers over a period of many years, acquire
sufficient knowledge and skills which eventu­
ally enable them to become skilled workers.
Others begin learning a skilled trade in voca­
tional, trade, or technical schools. A small pro­
portion of these students move directly into
jobs in their trade and, after acquiring expe­
rience, qualify as skilled workers. Other young
persons, who are already employed in semi­
skilled or unskilled jobs, move into skilled ocCHART 19

MANY SKILLED O CC U PAT IO N S HAVE M O RE THAN A
HUNDRED T H O U SA N D W O R K E R S ....

0

200

400

Thousands of w ork ers,l 9 6 0 1
600
800
1,000
1,200

1 ------------ 1
--------------1
-------------- 1
--------------1
--------------1
-------------- 1

C a rp e n te rs

Station a ry engineers
In d u stria l m achinery
repairmen
A p p lia n ce servicem en

Tool and die makers

Sheet-m etal worke

Electricians (construction)f

1 Estimated.
Construction miachinery operators.

SKILLED TRADES AND OTHER INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS

cupations through vocational training related
to their work.
Large numbers of young men in the Armed
Forces acquire skills which enable them to
qualify, with little or no additional training,
for skilled jobs in civilian life, such as auto­
mobile mechanic, electronic technician, air­
plane mechanic, electrician, or office-machine
repairman.
Employment Trends and Outlook

Employment in skilled occupations has grown
from about 5 million (approximately 1 out of
9 civilian workers), in 1940, to about 8.6 mil­
lion (approximately 1 out of 8) in 1960. De­
spite the long-term upward trend, however, em­
ployment of skilled labor has fluctuated with
changes in business conditions and require­
ments for national defense. Following the em­
ployment decline during the depression of the
1930’s, the demand for craftsmen rose sharply
as a result of World War II production re­
quirements and by 1944, reached about 7 mil­
lion. After the war, as industrial activity ex­
panded to meet the accumulated demand for
consumer products, employment of skilled
workers rose steadily, exceeding 8 million by
1948. Although employment of skilled workers
declined during subsequent periods of reces­
sion, employment in this group generally tended
to move upward in the 1950,s.
Continued growth in the number of skilled
jobs is expected in the next decade. Even more
job opportunities for young persons will result
from the need to replace skilled workers who
transfer to other fields of work, are promot­
ed, or who retire or die. At least 170,000 skil­
led workers may be needed each year to replace
just those who retire or die.
Among skilled occupations, those concerned
with the repair and servicing of machinery
and equipment have shown the greatest growth
in recent years. The expansion has been due
to increasing mechanization and more complex
machinery in many manufacturing industries,
the growing number and complexity of auto­
mobiles, and the greater use of electrical and
 appliances in the home. Between
mechanical


335

1940 and 1950, employment of mechanics and
repairmen doubled, rising by more than
850,000. The number of automobile me­
chanics, airplane mechanics, office machine re­
pairmen, and television, radio, and appliance
servicemen increased rapidly. The building
trades, which employed almost a third of all
skilled workers (about 3 million) in mid-1960,
also grew rapidly. On the other hand, employ­
ment declined for some skilled workers, such
as blacksmiths.
By the end of the 1960’s, employment in
skilled occupations is expected to reach nearly
11 million, because of industrial growth and
technological advances which increase the
need for skilled workers. As in the past, rates
of employment growth will differ for workers
in many of the skilled occupational groups. For
example, employment of mechanics and repair­
men should continue to grow more rapidly than
the skilled work force as a whole. Many thou­
sands of job opportunities will be available for
auto mechanics, industrial machinery repair­
men, maintenance electricians, diesel mechan­
ics, business-machine repairmen, and airconditioning and refrigeration mechanics
and repairmen. The number of skilled workers
in the building trades also is expected to gain
rapidly because of the anticipated large rise
in construction activity. Another large area
of employment opportunities for skilled work­
ers will be the major skilled machining
occupations— tool and die maker, machinist,
instrument maker, skilled machine-tool oper­
ator, setup man, and layout man. On the other
hand, the printing trades, also one of the large
groups of skilled workers, probably will in­
crease at a somewhat slower rate than the
skilled work force as a whole.
Young people who do not expect to go to
college should consider seriously the definite
advantages which the skilled trades offer, com­
pared with semiskilled and unskilled occupa­
tions. Skilled workers have higher earnings,
more job security, better chances for promo­
tions, and more opportunities to open their own
business, than most of the workers with lesser
skill.
Of
the 11 occupational
groups
which make up our labor force, only the pro­
fessional and managerial worker groups had

336

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

higher average annual earnings than crafts­
men in 1959.
The greater job security of skilled workers
compared with semiskilled and unskilled work­
ers was clearly evident during the 1960-61 re­
cession. Their rate of unemployment was sub­
stantially less than that for semiskilled work­
ers, but more than twice as low as that for
unskilled workers. Employers were reluctant
to lay off skilled maintenance workers. With
training and experience in a skilled craft, a
worker can handle not only a skilled job but
also, if necessary, one requiring less skill.
Many supervisors and men in high adminis­
trative positions in industry have come from
the ranks of craftsmen. Employers have long

Semiskilled Workers
“ Operatives,” who are usually called semi­
skilled workers, make up the largest occupa­
tional group in the Nation's labor force. About
12 million workers— almost 1 in every 5— were
employed in semiskilled jobs in 1960. About 7
million of these semiskilled workers were em­
ployed in manufacturing industries (for ex­
ample, men's and women's clothing, automo­
biles, automobile parts, food, cotton and wool
textiles, machinery, and electrical and elec­
tronic equipment). Nearly one-third of all
semiskilled workers were women. Semiskilled
jobs, such as sewing machine operator and
assembler, were by far the largest source of
employment for women in manufacturing in­
dustries. The broad field of semiskilled jobs will
provide hundreds of thousands of employment
opportunities for young people looking for jobs
in the 1960's.
Truckdrivers are the largest single group of
semiskilled workers. Millions of other semi­
skilled workers operate power-driven machines
in factories, for example, power trucks to
move equipment and materials, and lathes to
shape metal parts. Semiskilled assemblers fit
together parts such as tubes, sockets, and wires
to make complete television sets and other pro­
ducts. Inspectors check the size, quality, and
workmanship of parts and products to make



recognized the value of executives who have
both industrial know-how and administrative
ability and thus have drawn many of them from
the ranks of skilled workers— especially from
among those who have received apprenticeship
or other well-rounded training.
In the years ahead, applicants for skilled jobs
will have to meet increasingly higher stand­
ards. Industry will need craftsmen with higher
levels of skill to do the complex work involved
in rapidly advancing fields such as electronics,
spacecraft, and guided missiles. Young men
who acquire a good basic education (including
courses in mathematics and the sciences), as
well as thorough job training, will be better
able to compete for the higher paying skilled
jobs than applicants without this training.

sure they operate properly. Other semiskilled
factory workers operate self-powered equip­
ment, such as forklift trucks, which move
heavy parts or materials from place to place.
Many semiskilled employees work as helpers
or assistants to skilled workers. For example,
stationary firemen assist skilled stationary en­
gineers in the operation and maintenance of
steam boilers. (A detailed discussion of work­
ers in selected semiskilled factory jobs is in­
cluded in a later section. Further information
is available in Factory Jobs: Employment Out­
look For Workers in Jobs Requiring Little or
No Experience or Specialized Training, BLS
Bulletin 1288, January 1961.)
In general, operatives work with their hands.
They have had only brief on-the-job training.
Usually they are told exactly what to do and
how to do it, and their work is supervised
closely. They often repeat the same motions
or the same jobs throughout the working day.
Semiskilled workers do not need to invest
many years in learning a trade. The simplest
repetitive and routine semiskilled jobs can be
learned in a day and mastered in a few weeks.
Even those semiskilled jobs which require a
higher degree of skill, such as truckdriver, can
be learned in a few months. Adaptability— the
ability to learn new jobs and the operation of

SKILLED TRADES AND OTHER INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS

new machines quickly— is an important quali­
fication for semiskilled workers.
New employees in semiskilled jobs usually
are required only to be physically able to per­
form the work. At the beginning, they are
not expected to be highly proficient, but after
a short training period they must work at a
standard, fast, and steady pace. A semi­
skilled worker must be dependable— come to
work regularly, pay attention, and follow in­
structions carefully. Frequently, good eyesight
and good coordination are required also.
Employment growth in semiskilled jobs has
been greatest in manufacturing industries
(such as apparel and automobiles) where pro­
duction processes are divided and subdivided
into step-by-step sequences of relatively simple
operations. To reduce costs and increase
efficiency, many former skilled jobs in these in­
dustries have been replaced by a series of jobs
which require workers with much less skill.
Mass production industries also have created
large numbers of new semiskilled assembly and
inspection jobs. Other new jobs for semiskilled
workers resulted from the introduction and use
of welding as a manufacturing process. Ex­
panded production in manufacturing indus­
tries together with the growing use of trucks
and buses have been instrumental in making
the semiskilled the largest group of workers in
the labor force. Between 1910 and 1960, em­
ployment of semiskilled workers more than
doubled.
Employment of semiskilled workers will con­
tinue to increase in the 1960’s. As a proportion
of the labor force, however, it is expected that
semiskilled workers may remain about the
same or even decline somewhat. Recent tech­
nological advances (popularly called “ automa­
tion” ) have permitted great gains in produc­
tion with little or no increase in employment
of semiskilled machine operators.
Many
loading and handling operations, for example,
can be performed more quickly and efficiently
with the newer types of semiautomatic trans­
fer equipment, thus reducing requirements for
semiskilled operators in such work.
On the other hand, the creation of new jobs
— frequently a result of continuing technolog­

ical advances
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/ in processing and products—
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

337

will favorably affect employment of semi­
skilled workers. In addition, semiskilled work­
ers will have many job opportunities in plants
which will remain relatively unmechanized in
the 1960,s. The continuing substitution of
power equipment for unskilled manual labor—
lifting, hauling, digging, and similar heavy
physical work— also will create many employ­
ment openings for semiskilled workers.
Tens of thousands of job opportunities for
semiskilled workers also will become available
each year in the 1960,s as workers are pro­
moted, transfer out of semiskilled jobs, retire,
or die. Replacement needs for semiskilled
workers are high because a fairly high propor­
tion of them are young workers and wo­
men workers, who tend to change jobs fre­
quently. Many women operatives leave their
jobs to marry, raise families, or move to other
areas when their husbands change jobs.
Semiskilled workers are more likely to lose
their jobs during a business recession, and to
remain unemployed for longer periods of time,
than craftsmen or white-collar employees. On
the other hand, semiskilled workers can move
to different jobs at the same level of pay more
easily than can highly specialized workers.
Semiskilled jobs often pay well. Operatives
who are paid on the basis of the number of
items they produce are among the highest paid
workers in manufacturing, although the aver­
age annual earnings of operatives are about
$1,000 less than those of skilled workers.
Young men and women who have no train­
ing beyond high school will continue to find a
major area of job opportunities in factory op­
erative and other semiskilled jobs. However,
the most rapid gains in the Nation's employ­
ment are in skilled occupations and profes­
sional, technical, and other white-collar occu­
pations. If possible, young people with ability
should obtain the additional training and edu­
cation which these occupations require. Young
people who take semiskilled jobs, however, are
not cut off permanently from advancement if
they take advantage of the many educational
opportunities available in their communities.
They may enter apprentice training programs,
or take courses in evening schools, and eventu­
ally qualify for better jobs.

338

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Unskilled Workers
Unskilled laborers work in manual occupa­
tions which generally require no special train­
ing. Frequently, these jobs involve handling
and moving objects or materials, for example,
loading or unloading, digging, shoveling, hau­
ling, hoisting, wrapping, and mixing. Some of
these unskilled jobs require heavy physical
work. Unskilled manual laborers are employed
mainly in manufacturing plants, construction
work, wholesale and retail trade, and transpor­
tation jobs.
Employment of unskilled laborers dropped
over the past few decades, but has remained
relatively stable in recent years. In 1960, em­
ployment of unskilled laborers was approxi­
mately 3.7 million, only about 5.5 percent of
the Nation’s work force.




The long-run decline in the employment of
unskilled workers has occurred largely because
mechanized equipment has been replacing
tnanual labor. Use of power-driven, material­
handling equipment, such as forklift trucks,
derricks, cranes, hoists, and conveyor belts, has
greatly increased in factories, freight termi­
nals, warehouses, and construction operations.
The substitution of mechanical equipment for
unskilled labor in industry is expected to con­
tinue in the 1960’s. However, total employ­
ment in this occupational group probably will
show little change, mainly because new require­
ments for unskilled laborers in expanding in­
dustries are expected to offset the drop resul­
ting from continuing mechanization.

BUILDING TRADES
Building* trades craftsmen make up the larg­
est group of skilled workers in the Nation’s la­
bor force. Altogether, there were about 3 mil­
lion such craftsmen in mid-1960— almost a
third of all the skilled' workers. The more than
two dozen skilled building trades vary greatly
in size. Several major trades— carpenter,
painter, plumber, pipefitter, bricklayer, opera­
ting engineer (construction machinery opera­
tor), and construction electrician— each com­
prised more than a hundred thousand workers.
(See chart 20.) The more than 1 million carpen­
ters accounted for about 2 out of every 5
skilled building tradesmen. By contrast, only
a few thousand workers were employed in each
of several trades, such as marble setter, asbes­
tos and insulating worker, and stonemason.
There are several reasons why young men
may wish to consider one of the building trades
as a career. These trades offer especially good
opportunities for those who are not planning to
go to college, but who are willing to spend sev­
eral years in learning a skilled occupation.
Well-trained building trades craftsmen can
find job opportunities in all parts of the coun­
try. Their hourly wage rates generally are
much higher than those of most other manual
workers. Building trades craftsmen with busi­
ness ability have greater opportunities to estab­
lish their own businesses than workers in many
other skilled occupations. Moreover, employ­
ment in most building trades has expanded
during the past several decades, and is still
growing, despite advances in technology.
A principal disadvantage of work in the
building trades is the sharp employment fluc­
tuations that result from changes in general
business conditions. Another disadvantage is
that even during years of high levels of con­
struction activity, annual earnings of workers
in the building trades are somewhat limited by
the seasonal nature of construction work.
Worktime is lost as a result of bad weather and



other interruptions. In addition, construction
jobs generally are of short duration and build­
ing craftsmen must spend time in finding
their next job, which may be located at a con­
siderable distance from their homes.
What Are the Building Trades?

Building trades craftsmen are employed
mainly in the construction, maintenance, re­
pair, and alteration of homes and other types
of buildings, highways, airports, and other
structures. The wide range of materials and
skills used in construction work has resulted
in specialization of various work operations.
CHART 20

EMPLOYMENT IN SKILLED BUILDING TRADES, M ID -1960.1
....

0

200

400

600

Thousands of workers
800
1,000 1,200

Painters

Plumbers and pipefitters

Bricklayers

Operating engineers

Electricians (construction)
Structu ral-ornamental,
and reinforcing-iron
workers

1 Estimated.
2 Construction machine operators.

339

340
Thus, building trades workers who use essen­
tially the same materials or skills have tended
to become identified with distinct trades. For
example, bricklayers and stonemasons both
work with masonry materials. Although oper­
ating engineers do not work with particular ma­
terials, they have a group of related skills
which enables them to handle various types of
excavating, grading, hoisting, and other equip­
ment.
The building trades consist primarily of
journeymen who generally must have a high
level of skill and a sound knowledge of assem­
bly and construction operations. They are
often assisted in their work by apprentices,
tenders, and laborers.
The work of journeymen may be grouped in­
to three broad classifications— structural,
finishing, and mechanical. However, some
craftsmen— for example, carpenters— may do
finishing as well as structural work. Generally,
each building trade is classified in one of these
three categories, as follow s:
Occupations mainly concerned with struc­
tural w ork: carpenter, bricklayer, stone­
mason, cement or concrete mason, structuraliron worker, ornamental-iron worker, re­
inforcing-iron worker (rodman), rigger, boiler­
maker, and operating engineer.
Occupations mainly concerned with finish­
ing w ork: lather, plasterer, marble setter, tile
setter, terrazzo worker, painter, paperhanger,
soft-floor layer, glazier, roofer, and asbestos
worker.
Occupations mainly concerned with mechan­
ical w ork: plumber, pipefitter, millwright,
construction electrician, sheet-metal worker,
and elevator constructor.
(A detailed description of the nature of the
work, training, employment outlook, and other
information
concerning
millwrights
and
boilermakers appears elsewhere in this Hand­
book. See index for page numbers.)
Most of these skilled trades are described in­
dividually later in this chapter. These descrip­
tions are necessarily brief and incomplete.
They do not apply fully to all localities because
of local differences in the scope of the various
trades. Also, they are not statements or recom­

mendations concerning the work jurisdiction


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

of these trades and are inappropriate for use
in jurisdictional negotiations or the settlement
of jurisdictional questions.
Where Building Trades Workers Are Employed

Building trades workers are employed mainly
by contractors in the contract construction in­
dustry. Many others are employed to do main­
tenance work in industries other than
construction,
particularly
manufacturing.
Some building trades craftsmen work directly
for business firms or government agencies
which have their own construction work force;
others are self-employed.
The building trades craftsmen who work in
the contract construction industry are em­
ployed by general and special-trade contrac­
tors. General contractors may be classified as
building (residential, commercial, or indus­
trial), highway, or heavy construction con­
tractors, since most general contractors limit
their operations to one of these activities. They
construct buildings and other structures, such
as dams, bridges, and roads, taking full respon­
sibility for the complete job, except for any
specified portions of the work that may be omit­
ted from the general contract. General con­
tractors may do a large part of the work with
their own crews, but they often subcontract
particular phases of the construction job to
special-trade contractors.
Special-trade contractors usually do the
work of only one trade, such as painting, car­
pentry, or electrical work, or of two or more
closely related trades, such as plumbing and
heating, or plastering and lathing. Beyond fit­
ting their work to that of other trades, they
have no responsibility for the structure as a
whole. The special-trade contractors obtain
orders for their work from general contrac­
tors, architects, or from property owners. Re­
pair work is almost always done on direct order
from the owners, occupants, architects, or
rental agents.
There are several hundred thousand contrac­
tors (both general and special-trade); most of
them operate within a limited geographical
area. The great majority are small— generally
employing fewer than 10 workers. Some larg­

BUILDING TRADES

er firms employ several thousand workers each.
Many building trades workers are selfemployed. Self-employed journeymen work di­
rectly for property owners on small jobs. They
may be paid by the hour or the day, or they
may be paid an agreed price for the job, either
providing the materials and including them in
the price or using materials provided by the
owner. Self-employment is most common in
carpentry and painting, but is found also in
other skilled building trades.
In some of the trades, work
may be
performed away from the construction site.
For example, sheet-metal workers may be em­
ployed in shops where ducts are fabricated for
installation in a building. Many building
trades craftsmen are also employed to do main­
tenance work in factories, stores, mines, hotels,
and almost every other type of large business
establishment.
The work of skilled building craftsmen is
identified with a specific trade, such as car­
pentry or bricklaying, rather than with an in­
dividual contractor or even a broad group of
contractors. Thus, a carpenter may be em­
ployed mainly by a particular builder but, in
the course of a year, he may be employed also
by a concrete contractor to build forms for a
concrete bridge; by an electrical or plumbing
contractor to build a temporary structure at
a large construction site; or he may contract
to do a small repair job on his own.
The fact that building trades craftsmen are
employed in almost every community is an im­
portant consideration for young persons inter­
ested in a career in the skilled building trades.
Once they learn one of the trades they can
find jobs not only in their own community but
in almost any part of the country. Employment
of these workers is distributed geographically,
however, in much the same way as the Nation’s
population. Thus, their employment is concen­
trated generally in the industrialized and
highly populated States, such as California,
New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, and
Ohio.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most training authorities, including national
apprenticeship com­


joint labor-management


341
mittees established for most of the building
trades, recommend formal apprentice training
as the best way to acquire the all-round pro­
ficiency of craftsmen in the building trades.
Apprenticeship is a prescribed period of onthe-job training, supplemented by related class­
room instruction, which is designed to develop
skill by making the apprentice familiar with
the materials, tools, and principles of his trade.
This type of training provides the apprentice
with a balanced knowledge of his field of work
and enables him to perform its operations com­
petently. Formal apprenticeship agreements
are registered with a State apprenticeship
agency or the U.S. Department of Labor’s
Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.
In addition to the apprenticeship method,
many building trades workers have acquired
skills of their trades informally, by working
for many years as laborers and helpers, observ­
ing the work of experienced craftsmen. Some
building trades craftsmen have acquired their
skills, or part of their skills, by attending vo­
cational or trade schools, or by taking corre­
spondence school courses.
Generally, apprentices in the building trades
are required to be between the ages of 18 and
25, and in good physical condition. (The maxi­
mum age limit may be waived for veterans or
others with experience or special quali­
fications.) A high school education or its
equivalent, with course work in mathematics
and the sciences,
is
desirable.
Often,
applicants are given tests to determine their
aptitude for a particular occupation. For some
skilled building trades, it is important to have
considerable manual dexterity, mechanical
aptitude, a discerning color sense, and an eye
for quickly determining proper alinement of
materials.
The formal registered apprenticeship agree­
ment generally stipulates a training period of
3 to 5 years of relatively continuous employ­
ment and training, in addition to a minimum
of 144 hours a year of related classroom in­
struction. The journeymen on the job and the
foreman explain to the apprentice how the
work is done and show him how different ope­
rations are performed and how different tools
are used. Ordinarily, most of this instruction

342
is given by a particular journeyman to whom
the apprentice is assigned. The apprentice is
required to do work of progressively increasing
difficulty and with progressively less supervi­
sion.
Related classroom instruction varies among
the skilled building trades, but usually includes
courses such a s: History of the trade; charac­
teristics of the materials used; shop mathemat­
ics as related to the work of the trade; some
basic principles of engineering, where appro­
priate (particularly for pipework, work on
ventilating systems, and electrical w o rk );
sketching, elementary drafting, and interpre­
tation of drawings; safety practices; and
special-trade theory such as color harmony for
painters and elementary sanitation for plumb­
ers. Such related instruction is seldom offered
in small communities where there may be only
a few apprentices and a small number of jour­
neymen in a particular trade. In these areas,
apprentices
receive
instruction
through
courses offered in the local high school or by
visiting instructors, generally furnished by the
State. Other subject matter requirements are
met through personal instruction by local jour­
neymen and contractors or, in some cases,
through correspondence courses.
The formal registered apprenticeship agree­
ments also stipulate the length of time the ap­
prentice is to be required to work in each major
operation of the trade as well as his rate of pay
at successive intervals of advancement. The
apprentice is paid at an advancing rate, usu­
ally starting at 50 percent of the journeyman's
pay. The apprentice's rate increases at 6month or 1-year intervals until a rate of about
90 percent of the journeyman's rate is reached
in the final months of training. Often, ad­
vanced apprenticeship standing and pay are
given to apprentices who have acquired trade
skills in the Armed Forces, or through trade
school instruction. Advanced standing is
granted on an individual basis and is usually
determined by a demonstration of trade skill
and knowledge.
In most communities, the apprenticeship
programs are supervised by joint apprentice­
ship committees composed of representatives
 the local employers or employer groups and
of


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

the local union. The apprentices sign their ap­
prenticeship agreements with these com­
mittees. The committee determines the need
for apprentices in the locality and establishes
minimum apprenticeship standards of educa­
tion, experience, and training. Whenever em­
ployers cannot provide the variety of experi­
ence necessary to give an apprentice all-round
instruction in the various branches of the
trade, or relatively continuous employment over
the entire period of apprenticeship, the
committee transfers the apprentice to another
employer. Where specialization by contractors
is extensive— for instance, in electrical work
— it is customary for the joint committee to ro­
tate apprentices among several contractors in
the trade at intervals of about 6 months. In
some large cities, the local joint apprentice­
ship committee employs an apprenticeship pro­
gram coordinator.
In areas where these committees have not
been established, the apprenticeship agreement
is solely between the apprentice and an em­
ployer or employer group. Many journeymen
have received worthwhile training under this
type of apprenticeship program, but such a pro­
gram may involve some element of risk for the
apprentice. In such instances, there is no joint
committee to supervise the training offered, to
settle differences over the terms and conditions
of apprentice training, or to arrange a transfer
in cases of personal disagreements between the
the apprentice and the employer. The appren­
tice's training depends principally on his em­
ployers' business prospects and policies. If the
employer lacks continuous work or does only
a restricted type of work, he cannot provide
the apprentice with the all-round train­
ing needed to develop journeyman skills.
In many localities, craftsmen, most com­
monly construction electricians and plumbers,
are required to have a journeyman's license to
work at their trade. To qualify for such li­
censes, they must pass an examination, show­
ing a well-rounded knowledge of the job and
of State and local regulations.
Building trades craftsmen may advance in
a number of ways. For example, a journey­
man may become a foreman in charge of a
crew. In most localities, small jobs are

BUILDING TRADES

run by “ working foremen” who work at
the trade along with members of their crews.
On very large jobs, the foremen do supervisory
work only. A craftsman can also become an
estimator for a contractor. In this job, he es­
timates material requirements and labor costs
to enable the contractor to bid on the work of
a particular construction project. Some
craftsmen advance to jobs as superintendents
on large projects. Others become instructors
in trade and vocational schools, or salesmen for
building supply companies.
In addition, many thousands of journeyman
have become contractors, particularly in the
homebuilding field. Sound journeyman knowl­
edge is a great help in assuring success as a
contractor. However, the successful contrac­
tor must also have the ability to plan work, to
foresee needs and problems, to direct others,
and to estimate material and time requirements
for jobs on which he is bidding. He also must
have a sound knowledge of business practices
and financing.
Generally, it is easier to start a small con­
tracting business in the construction industry
than it is to start a small business in other in­
dustries. For example, only relatively moder­
ate financial investment is needed, liberal
credit arrangements make it easier to
buy materials, and it is possible to conduct a
fairly substantial business from the pro­
prietor’s home. Because it is relatively easy to
enter the contracting business, competition is
usually keen, especially for smaller jobs. For
larger jobs, considerable working capital and
investment in equipment are necessary. Some
States or municipalities require contractors to
be licensed.
Employment Outlook

A continued upward trend in the em­
ployment of skilled building trades workers is
expected during the 1960’s. The rate of em­
ployment increase for these craftsmen is ex­
pected to be greater than the estimated 20percent rise anticipated for the Nation’s total
working population. In addition to openings
resulting from employment growth, many thou­

sands of job opportunities for new workers to


343
enter the building trades will result each year
from the need to replace skilled workers who
transfer to other fields of work, are promoted
to other jobs, or who retire or die.
The favorable employment prospects for
these skilled workers in the 1960-70 decade
will result primarily from the approximate 50percent increase anticipated in the level of
construction activity, continuing the upward
trend of the 1950’s. This trend can be illus­
trated by an examination of construction ex­
penditures. Total construction expenditures
(including maintenance and repair) rose more
than 75 percent from 1950 to 1960 (actual ex­
penditures not adjusted for changes in price
levels). The rate of growth of new construc­
tion was even greater over the same period,
while expenditures for maintenance and
repairs increased nearly 60 percent. Employ­
ment growth accompanied the 1950-60 expan­
sion in construction activity. For example, in
contract construction, where a majority of
building trades craftsmen work, annual aver­
age employment rose from about 2.3 million in
1950 to nearly 2.8 million in 1960, or by almost
20 percent.
The same factors which accounted for the
rapid expansion in construction activity over
the 1950’s are expected to spur construction
expenditures over the 1960’s. These factors in­
clude anticipated large increases in population
and in the number of households; a continuing
shift of families from the cities to the suburbs;
increases in government expenditures for high­
ways, schools, and national defense; a rise in
expenditures for new industrial plant capacity;
higher levels of personal and corporate income;
and expanding demand for maintenance,
repair, and modernization work.
This large rise in construction activity is
expected to result in a substantial increase in
the employment of building trades craftsmen.
However, employment is expected to increase
at a slower rate than expenditures. Continued
technological developments in construction
methods and equipment will permit greater out­
put per construction worker. The techno­
logical changes which can be foreseen at the
present time will likely have limited effects on
employment in the building trades. The experi­

344

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ence of the past 50 years shows that the skilled
building trades generally have been able
to adapt to technological changes and still con­
tinue to grow.
Employment of building trades craftsmen in
maintenance jobs in factories, commercial es­
tablishments, schools, and large residential pro­
jects is also expected to increase substantially
by 1970.
The rates of growth will differ among the
various building trades. Employment growth
is expected to be most rapid for operating engi­
neers, cement masons, construction elec­
tricians, sheet-metal workers, and plumbers
and pipefitters. Employment of carpenters
will also increase substantially and this trade
will continue to be the largest single occupa­
tion in the building trades. Painters, paperhangers, stonemasons, tile and marble setters,
and lathers probably will be among the build­
ing trades which will have the least rapid
growth. (See chart 21.)
CHART 21
EXPECTED EMPLOYMENT GROWTH RATES IN
SELECTED BUILDING TRADES, 1960-70.....

Building

Growth rates related to
ave rage for all building trades

trades
Very

mc
uh
less

Substan­ Slightly Slightly Substan­ Very
tially
much
tially
more
less
more
more
less

O pe ratin g e n gin e e rs1 !
Sheet metal workers

1

Earnings and Working Conditions

Electricians (construction) 1

J

Cement masons

Carpenters

1

Plumbers and pipefitters

J

Bricklayers
I
Structural-, ornamental-, and \
reinforcing- iron workers
j
Roofers

Plasterers

/

I
\

r

Paperh an ge rs

I




(A more complete statement covering train­
ing, other qualifications, advancement, and em­
ployment opportunities in each trade is given
in the discussions of individual occupations la­
ter in this chapter.)
One of the principal sources of job oppor­
tunities for new workers will result from re­
placement needs. Retirements and deaths alone
may provide about 65,000 to 75,000 job open­
ings each year. Other openings will result from
the need to replace experienced craftsmen who
leave the building trades for other fields of‘
work.
In mid-1960, about 103,000 apprentices were
in registered apprentice training programs in
the construction trades and perhaps more than
20,000. other apprentices were in unregistered
programs. Opportunities for young men to re­
ceive apprentice training will be available in
all parts of the country during the 1960’s. In
addition, thousands of other workers will be
able to enter construction trades informally.
Some indication of the location of future ap­
prenticeship opportunities in the building
trades is available from the latest data show­
ing the geographical distribution of registered
apprentices in these trades. The following
eight States accounted for more than half of
the number of registered apprentices in train­
ing for selected building trades in mid-1960:
California, 14,848; New York, 9,169; Illinois,
8,766; Ohio, 6,013; Texas, 4,532; Pennsylvania,
4,134; Florida, 3,268; and Michigan, 3,018.

— *

^Construction machinery operators.

Hourly wage rates paid to building trades
craftsmen are generally higher than those paid
to many other skilled workers. However, be­
cause construction work is seasonal and time
is lost for other reasons, average annual earn­
ings are not as high as the hourly rates of pay
would indicate.
The hourly rates of pay for skilled workers
in the building trades vary by trade and lo­
cality. Generally, the highest hourly rates are
paid in the larger communities. Union mini­
mum hourly rates for journeymen and
for helpers and laborers in selected building
trades in 52 large cities, as of July 1, 1960, ac-

345

BUILDING TRADES

cording to the national survey of building
trades workers, averaged as follows:
M in im u m
average
h o u r ly r a te

All building trades__________________________ $3.66
Journeymen _________________________________________ 3.86
Asbestos workers ______________________________ 3.90
Bricklayers_____________________________________ 4.17
Carpenters _____________________________________ 3.78
Cement masons (finishers)_____________________
3.75
Electricians (inside wiremen) ________________
4.00
Elevator constructors__________________________ 3.95
Glaziers________________________________________
3.53
Lathers ________________________________________
4.00
Marble setters _________________________________
3.91
Terrazzo workers ______________________________ 3.93
Tile setters_____________________________________ 3.84
Painters _______________________________________
3.55
Paperhangers _______________________________ T 3.52
Pipefitters______________________________________ 4.00
Plasterers ______________________________________ 4.06
Plumbers ______________________________________
4.01
Roofers, composition __________________________ 3.61
Roofers, slate and tile__________________________ 3.62
Sheet-metal workers __________________________ 3.90
Stonemasons __________________________________
4.04
Structural-iron workers ______________________
3.96
Rodmen ________________________________________
3.86
Helpers and laborers________________________________ 2.88
Bricklayers’ tenders___________________________
3.00
Building laborers ______________________________ 2.81
Composition roofers’ helpers___________________ 2.51
Elevator constructors’ helpers________________ 2.84
Marble setters’ helpers_________________________ 3.07
Terrazzo workers’ helpers_____________________
3.18
Tile setters’ helpers____________________________
3.13
Plasterers’ laborers____________________________
3.18
Plumbers’ laborers ____________________________
2.77

Union rates for these occupations are nego­
tiated between trade unions and employers.
They do not include overtime, bonuses, or pay­
ments for special qualifications or for other
reasons.
Construction work frequently requires pro­
longed standing, bending, stooping, and work­
ing in cramped quarters. Exposure to cold, hot,
and inclement weather is common, as much of
the work is done outdoors or in partially en­
closed structures. During the winter, when the
buildings are sufficiently enclosed, heat is com­
monly provided. Many persons prefer con­
struction work to other skilled occupations, be­
cause they can work outdoors.
Construction work is generally more danger­
Digitized for than work in manufacturing, but the risk
ous FRASER


of injury is lessened considerably when proper
work practices are followed. In recent years,
the safety record of construction workers in
contract construction work has improved as
a result of safety programs established by em­
ployers and unions.
Forty hours was the standard workweek for a
vast majority of union building trades workers
in mid-1960. Time and one-half was generally
paid for hours worked beyond the stand­
ard workday of 8 hours. Time-and-one-half or
double-time rates were usually paid for work
on Saturdays and Sundays or on holidays.
Travel pay to and from work was commonly
paid to building trades workers whenever their
work was outside a specified local area.
A substantial proportion of organized build­
ing trades workers are included in health and
insurance
programs
negotiated
between
unions and employers. A majority of the build­
ing trades workers in major cities are covered
by health and insurance programs financed en­
tirely by employer contributions. Pension
plans for building trades workers have become
more common in recent years.
A large proportion of skilled building trades
workers are members of trade unions affiliated
with the Building and Construction Trades De­
partment of the American Federation of Labor
and Congress o f Industrial Organizations.
Where To Go for More Information

Information on opportunities for apprentice­
ship or other types of construction employment
in a particular locality should be obtained from
individual construction firms, employer asso­
ciations, locals of the building trades unions,
or the local office of the Bureau of Ap­
prenticeship and Training, U.S. Department
of Labor. Many apprenticeship programs are
supervised by local joint union-management
apprenticeship committees. In these instances,
an apprentice applicant may apply directly to
the coordinator of the joint apprentice­
ship committee, if there is one in his locality.
In recent years, there has been a trend toward
increased use of the local office of the State em­
ployment service as a source of information
about apprenticeship openings.

346

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

For more information on jobs in the buildingtrades, a young man should write to the organi­

Associated General Contractors of America, Inc.,
1957 E St. NW., Washington 6, D.C.
National Association of Home Builders,
1625 L St. NW., Washington 6, D.C.

zations listed below :
American Federation of Labor and Congress of
Industrial Organizations, Building and
Construction Trades Department,
815 16th St. NW., Washington 6, D.C.

For the names of labor organizations and
trade associations concerned with specific
building trades, see the discussions of individ­
ual building trades later in this chapter.

Carpenters
(D.O.T. 5-25.110 through .840)

Nature of Work
Carpenters, the largest single group of build­
ing trades workers, are employed in al­
most every type of construction activity.
Their work is commonly divided into two
broad
categories— “ rough” carpentry
and
“ finish” carpentry. Skilled carpenters are able
to do both types of work.
In rough work, carpenters erect the wood
framework in buildings, including subfloor­
ing, sheathing, partitions, floor joists, studding,
and rafters. They install heavy timbers used
in the building of docks, railroad trestles, and
similar heavy installations. Rough carpentry

Carpenter's doing rough-framing work following
architectural drawings.




also includes the building of forms to enclose
concrete until it is hardened, the making of
chutes for pouring concrete, and the erection
of scaffolding and temporary buildings on the
construction site.
A fter the rough carpentry is completed,
finish carpenters install molding, wood panel­
ing, cabinets, window sash, door frames, doors,
and hardware. They also build stairs and lay
floors. Carpenters who do finish work must con­
sider the appearance as well as the structural
accuracy of the work.
A s part of their job, carpenters also saw, fit,
and assemble plywood, wallboard, and other
materials. They use nails, bolts, wood screws,
or glue to fasten materials. They may also in­
stall linoleum, asphalt tile, and similar softfloor coverings. Carpenters use handtools such
as hammers, saws, chisels, and planes, and pow­
er tools such as portable power saws, drills,
and rivet guns.
Carpenters tend to specialize in a particular
type of carpentry work because of the wide
scope of the work performed in the trade.
For example, some carpenters specialize in in­
stalling acoustic panels on ceilings and walls;
others specialize in the installation of millwork
and finish hardware (trim m ing), laying hard­
wood floors, or building stairs. Specialization
is more common in the large cities; in small
communities, carpenters ordinarily do all types
of carpentry work. In rural areas, carpenters
may do the work of other craftsmen, particu­
larly painting, glazing, or roofing. Carpenters
generally work in a particular field of construc­
tion, such as home, bridge, or highway con­
struction, or in industrial maintenance.

BUILDING TRADES

Where Employed

Most carpenters work in the construction in­
dustry and are employed mainly by contractors
and homebuilders at the construction site.
They work principally on building construc­
tion, although many are employed on highway
or other nonbuilding projects. A large num­
ber do repair, alteration, or modernization
work. Many carpenters alternate between
wage employment for contractors and selfemployment on small jobs. Many others work
for government agencies or nonconstruction
firms which employ a separate work force for
their own construction work. A large number
of carpenters do maintenance work in facto­
ries, hotels, office buildings, and other large
establishments. They are also employed in
shipbuilding, in mining, and in the production
of many kinds of display materials.
Carpenters are employed in almost every
community. Skilled carpenters can obtain
jobs in almost any part of the country. Em­
ployment of these workers is distributed geo­
graphically in much the same way as em­
ployment in the building trades generally, with
large concentrations of workers in the highly
populated and industrialized areas.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most training authorities, including the na­
tional joint labor-management apprenticeship
committee for the carpentry trade, recommend
the completion of a 4-year apprenticeship pro­
gram as the best way to learn carpentry. A
substantial number of workers in this trade,
however, have acquired carpentry skills in­
formally, by working for many years as helpers
or handymen, observing or being taught by ex­
perienced carpenters. Many of these men have
also gained some of the knowledge of the trade
by taking correspondence or trade school
courses.
Apprenticeship applicants are generally re­
quired to be at least 17 years of age; a high
school education or its equivalent is desirable.
Good physical condition, a good sense of bal­
ance, and lack of fear of working on structures
higl^pff the ground are important assets. Ap­

titudes which the apprentice should have in

347
elude manual dexterity and the ability to solve
arithmetic problems quickly and accurately.
Most apprenticeship programs are under the
supervision of local joint union-management
apprenticeship committees. Generally, the ap­
prentice is employed under a written ap­
prenticeship agreement, and the program is
registered with a State apprenticeship agency
or the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of
Apprenticeship and Training.
The apprenticeship program usually con­
sists of 8,000 hours (4 years) of on-the-job
training, in addition to a minimum of 576 hours
of related classroom instruction. During the
apprenticeship period, the apprentice learns
elementary structural design and becomes fa­
miliar with the common systems of frame and
form construction, and to use, care for, and
handle safely the tools, machines, equipment,
and materials used in the trade. He also learns,
among other things, how to build forms for
holding cement and rough framing, outside and
inside finishing work, and how to fit hardware
and layout doors, windows, and partitions.
The apprentice receives related classroom in­
struction in drafting and blueprint reading,
mathematics applicable to layout work, and
the use of woodworking machines. Both in the
classroom and on the job he learns the relation­
ship between carpentry and the other building
trades, because the work of the carpenter is
basic to the construction process.
Hourly wage rates for apprentices usually
start at about 50 percent of the journeyman
rate and increase by about 5 percent in each
6-month period until a rate of 85 to 90 percent
is reached during the last period of apprentice­
ship. If apprentice applicants have had experi­
ence or training directly related to the trade,
such as training in carpentry in a vocational
school or experience in the Armed Forces, they
may be given advanced apprenticeship standing.
Carpenters may advance to the position of
carpenter foreman, or they may become general
construction foremen. Carpenters usually have
greater opportunities than most building crafts­
men to become general construction foremen,
since carpenters are familiar with the entire
construction process. The proportion of selfemployed among carpenters is higher than

348
among most other skilled building trades. Some
self-employed carpenters are able to become con­
tractors— hiring other journeymen. A knowl­
edge of construction, adequate resources, and
a sound knowledge of business principles and
practices are basic requirements for success as
a contractor.
Employment Outlook

Tens of thousands of job openings will be
available each year during the 1960’s for young
men who wish to enter the carpentry trade.
These openings will result primarily because of
the large rise anticipated in construction ex­
penditures. (See discussion, p. 343.) In addi­
tion, a growing number of carpenters will be
needed in the maintenance departments of
factories, commercial establishments, large
residential projects, and government agencies.
Technological developments are expected to con­
tinue to affect both the number and skill re­
quirements of carpenters during the decade.
Construction materials that are processed off
the site and materials designed for easier and
faster installations have become progressively
more important. There has also been a con­
tinued trend toward a greater use of factory
prefabrication of structural building compo­
nents as well as entire structures.
Replacement needs will also result in many
thousands of job opportunities for new work­
ers each year. Carpenters comprise the largest
single group of skilled workers in the country
and account for approximately two-fifths of all
building trades craftsmen. More than 1 million
carpenters were employed in 1960, compared
with about 900,000 in 1950. Because of the size
of this occupation, replacement needs are great.
Retirements and deaths alone may provide from
25,000 to 30,000 job openings annually during
the 1960’s. Many other openings will result
from the need to replace workers who leave the
trade for other reasons.
Young men who obtain all-round training of
the kind given under apprenticeship programs
will have especially favorable long-range job
prospects. They are in much greater demand
and have better opportunities for advancement

than the many men in the trade who can do


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

only the simpler and more routine types of
carpentry work.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Union minimum hourly wage rates, as of
July 1, 1960, for carpenters averaged $3.78,
compared with $3.86 for all journeymen in the
building trades, according to a national survey
of building trades workers in 52 large cities.
Among individual cities surveyed, the minimum
hourly rates for carpenters ranged from $2.50
in Charlotte, N.C., to $4.55 in New York City.
Because of the seasonal nature of much of
construction work and because of time lost for
other reasons, the. average annual earnings of
carpenters are not as high as their hourly rates
of pay indicate.
A large proportion of carpenters are members
of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and
Joiners of America. A small number are mem­
bers of other unions. Union-management con­
tracts covering carpenters often provide health
insurance and pension benefits, financed either
entirely by employers or jointly by the workers
and employers.
Like other building trades, the work of the
carpenter is active and is sometimes strenu­
ous, but exceptional physical strength is not re­
quired. Many young persons like carpentry be­
cause they are able to work out of doors.
However, prolonged standing, as well as climb­
ing and squatting, is often necessary. Carpen­
ters risk injury from slips or falls, from con­
tact with sharp or rough materials, and from
the use of sharp tools and power equipment.
Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information regarding carpentry apprentice­
ships or work opportunities in this trade should
direct his inquiry to the carpentry contractors
or general contractors in his area; a local of
the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and
Joiners of America; a local joint union-manage­
ment apprenticeship committee, if there is one
in his locality; or the local office of The Bureau
of Apprenticeship and Training, U.S. Depart­
ment of Labor. In addition, the local office of

BUILDING TRADES

349

the State employment service may be a source
of information about apprenticeship opportuni­
ties. Some local employment services screen
applicants and give aptitude tests.
General information on apprenticeship in this
trade is also available from :

Associated General Contractors of America, Inc.,
1957 E St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
National Association of Home Builders,
1625 L St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of
America,
101 Constitution Ave., Washington 1, D.C.

Painters and Paperhangers
(D.O.T. 5-27.010 through .920 and 5-28.100)

Nature of Work

Painting and paperhanging are separate
skilled building trades, although many crafts­
men in these trades do both types of work.
Painters prepare the surfaces of buildings and
other structures and then apply paint, varnish,
enamel, lacquer, and similar materials to these
surfaces. Paperhangers cover room interiors
with paper, fabric, vinyls, or other materials.
One of the important duties of the painter—
especially in repainting— is to prepare the sur­
face. Loose paint must be removed by scraping
or by heating with a blowtorch and then scrap­
ing. Grease must be removed, nail holes and
cracks filled, rough spots sandpapered, and dust
brushed off. Often, surfaces must be covered
with a prime coat or sealer to provide a suitable
surface or base on which to apply the new
paint. Paint is applied to many kinds of ma­
terials, including wood, structural steel, and clay
products, generally by means of a brush, spray
gun, or roller.
A painter must be skilled in handling brushes
and other painting tools, in order to apply paint
thoroughly, uniformly, and rapidly to any type
of surface. In addition, he must be able to mix
paints, match colors, and must have a knowledge
of color harmony. He must also know the
characteristics of common typs of paints and
finishes from the standpoints of durability,
suitability for different purposes, and ease of
handling and application.
Painters must know how to erect the scaffold­
ing from which they often work, including
“ swing stages” (scaffolds suspended by ropes
or cables attached to roof hooks) and “ bosun
chairs” which are used to work on tall buildings
and other structures.



Painters use spray guns to paint surfaces or
objects which are difficult to paint with a
brush such as lattices, cinder and concrete block,
and radiators. They also use spray guns on
large area which can be sprayed with a min­
imum of preparation. When using a roller (a
rotating applicator covered with soft material),
the painter rolls the applicator over the surface
to be covered.
The paperhanger first prepares the surface
to be covered. In new work, he applies “ sizing,”
a prepared material which makes the plaster
less porous and assures better sticking of the

Painters in bosun chairs applying first coat to metal
tower.

350
paper to the surface. In redecorating work, it
may be necessary to remove old paper by soak­
ing or, if there are many layers, by steaming.
Iji many cases, it is also necessary for paperhangers to do minor plaster patching in order
to get a smooth surface for the covering
material.
When the surface has been prepared, the
paperhanger measures the area to be covered
and cuts the paper to size. He mixes a paste
and applies it to the reverse side of the paper.
The pastecoated paper is then placed on the
wall or ceiling in strips and smoothed into place
with a dry brush. The paperhanger matches
the adjacent edges of strips of figured paper,
cuts overlapping ends, and smooths the seams
between strips with a roller or other special
tool. When working with wall coverings other
than paper, the paperhanger follows the same
general procedure, except that he applies an
adhesive other than paste.
Where Employed

Most painters and paperhangers work for
contractors engaged in new building construc­
tion work. Substantial numbers of painters and
paperhangers are also employed by contractors
to do repair, alteration, or modernization work.
Hotels, office buildings, shipyards, utility com­
panies, manufacturing firms, schools and other
government units, and other organizations that
own extensive property commonly employ main­
tenance painters. When interior redecorating
involves papering, as in hotels or apartment
buildings, maintenance painters may also do
the paperhanging.
More than 425,000 painters and paperhangers were employed in mid-1960. The geo­
graphical distribution of employment in these
occupations is similar to that in the building
trades generally, with large concentrations of
workers in the highly populated and industrial­
ized areas.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

dustry, recommend the completion of a 3-year
formal apprenticeship as the best way to be­
come a journeyman painter or paperhanger. A
substantial proportion of painters and paperhangers, however, have learned the trade in­
formally. They have picked up the trade by
working for many years as helpers or handy­
men, observing or being taught by experienced
craftsmen. Workers without formal apprentice
training have gained acceptance as journeymen
more easily in these crafts than in most of the
other building trades.
Apprentice applicants are generally required
to be between the ages of 16 and 26 and in
good physical condition. A high school educa­
tion is preferred although not essential. Appli­
cants should have manual dexterity and a dis­
cerning color sense. They should not be allergic
to paint fumes or to the various materials used
in these trades.
Many apprentice training programs are under
the supervision of local joint union-management
apprenticeship committees. Generally, the ap­
prentice is employed under a written apprentice­
ship agreement and the program is registered
with a State apprenticeship agency or the U.S.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most training authorities, including the na­
tional joint labor-management apprenticeship
committee for the painting and decorating in­



Paperhanger using hand tools to remove excess wall
covering around window frame.

BUILDING TRADES

Department of Labor's Bureau of Apprentice­
ship and Training.
The apprenticeship for painters and paperhangers generally consist of 6,000 hours (3
years) of on-the-job training, in addition to
related classroom instruction. Many apprentice­
ships combine painting and paperhanging. In
a typical 3-year training program, the appren­
tice learns, among other things, to: use, care
for, and handle safely the tools, machines,
equipment, and materials commonly used in the
trade; prepare surfaces, including sizing, sand­
papering, and puttying walls; match and mix
colors; apply various types of interior and ex­
terior materials, including stain, whitewash,
enamel, oil, and varnish; and erect scaffolding.
In addition, the apprentice receives related
classroom instruction in color harmony; paint
chemistry; estimating costs; and making, mix­
ing, and matching paints. He also learns the
relationship between painting and paperhang­
ing work and the work performed by the other
building trades craftsmen.
Hourly wage rates for apprentices usually
start at 50 percent of the journeyman rate and
increase periodically until the journeyman rate
of pay is reached upon completion of apprentice­
ship. If apprentice applicants have had experi­
ence directly related to the trade, such as ex­
perience or training in the Armed Forces, they
may be granted advanced apprenticeship
standing.
Painters and paperhangers may advance to
the position of foreman. They may also ad­
vance to jobs as estimators for painting and
decorating contractors— computing material
requirements and labor costs. Some may be­
come superintendents on large contract paint­
ing jobs, or they may establish their own
business as painting and decorating contrac­
tors. To become successful contractors, paint­
ers and paperhangers must have a thorough
knowledge of the trades, adequate financial re­
sources, and a sound knowledge of business
principles and practices.
Employment Outlook

The employment of painters and paperhang­
slowly over the 1960's—

Digitized ersFRASER
for is expected to rise


351
continuing the trend of the 1950's— despite the
anticipated large expansion in construction
activities. (See discussion, p. 343.) Most job
opportunities will arise from the need to re­
place experienced workers who retire, transfer
to other fields of work, or die.
Technological developments have limited and
are expected to continue to limit the employ­
ment of painters and affect their skill require­
ments. New types of paint which are more
easily applied and have improved “ covering
power" have made it easier for inexperienced
workers to do work which is acceptable to
some customers. Spray painting requires fewer
painters to do the same amount of work. More­
over, many items formerly painted at the build­
ing site now come from a factory with a prime
coat and often with a final coat. Aluminum
building products which often require no paint­
ing have become increasingly common in re­
cent years.
Employment prospects for paperhangers will
continue to be limited by the substitution of
paint for wallpaper as a covering for interior
walls in residential and commercial buildings.
The more widespread use of fabrics, plastics,
and other types of wall coverings, however,
may improve somewhat the employment out­
look for these workers.
Because of the large size of the painter and
paperhanger group, replacement needs are very
great. Retirements and deaths may result in
about 10,000 job openings annually during the
1960's. Many other openings will result from
the need to replace experienced workers who
leave the trades for other reasons.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Union minimum hourly wage rates for
painters and paperhangers in 52 large cities
averaged $3.55 and $3.52, respectively, as of
July 1, 1960, according to a national survey
of building trades workers. In comparison,
the average rate for all journeymen in the
building trades was $3.86 an hour. Among
individual cities surveyed, the minimum hourly
rates for painters ranged from $2.45 in Rich­
mond, Va., to $4.45 in New York City. The
rates for paperhangers ranged from $2.25 in

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

352
Louisville, Ky., to $3.98 in Los Angeles, Calif.
The average annual earnings of painters and
paperhangers are less than their hourly rates
of pay would indicate. These workers lose
much work-time because of weather conditions
and the brief duration of many jobs.
A large proportion of painters and paperhangers are members of the Brotherhood of
Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of
America. A few are members of other unions.
Union-management contracts covering these
workers often provide health insurance and
pension benefits, financed either entirely by
employers or jointly by the workers and em­
ployers.
Painters and paperhangers are often re­
quired to stand for long periods of time, to
climb, and to bend at their work. A painter
must have strong arms because much of the
work is done with arms raised overhead. Paint­
ers and paperhangers risk injury from slips or
falls from ladders and scaffolds. The number
of injuries per million man-hours worked by
employees of painting and paperhanging con­
tractors in the contract construction industry
has been lower than that for contract con­
struction as a whole, but higher than for all
manufacturing industries.

Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information concerning painting and paper­
hanging apprenticeships or work opportunities
in these trades should apply to a painting and
decorator contractor in his area; a local of the
Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators, and Pa­
perhangers of America; a local joint unionmanagement apprenticeship committee, if there
is one in his locality; or the local office of the
Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, U.S.
Department of Labor. In addition, the local
office of the State employment service may be
a source of information about apprenticeship
opportunities.
General information about the work of paint­
ers and paperhangers may be obtained from :
Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and
Paperhangers of America,
217-219 North Sixth St., Lafayette, Ind.
National Association of Home Builders,
1625 L St. N W , Washington 6, D.C.
Painting and Decorating Contractors Association of
America,
2625 West Peterson Ave., Chicago 5, 111.

Plumbers and Pipefitters
(D.O.T. 5-30.010, .026, .210, .410)

Nature of Work

Plumbers and pipefitters are craftsmen who
install pipe systems which carry water, steam,
air, or other liquids or gases needed for sani­
tation, industrial production, or other uses.
They also alter and repair existing pipe sys­
tems and install plumbing fixtures, appliances,
and heating and refrigerating units.
Although plumbing and pipefitting are some­
times considered to be a single trade, journey­
men in this field tend to specialize in either
one craft or the other, particularly in large
cities. Water, gas, and waste disposal systems,
especially those which must be connected to
public utility systems, are installed by plumb­
ers.
 Such installations are made in residential


and commercial buildings, schools, industrial
plants, and other structures. Pipefitters install
both high- and low-pressure pipes that carry
hot water, steam, and other liquids and gases,
especially those in industrial and commercial
buildings and defense establishments, such as
missile launching and testing sites. Pipefitters,
for example, install ammonia-carrying pipe­
lines in refrigeration plants, complex pipe sys­
tems in oil refineries and chemical and food­
processing plants, automatic sprinkler systems,
and pipelines for carrying compressed air and
industrial gases in many types of industrial
establishments.
Some plumbers and pipefitters specialize in
either gas fitting or steam fitting. Gas fitters
install and maintain the gas fittings and the

BUILDING TRADES

central gas main extensions which connect the
main gas line with those leading to homes.
Steamfitters assemble and install steam or hot
water systems for commercial and industrial
uses.
Plumbers and pipefitters use a variety of
skills when installing pipe systems. For exam­
ple, they bend pipe and make welded, brazed,
calked, soldered, or threaded joints. After a
pipe system is installed, the plumber or pipe­
fitter tests for leaks by filling the pipes with
liquid or gas under pressure.
Plumbers and pipefitters use wrenches, ream­
ers, drills, braces and bits, hammers, chisels,
saws, and other handtools. Power machines
are often used to cut, bend, and thread pipes.
Hand-operated hydraulic pipe benders are also
used. In addition, plumbers and pipefitters use
gas or gasoline torches and welding, soldering,
and brazing equipment in their work.
Where Employed

Most plumbers and pipefitters are employed
by plumbing and pipefitting contractors in new
building construction, mainly at the construc­
tion site. A substantial proportion of plumbers

Pipefitter bending pipe with hydraulic pipe bender.




353
are self-employed or work for plumbing con­
tractors doing repair, alteration, or moderniza­
tion work. Some plumbers install and maintain
pipe systems for government agencies and
public utilities, and some work on the con­
struction of ships and aircraft. Others do
maintenance work in industrial and commer­
cial establishments. Pipefitters, in particular,
are employed as maintenance personnel in the
petroleum, chemical, and food-processing in­
dustries where the industrial operations include
the processing of fluids through pipes.
Jobs for plumbers and pipefitters are found
in almost every community in the country, but
they are concentrated in highly populated and
industrialized areas.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most training authorities, including the na­
tional joint labor-management apprenticeship
committees for the plumbing and pipefitting
industries, recommend a 5-year apprenticeship
for plumbers or for pipefitters as the best way
to learn all the aspects of these trades. A large
number of plumbers and pipefitters, however,
have acquired plumbing and pipefitting skills
informally, by working for several years with
craftsmen, receiving instruction from them and
watching them work. Many of these persons
have gained some of their knowledge of their
trade by taking trade or correspondence school
courses.
Apprentice applicants generally are required
to be between the ages of 17 and 25, and in
good physical condition. A high school edu­
cation or its equivalent, including courses in
mathematics, physics, and chemistry, is de­
sirable. Applicants are often required to take
aptitude tests, particularly to determine wheth­
er they have the high degree of mechanical
aptitude required in this field.
Most apprentice training programs for
plumbers and pipefitters are conducted under
written agreements between the apprentices
and local joint apprenticeship committees,
composed of union and management represen­
tatives, who supervise the training. The ap­
prenticeship committee determines the need
for apprentices in the locality, establishes

354
minimum apprenticeship standards of training,
and, if necessary, schedules a rotating work
program. This program is designed to give
the apprentice diversified training by having
him work for several plumbing or pipefitting
contractors. Under formal apprenticeship pro­
grams, the apprentice is registered with the
appropriate State apprenticeship agency or the
U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Appren­
ticeship and Training.
The apprenticeship program for plumbers or
for pipefitters usually consists of 10,000 hours
of on-the-job training, in addition to at least
720 hours of related classroom instruction. In
a typical 5-year training program, the plumber
or pipefitter apprentice learns, among other
things, how to use, care for, and handle safely
the tools, machines, equipment, and materials
used in the trades. They also learn welding and
soldering techniques and general repair work;
the use of ladders and the erection and dis­
mantling of scaffolding; and the proper use of
plastic and glass piping. The plumber appren­
ticeship program includes training in the in­
stallation of waste, vent, and domestic hot and
cold water pipes, and the piping in septic tanks,
cesspools, and sewers; the testing of plumbing
installations; and in estimating jobs and costs
of materials required. The pipefitter appren­
ticeship program includes training in the
installation of radiators, pumps, boilers, stokers,
oil burners, and gas furnaces; hot water, steam
panel, and radiant-heating systems; air-condi­
tioning and powerplant piping systems; and
pneumatic control systems and instrumenta­
tion. They may also learn boiler replacement.
The apprentice receives related classroom
instruction in subjects such as drafting and
blueprint reading, mathematics applicable to
layout work, applied physics and chemistry,
and local building codes and regulations which
apply to the trade.
Hourly wage rates of apprentices in this
trade usually start at 50 percent of the journey­
man rate and increase by about 5 percent in
each 6-month period until a rate of 95 percent
is reached during the last period of the ap­
prenticeship. If apprentice applicants have
prior experience or training directly related
to the trade they may, in some instances, be



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

given advanced standing and pay. This expe­
rience or training may have been obtained in
the Armed Forces or through courses in public
or private schools.
In some localities, a journeyman's license is
required for plumbers. To obtain this license,
a person must pass a special examination to
demonstrate his knowledge of the local building
codes. The examination also tests his all-round
knowledge of the trade.
Some journeymen plumbers and pipefitters
may become foremen for plumbing or pipe­
fitting contractors. Many journeymen go into
business for themselves. As they expand their
activities, they may employ other workers and
become plumbing and pipefitting contractors.
In some localities, contractors are required to
obtain a master plumber's license. Basic re­
quirements for ’ success as a contractor are
thorough knowledge of plumbing and pipefitting
and construction principles, adequate financial
resources, and a sound knowledge of business
principles and practices.
Employment Outlook

Employment of plumbers and pipefitters is
expected to rise rapidly over the 1960-70
decade, at a faster rate than over the previous
10-year period. The number of workers in this
field increased from less than 280,000 in 1950
to more than 300,000 in 1960. In addition to
openings resulting from the increase in em­
ployment, many job opportunities for new work­
ers will arise as a result of replacement needs.
The most important factor which will con­
tribute to the rapid rise in employment is the
large increase anticipated in construction ac­
tivity over the 1960's. (See discussion, p. 343.)
Furthermore, plumbing and heating work is
expected to become more important in many
types of construction. For example, the trend
toward more bathrooms per dwelling unit is
likely to continue. The installation of appli­
ances such as washing machines and waste dis­
posals which require plumbing work will be­
come more widespread. The number of auto­
matic heating system installations probably will
increase. Also, in industry generally, pipe work
is becoming more important and plumbers and

355

BUILDING TRADES

pipefitters will be needed for installation and
maintenance work. For example, the chemical
industry, which uses extensive pipe work in
its processing activities, is expected to expand
its facilities substantially during the 1960’s.
Those industries which are automating their
production activities will require more pipe­
fitting work. The increasing industrial activi­
ties related to atomic energy and the greater
use of refrigeration and air-conditioning equip­
ment will also result in more work for plumbers
and pipefitters. On the other hand, technologi­
cal developments, such as the growing use of
factory prefabricated plumbing assemblies,
may limit, somewhat, the growth in the number
of jobs for plumbers and pipefitters.
The need to replace experienced workers who
retire, transfer to other fields of work, or die
will provide thousands of job openings for new
workers each year. Retirements and deaths
alone may result in approximately 7,000 to 8,000
job openings annually during the 1960’s.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Hourly wage rates for plumbers and pipe­
fitters are among the highest in the skilled
building trades and among skilled workers
generally. Union minimum hourly wage rates
for plumbers and for pipefitters averaged $4.01
and $4.00, respectively, as of July 1, 1960, ac­
cording to a national survey of building trades
workers in 52 large cities. At the same time,
all journeymen in the building trades had an
average hourly rate of $3.86. Among individual
cities surveyed, the union minimum hourly
wage rates for plumbers ranged from $3.25 in
Charlotte, N.C., to $4.55 in New York City;
pipefitters' rates ranged from $3.25 in Char­
lotte, N.C., to $4.65 in New York City.
Young people contemplating plumbing and
pipefitting as a career should consider the fact
that annual earnings of workers in this field
are among the highest in the building trades.
This is true because plumbing and pipefitting
are affected less by seasonal factors than are
most other building crafts.
Some union-management contracts cover­
ing plumbers and pipefitters provide vacation

pay, health insurance, and pension benefits,


financed either entirely by employers or jointly
by the workers and employers.
A large proportion of plumbers and pipe­
fitters are members of the United Association
of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumb­
ing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United
States and Canada.
The work of plumbers and pipefitters is active
and sometimes strenuous, as is the work in the
other building trades. They frequently must
stand for prolonged periods and occasionally
work in cramped or uncomfortable positions
because much of their work is done in rela­
tively inaccessible places. They are less exposed
to unfavorable weather conditions than are
many other building tradesmen, because most
of their work is performed indoors.
Workers in this trade risk the danger of falls
from ladders, cuts from sharp tools, and burns
from hot pipes or steam. The number of in­
juries per million man-hours worked by em­
ployees of plumbing, heating, and air-condi­
tioning contractors in the contract construc­
tion industry has been lower than that for
contract construction as a whole, but higher
than the average for production workers in
manufacturing industries.
Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information concerning enrollment in a local
plumber or pipefitter apprenticeship program
or to locate work opportunities in the field
should apply to a plumbing, heating, and airconditioning contractor in his area; a local
union of the United Association of Journeymen
and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fit­
ting Industry of the United States and Canada;
a local joint union-management apprenticeship
committee, if there is one in his area; or the
local office of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and
Training, U.S. Department of Labor. In addi­
tion, the local office of the State employment
service may be a source of information about
apprenticeship opportunities. Some local em­
ployment service offices provide such services
as screening applicants and giving aptitude
tests.

356

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

General information about the work of
plumbers and pipefitters may be obtained from :

National Association of Plumbing Contractors,
1016 20th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices
of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the
United States and Canada,
901 Massachusetts Ave. N W ., Washington 1, D.C.

National Association of Home Builders,
1625 L St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.

Bricklayers
(D.O.T. 5-24.000 through .199)

Nature of Work

Bricklayers (or brickmasons) are craftsmen
who construct walls, partitions, fireplaces,
chimneys, and other structures from brick.
They may also use other masonry materials,
such as concrete, cinder, or gypsum block;
structural tile, or terra cotta (a hard-baked
brick used for ornamental purposes). They also
install the brick linings of industrial kilns and
furnaces.
In laying brick, a bricklayer first spreads a
layer or “ bed” of soft mortar. He applies mortar
to the end of the last brick laid or to one end
of a brick to be laid. He places the brick on
the bed of mortar and works it into the desired
position with his hand. Then he cuts off the
excess mortar. When necessary, he breaks
bricks with a trowel or brick hammer to fit
spaces too small for whole bricks. He keeps the
courses (rows) of brick level by using a tightly
stretched horizontal cord (gage line) as a guide.
At fixed points along the wall he checks the
surface with a mason's level to make sure the
bricks are lined up. A plumb line is also used
to check vertical alinement. Using the point
of a trowel or a special finishing tool, he trims
the mortar between the bricks to achieve a neat
appearance. If two or more thicknesses of brick
are being laid, the brickmason lays a “ bond”
course at regular intervals, that is, he arranges
a row of bricks crosswise or in another “ bond”
pattern in order to tie the bricks together. When
the bricklayer works with concrete block,
structural tile, or other masonry material, the
work is essentially the same.
Bricklaying requires careful, accurate work
so that the brick structure will have a neat and
uniform appearance and the rows of brick will
line up with windows, doors, or other openings

without excessive cutting of brick. Craftsmen


in this trade mainly use handtools, including
chisels, trowels, jointers, and tuck pointers (a
special finishing tool used to shape mortar
joints), bricklayer's hammers, gage lines, plumb
bobs, and mason's levels. Power saws are some­
times used for cutting masonry materials.
Journeymen bricklayers are usually assisted by
hod carriers or helpers who supply them with
bricks and other materials, mix mortar, and
set up and move scaffolding.

Where Employed

The great majority of bricklayers work
mainly on new building construction. Some are
employed in sewer construction work in which
they construct manholes and catch basins.
Bricklayers do a considerable amount of altera­
tion work, especially in the larger cities where
construction of fire-resistant partitions, store
front remodeling, and similar modernization
work, are often done. They also do a substantial
amount of maintenance and repair work.
Bricklayers also work for such industrial
establishments as factories making glass or
steel, where furnaces and kilns require special
fire brick and refractory brick linings. For ex­
ample, in a steel manufacturing plant, the brick­
layer lines converters, cupolas, and ladles which
hold molten metal. Bricklayers must have addi­
tional training to do refractory brick work.
Jobs for bricklayers are found throughout the
country. Their employment, however, is con­
centrated in the more highly populated and in­
dustrialized areas.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most training authorities, including the Na­
tional Joint Labor-Management Apprentice­

BUILDING TRADES

ship Committee for the bricklaying trade, rec­
ommend the completion of a 3- or 4-year ap­
prenticeship program as the best way to learn
this trade. A substantial proportion of workers
in this trade have acquired bricklaying skills
informally, by working for many years as help­
ers or hod carriers, observing or being taught
by experienced bricklayers. Many of these per­
sons have gained additional knowledge of their
trade by taking trade school courses.
Apprenticeship applicants are generally re­
quired to be between the ages of 17 and 24.
A high school education or its equivalent is de­
sirable. Many apprenticeship programs are
under the supervision of local joint unionmanagement apprenticeship committees. Gen­
erally, the apprentice is employed under a
written apprenticeship agreement and the pro­
gram is registered with a State apprenticeship
agency or the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bu­
reau of Apprenticeship and Training.
The apprenticeship program generally con­
sists of from 6,000 to 8,000 hours (3 to 4 years)
of on-the-job training, in addition to related
classroom instruction. In a typical 3-year brick­
layer training program, the apprentice learns,

Journeyman bricklayer teaching apprentice how to form
a comer.




357
among other things, t o : use, care for, and han­
dle safely the tools, machines, equipment, and
materials commonly used in the trade; lay
brick (including mixing and spreading mortar),
bond and tie, build footings and foundations;
do plain exterior brickwork such as straight
wall work; build arches, columns, piers, and
corners; plan and build chimneys, fireplaces,
and floors; lay stone; point brick and stone;
clean stone, brick, and tile with water and acid,
and by sandblasting; cut, set, and point cement
blocks, artificial stone, glass blocks, and cork;
and fireproof. The apprentice receives related
classroom instruction in blueprint reading, lay­
out work, and measurements and sketches. In
addition, he learns the relationship between
bricklaying and other building trades.
A bricklayer must have an eye for straight
lines and proportions. Good physical condition
and manual dexterity are important assets.
Since the other building craftsmen must usually
fit their work to his, he should know how the
parts of a structure fit together.
Hourly wage rates for bricklayer apprentices
generally start at 50 percent of the journey­
man rate and increase periodically until 95 per­
cent of the journeyman’s rate is reached during
the last period of the apprenticeship. If ap­
prentice applicants have had training or expe­
rience directly related to the trade as, for ex­
ample, in the Armed Forces or in a trade
school, they may be given advanced apprentice­
ship standing.
In some areas, formal apprentice training for
bricklayers includes brief, preliminary instruc­
tion at a vocational school or some other type
of prejob training which is designed to give
the apprentice sufficient skill in the handling
of tools and materials to make him productive
at the start of his on-the-job training.
Bricklayers may advance to jobs as foremen.
They may also become estimators for bricklay­
ing contractors. Estimators compute material
requirements and labor costs. Some journey­
men advance to the position of bricklaying
superintendent on large construction projects,
while others may start their own bricklaying
contracting business. Adequate financial re­
sources and a sound knowledge of business
principles and practices, in addition to a knowl­

358
edge of the trade, are basic requirements for
success as a contractor.

Employment Outlook

The employment of bricklayers is expected to
rise rapidly over the 1960-70 decade, but the
rate of growth will probably be slower than it
was over the previous 10-year period. Between
1950 and 1960, employment of these craftsmen
rose from about 165,000 to more than 250,000.
Much of the expected growth in the 1960’s will
result from the large increase anticipated in
construction expenditures. (See discussion,
p. 343.) Also, increasing use of structural clay
tile for fire-resistant partitions and glass blocks
for exterior walls is expected. The rise in brick­
layer employment is expected despite a continu­
ation of some technological developments which
reduce the amount of brickwork per structure.
For example, the introduction of steel-frame
and reinforced concrete structures permits the
elimination of load-bearing exterior brick walls
in buildings and the substitution of light metal
panels; the use of prefabricated brick, metal,
and glass wall panels in many buildings results
in less masonry work; and ornamental brick
work is less widely used in building decoration.
In addition to job openings that will result
from growth of the trade, many job opportuni­
ties for new workers will arise from replace­
ment needs. Retirements and deaths may result
in about 5,000 job openings annually during
the 1960’s. Replacement of workers who leave
the trade for other reasons will provide many
other job openings.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Union minimum hourly wage rates, as of July
1, 1960, for bricklayers averaged $4.17, com­
pared with $3.86 for all journeymen in the
building trades, according to a national survey
of building trades workers in 52 large cities.
Among individual cities surveyed, the minimum
hourly rates for bricklayers ranged from $3.20
in Charlotte, N.C., to $4.80 in New York City.
Although bricklayers generally have the high­

est hourly wage rates in the building trades,


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

their average annual earnings are not as high
as their hourly rates of pay would indicate,
because of the highly seasonal nature of the
bricklayer’s work.
A large proportion of bricklayers are mem­
bers of the Bricklayers, Masons and Plasterers’
International Union of America. Union-man­
agement contracts covering bricklayers often
provide health insurance, pension, and other
benefits, financed either entirely by the employ­
ers or jointly by the workers and employers.
The work of the bricklayer is active and
sometimes strenuous, like the work in other
building trades. It involves stooping to pick up
materials, moderately heavy lifting, and pro­
longed standing. Most of the work is done
outdoors.

Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information regarding bricklaying apprentice­
ships or work opportunities in the trade, should
apply to a bricklaying contractor in his area;
a local of the Bricklayers, Masons and Plaster­
ers’ International Union of America; the local
joint union-management apprenticeship com­
mittee, if there is one in his area; or the local
office of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and
Training, U.S. Department of Labor. In addi­
tion, the local office of the State employment
service may be a source of information about
apprenticeship opportunities. Some local em­
ployment service offices provide services such
as screening applicants and giving aptitude
tests.
General information about the work of brick­
layers may be obtained from :
Associated General Contractors of America, Inc.,
1957 E St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
Bricklayers, Masons and Plasterers’ International
Union of America,
815 15th St. N W ., Washington 5, D.C.
National Association of Home Builders,
1625 L St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
Structural Clay Products Institute,
1520 18th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.

BUILDING TRADES

359

Operating Engineers (Construction Machinery Operators)
(D.O.T. 5-23.000 through .999 and 7-23.000 through .999)

Nature of Work

Operating engineers operate, maintain, and
repair various types of power-driven construc­
tion machinery. These machines include power
shovels, cranes, derricks, hoists, pile drivers,
concrete mixers, paving machines, trench ex­
cavators, bulldozers, tractors, and pumps. Be­
cause operating engineers work with many dif­
ferent types of machines— some complex and
others relatively simple— the range of skills
among these workers is broader than among
journeymen in any other building trade. This
range of skills may be illustrated by describing
the work performed by an engineer who oper­
ates a crane and one who operates an earth­
boring machine.
The crane operator manipulates various ped­
als and levers to rotate the crane on its chassis
and to raise and lower the crane boom and the
loadline. The operator also manipulates a num­
ber of different attachments to the crane boom
for various construction purposes. For example,
he manipulates buckets for excavation work;
pile drivers to drive steel beams, wood, and
concrete piling into the ground; and wreckingballs for demolition work. Good eye-hand-foot
coordination, skill in precision handling of
heavy equipment, and judgment in estimating
proper load size are among the essential apti­
tudes needed to do the crane operator's job. In
contrast, the operation of earth-boring machines
that dig holes for poles or posts is one of the
less skilled tasks performed by operating en­
gineers. The operator sets the proper auger
(drill) in the spindle, starts the machine, and
stops it when the auger has penetrated to the
proper depth.
Operating engineers are often identified by
the types of machines they operate—
for example, craneman, bulldozer operator, or
derrick operator. However, the more experi­
enced operating engineers generally can operate
several types of construction machines. Opera­
tors prefer to work on the more complex types
of machines when jobs requiring such equip­



ment are available, because higher wage rates
are paid for the operation of such machines.
Where Employed

Most operating engineers are employed on
construction work. They work for contractors
engaged in highway, dam, airport, and other
large-scale engineering projects. On building
projects, they are employed in excavating,
grading, landscaping and in hoisting concrete,
steel, and other building materials. Others are
employed by utility companies, manufacturers,
and other business firms which do their own
construction work, as well as by State and local
public works and highway departments. Rela­
tively few operating engineers are self-em­
ployed. Those who are self-employed are owneroperators of construction equipment, such as
bulldozers and cranes.
In addition to employment in construction
work, operating engineers operate cranes,
hoists, and other power-driven machinery in
factories and mines. In some cases, the duties
of operating engineers in nonconstruction jobs
are about the same as those in construction
work. For example, operation of a crane to
unload cars of coal at a factory is very similar
to operation of a crane to unload cars of sand
and gravel for a street paving job. On the other
hand, the nature of the work of a steel pourer
(craneman) in a steel mill differs considerably
from that of a crane operator in the construc­
tion industry.
Operating engineers are employed in every
section of the country, but mainly in the larger
urban areas. This work, however, may take
them to remote locations where highway con­
struction and heavy engineering construction,
such as dams, are being done. The geographical
distribution of the more than 200,000 operating
engineers employed in mid-1960 was much the
same as for the building trades generally, with
large concentrations of workers in the highly
populated and industrialized areas.

360
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Formal apprenticeship programs for oper­
ating engineers are available in some localities.
Most of these programs last from 3 to 4 years.
The trend in apprenticeships is toward estab­
lishing separate programs to provide training
in the operation of one of the following types of
equipment: Grading and paving equipment;
universal equipment (hoists and shovels); and
plant equipment (material mixing and crushing
machines).
Many men with mechanical aptitude, how­
ever, enter this occupation by obtaining jobs
as oilers (operating engineer’s assistant) or as
helpers to heavy equipment repairmen. Workers
on these jobs gain a knowledge of the machin­
ery, how to keep it in good working order, and
how to make repairs. Oilers and helpers must
perform their work well and demonstrate ini­
tiative before they are given the instruction
from experienced operators which is necessary
for advancement. They must also demonstrate
interest in and ability to learn the correct
methods of handling equipment, and to recog­
nize hazards which must be avoided.
Some men with mechanical experience, such
as that obtained from operating farm equipment
or air compressors, may get jobs operating the

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

simpler construction machines. However, oper­
ating knowledge of a broad range of related
equipment and attachments is ordinarily neces­
sary to obtain continuous employment. This all­
round knowledge is best obtained through a
formal apprenticeship program or by working
as an oiler or helper, usually for a much longer
period of time than it takes to complete an ap­
prenticeship.
Employment Outlook

A continued rapid rise in employment of con­
struction machinery operators is expected
during the 1960’s, primarily as a result of the
anticipated large increases in construction ac­
tivity. (See discussion, p. 343.) The growing
volume of highway construction, resulting from
the Federal Government’s long-range multi­
billion dollar highway development program,
will be especially important in providing thou­
sands of job opportunities for operating engi­
neers during the 1960’s.
Moreover, the trend in the postwar period
toward the increasing use of construction ma­
chinery shows every indication of continuing.
More specialized and more complex machines,
particularly those used in earth moving, as well
as smaller machines suitable for small construc­
tion projects, are continually being developed
and are expected to be used to a greater extent.
The increasing mechanization of material move­
ment in factories and mines should also result
in growing employment of these workers out­
side of construction.
In addition to job openings resulting from
the expected growth of employment in this oc­
cupation, the need to replace experienced con­
struction machine operators who retire, transfer
to other fields of work, or die will result in many
job opportunities for new workers. Retirements
and deaths alone may provide from 4,000 to
5,000 job openings annually during the 1960’s.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Tractor-crane operator hauling a pipe-coating machine.




The wage rate structure for operating engi­
neers is more complicated than for any other
construction trade. Hourly rates are established
not only for operators of different types of ma­

BUILDING TRADES

361

chines, but often for operators of machines of
the same type but of different capacity. More­
over, in some cases there are different rates for
the same machine, depending upon the type of
construction for which it is used. The wage
scale also varies among different parts of the
country and the operators of machines having
the top wage rates in one area do not neces­
sarily receive the top wage rates in other areas.
Shovel operators, who generally are among
the highest paid construction machinery opera­
tors, had union minimum hourly rates, rang­
ing from $3.18 in Birmingham, Ala., to $5.10
in Newark, N.J., as of July 1, 1960, according to
a national survey of building trades workers in
52 large cities. The rates for bulldozer opera­
tors ranged from $2.67 in Richmond, Va., to
$4.18 in New York City. Average annual
earnings of operating engineers are not as high
as their hourly rates of pay would indicate,
since they lose much worktime because of
weather and for other reasons.
A large proportion of operating engineers are
members of the International Union of Oper­
ating Engineers. Union-management contracts
covering these workers, in some areas, provide
health insurance and pension benefits, financed

either entirely by the employers or jointly by
the workers and employers.
The operating engineer's work is performed
outdoors. The work is active and sometimes
strenuous. The operation of some machines,
particularly bulldozers and some types of
scrapers, is physically tiring because the con­
stant movement of the machine shakes or jolts
the operator.
Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information regarding qualifications and train­
ing for the job of operating engineer, and the
location of present apprenticeship programs,
should direct his inquiry to the International
Union of Operating Engineers, 1125 17th St.
NW., Washington 6, D.C. For information re­
garding work opportunities, he should apply to
general contractors in his area. The local office
of the State employment service also is a source
of information about employment opportunities.
General information about the work of op­
erating engineers may be obtained from the
Associated General Contractors of America,
Inc., 1957 E St. NW., Washington 6, D.C.

Electricians (Construction)
(D.O.T. 4-97.010)

Nature of Work

Construction electricians perform the var­
ious tasks related to electrical work on con­
struction projects. They lay out, assemble,
install, and test electrical fixtures, apparatus,
and wiring used in electrical systems. These
systems are used to provide heat, light, power,
air conditioning, and refrigeration in resi­
dences, office buildings, factories, hospitals,
schools, and other structures. They also install
and connect electrical machinery, equipment,
and controls. (Maintenance electricians do
work which is similar in many respects to that
performed by construction electricians. A dis­
cussion of maintenance electricians is pre­
sented elsewhere in this Handbook. See index
for page numbers.)

Construction electricians install many types


of switches, conduits, controls, circuit break­
ers, wires, lights, signal devices, and other
electrical components, following blueprints and
specifications. If there is no electrical drawing
showing outlets which are to be on each circuit,
the electrician splits the incoming electrical
service into several circuits, with each circuit
protected by a fuse or circuit breaker of the
proper rating to prevent overheating of the
wire used. The construction electrician should
know and follow national electrical code regu­
lations and, in addition, must fulfill State, coun­
ty, and municipal regulations.
In installing wiring, the construction elec­
trician uses a mechanical or hydraulic bender
to shape conduit (pipe or tubing) so that the
conduit will fit the contours of the surface to
which it is attached, or within the space al­

362
lotted. The electrician then pulls insulated
wires or cables through the conduit. The wire
or cable sizes vary from those smaller than
the lead in a pencil to those about 3 inches
thick. The electrician then connects the ends
of the wires or cables to circuit breakers,
switch-gear motors, transformers, or other
components. When these operations are com­
pleted, the electrician tests the electrical cir­
cuits to make sure that the entire system is
properly grounded, the connections properly
made, and that the circuits do not carry exces­
sive current. Wires are spliced (joined) by
soldering or other methods.
The electrician furnishes his own handtools,
such as pliers, screwdrivers, brace and bits,
knives, and hacksaws. The employer furnishes
test meters and heavier tools, such as pipe
threaders, conduit benders, chain hoists, elec­
tric drills, and power fasteners, and ladders.
In residential electrical construction work,
heavier tools are not usually required.
Electrical work in installations with unusu­
ally high electrical power requirements, such
as are needed at powerplants, steel mills, and
other establishments, may be done by journey­
men electricians who specialize in this type of
work. However, most construction electricians
can do all types of electrical work.
Where Employed

Most construction electricians work for elec­
trical contractors. Substantial numbers are
self-employed. Others work for government
agencies or business establishments which do
their own construction electrical work rather
than hire electrical contractors. Although
many construction electricians work for the
same electrical contractor for several years,
job transfers are fairly common. During a
single year, a construction electrician may
work for an electrical contractor in the con­
struction of new homes or office buildings, for
a manufacturing firm in remodeling its plant
or offices, or he may do electrical repairs for
homeowners or business firms.
Employment of these workers is distributed
geographically in much the same pattern as
the Nation’s population. Thus, employment is



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

concentrated in the highly industrialized and
populated areas.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most training authorities, including the na­
tional joint labor-management apprenticeship
committee for the electrical contracting in­
dustry, recommend the completion of a 4- or
5-year apprenticeship program for construction
electricians as the best way to learn all the
aspects of this trade. Some construction elec­
tricians, however, have learned the trade in­
formally. They have acquired skills of the
trade by working for many years as helpers,
observing or being taught by experienced
craftsmen. Many of these persons have gained
some knowledge of the trade by taking trade
school or correspondence courses, or through
special training while in the Armed Forces.
Apprenticeship applicants generally are re­
quired to be between the ages of 18 and 24. A
high school education or its equivalent, includ­
ing courses in mathematics and physics, is
desirable. Applicants are required to take tests
to determine their aptitude for the trade.
All apprenticeship programs are conducted
under written agreement between the appren­
tice and the local joint union-management
apprenticeship committee, which also super­
vises the training. The committee determines

Construction electrician wiring a control panel.

363

BUILDING TRADES

the need for apprentices in the locality,
establishes minimum apprenticeship standards
and pay, and schedules a diversified, rotating*
work program. This program is designed to
give the apprentice all-round training by hav­
ing him work for several electrical contractors
who engage in particular types of work. Under
most programs, the apprentice is registered
with a State apprenticeship agency or the U.S.
Department of Labor's Bureau of Apprentice­
ship and Training.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers and the National Electrical Contrac­
tors Association have jointly developed an ex­
tensive apprenticeship program. They have a
national director of apprenticeship who assists
the local joint apprenticeship committees.
The apprenticeship program usually requires
8,000 or 10,000 hours (4 or 5 years) of on-thejob training, in addition to a minimum of 144
hours of related classroom instruction each
year. In a typical 4-year training program,
the construction electrician apprentice learns,
among other things, to use, care for, and handle
safely the tools, equipment, and materials com­
monly used in the trade; do residential, com­
mercial, and industrial electrical installations;
and maintain and repair installations. In addi­
tion, he receives related classroom instruction
in such subjects as drafting and electrical lay­
out, blueprint reading, mathematics, and elec­
trical theory, including electronics.
Hourly wage rates of apprentices often start
at about 50 percent of the journeyman rate
and increase by 5 percent in each 6-month pe­
riod until 85 or 90 percent of the journeyman
rate is reached during the last period of the
apprenticeship.
An experienced construction electrician who
has learned all the aspects of the craft through
apprenticeship can transfer readily to other
types of electrical work. For example, many
take jobs as maintenance electricians in fac­
tories or in commercial establishments and
others work as electricians in shipbuilding and
aircraft manufacturing.
Because improperly installed electrical work
is so hazardous, most cities require electricians
to be licensed. To obtain a license, the elec­



trician must pass an examination which re­
quires a thorough knowledge of the craft and
of State and local building codes.
Many journeymen electricians become fore­
men or superintendents for electrical contrac­
tors on particular construction jobs. These
craftsmen may also become estimators for elec­
trical contractors, computing material require­
ments and labor costs.
Many journeymen construction electricians
go into business for themselves. As they expand
their activities, they may employ other work­
ers and become contractors. Success as an
electrical contractor requires not only a thor­
ough knowledge of the trade, but also adequate
financial resources, and a sound knowledge of
business principles and practices. In most large
urban areas, a master electrician's license is
required in order to engage in an electrical con­
tracting business.

Employment Outlook

Over the 1960-70 decade, the number of con­
struction electricians is expected to rise rapidly
and at a faster rate than employment in most
of the other skilled building trades. Many new
jobs should result from the large increase an­
ticipated in construction activity. (See dis­
cussion, p. 343.) Other factors which are ex­
pected to contribute to the growth of this trade
are greater requirements for electric outlets,
switches, and wiring in homes to accommodate
the increasing use of appliances; and the exten­
sive wiring systems needed for the installation
of electronic data-processing equipment and
electrical control devices being used increas­
ingly in commerce and industry.
Because this is a large occupation— more
than 130,000 construction electricians were
employed in mid-1960— many additional job op­
portunities for new workers will result from
the need to replace experienced electricians
who transfer to other types of electrical work,
leave the field for other reasons, retire, or die.
Retirements and deaths alone may result in
3,000 to 3,500 job openings annually during the
1960's.

364

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Earnings and Working Conditions

Hourly wage rates of construction electri­
cians are among the highest in the skilled
building trades. Furthermore, because the sea­
sonal nature of construction work affects elec­
tricians to a lesser extent than most other
construction workers, their annual earnings
generally are among the highest in the building
trades.
Union minimum hourly wage rates for elec­
tricians averaged $4, compared with $3.86 for
all journeymen in the building trades, as of July
1, 1960, according to a national survey of
building trades workers in 52 large cities.
Among individual cities surveyed, the union
minimum hourly rates for construction elec­
tricians ranged from $3 in Charlotte, N.C., to
$4.65 in Los Angeles, Calif.
A large proportion of construction electri­
cians are members of the International Broth­
erhood of Electrical Workers. Some are mem­
bers of other unions. Union-management
agreements covering construction electricians
often provide health, vacation, and other bene­
fits and usually provide for employer contribu­
tions to a pension plan. A union may also
operate its own pension program.
The work of the construction electrician, like
that of other building trades, is active but does
not require great physical strength. Frequent­
ly, the construction electrician stands for
prolonged periods; sometimes he works in
cramped quarters. Because most of his work is
indoors, the construction electrician is less ex­
posed to unfavorable weather conditions than
most other skilled building trades workers.
Electricians risk the danger of falls from lad­
ders and scaffolds, cuts from sharp tools, elec­
trical shock, blows from falling objects, and

burns from “ live” wires. However, safety prac­
tices learned during apprenticeship and other
types of training have helped to reduce the
injury rate for these workers. The number of
injuries per million man-hours worked by em­
ployees in contract electrical work has been
less than for contract construction work as a
whole, but higher than that for production
workers in manufacturing industries,

Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information regarding electrician apprentice­
ships or work opportunities in the trade should
apply to one of the electrical contractors in his
area; to a local union of the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; to a local
joint union-management apprenticeship com­
mittee, if there is one in his locality; or the
local office of the Bureau of Apprenticeship
and Training, U.S. Department of Labor. In
addition, the local office of the State employ­
ment service may be a source of information
about apprenticeship opportunities. Some local
employment service offices provide such serv­
ices as screening applicants and giving aptitude
tests.
General information about the work of elec­
tricians may be obtained from :
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,
1200 15th St. N W , Washington 5, D.C.
National Association of Home Builders,
1625 L St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
National Electrical Contractors Association,
1220 18th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
National Joint Apprenticeship and Training
Committee for the Electrical Industry,
1200 18th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.

Structural-, Ornamental-, and Reinforcing-Iron (Rodmen) Workers
(D.O.T. 4-84.010, .020, .030, .040, .060, and 7-32.251)

Nature of Work

Structural- and ornamental-iron workers and
reinforcing-iron workers (rodmen) erect, as­
semble, or install fabricated structural metal
products in the construction of industrial, com­
mercial, and large residential buildings. Al­



though these are distinct trades, many crafts­
men are skilled in, and do the work of, two or
all three of the trades.
Structural-iron workers erect the steel frame­
work of bridges, buildings, and other structures
including metal storage tanks, and overhead

365

BUILDING TRADES

crane runways that support heavy equipment.
They install steel floor decking and the doors
and frames of vaults.
In erecting a steel framework or structure,
structural-iron workers take the steel shapes
already fabricated in shops by other workers
and hoist them into place in the proper order.
Next, they temporarily connect all the steel
shapes with bolts, accurately aline the structure,
and then rivet or weld the parts. In the construc­
tion of a large building, workers generally do
not perform all of these operations, instead,
separate gangs perform a particular operation,
such as riveting.
Ornamental-iron workers install metal stair­
ways, catwalks, floor gratings, iron ladders
(such as those used extensively in powerhouse
and chemical plants), metal window sash and
doors, grilles and screens (such as those used
in bank tellers’ compartments and elevators),
metal cabinets, and safety deposit boxes. They
also install lampposts, gates, and fences, and
decorative ironwork on balconies.

In addition to iron and steel, ornamental-iron
workers install aluminum, brass, and bronze
metal shapes, frames, and panels. These metal
products are usually prefabricated, but may re­
quire assembly before installation. They are
fastened permanently to a building or other
structure by bolting, setting in concrete, or
welding.
Reinforcing-iron workers (rodmen) set steel
bars in concrete forms to reinforce concrete
structures. They place the steel bars on suita­
ble supports in the concrete form and tie the
bars together at intersections, so that each bar
receives its intended structural load. The bars
are placed in the concrete form according to
blueprints, specifications, or verbal instructions.
The rodmen use steel pliers and other tying tools
to wire the rods securely in place. Some con­
crete reinforcing is in the form of coarse mesh
made of heavy steel wires. When using mesh,
the rodmen measure the surface to be covered,
cut and bend the mesh to the desired shape,
place the mesh over the area to be reinforced,
and hammer it into place.
Where Employed

Structural-iron workers erecting framework.




Structural-, ornamental-, and reinforcing-iron
workers (rodmen) work mainly on new indus­
trial and commercial construction. They do
some alteration work. For example, they may
install steel stairs in an old apartment or com­
mercial building or add window guards to an
existing building for burglary protection. In
addition, they remodel existing structures and
do repair work, such as replacement of metal
bridge parts. Some highly skilled structural
steel workers are able to transfer to jobs in
structural steel fabricating shops.
A large proportion of these craftsmen are
employed by general contractors on large build­
ing projects, by steel erection contractors, or
ornamental-iron contractors. Many are em­
ployed by large steel companies or their sub­
sidiaries engaged in the construction of bridges,
dams, and large buildings. Some work for gov­
ernment agencies, public utilities, or large in­
dustrial establishments which do their own con­
struction work. Few of these craftsmen are
self-employed.

366
Structural- and ornamental-iron workers and
rodmen are employed throughout the country.
However, a large proportion of their jobs are
in highly populated and industrial centers
where large commercial and industrial struc­
tures are constructed.
Training and Other Qualifications

Most training authorities, including the Na­
tional Joint (labor-management) Ironworker
Apprenticeship Committee, recommend the com­
pletion of a 3-year apprenticeship as the best
way to learn these trades. A few workers with
many years’ experience as helpers have become
journeymen, but it has been more difficult to
achieve journeyman status in this manner in
recent years.
Apprenticeship applicants are required to be
between the ages of 18 and 30. Good physical
condition is required. A high school education
or its equivalent is desirable. Apprenticeship
programs are under the supervision of local
joint union-management apprenticeship com­
mittees. Under formal programs, the appren­
tice is registered with a State apprenticeship
agency or the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bu­
reau of Apprenticeship and Training.
The apprenticeship program for these trades
usually consists of 6,000 hours (3 years), of onthe-job training. On-the-job instruction is given
either by the foreman or an experienced jour­
neyman. In a typical combined structural- and
ornamental-iron worker’s training program, the
apprentice learns, among other things, to use,
care for, and handle safely the tools, machines,
equipment, and materials commonly used in the
trade; read blueprints and working drawings;
form, shape, drill, tap, and erect and assemble
various metal structures; lay out and assemble
steel stairs, fire escapes, grilles, railings, fences,
doors, and related metal structures. He also
learns arc and gas welding; gas cutting, bolting,
and riveting; and how to repair and alter metal
structures.
The apprenticeship program generally in­
cludes a minimum of 144 hours a year of re­
lated classroom instruction in subjects such as
drafting, blueprint reading, and mathematics
applicable to layout work.



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Areawide apprenticeship programs, some­
times covering an entire State or region, are
found extensively in this trade. They are
supervised by apprenticeship committees com­
posed of representatives of the International
Association of Bridge, Structural and Orna­
mental Iron Workers’ local unions and local
management groups.
Hourly wage rates for apprentices start at
not less than 60 percent of the journeyman
rate and increase periodically until the journey­
man rate is reached at the completion of the
apprenticeship. In some localities, the starting
rate may be as high as 75 percent of the jour­
neyman rate. If apprenticeship applicants have
had experience directly related to the trade as,
for example, training in ironwork in a factory
or in the Armed Forces, they may be granted
advanced apprenticeship standing.

Employment Outlook

Employment in these trades is expected to
increase substantially by 1970, above the ap­
proximate 100,000 workers employed in 1960.
In addition to job openings resulting from the
growth of employment in these occupations, the
need to replace experienced workers who retire,
leave the trade for other reasons, or die, will
provide several thousand job opportunities for
new workers each year. Retirements and deaths
alone may result in about 2,000 job openings
annually during the 1960’s.
In recent years, these trades have been among
the fastest growing of the skilled building
trades. A continued rise in employment of these
workers is expected, principally because of the
large increase anticipated in construction ac­
tivity over the 1960’s. (See discussion, p. 343.)
The job outlook in these trades will also be
favorably affected by the increased use of
structural steel in smaller buildings. Work op­
portunities for ornamental-iron workers will re­
sult from the growing use of ornamental panels
of aluminum, porcelainized steel, or other metals,
which are attached to the exterior walls of large
buildings, and by the use of metal frames to
hold large exterior glass installations.

BUILDING TRADES

367

Earnings and Working Conditions

Union minimum hourly wage rates for struc­
tural-iron workers and rodmen averaged $3.96
and $3.86, respectively, as of July 1, 1960, ac­
cording to a national survey of building trades
workers in 52 large cities. The average rate for
all journeymen in the building trades surveyed
was $3.86 an hour. Among individual cities,
the minimum hourly rates for structural-iron
workers ranged from $3.25 in Charlotte, N.C.,
to $4.85 in Newark, N.J. The rates for rodmen
ranged from $3 in Charlotte to $4.85 in Newark.
The rates for ornamental-iron workers gener­
ally are about the same as those for structuraliron workers.
The earnings of ironworkers are often in­
creased by considerable overtime work at
premium pay. As with other building trades
in which much of the work is done outdoors,
these craftsmen lose much working time because
of weather and other reasons. Rodmen, in
particular, are intermittently out of work be­
cause each of their jobs lasts only a few days
or weeks.
A large proportion of workers in these trades
are members of the International Association
of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron
Workers. Many union-management contracts
covering these trades provide health insurance
and pension benefits financed entirely by the
employers.
Since the materials used in the structural
metal trades are heavy and bulky, above average
physical strength and agility are necessary. A
good sense of balance is also required because
some of the structural work is done at great
heights and on narrow footings. Structuraliron work often involves considerable travel. In

most localities, the demand for structural-iron
work is insufficient to keep local crews con­
stantly employed. Consequently, workers must
be brought in from outside the area to handle
the occasional large construction projects, such
as a steel frame office or factory building. Large
contractors may keep a small structural-iron
worker crew continually employed, moving them
from job to job and city to city.
The use of many safety devices, such as nets
and scaffolding, has reduced the frequency of
accidents in recent years. The number of in­
juries per million man-hours worked by em­
ployees of contractors doing structural- and or­
namental-iron work has been slightly lower
than for contract construction work as a whole.
Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information concerning apprenticeships or work
opportunities in these trades should apply to
the large general contractors in his area; to a
local of the International Association of Bridge,
Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers; or
the local office of the Bureau of Apprenticeship
and Training, U.S. Department of Labor. In
addition, the local office of the State employ­
ment service may be a source of information
about apprenticeship opportunities.
General information about the work of struc­
tural-, ornamental-, and reinforcing-iron work­
ers may be obtained from :
Associated General Contractors of America, Inc.,
1957 E St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
International Association of Bridge, Structural and
Ornamental Iron Workers,
Continental Bldg., Suite 300, 3615 Olive St.,
St. Louis 8, Mo.

Plasterers
(D.O.T. 5-29.100, .200, and .300)

Nature of Work

The plasterer is the building craftsman who
applies plaster to interior walls and ceilings to
form fire-resistant and relatively soundproof
surfaces which may then be decorated. They
also apply stucco to exterior walls, and form

and cast ornamental designs in plaster;


In interior work, plaster is applied to gypsum
lath or wire lath (backing to which plaster ad­
heres) or directly to masonry. The plasterer
uses a hawk (a square plate of wood or metal)
to hold small amounts of wet plaster, and a
trowel to apply it to the lath. To obtain a
uniform surface of plaster, the craftsman ap­

368

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

plies a border of plaster of the desired thichness
to the top and bottom of the wall section to be
covered. When these borders have hardened
sufficiently, he fills in the area between them
with one or two base coats of plaster. The sur­
face of this area is then leveled to the exact
thickness of the borders with a straight-edged
tool. A long, flat tool, called a darby, is used to
smooth this surface.
Applying the finish coat of plaster is the last
operation before painting or paperhanging. This
coat is relatively thin and must be applied care­
fully if the surface is to be smooth. Wall sur­
faces may be finished to obtain a variety of
decorative textures, such as stipple or swirl
finishes.
As the plasterer acquires more skill he can do
more complex types of plastering work, such as
decorative and ornamental plastering. For
example, he may be called upon to mold or form
intricate ornamental designs such as cornices,
paneling, or recesses for indirect lighting.
Plasterers who do this type of work must be
able to follow blueprints and other specifications
furnished by the architect.

In exterior stucco work, the plasterer applies
a mixture of Portland cement and sand to
masonry or metal lath in the same manner as
in interior plastering. The finish coat usually
consists of a mixture of white cement and sand
or a patented finish material which may be ap­
plied in a variety of colors and textures.
Apprentices work with the plasterer so that
they may acquire a full knowledge of the craft
and develop the necessary skills. Laborers (hod
carriers) mix base coat materials and carry
them to the plasterer; they also erect scaffolding
when needed. In many small localities, jour­
neymen plasterers may also perform the work
of cement finishers, because the skills of the two
crafts are closely related.
In recent years, plasterers have been making
increasing use of machines which spray plaster
on walls, ceilings, and structural sections of
buildings. These machines are particularly de­
sirable when used to apply the newly developed
lightweight plasters. Machines used to mix
plaster have been in general use for many years.
Where Employed

Most of the approximately 70,000 plasterers
employed in mid-1960 were working on new
building construction. In addition, plasterers
work on extensive building alterations, partic­
ularly where special architectural and lighting
effects are part of the building modernization.
There is a relatively small amount of work for
plasterers in the repair and maintenance of
older buildings.
Jobs for plasterers are found throughout the
country. The geographical distribution of em­
ployment in this occupation is about the same as
in the building trades generally, with large con­
centrations of workers in highly populated and
industrialized areas.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

P h o to g ra p h by U .S . D e p a rtm e n t o f L a b o r

Plasterer applying white plaster finish to wall, using
trowel and brush.




Most training authorities, including the na­
tional joint labor-management apprenticeship
committee for the plastering trade, recom­
mend completion of a 3- or 4-year apprentice­
ship as the best way to learn plastering. How­
ever, many workers in this trade have acquired
some plastering skills by working for many

BUILDING TRADES

years as helpers or laborers, observing or being
taught by experienced plasterers.
Apprentice applicants in this trade are gen­
erally required to be between the ages of 18
and 25. Good physical condition and manual
dexterity are important assets. Many plasterer
apprenticeship programs are under the super­
vision of local joint union-management appren­
ticeship committees. Generally, the apprentice
is employed under a written apprenticeship
agreement and the program is registered with
a State apprenticeship agency of the U.S. De­
partment of Labor's Bureau of Apprenticeship
and Training.
Apprenticeship programs generally consist
of 6,000 to 8,000 hours (3 or 4 years) of onthe-job training, in addition to at least 144
hours of related classroom instruction annually.
In a typical 4-year training program, the ap­
prentice learns, among other things, to use and
handle the tools of the trade, and the properties
and appropriate handling of the different kinds
of materials and mixtures used in plastering;
apply scratch (first) coat and brown (second)
coat; aline walls and beams to given measure­
ments ; apply white coat and sand finish; install
acoustical plaster and stucco, and acoustical tile,
cork, and similar materials; use machines to
apply and finish plaster; and lay out arches
and ceilings. He also learns texture finishing.
The apprentice receives classroom instruc­
tion in such subjects as drafting, blueprint
reading, and mathematics applicable to layout
work. In the classroom and on the job, the
apprentice becomes familiar with the work of
other trades so that he may determine, for
example, whether lathing or other preparatory
work is satisfactory.
Although advancement opportunities for
plasterers are limited, some may become fore­
men or estimators. Many plasterers are selfemployed. Some self-employed plasterers may
expand their activities to contracting, and then
employ other journeymen. Adequate financial
resources and a sound knowledge of business
principles and practices, in addition to a knowl­
edge of the trade, are basic requirements for

success as a contractor.


369
Employment Outlook

A continued increase in the employment of
plasterers is expected during the 1960's, but the
increase will not be as rapid as for the skilled
building trades generally. In addition to job
openings that will result from the expected
growth of employment, the need to replace ex­
perienced plasterers who transfer to other fields
of work or who retire or die, will provide many
job openings for new workers. Retirements
and deaths alone may result in about 1,500 job
openings annually during the 1960's.
The growth in employment of these workers
in the 1960's will result primarily from the
anticipated large increase in construction ac­
tivity. (See discussion, p. 343.) In addition,
recent changes in plastering materials and im­
proved methods of applying these materials are
increasing the scope of the craft and creating
work opportunities for plasterers. For example,
improved lightweight plasters are being used
increasingly because of their excellent sound­
proofing, acoustical, and fireproofing qualities.
Another development that is expanding job op­
portunities for plasterers is the marked style
trend toward the greater use of curved surfaces
and ceilings made of plaster, both as a form of
architectural treatment and to achieve special
lighting and acoustical effects.
These favorable developments will be offset
to some extent by the continuing trend toward,
wider use of nonplaster (dry-wall) construction.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Hourly pay rates for plasterers rank among
the highest in the skilled building trades. How­
ever, their annual earnings are not as high as
their hourly rates of pay would indicate, because
of the seasonal nature of much construction
work and because of worktime lost for other
reasons.
Union minimum hourly rates, as of July 1
,
1960, for plasterers averaged $4.06, as compared
with $3.86 for all journeymen in the building
trades, according to a national survey of build­
ing trades workers in 52 large cities. Among
individual cities surveyed, the minimum hourly
rates for plasterers ranged from $2.75 in
Charlotte, N.C., to $4.95 in N e w York City.

370

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

A large proportion of plasterers are members
of unions. They are represented by either the
Operative Plasterers' and Cement Masons' In­
ternational Association of the United States
and Canada, or the Bricklayers, Masons and
Plasterers' International Union of America.
Union-management contracts covering plaster­
ers often provide health insurance, pension, and
other benefits, financed either entirely by em­
ployers or jointly by workers and employers.
Plastering requires considerable standing,
stooping, and lifting. Plasterers work both out­
doors, doing stucco work, and indoors, plaster­
ing walls and ceilings and forming and casting
ornamental designs.

local joint union-management apprenticeship
committee, if there is ojLe in his area; or the
local office of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and
Training, U.S. Department of Labor. In addi­
tion, the local office of the State employment
service may be a source of information about
apprenticeship opportunities.
General information about the work of plas­
terers may be obtained from :
Bricklayers, Masons and Plasterers’ International
Union of America,
815 15th St. N W , Washington 5, D.C.
Contracting Plasterers’ and Lathers’ International
Association,
304 Landmark Bldg., 1343 H St. N W .,
Washington 5, D.C.

Where To Go for More Information

National Bureau for Lathing and Plastering,
755 N A D A Bldg., 2000 K St. N W .,
Washington 6, D.C.

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information regarding plastering apprentice­
ships or work opportunities in the trade should
apply to a plastering contractor in his area;
locals of the unions previously mentioned; a

Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’
International Association of the United States
and Canada,
1125 17th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.

Roofers
(D.O.T. 5-25.220, 7-31.100 through .500, and 7-32.611)

Nature of Work

Roofers apply composition roofing and other
materials, such as tile and slate, to the roofs
of buildings. They also waterproof and dampproof walls and other building surfaces.
In applying composition roofing, the roofer
first places overlapping strips of asphalt and
impregnated felt over the entire surface. He
then applies a coating of tar, pitch, or other
bituminous material to the new surface. This
process is repeated until at least three layers
of felt are in place. Finally, he applies a sur­
facing of tar, pitch, and gravel to protect the
roofing materials from the weather.
In applying other types of composition roof­
ing, such as roll roofing and asphalt shingles,
the roofer overlaps the roofing material and
then fastens it to the roof base with nails or
asphalt cement. If necessary, he cuts the ma­
terial to fit corners, pipes, and chimneys. The
roofer then cements or nails flashing (strips of
metal) wherever two roof surfaces intersect.

Flashing is installed to make the intersections


(joints) watertight. In another method of ap­
plying roofing, the roofer mops a layer of hot
asphalt over the entire surface and rakes
pebbles over the asphalt.
Roofers also use metal, tile, and slate for the
more expensive types of roofs. Metal roofs are
constructed by soldering metal sheets together
and nailing them to the wood sheathing. In in­
stalling tile and slate roofs, the roofer places a
covering of roofing felt over the wood sheath­
ing. He punches holes in the slate or tile which
he nails to the sheathing. Each row of slate
or tile is placed so as to overlap the preceding
row. Finally, the roofer covers the exposed
nailheads with roofing cement to avoid rusting
and water leakage around the nailheads. Handtools usually are used in applying roof surfaces
—for example, hammers, roofing knives, mops,
pincers, and calking guns.
Roofers also do waterproofing and damp­
proofing work on parts of structures other than
roofs, such as masonry or concrete walls or
swimming pools and other tanks. The roofer
prepares surfaces to be waterproofed by re­

BUILDING TRADES

moving rough projections and roughing glazed
surfaces, using a hammer and chisel. He then
applies a coat of liquid compound with a brush.
He may also paint or spray surfaces with a
waterproof material or nail waterproofing fab­
ric to surfaces. In dampproofing work, he
usually sprays a coating of tar or asphalt on
interior or exterior surfaces to avoid the pene­
tration of moisture.
Where Employed

Roofers work mainly for roofing contractors
on new building construction. They also do
maintenance and repair work, especially on
composition roofing. Some roofers are self-em­
ployed, doing either roofing on small, new
building work or repairs and alterations. Roof­
ers also work for government agencies or busi­
ness establishments which do their own con­
struction and repair work.
Jobs for roofers are found throughout the
country. Most of the estimated 60,000 roofers
employed in mid-1960 had jobs in the highly
industrialized and populated States.

371
The 3-year apprenticeship program generally
consists of a minimum of 1,400 hours of onthe-job training annually, in addition to re­
lated classroom instruction. In a typical train­
ing program, the apprentice learns, among
other things, to use, care for, and handle safely
the tools, equipment, and materials commonly
used in the trade; work with composition, tar,
and asphalt; prepare roof surfaces for cover­
ing; apply pitch and other materials; spread
gravel; do slate, tile, and terra cotta w ork; and
do dampproofing and waterproofing work.
The trainee receives related classroom in­
struction in such subjects as blueprint reading
and mathematics applicable to layout work.
Hourly wage rates for apprentices usually
start at 65 percent of the journeyman rate and
increase periodically until 90 percent of the
journeyman rate is reached in the final 6
months of the training period. If apprentice
applicants have had experience directly re­
lated to the trade, for example in the Armed
Forces, or as a helper, they may be granted
advanced apprenticeship standing.
Roofers may advance to the job of foreman
for a roofing contractor. Also, they may enter

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most training authorities, including the na­
tional joint labor-management apprenticeship
and training committee for the roofing indus­
try, recommended completion of a 3-year ap­
prenticeship program, covering all types of
roofing work, as the superior way to learn this
trade. A substantial proportion of workers,
however, have acquired roofing skills informal­
ly, by working for many years as helpers or
handymen, observing or being taught by ex­
perienced roofers.
Apprenticeship applicants generally are re­
quired to be at least 18 years old; a high school
education or its equivalent is desirable. Good
physical condition and a good sense of balance
are important assets. Many apprenticeship pro­
grams are under the supervision of local joint
union-management apprenticeship committees.
Generally, the apprentice is employed under a
written apprenticeship agreement and the pro­
gram is registered with a State apprenticeship
agency or the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bu­
reau of Apprenticeship and Training.



Roofer applying tar to roof before spreading pebbles.

372

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

business for themselves. Thorough knowledge
of the trade, adequate financial resources, and
a sound knowledge of business principles and
practices are basic requirements for success as
a roofing contractor.
Employment Outlook

There will be a few thousand new job op­
portunities for roofers annually during the
1960's. Most of the new jobs will result from
the large increase anticipated in construction
activity over the 1960-70 decade. (See discus­
sion, p. 343.) Replacement needs will also pro­
vide a few hundred job openings each year.
Retirements and deaths alone may result in
about 1,200 job opportunities annually. Other
openings will result from the transfer of roof­
ers to other fields of work.
Application of roofing on new construction
and repair jobs on old structures will provide
most of the work for these craftsmen during
the 1960's. However^ dampproofing and water­
proofing are expected to provide an increasing
proportion of roofers' work.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Union minimum hourly wage rates, as of
July 1, 1960, for composition roofers, averaged
$3.61, according to a national survey of build­
ing trades workers in 52 large cities. For slate
and tile roofers, the rate was $3.62. By com­
parison, the average for all journeymen in the
building trades was $3.86 an hour. Among in­
dividual cities surveyed, the minimum hourly
rates for composition roofers ranged from $2
in San Antonio, Tex., to $4.40 in Newark, N.J.
Slate and tile roofers had hourly rates ranging
from $2.35 in San Antonio, to $4.60 in New
York City.
The average annual earnings of roofers are
less than their hourly rates of pay would indi­

cate. These workers lose much worktime be­
cause of weather conditions and the brief dura­
tion of many jobs.
A large proportion of roofers are members
of the United Slate, Tile and Composition Roof­
ers, Damp and Waterproof Workers Associa­
tion. Union-management contracts covering
roofers often provide health insurance and pen­
sion benefits, financed either entirely by the
employers or jointly by the workers and
employers.
Roofers' work, like that of other building
tradesmen, is sometimes strenuous. It involves
prolonged standing, as well as climbing, bend­
ing, and squatting. These workers risk injuries
from slips or falls from scaffolds or roofs. They
may have to work outdoors in all types of
weather, particularly when doing repair work.
Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information concerning roofing apprentice­
ships or work opportunities in this trade should
apply to roofing contractors in his area; a local
of the United Slate, Tile and Composition Roof­
ers, Damp and Waterproof Workers Associa­
tion; a local joint union-management appren­
ticeship committee, if there is one in his area;
or the local office of the Bureau of Apprentice­
ship and Training, U.S. Department of Labor.
In addition, the local office of the State em­
ployment service may be a source of informa­
tion about apprenticeship opportunities.
General information about the work of roof­
ers, may be obtained from :
National Association of Home Builders,
1625 L St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
National Roofing Contractors Association,
189 West Madison St., Chicago 2, 111.
United Slate, Tile and Composition Roofers, Damp
and Waterproof Workers Association,
6 East Lake St., Chicago 1, 111.

Cement M ason s (Cement and Concrete Finishers)
(D.O.T. 5-26.100 and .200)

Nature of Work

The principal work of cement masons is

finishing the exposed concrete surfaces on many


types of construction projects. These projects
range from small jobs, such as the finishing of
patios, floors, and sidewalks, to work on huge

373

BUILDING TRADES

mmmum

dams, miles of concrete highways, foundations
and walls of large buildings, airport runways,
and missile launching sites. On small projects,
a cement mason assisted by one or two helpers
may do all the concrete w ork; on large projects,
crews of several cement masons and many help­
ers may be employed.
In preparing the site for pouring the concrete
mixture (cement plus stones of various sizes,
and water), the cement mason makes sure that
forms, which hold the concrete, are set for the
desired slope and depth of the concrete mixture
and are properly alined. Materials, such as
stone and gravel, may be provided as a founda­
tion for the concrete.
The cement mason pours or directs the
pouring of the concrete mixture. He usually
supervises laborers who level and settle the mix­
ture by tamping it, or b^ vibrating it with a
special machine. The mason levels the surface
further with a “ straightedge” (a flat tool long
enough to extend across the poured concrete
mixture). He then works it with a “ float” (a
rectangular, flat-surfaced handtool) and other
handtools to fill depressions and remove high

Where Employed

C o u rtesy o f N a tio n a l P ark Service

Cement mason using float and trowel to smooth cement
surface.




spots and to draw cement to the surface of the
mixture in preparation for final finishing
operations.
Final finishing is often delayed for several
hours until the concrete has hardened suffi­
ciently. While the concrete is still workable,
the cement mason uses a trowel to bring the
concrete to the proper consistency and obtain
a smooth final finish. The final finishing may
also be done by means of power-operated trow­
els.
On most building projects, concrete finishing
work generally involves hand operations. On
highways and other large-scale projects, how­
ever, power-operated floats and cement finishing
machines are used extensively, but supplemen­
tary hand operations are also necessary, partic­
ularly to finish curved surfaces.
Cement masons also do patching work to
correct surface defects on concrete structures.
Some cement masons specialize in laying a
mastic coating (a fine asphalt mixture) over
concrete, particularly in buildings where soundinsulated or acid-resistant floors are specified.
The mastic is applied while hot, then smoothed
with heavy hand tools.
On large jobs, cement masons work in gangs
or crews. In such instances, masons perform
finishing operations while laborers do routine
and heavy work.
The cement mason’s knowledge of his mate­
rials is essential to the quality of his work. He
must be familiar with the working characteris­
tics of various cement and concrete mixes, such
as those containing substances to speed or slow
the setting time, and those which are used to
construct weight-supporting walls or surfaces
of specified strengths. In addition, because of
the effects that heat, cold, and wind have on
the curing of cement, the skilled mason must
recognize by sight and touch what is occurring
in the cement mixture so that he may be able
to prevent defects that could develop.

Cement masons work principally on large
buildings, but many are employed on highway
or other nonbuilding construction. Cement
masons work directly for general contractors

374
who are responsible for constructing entire
projects such as highways, or large industrial,
commercial, and residential buildings. They
also work for cement contractors who do only
the concrete work on a large construction
project or who work on smaller projects such as
sidewalks, driveways, and basement floors. A
small number work for municipal public works
departments, public utilities, and manufacturing
firms which do their own construction work.
Some cement masons are self-employed and do
small cement jobs, such as sidewalks, steps, and
driveways.
Cement masons are employed in almost every
community in the country. The geographical
distribution of employment in this occupation
is about the same as in the building trades
generally, with large concentrations in the
highly populated and industrialized areas.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

written apprenticeship agreement and the pro­
gram is registered with a State apprenticeship
registration agency or the U.S. Department of
Labor's Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.
The apprenticeship program usually consists
of 6,000 hours (3 years) of on-the-job training,
in addition to related classroom instruction.
During the apprenticeship period, the appren­
tice learns, among other things, to use and
handle the tools, equipment, and materials of
the trade. He also learns finishing, layout work,
and safety techniques. The apprentice receives
related classroom instruction in subjects such
as applied mathematics and related sciences,
blueprint reading, architectural drawing, es­
timating materials and costs, and local building
regulations. Although a high school education
is not required, education above the grade-school
level, preferably including mathematics, is
needed to understand the classroom instruction.

Training and Other Qualifications

Most training authorities, including the
National Joint (labor-management) Cement
Masonry, Asphalt, and Composition Appren­
ticeship and Training Committee, recommend
the completion of a 3-year apprenticeship pro­
gram as the best way to learn this trade. A
substantial number of workers, however, have
acquired some cement masonry skills informally
by working for many years on building and road
construction jobs as laborers assisting cement
masons. Others have worked with specialty
contractors constructing sidewalks and doing
other types of masonry work. These workers
have learned their skills by observing or being
taught by experienced cement masons. In the
past, when there have been shortages of skilled
masons, a number of men with informal train­
ing have been given some credit for this ex­
perience toward completion of the apprentice­
ship program. In the future, such credit may
depend upon the demand for skilled cement
masons in local areas.
Apprenticeship applicants generally are re­
quired to be between the ages of 18 and 25. Good
physical condition and manual dexterity are
important assets. Many apprenticeship pro­
grams are under the supervision of local joint
union-management apprenticeship committees.

Generally the apprentice is employed under a


Employment Outlook

Continued rapid increase in the employment
of cement masons is expected over the 1960's,
in line with the rate of growth for the skilled
building trades as a whole. In addition to open­
ings resulting from the growth of the trade,
replacement needs may result in hundreds of
other job opportunities for new workers each
year.
Cement masons have had one of the fastest
rates of employment growth among building
trades craftsmen in recent years. The number
of cement masons increased from about 30,000
in 1950 to approximately 50,000 in mid-1960.
The anticipated large expansion of construction
activity is expected to result in continued rapid
growth in this occupation in the 1960's. (See
discussion, p. 343.) Moreover, the relatively
greater use of concrete in construction in re­
cent years is likely to continue. Recent tech­
nological developments, such as cement finishing
machines, will have some adverse effect on em­
ployment prospects in the cement finishing
trade. However, the expected increase in the
total amount of cement finishing work will be
sufficiently great to result in a substantial em­
ployment increase in this relatively small
building trade.

375

BUILDING TRADES

Earnings and Working Conditions

Union minimum hourly wage rates for cement
masons averaged $3.75, compared with $3.86
for all journeymen in the building trades, as of
July 1, 1960, according to a national survey
of building trades workers in 52 large cities.
Among individual cities surveyed, the minimum
hourly rates for cement masons ranged from
$2.40 in Charlotte, N.C., to $4.65 in Newark,
N.J.
Because of the seasonal nature of construc­
tion work and because of worktime lost for
other reasons, average annual earnings of
cement finishers are not as high as their hourly
rates of pay would indicate. Cement masons
usually receive premium pay for hours worked
in excess of the regularly scheduled workday
or workweek. Overtime work for these crafts­
men often arises, because once concrete has been
poured for a job, the work must be completed.
The work of the cement mason is active and
strenuous, like the work of skilled building
tradesmen generally. Since most cement finish­
ing is done on floors or at ground level, the
cement mason is required to stoop, bend, or
kneel. Much of his work is done outdoors.
A large proportion of cement masons are
union members. They belong either to the
Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ In­
ternational Association of the United States
and Canada or to the Bricklayers, Masons* and

Plasterers’ International Union of America.
Union-management contracts covering cement
finishers often provide health, retirement pen­
sion, and other benefits, financed either entirely
by employers or jointly by the workers and
employers.
Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information regarding cement mason appren­
ticeships or work opportunities in the trade
should apply to cement finishing contractors in
his area; locals of unions previously mentioned;
a local joint union-management apprenticeship
committee, if there is one in his area; or the
local office of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and
Training, U.S. Department of Labor. In addi­
tion, the local office of the State employment
service may be a source of information about
apprenticeship opportunities.
General information about the work of
cement masons may be obtained from :
Associated General Contractors of America, Inc.,
1957 E St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
Bricklayers, Masons and Plasterers’ International
Union of America,
815 15th St. N W ., Washington 5, D.C.
Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ Inter­
national Association of the United States and
Canada,
1125 17th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.

Sheet-Metal Workers
(D.O.T. 4-80.010)

Nature of Work

Sheet-metal workers fabricate and install
ducts which are used in ventilating, airconditioning, and heating systems. They also
fabricate and install a wide variety of other
products made from thin metal sheets, such as
roofing and siding, commercial stainless
steel kitchen equipment, partitions, sheet-metal
shelves in industrial establishments, store
fronts, metal framework for neon signs, and
chutes used for materials movement. Skilled
sheet-metal workers should not be confused

with assembly-line factory operatives who also


make sheet-metal products, but are trained
in only a few specific operations.
In heating or air-conditioning duct work, the
sheet-metal worker lays out and plans the job,
determining the size and type of sheet metal to
be used. The ducts are often fabricated at the
sheet-metal shop. Sheet-metal workers cut the
metal with hand snip£ and power-driven
shears, as well as other types of cutting tools.
They form the metal with bending machines,
hammers, and anvils; then weld, bolt,
rivet, solder, or cement the seams and joints.
However, factory fabricated ducts in standard
sizes are often available and these require little

376
additional fabrication by sheet-metal workers.
Some duct fabrication is done at the work site.
In the installation of ducts, the component
parts are fitted together and assembled.
Hangers and braces are installed to support
ducts, and joints may be soldered. Some jour­
neymen workers specialize in shopwork or on­
site installation work. However, it is essential
that skilled workers know all aspects of the
trade.
Where Employed

Sheet-metal workers are employed mainly by
plants producing heating, refrigeration, and
air-conditioning equipment and by contractors
engaged in residential, industrial, and commer­
cial building work. In residential construction,
these workers may also work for roofing con­
tractors who specialize in metal roofing work.
In addition, many of these craftsmen work
for government agencies or business establish­
ments which do their own construction and al­
teration work. Others are self-employed,
mainly on repair work or on smaller types
of installations. Some craftsmen are employed
in small shops manufacturing specialty
products, such as custom kitchen equipment for
hotels and restaurants.
Many skilled sheet-metal workers are also
employed by railroad, aircraft, or shipbuild­
ing companies. Firms making blowers, ex­
hausts, electrical generating and distributing
equipment, food products machinery, steam en­
gines, and turbines also employ skilled sheetmetal workers.
The jobs of the skilled sheet-metal workers
are distributed throughout the country in
about the same pattern as those of building
trades workers generally, with large concentra­
tions of workers in highly populated and in­
dustrialized areas.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

however, have acquired skills of the trade in­
formally, by working for many years as helpers
or handymen, observing or being taught by ex­
perienced craftsmen. Many of these persons
have gained some knowledge of the trade by
taking correspondence or trade school courses.
Apprenticeship applicants generally are re­
quired to be between the ages of 17 and 21; a
high school education or its equivalent is desir­
able. Good physical condition and mechanical
aptitude are necessary assets. Many appren­
ticeship programs are under the supervision
of local joint union-management apprentice­
ship committees. Generally, the apprentice is
employed under a written apprenticeship agree­
ment and the program is registered with a State
apprenticeship agency or the U.S. Department
of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and
Training.
The apprenticeship program usually con­
sists of 8,000 to 10,000 hours (4 or 5 years) of
on-the-job training, in addition to related
classroom instruction. In a typical train­
ing program, the apprentice learns, among
other things, to use, care for, and handle safely

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most training authorities, including the na­
tional joint management-labor apprenticeship
committee for the sheet metal industry, recom­
mend the completion of a 4- or 5-year
apprenticeship program as the best way to
learn this trade. Some sheet-metal workers,



Sheet-metal workers installing ducts for
system.

ventilation

377

BUILDING TRADES

the tools, machines, equipment, and materials
commonly used in the trade; solder; do airconditioning, heating, and ventilating work;
do residential installations such as roof­
ing, gutters, and downspouts; and do architec­
tural and industrial sheet-metal work. He also
learns general work processes such as cutting,
forming, folding, grooving metal material and
bending edges, and punching and driljing
holes.
The trainee receives related classroom in­
struction in subjects such as drafting, blue­
print reading, and mathematics applicable to
layout work. In addition, he learns the rela­
tionship between sheet-metal work and other
building trades.
Hourly wage rates for sheet-metal ap­
prentices generally start at 50 percent of the
journeyman rate and increase periodically un­
til 90 percent of the journeyman rate is reached
during the final portion of the apprentice
training period. If apprenticeship applicants
have had training or experience directly re­
lated to the trade, for example, training in
sheet-metal work in a vocational school or ex­
perience in a factory or in the Armed Forces,
they may be granted advanced apprenticeship
standing.
Experienced sheet-metal workers have more
job mobility than many other building trades
workers because they can transfer their skills
from the construction industry to the metal
manufacturing industries. Also, they may ad­
vance to the job of foreman for a contractor,
become superintendents of large projects, or go
into business for themselves as sheet-metal con­
tractors. A thorough knowledge of sheetmetal work, adequate financial resources, and a
sound knowledge of business principles
and practices are basic requirements for suc­
cess as a contractor.
Employment Outlook

Employment of sheet-metal workers is ex­
pected to increase rapidly during the 1960’s.
However, there will be only a couple of thou­
sand job opportunities each year in this rela­
tively small occupation. In addition to job

openings arising from the growth of the trade,


opportunities for new workers will result from
the need to replace experienced sheet-metal
workers who retire, transfer to other fields of
work, or die.
The increase in the employment of sheetmetal workers is expected mainly as a result
of the anticipated large expansion in new resi­
dential, commercial, and industrial construction
over the 1960’s. (See discussion, p. 343.) The
expected large increase in the number of per­
manently installed air-conditioning systems in
residential, commercial, and factory buildings
will provide more work for sheet-metal
workers. In addition, the manufacturing
industries which employ skilled sheet-metal
workers generally have favorable long-range
prospects. The shops which fabricate sheetmetal products used in construction are also ex­
pected to require more of these skilled crafts­
men in the next 10 years.
Prefabrication is not likely to affect the
growth of employment in this occupation as
much as in most other building trades, because
of the custom nature of much of the work. The
prefabrication of ducts and fittings for venti­
lating installations is limited by the need to
tailor these installations to meet a wide variety
of structural conditions, such as the dimensions
of the building and the space allowed for ducts,
and also by the cost of storage space needed
to store prefabricated ducts and fittings.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Union minimum hourly wage rates for sheetmetal workers averaged $3.90, compared with
$3.86 for all journeymen in the building trades,
as of July 1, 1960, according to a national sur­
vey of building trades workers in 52 large cities.
Among individual cities surveyed, the minimum
hourly rates for sheet-metal workers ranged
from $3.10 in Charlotte, N.C., to $4.65 in New
York City.
The average annual earnings of sheet-metal
workers often are less than their hourly rates
of pay would indicate. Many jobs are of brief
duration and sheet-metal workers who do out­
door work frequently lose worktime because of
weather conditions.
A large proportion of sheet-metal workers

378

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

are members of the Sheet Metal Workers’ In­
ternational Association. Union-management
contracts covering sheet-metal workers often
provide health insurance and pension benefits,
financed either entirely by the employers or
jointly by the workers and employers.
Many sheet-metal workers spend consider­
able time at the construction site, where they
may work either indoors or outdoors. Other
sheet-metal workers may work primarily in­
doors, doing fabricating and layout work.
When installing gutters, skylights, and cor­
nices they may work high above the ground
level. When installing ventilating and airconditioning systems, they may work in awk­
ward and relatively inaccessible places. Sheetmetal workers run the risks of cuts and burns
from the materials, tools, and equipment used
in their trade.

Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain informa­
tion regarding sheet-metal apprenticeships or
work opportunities in this trade should direct
his inquiry to sheet - metal contractors or
heating, refrigeration, or air-conditioning con­
tractors; a local of the Sheet Metal Workers’
International Association; a local joint unionmanagement apprenticeship committee, if
there is one in his locality; or the local office
of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training,
U.S. Department of Labor. In addition, the lo­
cal office of the State employment service may
be a source of information about apprentice­
ship opportunities.
General information about the work of sheetmetal workers may be obtained from :
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’
National Association, Inc.,
107 Center St., Elgin, 111.
Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association,
1000 Conn. Ave. N W .; Washington 6, D.C.

Asbestos and Insulating Workers
(D.O.T. 5-33.110 and .210)

Nature of Work

The principal work of asbestos and insula­
ting workers is to cover pipes, boilers, and
other equipment with insulating materials,
such as cork, felt, asbestos, fiberglass, and
magnesia. These materials are installed by
pasting, wiring, taping, stud-welding, spray­
ing, or other methods. Asbestos and insu­
lating workers use handtools, such as trowels,
brushes, scissors, hammers, saws, pliers,
and stud-welding guns. Powersaws are also
used to cut insulating materials.
The insulating materials which these work­
ers install serve many purposes. For example,
the insulation of pipes, ducts, tanks, vats,
stills, towers, boilers, and furnaces retains heat
and thus saves fuel. Another function of these
materials is to insulate the piping in refriger­
ation systems to prevent the absorption of
heat.
Where Employed

Most asbestos workers are employed by in­
in new industrial and com­

sulation contractors



mercial construction. A substantial number
are also employed in the alteration and main­
tenance of insulated pipe work in chemical
plants, petroleum refineries, rubber plants,
atomic energy installations, shipyards, and
other industrial establishments which have ex­
tensive steam installations for power and
heating. Similarly, some large establishments
which have cold storage facilities employ as­
bestos workers for maintenance work. Asbes­
tos workers are found in almost every part of
the country, with large concentrations in the
more highly populated and industrialized cen­
ters.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most asbestos workers learn their trade
through a 4-year “ improver ship” program that
is similar in many respects to apprenticeship
programs in other building trades. The improvership program consists of a specified
period of on-the-job training in which the new
worker learns how to handle the tools of the

379

BUILDING TRADES

trade and to work with the various kinds of
insulating materials.
Applicants for improvership programs are
generally required to be between the ages of 18
and 30 and in good physical condition. Hourly
wage rates under the improvership programs
start at about 50 percent of the journeyman’s
rate and, if the trainee’s work progresses
satisfactorily, increase by 10 percent each year
until 80 percent of the journeyman rate is
reached during the final stage of the program.
At the end of the 4-year improvership program,
trainees are required to pass an examination
which demonstrates their knowledge of the
trade.
A skilled asbestos worker may advance to the
job of foreman, shop superintendent, or esti­
mator, or he may open his own insulation con­
tracting business.
Employment Outlook

Employment in this relatively small build­
ing trade is expected to increase rapidly dur­
ing the 1960’s as a result of the anticipated
sharp rise in the volume of construction and
commercial and industrial building. (See dis­
cussion, p. 343.) The increasing use of industrial
pipe for numerous manufacturing processes

and where air-conditioning and refrigeration
are required, will increase the need for asbes­
tos workers for installation and maintenance
work. In addition to job openings resulting
from the growth of the trade, other opportuni­
ties will arise from the need to replace workers
who transfer to other fields of work, retire, or
die. The expected replacement needs in this
relatively small field of work may result in
about 400 to 500 job openings annually dur­
ing the 1960’s.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Union minimum hourly wage rates, as of
July 1, 1960, for asbestos workers averaged
$3.90, compared with $3.86 for all journeymen
in the building trades, according to a national
survey of building trades workers in 52 large
cities. Among individual cities, the minimum
hourly rates for asbestos workers ranged from
$3.15 in Charlotte, N.C., to $4.75 in New York
City.
A large proportion of the workers in this
trade are members of the International Asso­
ciation of Heat and Frost Insulators and As­
bestos Workers. Union-management contracts
covering asbestos workers often provide
health insurance and pension benefits, financed
entirely by employers.

Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information regarding asbestos workers’ im­
provership programs or work opportunities
in this trade should apply to an asbestos
contractor in his area or to a local of the
International Association of Heat and Frost
Insulators and Asbestos Workers.
General information about the work of as­
bestos and insulating workers may be obtained
from :
Insulation Distributor-Contractors
Association, Inc.,

National

1425 Chestnut St., Philadelphia 2, Pa.
International Association of Heat and Frost
Insulators and Asbestos Workers,
Asbestos workers applying flat block to metal ducts.




1300 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.

380

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Lathers
(D.O.T. 5-32.761, .762, and .763)

Nature of Work

Lathers install the supporting backings on
ceilings or walls on which plaster or other ma­
terials are applied. These supports are usually
metal laths (strips of metal or metal
wire mesh), or large pieces of perforated gyp­
sum board.
When installing metal laths, the lathers first
build a light metal framework (furring) which
is fastened securely to the structural frame­
work of the building. The laths are then at­
tached to the furring by nailing, clipping, ty­
ing, or machine stapling. After the laths have
been installed, the lathers cut openings in them
for electrical outlets and heating and venti­
lating pipes.
The method of installation varies somewhat
in other types of lath work. For example,
for plaster cornices, the lather builds a frame­
work that approximates the desired shape or
form of the cornice. He then attaches metal
laths to the framework. Gypsum laths are
nailed on studs, or clipped or stapled to the
metal furring. Lathers also install metal rein­
forcements, known as corner beads, which are
used as guides by the plasterer and as pro­
tection for the finished corner.
When stucco (a mixture of portland cement
and sand) is to be applied over wood frame­
work, the lather installs two layers of wire
mesh separated by a layer of felt, to act as a
base for the stucco.
The tools of the trade include measuring
rules and tapes, drills, hammers, chisels, hack­
saws, shears, wirecutters, boltcutters, punches,
pliers, hatchets, and stapling machines.
Where Employed

Most lathers work for lathing and plaster­
ing contractors on new residential, com­
mercial, or industrial construction. They also
work on modernization and alteration jobs.
Some lathers are also employed outside the con­
struction industry; for example, they make
the lath backing for plaster display materials
 scenery.
or
Most of the estimated 25,000


lathers employed in mid-1960 had jobs in the
larger urban areas.
Training and Other Qualifications

Most training authorities, including the
national joint labor-management apprentice­
ship committee for this trade, recommend
the completion of a 2- or 3-year apprenticeship
program as the best way to learn lath­
ing. However, many lathers, particularly in
small communities, have acquired skills in­
formally, by working for many years as help­
ers, observing or being taught by experienced
lathers.
Apprenticeship applicants generally are re­
quired to be between the ages of 16 and 26, and
in good physical condition. Aptitude tests are
often given to applicants to determine their
manual dexterity as well as the other qualifica­
tions required for this trade. Many ap­
prenticeship programs are under the super­
vision of local joint labor-management
apprenticeship committees. Apprentices gen­
erally must pass examinations which are given
at the end of each 6-month period. Apprentices
usually are employed under a union ap­
prenticeship agreement and the program is
registered with a State apprenticeship agency
or the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of
Apprenticeship and Training.
During the apprenticeship period, the ap­
prentice learns to use and handle the tools and
materials of the trade. For example, he in­
stalls gypsum and composition board, wall fur­
ring, and metal lathing. In addition, he
generally receives related instruction in sub­
jects such as applied mathematics, geometry,
reading of blueprints and sketches, welding,
estimating, and safety practices. Although a
high school education is not required, education
above grade school level, particularly courses
in mathematics, is needed to understand the
classroom instruction.
Hourly wage rates for lather apprentices
usually start at 50 percent of the journeyman
rate. The rate is increased periodically by 5

381

BUILDING TRADES

percent every third or fourth month until a
rate of 85 percent is reached in the final quar­
ter of the second year of training.
Employment Outlook

A moderate increase in employment in this
relatively small building trade is expected over
the 1960’s. The growth of the trade will result
principally from the anticipated large expan­
sion in construction activity over the 1960-70
decade. (See discussion, p. 343.) Moreover,
there will be a growing need for lathing work
because of the increased use of acoustical tile
for sound insulation, the trends toward sus­
pended and other decorative types of ceilings,
and the increased use of lightweight plasters
as a fireproofing material for structural
steel. These developments may largely offset
the loss of lathing work resulting from the in­
creasing use of dry walls, particularly in resi­
dential construction where these materials are
often installed by carpenters. In addition to
the expected employment increase, a few job
openings will result from the need to replace
workers who transfer out of the trade, retire,
or die.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The average hourly wage rates for lathers
are among the highest in the skilled building
trades. However, because of the seasonal na­
ture of their work, their average annual earn­
ings are lower than the hourly rates would in­
dicate.
Union minimum hourly wage rates, as of
July 1, 1960, for lathers averaged $4, compared
with $3.86 for all journeymen in the building

trades, according to a national survey of build­
ing trades workers in 52 large cities. Among
individual cities surveyed, the minimum hourly
rates for lathers ranged from $3 in Memphis,
Tenn., to $4.65 in New York City.
A large proportion of lathers are members
of The Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers Inter­
national Union. Union-management contracts
covering lathers often provide health, life in­
surance, pension, and other benefits, financed
either entirely by employers or jointly by the
workers and employers.
Where To Go for More Information

For further information regarding lathers'
apprenticeships or work opportunities in the
trade, a young man should apply to a lathing
contractor in his area; a local of the Wood,
Wire and Metal Lathers International Union;
a local joint labor-management apprenticeship
committee, if there is one in his area; or the
local office of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and
Training, U.S. Department of Labor. In ad­
dition, the local office of the State employment
service may be a source of information about
apprenticeship opportunities.
General information about the work of lathers
may be obtained from :
Contracting Plasterers’ and Lathers’ International
Association,
304 Landmark Bldg., 1343 H St. NW .,
Washington 5, D.C.
National Bureau for Lathing and Plastering,
755 Nada Bldg., 2000 K St. NW .,
Washington 5, D.C.
The Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers International
Union,
6530 New Hampshire Ave., Takoma Park 12, Md.

M arble Setters, Tile Setters, and Terrazzo Workers
(D.O.T. 5-24.310, .410, and .510)

Nature of Work

Marble setters, tile setters, and terrazzo
workers cover interior or exterior walls, floors,
or other surfaces with marble, tile, or terrazzo.
Craftsmen in each of these distinct trades work
primarily with the material indicated by their
Digitized title.
for FRASER


Marble setters install marble, shop-made ter­
razzo panels and artificial marble, and struc­
tural glass when it is used in the interior of a
building. The marble setter does little fabrica­
tion work because the marble and other mate­
rials are cut to size and polished before they
are delivered to the work site. However, he

382
may do some minor cutting- to make the ma­
terials fit exactly. In setting marble, he lays
out the work, then applies a special plaster
mixture to the backing material and sets the
marble pieces in place. When necessary, he
braces them until the setting plaster has hard­
ened. Special plaster is poured into the joints
between the marble pieces, and the joints are
“ pointed up” (slightly indented) with a trowel
or wooden paddle. Bolt holes may have to be
drilled if attachments to the marble are
necessary. Usually, each marble setter has a
helper or general assistant to prepare plaster,
carry marble slabs, and clean the surface of
the completed work.
The tile setter attaches tile (a thin slab of
baked clay, stone, or other material) on walls,
floors, or ceilings according to blueprints or
other instructions. For walls and ceilings, a
plaster coat and then a layer of cement are
applied to the surface or other supporting back­
ing, such as plaster board or metal lath. The
tiles are then tapped into place with a trowel
handle. In laying tile floors, the tile setter adds
cement to the fresh concrete subfloor and then
lays the tile. He chips the tile with a hammer
and chisel or cuts it with pincers to make it
fit into irregular areas, into corners, or around
pipes.
Small tiles, such as those laid in bathrooms,
are available in paperbacked strips and sheets
that can be fastened to the floor as a unit,
using cement or various types of adhesives.
This eliminates the need for the setting of in­
dividual tiles. The tile setter is usually assisted
by a helper who mixes mortar, sets up scaf­
folds, supplies the setter with materials, fills
the joints after the tile setting is completed,
and cleans the completed work.
Terrazzo workers work with terrazzo which,
essentially, in a type of ornamental concrete
used mainly for floors, in which marble chips
are used as the coarsest ingredient. After the
terrazzo hardens, it is ground and polished to
give a smooth surface in which the marble
chips are exposed against the background of
other materials.
A terrazzo worker starts his work by laying
a base (first course) of fine, fairly dry concrete,

leveling this base accurately with a long, flat


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

tool called a straightedge, and tamping it. He
then places metal strips wherever there is to
be a joint, or a change of color between panels,
and imbeds their bottom edges into the first
course. If there is to be lettering or an orna­
mental figure, he also imbeds a shop-made mold.
Then he mixes the top course of concrete and
marble chips, pours it onto the base course, and
rolls and levels it. There is a separate mixture
for each color. After the concrete has hard­
ened for a few days, a semiskilled worker
grinds and polishes the floor with an electricpowered grinding machine.
The terrazzo worker is assisted by helpers
in the mixing and placing of the base course,
but he alone does the leveling and placing of
the metal strips. Helpers handle sand, cement,
marble chips, and all other materials that may
be used by the terrazzo workers. They rub and
clean all marble, mosaic, and terrazzo floors
and perform other work required in helping a
terrazzo craftsman. The terrazzo worker gen­
erally supervises mixing of the top course
which, along with the grinding, governs its
final appearance.
Where Employed

Marble setters, tile setters, and terrazzo
workers are employed mainly in new building
construction and generally in the larger urban
areas. Substantial numbers of terrazzo work­
ers are found in Florida and California.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most training authorities, including the na­
tional joint labor-management apprenticeship
committees which set the training standards
in these trades, recommend the completion of a
3-year apprenticeship program as the best way
to learn each of these trades. A substantial
proportion of tile setters, terrazzo workers, and
marble setters, however, have acquired skills
of these trades informally by working for many
years as helpers, observing or being taught by
experienced craftsmen.
Apprenticeship applicants generally are re­
quired to be between the ages of 17 and 22;
a high school education or its equivalent is de­
sirable. Good physical condition and manual

383

BUILDING TRADES

dexterity are important assets. Applicants
should have an eye for quickly determining
proper alinements of tile, terrazzo, v
and marble,
and have a good sense of color harmony.
Many apprenticeship programs are under the
supervision of local joint union-management
apprenticeship committees. Generally, the ap­
prentice is employed under a written apprentice­
ship agreement and the program is registered
with a State apprenticeship agency or the U.S.
Department of Labor’s Bureau of Apprentice­
ship and Training. The apprenticeship pro­
grams in each of these trades generally consist
of 6,000 hours of on-the-job training, in addi­
tion to related classroom instruction. In a typi­
cal 3-year training program for terrazzo work­
ers, apprentices learn, among other things to
use, care for, and handle safely the tools, equip­
ment, and materials commonly used in the
trade; mix, place, tamp, and level terrazzo ma­
terial and concrete; and select, set, and level
metal dividing strips. The apprentice also
learns the selection and placement of materials
according to the design of the job; the rough
and final finishing of bases and coves; and
hand and machine rubbing.
The apprentice receives related classroom in­
struction in blueprint reading, layout work,
basic mathematics, and the making of measure­
ment sketches.
Hourly wage rates for apprentices in each
of these trades start at about 50 or 60 percent
of the journeyman rate and increase periodical­
ly until 95 percent of the journeyman rate is
reached during the last period of apprentice
training.
Skilled and experienced tile, terrazzo, or
marble setters may become foremen. Others
may be able to start their own small contract­
ing businesses.
Employment Outlook

Employment in these small trades is expected
to increase somewhat during the 1960’s, pri­
marily because of the anticipated large growth
in new building construction. (See discussion,
p. 343.)
Job openings for terrazzo workers are ex­
pected to
 increase faster than for marble set­


ters and tile setters. Because terrazzo is durable
and attractive, the number of terrazzo instal­
lations, particularly for floors, expanded over
the past decade or so, and is expected to grow
further during the 1960’s. A small number of
skilled terrazzo workers have been recruited
from abroad to meet shortages of these workers
in some areas.
The anticipated growth in employment of
tile setters will be limited by the increased
use of competing materials, such as asphalt
floor tile, structural glass, plastic tile, and
plastic-coated wallboard.
Little change in the employment of marble
setters is expected. Despite the relatively high­
er costs of marble compared with competitive
materials, the excellent properties of marble as
a building material will insure its continued
use and provide work for marble setters, al­
though the supply of quality marble is grad­
ually being depleted.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Union minimum hourly wage rates, as of
July 1, 1960, for terrazzo workers averaged
$3.93; for marble setters, $3.91; and for tile
setter^, $3.84; according to a national survey
of building trades workers in 52 large cities.
These rates compared with the average of $3.86
for all journeymen in the building trades.
Among individual cities surveyed, the mini­
mum hourly rates for terrazzo workers ranged
from $3 in San Antonio, Tex., to $4.60 in
Newark, N.J. For marble setters, the rates
ranged from $3 in San Antonio to $4.28 in
Peoria, 1 1 The rates for tile setters ranged
1.
from $3 in San Antonio to $4.28 in Peoria,
1 1 1.
A large proportion of the workers in each
of these trades are members of one of the fol­
lowing unions— Bricklayers, Masons and Plas­
terers’ International Union of America; Inter­
national Association of Marble, Slate and Stone
Polishers, Rubbers and Sawyers, Tile and
Marble Setters’ Helpers and Marble Mosaic and
Terrazzo Workers’ Helpers; and Operative
Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International
Association of the United States and Canada.
Union-management contracts covering these

384

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

workers often provide insurance and pension
benefits, financed either entirely by the em­
ployers or jointly by the workers and employers.
Marble setters and terrazzo workers work
both indoors and outdoors, depending on the
type of installation. Tile setters work mostly
indoors.

General information about the work of
marble setters, tile setters, and terrazzo work­
ers may be obtained from :
Bricklayers, Masons and Plasterers’ International
Union of America,
815 15th St. N W ., Washington 5, D.C.
International Association of Marble, Slate and
Stone Polishers, Rubbers and Sawyers, Tile and
Marble Setters’ Helpers and Marble Mosaic and
Terrazzo Workers’ Helpers,
821 15th St. N W ., Washington 5, D.C.

Where To Go for More Information

To obtain further information regarding ap­
prenticeships or work opportunities in these
trades, a young man should apply to tile, ter­
razzo, and marble setting contractors in his
area or to locals of the unions previously men­
tioned. In addition, the local office of the State
employment service may be a source of infor­
mation about apprenticeship opportunities.

National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association, Inc.
2000 K St. N W ., Washington 5, D.C.
Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ Interna­
tional Association of the United States and
Canada,
1125 17th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
Tile Contractors’ Association of America,
1420 New York Ave. N W ., Washington 5, D.C.

Glaziers
(D.O.T. 5-77.010)

Nature of Work

Where Employed

Glaziers cut, fit, and install plate glass, ordi­
nary window glass, mirrors, and special items
such as leaded glass panels. In making a glass
installation, the glazier cuts the glass to size
or uses precut glass. The glazier puts a bed of
putty into the wood or metal sash and presses
the glass into place. He fastens the glass with
wire clips or triangular metal points and then
places and smooths another strip of putty on
the outside edges of the glass to keep out
moisture.
When installing structural glass, which is
used to decorate building fronts, walls, ceil­
ings, and partitions, the glazier (and some­
times the marble setter, see discussion, p. 381)
applies mastic cement to the supporting back­
ing and presses the glass into it. The glass
may have to be trimmed with a glass cutter
if it is not precut to specifications. Glaziers
(as well as bricklayers, see discussion, p. 356),
install glass blocks for building exteriors, in­
terior partitions, and walls.
In addition to handtools, such as glass cut­
ters and putty knives, glaziers use power cut­
ting tools and grinders.

In mid-1960, only a few thousand glaziers
were employed by glazing contractors on new
construction, alterations and modernizations,
and on replacement of broken glass, particu­
larly for store windows. Others were employed
by government agencies or business establish­
ments which do their own construction work.
A large number of glaziers work outside the
construction industry. Many are employed in
factories where they install glass in sash, doors,
mirrors, and partitions. Other workers, using
skills similar to those used by glaziers, install
glass or mirrors in furniture and ships, or re­
place glass in automobiles.
Most glaziers are employed in large urban
areas. In small communities, glazing is done
by persons who also do painting or paperhang­
ing.




Training and Other Qualifications

Most training authorities, including the na­
tional joint labor-management apprenticeship
committee for the glass and glazing industry,
recommend the completion of a 3-year appren­
ticeship program as the best way to learn this
trade. A substantial proportion of glaziers,

BUILDING TRADES

however, have learned the trade informally.
They have acquired glazing skills by working
for many years with glaziers and observing or
being taught by experienced craftsmen. In
smaller communities, many journeymen paint­
ers and paperhangers have learned to do glazier
work as part of the apprentice training for
their trade.
Apprenticeship applicants generally are re­
quired to be at least 18 years of age; a high
school education or its equivalent is desirable.
Many glazier apprenticeship programs are un­
der the supervision of local joint union-man­
agement apprenticeship committees. Generally,
the apprentice is employed under a written
apprenticeship agreement, and the program is
registered with a State apprenticeship agency
or the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of
Apprenticeship and Training.
The apprenticeship program usually consists
of 6,000 hours (3 years) of on-the-job training,
in addition to a minimum of 144 hours a year
of related classroom instruction. During the
apprenticeship, the apprentice learns how to
use and handle the tools, machines, and ma­
terials of the trade. The program also includes
on-the-job training in the glazing of wood and
metal sash (frame) in doors, windows, and
partitions and other types of openings; setting
of store front openings, structural glass, mir­
rors, showcases, automobile glass, shower doors,
and tub enclosures; replacement of glass; and
scaffolding.
Hourly wage rates for glazier apprentices
usually start at 50 percent of the journeyman
rate and increase periodically until the journey­
man rate is reached at the completion of train­
ing. If apprenticeship applicants have had ex­
perience directly related to the trade, they may
be granted advanced apprenticeship training.
Employment Outlook

There will be several hundred opportunities
for new workers to enter this relatively small
occupation annually during the 1960's. The
large increase anticipated in construction ac­
tivity (see discussion, p. 343) and the increasing
use of glass in building construction are ex­
pected to result in more glazing work. Replace­
Digitized ment and modernization work, frequently
for FRASER


385
involving large glass installations, will provide
additional job opportunities. The need to re­
place experienced glaziers who retire, transfer
to other fields of work, or die will also provide
some job opportunities for new workers.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Union minimum hourly wage rates for
glaziers averaged $3.53, compared with $3.86
for all journeymen in the building trade, as of
July 1, 1960, according to a national survey
of building trades workers in 52 large cities.
Among individual cities surveyed, the union
minimum hourly wage rates for glaziers ranged
from $2.45 in Richmond, Va., to $4.25 in New
York City. The average annual earnings of
glaziers in construction work are not as high
as their hourly rates of pay would indicate,
since they lose much worktime because of
weather and other reasons.
A large proportion of glaziers employed in
construction work are members of the Brother­
hood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers
of America. Union-management contracts cov­
ering glaziers often provide health insurance
and pension benefits, financed either entirely
by the employers or jointly by the employers
and workers.
Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information regarding glazier apprenticeships
or work opportunities in this trade should direct
his inquiry to a glazing contractor or general
contractor in his area; a local of the Brother­
hood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers
of America; a local joint union-management
apprenticeship committee, if there is one in
his locality; or the local office of the Bureau
of Apprenticeship and Training, U.S. Depart­
ment of Labor. In addition, the local office of
the State employment service may be a source
of information about apprenticeship oppor­
tunities.
General information about the work of
glaziers may be obtained from the Brotherhood
of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of
America, 217-219 North 6th St., Lafayette,
Ind.

386

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Elevator Constructors
(D.O.T. 5-83.350 through .359)

Nature of Work

Elevator constructors (also called elevator
mechanics) assemble and install elevators, esca­
lators, dumb waiters, and similar equipment.
They also do considerable modernization, main­
tenance, and repair work. The work is done by
small crews (seldom more than six men) con­
sisting of skilled mechanics and their helpers.
In elevator construction work, the crew first
installs the guide rails of the car in the elevator
shaft of the building. Then they install the car
frame and platform, the counterweight, the
elevator chassis, and the control apparatus.
Next, the car frame is connected to the counter­
weight with cables, the cab body and roof are
installed, and the control system is wired.
Finally, the entire assembly, including cables,
wire, and electrical control apparatus, is care­
fully adjusted and tested.
In maintenance and repair work, elevator
mechanics inspect elevator and escalator in­
stallations periodically and, when necessary, ad­
just cables and parts and lubricate or replace
parts. Alteration work on elevators is impor­
tant because of the rapid rate of innovation
and improvement in elevator engineering. This
work is similar to new installation work because
all elevator equipment except the old rail, car
frame, platform, and counterweight are gen­
erally replaced.
To install and repair modern elevators, many
of which are electrically controlled, elevator
constructors must have a working knowledge of
electricity, electronics, and hydraulics. They
must also be able to repair electric motors, as
well as control and signal systems. Because of
the variety of their work, they use many dif­
ferent handtools and power tools.

elevator maintenance and repair. Others work
for government agencies or business establish­
ments which do their own elevator maintenance
and repair. Elevator constructors are also em­
ployed as elevator inspectors for municipal or
other government licensing and regulatory
agencies. The jobs of elevator constructors are
concentrated in the highly industrialized and
populated centers of the country.
Training and Other Qualifications

Although elevator constructors are among the
more highly skilled building craftsmen, training
is comparatively informal and is obtained
through employment as a helper for a number
of years. The helper-trainee must be at least
18 years of age, in good physical condition, and
have a high school education or its equivalent,
preferably including courses in mathematics and
physics. Mechanical aptitude and an interest in
machines are important assets.
To become a skilled elevator mechanic, at
least 2 years of continuous job experience, in­
cluding 6 months’ on-the-job training at the

Where Employed

Most of the estimated 12,000 journeymen ele­
vator constructors employed in mid-1960 worked
for elevator manufacturers, doing new installa­
tion and modernization work and elevator serv­
icing. Some elevator constructors are employed
by small, local contractors who specialize in




Elevator constructors installing electric generators in
framework of new skyscraper.

BUILDING TRADES

387

factory of a major elevator firm, is usually
necessary. During- this period, the helper must
learn to perform all of the operations involved
in the installation, maintenance, and repair of
elevators, escalators, and similar equipment.
The helper-trainee is generally required to at­
tend evening classes in vocational schools.
Among the subjects studied are mathematics,
physics, electrical and electronic theory, and
proper safety techniques.
Opportunities for establishing an individu­
ally owned small contracting business in. this
field are very limited.
Employment Outlook

Continued increase in employment of elevator
constructors is expected during the 1960's.
However, there will be only several hundred
job openings annually for new workers in this
small occupation.
Increasing numbers of elevator constructors
will be needed as the result of the anticipated
large expansion in new industrial, commercial,
and large residential building. (See discussion,
p. 343.) In addition, technological developments
in elevator and escalator construction will spur
modernization of older installations and thus
will contribute to the growing need for these
craftsmen. For example, the modern high­
speed elevators with automatic control systems
require more work and higher skill for the
installation and adjustment of electrical and
electronic controls.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Both the hourly wage rates and the annual
earnings of elevator constructors are among the
highest in the skilled building trades. These
craftsmen lose less worktime because of seasonal

factors than do most other building trades
workers.
Union minimum hourly wage rates, as of July
1, 1960, for elevator constructors averaged
$3.95, compared with $3.86 for all journeymen
in the building trades, according to a national
survey of building trades workers in 52 large
cities. Among individual cities surveyed, the
minimum hourly rates for elevator constructors
ranged from $3.37 in Richmond, Va., to $4.46
in Newark, N.J. Helpers' rates generally are
70 percent of the journeymen's rates.
Most elevator constructors are members of the
International Union of Elevator Constructors.
Union-management contracts covering elevator
workers often provide health insurance, financed
either entirely by employers or jointly by the
employers and workers.
Some work operations in elevator construc­
tion involve lifting and carrying heavy equip­
ment and elevator parts, but this is usually
done by the helpers. Much of the work must
be done in cramped or awkward positions. The
work is done indoors.
Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information regarding work opportunities as a
helper in this trade should direct his inquiry
to an elevator manufacturer, an elevator con­
tractor, or a local of the International Union
of Elevator Constructors, if there is one in his
locality. In addition, the local office of the State
employment service may be a source of informa­
tion about work opportunities in this trade.
General information about the work of eleva­
tor constructors may be obtained from the In­
ternational Union of Elevator Constructors, 12
South 12th St., Philadelphia 7, Pa.

Stonemasons
(D.O.T. 5-24.210)

Nature of Work

Stonemasons build the stone exteriors of
structures. They work primarily with two types
of stones— natural cut stone, such as marble,

granite, limestone, or sandstone; and artificial


stone which is made to order using cement,
marble chips, or other types of masonry ma­
terials. Much of the work of these craftsmen is
the setting of cut stone for comparatively ex­
pensive buildings, such as office buildings, hotels,
churches, and public buildings.

388
The stonemason works from a set of drawings
in which each stone has been numbered for
identification, except where all pieces are identi­
cal. A helper or, in some cases, a derrickman,
locates the pieces needed and brings them to
the mason; large stones are set in place with
a hoist. The stonemason sets the stone in mortar
and moves it into final position with a mallet,
hammer, or crowbar. He alines the stone with
a plumb line and finishes the joints between the
stones with a pointing trowel. He may fasten
the stone to supports with metal ties, anchors,
or by welding.
Occasionally, the stonemason may have to cut
stone to size. To do this, he must determine the
grain of the stone selected and strike blows along
a predetermined line with a stonemason's
hammer. Valuable stones are cut with an abra­
sive saw to make them fit.
Stonemasons also do some stone veneer work,
in which a thin covering of cut stone is applied
to the exterior surfaces of a building. In one
specialized branch of the trade known as alberene stone setting, stonemasons set acid-re­
sistant soapstone linings for vats, tanks, and
floors.
The principal handtools of the stonemasons
are heavy hammers, wooden mallets, and chis­
els. For rapid stone cutting, pneumatic tools
are used, such as hammers, drills and brushing
tools. Special power tools are used for smooth­
ing the surface of large stones. An abrasive saw
is used for fine cutting.
Where Employed

Most stonemasons work on new building con­
struction, particularly on the more expensive
residential and commercial buildings. A few
work for government agencies or business es­
tablishments which do their own construction
and alteration work. Journeymen stonemasons
are employed mainly in the larger urban areas.
In many areas where there are no stonemasons,
the work is performed by bricklayers who can
do stone masonry work.
Training and Other Qualifications

Most training authorities, including the Na­
(labor-management) Bricklaying


tional Joint


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Apprenticeship Committee, recommend the com­
pletion of a 3-year apprenticeship program as
the best way to learn the stonemason's trade.
A substantial proportion of stonemasons, how­
ever, have picked up the trade by working many
years as helpers, observing or being taught by
experienced stonemasons.
Apprenticeship applicants generally are re­
quired to be between the ages of 17 and 24;
a high school education or its equivalent is de­
sirable. Good physical condition is an important
asset.
The apprentice training program for stone­
masons generally requires 6,000 hours (3 years)
of on-the-job training, in addition to related
classroom instruction. During the apprentice­
ship, the trainee learns to use, care for, and
handle safely the tools, machines, and materials
of the trade, and to lay out and install walls,
floors, stairs, and arches. The apprenticeship
program in this occupation is similar to that
for bricklayer. (See discussion, p. 347.)
Employment Outlook

Little increase in the employment of stone­
masons is expected during the 1960's, despite
the anticipated large expansion in new building
construction. (See discussion, p. 343.) Less use
of stone masonry work is expected, because
modern architectural design has emphasized
simple lines, little ornamentation, and large
window areas. Replacement needs will provide a
small number of job opportunities for new
workers each year in this relatively small build­
ing trade.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Hourly wage rates for stonemasons are among
the highest in the skilled building trades. Their
average annual earnings, however, are much
less than their hourly rates would indicate
since these workers lose much worktime be­
cause of weather conditions and the brief dura­
tion of many jobs.
Union minimum hourly wage rates, as of July
1, 1960, for stonemasons averaged $4.04 com­
pared with $3.86 for all journeymen in the build­
ing trades, according to a national survey of
building trades workers in 52 large cities.
Among individual cities surveyed, the minimum

BUILDING TRADES

389

hourly rates for stonemasons ranged from $3.55
in Columbus, Ohio, to $4.96 in New York City.
A large proportion of stonemasons are mem­
bers of the Bricklayers, Masons and Plasterers’
International Union of America. Union-manage­
ment contracts covering stonemasons often pro­
vide health insurance, pension, and other bene­
fits, financed either entirely by employers or
jointly by the workers and employers.
Most stonemasonry work is done outdoors.
The work of the stonemason is active and some­
times strenuous, as it involves lifting moderately
heavy materials.

stonemasons or work opportunities in this trade
should apply to bricklaying contractors in his
area; to a local of the Bricklayers, Masons and
Plasterers’ International Union of America; to
a local joint union-management apprenticeship
committee, if there is one in his locality; or the
local office of The Bureau of Apprenticeship and
Training, U.S. Department of Labor. In addi­
tion, the local office of the State employment
service serves as a source of information about
apprenticeship openings.
General information about the work of stone­
masons may be obtained from :
Associated General Contractors of America, Inc.,
1957 E St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.

Where To Go for More Information

A young man who wishes to obtain further
information regarding apprenticeships for

Bricklayers, Masons and Plasterers’ International
Union of America,
815 15th St. N W ., Washington 5, D.C.

Construction Laborers and Hod Carriers
(D.O.T. 9-32.01)

Nature of Work

Construction laborers work on all types of
building construction and on other types of
construction projects, such as highways, dams,
pipelines, and water and sewer projects. Their
work includes the loading and unloading of con­
struction materials at the work site and the
shoveling and grading of earth. Laborers stack
and carry materials, including small units of
machinery and equipment, and do other work
which aids building craftsmen. They also erect
and dismantle scaffolding, set braces to support
the sides of excavations, and clean up rubble at
various stages of construction to provide a clear
work area and to reduce hazards.
On alteration and modernization jobs, labor­
ers tear out the old work. They perform much
of the work done by wrecking and salvage
crews during the demolition of buildings.
When concrete is mixed at the work site,
laborers fill the mixer with ingredients.
Whether the concrete is mixed on-site or hauled
in by truck, laborers pour and spread the con­
crete, and spade it to prevent air pockets. In
highway paving, they handle and place the
forms into which wet concrete is poured and
cover new pavement with straw, burlap, or

http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/
other materials to prevent excessive drying.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Bricklayers’ tenders and plasterers’ laborers,
both commonly known as hod carriers, serve
journeymen in their respective trades, supply­
ing them with materials, setting up and moving
portable scaffolding, and providing the other
services needed. Hod carriers must be familiar
with the work of the journeymen, have some
knowledge of the materials used, and have some
degree of judgment. It is customary practice
in the building trades for hod carriers to be
transferred with the journeymen from one con­
struction project to another.
Building and construction laborers are com­
monly classified as unskilled workers, but this
term can be misleading. Their work covers a
wide range of requirements. Some types of con­
struction laborer and hod carrier jobs often re­
quire experience as well as a broad knowledge
of construction methods, materials, and opera­
tions. Rock blasting is an example of a type
of work in which “ know-how” is important.
Construction laborers who work with explosives
drill holes in rock, handle explosives, and set
charges. These workers must know the effects
of different explosive charges under varying
rock conditions so that proper measures can be
taken to prevent injury and property damage.
Construction laborers learn how to handle and

390
use blasting materials through job experience
and instruction from ‘foremen in charge of
blasting work. Also, in the construction of
tunnels, and dam and bridge foundations, con­
struction laborers must have specific on-the-job
experience. They do all the work in the pres­
surized area of a tunnel, including operations
which would be done by journeymen if the job
were located elsewhere.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

condition. A laborer’s first job is usually on the
simplest type of work, but as he gains expe­
rience he does more difficult work. Although
laborers work with skilled building craftsmen,
they rarely have a chance to work with the
journeyman’s tools or equipment and, therefore,
generally have little opportunity to pick up the
skills of a building trade.
Employment Outlook

Where Employed

Laborers are employed by all types of con­
struction contractors. A large number of these
workers are also employed by State and muni­
cipal public works and highway departments
and by public utility companies in road repair­
ing and maintenance, and excavating.
The more than 700,000 laborers at work in
mid-1960 were employed in every section of the
country. Their employment is distributed geo­
graphically in much the same way as building
trades employment generally, with large con­
centrations in the highly populated and indus­
trialized centers.
Training and Other Qualifications

No formal training is required to obtain a job
as a building or construction laborer. Generally,
to be employed in these jobs, a young man must
be at least 16 years of age and in good physical

Continued increase in employment for labor­
ers is expected during the 1960’s as a result of
the anticipated large growth in the volume of
construction activity. (See discussion, p. 343.)
Increased mechanization and improved methods
of materials handling, however, may limit the
rate of growth in the employment of these
workers. For example, the employment of labor­
ers is being affected by the increasing use of
new types of more efficient grading machinery
and mechanical lifting devices.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Because of the seasonal nature of much of
construction work and because of worktime lost
for other reasons, the average annual earnings
of laborers are not as high as their hourly rates
of pay would indicate. Union minimum hourly
wage rates for bricklayers’ tenders and building
laborers averaged $3 and $2.81, respectively, as
of July 1, 1960, according to a national survey
of building trades workers in 52 large cities.
Among individual cities surveyed, the minimum
hourly rates for bricklayers’ tenders ranged
from $1.55 in Charlotte, N.C., to $3.80 in New
York City. The rates for building laborers
ranged from $1.45 in Charlotte to $3.80 in
New York City.
Construction work is generally physically
strenuous and requires bending, stooping, and
heavy lifting. Much of the work is performed
outdoors. Many laborers are members of the
International Hod Carriers’, Building and Com­
mon Laborers’ Union of America.
Where To Go for More Information

Construction laborers haul and pour concrete.




A young man who wishes to obtain further
information regarding work opportunities as a

BUILDING TRADES

laborer should direct his inquiry to a building
or construction contractor in his area, or a local
of the International Hod Carriers', Building and
Common Laborers' Union of America, if there
is one in his area. In addition, the local office
of the State employment service is a source of
information about work opportunities.




391
General information about the work of con­
struction laborers may be obtained from :
Associated General Contractors of America, Inc.,
1957 E St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
International Hod Carriers’, Building and Common
Laborers’ Union of America,
905 16th St. N W ., Washington 5, D.C.

PRINTING (GRAPHIC ARTS) OCCUPATIONS
The printing crafts provide a large field of
employment for skilled workers in the United
States. In 1960, about 333,000 workers were
employed in the printing crafts as compositors,
photoengravers, electrotypers, stereotypers,
pressmen, lithographic workers, and bookbind­
ers. These trades offer especially good oppor­
tunities for young men willing to spend several
years in learning a skilled craft. Skilled printing
workers generally have year-round employment
and much better than average earnings. Jobs can
be found throughout the country, in small towns
as well as big cities. Some printing craftsmen
also have opportunities to go into business for
themselves.
Nature and Location of the Industry

Printing is basically a means of transferring
ink impressions of type, photographs, and il­
lustrations from a press plate to paper, metal,
or other materials. The printing process is used
mainly by the printing (graphic arts) indus­
try— one of the Nation's major manufacturing
industries. The more than 35,000 printing and
publishing establishments in 1960 employed
about 276,000 printing craftsmen. Government
agencies and private firms that do their own
printing— such as manufacturers of paper pack­
aging, banks, and insurance companies— em­
ployed an estimated additional 57,000 printing
craftsmen.
The printing industry consists of a number
of divisions. Of these the largest, in terms of
printing craftsmen employed, is made up of
more than 12,000 commercial or job printing
shops which produce printed matter such as
letterheads, advertising matter, folders, and
pamphlets. Commercial shops also print books,
periodicals, limited-run newspapers, and maga­
zines. More than half of all workers employed
in commercial shops are in plants with fewer
than 100 workers. A few large plants which
 392


employ more than a thousand workers each and
compete for business on a State or national basis
account for about one-sixth of all commercial
printing employees.
Newspapers provide the second largest em­
ployment field for printing craftsmen. A great
majority of the approximately 1,800 daily and
9,000 weekly newspapers throughout the Nation
do their own printing. Although some major
metropolitan newspapers employ as many as
several hundred craftsmen, many smaller dailies
and weeklies employ fewer than 15 skilled
workers.
Lithographic plants provide the third largest
area of employment for craftsmen in the in­
dustry. These plants produce items similar to
those of commercial plants, but differ in the
type of printing process used. About two-thirds
of the employment in the lithographic division
is in plants with 25 or more employees.
Binderies, which assemble printed materials
into books, folders, magazines, and pamphlets
also provide many jobs for craftsmen.
Other divisions of the industry employing
many craftsmen include firms such as those
specializing in printing books, magazines, greet­
ing cards, and business forms. In addition, many
shops perform service functions, such as photo­
engraving, typesetting, electrotyping and stere­
otyping, and offset platemaking for printing
establishments, advertising departments of
large firms, and advertising agencies.
Printing jobs are found throughout the
country. Almost every small town has a printing
shop of some kind— frequently, a small news­
paper plant which also may do the community's
printing. However, more than half of the
Nation's printing employees are in five States—
New York, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania,
and Ohio. Within these States, most printing
activities are in or near manufacturing, com­
mercial, or financial areas, such as New York
City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco,

393

PRINTING OCCUPATIONS

Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. Other
leading centers are Boston, Detroit, St. Louis,
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee, and Wash­
ington, D.C. Employees in book and magazine
printing work are highly concentrated in these
major urban areas. A much larger proportion
of employment in newspaper plants, however,
is found outside these centers because of the
great number of small local newspapers
scattered throughout the country.
Printing Processes

A description of the various printing pro­
cesses is essential to an understanding of the
work performed by the printing crafts. Three
printing processes are in general use today—
letterpress, lithography (offset printing), and
gravure. A fourth method, the screen process,
although much less extensively used than the
other three methods, is increasing in impor­
tance. Each method has its own special advan­
tages and requires different types of skilled
craftsmen.
In letterpress (relief)- printing, the letters
and designs to be reproduced are raised above
the nonprinting areas of the press plate. When
the actual printing is done, ink is applied only
to the raised area of the plate by means of an
inking roller. Letterpress is the oldest and by
far the most common printing process. Prac­
tically all newspapers, most books and maga­
zines, and a substantial portion of other printed
items are produced by this method. The letterpress process also includes photoengraving (the
photomechanical production of plates for illu ­
strations and other copy that cannot be set up
in type) and stereotyping and electrotyping, the
process by which letterpress plates are dupli­
cated.
In lithography, the press plate is smooth, with
both the image and nonimage areas on the same
level, instead of on different levels as in the
letterpress and gravure processes. Lithography
is based on the principle that grease and water
repel each other. The image areas of the plate
are coated with a greasy substance to which
the greasy printing ink will stick. 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. In modern
lithography, the plates are produced photomechanically, and the method is often referred to
as photolithography. The lithographic process
can be used to produce practically all items
printed by any other process. Lithographic de­
partments have been added to many printing
plants which formerly used only the letterpress
process. They are called mixed or combination
plants to distinguish them from plants using
only the letterpress process.
Gravure or intaglio printing is much less
widely used than either the letterpress or litho­
graphy. In this process, the relative position of
the printing and nonprinting areas of the plate
is the reverse of that in letterpress. The letters
and designs to be printed are etched (cut) into
the plate and are below the nonprinting surface.
Ink is applied to the entire plate, but the sur­
face is then wiped or scraped, leaving ink only
in the depressions. In printing, suction is
created, which lifts the ink out onto the paper.
Sunday newspaper supplements and mail-order
catalogs are well-known examples of gravure
printing. Gravure pictures also appear as in­
serts in many magazines as well as in other
forms of printed material. Most printing on
metal foil is done by this means.
Screen printing is a process 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 silk or wire mesh or screen. The
shape of the stencil openings determines the de­
sign to be printed. This process may be applied
to a wide variety of surfaces such as conven­
tional paper, cardboard, wood, glass, metal,
plastic, and textiles. Screen printing is used on
irregularly shaped surfaces and cylindrical sur­
faces as well as on flat sheet materials.

Printing Occupations

Regardless of the process employed, most
printing work goes through at least three stages:
Composition, platemaking, and presswork. (See
chart 22.) Additional processing in a bindery
is needed for materials that must be bound, such
as books and magazines. In the past, many
printers could perform every operation in the

394

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK
CHART 22

SIMPLIFIED VIEW OF THE FLOW OF PRINTING WORK

printing process. Such all-round craftsmen can
still be found in small newspaper and commer­
cial shops, but today printing craftsmen are
usually more specialized and, therefore, their
training is directed to a specific area of printing
operations— for example, type composition,
photography, platemaking, or presswork. Train­
ing, moreover, is largely confined to only one of
the basic printing processes— letterpress, litho­
graphic, or gravure.
The largest group of skilled craftsmen is made
up of composing room workers, with more than
180,000 employed in 1960. This group includes
hand compositors, imposers, typesetting ma­
chine operators, and, frequently, proofreaders.
Other large groups of skilled printing workers
are the lithographic craftsmen and the letterpress and gravure pressmen. Bookbinders, pho­
toengravers, and electrotypers and stereotypers

are other important occupations. (These groups


are described in detail later in this chapter.)
Steel and copper plate engravers, who cut or
etch lettering and designs into plates by hand
or machine, are employed in small engraving
shops.
Another smaller group of skilled workers em­
ployed in large plants are maintenance ma­
chinists who repair and adjust typesetting
machines, printing presses, or bindery equip­
ment.
In the skilled occupations, practically all the
workers are men. However, many of the less
skilled jobs, especially in the binderies, are held
by women. A small but growing number of
Negroes are employed in skilled jobs; a greater
number are employed in the less skilled occu­
pations. In the several hundred shops which
print newspapers, magazines, or other items
mainly for the Negro community, the great
majority of the jobs are held by Negroes.
Printing establishments also employ a great
many persons as executives, estimators, sales­
men, accountants, engineers, stenographers,
clerks, and laborers. Newspapers and other pub­
lishers employ a considerable number of re­
porters and editors. These occupations are dis­
cussed elsewhere in this Handbook. (See index
for page numbers.)
Training and Other Qualifications

The most common way of entering a skilled
printing occupation is through apprenticeship.
With rare exceptions, it is the only means by
which one may be trained to become a journey­
man (skilled worker) in a unionized shop.
Formal apprenticeship is also required for
journeyman status in many of the larger estab­
lishments not covered by union contracts. In
some of the smaller shops, however, it is pos­
sible to pick up the printing trades by working
with printing craftsmen or by a combination
of work experience and schooling. Some ac­
quire their first experience in duplicating (let­
ter-service) shops which have lithographic
departments.
Printing apprenticeships usually last from 4
to 6 years, depending on the occupation and
the shop or area practices. The apprentice
training program covers all phases of the par­

PRINTING OCCUPATIONS

ticular trade and almost always includes class­
room or correspondence study in related tech­
nical subjects in addition to training on the
job. As new methods have been developed and
introduced into the industry, they have been
incorporated into the duties of the traditional
crafts and included in the apprentice training
programs. Apprenticeship applicants are gen­
erally required to be between 18 and 30 years
of age and must pass a physical examination.
In selecting applicants for apprenticeship,
most employers require a high school education
or its equivalent. A thorough knowledge of
spelling, punctuation, and grammer is essential
for some of the printing trades, and a knowl­
edge of the basic principles of chemistry and
physics is becoming increasingly important in
many of the trades. An artistic sense is also
an asset for many kinds of printing work. Most
of the printing crafts require men with good
eyesight, about average physical strength, and
a high degree of manual dexterity. Speed with
accuracy, mental alertness, neatness, patience,
and the ability to work with others are neces­
sary in printing trades. Many employers re­
quire applicants to take one or more of the
specific aptitude tests developed for printing
industry occupations by the U.S. Department
of Labor. These tests are given in the local
offices of State employment services.
About 3,000 high schools, vocational schools,
technical institutes, and colleges offer courses
in printing. These courses may materially help
a young person to be selected for apprentice­
ships and other job openings in the printing
industry. Apprentices are often chosen from
among the young men already employed in
various unskilled jobs in printing establish­
ments, who demonstrate the mechanical apti­
tudes essential for the printing crafts.
Employment Outlook

There will be many thousands of oppor­
tunities for young men to enter the skilled
printing trades in the 1960’s. These openings
will occur as a result of the expected moderate
growth in the employment of skilled printing
workers and because of the need to replace
 who retire, die, or transfer to other
craftsmen


395
fields of work. Retirements and deaths may
result in about 6,000 to 7,000 job openings
each year during the 1960’s.
A continued rise in the volume of printed
material is expected because of population
growth, the increasingly high level of educa­
tion, the expansion of American industry, and
the trend toward greater use of printed ma­
terial for information, packaging, advertising,
and various industrial and commercial pur­
poses. However, as in the past, employment in
the skilled printing trades as a whole is not
expected to increase as fast as the total output
of printed matter, partly because of new and
improved printing equipment and methods.
A number of technological advances now be­
ing introduced in the industry, mainly involv­
ing type composition and platemaking, will af­
fect printing methods as well as the number
and skills of workers employed. Among these
are developments in photocomposition, “ cold
type” compositions, and the use of electronic
devices and controls for engraving and print­
ing. Research is being expanded in several
other areas, including those involving electronic
or magnetic principles. These developments
are not expected to reduce the total employ­
ment of skilled craftsmen. In the past, as new
technical developments with their changed
skill requirements have been introduced into
the industry, they have been incorporated into
the duties of the crafts.
As in the past, there will be differences in
the rates of growth among the various print­
ing crafts. Employment of skilled composing
room workers, the largest group of printing
craftsmen, is expected to increase slowly, de­
spite the continuing increase in the volume of
printing. Composing room occupations are the
most likely to be affected by changes in printing
equipment and by competitive printing meth­
ods. The number of workers in composing room
occupations in the 1940-60 period increased
more slowly than total employment in printing
and publishing in the same period. Employ­
ment of pressmen is expected to increase more
rapidly than composing room workers, while
lithographic craftsmen will show the fastest
rate of growth. These groups have shown the
greatest growth in the past decade or so as

396
indicated in the employment outlook for in­
dividual printing crafts discussed later in this
chapter.
At the beginning of 1960, about 13,000 reg­
istered apprentices were training in the skilled
printing crafts. (A registered apprentice is an
employee who, under an expressed or implied
agreement, receives instruction in an apprenticeable occupation for a stipulated term and
who is employed in an apprenticeship program
registered with a State apprenticeship agency
or the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of
Apprenticeship and Training.) In addition,
perhaps 8,000 to 10,000 apprentices were in
nonregistered programs. A substantial number
of persons were also picking up a printing
trade while working as helpers, particularly in
small printing shops and in duplicating services
(lettershops).
An examination of the latest information on
the location of registered apprentices indicates
the areas in which future apprenticeship op­
portunities may be found. However, it must
be borne in mind that registration is voluntary
and that employers in some localities have not
registered their apprenticeship programs. The
following 10* States and the District of Colum­
bia accounted for 70 percent of the registered
apprentices as of January 1, 1960: New York,
2,327; Ohio, 1,069; California, 1,051; Minne­
sota, 815; Pennsylvania, 721; Michigan, 690;
Massachusetts, 558; Illinois, 542; Connecticut,
509; District of Columbia, 354; and Wiscon­
sin, 350.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of production workers in the print­
ing and publishing industry, including un­
skilled and semiskilled workers and printing
craftsmen, are among the highest in manu­
facturing industries. In January 1961, pro­
duction workers in this industry averaged
$106.22 a week or $2.81 an hour, compared
with $90.25 a week or $2.32 an hour for pro­
duction workers in all manufacturing in the
same month.
The amount an individual printing crafts­
man can expect to earn varies from one occu­

pation to another. Generally, the wage rates in


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

large cities are higher than in small commu­
nities. Wage rates also differ by type of print­
ing establishment. The following tabulation
shows the average union minimum hourly wage
rates for daywork for selected printing occu­
pations in 53 large cities on July 1, 1960. 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 m in im u m h o u r ly ra te,
J u ly 1, 1960
N ew sp a per

Bookbinders

B o o k an d
jo b

$3.18

_________________

Compositors, hand ___________ _____ $3.40

3.37

Electrotypers ________________

3.64

_____________ _____

3.73

Pressmen (journeymen) ____ _____

3.94

3.37

Photoengravers

3.33

Pressmen (cylinder) ____
Pressmen

3.02

(platen) _____

Stereotypers _________________ _____

3.34

3.70

A standard workweek of 37
hours was
specified in labor-management contracts cov­
ering almost half of the organized printing
trades workers, although standard workweeks
of 3 6 ^ hours are also common. A 40-hour
workweek was standard in other establish­
ments in the industry. Time and a half is
generally paid for overtime, and work on Sun­
days and holidays is customarily paid for at
time and a half or doubletime rates in most
printing establishments. In newspaper plants,
however, the craftsmen’s workweek often in­
cludes Sundays and time and a half or double­
time is paid for these days only when they are
not part of the employee’s regular shift. Nightshift workers generally receive pay differen­
tials above the standard day rates.
The starting wage rates of apprentices 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 with prior
experience, civilian or military, or in exception­
al cases, technical school training, can obtain
credit which will start them above the begin­
ning apprentice pay rate and also reduce the
length of time required to become a journey­

397

PRINTING OCCUPATIONS

man. Apprentices may be upgraded when they
show exceptional progress.
The annual earnings of printing craftsmen
depend not only on their hourly rate of pay,
but also on how regularly they are employed.
The printing industry has fewer seasonal fluc­
tuations than most other manufacturing indus­
tries and this is one of the reasons why it of­
fers steadier employment and higher average
annual earnings.
Paid vacations are typical in the industry.
The most common provision is 2 weeks' vaca­
tion with pay after 1 year's employment. Many
labor-management agreements, however, pro­
vide for 3 weeks' vacation with pay after 1 or
more years of employment. Other major bene­
fits, such as paid holidays, retirement pay, life
and disability 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 or more types
of benefits, such as life insurance, retirement,
sickness, or disability payments.
The injury-frequency rate in the printing
industry is comparable to the average for manu­
facturing industries. In 1960, the injury-fre­
quency rate was 11.2 disabling work injuries
per million man-hours worked in printing and
publishing, compared with the average of 11.3
for all manufacturing industries.
A large proportion of the skilled workers in
the industry are members of unions affiliated
with the AFL-CIO. The two largest unions are
the International Typographical Union and the
International Printing Pressmen and Assist­
ants' Union of North America. Other printing
craft unions include the International Photo
Engravers' Union of North America, Interna­
tional Stereotypers' and Electrotypers' Union
of North America, and International Brother­
hood of Bookbinders. Their names indicate
the crafts included in their membership. The
majority of lithographic workers are in plants
under contract with the Amalgamated Lithog­
raphers of America, an unaffiliated union which
organizes on a plantwide basis and, therefore,
includes both skilled craftsmen and other
Digitizedlithographic workers.
for FRASER


Where To Go for More Information

Information on opportunities for apprentice­
ship or other types of printing employment in
a particular locality may be obtained from
various sources. Applicants may apply directly
to the printing establishments in their areas.
The names and locations of local printers can
usually be obtained from the classified section
of the local telephone directory. In addition,
the local unions and employer associations in
the printing industry can often provide infor­
mation regarding apprenticeship openings. In
union shops, many apprenticeship programs
are supervised by joint union-management com­
mittees. In these plants, applicants may apply
directly to the coordinator of the joint appren­
ticeship committee. In recent years, there has
been an increasing use of local offices of the
State employment services as contact points for
apprenticeship openings. Some of these offices
provide such services as screening applicants
and giving aptitude tests. However, the final
selection is made by the employer, the joint
apprenticeship committee, or the union.
For general information on the printing in­
dustry, applicants may write to the following
organizations. (See sections on individual
printing occupations for names of labor or­
ganizations and trade associations which can
provide more information on specific printing
trades.)
American Newspaper Publishers Association,
750 Third Ave., New York 17, N.Y.
Book Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc.,
25 West 43d St., New York 36, N.Y.
Education Council of the Graphic Arts Industry,
Inc.,
1411 K St. N W , Washington 5, D.C.
Lithographers and Printers National Association,
Inc.,
1025 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
Printing Industry of America, Inc.,
5728 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 15, D.C.
Screen Process Printing Association,
549 West Randolph St., Chicago 6, 111.

398

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Com posing Room Occupations
The printing process begins in the composing
room where the manuscript copy is set in type,
chiefly by typesetting machines, but also by
hand. Machine- and hand-set type, photoengrav­
ings, and other materials necessary to complete
printing jobs are assembled there and prepared
for the pressroom.
In 1960, more than 180,000 skilled workers
(more than half of all printing craftsmen)
were employed in composing room occupations.
These occupations offer good opportunities for
young men willing to spend several years in
learning a skilled craft. Workers in these Oc­
cupations usually have year-round employment
and better-than-average earnings. The two
principal composing room occupations are those
of hand compositor and typesetting machine
operator. A skilled worker in a closely related
occupation is the proofreader (D.O.T. 1-10.07)
who compares a trial printing or “ proof” with
the original copy from which the type was set
and marks necessary corrections on this proof
to guide the compositor in making changes.
Skilled composing room workers are employed
in newspaper plants, commercial printing shops,
in periodical and book printing establishments,
and in typographical composition shops which
specialize in typesetting. They work in almost
every community throughout the country, but
employment is concentrated in larger commer­
cial and industrial cities, such as New York,
Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Boston,
Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Detroit, St.
Louis, Baltimore, and Cleveland.
Nature of Work

Hand compositors (typesetters) (D.O.T. 444.010) make up the oldest composing room oc­
cupation. An important function of workers in
this occupation is to set type by hand for fine
printing— for advertisements, for the title pages
of books and, in some cases, the text of the
book. This type of work requires highly skilled
craftsmen with artistic ability because the type
must be arranged and spaced to produce a well
balanced and pleasing effect. Hand compositors
also set type for small jobs when setting type

by machine is impractical.


In setting type by hand, the hand compositor,
reading from the manuscript copy, first sets
each line of type in a “ composing stick” (a
device which holds type in place) letter by letter
and line by line. When this stick is full, he
slides the completed lines onto a shallow metal
tray called a “ galley.” Then he assembles and
arranges machine- and hand-set type and any
needed engravings into pages. In the final step
the completed pages are put into proper sequence
for folding in the bindery, and locked into forms
called “ chases” before they are sent to the press­
room or platemaking department. After print­
ing is completed, the hand compositor breaks
down the type forms and distributes the in­
dividual pieces of type to the proper storage
compartments for reuse. In large plants, and in
many typographic composition shops, the com­
positors who specialize in page makeup are
called imposers (D.O.T. 4-44.220). These
craftsmen (also called lockup men, stonemen,
or stonehands) place the pages in the correct
order on an imposing stone or table to be locked,
by wedges, into a chase. The pages must be
placed in such order that, when folded, the
printed pages will have the proper numerical
sequence.
Typesetting machine operators are craftsmen
who operate semiautomatic machines which set
type much more rapidly than the hand composi­
tors.
Linotype (or Intertype) machine operators
(D.O.T. 4-44.110) reading from the copy
clipped to the machine’s copy board, select
letters and other characters by operating a key­
board (somewhat similar to that on a type­
writer) which has 90 keys. As they press the
keys, the letters, in forms of metal molds called
matrices, are assembled into lines of 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 impressions or
the plates are made. Nearly all newspaper plants
and large commercial shops use these machines
and operators to set type. In the smaller plants

PRINTING OCCUPATIONS

the typesetting- machine operator maintains and
repairs as well as operates the typesetting- ma­
chine. In the larger plants, maintenance ma­
chinists are employed to make all but minor
adjustments to the machines.
Other typesetting machine operators work on
Monotype machines. One machine is called the
Monotype keyboard and the other is the Mono­
type caster.
Monotype keyboard operators (D.O.T. 4-44.
120) operate keyboards somewhat similar to
those on a typewriter, but which include about
four times as many keys. The keyboard machine
produces a perforated paper tape which is later
fed into the casting machine. The keyboard
operator must be able to handle complicated
copy in his line of work, such as statistical
tables.
Monotype caster operators (D.O.T. 6-49.310)
operate the casting machines which automatic­
ally cast and assemble the type, guided by the
perforations in the paper tape prepared by the
keyboard machine. As the rolls of perforated
tape are fed into the machines the proper ma­
trices (molds) for casting letters are automatic­
ally selected by means of the perforations in
the tape. Molten metal is forced into the matrix
to form the individual characters. The Mono­
type caster machine, as the name suggests, casts
type one letter or character at a time. This per­
mits corrections to be made by hand without
the need to reset an entire line. The principal
duties of caster operators are to insert the tape,
adjust and tend the machine while it is oper­
ating, and do necessary maintenance and repair
work. Only one caster operator is employed to
every two or three keyboard operators. Composi­
tion service shops are the largest employers of
both Monotype keyboard and caster operators.
Phototypesetting machine operators set type
on machines which may be similar in appear­
ance, or method of operation, or both, to those
which cast type in hot metal. In phototype­
setting, however, a photographic process re­
places the function of the hot metal, and the
final product is a film positive of the type rather
than a metal image. 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 photographed as a line



399

New typesetting equipment requires operator to have
both typesetting and photographic skills.

of type on film. In other types of phototype­
setting machines, a perforated paper tape, or
a magnetic sound tape, is produced as the oper­
ator presses the keys. These tapes are fed into
a composing machine which “ reads” the tapes
and photographs the individual characters in­
dicated on the tape.
In addition to machine operation, the photo­
typesetter must be familiar with the fundamen­
tals of photography, including darkroom pro­
cedures, because he has to develop the film on
which the type has been photographed. He also
arranges and pastes the developed film on lay­
out sheets. This process, called “ stripping,” cor­
responds to page makeup in the hot metal type
process. The operator also makes minor repairs
on the phototypesetting machine. Since much
of this equipment has electronic controls, the
operator needs a basic working knowledge of
the principles of electronics to make the
repairs.
Typesetters also operate photolettering ma­
chines which produce lines or individual char­
acters in large-size type such as that used for
newspaper headlines and for advertisements. As
in phototypesetting, a photographic process is
involved, and the final product is a film positive.

400
Training and Other Qualifications

Apprenticeship is the principal way to be­
come a compositor, especially in unionized shops.
Many compositors, however, acquire their skills
while working as helpers for several years
(particularly in small shops and in: the smaller
communities) or through a combination of trade
school and helper experience.
Generally, such an apprenticeship covers a 6year period of progressively advanced training,
supplemented by classroom instruction or cor­
respondence courses. However, this period may
be shortened by as much as 2 to 2 y> 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 upon any particular phase of training
varies from plant to plant, depending upon the
type of printing establishment.
A typical apprenticeship program for com­
positors includes instruction in elementary hand
composition, page makeup, lockup, and lineup,
and proofreading. After basic training as a
hand compositor, the apprentice receives inten­
sive training in one or more specialized fields,
such as the operation of typesetting machines,
including phototypesetting and teletypesetting
machines, as well as specialized work in hand
composition and photocomposition.
Apprenticeship applicants generally must be
high school graduates and in good physical con­
dition. They are sometimes given aptitude tests.
Important qualifications include training in
English and mathematics. Imagination and
artistic ability are assets for a compositor in
layout work. Printing and typing courses in
vocational or high schools are good preparation
for apprentices, and a general interest in elec­
tronics and photography is also helpful.
Apprentices are paid according to a prede­
termined wage scale, which increases as the
apprenticeship period advances. At the begin­
ning of 1960, there were 5,400 registered ap­
prentices in training for skilled composing room
jobs.
Employment Outlook

There will be many opportunities for young
the skilled composing room oc­


men to enter


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

cupations during the 1960’s. Because compos­
ing room jobs make up a very large occupa­
tional field, there will be 3,000 to 4,000 job
opportunities for new workers each year just
to replace those skilled workers who retire or
die.
The anticipated expansion in the volume of
printing in the United States during the next
decade is expected to result in only a small rise
in employment for this group. This was also
true in the 1940’s and 1950’s when employment
in the composing room crafts increased much
more slowly than the volume of printing pro­
duced and the growth of total employment in
the printing industry.
Changing technology will significantly affect
the skills required of many typesetting machine
operators and will tend to limit their employ­
ment growth. Since much of the new printing
equipment being introduced in composing rooms
is controlled and operated by electronic systems,
a knowledge of the application of electronic
principles to the operation of this equipment
is becoming necessary. Also, the greater use of
phototypesetting, by which images of lines of
type are composed on phototypesetting ma­
chines, requires typesetters to learn photo­
graphic skills. A technological development
which may affect typesetters’ employment op­
portunities is a tape operated line casting ma­
chine that permits automatic typesetting by re­
mote control. A tape is punched (perforated)
on a special keyboard which may be located in
another room or another city. After the tape
is punched it may be sent by wire to various
locations where it is repunched and used to
operate typesetting machines automatically.
Even though the volume of printing is expected
to increase in the i960’s, these developments,
if widely adopted, could reduce the number of
new job openings for typesetting machine oper­
ators. The apprenticeship programs for com­
posing room craftsmen include instruction in
the operation of these new machines and re­
lated processes, and thus these skills are becom­
ing part of the present crafts.
Earnings and Working Conditions

As is true for most printing crafts, wages of
skilled composing room workers are relatively

PRINTING OCCUPATIONS

401

high compared with skilled workers generally.
However, there is considerable variation in wage
rates from place to place and from firm to firm.
The average union minimum hourly wage rate
for hand compositors on day shift in 53 large
cities was $3.37 in newspaper plants and $3.40
in book and job shops on July 1, 1960. Union
minimum wage rates for hand compositors in
book and job shops ranged from $2.69 an hour
in Springfield, Mass., to $3.91 in San Francisco.
In newspaper establishments, the union mini­
mum wage rates for day shift hand compositors
ranged from $2.61 an hour in Springfield,
Mass., to $3.66 in Minneapolis.
Working conditions for compositors vary
from plant to plant. Some heat and noise are
made by hot metal typesetting machines. In
general, the newer plants are well lighted and
clean, and many are air-conditioned. Com­
posing room jobs require about average physical
strength. Hand compositors are required 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 compositors work at night on the second
or third shift for which they generally receive
additional pay.
A substantial proportion of compositors are
members of the International Typographical
Union.
Where To Go for More Information
International Typographical Union,
2820 North Meridian St., Indianapolis 6, Ind.
International Typographic Composition Association,
Inc.
Washington Bldg., 15th and New York Ave. N W .,
Washington 5, D.C.
Lithographers and Printers National Association,
Inc.,
1025 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
Printing Industry of America, Inc.,
5728 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 15, D.C.

See page 397 for additional sources of infor­
mation.

Photoengravers
(D.O.T. 4-47.100 through .300)

Nature of Work

Photoengravers make metal printing plates
of illustrations and other copy that cannot be
set up in type. On these plates the printing
surfaces stand out in relief above the nonprint­
ing spaces, as do the letters and the accom­
panying type. Similarly, gravure photoengra­
vers, a specialized type of photoengraver, make
gravure plates in which the image is etched
below the surface for use in reproducing pic­
tures and type.
In making a photoengraving plate for the
letterpress process, the entire job may be done
either by one man or by a number of skilled
workers, each specializing in a particular opera­
tion. These specialized workers are cameramen,
printers, etchers, finishers, routers, blockers,
and provers. In the large shops, the work is
almost always divided among a number of these
specialists.
A cameraman starts the process of making a
Digitizedphotoengraving plate by photographing the ma­
for FRASER


terial to be reproduced through a cross-lined
screen, which breaks down the copy into thou­
sands of tiny dots. Plates made from line
drawings are called line plates and those from
photographs are called half-tone plates. After
the cameraman develops the negative, the
printer 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
chemical means so that when the plate is placed
in an acid bath by the etcher, only the nonimage
areas are etched away, leaving the image areas
standing out in relief.
A number of other photoengraving operations
are then performed. The finisher carefully in­
spects 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 prover prints
a sample copy on a proof press.

402

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

large newspaper and commercial plants also
have departments where this work is done.
Gravure plants are concentrated in a few States,
particularly New York, New Jersey, Illinois,
and Ohio.
Training and Other Qualifications

Photoengraver cutting away (routing) metal from
nonprinting areas of a plate.

The operations involved in gravure photo­
engraving are much like those in letterpress
photoengraving except that a positive instead of
a negative is used in making the plate, and the
image areas, rather than the background, are
etched away.
Where Employed

More than 17,000 journeymen photoengravers
were employed in 1960. The great majority of
photoengravers (about 12,000) are employed in
commercial service shops where the main busi­
ness is making photoengravings for use by
others. Newspaper and rotogravure shops em­
ploy several thousand photoengravers. In addi­
tion, book and periodical shops and the U.S.
Government Printing Office also employ photo­
engravers. Many craftsmen have their own
shops. Photoengravers’ jobs are highly concen­
trated in the largest printing centers, particu­
larly New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los
Angeles.
Gravure photoengravers work mainly in in­
dependent gravure plants. Most of them work
for the small number of big firms which handle
a large proportion of all gravure work. A few




Apprenticeship is the accepted way to become
a photoengraver. The apprenticeship program
generally covers a 5- or 6-year period and in­
cludes at least 800 hours of related classroom
instruction. Besides the care and use of tools,
the apprentice is taught to cut and square nega­
tives, make combination plates, inspect nega­
tives for defects, mix chemicals, sensitize metal,
and to operate machines used in the photo­
engraving process.
Apprenticeship applicants must be at least
18 years of age and generally must have a high
school education or its equivalent, preferably
with courses in chemistry and physics and
training in art. Credit for previous experience
acquired in photoengraving work may shorten
the required apprenticeship time. Many em­
ployers require a physical examination for pros­
pective photoengravers; the condition of the
applicant’s eyes is particularly important be­
cause a photoengraver’s duties involve constant
close work and color discrimination.

E m p lo y m e n t O u t lo o k

The anticipated continued expansion in print­
ing output, the greater use of photographs and
other illustrations, and the increasing use of
color are expected to result in only a small in­
crease in the number of photoengravers during
the 1960’s. Technological changes, such as wider
use of phototypesetting and more rapid etching
techniques, may result in more work for photo­
engravers, but the introduction of photographi­
cally and electrically made plates may limit the
growth of employment of these workers. On
the average, employment growth and replace­
ment needs together probably will result in 500
to 800 openings for new workers each year
during the 1960’s.

PRINTING OCCUPATIONS

403

Earnings and Working Conditions

Photoengravers are among the highest paid
printing craftsmen. The union minimum hourly
wage rate for photoengravers, including gra­
vure, in book and job shops, in 53 large cities
ranged from $2.98 in New Orleans to $4.50 in
Chicago on July 1, 1960.
The great majority of photoengravers are
union members. Nearly all photoengravers are
represented by the International Photo Engrav­
ers’ Union of North America.

Where To Go for More Information
American Photoengravers Association,
166 West Van Buren St., Chicago 4, 111.
International Photo Engravers’ Union of North
America,
3605 Potomac St., St. Louis 16, Mo.
Lithographers and Printers National Association,
Inc.,
1025 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
Printing Industry of America, Inc.,
5728 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 15, D.C.

See page 397 for additional sources of infor­
mation.

Electrotypers and Stereotypers
Nature of Work

Electrotypers (D.O.T. 4-45.010) and stereo­
typers (D.O.T. 4-45.210) 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. Stereotypes, which are less
durable, are used chiefly in newspaper work.
Electrotyping and stereotyping are necessary
because most volume printing requires the use of
duplicate printing plates. When a large edition
of a book or magazine is printed, several plates
must be used to replace those which become too
worn to make clear impressions. Also, by means
of duplicate plates, printers can use several
presses at the same time, and thus finish a big
run quickly. This is especially important in pub­
lishing daily newspapers. Furthermore, the
rotary presses used in many big plants require
curved plates which can be made by either
electrotyping or stereotyping processes from
the flat type forms.
Several steps are required to produce a fine
metal plate ready for use in the pressroom. In
electrotyping, the first step is making a wax or
plastic mold of the type form, coating it with
special chemical solutions, and then suspending
it in an electrolytic solution containing metal.
This leaves a metallic shell on the coated mold,
which is then stripped from the mold, backed
with metal or plastic, and carefully finished.
The stereotyping process is much simpler,
quicker, and less expensive than electrotyping,




Electrotyper removing completed shell from a mold.

but it does not yield as durable or as fine a
plate. Stereotypers make molds or mats of
papier mache (a strong material composed of
paper pulp) instead of wax or plastic. This
involves placing the moist mat (in newspaper
printing, usually a dry mat) on the type form,
and covering it with a cork blanket and sheet
of fiberboard. The covered form is then run
under heavy power-driven steel rollers to im­

404
press the type and photoengraving on the mat.
After the paper mold has been dried, it is placed
in a stereotype casting machine which casts a
composition lead plate on the mold. In the
larger plants, stereotype plates are usually cast
automatically in a machine known as an auto­
plate.
In many of the larger plants, electrotypers
and stereotypers perform 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 respec­
tive trades.
Many electrotypers work in large plants
which print books and periodicals. Stereotypers
generally work in newspaper plants, but some
are employed in large commercial printing
plants. Electrotypers and stereotypers are also
employed in independent service shops which
do this work for printing firms.
Training and Other Qualifications

Nearly all electrotypers and stereotypers
learn their trades through apprenticeship.
Electrotyping and stereotyping are separate
crafts, and there is little transferability between
the two. The apprenticeship program in each
trade covers all phases of the work and almost
always includes classes in related technical sub­
jects as well as training on the job. Apprentice­
ship training for electrotypers and stereotypers
usually covers a 5- or 6-year period of reasonably
continuous employment.
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 include me­
chanical training and courses in chemistry.
Physical examinations and aptitude tests are
often given to prospective apprentices. The
emphasis placed upon different phases of train­
ing varies from plant to plant, however, depend­
ing upon the type of printing establishment.
Apprenticeship training for stereotypers in­
cludes matrix molding, flat casting, color re­
gister, curved routing, and the use of casting
machines. Because electrotypers specialize in
one or more of the various aspects of the trade,
the
 apprenticeship programs generally tend to


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

provide specialized training for such specific
jobs as molding and finishing.
Employment Outlook

Employment of electrotypers and stereotypers
is not expected to increase during the 1960's.
Although the anticipated growth in the total
volume of printing should result in an increasing
demand for platemaking, employment in these
crafts probably will remain about the same be­
cause of technological changes. For example,
the increasing use of automatic plate composi­
tion eliminates many steps in platemaking, and
plastic and rubber plates are being increasingly
made outside electrotyping and stereotyping
shops.
Earnings and Working Conditions

On July 1, 1960, the union minimum hourly
wage rate for electrotypers and stereotypers in
53 large cities averaged $3.47 or more an hour.
Union minimum hourly wage rates for electro­
typers in book and job plants ranged from $3.01
an hour in Baltimore to $4.05 an hour in Seattle.
In newspaper plants, rates for day shift stereo­
typers ranged from $2.76 an hour in Springfield, Mass., to $3.81 an hour in Chicago.
Much of the work requires little physical
effort since the preparation of duplicate print­
ing plates is highly mechanized. However, there
is some lifting of relatively heavy, hot press
plates.
Nearly all electrotypers and stereotypers are
members of the International Stereotypers’ and
Electrotypers’ Union of North America.
Where To Go for More Information
International Stereotypers’ and Electrotypers’
Union of North America,
752 Old South Building, Boston 8, Mass.
International Association of Electrotypers and
Stereotypers, Inc.,
758 Leader Building, Cleveland 14, Ohio.
Lithographers and Printers National Association,
Inc.,
1025 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
Printing Industry of America, Inc.,
5728 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 15, D.C.

See page 397 for additional sources of infor­
mation.

405

PRINTING OCCUPATIONS

Printing Pressmen and Assistants
(D.O.T. 4-48.010, .020, .030, and .060; 6-49.410, .420, and .430)

Nature of Work

The actual printing- operation is performed
in the pressroom. After the type forms come
from the composing room, the press plates from
the electrotyping and stereotyping department,
or the gravure or lithographic plates have been
brought to the pressroom, they are made ready
for final printing by the printing pressmen.
The pressmen’s basic duties are to “ makeready” and then tend the presses while they
are in operation.
The object of makeready, which is one of
the most delicate and difficult parts of the
pressman’s work, is to insure printing impres­
sions that are distinct and uniform. This is
accomplished by such means as placing pieces
of paper of exactly the right thickness under­
neath 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 are often fed pa­
per by hand. At the other extreme are the
enormous web-rotary presses used by the big
newspaper and magazine printing plants. These
giant presses are fed paper in big rolls called
“ webs.” They print the paper on both sides
by means of a series of cylinders; cut, assem­
ble, and fold the pages; and, finally, count the
finished newspaper sections which emerge from
the press ready for the mailing room. These
steps are accomplished automatically by means
of many different mechanisms, each of which
calls for constant attention while a run is being
made. Presses of this kind are operated by
crews of journeymen and less skilled workers
under the direction of a pressman-in-charge.
Although the basic duties of lithographic
(offset) pressmen are similar to those of let­
terpress and gravure pressmen, a number of
differences arise, principally because of the
specialized character of lithographic presses.
(See p. 407 for further details.)
The duties of press assistants range from
feeding sheets of paper into hand-fed presses
to helping pressmen makeready and operate
large and complicated rotary presses. Workers
whose main responsibility is feeding are often
called press feeders. The ratio of assistants to
pressmen differs from one establishment to an­
other, depending on the size of the plant, the
type of press used, and other factors. Many
shops are too small to have pressroom assist­
ants.
Training and Other Qualifications

Chief pressman controlling operation of large press
from console.




As in the other printing crafts, the most
common way of learning the pressman’s trade
is through apprenticeship. Some workers have

406
been able to pick up 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 con­
tent of training depend largely on the kind of
press used in the plant. The apprenticeship
period is 2 years for press assistants and 4 years
for pressmen in commercial shops. In news­
paper establishments the apprenticeship period
is 5 years. The apprenticeship period for press­
men operating web presses is generally 5 years
in union shops. On-the-job training 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 on-the-job instruction,
the apprenticeship involves related classroom
or correspondence schoolwork. At the begin­
ning of 1960, there were about 3,200 registered
apprentices in training and perhaps 2,000 oth­
ers in unregistered programs.
Individual companies generally choose ap­
prentices from among press assistants and oth­
ers already employed in the plant. Young men
may often work for 2 or 3 years in the press­
room before they are selected to begin 2- to
4-year training periods leading to journeyman
status. A high school education or its equiva­
lent is generally required. Mechanical aptitude
is important in making press adjustments and
repairs. Art courses may also be helpful be­
cause the increased use of color presses and the
need for pressmen who are able to mix their
own inks have made a knowledge of color im­
portant. Physical strength and endurance are
necessary 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 expected to in­
crease moderately in the 1960’s. Although the
total amount of printing, and the use of color
is expected to rise, continued improvements
in the speed and efficiency of printing presses



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

may slow somewhat the rate of employment
growth in this skilled craft.
The need to replace workers who retire, die,
or transfer to other fields of work will also
result in job opportunities for new workers.
Retirements and deaths alone may result in
about 1,000 job openings each year in the
1960’s.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The earnings of pressmen depend upon the
kind of press operated, the type of printing
plant, and the geographical area of employ­
ment. A survey of union minimum hourly wage
rates for daywork in 53 large cities shows that
the average minimum hourly rate in effect on
July 1, 1960, for newspaper pressmen-in-charge
was $3.67; for newspaper pressmen (journey­
men), $3.37; for book and job cylinder press­
men, $3.33; for book and job platen pressmen,
$3.02; and for book and job press assistants and
feeders, $2.75.
Pressrooms are unavoidably noisy; also, there
are the usual occupational hazards associated
with machinery. Pressmen often have to lift
heavy type forms and printing press plates. At
times, they work under pressure to meet dead­
lines, especially in the printing of newspapers
and magazines. Many pressmen work night
shifts for which the rate of pay is higher than
the basic day rate.
A majority of pressroom workers are covered
by union agreements. Practically all of the
organized letterpress and gravure pressmen are
members of the International Printing Press­
men and Assistants’ Union of North America.
Where To Go for More Information
International Printing Pressmen and Assistants’
Union of North America,
Pressmen’s Home, Tenn.
Lithographers and Printers National Association,
Inc.,
1025 Connecticut Ave. NW ., Washington 6, D.C.
Printing Industry of America, Inc.,
5728 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 15, D.C.

See page 397 for additional sources of infor­
mation.

PRINTING OCCUPATIONS

407
Lithographic Occupations

Nature of Work

Lithography (offset printing) is one of the
most rapidly growing printing processes, al­
though it is less common than letterpress. Prac­
tically all items printed by the letterpress pro­
cess are also produced by lithography— includ­
ing books, calendars, maps, posters, labels, office
forms, sheet music, and even newspapers. Li­
thography has special advantages when the copy
to be reproduced includes photographs, draw­
ings, or paintings, since it permits greater flexi­
bility in the type of paper that can be used.
Several processes are involved in lithography,
and each is performed by a specialized group
of workers. The main groups of lithographic
workers are cameramen, artists and letterers,
strippers, platemakers, and pressmen.
The cameraman (D.O.T. 4-46.200) starts the
process of making a lithographic plate by photo­
graphing the copy. He is generally classified as
a line cameraman (black and white) half-tone
cameraman (black and white), or color separa­
tion photographer.
After the negatives have been made, they
frequently need retouching to lighten or darken
certain parts. Thus, it is often necessary for a
lithographic artist (D.O.T. 4-46.700) to make
corrections by sharpening or reshaping images
on the negatives. Highly skilled workers per­
form 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 retouch­
ing methods or in hand drawing with litho­
graphic crayon. Like cameramen, they are
customarily assigned to only one phase of the
work and may then be known, for example, as
dot etchers, retouchers, crayon artists, or letter­
ers, depending on their particular job.
The stripper (D.O.T. 4-47.300) makes layouts
on paper, glass, or film. He arranges and pastes
the negatives or positives of type, pictures, and
other art work on the layout sheets called flats
or “ strip-ups,” from which photographic im­
pressions are made for the lithographic press
plates. The job of the stripper in the litho­
graphic process corresponds to that of the imposer in the letterpress process.



In photolithography, employees in the plate­
making department expose press plates to nega­
tives or positives which are made by the camera­
men and corrected by artists. The platemaker
(D.O.T. 4-46.300) .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 exposes 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 is then developed and chemically
treated to bring out the image.
The lithographic pressman (D.O.T. 4-48.070)
makes ready and tends the lithographic printing
presses. He installs the plate on the press, ad­
justs the pressure for proper printing, cares for
and adjusts the rubber blanket which transfers
the impression from the plate to the paper, ad­
justs water and ink rollers for correct operation,

Cameraman adjusting filter in camera before making a
color negative for a printing plate.

408
mixes inks, and operates the presses. Basically,
the duties of these workers are similar to those
of letterpress and gravure pressmen. Some dif­
ferences arise, however, because of the special­
ized nature of lithographic presses. In large
plants, press feeders and helpers are employed
whose duties are also similar to those of assist­
ants and helpers to letterpress and gravure
pressmen. (See p. 405.)
Training and Other Qualifications

A 4- or 5-year apprenticeship covering the
basic lithographic process is usually required to
become an all-round lithographic craftsman.
Training emphasis is on the specific occupation
in which journeyman status is being sought,
although generally, an attempt is made to make
the apprentice familiar with all lithographic
operations.
Generally, apprenticeship applicants must be
in good physical condition, a high school grad­
uate, and at least 18 years of age. Aptitude
tests are sometimes given to prospective appren­
tices. Vocational school training and training
in photography or art are helpful in learning
these crafts.
Employment Outlook

A rapid rise in the number of lithographic
workers is expected during the 1960’s. In addi­
tion, the need to replace workers who retire, die,
or transfer to other fields of work will also pro­
vide some job openings. Employment growth
and replacement needs together are expected to
provide about 1,500 to 2,000 job opportunities
for new workers, on the average, each year
during the 1960’s.
Offset printing has expanded considerably
since World War II, particularly in the com­
mercial printing field where a large number of
letterpress concerns have established offset de­
partments. In 1960, an estimated 50,000 jour­
neymen lithographic workers were employed.
Offset printing employment should show con­
tinued rapid growth because of the greater use
of photographs, drawings, and illustrations in
printed matter, and because of the more wide­

spread use of color in many printed products.


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

However, new technological developments in the
competitive letterpress field, particularly in the
platemaking and press departments, may slow
somewhat the anticipated increase in litho­
graphic employment.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Union minimum hourly wage rates for litho­
graphic occupations vary within each occupa­
tion, depending upon the degree of skill required,
the type and size of equipment, and the part of
the country in which the worker is employed.
For example, according to information on mini­
mum union hourly wage rates in 46 selected
cities, during 1960, compiled by the National
Association of Photo Lithographers, wage rates
for dot etchers or process artists and letterers
ranged from $2.74 an hour in Little Rock to
$4.20 an hour in San Francisco. Rates for cam­
eramen, which are generally below those for
skilled artists, ranged from $2.74 an hour in
Little Rock to $4.14 an hour in San Francisco.
In many plants, top-grade cameramen earn as
much as the highly skilled artists, and camera­
men who do multicolor work are paid more than
those who do only black and white work. Mini­
mum hourly rates of photocomposition oper­
ators ranged from $2.99 an hour in Evansville,
Ind., to $4.06 an hour in San Francisco, and
vacuum frame platemakers’ hourly rates ranged
from $2.74 an hour in Little Rock to $4.06 an
hour in San Francisco. The wide range of rates
for lithographic pressmen— from $1.95 an hour
for Multilith machine operators and operators
of small presses in Little Rock to $5.15 an hour
for first pressmen on large four-color presses
in Boston— is due to the many different types
and sizes of presses operated.
Many lithographic plants are modern, airconditioned, and well lighted. Much of the work
requires little physical effort since it involves
the handling of lightweight materials.
A substantial proportion of all lithographic
workers are members of the Amalgamated
Lithographers of America (Ind.). A consider­
able number of offset pressmen and other offset
workers belong to the International Printing
Pressmen and Assistants' Union of North
America.

409

PRINTING OCCUPATIONS

Where To Go for More Information
Amalgamated Lithographers of America (Ind.),
233 West 49th St., New York 19, N.Y.
International Printing Pressmen and Assistants’
Union of North America,
Pressmen’s Home, Tenn.
Lithographers and Printers Nation* 1 Association,
1025 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.

Lithographic Technical Foundation, Inc.,
131 East 39th St., New York 16, N .Y.
National Association of Photo-Lithographers,
317 West 45th St., New York 36, N .Y.
Printing Industry of America, Inc.,
5728 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 15, D.C.

See page 397 for additional sources of infor­
mation.

Bookbinders and Related Workers
Nature of Work

Many printed items such as books, magazines,
pamphlets, and small 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. 4-49.010 through
.040) who numbered about 23,000 in 1960.
Many bookbinders are employed in shops whose
chief business is bookbinding. However, a con­
siderable number are employed in the bindery
departments of large book, periodical, and com­
mercial printing plants and of 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 customers. Blankbook and looseleaf bind­
eries bind ledgers and bookkeeping and account­
ing volumes.
Edition binding— making books in quantity
from big, flat printed sheets of paper— is by far
the most complicated. The first step in the
process is to fold the printed sheets into sec­
tions of 16 or 32 pages, known as “ signatures,”
so that the sheets will be in the right order.
The next steps are to insert any illustrations
that have been printed separately, to gather
and assemble the signatures in proper order,
and to sew them together. The resulting book
bodies are shaped with power presses and
trimming machines, and fabric strips are glued
to the backs for reinforcement. Covers are
glued or pasted onto the book bodies, after which
the books undergo a variety of finishing opera­
tions and, frequently, are wrapped in paper
jackets. Machines are used extensively through­
out the process.



Skilled bookbinders seldom perform all the
different edition bindery tasks, although many
journeymen have had training in all of them.
In large shops, skilled bookbinders 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 employees trained
in only one operation or in a small number of
relatively simple, related tasks. Most of these
workers, often classified as bindery workers or
bindery hands, are women (hence the common
designation, bindery women). Their work

Bindery workers assembling material on gathering
machine.

410
closely resembles assembly line factory work.
About 45,000 women and men were employed
in these operations in 1960.
Training and Other Qualifications

A 4- or 5-year apprenticeship which includes
on-the-job training* as well as related classroom
instruction is generally required to qualify as a
skilled bookbinder. Apprenticeship programs
may vary considerably among the various types
of bookbinding shops. When large quantities of
books are bound on a mass production (edition)
basis, emphasis is on the most modern machine
methods. In fine hand binding, emphasis is
mainly on hand methods, including artistic de­
signing and decorating of leather covers. For
many years, hand bookbinding has been de­
clining in importance.
Apprenticeship applicants usually must have
a high school education and be at least 18 years
of age. Mechanical aptitude is helpful to the
person entering this trade. In the course of the
apprenticeship, trainees learn, among other
things, to assemble signatures, renovate old,
worn bindings, and use various binding ma­
chines such as punches, folders, perforators,
stitchers, and power cutters.
For the less skilled bindery occupations, 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 instruction as well as on-the-job
training.

Employment Outlook

Some increase in the employment of skilled
bookbinders is expected during the 1960’s. In
addition, replacement of skilled workers who
retire, die, or leave the industry for other em­
ployment will result in several hundred oppor­
tunities each year for new workers to learn this
trade. There will be considerably more openings
for the less skilled bindery workers.
 The anticipated expansion of bound printed


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

matter is expected to result in some employment
growth for skilled bookbinders. Continued me­
chanization of bookbinding operations and the
declining demand for fine hand bookbinding
will tend to limit the growth of this trade. On
the other hand, these same trends should result
in increased employment for the less skilled
bindery workers, most of whom are women.
Because there is considerable turnover among
these employees, there will be a relatively large
number of openings for women workers. Sea­
sonal fluctuations in employment are more
common in bindery work than in other printing
occupations.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Wage rates for skilled bookbinders tend to be
below the average of other printing crafts. A
survey of union minimum hourly wage rates in
53 large cities, as of July 1, 1960, showed that
the minimum hourly wage rate for bookbinders
in book and job establishments was generally
more than $2.60 an hour and as high as $3.87
in the San Francisco-Oakland area. The wage
rates for bindery women are considerably lower
and are among the lowest for printing industry
workers. They ranged from $1.40 an hour in
Little Rock to $2.43 in the San FranciscoOakland area.
A majority of bindery workers are members
of unions. Most skilled bookbinders are repre­
sented by the International Brotherhood of
Bookbinders.

Where To Go for More Information
International Brotherhood of Bookbinders,
815 16th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
Lithographers and Printers National Association,
Inc.,
1025 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
Printing Industry of America, Inc.,
5728 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 15, D.C.

See page 397 for additional sources of infor­
mation.

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN
Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics
Nature of Work

The growing use of air-conditioning and
refrigeration equipment throughout the Nation
is providing many job opportunities for skilled
mechanics who install and repair such equip­
ment in office buildings, factories, homes, food
stores, restaurants, theaters, and other establish­
ments. (This chapter does not discuss mechanics
who work on railroad, truck, automotive, or
marine air-conditioning and refrigeration equip­
ment. )
In installing new air-conditioning or refrig­
eration equipment, the mechanic puts the
motors, condensers, and humidifiers in proper
position, following design specifications. He as­
sembles and connects duct work, refrigerant
lines and other piping, and then connects the
equipment to an electrical power source. He
installs electrical controls and checks the elec­
tric power entering the motor. After completing
the installation and connecting the recording
and gaging devices, the mechanic starts the unit
and tests it for proper performance and for
leaks. He also adjusts the pumps, humidifiers,
filters, and other components in order to obtain
the most efficient performance.
The mechanic may install air-conditioning
equipment ranging from small, self-contained
units to large central-plant-type systems. On
small installations, he may have to prepare his
own working diagrams and do simple layout
work, such as measuring and cutting pipe. On
large installation jobs, the mechanic must read
and interpret blueprints or drawings.
Mechanics engaged in maintenance work
regularly lubricate machinery, replenish liquid
refrigerant, adjust valves, and examine other
parts of the equipment to detect leaks and
other defects before trouble develops. When
air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment
breaks down, the mechanic must diagnose the




cause and make the necessary repairs. In look­
ing for defects, he may take the motor apart,
removing
such parts
as
springs
and
brushes. After the cause of the trouble has
been located and the defective part repaired
or replaced, the mechanic reassembles the
unit. He also may make electrical repairs in
connection with his work. The mechanic uses
tools and equipment, such as electric drills,
soldering torches, pipe benders, hammers,
screwdrivers, pliers, and testing devices, such
as leak detectors and test lights.
Where Employed

A considerable number of these mechanics are
employed in shops which specialize in the re­
pair and maintenance of commercial, indus­
trial, and home air-conditioning and refrigera­
tion equipment. Others work for construction

Air-conditioning mechanics installing indoor unit in
home basement.

411

412
companies, air-conditioning or refrigeration
equipment manufacturers, heating and airconditioning contractors, and dealers. Some
are employed by department stores, hotels, res­
taurant and food store chains, factories, ware­
houses, and other establishments large enough
to require full-time maintenance men. Many
mechanics have opened their own repair shops.
Because of the widespread use of air-con­
ditioning and refrigeration equipment, these
workers are employed in all parts of the coun­
try. However, they are employed mainly in the
large cities where most of the large com­
mercial and industrial establishments are lo­
cated. New York, Texas, California, Pennsyl­
vania, Ohio, and Illinois lead in the number of
these workers.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most air-conditioning and refrigeration me­
chanics start as helpers and acquire the skills
of their trade by working for several years
with experienced craftsmen. Apprentice train­
ing is another way of learning this trade and
is growing in importance as air-condition­
ing and refrigeration equipment becomes more
complex. The apprenticeship programs, which
generally last 4 or 5 years, include both onthe-job experience and classroom instruction.
Apprentices are given training in the instal­
ling and connecting of refrigeration equip­
ment, gas lines, liquid lines, air-control lines,
and other kinds of piping. They are also taught
to do layout and assembly work and to install
and connect electrical circuits and controls.
Apprentices are given classroom instruction
in mathematics, electrical controls, blueprint
reading, compression refrigerating systems,
heat transfer and insulation, and related sub­
jects.
Employers prefer to hire high school gradu­
ates who have had courses in mathematics, phy­
sics, and blueprint reading. Mechanical aptitude
and the ability to understand and work with
electricity are other important qualifications.
Young persons interested in advancing to
higher level air-conditioning and refrigeration
jobs as technicians or foremen are frequently

advised by training authorities to attend


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

a technical institute. (Additional information
about air-conditioning and refrigeration tech­
nicians appears in the chapter on Technicians.
(See index for page number.) In these schools,
students are taught to design and construct as
well as to install, operate, maintain, and repair
all types of air-conditioning and refrigeration
equipment. They also take courses in mathe­
matics, physics, electricity, and mechanical
drawing.
Although great strength is not needed in this
occupation, good physical condition is impor­
tant because a mechanic is often required to
lift and move heavy equipment.
Employment Outlook

A demand for many thousands of additional
mechanics who can install, maintain, and re­
pair air-conditioning and refrigeration equip­
ment is expected in the 1960’s. Many job
openings will also arise as workers retire, die,
or transfer to other fields of work.
A rapid growth in the number of jobs for
mechanics is anticipated because of the con­
tinued increase in the use of air-conditioning
and refrigeration equipment.
Air condi­
tioning for industrial, commercial, and home
use is becoming more and more widespread.
The use of air conditioning in offices, stores,
and theaters is increasing tremendously. In
homes, the number of centrally installed
air-conditioning units doubled between 1957
and 1960. The use of refrigeration as a means
of preserving food and other perishable items
has grown greatly in recent years. Refrigera­
tion also is becoming increasingly important
in the manufacture of such products as syn­
thetic rubber, oil, high-test gasoline, medicine,
and drugs.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Information collected from a small number of
employers in selected cities on the East Coast
and in the Midwest and from union-manage­
ment contracts, shows that the earnings of
these workers compare favorably with those of
other service mechanics. The rates of pay for
skilled mechanics depend on such factors as

413

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

the size of equipment they work on, the type
of work performed, and the type of establish­
ment in which they are employed. For
example, in mid-1960 in some establishments,
skilled mechanics performing maintenance
and repair work on small equipment were re­
ceiving from $2 to slightly more than $3.25 an
hour; men working on equipment of higher
horsepower were being paid about $3.75 an
hour. Mechanics doing installation work gen­
erally were receiving from $3 to more than $4
an hour. Air-conditioning and refrigeration
mechanics working on commercial equipment
frequently earned more than those employed on
household equipment, even when the equipment
was of the same size. Apprentices usually start
at about 50 percent of the journeyman’s hourly
pay rate and receive increases each year, mov­
ing up to 75 to 90 percent of the journeyman’s
rate during the last year of apprenticeship.
Although most employers try to maintain the
same work force throughout the year, they
may have to lay off some mechanics during the
winter months. In air-conditioning and refrig­
erator contractor shops which also install and
repair heating equipment, the mechanics may
work on heating equipment during the winter
months. Most mechanics work a 40-hour week.
However, during the summer months they

must often work overtime or at irregular hours
when refrigeration or air-conditioning equip­
ment breaks down. Overtime work in most
shops is paid for at time and one-half the regu­
lar rate.
Mechanics are sometimes required to work
at great heights while installing new
equipment. They may also work in awkward
or cramped positions in order to reach motors
or other parts of the equipment they are repair­
ing. Common hazards in this trade include elec­
trical shock, torch burns, and those associated
with the handling of heavy equipment.
Many air-conditioning and refrigeration me­
chanics belong to labor unions. Some of these
unions are the United Association of Journey­
men and Apprentices of the Plumbing and
Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and
Canada; the International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers ; the Sheet Metal Workers’
International Association; and the Interna­
tional Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine
Workers.
Most employer-union contracts
covering air-conditioning and refrigeration
mechanics provide benefit programs such as
paid holidays and vacations; hospitalization,
medical and surgical insurance; and retire­
ment pensions.

Appliance
(D.O.T. 5-83.043)

Nature of Work

When washing machines, refrigerators,
toasters, and the dozens of other appliances
used in homes today do not run properly, appli­
ance servicemen repair them. The repair of
large and complicated appliances such as re­
frigerators and washing machines (which may
have as many as 30 electrical connections in
the control unit alone) is considerably more
difficult than the repair of small appliances such
as toasters and food mixers. However, all the
work performed by appliance servicemen in­
volves finding why appliances are not operating
properly and then installing new parts or
making adjustments.

To learn why an appliance is not operating


properly, appliance servicemen first find out
from customers what happened when it was
last turned on. They often check the appliance
by starting it and listening for loud humming,
grinding, or other unusual noises, which might
tell them what part of the appliance is not
working properly. Sometimes servicemen look
specifically for common signs of trouble, such
as cracks in rubber hose, or they turn gears
or other moving parts of appliances to see if
they are jammed or too tight. Appliance serv­
icemen find other causes of trouble by using
special tools and testing devices.
After servicemen find what is wrong with
appliances, they make the necessary repairs.
Frequently, this involves replacing parts, such
as electric cords, that receive extra hard wear.

414

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Where Employed

Approximately 150,000 appliance servicemen
were employed in 1960. TJhey worked in almost
every city and town because the appliances they
repair are used everywhere. About 105,000
servicemen were employed by appliance, furni­
ture, and department stores, and by other firms
that sell and service appliances. Independent
repair shops, many of which were owned and
operated by servicemen, employed about 25,000
of these workers. Another 15,000 servicemen
were employed by gas and electric companies.
A few thousand worked for the manufacturers
of appliances who operate service centers in
most large cities. Some appliance servicemen
are employed by companies that install and
maintain coin-operated washing machines in
apartment houses and self-service laundries.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement
Appliance serviceman finding leak in refrigerator
cooling system.

Sometimes servicemen clean parts; for example,
they remove lint that has clogged a washing
machine drain. In removing old parts and
putting in new parts, appliance servicemen use
not only handtools, such as screwdrivers, pliers,
and wrenches, but also special tools designed
for particular appliances.
An important part of the work of appliance
servicemen is dealing personally with customers.
They often answer customers’ complaints about
their appliances. Appliance servicemen fre­
quently advise customers about the care and
use of their appliances, because many break­
downs are caused by improper use. For example,
they may remind housewives how many pounds
of clothing can be washed at one time in auto­
matic washing machines, or how to stack dishes
in dishwashers.
The work of appliance servicemen has con­
siderable variety. They drive light trucks or
automobiles, some of which are equipped with
two-way radios. They give estimates to cus­
tomers on the costs of repair jobs and keep rec­
ords of parts used and hours worked on each
repair job. Also, they sometimes order parts
and sell new or used appliances.




Appliance servicemen are usually hired as
helpers and acquire their skills through on-thejob training and work experience. Inexperienced
men are given relatively simple work assign­
ments. In some companies, they work for the
first few months mainly helping to install ap­
pliances in customers’ homes, driving service
trucks, and learning street locations. In other
companies, they begin to learn the skills of
appliance servicemen by working in the shop,
where they rebuild used parts such as washing
machine transmissions. Gradually, trainees
learn how motors, gears, and other appliance
parts operate. They progress from simple repair
jobs, such as replacing a switch, to more diffi­
cult jobs, such as adjusting automatic washing
machine controls. In addition to practical ex­
perience on the job, trainees frequently receive
classroom instruction given by appliance manu­
facturers and local distributors. Many trainees
take correspondence courses in basic electricity
to increase their skills in appliance repair.
Trainees are usually supervised closely for 6
to 12 months. By this time, most of them can
repair several kinds of appliances on their own,
and they may be given responsibility for their
own service trucks and for expensive stocks of
appliance parts and tools. Appliance servicemen
usually need up to 3 years’ on-the-job experience

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

to become fully qualified. Many experienced
servicemen attend training* classes (often on
company time) and study service manuals to
become familiar with new appliances and the
best ways to repair them.
Employers generally prefer applicants who
are high school graduates and who have had
high school or vocational school courses in
electricity or in physics. They must understand,
in a practical way, how to use equipment that
measures electricity and be able to use *such
measurements in solving* equations or formulas
that tell whether electrical currents in appli­
ances are flowing properly. Also important in
servicing appliances is a knowledge of wiring
diagrams which show electrical connections be­
tween appliance parts.
Employers also look for men who can get
along well with customers. Employers empha­
size that mechanical skills are only part of the
qualifications for servicemen's work. Service­
men must be tactful and courteous. Sometimes
this is difficult, for example, when explaining
to a customer the right way to operate an ap­
pliance that has been used incorrectly. Service­
men also are expected to dress neatly and to
avoid getting grease or dirt on floors and furni­
ture.
Appliance servicemen can be promoted to
foreman, assistant service manager, or serv­
ice manager. Preference is given to men who
have shown ability to get along well with other
servicemen and with customers. A general
knowledge of bookkeeping and other subjects
related to managing a business is also helpful
in getting ahead. Servicemen who work for ap­
pliance manufacturers may advance to other
higher paying jobs. They may teach service­
men to repair new models of appliances. They
may also write service manuals. Because of
their experience in repairing appliances and
dealing with all types of customers, appliance
servicemen often become successful appliance
salesmen. Experienced appliance servicemen
may open their own repair shops.
Employment Outlook

Employment of appliance servicemen is ex­
pected to grow rapidly during the 1960's. Most



415
new employment opportunities in this expand­
ing occupation will occur because more appli­
ances will be used and many new appliances
will be more complex and require greater main­
tenance and repair. Some job openings will oc­
cur each year as a result of the need to replace
servicemen who are promoted or who transfer
to other fields of work. Other opportunities will
arise because of the need to replace workers
who die or retire.
Appliances have become an essential part of
our daily living. Some homes now have
as many as 20 appliances. During the 1950's
increasing numbers of basic gas and electric
appliances such as refrigerators, washing ma­
chines, air conditioners, ranges, vacuum
cleaners, food mixers, and heating pads
were purchased. In addition, new appliances
(electric can openers, for example) were intro­
duced, and their use spread rapidly. Ap­
pliances that were not widely used 10 years
ago, such as dishwashers, have become
more popular.
Growing population and increasing numbers
of young married adults, who spend large
amounts of their incomes for furniture and ap­
pliances, will continue to stimulate demands
for appliances during the 1960's. Appliance
sales will also increase with rising incomes
and standards of living. New and more com­
plicated appliances, such as electronic ovens,
as they become popular, will also result in the
need for more appliance servicemen with
higher levels of skill. Refrigerators and ovens
that are set into walls or cabinets and other
modern appliances that are more convenient
and easier to operate, will be more widely used.
Air conditioners will also be installed in many
more homes during the 1960's.
Because the increasing complexity of many
modern appliances has made appliance repair
work more difficult, manufacturers are design­
ing appliances with more durable parts
that will need fewer repairs and appli­
ances that can be taken apart and fixed more
easily. In addition, appliance manufacturers
and other employers are increasing the
efficiency of servicemen through more wide­
spread and more effective training. Despite

416

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

these improvements, large numbers of service­
men will be needed each year.
Mechanically inclined young men who are
not planning to attend college will find many
opportunities in the growing appliance repair
field. Servicemen who have a working knowl­
edge of electricity, and especially those who
know electronics, will be able to find a variety
of good jobs almost everywhere. In addition,
there will be more year-round jobs for service­
men. One reason is that more people are ex­
pected to sign yearly service contracts with
companies which agree to keep their ap­
pliances in good operating condition.
Earnings and Working Conditions

National wage data are not available for ap­
pliance servicemen.
Information obtained
from several large employers in mid-1960 indi­
cated that appliance servicemen generally re­
ceive from $95 to $115 for a 40-hour workweek.
Some highly skilled men earned up to $125 a
week. Trainees usually were paid from about
$65 to $80 a week. Appliance servicemen who
worked on large appliances generally earned
more than those who worked only on small ap­
pliances. In shops where only small appliances
were repaired, men often received a daily
bonus when they repaired more than a cer­
tain minimum number of appliances. Many ap­
pliance servicemen work more than 40 hours
a week and receive higher rates of pay for the
overtime hours.

Many appliance servicemen working for
manufacturers' service centers, gas and elec­
tric companies, and other employers received
paid vacations and sick leave, health insurance,
and other benefits, as well as credit toward re­
tirement pensions. Some of these companies
also sponsored employee savings funds and
contributed money to the accounts of em­
ployees who participated.
The shops in which appliance servicemen
work are relatively quiet, well lighted, and ade­
quately ventilated. While repairing small ap­
pliances, servicemen usually sit at benches.
Working conditions outside the shop vary con­
siderably. Servicemen sometimes work in nar­
row spaces, uncomfortable positions, and
places that are not clean. Servicemen who
work with large appliances may spend 1 or 2
hours a day driving in all kinds of weather be­
tween customers' homes and the shops where
they work.
Appliance repair work is generally safe,
although accidents are possible while the serv­
iceman is driving, handling electrical parts, or
lifting or moving large appliances. Few acci­
dents occur because inexperienced men are
warned to use tools cautiously and to follow
simple precautions against electric shock,
such as keeping hands dry while handling elec­
tric wires.
The work of appliance servicemen is often
performed with little direct supervision. This
feature of the job may appeal to many young
people.

Automobile Mechanics
(D.O.T. 5-81.000 through .999)

Nature of Work

The more than three-quarters of a million
automobile mechanics who keep the millions
of automobiles, trucks, and buses in the United
States in good running order make up the larg­
est repair occupation. These skilled workers
maintain and repair mechanical, electrical,
and body parts of passenger cars, trucks, and
buses. They may also service other gasolinepowered equipment such as tractors. Automo­
bile
 mechanics make inspections and tests to


determine the causes of faulty operation, and
repair or replace defective parts to restore the
vehicle to proper operating condition. Typical
maintenance and repair jobs done by mechan­
ics are tuning the engine, replacing pis­
ton rings, alining the front wheels, and
adjusting or relining the brakes. Repair
manuals and other technical publications pro­
vide instructions for these and other repair
operations.
Auto mechanics in the smaller shops are usu-

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

417
Mechanics usually work by themselves. In
large shops, however, a skilled mechanic may
be assisted by a helper or an apprentice, and
usually works under the supervision of a fore­
man or service manager. Before actually doing
the work, mechanics in small shops may be re­
quired to prepare estimates of the cost of re­
pairs, including materials and labor. In larg­
er shops, the shop foreman, service salesmen,
or service manager generally prepares the cost
estimate and tells the mechanic which repairs
to make.
Where Employed

P h o to g ra p h by U .S. D e p a rtm e n t o f L a b o r

Automobile mechanic adjusting valve lifters during
major tuneup on car engine.

ally qualified to perform a variety of repair
jobs, although a large number of other auto­
mobile mechanics specialize in particular
types of repair work. For example, some me­
chanics do only alinement and steering work,
or work on certain types of automatic trans­
missions. These mechanics usually work in
shops with different departments or in shops
that specialize in particular types of re­
pair. These specialists, however, usually have
an all-round knowledge of automotive repair
and may be occasionally called upon to
do other types of work. (Body and fender re­
pairmen are specialists who do the shaping,
finishing, and replacing of sheetmetal, and re­
pairing or replacing of trim or glass.)
In making repairs, the mechanic uses many
different kinds to tools and equipment. These
may range from simple handtools, such as
screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers, to compli­
cated and expensive machines and equipment
which help the mechanic find out why an auto­
mobile is not operating properly and assist him
in making repairs. Some of the more common
examples of such equipment are wheel aline­
ment machines, spark plug testers, engine ana­
lyzers, and headlight aimers.




In 1960, about one-third of the auto mechan­
ics were employed in the service departments
of new and used car dealers. Another third
were employed in repair shops which make all
kinds of repairs or specialize in particular
types such as battery and ignition repairs,
body and fender work, radiator service, and
transmission and brake repair work and adjust­
ments. A considerable number of automobile
mechanics are employed in gasoline service
stations where they perform relatively minor
repairs and adjustments. Many mechanics
work for organizations which repair and main­
tain their own fleets of motor vehicles. In­
cluded in this group are Federal, State,
and local governments and trucking, bus, taxi­
cab, bakery, and dairy companies. Some me­
chanics are employed by manufacturers of mo­
tor vehicles to make final adjustments and re­
pairs at the end of assembly lines.
Most auto mechanics work in shops employ­
ing from one to five mechanics. However,
some of the largest repair shops employ more
than 100 mechanics. Generally, dealers’ serv­
ice departments in large cities have larger
staffs of mechanics than independent shops
and shops in the smaller communities.
Because motor vehicles are used throughout
the Nation, automobile mechanics are employed
in every section of the country, from the largest
cities to the smallest towns. In 1960, about half
of the mechanics worked in eight States: Cali­
fornia, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio,
Illinois, Michigan, and New Jersey.

418
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most auto mechanics learn the trade through
on-the-job experience. Young men usually start
as helpers, lubrication men, or car washers, and
gradually acquire the necessary knowledge and
skills by working with experienced mechanics.
Although a man can perform the simpler types
of repair work after a few months’ training
and experience, it generally takes him at least
3 or 4 years to become a qualified all-round
mechanic. The learning period will depend on
the individual’s capabilities and the extent of
his formal schooling in automotive repair. Addi­
tional training is usually required for mechanics
who wish to become specialists. However, body
repairmen, who do not have to learn to repair
the operating parts of the vehicle, can learn
their trade in as little as 3 years if they have
a knack for handling metal.
One of the best ways for a young man to
become an all-round auto mechanic is through
an apprenticeship training program, which usu­
ally lasts 4 years. Some apprenticeship pro­
grams also allow the trainee to specialize in
such work as truck or bus repairs, or auto-body
repairs.
A large number of automobile mechanics re­
ceive training while they are members of the
Armed Forces. Before they can qualify as fully
trained mechanics in civilian life, however, they
may be required to attend special training
courses or to serve part of an apprenticeship
period.
Experienced mechanics employed by automo­
bile and truck dealers are sometimes sent to
manufacturers’ training centers to learn about
new features found in automobiles, such as fuel
injection, power steering, or air conditioning.
For beginning jobs, employers prefer young
high school graduates who have some un­
derstanding of automobile construction and
operation and who like mechanical work.
Courses in science and mathematics are de­
sirable since they give a young man a better
understanding of the operation of the automo­
bile. Shop courses in auto repair which are
offered by many high schools and vocational
schools are valuable. Practical experience gained
 working on automobiles as a hobby is also
from


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

helpful to a young man who wishes to become
a mechanic.
Most mechanics are required to have their
own handtools. A beginner is usually expected
to accumulate about $100 worth of tools. Ex­
perienced mechanics usually have over $500 in­
vested in their tools. Special tools for servicing
units like automatic transmissions, and major
pieces of test equipment, are ordinarily furn­
ished by the employer.
Capable and experienced automobile mechan­
ics have several advancement possibilities. A
mechanic in a large shop may advance to a
supervisory position, such as repair shop fore­
man, service salesman, or service manager.
Many experienced mechanics open their own
independent repair shops or gasoline service
stations and some mechanics may become car
or truck salesmen, or manage a dealer’s parts
department.
Employment Outlook

Thousands of training opportunities are ex­
pected to be available each year during the
1960’s for young people who want to learn to be­
come automobile mechanics. These opportunities
will arise because there will be a need for addi­
tional automobile mechanics to service the grow­
ing number of motor vehicles. A considerable
number of job openings will also be created by
retirements, deaths, and transfers of automobile
mechanics to other fields of work. In this large
occupation, retirements and deaths alone will
probably create, on the average, about 12,000
openings each year during the 1960’s.
The number of motor vehicles in the United
States has increased very rapidly during the
past several years. Passenger car registrations
increased from 40 million to 59 million and bus
and truck registration from 9 to 12 million in
the period from 1950 to 1959. Further increases
in motor vehicle registrations are expected in
the years ahead. Expected increases in popula­
tion, consumer purchasing power, and in the
number of families and two-car families will
greatly increase the demand for motor vehicles
in the 1960’s. In addition, the continuation of
farm mechanization is expected to increase the

419

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

number of tractors and other gasoline-powered
farm equipment.
Employment of automobile mechanics over
the next decade will also depend on the number
of repairs required per vehicle and the amount
of work that the average mechanic can do.
During the 1950’s, the addition of such features
as air suspension, power brakes, and power
steering to automobiles, to make them more
comfortable and easier to operate, also increased
their complexity and maintenance requirements.
Despite this increased complexity, mechanics
have been able to increase the number of re­
pairs they can do. New and improved automo­
bile servicing equipment helps in locating and
repairing the defects that cause faulty opera­
tion. Greater emphasis on replacement rather
than on repair of defective parts, better shop
management, specialization in a single type
of repair, and better training methods have
all contributed toward increasing the amount
of work the mechanic can do.
Although mechanics will be able to service
more vehicles in less time during the 1960’s,
the expected increase in motor vehicles and
their growing complexity will result in many
thousands of additional job opportunities each
year.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Average hourly earnings of skilled automo­
bile mechanics in 61 large communities were
more than $2.60 an hour in late 1959 and early
1960. Average earnings ranged from about
$2.05 in Fort Worth to $3 in San Francisco.
These earnings do not include extra pay for
overtime work that mechanics may earn. Many
mechanics receive holidays and vacations with
pay.
Most skilled auto mechanics and body repair­
men in automobile dealer repair shops are paid
a percentage of the labor cost charged to the
customer. Each repair job is assigned a fixed

labor charge and the most highly skilled me­
chanics can earn considerably more than the
average because they are able to make repairs
in less time. This is especially true in body
work, in which there are great differences in
skill between the very best repairman and the
average repairman. A few body repairmen in
large cities earn more than $10,000 a year.
Apprentices are paid a percentage of the
journeyman’s rate. This percentage ranges from
55 percent of the skilled worker’s rate in the
apprentice’s first 6 months of work to between
85 and 90 percent in the last 6 months of the
apprenticeship period.
Many automobile mechanics work between 40
and 48 hours each week. Some work more than
48 hours a week.
Modern automotive repair shops are well
ventilated, lighted, and heated, but older shops
may not have such advantages. Most shops
have lifts that raise the vehicle so that work
can be done without stooping.
Generally, the mechanic’s work is performed
inside a shop during the day. However, in cases
where breakdowns occur on the road, the me­
chanic may have to work out of doors. In many
jobs, the mechanic must handle greasy tools
or dirty parts.
Many auto mechanics are members of labor
unions. A large number of unionized mechanics
are employed in shops of the larger new car
dealers and the maintenance departments of
truck and bus companies. Mechanics are highly
organized in West Coast cities and in other large
cities such as Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul,
St. Louis, New York City, and Cleveland. Among
the unions to which automobile mechanics be­
long are the International Association of Ma­
chinists; the International Union, United Auto­
mobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; and the International
Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Ware­
housemen and Helpers of America (Ind.).

Business Machine Servicemen
Nature of Work and Where Employed

Business machine servicemen repair and
adding machines, cal-

Digitizedmaintain typewriters,
for FRASER


culators, cash registers, accounting-statistical
machines, and the many other types of machines used in business offices. They do much

420
of the work in the offices where the machines
are used. These servicemen may maintain this
equipment on a regular basis, returning at fre­
quent intervals to inspect the machines, to
clean and oil them, and make minor adjust­
ments or repairs. They may also be called to
an office to check a defective machine.
On service calls, repairmen usually question
the operator about the condition of the machine.
They may have to explain to operators how
various features of the machines can best be
used or what not to do to prevent machine dam­
age. Some servicemen are expected to sell sup­
plies used with the machines, such as paper,
inks, or stencils, or to sell contracts for ser­
vicing machines regularly.
While inspecting business machines, the
serviceman usually checks the operation of
various parts of the equipment to make sure
that they work properly or to find the source
of trouble. For example, he may strike the
keys of a typewriter, move the carriage of a
calculator, or rotate the drum of a duplicating
machine. In addition, he may check type for
alinement and rollers for dryness or compact­
ness. If necessary, covers of machines may be
removed to check levers, gears, belts, or spacing
mechanisms.
When overhaul or major repair is necessary,
the equipment is generally brought to the shop
of the servicing company. Here, servicemen
take the machine apart; inspect components;
remove and replace worn bearings, cams, and
other defective parts; and install new belts and
feed rolls where necessary. If the machine has
electric motors or controls, these also are
inspected.
Common handtools such as screwdrivers,
pliers, and adjustable wrenches are used in this
work. In addition, tools designed for special
purposes and gages, meters, and other test
equipment are frequently used.
Business machine servicing offers consider­
able variety in work assignments. Like some
other types of repair work, it requires analyti­
cal and reasoning ability. Most repair jobs
present new problems, and many persons find
considerable satisfaction in being able to find
the cause of the trouble and to put the machine
 in good working order.
back


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Business machine servicemen are employed
in several types of firms. Manufacturers of
business machines employ more than half of
these workers in their sales and service offices
throughout the country. About 40 percent of
the servicemen work in small, independent, lo­
cal establishments; some of these shops mainly
do repair work, whereas others combine sales
and service. The remainder are employed in
large organizations which have enough ma­
chines to justify employing full-time service­
men. The Federal Government, for example,
employed about 750 of these workers in late
1960.
Business machine servicemen employed in
manufacturers' branch offices work only on
the manufacturer's products. In the large
branch offices, in some companies, they may
specialize in servicing one or two of the types
of machines the manufacturer sells. In other
companies, even in the larger branches, the
men are “ combination" servicemen, and work
on the full line of company equipment. In
manufacturers' branches in the smaller cities,
where fewer servicemen are needed, most of
them are “ combination" servicemen, since it is
impractical to have the men specialize on one
type of machine.
Servicemen employed in independent dealers'
and repair shops usually work on more than
one type of business machine because these
shops repair and service many makes and
models. Most of these shops are small and em­
ploy only a few servicemen. However, in some
of the larger independent shops, most of the
servicemen may specialize on typewriters and
adding machines of various makes which pro­
vide most of the shop's business, while a few
other men repair the more complicated ma­
chines.
Business machine servicing jobs are found
throughout the country. Even relatively small
communities usually have at least one or two
shops which repair machines. However, most
business machine servicemen work in large
cities, especially in those with large numbers of
office workers and where most of the calcula­
tors, accounting-bookkeeping and statistical
machines are used.

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Typeivriter Servicemen (D.O.T. 5-83.127). An
estimated 20,000 servicemen were engaged
mainly in repairing and maintaining typewrit­
ers in late 1960, making this the largest busi­
ness machine repair occupation. Typewriters
are the most widely used business machines.
They are used in almost every business office,
as well as by many individuals in their homes.
The operation of electric typewriters and me­
chanical typewriters differs slightly, but the
two types are enough alike that the servicemen
who specialize in the repair of mechanical type­
writers can usually learn to repair the electric
machines after a brief period of additional
training.
Typewriter servicemen are employed both in
the sales and service branches of typewriter
manufacturers and in independent, local repair
shops (which frequently sell typewriters as
well as repair them). Many servicemen operate
their own shops. Typewriter servicemen are
found in almost every sizable community
throughout the Nation.
Adding Machine Servicemen (D.O.T. 5 83.122) . In late 1960, about 3,500 business
machine servicemen were engaged mainly in
the servicing of adding machines. These ma­
chines are simpler to repair than most other
business machines. In some cases, servicing
of both adding machines and calculators is done
by the same employee. The repair of adding
machines and simpler calculating machines
often provides experience for advancement to
work on more difficult equipment such as book­
keeping and accounting machines. In inde­
pendent repair shops, adding machines are
serviced by men who also repair typewriters.
Adding machine servicemen are employed
both in manufacturers' sales and service
branches and in independent, local repair shops.
Other sources of employment are Federal, State,
and local governments, and a few large banks
and other firms which used large numbers of
adding machines.
Calculating Machine Servicemen (D.O.T. 5 83.123) . More than 4,500 calculating machine
servicemen were employed in late 1960. These

machines, which have complex mechanisms,


421
add, subtract, divide, multiply, and perform
combinations of these operations. Calculating
machine servicemen require more training than
typewriter or adding machine servicemen. In
some shops, servicing of calculators is com­
bined with the servicing of other business ma­
chines, particularly adding machines and ac­
counting-bookkeeping machines.
Men who service calculators are usually em­
ployed in manufacturers' sales and service
branches. However, a few work in independ­
ent, local repair shops, most of which are
small and employ only a few workers. The
Federal Government also employs a few hun­
dred calculating machine servicemen.
Cash Register Servicemen (D.O.T. 5-83.124).
Cash register repair and maintenance was the
main work of more than 5,000 business ma­
chine servicemen in late 1960. Next to type­
writers, cash registers are the most widely
used business machines. The simplest models
merely record transactions, add up receipts, and
provide a change drawer. The more compli­
cated cash registers simultaneously record sev­
eral different kinds of information on each
transaction (such as identification of the clerk,
department, type of merchandise, payment
given, and change due), provide printed re­
ceipts, and dispense change to the customer.
The great majority of servicemen primarily
engaged in repairing cash registers are em­
ployed in the sales and service branches of the
few manufacturing firms making these ma­
chines. Some of the repair work, especially in
smaller towns, is done in independent shops
which also repair other business machines.
Accounting-Bookkeeping Machine Servicemen
(D.O.T. 5-83.121). In late 1960, the repair of
accounting-bookkeeping machines was the
main job of more than 3,000 business machine
servicemen. These machines perform a variety
of operations. Some post entries and some do
billing, but others combine the functions of
typewriters and computing devices. All models
have keyboards, like those on typewriters and
adding machines. These machines are used in
firms which have a great deal of accounting
and bookkeeping work, such as department

422
stores, large *retail and wholesale businesses,
and banks. Many of the newer models are ad­
justed to fit the accounting procedures used
in an individual customer’s office. Servicemen
set up the controls or programs for such ma­
chines from plans which have been devised by
the customers and manufacturers’ salesmen.
Most accounting-bookkeeping machine serv­
icemen are employed in the sales and service
branches of companies manufacturing this
equipment. Only a few work in independent
repair shops.
Data-Processing Equipment Servicemen. In
1960, more than 12,000 men were employed in
maintaining and repairing accounting-statisti­
cal machines. These are the most skilled busi­
ness machine servicemen. About half of them
are employed in servicing electromechanical
accounting-statistical machines (D.O.T. 5 83.126). These machines record, tabulate, and
analyze great masses of accounting and sta­
tistical data. They include card punches, sort­
ers, and tabulators, as well as special purpose
machines used in punched card systems.
New lines of electronic accounting-statisti­
cal machines (computers) which process tre­
mendous amounts of data with great speed
came into use in the 1950’s. Most of these
machines are manufactured by the same firms
which make the electromechanical accountingstatistical machines.
Electronic machines
combine mechanical and electronic features.
Therefore, servicemen who work on these ma­
chines need a knowledge of electronics in addi­
tion to mechanical skill. In some firms, only
men with training in electronics are hired to
service these machines. Many of these men
have learned electronics in technical schools
or in the armed services. In other companies,
experienced men who can repair other types
of business machines are given training in elec­
tronics by their employers.
Accounting-statistical machine servicemen
are employed principally by a few firms which
manufacture and service this equipment. They
may be assigned by their companies to work

anywhere in the United States, but they are


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

usually stationed in one of the larger cities.
They rarely transfer from one company to
another.
Dictating Machine Servicemen (D.O.T. 5 83.135). About 1,000 men were employed to
repair and service dictating machines in late
1960. These machines are used in business
offices to record dictation on cylinders, discs,
or sleeves which can be played back for typing.
The new electronic models reproduce the voice
much more faithfully than the older acoustictype machines. Servicing is still largely a mat­
ter of mechanical aptitude, since the mechani­
cal sections of dictating machines break down
more frequently than the electronic parts;
however, the servicemen must have a working
knowledge of electricity and electronics. Be­
sides the standard office dictating machines,
there are many special types, such as devices
which record telephone conversations or con­
ferences, which are maintained by dictating
machine servicemen.
Dictating machine servicemen are employed
mainly in the larger communities either in the
sales and service branches of the manufactur­
ers of dictating machines or by their distribu­
tors. In small towns, typewriter and adding
machine repairmen may also learn to service
dictating machines.
Duplicating and Copying Machine Servicemen
(D.O.T. 5-83.125). More than 2,500 service­
men were employed in late 1960 to repair dupli­
cating and copying machines. These machines
are used to make one or more paper copies of
any printed or written information. The serv­
iceman adjusts, oils, repairs, or replaces ma­
chine parts, such a s. rollers, belts, or gears.
He must also clean the machine so that it func­
tions properly and produces clear copy. He
must be able to determine whether poor copy
is a result of mechanical defects, improper use
of machines, or other factors.
Most of these servicemen are employed in
the branch sales and service offices of manu­
facturers. Those who work for independent
dealers generally work on more than one make
of equipment.

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Duplicating machine serviceman adjusting paper­
feeding mechanism.

Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

Employers prefer applicants for beginning
jobs as business machine servicemen to be un­
der 30 years of age. Men up to the age of 40 may
be considered by some employers provided they
have had training or experience which can be
useful in machine servicing work.
Trainees are usually required to have at least
a high school education; this qualification is
particularly important after the serviceman
has acquired his basic skills and is looking for
promotion to a supervisory job or work on more
complex equipment. Some companies will ac­
cept applicants with less than a high school
education, provided they can demonstrate su­
perior mechanical aptitude or have had quali­
fying mechanical experience.
Applicants for the trainee jobs are fre­
quently required to pass one or more tests.
Mechanical aptitude is the characteristic most
frequently tested. Applicants may also be
tested for manual dexterity, general intelli­
gence, and knowledge of mathematics or elec­
tricity.
Employers look for applicants who have a
pleasant, cooperative manner. Most machine
servicing is done in customers’ offices and a



423
serviceman’s ability to do his work with the
least interference with office routine is very
important. A neat appearance and ability to
converse effectively are also desired character­
istics.
Young men entering the business machine
servicing field generally begin as trainees and
acquire their skills through on-the-job training,
work experience, and instruction in manufac­
turers’ training schools. Business machine
servicemen who are hired for work in a manu­
facturer’s branch office are trained to service
only the company’s line of machines. Inde­
pendent shops, who look for men who can serv­
ice many makes of machines, will either hire
men with previous experience on one or more
types of machines or will give a new man in­
formal training on several different makes.
Formal apprentice training programs of from
2 to 4 years are conducted by some manu­
facturers and independent shops.
Men hired as trainees in manufacturers’
branch offices are usually sent to company
schools for periods lasting from several weeks
to several months, depending on the type of
machine they are learning to service. They then
receive from 1 to 3 years of practical expe­
rience and on-the-job training before they are
considered skilled workers. During this period,
they may occasionally go back to factory
schools for additional courses. Even after be­
coming skilled workers, they may return to
school for special instruction in new business
machine developments.

Men in independent shops generally learn
the trade by working with experienced service­
men who instruct them in the skills of the
trade. Occasionally, men employed by an in­
dependent dealer who is authorized to sell and
service a manufacturer’s products will be sent
to the manufacturer’s school for a few weeks.
In most cases, however, men in independent
shops receive no formal training.
Length of training depends on the kind of
shop in which a man is employed and the type
of machine he is learning to service. In inde­
pendent shops, the time required to become a
skilled serviceman tends to be somewhat longer
than in manufacturers’ branches, because of
the greater variety of machines the serviceman

424
must become familiar with and the generally in­
formal nature of the training.
Servicemen who will work on simple busi­
ness machines require less training than those
who will work on more complex equipment.
Typically, it takes from 1 to 2 years for a man
to learn to repair an ordinary adding machine
or a typewriter. Calculating machines require
from 2 to 4 years of training and experience.
Cash register repairmen learn their job in from
2 1/2 to 3 y2 years, the last 6 months of which
are usually spent in the company school.
Skilled accounting-bookkeeping machine re­
pairmen generally must have at least 4 to 5
years of training and experience. The first 1 or
2 years may consist of servicing adding ma­
chines, calculators, or cash registers, since this
is considered valuable background for serv­
icing accounting-bookkeeping machines.
Most accounting-statistical machines con­
tain electrical equipment; many have electronic
components. The companies which manufac­
ture and service these machines, therefore, of­
ten require that applicants have some knowl­
edge of electricity or electronics. In qualifying
for a job in the maintenance of the complex
electronic data-processing machines, college or
technical institute courses in engineering are
helpful, though not essential. Young veterans
who have had electronics training in the Armed
Forces are specially desired by employers in
this field. Men hired as trainees generally spend
their first 2 months in on-the-job training. If
they prove satisfactory, they are sent to a
company school for a period of from 3 to 10
months. After completing the course, they
work under supervision until they acquire
enough skill to service and repair on their own.
This period usually lasts from 12 to 18 months.
Servicemen in manufacturers’ sales branches
frequently have the opportunity to move into
sales jobs, where their earnings are usually
greater. In some cases, service and sales work
are combined. Many of these men also have
the opportunity for promotion to supervisory
jobs, such as foreman or service manager; men
in large independent shops have similar op­
portunities. Experienced men sometimes open
their own repair shops; men who work in the
 offices of some manufacturers are some­
branch


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

times given sales franchises from the company
and become independent dealers.
Employment Outlook

The rapidly growing business machine serv­
ice field will provide several thousand job op­
portunities for young men each year during
the 1960’s. The 45,000 servicemen employed
in late 1960 was more than double the number
working in 1950. The greater employment of
servicemen has been due to the increasing use
of many types of office machines to do all
kinds of clerical work in our expanding com­
mercial and industrial establishments. More
complicated equipment, requiring additional
maintenance, has also increased the need for
these servicemen.
Opportunities for jobs in the servicing of
electronic business machines will be particu­
larly favorable in the next decade. The use of
such machines has expanded tremendously in
recent years, and demand for this equipment
is expected to be even greater in the future.
There will also be an increasing need for serv­
icemen to work on other types of business ma­
chines which are becoming more complex.
Electrically driven mechanical equipment,
such as typewriters and adding machines, is
rapidly taking the place of nonelectrical me­
chanical machines which do the same work.
Cash registers, bookkeeping machines, and oth­
er specialized equipment are designed to pro­
vide much more detailed information than in
the past. All of these developments indicate
that there will be many well-paying jobs avail­
able for servicemen who have good mechanical
ability. The best opportunities, however, will
be for those who have, in addition, a knowledge
of electricity or electronics.
Business machine servicemen have yearround employment— steadier than that in many
other skilled trades. The office machines serv­
iced by these men must be maintained con­
tinuously, even when business slackens, since
business records must be kept, correspondence
carried on, and statistical reports prepared.
Men who establish themselves in the business
machine service field can expect continuing
employment for many years.

425

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Earnings and Working Conditions

National wage data are not available for
business machine servicemen. Information ob­
tained from a number of employers indicates
that in mid-1960, earnings of experienced serv­
icemen generally ranged from $80 to $130 a
week depending on the type of machine they
serviced, where they were employed, and their
length of service with employers. Wages were
lowest for men who repair only typewriters or
adding machines; the earnings of these work­
ers usually ranged from $80 to $100 a week.
Cash registers, calculators, accounting-book­
keeping machines, and nonelectronic account­
ing-statistical machines require more skill to
repair; consequently, the men who work on
them receive somewhat higher pay rates, gen­
erally from $90 to $120 a week. Highest rates
are paid to men who service electronic dataprocessing machines. The most highly skilled
electronic computer servicemen were earning
as much as $185 a week in mid-1960.
In addition to their salaries, servicemen in

some companies receive commissions for sell­
ing supplies or service contracts. Many serv­
icemen employed by manufacturers and inde­
pendent dealers are covered by group life and
hospitalization insurance plans, and pension
plans.
Servicemen trainees begin at wages consid­
erably below these levels; they receive pay in­
creases as they become more and more skilled
during the training period. Starting wages
generally ranged from $60 to $80 a week in
late 1960. Men with previous electronics train­
ing in the Armed Forces or civilian technical
schools generally receive somewhat higher be­
ginning wages.
Servicing of business machines is cleaner
and lighter work than the work in most other
mechanical trades. The occupation is compara­
tively free from the danger of accident. Serv­
icemen generally dress like office workers, since
the work is clean and often performed in the
offices where machines are used. Many of these
jobs involve considerable traveling within the
area served by the employer.

Diesel Mechanics
(D.O.T. 5-83.931)

Nature o f Work

Diesel mechanics keep bulldozers, tractors,
and other diesel-powered equipment that is
widely used on highways, on farms, and in in­
dustry, in good operating order. Many diesel
mechanics specialize in maintenance and repair
of diesel equipment; others specialize in rebuild­
ing engines. Those who do maintenance and
repair work perform the periodic cleaning, ad­
justing, and tuneups that are necessary for
efficient operation of diesel engines. When diesel
equipment is not operating properly, these me­
chanics (or their supervisors) find out the cause
of the trouble. The mechanics then repair or
replace broken or wornout parts or make any
necessary adjustments. In addition to engine
maintenance and repair, diesel mechanics may
work on other parts of diesel-powered machin­
ery. For example, some mechanics who repair
diesel-powered trucks and buses work on brake

and steering systems.


Mechanics who specialize in rebuilding diesel
engines that have been operated for many hours
or miles, take the entire engine apart, examine
all of the parts for defects, and repair or replace
defective parts. They then reassemble and ad­
just the engine.
Many of the men who repair the larger diesel
engines, such as those used to run locomotives
or electric generating equipment in industry,
are specifically trained for this type of work.
However, because the basic parts of the diesel
engine and the gasoline engine are similar,
smaller diesel engines such as the type used in
buses, trucks, and farm equipment are often re­
paired by workers who have had previous train­
ing or experience in the repair of automobile
and truck gasoline engines. (See statement on
Automobile Mechanics, p. 416.)
Diesel mechanics use handtools such as pliers,
wrenches, and screwdrivers in their work. In
addition, they may use complex electronic test-

426

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

However, large numbers of these workers are
employed in California, New York, Illinois, and
Texas, which have extensive construction pro­
grams and farming activities requiring great
numbers of diesel-powered machines.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Diesel mechanics using hoist to replace crankshaft of
rebuilt diesel engine.

mg equipment such as the dynamometer, which
measures engine power, and mechanical lifting
devices such as hoists. They may also use ma­
chine tools, such as grinders, drills, and lathes
to make replacement parts for diesel-powered
equipment.
Where Employed

Many diesel mechanics are employed in the
service departments of distributors and dealers
that sell diesel-powered farm and construction
equipment and trucks. Diesel mechanics are also
employed by companies and government agen­
cies that repair and maintain their own fleets of
diesel-powered equipment. This group includes
local and intercity bus lines, construction, com­
panies, trucking companies, shipping lines, elec­
tric power plants, railroads, and Federal, State,
and local governments.
Because diesel engines are widely used in
American industry and commerce, diesel me­
chanics are employed in all parts of the country.



Diesel mechanics learn their skills in several
different ways. Most young men who become
diesel mechanics first work as mechanics re­
pairing gasoline-powered automobiles, trucks,
and buses. They usually start as helpers to ex­
perienced gasoline engine mechanics and become
skilled by working with them for 3 to 4 years.
When employed by firms that use or repair
diesel-powered equipment, they are given 6 to
18 months’ additional training in the mainte­
nance and repair of such equipment. While
learning to fix diesel engines, many of these
men find it helpful to take courses in the repair
and maintenance of diesel equipment offered by
vocational, trade, and correspondence schools.
Some diesel mechanics, such as those em­
ployed by railroads, learn their trade through
formal apprenticeship programs. These pro­
grams, which generally last 4 years, give train­
ees a combination of classroom training and
practical experience in fixing the particular
types of diesel engines used by their employers.
Apprentices receive classroom instruction in
blueprint reading, hydraulics, welding, and
other related subjects. In their practical train­
ing, they learn about valves, bearings, injection
systems, starting systems, cooling systems, and
other parts of diesel engines.
Other young men learn to be diesel mechanics
through less formal training programs. They
are generally hired as trainees by employers
who use or repair large quantities of dieselpowered equipment. These trainees are taught
to do all kinds of diesel repair jobs by experi­
enced mechanics.
Experienced diesel mechanics employed by
companies that sell diesel-powered equipment
are sometimes sent to special training classes
conducted by diesel engine manufacturers. In
these classes, mechanics learn to maintain and
repair the latest diesel engines, using the most
modern equipment.

427

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Employers generally look for diesel mechanic
trainees and apprentice applicants who have a
high school education. Young men who have
taken courses in physics, machine-shop work,
and mathematics are given preference in hiring
because they are likely to have a better under­
standing of the operation of diesel equipment.
Courses in automobile repair, which are offered
by many high schools and vocational schools,
are also valuable. Employers also look for young
men who have both mechanical aptitude and an
interest in the accurate work required to make
precise adjustments of diesel engines.
Many diesel mechanics are required to have
their own handtools. A beginner is usually
expected to accumulate $100 worth of tools. Ex­
perienced mechanics usually have over $500 in­
vested in their tools.
There are several advancement possibilities
for capable and experienced diesel mechanics.
Those who work for organizations that operate
or repair large fleets of diesels, such as bus lines
or diesel equipment distributors, may advance
to supervisory positions of master mechanic or
service manager. Some diesel mechanics who
are in charge of the engine departments of ships
may become marine engineers. To be licensed as
a marine engineer by the U.S. Coast Guard,
the diesel mechanic must have 3 years’ experi­
ence in the operation and maintenance of diesel
engines on ships, pass a written examination,
and meet other requirements.
Employment Outlook

An increasing number of diesel mechanics
will be needed in the 1960’s to maintain and
repair the growing number of diesel engines
used in American industry and commerce and
on the roads and farms of the country. In addi­
tion to the new jobs expected to develop be­
cause of the more widespread use of diesel en­
gines, many job openings will result as diesel
mechanics retire, die, or transfer to other fields
of work.
The use of diesel engines to power farm and
construction machinery, electric generators,
trucks, buses, trains, and ships has been in­
creasing. For example, the number of diesel trucks and buses in the United States
powered


increased from about 150,000 in 1956 to approxi­
mately 200,000 in 1959. The number of dieselpowered locomotives in 1960 was almost double
the 15,000 in use in 1950, despite a decline in
the total number of railroad locomotives.
It is expected that the economic advantages
of the diesel engine as a source of power will
result in its increasing use in the future. Most
industries which use diesel engines in large
numbers are expected to expand their activities
considerably during the 1960’s. The Federal
Government’s vast highway development pro­
gram will require large numbers of additional
diesel-powered bulldozers, cranes, and other
construction machinery. Farm mechanization
is expected to continue, resulting in the use of
many new harvesters, tractors, and other dieselpowered equipment. The number of diesel-pow­
ered trucks and buses will increase. In addi­
tion, diesel-powered taxicabs, which are in
limited use today, are expected to be used on a
much larger scale.
Most new job openings in this field will be
filled by mechanics who have had experience
in repairing gasoline engines. Companies that
are replacing gasoline engine equipment with
diesel-powered equipment usually retrain their
experienced mechanics to service the diesel
equipment. Companies which buy additional
diesel engines to meet expansion needs usually
hire experienced diesel mechanics. Men who
have had school training but no practical ex­
perience in diesel repair work may be able to
find jobs only as trainees.
Earnings and Working Conditions

National wage data are not available for
diesel mechanics. However, wage data collected
from a few employers and union contracts in­
dicate that these workers were earning from
$2.35 to $2.80 an hour in early 1960. Diesel
mechanics employed in some local and intercity
bus company repair shops earned between $2.35
and $2.75 an hour in October 1959. Those em­
ployed by railroad companies to repair diesel
locomotives were paid approximately $2.60 an
hour in early 1960.
The weekly work schedule of diesel mechanics
ranges from 40 to 48 hours a week. Many of

428

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

them work nights or on weekends, particularly
if they work on diesel equipment that is used
in serving the public such as buses, or in electric
light and power plants. Diesel mechanics gen­
erally receive a higher rate of pay when they
work overtime hours, evenings, or weekends.
Many diesel mechanics also receive vacations
and holidays with pay. In addition, they may
receive health and life insurance benefits which
are at least partially paid for by their employers.
Most of the larger repair shops are pleasant
places in which to work, but some of the small
shops have poor lighting, heating, and ventila­
tion. Occasionally, diesel mechanics who work
for bus lines or construction companies may
have to make repairs outdoors where the break­
downs occur. If proper safety precautions are

not taken, there is some danger of injury to
men working on heavy parts supported on jacks
or hoists. In most jobs, the mechanics handle
greasy tools and engine parts. It is often neces­
sary for them to stand or lie in awkward or
cramped positions for extended periods of time.
Many diesel mechanics belong to labor unions.
Some of the unions to which they belong are the
International Association of Machinists; the
Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric
Railway and Motor Coach Employes of America;
The Sheet Metal Workers’ International Associ­
ation; the International Union, United Auto­
mobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; and the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Industrial Machinery Repairmen
(D.O.T. 5-83.641)

Nature of Work

The great variety of machinery and equip­
ment used in American industry is kept in good
operating condition by industrial machinery re­
pairmen (often called maintenance mechanics).
When breakdowns occur, repairmen must
quickly determine the cause of the trouble and
make the necessary repairs. They may com­
pletely or partly dismantle a machine in order
to repair or replace defective parts. After the
machine is reassembled, they make the neces­
sary mechanical adjustments to insure its proper
operation.
Much of a repairman’s time is spent in pre­
ventive maintenance. By regularly inspecting
the equipment, oiling and greasing machines,
and cleaning and repairing parts, he prevents
trouble which could cause a breakdown of the
machinery. He also may keep maintenance rec­
ords of the equipment he services.
The types of machinery on which industrial
machinery repairmen work depend to a great
extent on the particular industry in which they
are employed. For example, in the apparel in­
dustry, these skilled workers may be employed
to repair industrial sewing machines. They may
take sewing machines apart in order to repair
belts, adjust treadles, or replace motor bearings.




In printing and publishing establishments,
skilled industrial machinery repairmen may

Repairman cleaning gear teeth on rolling mill
component.

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

maintain and repair equipment such as printing
presses and folders.
Repairmen often follow blueprints, lubrica­
tion charts, and engineering specifications in
maintaining and repairing equipment. They may
also use parts catalogs to order replacements for
broken or defective parts. Occasionally, repair­
men may sketch a part which is to be replaced
by the plant’s machine shop.
In d u stria l m ach in ery rep airm en use
wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, and other handtools, as well as portable power tools. They also
may use welding equipment in repairing broken
metal parts.

429
adjustment of the machinery and equipment
which they will maintain. Classroom instruc­
tion is given in shop mathematics, blueprint
reading, safety, hydraulics, welding, and other
subjects related to the craft.
Mechanical aptitude and manual dexterity are
important qualifications for workers in this
trade. Good physical condition and agility also
are necessary, because industrial machinery re­
pairmen are sometimes required to lift heavy
objects or do considerable climbing in order to
repair equipment located high above the ground.
Employment Outlook

Where Employed

Industrial machinery repairmen work in al­
most every industrial plant that uses large
amounts of machinery and equipment. Metal­
working establishments, in particular, employ
large numbers of these workers. For example,
in 1960, the machinery manufacturing industry
had about 55,000 maintenance mechanics and
the automobile industry, about 9,500. Other
manufacturing plants such as textile mills,
petroleum refineries, and paper and pulp mills,
also employed many of these skilled craftsmen.
Because industrial machinery repairmen
work in a wide variety of industrial plants, they
are employed in every section of the country.
However, the largest numbers of these workers
are in New York, Pennsylvania, California, Ohio,
Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Massachusetts,
and other heavily industrialized States.
Training and Other Qualifications

Most workers who become industrial machin­
ery repairmen start as helpers and pick up the
skills of the trade informally through several
years of experience. Others learn the trade
through formal apprenticeship programs, and
this method of entering the occupation will be­
come more important as machinery becomes
more complex. Apprenticeship training usually
lasts 4 years and consists of both on-the-job
training and related classroom instruction. Ap­
prentices learn the use and care of the tools of

the trade, and the operation, lubrication, and


Many thousands of industrial machinery re­
pairmen will be needed in the 1960’s. The antic­
ipated use of more machinery and equipment
such as machine tools and assembling equipment
in manufacturing industries during the next
decade will result in continued moderate growth
in the employment of industrial machinery re­
pairmen. Also, as automatic equipment becomes
more widespread and is used to make continuous
production lines, breakdowns mean greater
losses of production and make repair work and
preventive maintenance more essential.
In addition to the many new job openings for
industrial machinery repairmen that will be
created by industrial expansion, thousands of
new workers will be needed in the next decade
to replace those who retire, die, or transfer to
other fields of work.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Average straight-time hourly earnings of in­
dustrial machinery repairmen employed by a
wide variety of manufacturing and nonmanu­
facturing establishments in 47 large metropoli­
tan areas ranged from $2.13 in Portland, Maine,
to $3.12 in Detroit, Mich. More than half of
the repairmen covered by these surveys, con­
ducted between September 1959 and June 1960,
earned at least $2.80 an hour.
Industrial machinery repairmen are not usu­
ally affected by seasonal changes in production.
During slack periods, when production workers

430

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

are laid off, repairmen are often retained; many
companies use machine repairmen to do major
repair and overhaul jobs during”such periods.
Because motors and other parts of machines
are not always readily accessible, maintenance
mechanics may work in stooped or cramped
positions close to the floor or from the tops of
ladders. Industrial machinery repairmen are
subject to such common shop injuries as cuts
and bruises. However, in recent years, accidents
have been reduced by the use of goggles, metaltip shoes, metal helmets, and other safety de­
vices. Repairmen must frequently work on
dirty and greasy equipment. Lighting and venti­

lation are usually good.
Most industrial machinery repairmen belong
to labor unions. Some of the unions to which
these workers belong are the United Steel­
workers of America; the International Union,
United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural
Implement Workers of America; the Interna­
tional Association of Machinists; and the Inter­
national Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine
Workers. Most employer-union contracts cover­
ing industrial machinery repairmen provide for
fringe benefits such as paid holidays and vaca­
tions, health insurance, life insurance, and re­
tirement pensions.

Instrument Repairmen
(D.O.T. 5-83.456, .971, .972, .975, and .980)

Nature of Work

The many different instruments used to
measure and control speed, heat, pressure,
weight, time, electrical current, flow of gas,
and other quantities are installed and serviced
by instrument repairmen. Instruments serv­
iced by these workers are used in refining oil,
in constructing missiles, in generating and dis­
tributing electricity, in manufacturing steel,
and in hundreds of other activities. Automatic
pilots which keep airplanes on courses and volt­
meters which measure electricity are examples
of common instruments. Instrument repairmen
(also called instrument mechanics, instrument
servicemen, instrument men, and instrument
technicians) usually specialize in particular
kinds of instruments. For example, they may
service either electronic or pneumatic instru­
ments or only timekeeping instruments.
To locate and correct trouble, instrument re­
pairmen visually inspect instruments or use
special testing equipment. They use testing
equipment such as pressure and vacuum gages,
speed counters, and electrical measuring in­
struments, for example, voltmeters, ammeters,
and potentiometers. They compare the read­
ings shown on such testing equipment with the
reading that would be shown if the instruments
were operating properly. They also look for
electrical leaks, short circuits, and broken
wires. They visually inspect instruments for



loose or broken parts, rust, and other causes of
trouble.
Instrument repairmen often take instru­
ments apart in order to replace worn or dam-

Instrument repairmen are becoming more important
with the increasing use of instruments.

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

aged parts, or to rewire, straighten, or resolder
such parts. They use handtools such as drills,
wrenches, and pliers. They also use soldering
irons and micrometers. When workers install
instruments or small parts, they use watch­
maker tools such as eyeloops and jeweler’s
screwdrivers. Sometimes they operate drill
presses, grinders, polishers, and other machine
tools to make new parts or to change standard
parts to fit particular instruments. As guides
in their work, instrument repairmen frequently
use instruction books that describe how to in­
stall, operate, and maintain instruments. They
also use schematic diagrams, assembly draw­
ings, and blueprints. When instruments are
reassembled, repairmen give them final checks
for proper operation.
Instrument repairmen also try to prevent
trouble. At regular intervals they look for and
correct defects which would cause breakdowns
and result in production losses or inconven­
ience. They also clean, lubricate, and adjust
instruments. Repairmen often check instru­
ments in shops after removing them and in­
stalling spares. In preventive maintenance
work, they follow schedules that tell when
particular instruments are to be checked and
serviced.
Instrument repairmen who install instru­
ments also advise operators how to use and
care for them. In addition, they test new
instruments after putting them in place. Some­
times instrument repairmen modernize older
instruments by putting in new parts.
Some highly trained instrument repairmen
assist scientists and engineers in research and
development laboratories. They select and ar­
range instruments for tests and experiments.
They also change instruments to meet special
requirements or to get better results. Some­
times they operate laboratory equipment to
obtain samples or readings that will be used
by technicians and professional workers.
Where Employed

More than 50,000 instrument repairmen
were employed in 1960 by gas and electric
utilities, by petroleum and chemical plants, by

manufacturers of instruments, paper products,


431
metals, rubber, missiles, automobiles, electrical
equipment, and by air lines. Several thousand
of these repairmen work for government agen­
cies, mainly the Air Force, Navy, and Army.
Although instrument repairmen are employed
in almost every city, most of them are employed
in large cities where large numbers of instru­
ments are used.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most instrument repairmen are hired as
trainees and learn their trade while working
on the job. Some companies have formal train­
ing programs for instrument repairmen; in
other companies, trainees learn by working
with experienced men. Formal training pro­
grams often include specialized courses in in­
strumentation theory, mathematics, and blue­
print reading, in addition to actual work ex­
perience. These courses may be given by local
schools during or after working hours.
Several instrument manufacturers offer spe­
cialized training to instrument repairmen em­
ployed by companies which buy their products.
These training courses last from 1 week to 9
months, depending upon the number and com­
plexity of the instruments which these workers
are learning to service. Courses are given in
design, theory, maintenance, and operation of
instruments. Students learn to check instru­
ments step by step and the reasons why each
step is needed. They also learn where to find
information about instrument servicing.
Young men who are interested in becoming
instrument technicians or engineering assist­
ants in research and development work can
train for instrument repair work in technical
institutes and junior colleges. The broad pro­
grams offered by these schools last about 2
years and emphasize science, mathematics, and
shopwork.
A few instrument repairmen start as ap­
prentices. Apprenticeship programs, which
generally last 4 years, emphasize on-the-job
training in repairing and maintaining instru­
ments. Apprentices also study mathematics,
physics, electronics, chemistry, blueprint read­
ing, and instrumentation theory.
Armed Forces technical schools also offer

432
training in instrument servicing. Young men
who expect to enter the Armed Forces may
wish to investigate opportunities for training
and work experience while in military service.
Skills acquired in this trade in the Armed
Forces often qualify men for civilian jobs as
instrument repairmen and for other mainte­
nance occupations.
To become a fully qualified instrument re­
pairman usually takes at least 4 or 5 years of
study and on-the-job training. However, the
time required varies considerably depending
upon individual ability, the complexity of the
instruments being serviced, and whether the
training is full time. Some full-time courses
for instrument repairmen last 12 weeks. Many
companies have training programs which last
2 or more years. Some employers reduce the
length of on-the-job or apprentice training for
employees who attend courses given by instru­
ment manufacturers.
Men hired as trainees or apprentices gen­
erally must be high school graduates. Courses
in algebra, trigonometry, physics, chemistry,
electricity, electronics, machine shop practice,
and blueprint reading are considered useful.
Some employers give tests to applicants to de­
termine their mechanical aptitude. Instrument
repairmen who meet the public are expected
to be neat in appearance and to get along well
with people. Other important qualifications are
ability to work alone with little supervision,
and good hand-eye coordination which is need­
ed while handling delicate instrument parts.
Well-trained instrument repairmen may ad­
vance to positions of increasing responsibility.
They can become group leaders or foremen in
maintenance departments. They can advance
to jobs as service representatives in branch
offices of instrument manufacturing compa­
nies. Some instrument repairmen become tech­
nicians or engineering assistants. Because the
use of electronic components in instruments
will increase, a basic knowledge of electronics
will help young men advance in the instrument
field.
Employment Outlook

Employment of instrument repairmen will
during the 1960’s, as the use


increase rapidly


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

of instruments grows. A few thousand job
openings are expected every year in this small
but increasingly important occupation. Repair­
men will also be needed to replace those who
are promoted, who transfer to different jobs,
or who leave their jobs because of illness, dis­
ability, retirement, or death.
Instruments are becoming more important
in industries that manufacture chemicals, pe­
troleum, steel, paper, and rubber. They are
needed to produce and distribute gas, fuels, and
electricity. Space satellites and missiles re­
quire instruments. Scientists, engineers, and
technicians in laboratories use instruments in
almost every experiment.
In these and other applications, instruments
have become essential. They improve efficiency
of workers, and help make production auto­
matic. They enable closer control of product
quality and reduce waste. They free scientists
and engineers for more creative work by speed­
ing up experiments. Aircraft and missiles re­
quire control instruments, especially as flying
speeds and distances increase. More instru­
ments are being used for inspection, as pre­
cision products become more common.
Increasing numbers of instruments and
growing complexity of instruments will require
greater numbers of instrument reoairmen to
install them and keep them operating efficiently.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Average hourly earnings of instrument re­
pairmen employed in petroleum refineries were
$3.12 in July 1959. Information obtained from
a small number of collective bargaining agree­
ments in various companies (gas and electric,
chemical, instrument, steel, paper, aircraft,
and electronics) shows that most instrument
repairmen in 1960 earned between $2.70 and
$3.15 an hour. Instrument repairmen employed
by Federal Government agencies in Washing­
ton, D.C. in 1960 received from $2.70 to $2.90
an hour, about the same rates received by non­
government repairmen in this area.
Most instrument repairmen work a 40-hour,
5-day week. Those employed in petroleum re­
fineries and chemical plants, which operate 24
hours a day and 7 days a week, may work on

433

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

any of three shifts or rotate among shifts.
They may also be called to work on Sundays
and holidays with emergency crews. They re­
ceive premium pay for night and holiday
work. Most companies provide holiday and va­
cation pay. Many provide additional benefits,
such as life insurance, hospitalization, medical
and surgical insurance, sickness and accident
insurance, and retirement pensions.
Instrument repairmen may service instru­
ments on factory floors amid noise, oil and
grease. They may also work at benches in
quiet, clean, well-lighted repair shops. Those
employed by instrument manufacturers may
have to travel often.
Many instrument repairmen belong to unions,
including the International Association of Ma­
chinists; International Brotherhood of Electri­
cal Workers; International Brotherhood of Pulp,
Sulphite, and Paper Mill Workers; Internation­

al Chemical Workers Union; International
Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine
Workers; International Union, United Automo­
bile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; Oil, Chemical and Atomic
Workers International Union; and Utility
Workers Union of America.
Where To Go for More Information

For more information on job opportunities,
training, and other questions, write to :
Foundation for Instrumentation Education and
Research, Inc.,
527 Lexington Ave., New York 17, N .Y.
Instrument Society of America,
313 Sixth Ave., Pittsburgh 22, Pa.

Inquiries concerning positions with the Fed­
eral Government should be made at the regional
offices of the U.S. Civil Service Commission.

Jewelers and Jewelry Repairmen
(D.O.T. 4-71.010, .020, and .025)

Nature of Work

Jewelers make rings, pins, necklaces, brace­
lets, and other precious jewelry by hand. They
frequently use precious or semiprecious jewels
or synthetic stones and set them in gold, silver,
or platinum; they also create fine pieces of
jewelry, using only these metals. Jewelers also
repair jewelry, make rings larger or smaller,
reset stones, and refashion old jewelry.
In making jewelry, jewelers may follow their
own design or one by another person who spe­
cializes in design work. The metal is formed to
follow the design either by melting and casting
it or by using small hand and machine tools
such as drills, files, saws, soldering irons and
jewelers’ lathes. Jewelers’ work is often very
fine and delicate and must be done with preci­
sion, as the materials used are extremely
expensive.
As a rule, jewelers specialize in making a
particular kind of jewelry, or in a particular
operation such as making models and tools for
jewelry, polishing, or stone setting. A few, after
years of experience, become all-round jewelers,



capable of making and repairing any kind of
jewelery. Costume jewelry and some kinds of
precious jewelry are mass produced by factory
workers using assembly-line methods. Highly
skilled jewelers are needed to make the models

P h o to g r a p h by U .S . D e p a r tm e n t o f L a b o r

Skilled jewelry worker setting a diamond.

434
and tools necessary to this large-scale produc­
tion.
Many jewelers not only make and repair
jewelry but have stores where they sell jewelry
and, often, silverware, china, glassware, and
other merchandise. However, an increasing
number of the newer retail jewelry stores are
owned or operated by merchants who are not
jewelers. When repair work is brought to these
merchants, the articles are sent to a “ trade shop”
specializing in this work.
Where Employed

Probably between 15,000 and 25,000 jew­
elers and jewelry repairmen were employed in
1960. Most of them worked in retail jewelry
stores, either as owners or employees, or in trade
shops that serve these stores. Some were em­
ployed in factories manufacturing either pre­
cious or costume jewelry. A few worked for
department stores and wholesale jewelry firms.
Although most small towns have at least one
store that sells and repairs jewelry, most of the
Nation’s 25,000 retail jewelry stores, as well as
the trade shops that service these stores, are
located in and near large cities. The chief
centers of precious jewelry manufacturing are
the New York City metropolitan area, followed
by the Providence, R.I., area. The majority of
all precious jewelry manufacturing plants in
the country are in New York, Rhode Island,
New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.
Training and Other Qualifications

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 is usually less complicated than
jewelry making, can be learned in a short time
by individuals already trained in filing, sawing,
drilling, and other basic mechanical skills.
Courses in jewelry repair are sometimes given
in trade schools which teach watchmaking and
watch repairing.
Formal apprenticeship in this trade takes
from 2 to 4 years, depending on the type of

training. For example, 3 years are required to


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

become a colored stone setter and 4 years to
qualify as a diamond setter. Throughout the
apprenticeship, training on the job is supple­
mented by trade school instruction in design,
quality of precious stones, the chemistry of
metals, and other related subjects. First work
assignments may be to set up work for solder­
ing or to do simple soldering or rough polish­
ing. As apprentices gain experience, they ad­
vance to more difficult work. On completion of
the apprenticeship, they become journeymen
jewelers.
High school education is desirable for young
people seeking to enter the trade. Courses in
chemistry, physics, mechanical drawing, and art
are particularly useful. Personal qualifications
important for success in this field are mechani­
cal aptitude, finger and hand dexterity, and
good eyesight. Artistic ability is necessary for
work in jewlry design. For those planning to
become retail jewelers, the ability to deal with
people and manage a business is also important.
Because young people entering this trade work
with precious stones and metals, they must be
bonded. Bonding requires an investigation of
one’s personal background for such traits as
honesty, trustworthiness, and respect for the
law.
Employment Outlook

Skilled all-round jewelers with artistic talent
and mechanical ability will probably be able to
find employment readily through the mid-1960’s.
Specialized jewelry craftsmen, such as stone
setters and modelmakers, will also have favora­
ble employment prospects, especially in manu­
facturing shops. Inexperienced jewelers and
those of only average ability, however, may en­
counter difficulty in finding desirable employ­
ment.
Persons planning to open their own jewelry
stores should expect to face considerable compe­
tition in most parts of the country and should be
prepared to make a substantial financial invest­
ment. As in the past, retail jewelers who can
also repair watches will have an advantage over
those who can work on jewelry only, expecially
in the smaller cities and towns.
In the long run, little expansion from current

435

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

levels of employment of skilled jewelers and
jewelry repairmen is expected in either jewelry
manufacturing or retail trade. The anticipated
growth in the number of retail jewelry stores
is not likely to result in a comparable increase
in employment of jewelers, as many of the new
stores will be owned and managed by people
other than jewelers. Most openings for skilled
jewelers will arise from the need to replace
those who retire, die, or transfer to other fields
of work. Such openings are expected to be rela­
tively few, however, because the occupation is
a small one and jewelers traditionally work at
the trade well beyond the normal retirement
age, or as long as they retain good eyesight
and steady hands.
Earnings and Working Conditions

More than three-fourths of the skilled jewelry
workers employed by precious jewelry manu­
facturers in the New York City area are covered
by a union contract between their employers

and the International Jewelry Workers’ Union.
Under the agreement, effective from 1960 to
1963, apprentices start at $1.25 an hour. They
receive increases of 5 cents an hour every 3
months for the first 9 months, and then a 10cent increase every 3 months until they reach
the applicable minimum rate for journeymen.
The minimum hourly rates for journeymen are
$2.40 for setters of colored stones, $2.55 for all­
round jewelers on handmade work, and $2.80
for modelmakers and diamond setters.
Skilled workers in the precious jewelry manu­
facturing shops of the New York City area have
a 35-hour workweek and are paid time and onehalf for all work done before or after the regular
workday. Some workers may be subject to un­
employment during the post-Christmas and
post-Easter seasons when sales decline. On the
other hand, retail jewelers and jewelry repair­
men often work more than 35 hours, especially
during the Christmas season and other peak
periods.

Maintenance Electricians
(D.O.T. 4-97.420)

Nature of Work

Maintenance electricians (electrical repair­
men) are skilled craftsmen who are responsible
not only for the maintenance and repair of
many different types of electrical equipment,
but also for the modernization of such equip­
ment to increase its efficiency. Equipment
worked on by these skilled workers includes
motors, transformers, generators, circuit break­
ers, controls, and lighting equipment used in in­
dustrial, commercial, and public establishments.
A large part of a maintenance electrician’s work
consists of periodically inspecting equipment to
detect and repair defective equipment before
breakdown occurs. When trouble does develop,
the electrician must quickly find and repair the
faulty circuit or equipment in order to prevent
production losses and inconvenience. In emer­
gencies, it also is his responsibility to advise
management whether immediate shutdown of
equipment is necessary, or if contineud opera­

tion would be
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/ hazardous.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

In his daily work, the maintenance electrician
performs many different jobs. For example, he
may install new electrical equipment or he may
make repairs by replacing units or parts such
as wiring, fuses, transformers, coils, or switches.
While doing installation or repair 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 outlets, panels, and boxes.
He also may adjust equipment controls and
check and adjust instruments.
In testing electrical equipment and wiring,
the maintenance electrician uses such devices
as test lamps, ammeters, volt-ohm meters, and
oscilloscopes. He sometimes works from blue­
prints and other specifications when doing
repair or installation jobs. He may make mathe­
matical computations relating to load capaci­
ties and connections of electrical wiring and
equipment. The many different tasks performed
by maintenance electricians call for the use of

436

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Where Employed

Maintenance electrician and helper installing
transformer.

a variety of handtools and power tools such as
pliers, screwdrivers, drills, reamers, and conduit
bending and threading tools.
Although all of these craftsmen possess the
same basic skills and use the same tools, the
nature of their work depends largely on the
size of plant and the particular industry in
which they are employed. In large plants, for
example, these workers may specialize in the
maintenance and repair of electrical machinery
such as transformers, motors, and welding ma­
chines. In small plants, the electrician usually is
responsible for all types of electrical work. The
maintenance electrician in manufacturing plants
usually repairs or maintains the electrical equip­
ment operated in connection with the produc­
tion of a specific item. For example, steel mills
and aluminum plants require a large number
of electricians to keep their rolling mills, heavy
cranes, and other electrical and electronic equip­
ment in good working order. In large office build­
ings or apartment houses, skilled electricians
are needed to maintain or repair w iring; motors;
and compressors used in the operation of eleva­
tors, refrigerators, lights; or other electrical
equipment and fixtures.



Nearly 250,000 maintenance electricians were
employed throughout the country in 1960. More
than 110,000 of these craftsmen were engaged
in servicing the equipment and machinery Used
in manufacturing plants. About 18,000 of these
workers were employed by manufacturers of
primary metal products; 29,000 in factories
producing transportation equipment; 11,000 in
chemical and allied products plants; 7,000 in
factories producing nonelectrical machinery; 5,000 in plants producing paper and allied prod­
ucts ; and the remainder were widely distributed
among other manufacturing industries.
Of the more than 130,000 maintenance elec­
tricians working in nonmanufacturing estab­
lishments in 1960, about 50,000 were working
in retail and service enterprises; approximately
35,000 were employed by Federal, State, and
local governments; 13,000 by railroads, 7,500
by wholesale trade establishments; and 10,000
were employed in maintaining and repairing
electrical equipment in mines. Other nonmanu­
facturing establishments employed the remain­
der of these skilled workers.
The jobs of maintenance electricians are
found all over the country. Large numbers of
these workers are employed in heavily indus­
trialized States such as New York, California,
Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio. %
Skilled workers in this trade have the ad­
vantage of being able to transfer to maintenance
electrician jobs in many different industries.
With some retraining they may also transfer
to construction electrician jobs.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Maintenance electricians can learn the skills
of their trade through formal apprenticeship
programs, or by informal on-the-job training,
accumulating experience through a series of
jobs in their trade. However, training authori­
ties generally agree that apprenticeship pro­
grams give the worker more thorough knowl­
edge of the trade and greater job opportunities
during his working life.
The apprenticeship program for maintenance
electricians usually lasts about 4 years. Ap­
prentices are given on-the-job training and re­

437

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

lated technical classroom instruction in such
subjects as mathematics, electrical and elec­
tronic theory, and blueprint reading. Such
training may include motor repair; wire splic­
ing ; commercial and industrial w iring; installa­
tion of light and power equipment; installation
and repair of electronic controls and circuits;
and welding, brazing, and burning.
A young man employed in a plant as a helper
to a skilled maintenance electrician may gradu­
ally acquire the skills of this craft by observing
the skilled worker and working under his in­
structions. Other electricians learn the trade by
working in the maintenance department of a
plant and picking up some of the job funda­
mentals. By moving from job to job over a
long period of time, they eventually acquire
sufficient experience to qualify as skilled crafts­
men.
A young man interested in becoming a main­
tenance electrician should include courses in
mathematics (such as algebra and trigonom­
etry), physics, electricity, and basic science in
his high school or vocational school curriculum.
Because electrical work is subject to constant
change, many experienced electricians must con­
tinue to acquire technical knowledge and learn
new skills. For example, some maintenance elec­
tricians who entered the trade some years ago
now must learn basic electronics in order to
service the new electronic equipment being in­
troduced in the Nation’s industrial establish­
ments, and large commercial and residential
buildings.
In selecting apprentice applicants or trainees,
employers look for young men who have manual
dexterity and who are interested in learning
how electrical equipment functions. These young
men need good color vision because elec­
trical wires are frequently identified by their
different colors. Although great physical
strength is not essential, agility and good health
are important.
Some maintenance electricians must be famil­
iar with local building codes. In addition, a
growing number of cities and counties require
these craftsmen to be licensed. Maintenance
electricians’ licenses can be obtained by passing
a comprehensive examination which tests their

knowledge of
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/ electricity.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Skilled maintenance electricians may become
foremen who supervise the work of other main­
tenance electricians or other maintenance per­
sonnel. Occasionally, they may advance to jobs
such as plant maintenance supertendent.
Employment Outlook

A substantial increase in the number of main­
tenance electrician jobs is expected in the next
decade, resulting in job opportunities for several
thousand new workers each year. The antici­
pated industrial growth of the country and the
long-term trend toward increased use of electri­
cal and electronic equipment are expected to
provide favorable employment prospects for
these skilled craftsmen. Many new workers also
will be needed to replace the workers who retire,
die, or transfer to other fields of work. Retire­
ments and deaths alone may result in about
3,500 to 4,500 new job openings a year during
the 1960’s.
The number of maintenance electricians has
increased rapidly with the doubling of electric
power production every 10 years since 1900. In
the next decade, production is expected to
double again. About half of the electric power
generated today is consumed by industrial con­
cerns, and a considerable portion of the re­
mainder is used in homes, and in large office,
hotel, and apartment buildings. Since well over
half of the electricity is used in establishments
which employ maintenance electricians, it is ex­
pected that the anticipated expansion in elec­
trical power production will continue to result
in increased employment of these workers.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In general, the earnings of maintenance elec­
tricians compare favorably with those of other
skilled craftsmen. The average straight-time
hourly earnings of maintenance electricians in
establishments in 43 cities and areas ranged in
1959-60 from $1.87 in Greenville, S.C., to $3.16
in Detroit, Mich., Birmingham, Ala., and
Charleston, W. Va. In most of the cities sur­
veyed, however, average straight-time hourly
earnings for these craftsmen ranged from $2.50
to $3.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

438
In establishments which operate an appren­
ticeship program, apprentices start at about 60
percent of the journeyman's basic hourly pay
rate. They receive increases every 6 months,
moving up to 85 to 90 percent of the journey­
man's rate during the last year of their
apprenticeship.
During a single day, an electrician employed
in a plant may repair electrical equipment both
in a clean air-conditioned office and on the fac­
tory floor, surrounded by the noise, oil, and
grease of machinery. Maintenance electricians
may be called upon to climb ladders, work on
scaffolds, or work in awkward or cramped posi­
tions when installing or replacing electricial
equipment and performing other repair jobs.
Because they often work around high-voltage
industrial equipment, maintenance electricians
must be alert and accurate in carrying out their
duties. Errors in wiring installations could
have dangerous consequences both to the elec­
trician and the operating employees. The safety
principles which are now part of all training
programs have greatly reduced the frequency
of accidents. All well-trained maintenance elec­
tricians are taught to use protective equipment
and clothing, to respect the destructive poten­

tial of electricity, and to handle small electrical
fires.
Various labor unions have maintenance elec­
tricians in their membership. Many of these
craftsmen are members of the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Among
other unions to which maintenance electricians
belong are the International Union of Electrical,
Radio and Machine Workers; the International
Association of Machinists; the International
Union, United Automobile, Aircraft and Agri­
cultural Implement Workers of America; and
the United Steelworkers of America. Most of
the labor-management contracts covering main­
tenance electricians provide major benefit pro­
grams which may include paid holidays and
vacations; hospitalization, medical and surgical
insurance; life insurance; and retirement pen­
sions.
Where To Go for More Information
The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training
Committee for the Electrical Industry,
1200 18th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
The State Supervisor of Trade and Industrial Edu­
cation or the local Director of Vocational Educa­
tion in the State and/or city in which a person
wishes to receive training will have lists of
training institutions.

M illw rights
(D.O.T. 5-78.100)

Nature of Work

Millwrights are skilled workers who move
and install heavy industrial machinery and
other equipment. These workers must have a
thorough knowledge of the complex industrial
equipment on which they work because they
frequently take apart, move, put together, and
aline this equipment. Millwrights use hoists,
cranes, jacks, crowbars, wood blocking, and
other rigging devices to move heavy equip­
ment. In assembling machinery, they fit bear­
ings, aline gears and wheels, connect belts, and
attach motors. In doing this work, they use
wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, hammers, and
other handtools. After moving and erecting
equipment, millwrights secure it firmly at the

new site. To aline and level equipment, they


use measuring devices such as micrometers,
calipers, squares, plumb bobs, and levels. Mill­
wrights often work from blueprints when pre­
paring platforms on which machines are to be
mounted or when laying out or installing plant
equipment.
In addition to moving and installing equip­
ment, millwrights often repair and maintain
conveyors, cranes, hoists, scaffolds, pumps, blow­
ers and other industrial equipment. Such work
may include oiling and greasing machinery,
replacing worn or broken belts, and welding
metal parts. Millwrights sometimes work as
part of a maintenance team of pipefitters and
machinery repairmen in keeping a production
line operating.

439

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

industrialized States of Ohio, Michigan, Penn­
sylvania, New York, and Illinois.
Training and Other Qualifications

C o u rte sy o f U .S . N av al W e ap o n s P la n t

Millwrights guiding machine into position as it is
lowered by hoists.

Where Employed

Most millwrights are employed in industries
that use heavy machinery and other equipment.
The principal employers of the more than 70,000
millwrights at work in 1960 were the steel,
machinery, automobile, paper, woodworking,
chemical, and construction industries. The
steel, machinery, and automobile industries,
which are particularly dependent upon mas­
sive equipment in their manufacturing opera­
tions, together employed about 30,000 of these
skilled workers.
Other millwrights are employed by com­
panies that specialize in moving and installing
industrial machinery on a contract basis. Some
also work for machinery manufacturers who
employ millwrights to install their products in
customers’ plants.
Millwrights work in every State. However,
about half of them are employed in the heavily



Millwrights learn the trade by picking up
the skills informally or through apprenticeship
programs. Those workers who pick up the trade
work as helpers to skilled millwrights over a
period of years until they acquire sufficient
knowledge and experience to be classified as
skilled workers. Most training authorities agree
that apprenticeship programs give young per­
sons a more thorough preparation for his
skilled trade. Apprenticeship programs gen­
erally last 4 years. Apprentices are given shop
training in dismantling, moving, erecting, and
repairing machinery and other equipment. They
are also trained in floor layout, the installation
of machinery and other equipment, rough car­
pentry, welding, and the use of structural steel,
wood, and concrete. The apprenticeship pro­
gram includes related classroom instruction in
shop mathematics, blueprint reading, hydrau­
lics, electricity, and safety. Many companies
require that apprentice applicants be high
school graduates between the ages of 18 and
26.
High school courses in mathematics, mechan­
ical drawing, and machine shop practice are
useful to young men interested in becoming
millwrights. Because millwrights often put to­
gether and take apart complicated machinery,
mechanical aptitude is helpful to young men
entering the trade. Strength and agility are
other important qualifications for millwright
work, which often requires considerable lift­
ing and climbing.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for millwrights
will increase moderately in the 1960’s, provid­
ing a few thousand job openings in this trade
each year. The building of new plants, the
addition of new machinery, changes in plant
layouts, and the maintenance of increasing
amounts of heavy and complex machinery and
other equipment in the 1960-70 decade are all
expected to increase employment opportunities
for millwrights.

440

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

The paper and pulp industry is an example
of an industry which is expected to expand
and further mechanize its operations. Mill­
wrights will be needed in greater numbers in
this industry to install, move, and maintain
papermaking machines, cranes, conveyors, and
other industrial equipment.
In addition to new job openings which will
be created by industrial expansion and in­
creased mechanization, many thousands of
workers will be needed during the 1960’s to
replace millwrights who retire or die. Job
vacancies will also be created as millwrights
transfer to other lines of work.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The earnings of millwrights depend upon the
city where they are employed as well as the
type of business in which their employer is
engaged. Average hourly earnings of mill­
wrights employed in manufacturing and non­
manufacturing industries in 28 large metropoli­
tan areas in 1959-60 ranged from $2.16 in
Providence to $3.10 in Detroit. More than 70
percent of these workers earned at least $2.80
an hour.
Millwrights employed by companies doing
contract installation work and by construction
companies usually have higher hourly wage
rates than those employed in manufacturing
industries. For example, the union wage rates
for millwrights working in the building trades
in 28 large cities in July 1959 ranged from $3
an hour in Charlotte to $3.94 an hour in Phila­
delphia. The average was $3.57 an hour.
The wage rates for apprentices generally

start at approximately 50 percent of the skilled
worker’s rate and progress to the full rate by
the end of the training period.
Millwrights, most of whom work in factories,
ordinarily work year-round. Millwrights who
work for construction companies and for com­
panies that move and install machinery on a
contract basis may have periods of unemploy­
ment between jobs.
The work of millwrights involves certain
hazards. For example, there is danger of being
struck by falling tools or other objects or by
machinery that is being moved. There also is
the danger of falling from high work places.
In addition, millwrights are subject to the
usual shop hazards, such as cuts and bruises.
In recent years, accidents have been reduced
by the use of protective devices, such as safety
belts, metal hats, and shoes with metal toes.
Millwrights must frequently work on dirty and
greasy equipment.
Most millwrights belong to labor unions.
Among the unions to which these workers be­
long are the International Association of Ma­
chinists ; United Brotherhood of Carpenters and
Joiners of America; United Steelworkers of
America; International Union, United Auto­
mobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; International Brother­
hood of Pulp, Sulphite and Paper Mill Workers ;
and the International Union of Electrical,
Radio and Machine Workers. Employer-union
contracts covering millwrights usually include
provisions for benefits, such as paid vacations;
hospitalization, medical, and surgical insur­
ance; life insurance; sickness and accident in­
surance ; and retirement pensions.

Television and Radio Servicemen
(D.O.T. 5-83.416)

Nature of Work

Young persons who are interested in the
rapidly growing field of electronics and who,
for various reasons will not attend college, will
find many opportunities for employment as
television and radio servicemen. These skilled

workers use their knowledge of electrical and


electronic parts and circuits to install and re­
pair a growing number of electronic products.
Of these, television sets are by far the most
prominent; other major electronics products
are radios (including home, automobile, and
2-way mobile radios), phonographs, high-fidel­
ity sound equipment, tape recorders, and public

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

Serviceman checking television receiver.

address systems. Many servicemen specialize
in repairing one kind of equipment, for exam­
ple, color television sets or automobile radios.
Most of the skilled work done by television
and radio servicemen involves diagnosing trou­
ble in equipment and making necessary re­
pairs. Equipment may operate poorly, or break
down completely, because of worn-out tubes,
broken solder connections, burned resistors,
dirt, moisture, or other basic troubles that af­
fect all electronic equipment. When service­
men turn on television sets or other equipment
that needs repair, signs of poor performance,
such as no picture or no sound, may tell them
what is wrong. Their job is to check and elimi­
nate each possible cause of trouble, beginning
with the simplest and most common cause—
tube failure. In other routine checks, they look
for loose or broken connections and for parts
that are charred or burned (a sign that too
much electricity is passing through the parts).
When simple, routine checks do not locate
causes of trouble, servicemen use meters and
electronic test equipment to trace the flow of
electricity through wires and other parts. They
work back from the point where trouble ap­
pears, measuring voltage, for example, until
an unusual or irregular measurement indicates




441
that part of the set causing trouble. A com­
monly used meter is the vacuum tube voltmeter.
Multimeters, oscilloscopes, signal generators,
and other specialized instruments also are
used.
Servicemen spend much time talking with
customers, particularly in homes, where most
servicing is done. They advise customers what
is wrong with sets and whether sets must be
taken to shops for repair. They explain, in
general, what must be done to fix sets and give
estimates of the costs of repairs. After sets
are repaired in homes or returned from shops,
servicemen explain what has been done. They
may make additional comments as needed to
satisfy the customer and may further adjust
the equipment to put it in good operating con­
dition.
Work usually done by television and radio
servicemen in homes or other places where
equipment is used includes making simple elec­
trical checks with a voltmeter, changing tubes,
and making simple adjustments such as focus­
ing the picture. Servicemen who make cus­
tomer service calls carry tubes and other
components that are replaced frequently. Ap­
prentices or less experienced television service­
men install antennas on roofs or in attics and
run wires from antennas to sets.
Radios and other equipment small enough to
be carried to shops by customers, usually are
repaired by servicemen in the shops. Television
sets are repaired in shops when they develop
troubles which appear only after sets have been
operating for a few hours, or when the troubles
can be located only with test equipment ordi­
narily kept in shops. Television and radio
servicemen in shops often refer to wiring dia­
grams and instruction books (service manuals)
that list parts, show connections within sets,
and describe causes of trouble associated with
unusual symptoms.
Television and radio servicemen use solder­
ing irons, wire cutters, long-nosed pliers,
wrenches, screwdrivers, magnifying glasses,
and hammers when they remove, adjust, or
replace parts, components, or complete equip­
ment such as car radios. Such work may be
time-consuming and may require patience as

442
well as great care to avoid damaging fragile
parts, such as printed circuit boards.
Where Employed

An estimated 90,000 television and radio
servicemen were employed in mid-1960. Many
were self-employed. Others worked in inde­
pendent local service shops, in stores that sell
and service consumer electronic products, and
in factories and service branches operated
by manufacturers of these products.
Some servicemen are employed in almost
every city, wherever television sets and radios
are used. Most of them, however, work in large
cities where large numbers of television sets,
radios, and other electronic equipment are used
and manufactured.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

School training in electronics usually is re­
quired to become a highly skilled television and
radio serviceman capable of working on var­
ious types of equipment. Vocational or trade
school training in electronic subjects has
helped many men to qualify as expert tele­
vision and radio servicemen. Correspondence
school courses also may be helpful. Young men
who enter military service may wish to inves­
tigate opportunities to get training and work
experience in servicing electronic equipment,
because such experience often is valuable in
civilian electronics work, including television
and radio servicing. From 2 to 3 years' com­
bined training and on-the-job experience are
required to become a qualified television and
radio serviceman. Men without previous train­
ing may be hired as helpers or apprentices if
they show aptitude for the work or, like the
amateur ( “ ham” ) radio operator, have a hobby
in electronics.
Many employers and manufacturers conduct
training programs at factories or through local
distributors for television and radio service­
men, especially when new models or new prod­
ucts are introduced. Servicemen also keep up
with new developments by studying manufac­
turers' instruction books and technical maga­
 covering electronics service work.
zines


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Television and radio servicemen need a good
background in mathematics and physics in
order to understand the equipment they work
on. They must know how electronic compo­
nents work, and why they function as they do.
They must be able to understand technical
publications. Television and radio servicemen
must also be tactful and courteous in dealing
with customers.
Other essential qualifications of television
and radio servicemen are ability to manipulate
small parts and tools, good hand-eye coordina­
tion, normal hearing, and excellent eyesight
and color vision. Often these servicemen work
with delicate wires and parts that are identi­
fied only by color codes.
Television and radio servicemen may advance
within the service field and become foremen or
service managers. They may also be promoted
to other higher paid work, such as technical
writing, sales engineering, design, and train­
ing. Many become owners of independent tele­
vision and radio service shops. Others may
combine a sales and service business.
Young persons interested in advancing to
higher level positions as electronic technicians
or supervisors can improve their opportunities
by taking trade school, correspondence, tech­
nical institute, or other types of advanced
courses in electronic engineering, television
engineering, automatic controls, engineering
mathematics, and other subjects related to elec­
tronics.
Television and radio servicemen often are
able to transfer to jobs as electronic mechan­
ics or servicemen in manufacturing industries
or government service.
Employment Outlook

Television and radio servicemen will con­
tinue to have good employment opportunities
in the 1960's. A few thousand job openings
probably will become available each year. Most
of these openings will occur because of the
growing number of electronic products in the
home. Others will result from replacement of
servicemen who transfer to other jobs, are
promoted, or who retire or die.
In 1960, almost 9 of every 10 households had

443

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

television sets. As population increases, the
number of television sets will also increase. In
addition, the number of homes with two or
more television sets and radios is expected to
continue to grow. Greater use of television
sets is also expected in business and industry,
and schools and other institutions. For exam­
ple, using television sets which show pictures
sent from cameras set up in several different
locations, a factory guard can check several
places at the same time, or a nurse can watch
patients in several different rooms at once.
Most automobiles and many taxicabs and
trucks are equipped with radios. Two-way
radios are often used by companies to keep in
touch with drivers. Growing numbers of
motor vehicles thus will result in increasing
demand for radio service work.
In recent years, improvements in television
sets and radios (such as the use of transistors
in place of tubes) have tended to reduce the
amount of service this equipment requires.
Similar developments in the future may slow
down employment growth expected to result
from increasing use of consumer electronic
products. In the long run, however, techno­
logical developments will increase employment
opportunities for those television and radio
servicemen with a broad knowledge of elec­
trical and electronic circuits.
Earnings and Working Conditions

According to limited information, most full­
time employed skilled television and radio serv­
icemen in 1960 earned from $100 to $115 a
week, but some earned as much as $130 a week.
Starting pay was about $60 to $70 a week.

Television and radio servicemen employed in
local service shops or dealer service depart­
ments commonly work a 6-day, 48-hour week.
In large shops, including manufacturers’ serv­
ice branches, they usually work a basic 40hour week. Servicemen often work at night
and on weekends, and for more than 8 hours a
day. Usually they receive extra pay for over­
time or night work.
Television and radio service is performed in
shops and homes where working conditions are
usually pleasant. Inside (shop) servicemen
work at benches provided with stools. Outside
servicemen may spend an hour or more a day
driving between shops and customers. Some
physical strain is involved in lifting and carry­
ing sets. Perhaps the greatest hazard is the
risk of falling from roofs while installing an­
tennas. Electrical shock is another hazard,
but it has rarely caused seripds injury.
Some employers of television and radio serv­
icemen provide paid vacations and holidays aft­
er a specified number of years’ service. Many
also provide or help pay for health and insur­
ance benefits.
Where To Go for More Information

Additional information about jobs in tele­
vision and radio servicing may be obtained
from local servicemen, local dealers who sell
and service television sets and other electronic
equipment, and manufacturers of television
sets who provide training for servicemen. Local
vocational schools which offer courses in tele­
vision or electronics may also provide helpful
information.

Watch Repairmen
(D.O.T. 4-71.510)

Nature of Work

Watch repairmen or “ watchmakers” repair
and adjust watches, clocks, and other timepieces.
This work is precise and delicate. First, the
working parts of the watch are removed from
the case and examined with the aid of a mag­

nifying eyeglass. The repairmen may then re­


place the mainspring, hairspring, balance and
other wheels, or broken jewels, and adjust im­
properly fitted wheels and other parts. The
parts may also be cleaned and oiled before the
dials, hands, crystal, and wristband are reas­
sembled. The development of interchangeable
mass-produced parts has decreased the need for

444

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Watch repairing requires patience and mechanical skill.

making” parts by hand but factory-made parts
sometimes must be adjusted to insure a “ true”
fit. In their work, watch repairmen use small
lathes and handtools such as tiny pliers and
screwdrivers.
Watchmakers who own or work in retail jew­
elry stores also repair jewelry and may sell
watches, jewelry, silverware, and other items
such as china and lamps. They may also hire
and supervise salesclerks, other watch repair­
men, jewelers, and engravers; arrange window
displays; purchase goods to be sold; and handle
other managerial duties.
Where Employed

Most watch repairmen work in retail jewelry
stores or in separate watch repair shops, either
as owners or as employees. Many are employed
by department stores and mail order houses or
operate watch repair concessions in such estab­
lishments. Others work for trade shops (not
usually open to the public) which repair watches
for retail stores. A number work for jeweledwatch factories and importing firms or teach
in watch repair schools.
There are probably over 25,000 watch repair­
men employed in all parts of the country, chiefly
in the New York City area and in other large
cities.



A few States— Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Ken­
tucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee,
and Wisconsin— require that watch repairmen
obtain a license to work at the trade. To obtain
a license, they must pass an examination de­
signed to test their skill with tools and their
knowledge of watch construction and repair.
Watchmakers in all States, however, can dem­
onstrate their ability by passing an examination
given by the American Watchmaking Institute.
The certificate awarded watchmakers who pass
this examination is widely recognized by em­
ployers as an indication of an acceptable stand­
ard of skill.
Many young people prepare for this trade
through courses given in private watch repair
schools. Some enter through vocational high
school training. Others are trained in formal
apprenticeship or other on-the-job training
programs.
Watch repair schools generally have no spe­
cific educational requirements for entrance, al­
though most students are high school graduates.
The length of time required to complete the
course— usually 18 months to 2 years— is deter­
mined by its content, the ability of the indi­
vidual student, and whether attendance is full
or part time. In most watch repair schools, a
considerable amount of time is spent taking
apart various types of watch movements and
reassembling them, truing hairsprings, remov­
ing and replacing balance staffs and balance
wheels, learning how to use a watchmaker’s
lathe, and cleaning watches. Some schools offer
courses in the repair of unusual types of time­
pieces, for example, chronographs and new-type
electric or electronic watches. Students are re­
quired to furnish their own tools.
Important qualifications for success in this
field are mechanical aptitude, finger dexterity,
a sensitive touch, good vision (with or without
glasses), and patience. For those interested in
owning or working in a retail store, salesman­
ship and a good business sense are desirable.
Beginners with sufficient funds— about $1,000 to $1,500 is needed to purchase a watch­
timing machine and other tools ancf equipment—
may open their own watch repair shops. Some
watch repairmen gradually extend their serv­

445

MECHANICS AND REPAIRMEN

ices to include the sale of various items of jew ­
elry and eventually establish retail jewelry
stores.
Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities will continue to be
good through the mid-1960’s for experienced
watch repairmen who have established reputa­
tions for doing high quality work. Jobs for
beginners, however, are likely to be somewhat
limited. A few new jobs will become available,
particularly in small cities where business ac­
tivities are expanding and in newly established
shopping centers in the suburbs of large cities.
In addition, inexperienced watchmakers as well
as other persons with the qualifications im­
portant in watch repairing will be in growing
demand to work on miniature devices, espe­
cially in industries producing electronic equip­
ment. Nevertheless, most openings will probably
continue to rise from the need to replace re­
pairmen who retire, transfer to other fields of
work, or die.
Employment of watchmakers is likely to rise
slowly over the long run. Factors that will tend
to increase the demand for watchmakers will
be partially offset by other factors that will
operate to decrease it. For example, the number
of watches in use will undoubtedly rise as the
population increases. In addition, the trends
toward owning more than one watch, wearing
watches as costume jewelry, and buying more
children’s watches are expected to continue. The
popularity of small watches, which need repair
more frequently than large ones, and the in­
troduction of more complicated timepieces—
chronographs, calendar watches, and self-wind­
ing watches— will also help maintain a large
volume of repair work. On the other hand, sales




of inexpensive watches which can be replaced
at a price as low as the cost of repairing them
will probably continue to grow; competition
from persons employed in other fields who re­
pair watches in their spare time is expected to
continue; and new types of watches are being
developed which will require less repair.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Salaries of most beginning watchmakers
ranged from about $60 to $80 a week in 1960
depending on individual ability and the type
and place of employment. Experienced journey­
men employed in retail stores generally received
from $85 to $125 for a 40-hour week. Watch
repairmen who are in business for themselves
usually earn considerably more than those work­
ing for a salary. Earnings of the self-employed
depend on the amount of repair work done and,
in the case of watchmakers who own retail
jewelry stores, the volume of sales.
Watchmakers frequently work longer than the
standard 40-hour week. Those who are selfemployed or located in small communities usu­
ally work a 48-hour week or longer. There may
be some tendency toward eye strain, but the
work involves little physical exertion. This
light, sedentary work is frequently recom­
mended to certain handicapped and disabled
workers.
Where To Go for More Information

Information on schools giving training
courses acceptable to the trade, as well as on
watch repairing as a career, may be obtained
from :
American Watchmakers Institute,
18465 James Couzens Highway, Detroit 35, Mich.

M ACHINING OCCUPATIONS
Almost every product of American industry
contains metal parts or is manufactured by
machines made of metal parts. Many of these
metal parts are made by machining workers,
who make up the largest occupational group in
the metalworking trades. In late 1960, more than
a million workers were employed as all-round
machinists, machine tool operators, tool and die
makers, instrument makers, setup men, and lay­
out men.
Machining workers, one of the most important
groups of workers in the labor force, use ma­
chine tools to form metal to desired shapes and
sizes with great accuracy. Metal parts which
must fit together exactly are first shaped by
casting, forging, rolling, or stamping, and then
finished to more precise measurements by
machining.
Nature of Work

The principal job of machining workers is
to operate machine tools. A machine tool is a
power-driven machine which holds firmly both
the piece of metal to be shaped and a cutting
instrument, or “ tool,” and brings them together
so that the metal is cut, shaved, ground, or
drilled. In some cases, the cutting tool is moved
and the metal is held stationary; in others, the
metal is moved against a stationary tool.
The most common types of machine tools are:
grinding machines, drilling machines, lathes,
milling machines, cutoff machines, polishing and
buffing machines, boring mills, shapers, and
planers. Lathes turn and shape metal against
a sharp cutting tool. Grinding machines smooth
metal parts by means of power-driven abrasive
wheels. Boring mills and drilling machines
make holes in metal. Milling and broaching
machines cut or remove excess metal with tools
which have several cutting heads. Shapers and
planers are machine tools which produce flat
surfaces.
 446


Accuracy is very important in metal machin­
ing work. Metal products usually are made of
separate parts which must be interchangeable
and thus easily assembled by mass-production
processes. Metal parts sometimes are machined
accurately to within one-ten thousandth of an
inch (which is only one-thirtieth the width
of a human hair). Machining workers follow
directions which generally are given in draw­
ings or blueprints which may specify exact
dimensions of finished parts. Machining work­
ers frequently use micrometers and other pre­
cision-measuring instruments to check the ac­
curacy of their work against these specifications.
Besides operating machine tools, skilled ma­
chining workers also lay out and assemble metal
parts. They use chisels, scrapers, files, and
other small handtools in chipping, filing, and
polishing the parts so that they will fit together
exactly.
The all-round machinist is a skilled worker
who can operate most types of machine tools.
The largest number of machining workers are
skilled and semiskilled machine tool operators
who run lathes, drilling machines, milling ma­
chines, grinders, and other machine tools. Un­
like all-round machinists, machine tool opera­
tors commonly work with only one kind of
machine tool.
A highly skilled machining job is that of tool
and die maker, who specializes in making dies
for use with presses and die casting machines,
devices to guide drills into metal, and special
gages to determine whether the work meets
specified tolerances. Another highly skilled ma­
chining job is that of instrument maker who
machines, with great accuracy, instrument parts
made of metal or other materials, and often
assembles and tests instruments. Setup men and
layout men are skilled specialized workers em­
ployed in plants which produce large amounts
of metal products. Setup men adjust machine
tools so that semiskilled machine tool operators
can run the machine and perform the proper

447

MACHINING OCCUPATIONS

machining- operations. Layout men mark ma­
chining directions on metal so that an operator
can perform the proper machining operations.
(A detailed discussion of the types of work
performed by workers in each of these ma­
chining occupations is presented later in this
chapter.)
Since continuous attention is required when
machine tools are in operation, the work may
be rather tedious, especially on simple and repet­
itive machining jobs. However, where the work
is varied and complex, and standards of ac­
curacy are high, a worker can experience the
satisfaction which comes to a capable and con­
scientious craftsman in a highly skilled trade.
Location of Machining Work

An estimated 600,000 machine tool operators,
300.000 machinists, 150,000 tool and die makers,
35.000 instrument makers, and 45,000 setup
men and layout men were employed in machin­
ing jobs in late 1960. About two-thirds of these
workers were employed in the metalworking
industries, mostly in plants which manufacture
machinery, transportation equipment such as
automobiles and aircraft, fabricated metal prod­
ucts, and electrical machinery and equipment.
(See chart 23.)
CHART 23

INDUSTRIES EMPLOYING MACHINING WORKERS
Thousands of machining workers, I9 6 0 1
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

350

400

!

I

I

I

I

1

I

I

I

Machinery
(except electrical)

I
Aircraft Autom obiles Other
Transportation
equipment

Fabricated
metal products

Electrical
machinery

All other




iEstim ated.

Many thousands were employed in nonmetal­
working establishments such as repair shops of
railroads and maintenance shops of factories
which make textiles, paper, glass, or chemicals
(usually one or only a few machinists worked
in each of these establishments). A smaller
number worked in industrial and university re­
search laboratories and shops which fabricate
models of new products.
Machining workers are employed in every
State and in almost every city in the country.
More than half of all machining workers are
employed in Ohio, New York, Illinois, Cali­
fornia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Other
States with large numbers of machining work­
ers are: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New
Jersey, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Texas. Main­
tenance machinists are employed in almost every
city. Most instrument makers are employed in
New York City, Chicago, and a few other large
cities.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

The common method of entering skilled ma­
chining occupations is through apprenticeship,
which is a period of formal on-the-job training
during which the new worker learns all the
aspects of his trade. He is taught how to oper­
ate machine tools, and how to use handtools and
measuring instruments. In addition to shop
training, the apprentice is given classroom in­
struction in blueprint reading, mathematics, and
other related subjects. In choosing apprentices,
employers usually prefer young men who have
a high school or trade school education. Some
companies use aptitude tests to determine
whether apprentice applicants have the neces­
sary mechanical ability and the temperament
suited to perform this exacting work. Machin­
ing workers must also have good vision, and
superior judgment of depth and distance.
Most machine tool operators and some ma­
chinists, tool and die makers, and instrument
makers have “ picked up” the skills of their
trade informally through experience on several
jobs. They generally start in the less skilled
machining jobs and gain “ know-how” while
working with experienced craftsmen. They
gradually advance to more skilled jobs as they

448
acquire experience and knowledge. Some of
these workers improve their qualifications for
the more skilled trades by taking courses in
blueprint reading and shop mathematics in
vocational schools.
Because machining work is not physically
strenuous, women are sometimes employed as
machine tool operators. Relatively few women
are employed in skilled machining occupations.
Skilled machining workers have several ad­
vancement opportunities. For example, many
can advance to supervisory positions such as
foreman. Tool and die makers and instrument
makers can advance to technical positions, such
as tool designer. Skilled machining workers
also can open their own tool and die shops or
machine shops.
Employment Outlook

There will be thousands of opportunities for
workers to get jobs as tool and die makers,
all-round machinists, instrument makers, ma­
chine tool operators, layout men, and setup men
in the 1960’s. A large proportion of these job
openings will result from the need to replace
workers who transfer to other fields of work,
or who retire or die.
Despite changing business conditions and
technological developments, the long-range
trend of production-worker employment in the

metalworking industries has been upward. Dur­
ing the 1960’s, the number of workers employed
in machining jobs in these industries is ex­
pected to increase moderately because of in­
creasing demands for consumer products such
as automobiles and appliances, and for indus­
trial goods such as machinery and instruments.
Employment opportunities for machining
workers during the 1960’s also may be favor­
ably affected by defense spending, since it
appears likely that the Armed Forces will in­
crease their purchases of metal products. Many
military products will be new products, in­
volving new metals or alloys and requiring
special machining skills.
Employment in the individual machining
occupations is expected to increase at varying
rates. Technological changes are expected to
cause employment of machine tool operators,



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

setup men, and layout men to increase more
slowly than employment of other machining
workers. A new technological development is
the use of automated machining lines in which
machine tools are linked together for automatic
production operations. Cutting speeds are also
increasing.
Increasing mechanization and
growth in nonmetalworking industries have
expanded needs for maintenance machinists
who keep mechanical equipment in good con­
dition. Machining workers employed in main­
tenance shops tend to have fairly steady
employment over the years, because the amount
of work they must do is not wholly dependent
on changes in the volume of production. Main­
tenance work continues even when production
declines.
The numerical control of machine tools is
another technological advance— not yet wide­
spread— which may affect machining workers.
The use of numerically controlled machine
tools broadly involves the following sequence
of operations: Engineers or draftsmen trans­
late part dimensions and tolerances, cutter
shapes and sizes, cutting paths and sequences,
and other data into numbers or codes repre­
senting numbers. These numbers are punched
on tapes or cards which are inserted into elec­
tronic devices that translate numbers into mo­
tions or actions such as drilling or cutting.
The machine tool operator simply installs the
tool, inserts and removes the workpiece, and
changes the tapes or cards.
Specific effects of numerically controlled
machine tools on the employment of machining
workers could not be measured accurately in
early 1961. However, numerical controls may
greatly simplify the jobs of many machining
workers and increase their production effi­
ciency. Also, employment growth may be
slowed in some machining occupations. (These
effects are discussed in the sections of this
chapter which cover individual machining oc­
cupations.)
In addition to the expected rise in machining
employment, replacement needs will create
thousands of openings. Retirements and deaths
of experienced men alone may provide about
20,000 openings annually during the 1960’s.
This will be a particularly important factor

449

MACHINING OCCUPATIONS

in the skilled machining occupations, which
have a relatively high proportion of older work­
ers. In the less skilled occupations, shifting
into other occupations is fairly common, and
many openings will arise in this way.

cultural Implement Workers of America; the
International Union of Electrical, Radio and
Machine Workers; the United Steelworkers of
America; and the Mechanics Educational So­
ciety of America.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Where To Go for More Information

The earnings of skilled machining workers
generally compare favorably with those of other
skilled industrial workers. Tool and die makers
and instrument makers are the highest paid
workers in the machining group, and among
the highest paid skilled workers in manufac­
turing. Detailed earnings information is pre­
sented in most of the discussions of the individ­
ual occupations.

The National Machine Tool Builders Asso­
ciation, 2139 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington
7, D.C.— whose members build a large percent­
age of all machine tools used in this country—
will supply information on career opportunities
in the Machine Tool Industry.

Most machine shops are fairly clean, well
lighted, and free from dust. Safety instruc­
tions are an important part of job training.
Because they work with high speed machine
tools and sharp cutting instruments, workers
in these occupations need good safety habits.
Persons working around machine tools are pro­
hibited from wearing loose fitting clothing and
frequently wear protective goggles.
Machining work is not physically strenuous.
The machine tools do the actual cutting while
the machining worker sets the machine,
watches the controls, and checks the accuracy
of the work. The workers, however, usually
stand at their jobs most of the day and move
about frequently.
Companies that employ machining workers
generally provide paid holidays and paid vaca­
tions. Life insurance, hospitalization, medical
and surgical insurance, sickness and accident
insurance, and pensions also are often avail­
able to machining workers.
The great majority of machining workers
are members of unions. Among the labor or­
ganizations in this field are the International
Association of Machinists; the International
Union, United Automobile, Aircraft and Agri­



The National Tool & Die Manufacturers
Association, 907 Public Square Building, Cleve­
land 13, Ohio, offers information on appren­
ticeship training, including Recommended
Apprenticeship Standards for Tool and Die
Makers, certified by the U.S. Department of
Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Train­
ing.
Many local offices of the State employment
service, affiliated with the U.S. Employment
Service, offer free aptitude testing to persons
interested in determining their capacity to
acquire the skills necessary for the all-round
machinist and tool and die making trades. The
State employment service also refers appli­
cants for apprentice programs to employers.
In many communities, applications for appren­
ticeship are also received by labor-management
apprenticeship committees.
Apprenticeship information also may be ob­
tained from the following international unions
(which have local offices in many cities):
International Association of Machinists,
1300 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
International Union, United Automobile, Aircraft
and Agricultural Implement Workers of America,
8000 East Jefferson Ave., Detroit 14, Mich.
International Union of Electrical, Radio and
Machine Workers,
1126 16th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.

450

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

All-Round Machinists
(D.O.T. 4-75.010 and .120)

Nature of Work

The all-round machinist is a skilled metal
worker who makes metal parts with machine
tools. A machinist can set up and operate most
types of machine tools. His wide knowledge of
shop practice and the working properties of
steel, cast iron, aluminum, brass, and other
metals, and his understanding of what the
various machine tools do, enable him to turn
a block of metal into an intricate part meeting
precise specifications.
Variety is the main feature of the work of
an all-round machinist. He plans and carries
through all operations needed in turning out
machined products. He may switch from one
kind of product to another. An all-round ma­
chinist selects the tools and material required
for each job and plans the cutting and finishing
operations in order to complete the finished
work according to blueprint or written specifi­
cations. He makes standard shop computations
relating to dimensions of work, tooling, feeds,
and speeds of machining. He often uses pre­
cision-measuring instruments such as micro­
meters and gages to measure the accuracy of
his work to thousandths of an inch. After
completing machining operations, he may finish
the work by hand, using files and scrapers,
and then assemble the finished parts with
wrenches and screwdrivers. The all-round ma­
chinist also “ heat treats” cutting tools and
parts to improve machinability.
Machinists employed in maintenance depart­
ments to make or repair metal parts of ma­
chines and equipment also have a broad knowl­
edge of mechanical principles. They sometimes
adjust and test the parts they have made or
repaired for a machine.

All-round machinist using small turret lathe for
precision work.

such as the railroad, textile, automobile, and
printing industries. Many were employed in
Navy yards and other installations of the Fed­
eral Government. Some machinists worked in
metalworking factories where large quantities
of identical parts are produced, as well as in
machine shops where a limited number of
varied products are made.
An important advantage of this occupation
is that machinists can be employed in almost
every locality and industry because their skills
are required to maintain all types of machinery.
The largest number of machinists jobs are
found in heavily industrialized States.

Where Employed

Almost every factory using a substantial
amount of machinery employs machinists to
keep its mechanical equipment operating. The
majority of the approximately 300,000 machin­
ists employed in late 1960 worked in mainte­
nance shops of a wide variety of industries




Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

According to most training authorities, a
4-year apprenticeship is the best way to learn
the machinist trade. Many machinists, how­
ever, have qualified without an apprenticeship
by picking up the trade over years of varied

451

MACHINING OCCUPATIONS

experience in machining jobs. Several com­
panies have training programs which qualify
some of their employees as machinists in less
than 4 years.
A young person interested in becoming a
machinist should be mechanically inclined and
temperamentally suited to do highly accurate
work that requires concentration as well as
physical effort. A high school or vocational
school education is desirable preparation for
machinist training and is required by many
employers. Courses in mathematics and phys­
ics and some knowledge of electronics and
hydraulics may be helpful both during and
after apprenticeship training.
A typical machinist apprentice program
lasts 4 years and consists of approximately
8,000 hours of shop training and about 570
hours of related classroom instruction. Shop
training includes the learning of proper ma­
chine speeds and the operation of the various
types of machine tools. The apprentice also is
taught chipping, filing, hand tapping, dowel fit­
ting, riveting, and other hand operations. In the
classroom, the apprentice studies blueprint
reading, mechanical drawing, shop mathe­
matics, and shop practices.
A machinist who has just finished his ap­
prentice training often is assigned the job of
operating a single type of machine tool. With
additional experience, he may be assigned jobs
requiring him to operate several types of ma­
chine tools as well as to perform hand opera­

because of the expected increase in employ­
ment in this occupation. Thousands of new
workers also will be needed each year to re­
place machinists who transfer to other fields
of work, or who retire or die. In this relatively
large occupation, retirements and deaths alone
may result in about 6,000 job openings annually
during the 1960’s.
The employment of machinists is expected
to increase especially in maintenance shops as
industries continue to use a greater volume of
complex machinery and equipment. Skilled
maintenance machinists are needed to prevent
costly breakdowns in highly mechanized plants
where machine tools often are linked together
by transfer equipment. In such plants, a break­
down of one machine may stop many other
machines.

tions.

Atlanta __________________
Birmingham______________
Chicago __________________
Cincinnati________________
Detroit __________________
Greenville ________________
Houston_________________ ...
Los Angeles-Long Beach
Milwaukee _______________
Minneapolis-St. Paul ____
New Y o r k ________________
Portland, Oreg. __________
Rockford, 111. ____________
San Francisco-Oakland ....
W orcester________________

Some journeymen machinists, however,

remain machine tool specialists and do highly
skilled work with one type of machine tool.
Numerous promotional opportunities are
available to all-round machinists. Many ad­
vance to foreman of a section or to other super­
visory jobs. With additional training, others
may become tool and die makers or instrument
makers. A skilled machinist has excellent op­
portunities to advance into other technical
jobs in process planning, machine program­
ming, and tooling. Machinists can also open
their own machine shops.
Employment Outlook

Many workers will obtain jobs as machinists
opportunities will develop

Digitized forthe 1960’s. Some
in FRASER


Earnings and Working Conditions

The earnings of all-round machinists com­
pare favorably with those of other skilled fac­
tory workers.
Maintenance machinists employed in various
manufacturing industries in 37 selected areas
in 1960, received average straight-time hourly
earnings ranging from $1.87 in Greenville, S.C.,
to $3.17 in Detroit and Milwaukee. Average
straight-time hourly earnings of maintenance
machinists employed in these industries in the
following 15 cities w ere:
$2.54

3.14
3.08
2.81
3.17
1.87
3.04
3.01
3.17
2.96
2.90
3.03
2.65
3.10
2.68

Machinists must follow strict safety regu­
lations when working around high speed ma­
chine tools. The greater use of safety goggles
and other protective devices in recent years

452

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

has reduced the accident rate for these work­
ers.
Most companies which employ machinists
provide paid holidays and paid vacations. Many
machinists also receive benefits such as life
insurance, medical and surgical insurance, and
retirement pensions.
Unions to which many machinists belong

include the International Association of Ma­
chinists; the International Union, United Auto­
mobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; the International Union
of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers; and
the United Steelworkers of America.
(See introductory section of this chapter for
Where To Go for More Information.)

Machine Tool Operators
(D.O.T. 4-78.000 through .589 and 6-78.000 through .589)

Nature of Work

Machine tool operators shape metal to precise
dimensions by the use of machine tools. Al­
though some operators can operate several tools,
most can operate only one or two machine tools.
Many operators are essentially machine tenders
who perform simple, repetitive operations which
can be learned quickly. Other machine tool oper­
ators, however, are much more skilled and can
perform complex and varied machining opera­
tions.
The work of skilled machine tool operators
is similar to that of all-round machinists, except
that often it is limited to a single type of ma­
chine and involves little or no hand fitting or
assembly work. (By contrast, all-round ma­
chinists can operate almost every machine tool.)
The skilled machine tool operator plans and sets
up the correct sequence of machining operations
in accordance with blueprints, layouts, or other
instructions. He adjusts speed, feed, and other
controls and selects the proper cutting tools for
each operation. Adjustments may be necessary
during machining operations, and changes in
setup also may be required. Therefore, the
skilled operator must be able to use all the spe­
cial attachments of his machine. Upon complet­
ing his work, he checks measurements with
micrometers, gages, and other precision meas­
uring instruments to see whether they meet
specifications. The skilled machine tool opera­
tor also may select cutting and lubricating oils
used to cool metal and tools during machining
operations.
The majority of machine tool operators are
much less skilled than the operators described
above. A typical job of a semiskilled operator




is to place rough metal stock in a machine tool
on which the speeds, feeds, and operation
sequence have already been set by a skilled
worker. The operator watches the machine and
calls his supervisor when anything unusual
happens. Special, easy-to-use gages help him to
measure work quickly and accurately. The oper­
ator with limited training may make minor
adjustments to keep his machine tool operating,
but he depends on skilled machining workers
for major adjustments.
Lathes, drill presses, boring machines, grind­
ing machines, milling machines, and automatic

Machine tool operator drilling hole in aircraft part.

453

MACHINING OCCUPATIONS

screw machines are among the machine tools
used by machine operators. Both skilled and
semiskilled operators have job titles based upon
the kind of machine they operate, such as engine
lathe operator, milling machine operator, and
drill press operator.
Where Employed

Machine tool operators are primarily em­
ployed in metalworking factories where metal
parts for automobiles, aircraft engines, ma­
chinery, and other metal products are mass pro­
duced. Because of their limited training, few
semiskilled operators can work either in the
maintenance department of a plant or in a ma­
chine shop which produces small quantities of
parts to special order. Skilled machine tool
operators, on the other hand, can work in pro­
duction, job, or maintenance shops, and in tool­
rooms, because their greater skills widen their
job opportunities.
Machine tool operator jobs are found in great­
est number where metalworking industries are
located. States leading in the employment of
operators are Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, New
York, California, and Pennsylvania.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most machine tool operators learn their skills
on the job. A new worker usually starts by
observing a skilled operator at work. When the
learner is operating a machine, he is super­
vised closely by a more experienced worker. The
new worker learns how to use measuring
instruments and to make elementary computa­
tions needed in shop work. He gradually ac­
quires experience and learns to operate a ma­
chine tool, read blueprints, and plan the sequence
of machining work.
Individual ability and effort largely determine
how long it takes to become a machine tool
operator. Semiskilled machine tool operators
generally learn their jobs within a few months.
A period of 11/2 to 2 years of on-the-job training
and experience generally is required to become
a skilled machine tool operator. Some skilled
machine tool operators' jobs are filled by men

who have completed machinists' apprentice­


ships. Some companies have formal training
programs for new employees which acquaint
them with the details of machine tool operation
and machining practice.
Although there are no special educational re­
quirements for semiskilled operator jobs, young
persons seeking these jobs can improve their
job opportunities by completing courses in
mathematics and blueprint reading. In hiring
unskilled operators, employers often look for
persons who also have mechanical aptitude and
some experience working with machinery.
Skilled machine tool operators can advance
to jobs as all-round machinists and tool and die
makers. They may also advance into process
planning, machine programming, and mainte­
nance jobs.
Employment Outlook

Anticipated growth in the metalworking in­
dustries in the 1960's is expected to cause some
increase in employment of machine tool opera­
tors. In addition, the need to replace those work­
ers who transfer to other jobs, retire, or die,
may also provide many job opportunities each
year. Retirements and deaths alone may result
in about 10,000 job openings each year during
the 1960's.
Technological developments may affect both
the number and skill requirements of machine
tool operators. The continued development and
use of faster and more versatile automatic ma­
chine tools will result in greater output per
operator. Future widespread use of numerically
controlled machine tools would also slow em­
ployment of machine tool operators (see discus­
sion on page 448). Workers with thorough back­
grounds in machining operations, mathematics,
blueprint reading, and good working knowledge
of the properties of metals will be better able
to adjust to future technological changes and
to find new jobs in the machining field.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Machine tool operators are paid on an hourly
rate or incentive basis, or on the basis of a com­
bination of both methods of wage payments.
Operators employed in production shops are usu­

454

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ally classified as class A, class B, and class C
operators, according to their skill level. Class
A operators are the most highly skilled and
usually are paid the highest rates. (In the ma­
chinery manufacturing industry in 1959-60,
class A operators received 20 to 40 cents an
hour more than class B operators, and 40 to 80
cents an hour more than class C operators.)
Average straight-time hourly earnings for class
A drill press, engine lathe, and milling machine
operators in the machinery manufacturing in­
dustry in 1959-60, were as follows:
Drill press
operators,
single or
multiple,
class A

Baltimore _____
Boston _________
_
Buffalo ________
_
Chicago ________
_
Cleveland _____
.
Dallas _________
_
Denver ________
Detroit
_
Hartford ______
.
Houston________
_
Los Angeles-Long
Beach ____________ .
Milwaukee ____
..
Minneapolis-St. Paul
N ewark-J er sey City._

Engine
lathe
operators,
class A

Milling
machine
operators,
class A

2.80
2.16
2.41

$2.42
2.48
2.54
2.77
2.73
2.33
3.22
3.12
2.63
2.80

$2.88
2.66
2.56
2.89
2.85
2.30
3.19
3.15
2.59
2.74

2.41
2.78
2.48
2.38

2.75
2.80
2.52
2.58

2.70
2.87
2.56
2.61

$2.56
2.34
2.65
3.02
2.13

Drill press
operators,
single or
multiple,
dlass A

New York City____ ....
Philadelphia________
Pittsburgh ________
Portland ( Oreg.)
San FranciscoOakland_________
Worcester _________

2.31
2.37

Engine
lathe
operators,
class A

2.62
2.68
3.05
2.87
2.99
2.39

Milling
machine
operators,
class A

2.57

2,66
2.90
2.87
2.98
2.43

Machine tool operators are required to wear
protective goggles and to avoid wearing loosefitting garments when working around high
speed machine tools. Increasing emphasis upon
these and other safety regulations in recent
years has reduced the accident rate for these
workers.
Most machine tool operators are members of
the International Association of Machinists; the
International Union of Electrical, Radio and
Machine Workers; the International Union,
United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural
Implement Workers of America; the United
Steelworkers of America; and other unions.
Most labor-management contracts covering
these workers provide health insurance, life in­
surance, pensions, and other benefits.
(See introductory section of this chapter for
Where To Go for More Information.)

Tool and Die Makers
(D.O.T. 4-76.010, .040, and .210)

Nature of Work

Tool and die makers are highly skilled,
creative workers whose products— tools, dies,
and special guiding and holding devices— are
the b&sis of mass production in metalworking
industries. Tool makers specialize in producing
jigs and fixtures (which are devices required to
hold metal while it is being shaved, stamped,
or drilled). They also make gages and other
measuring devices which are used in manu­
facturing precision metal parts. Die makers con­
struct metal forms (dies) which are used in
stamping and f orging operations to shape metal.
They also make metal molds used in die-casting
and in molding plastics. Tool and die makers
also repair dies, gages, jigs, and fixtures. Some
 and die makers help design tools and dies.
tool


In comparison with most other machining
workers, tool and die makers have a broader
knowledge of machining operations, shop prac­
tices, mathematics, and blueprint reading, and
can work to closer tolerances and do more pre­
cise handwork. Tool and die makers use almost
every type of machine tool and precision meas­
uring instrument. They work with all metals
and alloys commonly used in manufacturing.
Where Employed

Approximately 150,000 tool and die makers
were employed in 1960. The largest numbers
were employed in plants making industrial,
construction, and farm machinery and equip­
ment. The automobile, aircraft, and other trans-

MACHINING OCCUPATIONS

Apprentice receiving pointers on die construction from
experienced tool and die maker.

portation equipment industries also employed
large numbers of tool and die makers. Several
thousand of these craftsmen worked in small
tool and die jobbing shops, which make tools,
dies, and other machine tool accessories for use
in metalworking factories. Companies manu­
facturing electrical machinery and fabricated
metal products were other important employers
of tool and die makers. Many nonmetalwork­
ing industries also employed tool and die makers.
Nearly half of all tool and die makers are
employed in California, Ohio, Michigan, New
York, and Illinois. Other States with many of
these skilled craftsmen are Pennsylvania, New
Jersey, Indiana, and Massachusetts. Detroit,
Cleveland, Chicago, and Los Agneles are im­
portant job centers for tool and die makers.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Tool and die making requires several years
of varied training and experience which is ob­
tained through formal apprenticeship or equiva­
lent on-the-job training. Since this work is
highly skilled, persons planning to enter the
trade should have a good working knowledge
of mathematics and physics as well as'' con­




455
siderable mechanical ability, finger dexterity,
and a liking for painstaking work. In selecting
apprentices, most employers prefer young men
with high school or trade school education. Some
employers test apprentice applicants to deter­
mine their mechanical aptitudes and their abili­
ties in mathematics.
A tool and die apprenticeship ordinarily lasts
4 or 5 years. Most of the time is devoted to
practical shop training, but some classroom
work also is part of the training program. Dur­
ing shop training, the apprentice learns to oper­
ate major machine tools, such as lathes and mill­
ing machines. He learns to use handtools in
fitting and assembling tools, gages, and other
mechanical equipment. Tool and die maker ap­
prentices study heat treating and other metal­
working processes. Classroom training in shop
mathematics, shop theory, mechanical drawing,
tool designing, and blueprint reading also is
given to apprentices. After apprenticeship,
several years’ experience often is necessary to
qualify for more difficult tool and die work.
Some companies have separate apprenticeship
programs for toolmaking and diemaking.
Many metal machining workers have become
tool and die makers without completing formal
apprenticeships. These men, after years of ex­
perience as machine tool operators or as
machinists and after vocational or correspond­
ence school training, have developed into all­
round workers who can skillfully perform al­
most any metal machining operation, including
tool and die making.
The increasing complexity of modern ma­
chinery and metalworking equipment is raising
the technical and mental skill requirements for
tool and die making. A knowledge of mathe­
matics, the basic sciences, electronics, and hy­
draulics will give young persons entering this
occupation greater opportunities to further their
careers.
An early investment in thorough training
for this occupation may lead to better paying
jobs in the future. Men who have had tool and
die training often advance to supervisory and
administrative positions in industry. Many tool
and die makers become tool designers. Others
may open their own tool and die shops.

456
Employment Outlook

An increasing number of tool and die makers
will be needed in the 1960’s as a result of the
anticipated expansion of metalworking activity.
In addition, many openings may become avail­
able as workers transfer to other fields of work,
retire, or die. Retirements and deaths alone
may result in about 3,000 job openings an­
nually in the 1960’s.
The anticipated long-range expansion in the
aircraft and missile, machinery, and other
metalworking industries will result in a con­
tinued increase in the employment of tool and
die makers. Their skills are needed to make
the dies and tools used to produce the large
numbers of identical metal parts which are often
required in these industries.
Unlike other machining workers, whose em­
ployment may be adversely affected by tech­
nological changes, tool and die makers will help
to put many technological developments into
effect. More tool and die makers will be needed
to make and repair the dies and holding devices
used in mass-production industries. However,
numerically controlled machining operations
may require fewer of the special tools and jigs
and fixtures which are now made by tool and
die makers. (See page 448 for a discussion of
numerical control and other technological
changes.)
Tool and die makers, as a group, have a
longer working life than many other workers in
the labor force. Their jobs require extensive
skill and knowledge which can be acquired only
after years of experience. For this reason, com­
panies are reluctant to lay off tool and die
makers, even when production is decreased. Fur­
thermore, tool and die makers have greater oc­
cupational mobility than other workers. They
can transfer to jobs as instrument makers or
machinists, or find jobs in other industries.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Tool and die makers are among the highest
workers. In 1959-60,

paid
 metal machining


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

average straight-time hourly earnings of tool
and die makers in machinery manufacturing
job shops in the following cities w ere:
Boston _____________________________________________ $2.77
Buffalo ____________________________________________ 2.73
Chicago ____________________________________________
Cleveland __________________________________________

3.43
3.02

Detroit ____________________________________________
H artfo rd _________________________ ,________________
Los Angeles-Long Beach___________________________
Milwaukee ________________________________________
Minneapolis-St. Paul ____________________________
Newark-Jersey City ______________________________
New York City___________________________________
Philadelphia ______________________________________

3.56
2.70
3.12
3.18
3.11
2.89
2.78
3.02

Tool and die makers in various manufactur­
ing industries in 30 selected areas in 1960 were
paid average straight-time hourly earnings
ranging from $2.09 in Charlotte, N.C. to $3.47
in San Francisco-Oakland, Calif.
Because tool and die makers do precision
work, the areas in plants or shops where they
work are generally clean and well-lighted. Tool
and die makers stand part of the time when
they are operating machine tools. At other times
they do handwork at benches. Sometimes they
operate machines, to test tools and dies they
have made.
Good safety habits are necessary for tool and
die makers because they work with high speed
machine tools and sharp cutting instruments.
The use of safety devices has reduced the in­
jury rate for machining workers in recent
years.
Most tool and die makers are members of
such unions as the International Association of
Machinists; the International Union of Electri­
cal, Radio and Machine Workers; the Inter­
national Union, United Automobile, Aircraft
and Agricultural Implement Workers of Amer­
ica; the United Steelworkers of America; and
the Mechanics Educational Society of America.
Labor-management contracts covering these
workers often provide for life and- health in­
surance, pension plans, and other benefits.
(See introductory section of this chapter for
Where To Go for More Information.)

457

MACHINING OCCUPATIONS

Instrument M akers
(D.O.T. 4-75.010 and .130)

Nature of Work

The increasing use of instruments in pro­
duction, research, development, and testing
work in industry and government, is
making the job of the instrument maker in­
creasingly important. Instrument makers (al­
so called experimental machinists and modelmakers) work closely with engineers and
scientists in translating designs and ideas into
experimental models, special laboratory equip­
ment, and nonstandard instruments. They also
modify existing instruments for special pur­
poses. Experimental devices constructed by
these craftsmen are used, for example, to sta­
bilize heat (thermostats), measure distance
(geodimeters), record earthquakes (seismo­
graphs), and help control industrial processes
(servo-mechanisms). The instrument parts
and models made by these workers range from
simple gears to intricate navigation systems
used in guided missiles.
The skills of instrument makers are similar
in many respects to those of all-round machin­
ists, tool and die makers, and setup men. Like
these other machining workers, instru­
ment makers fabricate metal parts by oper­
ating machine tools such as lathes and milling
machines, and by using handtools such as files
and chisels. They also determine the sequence
of machining operations and follow blueprint
instructions. Because accuracy is important,
they measure finished parts with micrometers
and standard optical measuring instruments.
Finally, instrument makers and other machin­
ing workers make devices that hold metal
parts in place and guide tools which shape
them.
Certain significant differences exist, however,
between the work of instrument makers and
that of other skilled machining workers. Gen­
erally, instrument workers are not given de­
tailed instructions such as blueprints. Rather,
they often work from rough sketches,
verbal instructions, or only ideas. Thus,
in making parts, they frequently use consider­
able imagination and ingenuity. Instrument



makers often work on parts which must not
vary from specifications by more than one tenthousandths of an inch (which is 30 times nar­
rower than a human hair), or even by a few
millionths of an inch. To meet these stand­
ards, instrument makers commonly use special
equipment or precision devices, such as the
electronic height gage, which are used only in­
frequently by other machining workers. An­
other important difference is that instrument
makers work with a greater variety of materi­
als, including plastics and the rarer me­
tals such as silver and platinum.
An instrument maker may construct instru­
ments from start to finish— making and assem­
bling all the parts and testing finished instru­
ments for proper operation. However, in large
model shops or where time is important, an in­
strument maker may cooperate with other
workers, each making a part or component of
a more complicated instrument.
Because they often work on their own and
have highly developed manual skills and reason-

Instrument maker using ultrasonic machine tool.

458
ing abilities, instrument makers have consider­
able prestige among their fellow employees.
Where Employed

Most instrument makers are employed by
firms which manufacture instruments. The
Federal Government employed about 1,200 in­
strument makers in 1960. University and com­
mercial research laboratories also employ in­
strument makers to make the special devices
required in scientific research.
The main centers of instrument making are
located in and around a few large cities, par­
ticularly New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles,
and Washington, D.C.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most instrument makers advance from the
ranks of machinists or skilled machine-tool op­
erators. These craftsmen, working at first
under close supervision and doing the simpler
jobs in the instrument shop, usually need at
least 1 or 2 additional years of experience to
qualify as instrument makers.
Other instrument makers learn their trade
through instrument-maker apprenticeships
which generally last 4 or 5 years. The appren­
tice's shop training emphasizes the use of ma­
chine tools, handtools, and measuring instru­
ments, and the working properties of various
materials. Classroom instruction covers re­
lated technical subjects such as mathematics,
physics, and blueprint reading. The appren­
tice must learn enough shop mathematics to en­
able him to plan his work and use handbook
formulas. A basic knowledge o f mechanical
principles is needed in solving gear and linkage
problems.
Employers generally prefer applicants who
have a high school education, including courses
in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, science,
and machine shop work. Further technical
schooling in electricity and electronics is often
desirable, and may make possible future pro­
motions to technician positions.
A young man interested in becoming an in­
strument maker should have a strong interest

in mechanical subjects and a better-than

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

average ability to work with his hands. He
must have initiative and resourcefulness, be­
cause instrument makers often work alone and
almost always under minimum or no supervi­
sion. Since the instrument maker often faces
new problems, he must be able to develop origi­
nal solutions. The instrument maker frequent­
ly must visualize the relationship between indi­
vidual parts and the complete instrument. He
must understand how the instrument is
used and the principles of its operation. Be­
cause of the nature of his work, the instrument
maker has to be very conscientious and
take considerable pride in creative work.
As the instrument maker's skill improves
and as he broadens his knowledge, he may ad­
vance to increasingly responsible positions.
About 10 years' experience is required to rise
to the top skill level in instrument making.
With additional training beyond the high
school level in subjects such as physics and ma­
chine design, some instrument makers may ad­
vance to technician jobs. In these jobs, techni­
cians plan and estimate time and material
requirements for the manufacture of in­
struments, or provide specialized support to
professional personnel. Others may become
supervisors of less skilled instrument makers
and help in their training.
Employment Outlook

The employment of instrument makers is ex­
pected to continue to increase rapidly during
the 1960's, but the number of new openings in
any one year will be limited by the relatively
small size of the occupation. Probably not
more than 35,000 workers were employed as in­
strument makers in 1960.
Growing numbers of instrument makers will
be needed to make models of new instruments
that may be mass produced in the future, and
also to make custom or special purpose in­
struments that are not needed in large
numbers. Many devices made by these crafts­
men will be needed in the expanding fields of
atomic energy, guided missiles, and industrial
“ automation" (the use of instruments to di­
rect and control manufacturing processes).
Also, many new precision instruments, which

459

MACHINING OCCUPATIONS

will be even more versatile and sensitive than
those in current use, can be expected to emerge
from growing research and development pro­
grams of universities, government agencies,
private laboratories, and manufacturing firms.
New instruments are needed to solve many
serious technical and scientific problems. For
example, scientists who work with atomic re­
actors need better control systems for hand­
ling radioactive materials, as well as improved
“ thermometers” which can measure tempera­
tures in the millions of degrees.
Instrument maker employment will not rise
as rapidly as total sales and production of in­
struments because semiskilled workers can
produce and assemble instruments that have
been standardized and are being pro­
duced in large quantities.
In addition to new job opportunities for in­
strument makers that will occur as a result of
expanded industrial, scientific, and defense re­
quirements, there will be several hundred new
openings annually for these craftsmen as a re­
sult of promotions to technician positions,
transfers to other fields of work, and retire­
ments and deaths.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of instrument makers compare
favorably with those of other highly skilled
metalworkers. Wage data obtained from a

small number of instrument manufacturers
and research laboratories and from, selected
union contracts indicate that wages of these
craftsmen in 1960 generally ranged from $2.50
to $3.25 an hour. A few skilled instrument
makers employed by the Federal Government
in Washington, D.C., were receiving from $2.93
to $3.53 an hour, and averaged around $3.15
an hour.
Instrument shops usually are not as noisy as
some other places where machining workers
are employed. Generally, the machines do not
run continuously and many of the machine
tools are quite small.
Serious work accidents are not common
among instrument makers, but machine tools
and flying particles sometimes cause finger,
hand, and eye injuries. Safety rules generally
require the wearing of special glasses, aprons,
tightly fitted clothes, and shirts with elbowlength sleeves; the wearing of neckties is pro­
hibited.
Many instrument makers belong to unions,
two of which are the International Union of
Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers and
the International Association of Machinists.
Union management contracts covering these
workers often provide life and health in­
surance, pensions, and other benefits.
(See introductory section of this chapter
for Where To Go for More Information.)

Setup Men (Machine Tools)
(D.O.T. 4-75.160)

Nature of Work

The setup man, often called a machine tool
job setter, is a skilled specialist em­
ployed in plants and machine shops which do
machining in large volume. His main job is
to set up machine tools— that is, to get
machine tools ready for use by semi­
skilled operators. He may also explain to these
workers the operations to be performed,
and show them how to check the accuracy of
their work. Usually a setup man is assigned a
number of machine tools, which often are one

type, such as turret lathes. However, he may


set up several different machine tools such as
milling machines and automatic screw ma­
chines. Working from drawings, blueprints,
written specifications, or job layouts, he deter­
mines the rate at which the material is to be
fed into the machines, operating speeds, tool­
ing, and operation sequence. He then selects
and installs the proper cutting or other tools,
and adjusts guides, stops, and other controls.
He may make trial runs and adjust the
machine and tools until the parts pro­
duced conform to specifications. The machine
is then turned over to a semiskilled operator.

460

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

After the machine tool has been running a
while, the setup man may make additional ad­
justments to maintain accurate production.

so that metal parts will be made exactly to
specifications. Jobs for setup men usually are
filled from within a shop by promotion or reas­
signment.

Where Employed

Most setup men work in factories that manu­
facture machinery, automobiles, and aircraft.
Usually they are employed by large companies
which employ many semiskilled machine tool
operators. Setup men usually are not employed
in maintenance shops or in small job­
bing shops. Most of them work in Ohio, Illi­
nois, Michigan, New York, and California.
Training and Other Qualifications

To become a setup man, a worker usually
must qualify as an all-round machinist or
skilled machine tool specialist. A setup
man must be thoroughly trained in the oper­
ation of one or more machine tools. He must
read blueprints and make computations in se­
lecting speeds and feeds for machine tools. He
also must be able to explain to a semiskilled ma­
chine tool operator how to perform machin­
ing operations and how to check machin­
ing accuracy. Above all, a setup man must be
skilled in selecting the sequence of operations

Employment Outlook

This is a small occupation which will pro­
vide a relatively small number of job opportuni­
ties for new workers in the next decade. Many
of these openings will result from needs to re­
place setup men who transfer to other jobs, are
promoted, or who retire or die. Employment
of setup men should increase moderately in the
1960’s with the expected greater use of new
machine tools which must be set up by skilled
workers.
The use of numerically controlled machine
tools may limit employment growth in this oc­
cupation (see discussion on page 448). Work re­
quirements of setup men also may change when
numerically controlled machine tools are used.
Setup men then may only preset tools, instruct
operators, and check the first few parts
that are produced. Since setup men are skilled
workers, their chances for advancement or
transfer into other jobs will remain good.
(See introductory section of this chapter for
Where To Go for More Information.)

Layout Men
(D.O.T. 4-75.140)

Nature of Work

The layout man is a highly skilled specialist
who marks metal castings, forgings, or metal
stock to indicate where and how much ma­
chining is needed. His work enables other
workers to use machine tools simply by fol­
lowing his lines, points, and other instructions.
He uses many instruments, such as the scriber,
with which he marks lines on the surface of
the metal; the center punch, to indicate
the centers on the ends of metal pieces to be
machined or drilled; the keyseat or box rule,
for drawing lines and laying off distances on
curved surfaces; dividers, for transferring and

comparing distances; L- or T-squares for de­


termining right angles; and calipers and mi­
crometers for accurate measurement. Not only
must the layout man work with extreme accu­
racy, but he also must be familiar with
the operation and capabilities of standard ma­
chine tools.
Where Employed

Layout men work primarily in the massproduction metalworking industries employing
large numbers of machine tool operators. Most
of the layout men work in plants pro­
ducing electrical machinery and transpor­
tation equipment. Many are employed in Ohio,
Illinois, Michigan, New York, and California.

MACHINING OCCUPATIONS

461
correctly prepare detailed work plans for less
skilled workers. A layout man must be well
trained in mathematics and blueprint reading,
and be able to use various precision-measuring
tools. Mechanical ability and a liking for pains­
taking work are other important qualifications
for layout men.
These skilled jobs usually are filled from
within an establishment by promotion or reas­
signment.
Employment Outlook

C o u rte sy o f U .S . N av al W e ap o n s P la n t

Layout man marking lines and reference points with
surface gage to guide machine tool operator.

Training and Other Qualifications

From 6 to 10 years’ training and experience
are needed to develop the skill for this occupa­
tion. Required training includes a machinist
apprenticeship, or an equivalent knowledge of
machine tools, machining qualities of metals,
and the proper sequence of machining opera­
tions. Layout men must learn to visualize the
sequence of machining operations so they can




Employment is expected to increase slowly in
this small occupation in the 1960’s. Antici­
pated growth in metalworking industries—
particularly in plants employing large numbers
of machine tool operators— will cause employ­
ment of layout men to increase. Replacement
needs also will provide a small number of job
opportunities for skilled machinists to be pro­
moted to jobs as layout men.
Use of numerically controlled machine tools
may adversely affect employment of layout men
(see discussion on page 448). However, correct
positioning of metal stock and tools will con­
tinue to be important, and layout men will be
needed to mark accurate reference points. In
addition, layout men can easily transfer to
other work such as process planning, which
will become more important with further
technological development.
(See introductory section of this chapter for
Where To Go for More Information.)

FOUNDRY OCCUPATIONS
The metal castings produced by foundry
workers are essential parts of thousands of pro­
ducts ranging from automobile engines to
cooking utensils. In 1960, an estimated 386,000
workers were employed in the Nation's more
than 5,000 foundries. Many of these workers
were employed in skilled occupations. Hourly
earnings in many foundry occupations were
above the average for factory work as a whole.
In casting metal objects, a mold is prepared
with a cavity in the shape of the casting to be
made; metal is then melted and poured into the
cavity where it cools and solidifies. (Other
metal shaping methods include machining,
forging, stamping, and rolling.) The casting
process is an economical and fast method of
forming metal into a wide range of intricate
shapes. Castings have considerable strength
and rigidity and range in size from a fraction
of an inch to many feet. They may weigh any­
where from less than an ounce to many tons.
Among the thousands of articles made by the
casting process are machinery bases, ship pro­
pellers, bearings, water faucets, water mains,
bathtubs, automobile engine blocks, pipe, and
aircraft and missile components.
Nature and Location of Foundry Work

About 290,000 of the foundry industry's
workers were employed in 1960 in ferrous
foundries— those that make castings of iron
and steel. About 60 percent of these workers
were in ferrous foundries which produce grayiron castings and the remainder were employed
in steel and malleable iron foundries. About
96,000 were employed in nonferrous foundries.
Most of this group worked in foundries which
made copper-base alloy (bronze and brass),
aluminum, magnesium, and lead castings. Most
foundries specialize in casting a particular
metal since somewhat different methods and
equipment are needed for casting the different
 462


metals. However, many shops cast several met­
als. In many foundry occupations, workers can
transfer from foundries casting one type of
metal to foundries which produce castings of
a different metal, with additional training.
In general, castings are produced in smalland medium-size shops. About 80 percent of
all foundries employ fewer than 100 workers.
More than two-thirds of the foundry workers
are employed in independent foundries (shops
which sell their castings to other firms). The
remaining workers are employed in “ captive
shops"— foundries that are departments of
plants using the castings in the manufacture
of their own products.
There are five principal methods of casting
based primarily on different types of molds. By
far the most common of these is green sand­
molding. In this method, sand composed
chiefly of silica and clay is packed in a boxlike
container, called a flask, around a pattern (a
model of the object to be cast). The pattern
is withdrawn and molten metal is poured into
the mold cavity to form the desired metal
shape. The sand mold can be used only once,
but the sand can be reclaimed.
A second method, known as permanent mold­
ing, employs a metal instead of a sand mold.
Metal molds, which can be used many times,
are used chiefly for casting nonferrous prod­
ucts.
Precision investment casting, a third method
(often known as the “ lost wax" process), uses
ceramic molds. In this method, a wax or plas­
tic pattern is coated with refractory clay.
After the coating hardens, the wax or plastic
is melted and drained out, leaving a mold
cavity into which the casting metal is poured.
Castings obtained from these molds are very
exact and need little machining.
Shell molding, a fourth process, was intro­
duced after the end of World War II and is
becoming increasingly important. In this proc-

463

FOUNDRY OCCUPATIONS

ess, resinbonded sand shells made from master
metal patterns replace green sand molds. Ad­
vantages of this method are greater precision,
good surface finish of the casting, lower unit
cost in quantity production, and ease in han­
dling, because of the lighter weight of the shell
mold compared with other types.
Die casting is a process in which molten metal
is forced under high pressure into steel dies
from which the resulting castings are automat­
ically ejected. Because die casting is done
entirely by machines operated by die-casting
machine operators, it is a distinctly different
process from other casting methods. The work
performed by die-casting machine operators
is not described in this chapter, but these
workers are included in the total employment
estimate.
Some foundries use very little mechanized
equipment. These foundries are usually small,
ordinarily use the sand molding method, and
produce small amounts of different kinds of
castings. They employ all-round molders (the
key foundry occupation) and a substantial
number of unskilled laborers.
Other foundries are highly mechanized and
are typically large shops that produce great
quantities of identical castings. For example,
such a foundry may produce thousands of auto­
mobile engine cylinder blocks. In such'shops,
a large amount of mechanized equipment is
used. For example, materials and castings be­
ing processed are moved with mechanical con­
veyors and cranes. These shops use relatively
few unskilled laborers. They also employ pro­
portionately fewer highly skilled workers than
the small, relatively unmechanized shops, since
the large shops usually divide the job duties of
the all-round molder, coremaker, and other
skilled workers into specialized functions
that are performed by semiskilled workers.
There are foundry jobs in every State and
almost every large- or medium-size city in the
country. Very frequently, foundries are located
near the plants where their castings are used.
As a result, they tend to be concentrated in
areas where there is considerable metal­
working. The greatest numbers of foundry

workers are
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/ found in the important metal­
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

working centers of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsyl­
vania, Illinois, and Indiana.
Foundry Occupations

More than four-fifths of the approximately
386,000 workers in foundries or foundry de­
partments in 1960 were employed in
plant occupations. (See tabulation below.)
More than half of the plant workers had jobs
which are not found in other industries. It is
these occupations that are chiefly discussed in
this chapter of the Handbook.
Occupational group

Percent of total
employment

Total employment______________________________

100.0

Nonplant occupations _________________________
Professional and technical________________
Managerial ________________________________
Clerical and sales_________________________

16.5
4.2
3.5
8.8

Plant occupations ______________________________
Specialized casting occupations___________
Materials movement, mechanical_________
Equipment maintenance and repair______
Machining occupations____________________
Laborers and service occupations_________

83.5
47.0
4.0
7.5
3.0
22.0

In order to explain more clearly the duties of
foundry workers, a brief description of the jobs
involved in the most common casting process
— sand casting— is presented.
The first step in foundry work after the cast­
ing has been designed is for the patternmaker to
make a wood or metal pattern in the shape of
the final casting desired. Next, a hand molder
makes a sand mold by packing and ramming
sand, specially prepared by a sand mixer
(D.O.T. 4-82.310; 6-82.310 and .320), around
the pattern. A molder's helper (D.O.T.
8-82.10) sometimes assists in these operations.
When the job calls for large numbers of iden­
tical (usually small) castings, a variety of ma­
chines are used to perform many operations
at a much faster rate than is possible by hand.
An operator of any one of these machines is
called a machine molder.
A coremaker shapes sand, specially prepared
by sand mixers, into a core (a body of sand
designed usually to create a hollow space in the
casting). The core is baked in an oven by a
core-oven tender (D.O.T. 6-82.120). Core parts
or sections are put together by a core assembler

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

464
(D.O.T. 6-82.060). The core is then placed in
the mold and the mold is ready for the metal
pouring1
.
A melter, or cupola tender (D.O.T. 4-91.851,
.411, .441, and .572), operates a furnace that
melts the metal. The metal is customarily
poured into the mold by a pourer (D.O.T. 6-91.
610, .612, and .613), although in some small
foundries it is part of the molder’s job. When
the casting has cooled, it is taken out of the
mold by a shakeout man (D.O.T. 8-82.10) and
sent to the cleaning and finishing department.
Chippers (D.O.T. 6-82.910) and grinders
(D.O.T. 6-82.330) use pneumatic chisels, pow­
ered abrasive wheels, saws, and handtools, such
as hammers, chisels, and files, to remove excess
metal and to finish the casting. The rough sur­
face of the casting may be cleaned by sand­
blasting. Sandblasters (D.O.T. 6-82.720) op­
erate machines which blast the casting with
air mixed with abrasive particles. The casting
surface may be smoothed by tumbling. In this
process, 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 men who
control these barrels are called tumbler opera­
tors (D.O.T. 6-82.730). Sandblasters and tum­
bler operators may also operate a machine that
both tumbles and blasts the castings.
The casting may be placed in heat treating
furnaces to improve the physical properties of
the metal; heat treaters, such as annealers
(D.O.T. 6-87.110), run these furnaces. Casting
inspectors (D.O.T. 6-82.920) then check fin­
ished castings for structural soundness and
properties, and determine whether their dimen­
sions meet blueprint specifications.
The number of workers in the principal oc­
cupations unique to the foundry industry are
shown in chart 24. Detailed discussions of the
duties, training, and other qualifications; earn­
ings ; and employment outlook for three of these
occupations— molders, coremakers, and pattern­
makers— are given at the end of this chapter.
There are many workers in those foundry oc­
cupations which are found in other industries
as well as in foundries. These workers made

up a substantial part of foundry employment


CHART 24

EMPLOYMENT IN SELECTED FOUNDRY OCCUPATIONS

Thousands of workers, I9 6 0 1
0
10
20
30
40
50
----------------1
----------------1
---------------- 1
--------------- 1
1 -------------- 1
M olders

Chippers and grinders

Corem akers

Patternmakers

M elters and pourers

Shakeou t men

Inspectors, ca stin gs

1 Estimated.

in 1960. About 29,000 of these workers, such
as maintenance mechanics, machinists, car­
penters, and millwrights, maintain and repair
foundry plant and equipment. Foundries em­
ployed an estimated 7,000 crane and derrick
operators and 4,000 truckdrivers. In many
foundries, some of the castings are machine
finished. Nearly 8,000 machine tool operators
do this work. Foundries also employed about
85.000 workers in relatively unskilled jobs, such
as guards, janitors, laborers, and helpers.
About 64,000 foundry workers were em­
ployed in professional, office, managerial, or
sales jobs. Included in this group were nearly
12.000 engineers, chemists, metallurgists, and
other technical workers. Some were employed
in research activities. Engineers and other
technical personnel have been employed in
greater numbers in recent years to improve
castings and meet new production and quality
requirements. Constant effort has been made,
for example, to develop methods of reducing
the weight of castings without losing strength
and other important characteristics. Current
research also deals with the problem of getting

465

FOUNDRY OCCUPATIONS

greater accuracy in the molding process.
Other engineers and scientists are employed to
design and lay out machinery and equipment
and to supervise plant operation and mainte­
nance.
About 2,000 of the industry's professional
and technical workers were technicians who
worked in a variety of functions concerned
with the control of quality in casting produc­
tion. In this group are workers who test mold­
ing and coremaking sand, make chemical anal­
yses of metal, and operate machines which test
the strength and hardness of castings. Some
use X-ray or magnetic apparatus to inspect
the internal structure of castings.
The foundry labor force is predominantly
male. Women, who make up only about 6 per­
cent of the industry's labor force, are employed
primarily in office jobs, but some are employed
in such plant jobs as semiskilled coremaker.
Negroes account for about one-third of the
plant workers in foundries. They are employed
in skilled as well as unskilled jobs, with a con­
siderable number working as skilled molders
and coremakers.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most foundry plant workers start in un­
skilled jobs, such as laborers or helpers. Spe­
cialized jobs in the plant are frequently filled
by promotion. A worker may begin as a laborer
and, after receiving informal on-the-job train­
ing from a foreman or experienced worker,
gradually learns how to perform the more
skilled jobs. This is the usual practice in train­
ing workers for such direct casting process
jobs as melter, chipper, and grinder.
The majority of skilled foundry workers—
particularly hand molders, hand coremakers,
and patternmakers— learn their jobs through
formal apprenticeship. In this type of train­
ing, the young worker is given supervised onthe-job training for a period of 3 to 5 years,
usually supplemented by classroom instruction.
A worker who has completed an apprentice­
ship program is usually preferred by foundry
management because he has a greater working

knowledge of all foundry operations and is,


therefore, better qualified to fill supervisory
jobs.
Employment Outlook

The foundry industry will hire many thou­
sands of new workers in the 1960-70 decade,
mainly to replace experienced workers who re­
tire, die, or transfer to other fields of work. Be­
cause the industry employs a large number of
workers (about 386,000 employees in 1960),
retirements and deaths alone should create
from 7,000 to 10,000 job openings annually dur­
ing the 1960's.
Foundry employment is expected to rise
slowly above the 1960 level. A sizable increase
in foundry production is anticipated. Many of
the industries that use large quantities of cast­
ings in their products, such as the aircraft,
construction, and machinery industries, are
expected to expand their output considerably
in the 1960's. However, foundry employment
is expected to rise at a much slower rate than
production. Continued improvements in casting
methods, particularly in machine molding and
coremaking, and the increasing use of machin­
ery for materials handling will result in greater
output per worker.
Employment of technical personnel— par­
ticularly sand technologists, metallurgical as­
sistants, and some other technicians— will con­
tinue to grow faster than that of most other
groups of foundry workers. Two factors
which will tend to increase the demand for
scientists and other technical workers in the
industry are the expected introduction of new
scientific techniques in casting and quality
control, and the expansion of research ac­
tivities. Many maintenance workers and oper­
ators of materials moving machines will be em­
ployed also, owing to the increasing use of more
and more complex processing and materials
handling equipment. In contrast, the numbers
of hand molders, hand coremakers, and other
hand processing workers will show little in­
crease, because of the increasing substitution
of machine molding and coremaking for hand
processes. The number of laborers and other
unskilled workers employed in the industry will
decline.

466

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Employment in foundries has been sensitive
to changes in general business conditions. For
example, employment rose sharply in 1951, dur­
ing the Korean conflict, and in 1955-56, when
business activity was again at a high level.
Foundry employment dropped substantially
during 1949, 1954, and 1958, when business
activity generally declined. During the 1960,s,
it is expected that substantial year-to-year
changes in the level of foundry employment
will continue.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Wages in foundries are somewhat above the
average for all manufacturing. In November
1960, production workers in iron and steel
foundries earned an average of $94.13 a week
or $2.51 an hour (including pay for over­
time and night w ork). In nonferrous foundries,
the average was $101.09 a week or $2.54 an
hour. These averages compare with average
weekly earnings of $90.16 or average hourly
earnings of $2.30 for production workers in all
manufacturing industries in the same month.
Working conditions in foundries have im­
proved greatly in recent years. In many of the
new foundries, improvements have been made
by reducing the heat, fumes, smoke, and noise
that are part of foundry operations. Progress
has also been made in reducing the foundry in­
dustry's injury-frequency rate (the average
number of disabling work injuries for each
million employee-hours worked). However,
this rate is higher than the rate for manu­
facturing industries as a whole. From 1947 to
1960 the injury-frequency rate in independent
gray-iron and malleable-iron foundries was re­
duced from 44.5 to 24.5, and from 27 to 18.3
in independent nonferrous foundries. The rate
for all manufacturing industries was 11.3 in
1960.
Patternmaking and coremaking generally

have the lowest injury rate among the different
foundry production operations; molding has a
somewhat higher rate. Jobs in melting and
chipping tend to have the highest injury rates.
Various labor unions have foundry workers
in their membership. Among these unions are
the International Molders and Foundry Work­
ers Union of North America; the United Steel­
workers of America; the International Union,
United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural
Implement Workers of America; and the Inter­
national Union of Electrical, Radio and Ma­
chine Workers. Many patternmakers are mem­
bers of the Pattern Makers' League of North
America.
Where To Go for More Information
International Molders and Foundry Workers Union
of North America,
1225 East McMillan St., Cincinnati 6, Ohio
International Union of Electrical, Radio and
Machine Workers,
1126 16th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
National Foundry Association,
4321 St. Charles Rd., P.O. Box 172, Bellwood, 111.
Non-Ferrous Fou nd ed Society, Inc.,
University Bldg., 1604 Chicago Ave., Evanston, 111.
Gray Iron Founders’ Society, Inc.,
National C ity-E. 6th Bldg., Cleveland 14, Ohio.
American Foundrymen’s Society,
Golf and W olf Rds., Des Plaines, 111.
Malleable Founders’ Society,
Union Commerce Bldg., Cleveland 14, Ohio.
Steel Founders’ Society of America,
606 Terminal Tower, Cleveland 13, Ohio.

(Detailed discussions of professional, tech­
nical, mechanical, and other occupations
found in the iron and steel industry as
well as in many other industries are given in
the sections of this Handbook covering the in­
dividual occupations. See index for page num­
bers.)

Molders
Nature of Work

The molder prepares a mold, made of spesand, which contains a hollow


dally prepared


space in the shape of the item to be made. The
mold is made by packing and ramming prepared sand around a pattern— a model of the
object to be duplicated— in a molding box

FOUNDRY OCCUPATIONS

467
occupation vary considerably. An all-round
hand molder
(journeyman) makes many
different kinds of molds. A less skilled molder
does more repetitive work, specializing in a
few simple types of molds.
Machine molders (D.O.T. 4-81.025 and
.050; 6-81.010 and .020) operate one of several
types of machines which simplify and speed
the making of large quantities of iden­
tical sand molds for castings. The machine
molders’ duties consist mainly of assembling
the flask (molding box) and pattern on the
machine table, filling the flask with prepared
sand, and operating the machine by the prop­
erly timed use of its control levers and pedals.
They are commonly semiskilled workers,
whose duties are limited to operating the ma­
chines which are set up for them. Sometimes
they are journeymen molders who set up and
adjust their own machines with little super­
vision. Machine molders are employed mainly
in production foundries which make large
quantities of identical castings.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

C o u rtesy o f U .S . N av al W e ap o n s P la n t

Hand molder ramming sand around pattern in flask.

called a flask. A flask is usually made in two
parts which can be separated to allow removal
of the pattern by the molder without damaging
the mold cavity. Molten metal is poured into
the cavity which, when solidified forms the
casting. The sand is prepared by adding water
and other substances so it will hold its shape
and not crumble when molten metal is poured
into the mold. A molder uses rammers, trow­
els, shovels, mallets, and other handtools in the
handling, compacting, and smoothing of sand
in molds made by hand.
The nearly 47,000 workers in this occupa­
tion in 1960 were classified either as hand
or machine molders. Hand molders use mainly
hand methods to make the sand molds. Molds
for small castings are usually made on the
workbench by bench molders (D.O.T. 4 81.010); those for large and bulky castings are
made on the foundry floor by floor molders
(D.O.T. 4-81.030). Skill requirements in this




Completion of a 4-year apprenticeship train­
ing program, or the equivalent in experience,
is needed to become a journeyman molder and
thus qualify for all-round hand molding and for
the skilled specialized or supervisory jobs. Men
with this training are also preferred for some
kinds of machine molding.
The molder apprentice works under the
close supervision of journeymen who instruct
him in the skills of the craft. About half of
the apprenticeship training is devoted directly
to molding. The apprentice may begin with a
simple job, such as shoveling sand, and gradu­
ally take on more difficult and respon­
sible work, such as ramming molds, with­
drawing patterns, and setting cores. He also
learns to operate the various types of molding
machines. As his training progresses, 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 appren­
tice works in other foundry departments in
order to develop the diversified knowledge of

468

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

foundry practice needed by fully qualified
molders. He is taught sand preparation, melting
of metal, and how to clean and finish castings.
The apprentice usually receives, in addition,
at least 144 hours of classroom instruction
each year in such subjects as shop arithmetic,
metallurgy, and shop drawing.
Molders’ helpers and less skilled hand mold­
ers frequently learn the various elements of
skilled molding informally, while on the job,
and then seek jobs as journeymen. However,
this is often a lengthier and less reliable way
of learning the trade than through apprentice­
ship.
The less skilled type of hand molding, in
which highly repetitive work is done, requires
only a brief training period. “ Learners”
(either men without previous foundry experi­
ence or upgraded foundry helpers) are
assigned to work with a molder engaged in
making a particular kind of mold. After 2 to
6 months of this training, the learner is usu­
ally competent to make the same mold or one
that is roughly similar, without close
supervision.
The more difficult and responsible types of
machine molding jobs also require formal
or equivalent training. However, the less
skilled machine molding jobs are ordinarily
learned in 60 to 90 days of on-the-job training.
An eighth grade education is usually the
minimum requirement for apprenticeship.
Many employers specify additional education
up to and including high school gradu­
ation. Eighth grade schooling, however, is
sufficient for learners of less skilled hand
molding or machine molding jobs.
Physical standards for molding jobs are
fairly high. The molder stands at his work,
moves about a great deal, and must do frequent
lifting. The hand molder needs a high degree
of manual dexterity and good vision. Since
the work is fairly strenuous, very few women
are employed as molders.

Employment Outlook

The need to replace molders who retire, die,
or transfer to other fields of work will provide
most of the job openings for new workers to
enter this trade during the 1960’s. Re­
tirements and deaths alone will provide about
1,000 openings annually. Several hundred of
these openings will be for molding ap­
prentices. There will be even more openings
each year for workers in entry jobs in machine
molding and in the less skilled types of hand
molding.
Little increase in the total number of mold­
ers is expected during the 1960’s, despite the
expected sizable increase in foundry produc­
tion. The continuation of the trend toward
more machine molding and less hand molding,
and increasing use of permanent molds and
shell molds, will result in a greater
foundry output per molder employed.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In mid-1959, experienced machine molders
in gray-iron foundries in 12 metropoli­
tan areas had straight-time average hourly
earnings ranging from $2.42 to $2.97. The
lowest straight-time average hourly earnings
reported for floor molders were $2.46; the
highest earnings were $2.83. In 11 of the 12
areas, hand bench molders had straight-time
average earnings ranging from $2.37 to $2.80
an hour.
Most molders are members of labor unions.
Many of them have been organized by the In­
ternational Molders and Foundry Workers
Union of North America. Others are members
of the United Steelworkers of America;
the International Union, United Automobile,
Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Work­
ers of America; and the International Union
of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers.
(See introductory section of this chapter
for Where To Go for More Information.)

Coremakers
Nature of Work

Coremakers prepare the “ cores” which are
placed in molds to form the hollows or holes



usually required in metal castings. The poured
metal solidifies around the core so that when
the core is removed, the desired cavity or con-

469

FOUNDRY OCCUPATIONS

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 core 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. 4-82.010) and bulky cores are made
on the foundry floor by floor coremakers
(D.O.T. 4-82.010). There is a wide range of
skill requirements in this occupation. All­
round hand coremakers (journeymen) prepare
different kinds of large and more intricate
cores. The less skilled coremakers make the
smaller and simpler cores frequently produced
in large numbers, so that the work is highly
repetitive. Many skilled coremakers are em­
ployed as supervisors.
Machine coremakers (D.O.T. 6-82.010, .020,
and .030) operate several different types of ma­
chines which force sand into specially shaped
hollow forms to make the sand cores. Some
machine coremakers are required to set up and
adjust their own machines and do any neces­
sary finishing operations on the cores. Other
coremakers are primarily machine tenders.
They are more closely supervised and the nec­
essary adjusting of the machines is done for
them. Machine coremakers are employed
mainly in foundries where large quantities of
identical castings are made.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Completion of a 4-year apprenticeship train­
ing program or the equivalent in experience is
needed to become a skilled hand core­
maker. Coremaking apprenticeships are also
sometimes required for the more difficult and
responsible machine coremaking jobs. Only
a brief period of on-the-job training is needed
for less skilled hand coremaking and for most
machine coremaking jobs. Training in core­
making and molding are often combined in a

single apprenticeship.


The coremaking apprentice works with
journeymen coremakers, first helping them in
routine duties and then undertaking more ad­
vanced work, such as making simple cores, or
operating core ovens. As his skill increases,
the apprentice makes more complex cores. He
acquires experience in benchwork and floorwork and in the operation of any coremaking
machines used in the plant. On-the-job train­
ing is generally supplemented by classroom
instruction
covering
such
subjects
as
arithmetic, shop drawing, and the properties
of metals. Hand coremakers with all-round
training have opportunities for promotion to
supervisory jobs.
An eighth grade education is usually a mini­
mum for coremaking apprentices; some em­
ployers require that apprentices be high
school graduates.
Persons without previous foundry experi­
ence may be hired directly for the less skilled
coremaking jobs, or foundry laborers or
helpers may be upgraded to do this work.
Physical requirements for light coremaking
are not exacting because the work is not very
strenuous. Some types of hand coremaking
require a high degree of manual dexterity.
Women are frequently employed to do light
coremaking.
Employment Outlook

During the 1960’s, employment of hand and
machine coremakers is expected to increase
slowly above the 1960 level of about 25,000.
The continued trend toward a greater propor­
tion of cores being produced by ma­
chine rather than by hand and the resulting
greater output per worker will limit the
growth in the number of coremakers. The
need to replace experienced workers who re­
tire or die will create about 500 additional job
openings annually for new workers. Other
new workers will be required to replace core­
makers who transfer to other fields of work.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Experienced machine coremakers in grayiron foundries in six metropolitan areas, in

470

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

mid-1959, had straight-time average hourly
earnings ranging from $2.40 to $3. Average
earnings of hand coremakers in 12 areas ranged
from $2.06 to $2.86 an hour.
Most coremakers are members of labor un­
ions. Many of them have been organized by
the International Molders and Foundry Work­
ers Union of North America. Other unions

which have coremakers in their membership
include the United Steelworkers of America;
the International Union, United Automobile,
Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers
of America; and the International Union of
Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers.
(See introductory section of this chapter for
Where To Go for More Information.)

Patternmakers
Nature of Work

Patternmakers are highly skilled craftsmen
who manually build patterns used in making
molds out of which foundry castings are
formed. About half of the nearly 19,000 work­
ers in the occupation in 1960 were metal 'pat­
ternmakers (D.O.T. 5-17.010). A large propor­
tion were ivood patternmakers (D.O.T. 5 17.020) and a small number worked with other
materials such as plaster and plastics.
The patternmaker must be able to work from
blueprints prepared by an engineering depart­
ment. He makes a precise pattern for the
product, after allowing for shrinkage of molten
metal used in the casting process and for other
factors.
The metal patternmaker prepares patterns
from metal stock, or more commonly, from
rough castings made from an original wood
pattern. He uses a variety of metalworking
machines, including the engine lathe, drill
press, shaper, milling machine, power hacksaw,
and grinder, to shape and finish the patterns.
The wood patternmaker selects the appro­
priate 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
lathes, planers, bandsaws, and sanders, as well
as many small handtools. Finally, he assembles
the pattern segments by hand, using glue,
screws, and nails.
Throughout his work, the patternmaker care­
fully checks each dimension of the pattern. A
high degree of accuracy is required, since any
imperfection in the pattern will be reproduced
in the castings made from it. Other duties of



Patternmaker using a gouge to carve wood pattern.

patternmakers include making core boxes (in
much the same manner as patterns are con­
structed) and repairing patterns and core
boxes.
About half of the patternmakers work in
specially equipped pattern shops in foundries.
The other half work in establishments that
make patterns for foundries on order, or in
departments of plants that buy castings from
a foundry.
Training and Other Qualifications

Apprenticeship, or a similar program of onthe-job training, is the principal means of

471

FOUNDRY OCCUPATIONS

qualifying as a journeyman patternmaker. Be­
cause of the high degree of skill and the wide
range of knowledge needed for patternmaking,
it is very difficult to obtain the necessary train­
ing by informally picking up the trade. How­
ever, in some instances skilled machinists have
been able to transfer to metal patternmaking
with additional on-the-job training or expe­
rience. Good trade school courses in pattern­
making provide useful preparation for the
prospective apprentice. Such courses may, in
some cases, 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 pattern­
making is 5 years. At least 720 hours of class­
room instruction in related technical subjects
is normally provided. There are separate ap­
prentice programs for wood and metal pattern­
making.
The patternmaker apprentice begins by help­
ing journeymen in routine duties. Then he
makes simple patterns under close supervision,
gradually learning to use the various types of
machines and handtools. As his training prog­
resses, the work becomes increasingly complex
and the supervision more general.
Patternmaking, although not strenuous, re­
quires considerable standing and moving about.
A high degree of manual dexterity is especially
important because of the precise nature of many
hand operations. The ability to visualize ob­
jects in three dimensions is also important.
Employers generally require patternmaker ap­
prentices to have had at least a high school
education.




Employment Outlook

Little change in the number of patternmak­
ers is expected in the 1960’s. Despite the in­
crease in foundry production, the number of
patternmakers has not grown significantly for
several decades. Mass production, which re­
quired the preparation of large numbers of
identical castings, resulted in greater use of
metal and plastic rather than wood patterns.
As the more durable metal patterns can be used
many times in the making of identical molds,
the number of individual patterns required for
a given number of castings has declined.
Replacement needs will provide some job op­
portunities for new workers to be trained as
patternmakers. It is estimated that about 500
new patternmakers will be needed annually in
the 1960’s to replace workers who retire, die,
or transfer to other fields of work. Most of the
job openings will be in metal patternmaking.
Because patternmakers learn either basic
metalworking or woodworking skills, they can
find jobs in related fields when patternmaking
employment is not available. Wood pattern­
makers can qualify for skilled woodworking
jobs, such as cabinetmaker, and metal pattern­
makers can transfer their skills to machine
shop jobs, such as machinist or layout man.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Experienced wood patternmakers in grayiron foundries in six metropolitan areas, in
mid-1959, had straight-time average hourly
earnings ranging from $2.80 to $3.88.
Many patternmakers are members of the Pat­
tern Maker s’ League of North America.
(See introductory section of this chapter for
Where To Go for More Information.)

FORGE SHOP OCCUPATIONS
Forging is the process in which workers use
hammers and presses to shape glowing hot
metal. This method of shaping metal is similar
to that used by the oldtime blacksmith, except
that large mechanical equipment is substituted
for the blacksmith’s small handtools.
Because forged metal is strong, such items
as automobile crankshafts, gears, screwdriver
blades, pliers, and aircraft and missile parts
are produced by forging. Most forged products
are made of steel, but brass, aluminum, and
other metals are also forged. Some forged parts
weigh less than a pound, but others weigh
many tons.
Some of the jobs required to produce forgings
are found only in forge shops; this chapter
deals primarily with such jobs. (For a detailed
description of the duties, training, working
conditions, and job prospects of blacksmiths,
who do work similar to that of many forge
shop workers, see the statement on blacksmiths,
page 507.)

The basic equipment used by forge shop
workers consists of various types of hammers,
presses, and furnaces. Forge shop workers may
also use handtools such as tongs, wrenches,
and measuring devices such as rulers and
calipers.
The principal forge shop jobs are concerned
with the operation of forging hammers, presses,
and furnaces. Crews, generally consisting of
from 2 to 10 men, operate this equipment. A
crew usually specializes on a particular kind of
hammer or press. Duties of the more important
forge shop jobs are described below:
Hammersmiths (D.O.T. 4-86.120) control

N atu re o f W ork

Before metal may be forged, workers must
first heat it in intensely hot furnaces. Then
other workers manipulate the glowing hot
metal between die halves that shape the metal.
These die halves are attached to hammers or
presses which pound or squeeze the metal. Other
workers smooth off the rough edges of the
forged metal parts and perform other finishing
operations.
The dies used in forging may be either flat
(called open dies), or they may have a hollow
space in the form of the metal part to be forged
(called closed dies). Open dies are generally
used where a small number of identically
shaped forgings are to be produced. Closed dies
are usually used to make large quantities of
identical forgings (for example, automobile
crankshafts).
472




Hammerman forging metal between “closed” dies
attached to drop hammer.

FORGE SHOP OCCUPATIONS

steam hammers, equipped with open dies, that
pound hot metal blocks and bars into particu­
lar shapes. The precision of these forged parts
depends on the skill of the hammersmith. He
interprets blueprints, drawings, or sketches to
determine how to work the metal under the
hammer. He directs a crew of assistants in
the manipulation of the metal and controls the
force of the hammer so that the piece being
forged will be shaped to the customer’s speci­
fications. The hammersmith may also deter­
mine whether the metal being worked needs
additional heating. During the forging process,
he may also place various forming tools be­
tween the dies and the part being forged in or­
der to make forgings of various simple shapes.
The hammersmith’s crew consists of one or
more helpers; a hammer driver ( “ hammer
runner” ) who manipulates the controls of the
hammer to regulate the force of the forging
blow; a craneman who transfers large blocks
of heated metal from the furnace to the ham­
mer and manipulates the metal under the ham­
mer; and a heater who heats the metal to the
correct f orging temperature.
Drop hammer operators (D.O.T. 4-86.110),
often called hammermen or forgers, operate
different types of drop hammers that shape
heated metal by pounding it between closed
dies. These workers use tongs to pick up and
turn the heavy, hot metal bar or block on the
bottom half of the die, and operate the controls
of the hammer to strike the number of blows
required to shape the metal. A drop hammer
operator supervises the helpers and heaters as­
signed to him. He may set the dies in the
hammer or supervise his crew in doing this
work.
The level of skill required of these operators
depends on the size and the type of drop ham­
mer being used and the size and complexity of
the object being forged. Generally, operators of
large, steam- or compressed-air-powered ham­
mers who regulate the force of the forging
blow, are more skilled than operators of other
kinds of hammers. Drop hammer operators who
forge very large, unusually shaped objects must
also be highly skilled.
Press smiths (D.O.T. 4-86.125) work on

huge forging presses which shape hot metal


473
by squeezing it between open or closed dies.
These skilled workers must know how to con­
trol the heating of the metals, regulate the
pressure of their forging presses, and position
the work between the dies. Their duties may
also include setting up the dies in the presses.
Many of the skills and duties of press smiths
who work on forging presses equipped with
open dies are similar to the skills of hammer­
smiths. Both groups of workers must be able
to understand blueprints, drawings, or sketches
in order to transform heated metal into fin­
ished forgings; both groups of workers must
be able to manipulate heated metal between
open dies; and both groups of workers may
have to supervise crews composed of an assist­
ant operator, a craneman, a heater, and several
helpers.
Press smiths who work on forging presses
equipped with closed dies must work to more
precise specifications than open die press smiths
but do not need as much skill because the closed
dies determine the shape of the forging. The
closed die press smith may supervise a small
crew or he may work alone.
Upsettermen (D.O.T. 4-86.125) operate up­
set machines which forge hot metal by applying
pressure to the metal as it is held between dies.
Unlike forging presses and hammers in which
metal is shaped as the top die is dropped or
pressed on the lower die, in an upset machine
the metal is shaped as one die moves against
the other die parallel to the ground.
Upsettermen control the heating of metal,
adjust the machine’s pressure on the metal,
aline the dies, and position the metal between
the dies. A small crew consisting of a heater
and helpers is often supervised by an upsetterman. Deep-socket wrenches, aircraft engine
cylinders, bolts, and valves are some of the
products made in large quantities on upset
machines.
Heaters (D.O.T. 4-88.081) control the sup­
ply of fuel and air in furnaces so that different
metals can be heated to the most suitable tem­
peratures for forging. When the heater sees
that the metal is at the right temperature, by
observing the color of the metal or by using a
temperature gage, he may move the metal to
the hammers or presses, using tongs or me­

474
chanical moving equipment. The heater is also
responsible for keeping the inside of the fur­
nace clean.
Inspectors (D.O.T. 4-86.162) check forgings
for size, shape, quality, and other specifications.
Some inspectors examine forged pieces for flaws
and faulty workmanship while the forgings are
still hot. Others inspect forgings after they
have been trimmed and cleaned. Inspectors
visually inspect forged parts or they may use
micrometers, calipers, or other measuring de­
vices to determine whether forged parts meet
exact specifications. Testing for flaws may also
be done with strength and hardness testing
machines, electronic testing devices, and other
testing equipment.
Die sinkers (D.O.T. 4-76.010) are the highly
skilled workers who make the closed dies that
are used on some forging hammers and presses.
Working from a blueprint or drawing, a die
sinker traces the outline of the object to be
forged on two matched blocks of steel. He
carves the shape of the piece to be forged in
the steel blocks by using drill presses and other
machine tools. The die sinker smoothes and
finishes the die cavity using handtools such as
small files. Finally, the die sinker makes a
sample casting from the completed dies, and
checks all the measurements using a micro­
meter and other precision measuring instru­
ments.
A considerable number of forge shop workers
are employed to clean and finish forgings. For
example, trimmers (D.O.T. 6-88.717) remove
excess metal from forged pieces with presses
or hammers equipped with trimming dies.
Chippers (D.O.T. 8-78.10) use power hammers
to remove inperfections. Grinders (D.O.T. 8 77.10) remove rough edges from completed
forgings with mechanically powered abrasive
wheels. Sandblasters (D.O.T. 6-82.720) operate
sandblasting or shotblasting equipment to clean
and smooth forgings. Picklers (D.O.T. 8-74.13)
dip forgings in an acid solution to remove sur­
face impurities. Heat treaters (D.O.T. 4-87.220)
heat and cool forgings under controlled con­
ditions, to make them last longer. They produce
forgings of specified degrees of hardness and
strength by cooling them in the air or in baths
of
 water, oil, or brine.


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Where Employed

Independent shops (forge shops that produce
forgings for sale) employed almost two-thirds
of the nearly 70,000 workers who were directly
engaged in the production of forged products
during 1960. The remainder were employed in
the forging departments of steel mills; by
manufacturers of automobiles, farm machinery,
handtools, structural and ornamental metal
products used in bridges, buildings, and boats;
and in types of plants which use forgings in
their final products.
Employment of forge shop workers is con­
centrated mainly in Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois,
Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Forge shops are
usually located near steel producing centers,
which provide steel for forgings, as well as
near metalworking plants.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most forge shop workers learn their skills
through on-the-job training and work experi­
ence. As they acquire experience and skills,
they progress from the simple to the more
difficult jobs. Advancement to the skilled job
of hammersmith, for example, requires 4 or 5
years of on-the-job training and experience.
The basic entry job of hammer and press
crews is that of helper, although in some plants
workers begin as heaters. After a worker has
served as a helper, he may be upgraded to one
of the more skilled jobs, such as heater, ham­
mersmith, drop hammer operator, or forging
press operator.
Employers usually require no more than an
eighth grade education for helpers and heat­
ers, but high school graduates are preferred.
Therefore, young men interested in preparing
themselves for the more skilled forge shop jobs
and for supervisory positions should complete
high school and include mathematics, drafting,
and shopwork in their studies.
Because much forge shop work involves lift­
ing and moving of heavy forgings and dies,
workers must be strong. However, cranes may
be used for moving very large objects. Forge
shop workers must have the stamina to work
under very hot and noisy conditions for an en­
tire working day.

475

FORGE SHOP OCCUPATIONS

A few companies offer apprentice training
programs for the more skilled forge shop jobs,
such as die sinker, heat treater, hammersmith,
hammerman, and press smith. The programs,
which generally last 4 years and provide 8,000
hours of varied training, give the trainee a
combination of classroom training and practi­
cal experience in using the tools of the trade.
For example, hammersmith apprentices learn
how to operate hammers and furnaces and how
to use handtools. They also learn about the
properties of metals, how to read blueprints,
and how to weld. The die sinker apprentice­
ship lasts from 4 to 8 years, depending on the
particular area or shop in which he works.
Inspectors who visually inspect rough forg­
ings, using simple gages, can usually perform
their jobs after on-the-job training lasting only
a few weeks. However, inspectors who exam­
ine forgings that must meet a customer’s exact
specifications are required to have some tech­
nical background in blueprint reading and
mathematics. They may also be given several
months of on-the-job training before they can
operate the more complicated testing equip­
ment.
Employment Outlook

A few thousand young people each year will
have opportunities to get jobs in forge shops
during the 1960’s. Many of these openings will
result from the expected moderate growth in
the employment of forge shop workers. Other
opportunities will arise because workers who
retire, die, or transfer to other fields of work
will have to be replaced.
Additional workers will be needed in forge
shops because metalworking industries which
use forgings in their final products— particu­
larly the aircraft and missile, industrial ma­
chinery, and automobile industries— are expect­
ed to expand. However, the growth in forge
shop employment may be limited by the use
of metal castings to replace some forged parts,
by the competition from new material and
metals which are not forged, and by the con­
tinued use of more modern equipment. The
Digitized wider use of more modern equipment will
for FRASER


probably have a greater effect on the employ­
ment of helpers than on the employment of the
more skilled forge shop workers.
Earnings and Working Conditions

In January 1961, production workers (includ­
ing unskilled and semiskilled workers as well
as skilled craftsmen) in independent iron and
steel forging plants had average earnings of
$115.85 a week or $2.95 an hour. Production
workers in all manufacturing industries aver­
aged $90.25 a week or $2.32 an hour in the
same month.
In many forge shops, the earnings of ham­
mer and press smiths are determined by the
number of forgings they produce. Other mem­
bers of hammer or press crews are paid a per­
centage of the operators’ pay.
An examination of several union-manage­
ment contracts indicates that skilled hammer­
smiths, press smiths, and die sinkers received
the highest hourly rates among forge shop
workers; die sinker rates were between $3
and $4 an hour. According to a private
survey of a large number of union-manage­
ment contracts covering forge shop workers,
the rates for many hammersmiths and press
smiths in mid-1960 were between $2.25 and
$3.25 an hour, although these workers fre­
quently earned considerably more depending on
the number of f orgings produced.
Most forge shop workers are union members.
Many are members of the International Broth­
erhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders,
Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers. Others are
members of the United Steelworkers of Amer­
ica; the International Union, United Automo­
bile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; the International Asso­
ciation of Machinists, and the International
Die Sinkers’ Conference (Ind.). Many of the
plants which employ forge shop workers have
union-management contracts which provide in­
surance and pension plans, and other nonwage
benefits.
Although forge shops typically "are hot and
noisy, working conditions have been improved
in recent years. Many firms have installed

476
large ventilating fans and have attempted to
reduce machine concussion and vibration.
The injury-frequency rate in forge shops is
higher than in many other types of factory
work, but it has been declining in recent years
because of the greater emphasis upon safety
precautions. Forge shop firms and the unions
have contributed to the reduction of accidents
in forge shops by promoting greater use of




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

protective goggles, metal-toe shoes, metal hel­
mets, and safety guards at the machines.
Where To Go for More Information
Drop Forging Association, 1121 Illuminating Bldg.,
55 Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio.
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron
Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers,
570 New Brotherhood Bldg., Kansas City 1, Kans.

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS
One out of every 19 male American workers
in the civilian labor force in 1960 earned his
living as a driver or deliveryman. Over 2%
million men played a vital role in moving pas­
sengers and goods over miles of highways and
city streets. (See chart 25 for percent of em­
ployment by individual occupation.) They
transported food and thousands of other prod­
ucts used in our homes, schools, and factories.
They also transported millions of Americans to
and from work every day.
Some of them, like the over-the-road truckdriver, the intercity bus driver, the local bus
driver, and the taxicab driver, spend practi­
cally all of their working time in driving.
Others, like the local truckdriver and delivery
man, spend considerable time in loading and
unloading goods, making pickups and deliveries,
and collecting money. Still others, like the
routeman, spend a good deal of their time sell­
ing. This chapter deals only with employment
opportunities for drivers of intercity and local
trucks and buses; routemen; and taxicab
drivers.
Many driving jobs require a high degree of
responsibility. Drivers, for the most part, oper­
ate large and expensive equipment which they
must drive carefully, obeying safety regulations
and traffic laws, to deliver their passengers and
freight safely. These men are on their own,
away from direct supervision.
Although employment in some driving jobs
is not expected to increase substantially during
the next decade, expansion in the employment
of local and over-the-road truckdrivers is antic­
ipated as a result of increased freight tonnage.

Normal turnover in this large occupational field
will also provide many job opportunities each
year.
Driving jobs offer excellent opportunities for
young men who are not planning to attend
college and who have no interest in or aptitude
for the skilled technical occupations. The pay
of most drivers is relatively high and working
conditions are fairly good. Many young men
will also enjoy the freedom from close super­
vision, as well as the frequent contacts with
people, which is characteristic of most of these
jobs.
CHART 25

TRUCKDRIVERS MAKE UP FOUR-FIFTHS OF WORKERS
IN DR IV IN G JO BS....
Percent of em ploym ent, I9 6 0 *
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

r --------1
--------------r~---------1
---------1
----------- t ----------- 1
Local truckdrivers

O v e r-th e -ro ad truckdrivers

T axicab drivers

Routemen

Local transit bus
drivers

Intercity bus drivers

Over-the-Road Truckdrivers
(D.O.T. 7-36.240)

Nature of Work

the top professional drivers in the country.

The men at the wheels of the big trucks seen
on our highways and turnpikes are generally

These men drive the largest and most expensive
equipment and receive the highest wages of all




477

478

Over-the-road truckdriver checking light and air line
connections before starting trip.

drivers. They are on their own practically all
the time and have a great deal of responsibility.
Most over-the-road drivers operate gasoline
or diesel powered tractor-trailers. (The tractor
is the vehicle with the very short chassis which
draws the trailer in which the freight is
carried.) They deliver goods usually over long
distances— frequently driving at night.
Unlike the local truckdriver who spends con­
siderable time in loading and unloading, the
over-the-road driver (sometimes called intercity
driver, line-haul driver, or long-haul driver)
spends practically all of his working time in
driving. He. may, however, sometimes handle
the freight he carries. Some drivers, for ex­
ample, may have to unload their goods because
they make deliveries to stores at night when
there are no receiving crews on hand. Drivers
of long-distance moving vans generally have to
load or unload their vehicles, with the assistance
of helpers hired locally.
The truckdriver must back up big trailers to
loading platforms. To do this requires the




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ability to maneuver the trailers while driving
in reverse. The driver must also be able to
judge distances accurately while driving around
corners or through narrow passageways.
Because the over-the-road truckdriver spends
most of his time driving, safe driving practices
and courtesy are of the utmost importance.
Every one has seen the emergency warning
signals set out by a driver near his disabled
truck on the edge of the highway. Many motor­
ists have noted the courtesy of truckdrivers
who pull off to the shoulder of the road at the
top of a hill to allow the accumulated traffic
to pass.
The long-haul truckdriver has a responsible
job which also requires initiative. He is en­
tirely on his own for long periods of time, trans­
porting goods and materials of great value
which must be delivered safely and on time.
Interstate Commerce Commission regulations
require drivers to inspect their trucks before
and after trips and make out reports on the
condition of the vehicles at the end of the run.
Drivers are also required to keep a daily log of
their activities. If a driver has an accident, he
must make out a detailed report.
W h e re E m p lo y e d

The more than one-half million over-the-road
drivers are employed throughout the United
States. Many work out of some of the large
cities, such as Chicago and Los Angeles; how­
ever, some large companies have their operating
headquarters in fairly small towns.
Over-the-road drivers are employed by private
and for-hire carriers. Private carriers are com­
panies, such as chain food stores or manufac­
turing plants, which use trucks to transport
their own goods. For-hire carriers are either
common carriers (trucking companies serving
the general public) or contract carriers (truck­
ing firms hauling goods under contract only
for certain companies). Most of the drivers of
the big tractor-trailer combinations on long in­
tercity runs are employed by common carriers.
On shorter hauls, many drivers are employed
by contract and common carriers to make de­
liveries of machinery, food, petroleum products,
household appliances, and other items, from

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

plants to warehouses and from warehouses to
large volume purchasers.
Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

Regulations of the Interstate Commerce Com­
mission establish minimum qualifications for
over-the-road drivers. The driver must be at
least 21 years of age, able-bodied, with good
hearing and vision of at least 20/40 with or
without glasses. He must be able to read and
speak English, have at least 1 year’s driving
experience (which may include driving private
automobiles), and a good driving record. Most
States require truckdrivers to have a chauffeur’s
license, which is a commercial driving permit
obtained from State Motor Vehicle Depart­
ments.
These are minimum standards which apply
to all over-the-road drivers. Most fleet opera­
tors, however, have higher standards. Many
firms will not hire drivers under age 25. Some
employers specify height and weight limita­
tions. Many require applicants to have at least
a grade school education; others require 2 years
of high school. Some companies will employ
only an applicant who has had several years of
experience in handling vehicles of the type he
would be required to drive.
The standards for over-the-road drivers are
higher than those which generally prevail for
local truckdrivers. Furthermore, these stand­
ards are more strictly adhered to than those for
local drivers, whose standards frequently may
be lowered when there is an insufficient number
of applicants for local driver jobs.
The truck-trailer combination often seen on
our highways probably costs as much as $20,000 and the load inside may be worth more
than $100,000. The owners of this transporta­
tion equipment, therefore, employ drivers with
a know-how based on years of driving experi­
ence and who also can accept great responsi­
bility.
Many training authorities and employers rec­
ommend that young men interested in becoming
professional drivers would do well to take the
driver-training courses offered by many of the
Nation’s high schools. If such a high school
 not available, the professional driving
course is


479
schools which operate in most large cities are
recommended. A high school course in auto­
motive mechanics is also very helpful.
Most long-haul drivers have had experience
in local trucking. Usually they have entered
this occupation by first driving a small, light
truck. After gaining experience they have
moved on to the larger and more complicated
trucks. A young man may also begin as a helper
to a local truckdriver and assist him in loading
and unloading the truck. He may occasionally
do some driving to relieve the driver.
Another type of experience considered very
desirable by employers is a combination of in­
tercity bus and local truck driving. This ex­
perience may be gained by working for an in­
tercity bus company for the spring and summer
months and by working for a local trucking
company during the fall and winter months
delivering such products as fuel oil. Thus, the
driver gets the road experience with the bus
company and learns how to handle a truck and
trailer with the local trucking company.
All employers are interested in obtaining
good, safe, reliable drivers, but the methods of
selection and training vary. Some companies
have formal tests and training programs. Other
companies do their hiring on the basis of per­
sonal interviews and their training program
consists of a “ break-in” period during which the
new employee observes and works with an ex­
perienced driver.
Applicants for jobs as over-the-road drivers
are required to pass a physical examination
which is usually paid for by the employer.
Many firms also give written traffic and driving
knowledge tests. Some employers give tests to
measure such factors as sharpness and field of
vision, reaction time, the ability to judge speed,
and emotional stability. The last step in the
selection of drivers is the road test. The ap­
plicant is expected to demonstrate his ability
to handle, under a variety of driving conditions,
a vehicle of the type and size he will operate
in regular service.
A new driver may be given a brief indoctrina­
tion course. Company policy is explained and
the new employee is taught how to prepare the
various forms he will use on the job. The new
driver will then make one or more training

480
trips with an instructor or an experienced
driver.
Drivers employed by common carriers fre­
quently start on the “ extra board,” bidding for
regular runs on the basis of seniority as
vacancies occur. (The extra board is a list of
men, assigned in rotation, who substitute for
regular drivers or who make extra trips when
necessary.) Drivers for private carriers are
more likely to begin with assigned regular
routes.
Promotional opportunities in this occupation
are limited. A few drivers may advance to jobs
as safety supervisors, driver supervisors, and
dispatchers. Most drivers, however, can only
expect runs which will give them higher
earnings.
Employment Outlook

A very substantial increase in the employ­
ment of over-the-road truckdrivers is antici­
pated during the 1960’s as a result of increased
industrial activity, continued decentralization
of industry, and the movement of population
to the suburbs. A large number of job openings
will also be created by transfers from this field
of work. Many long-haul truckdrivers often re­
turn to local truckdriving jobs. Several thou­
sand additional openings will also result each
year from retirements and deaths.
The freight carried by over-the-road trucks
has been increasing as a result of the general
economic growth of the Nation and because
trucks have been hauling an increasing propor­
tion of the total freight. Many factories, ware­
houses, and stores are being located at great
distances from each other in suburban or semirural areas where rail facilities are nonexistent
or extremely limited. Furthermore, the growth
of chain stores and the trend to decentraliza­
tion of factories are developments requiring
daily coordination of shipping which can best
be handled by trucks.
Improvements in trailer design have also con­
tributed to more over-the-road trucking. These
advancements have made it possible to ship cer­
tain kinds of freight for longer distances by
truck
 than was previously possible. For ex­


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ample, some refrigerated trailers now provide
temperatures down to 20 degrees below zero,
and new livestock trailers feature controlled
ventilation, nonskid floors, and interior walls
designed to avoid bruising and other injury to
the animals. As a result of these, and other
factors mentioned previously, a large part of
the future increase in long-haul freight traffic
will probably be by truck and thus expand the
demand for over-the-road truckdrivers.
Some recent freight transportation innova­
tions will limit somewhat the anticipated in­
crease in trucking business and driver employ­
ment. For example, “ piggyback,” the movement
of highway trailers on railroad flat cars, which
saves the cost of driver, fuel, and tractor, ap­
pears to have promising prospects, although it
accounts for only a small share of total freight
shipped at present. The increasing use of
trailer-carrying ships, recently introduced for
the transportation of loaded trailers for long
distances, could also adversely affect the em­
ployment of over-the-road truckdrivers. In any
event, the effect of this latter innovation would
be largely limited to the movement of those
commodities where the time element is not too
important.
In addition, the trucking business may under­
go a considerable expansion without a corres­
ponding increase in driver employment. State
limitations on truck weight, size, and speed are
being liberalized as a result of the construction
of better highways. The movement of bigger
loads at higher average speeds could result in
a need for fewer drivers than would otherwise
be required to move the greatly increased overthe-road tonnage anticipated during the 1960’s.
The over-the-road driver has a better chance
of remaining employed during business reces­
sions than workers in many other occupations.
Although the total tonnage moved declines,
over-the-road trucking is less affected than other
means of transportation. It gets a larger share
of the shrinking transportation business be­
cause manufacturers and merchants, unable to
buy merchandise in railroad carload lots can
reduce inventories and still maintain their di­
versified stock by small daily shipments by
truck.

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

Earnings and Working Conditions

Most over-the-road drivers earned well above
$100 a week in 1959. Drivers employed by class
I common carriers of general freight (carriers
with gross operating revenues of $1 million or
more a year) had average annual earnings of
$7,839 in 1959, the most recent year for which
such data are available. The rates paid to overthe-road drivers are fairly uniform because this
is a highly unionized field and union-employer
contracts are generally master agreements
covering all employers within a region— an area
including a number of States. Furthermore,
regional contracts tend to be quite uniform be­
cause drivers working under different contracts
often travel the same routes. The earnings of an
individual driver are affected by such factors
as the mileage driven, the number of hours
worked, the type of equipment driven or the
weight of the loads carried, and the type of
“ run” — whether or not pickup or delivery enroute is required.
Drivers on the longer runs are generally paid
on a mileage basis for actual driving time. For
all other time during which the driver is re­
quired to be on duty, he is paid at an hourly
rate. This includes waiting time, delay time
due to breakdown of equipment or impassable
highways, layover time (time spent at a termi­
nal away from home beginning at some des­
ignated hour after his run ends), and time spent
in making pickups or deliveries enroute. Reg­
ular drivers are usually assured minimum pay
for a certain number of hours— generally 8
hours a day.
Some private carriers pay their drivers on
the same basis as their other employees— a
monthly, weekly, or daily wage. Generally, such
a wage is for a specified number of hours and
if the driver works beyond that he receives
extra pay.
Interstate Commerce Commission regulations
limit the hours of work of over-the-road drivers.
No driver may be on duty for more than 70
hours in any 8-day period. A driver must be
off duty for at least 8 hours after driving for
10 hours before he can drive again. Many
drivers, particularly on the very long runs, work
fairly close to the maximum permitted. A
Digitized workweek of at least 50 hours is very common.
for FRASER


481
Most drivers receive pay for 6 national holi­
days plus 1 or more State and local holidays.
They also have paid vacations, usually from 1
to 4 weeks, depending upon their length of serv­
ice. Health, insurance, and pension plans, usu­
ally paid for by the employers, are very common.
Over-the-road truckdrivers are often required
to spend time away from home— particularly
when they drive long runs. The driver often
starts out in the evening and arrives at the
terminal in the other city the following morn­
ing. There, the company provides lodging for
him either in a company dormitory or a hotel.
In the evening, he starts on his return trip and
arrives at the home terminal the following
morning. The driver may make two or three
such round trips a week. If the trips are part
of a relay operation, another driver is working
a similar schedule starting from the other end
of the run.
Some companies use two-man sleeper teams
on their very long runs. One drives while the
other sleeps in a little bunk behind the cab.
The vehicle goes straight on through to the end
of the run where there may or may not be a
layover before the return trip. Two periods of
4 hours of resting or sleeping in a berth in the
truck meet the ICC requirement of 8 hours off
duty following 10 hours of driving. This means
that the drivers on a run may remain with
the truck in some cases for over 100 hours.
Although earnings on sleeper runs are the
highest in this field of work, few drivers stay
with this type of run very long. The work is
very tiring and requires being away from family
and friends for days and even weeks. However,
many drivers come back to sleeper runs after
they have had a rest or have done some relay
driving for a while. The earnings of drivers of
long-distance moving vans are also quite high,
but their hours are long and the work is
strenuous. They drive more miles than the
average over-the-road driver and also work more
hours in loading and unloading goods.
Largely because of intensive safety programs
and drivers' skill, the accident rate in over-theroad trucking is surprisingly low. Injuries oc­
cur less frequently than in other forms of motor
transportation.

482

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Driving the big over-the-road trucks does not
involve the physical effort most people associate
with truck driving. Sitting in one place for
hours at a time, however, is tiring and the
nervous strain of sustained driving at night is
also fatiguing.

Most over-the-road drivers are members of
the International Brotherhood of Teamsters,
Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of
America (Ind.). Some drivers of private carriers
belong1 to unions representing the plant em­
ployees of the companies for which they work.

Local Truckdrivers
(D.O.T. 7-36.200 through .299)

Nature of Work

Much of the food, clothing, and other prod­
ucts required by consumers are transported by
trucks. The men who move these goods from
terminals, warehouses,, and factories to whole­
salers, retailers, and consumers in the local area
must be skilled drivers to avoid accidents on
congested city streets. They must also be able
to maneuver big trucks into tight parking
spaces, through narrow alleys, and up to load­
ing platforms. (Telephone linemen, repairmen,
and many thousands of other workers for whom
driving trucks is only incidental to their pri­
mary job duties are not included in this
discussion.)
When the local truckdriver reports to work
at the terminal or warehouse, he receives his
assignment to make deliveries, pickups, or both.
He also receives the delivery forms he will need
and checks the condition of his truck. His
truck is generally loaded for him by platform
men. If he does the loading himself, however,
and must make many deliveries, he arranges the
items in proper sequence so that there will be
a minimum of handling. At the customer's place
of business, the driver generally loads and un­
loads the merchandise himself. If he has heavy
loads such as machinery or if he has many
deliveries to make during the day, he may have
a helper to assist him. The driver of a moving
van usually has a crew of helpers to assist him
in loading and unloading household or office
furniture.
At the delivery points, the driver gets cus­
tomers to sign receipts and freight bills, and he
sometimes collects money for freight, C.O.D.
deliveries, and other charges. At the end of
his day he turns in all receipts and cash col­

lected and records his time and the deliveries


made. He also reports whatever maintenance
or repair is needed before his truck is used
again.
Some of these workers drive special types of
trucks, such as dump or oil trucks, which may
require the operation of mechanical levers,
pedals, or other equipment. For example, if they
drive dump trucks, they operate levers inside
the cab or at the side of the truck in order to
set the dumping mechanism in motion. If they
haul heavy machinery, they operate mechanical
hoists to load and unload the machines.
Where Employed

About 114 million workers were employed as
local truckdrivers in early 1960, mostly in and
around large metropolitan areas. They work in
all localities, however, including the smallest
villages.
A large majority of local drivers work for
businesses which deliver their own products
and goods— such as department stores, meatpackers and other food processors, wholesale
distributors, petroleum companies, grocery
chains, and construction companies. Many
other truckdrivers are employed by local forhire operators— trucking companies which
serve the general public or specific companies
under contract. Some other truckdrivers are
employed by the Federal Government and by
States and municipalities. A large number of
local drivers are in business for themselves.
Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

Qualifications for local truckdrivers vary con­
siderably, depending upon such factors as the
type of equipment to be operated and the nature

483

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

of the employer's business. Generally, appli­
cants must be 21 years of age or older. Some
employers prefer applicants who have completed
grade school or have had 2 to 4 years of high
school. The applicant must be physically able
to lift heavy objects and otherwise be in good
health. He should have good hearing and good
vision (with or without glasses). Since a driver
often deals directly with the public, employers
look for men who are tactful and courteous.
An applicant must have or get a chauffeur's
license, which is a commercial driving permit.
Familiarity with traffic laws and safety meas­
ures is necessary, and some previous experience
in driving a truck is helpful. A young man
may obtain such experience by working as a
truckdriver's helper. Employers also give con­
sideration to driving experience gained in the
Armed Forces.
Since he will be responsible for costly vehicles
and cargo, a truckdriver must be cautious,
alert, and able to judge distances and to co­
ordinate his reactions so as to avoid accidents
in congested traffic. To demonstrate these
qualifications, an applicant's driving ability will
be tested, and he may have to pass a written
examination, as well as a general physical
examination.
Training given to a new driver is often in­
formal and may consist only of riding with
and observing an experienced driver on the job.
If he is to drive a special type of truck, the
new driver may be given additional training.
In some companies, a new driver is given a
brief indoctrination course which lasts 1 or 2
days. This instruction covers his general duties,
the efficient operation and loading of his truck,
company policies, and the preparation of de­
livery forms and company records.
Although most new employees are immedi­
ately assigned to regular driving jobs, some
start as extra drivers. These drivers take over
the routes of regular drivers who are ill or on
vacation, or make extra trips when necessary.
They receive regular assignments when open­
ings occur.
Local truckdrivers may get jobs as dispatch­
ers or advance to jobs as terminal managers,
or supervisors. However, these jobs are rela­
Digitized tively few. For the most part, advancement
for FRASER


for a local truckdriver consists of earning
higher hourly wages by driving heavy or spe­
cial type trucks instead of light trucks, or by
transferring to over-the-road truck driving.
An experienced truckdriver who has some
business ability and ambition can start his own
trucking company when he has sufficient capi­
tal to purchase expensive trucking equipment
and meet other business expenses. Truckers
who own only one or two vehicles continue to
account for a sizable proportion of local forhire trucking business.
Employment Outlook

A moderate rise in the employment of local
truckdrivers is anticipated during the 1960's
because of the expected increased volume of
freight. Many new workers will also be needed
to replace drivers who retire, die, or transfer
to other fields of work. Retirements and deaths
alone will result in about 10,000 to 15,000 job
openings each year for local truckdrivers dur­
ing the next few years.
The rise in total business activity antici­
pated between 1960 and 1970 will increase the
volume of freight. Since trucks carry virtually
all freight for local distribution and do not
compete for hauling with other types of car­
riers, this anticipated increase in total intercity
and local freight volume will expand local truck­
ing business and, thereby, truckdriver employ­
ment. Another factor that will contribute to
the employment of more drivers is the con­
tinued growth of suburban areas.
Some recent developments may offset some­
what the growth in the number of local truckdrivers that would otherwise occur with an in­
crease in freight volume. For example, the
trend toward larger deliveries to relatively
fewer customers is the result of the growth of
chain stores and shopping centers. The intro­
duction of new equipment may also affect the
number of drivers who will be needed to deliver
large and heavy loads. For example, the greater
use of trucks equipped with power tailgates that
can be raised or lowered to platform or ground
level will reduce the time needed for deliveries.
Innovation in local trucking will continue to
be limited, however, by the narrow city streets
and heavy traffic.

484

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Earnings and Working Conditions

On the average, hourly union wage scales
were $2.56 for local truckdrivers and $2.27 for
driver-helpers on July 1, 1959, according to a
survey in 52 large cities. Average hourly pay
scales for drivers ranged from $2.02 in New
Orleans to $2.82 in the San Francisco-Oakland
area. Wage scales vary even in the same city
depending on the type of trucking service (such
as general freight drayage or local moving and
storage), the type of product hauled, and the
size and type of truck operated.
As a rule, local truckdrivers are paid by the
hour and receive extra pay for working over­
time, usually after 40 hours. Some drivers are
guaranteed minimum daily or weekly earnings.
Local truckdrivers frequently work 48 hours
or more a week and thus often drive 6 days a
week. Daytime work is customary, but night
or early morning work is sometimes necessary.
Some drivers are assigned different routes when
they report to work each day. Others, however,
deliver over regular routes or runs.
Local truckdrivers generally have paid vaca­
tions of 1 or 2 weeks after a year of service and
up to 4 weeks after 20 years. In addition, they
usually receive pay for 6 national holidays plus
1 or more State and local holidays.

A majority of local truckdrivers belong to
unions. Most of them belong to the Interna­
tional Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs,
Warehousemen and Helpers of America (Ind.).
Some local truckdrivers employed by private
carriers are members of unions representing the
plant workers of their employers.
Practically all unionized local truckdrivers
and their helpers are covered by health, and life
insurance, and pension plans which are gen­
erally paid for by the employer. When uni­
forms are required, the cost is usually paid for.
entirely or partly by the employer, who may
also provide for their upkeep.
Local truckdrivers, because they drive in
heavy traffic through narrow city streets, are
subject to nervous strain. The actual operation
of a truck is not physically demanding, but
when local drivers make many deliveries dur­
ing a day, their work can be exhausting. Some
drivers may develop physical disorders, such as
back strains and hernias. Local truckdrivers
do, however, have certain advantages. For the
most part, they have steady employment. Fur­
thermore, unlike over-the-road drivers, they
usually work a regular daytime schedule and re­
turn home in the evenings.

Routemen
(D.O.T. 7-35.100)

Nature of Work

Routemen are as much salesmen as they are
drivers. In fact, they are sometimes known as
driver-salesmen or route-salesmen. Once they
are assigned to their routes, they must, through
their selling ability, increase sales to existing
customers and obtain new business by canvas­
sing potential customers within their ter­
ritories. Routemen drive panel or light trucks
over an assigned route selling and delivering
goods, or providing services such as collecting
and delivering laundry and dry cleaning, to
retail establishments (wholesale routemen) or
directly to the public (retail routemen).
Before starting on his daily route, the route loads or supervises the loading of his truck.
man


The amount of merchandise in his truck is
generally checked by another employee. Some
routemen deliver merchandise previously or­
dered and obtain orders for future delivery.
Others make immediate sales from the stock in
the truck. In either case, they must collect pay­
ments and keep records of their transactions.
When they check in at the plant after complet­
ing their routes, they empty their truck and
turn in their collections to the cashier. The
retail routemen serving homes make from 5 to
10 times as many stops as the wholesale routemen who serve stores and other business es­
tablishments.
The work performed by routemen varies ac­
cording to the industry in which they are em­
ployed, the type of routes they have (retail or

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

485
A good example of a wholesale routeman is
the man who delivers bakery products to gro­
cery stores. His truck is loaded the night be­
fore or early in the morning, and he checks to
see whether he has the proper variety and
quantity of products before starting on his
route. He stops at from 10 to 50 grocery stores.
At each stop, he brings the orders of bread
and other bakery products into the store, and
arranges them on the display racks, in the best
possible display space he can secure. Together
with the store owner or manager he checks the
merchandise he has delivered. He also credits
the store for the value of the stale bread and
cakes left over from the previous delivery.
The routeman prepares a list of products he
plans to deliver the next day. This represents
his estimate of the amount of bakery products
that will be sold by the grocery stores on his
route. From time to time, he calls on grocers
along his route, who are not his customers, and
tries to get orders from them.
Where Employed

wholesale), and the company employing them.
Some specific examples, however, may indicate
in a general way what most routemen do.
A typical day for a dry-cleaning routeman
begins when he picks up cleaned garments at
the processing plant and loads his truck, which
is equpped with carrying racks. He delivers
the garments to homes or business establish­
ments and picks up soiled clothing. He marks
the articles picked up so they may be identified
at the plant. Sometimes, he makes notes of the
types of stains or of special processes to be
used, such as waterproofing. Each cleaned gar­
ment has an itemized bill attached, so that the
routeman can collect the amount of money due.
Although all routemen must be able to get
along well with people, it is particularly im­
portant for the dry-cleaning and laundry routeman. His reaction to complaints and requests
for special services may be the difference be­
tween increasing business or losing customers.
Periodically, he calls at homes and business
establishments along his route which are not
using his company’s services to try to get their
trade.




About 100,000 routemen worked for a wide
variety of businesses in 1960. Since most routemen were employed by companies which dis­
tributed food products or provided personal
services, they worked in small towns as well
as in large cities throughout the country. The
greatest concentration of employment, how­
ever, was in the dairies, bakeries, and laundry
and dry-cleaning plants located in the large
cities.
Some routemen were engaged in wholesale
distribution of goods and services to stores and
other business establishments, while others
distributed goods and services to homeowners
and apartment dwellers. Many companies em­
ployed both wholesale and retail routemen.
Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

In addition to being a good driver, a routeman must have sales ability. To induce people
to buy he must have a thorough knowledge of
the product or service he is selling and a persua­
sive personality. Other important sales quali­
fications are a pleasant voice, ability to speak

486
well, and a neat appearance. He also needs to
have self-confidence, initiative and tact.
Besides having selling ability, a routeman
must be able to work without direct supervi­
sion, do simple arithmetic, and write legibly.
In most States, a routeman is required to have
a chauffeur's license, which is a commercial
driver permit. Information regarding this li­
cense can be obtained from State Motor Vehicle
Departments.
Most employers require their routemen to be
high school graduates, preferably 25 years of
age or older. Many of the large companies give
applicants aptitude and other psychological
tests to determine whether they will make good
salesmen and safe drivers.
High school courses in salesmanship, public
speaking, driver-training, bookkeeping and bus­
iness arithmetic, and school-work programs in
retail and wholesale merchandising are helpful
to a person interested in entering this occupa­
tion. In the years immediately following high
school, a young man interested in preparing
himself for this occupation may obtain valuable
experience as a sales clerk in a store or in some
other type of selling job.
Another method of entering this occupation
is to get a job as a routeman helper (D.O.T.
9-35.10). Employers usually hire boys 18 years
of age or over who have a driver's license for
this job. The helper assists the routeman by
loading the truck at the beginning of the day,
and runs deliveries from the truck to the cus­
tomer's home or store. He may collect payments
or obtain receipts, and may sometimes drive to
relieve the routeman. Still another way of be­
coming a routeman is to get a job (plant or
office) in a bakery, dairy, laundry, or drycleaning establishment. After learning some­
thing about the business, a young man may
get a job as a routeman when an opening
occurs.
Most companies give their routemen on-thejob training which varies in length and thor­
oughness. Many of the large companies have
classes in salesmanship. Some companies as­
sign newly hired routemen for brief periods to
jobs in the different departments of the plant
to familiarize them with all the processing

operations, so they can answer customers' ques­


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

tions intelligently and be better salesmen. New
employees are then trained for a short time on
routes with supervisors. The first week, the
routemen usually observe and assist the super­
visors; later, they take over the operation un­
der the direction of the supervisors.
Routemen may be promoted to route foremen
or sales supervisors, but these jobs are rela­
tively scarce. For most routemen, advancement
is limited to moving from a retail to a whole­
sale route where earnings are usually higher.
However, some routemen obtain better paying
sales jobs as a result of the experience gained
in route selling.
Employment Outlook

The employment of routemen in the 1960's
is expected to remain at approximately the
current level. However, a few thousand oppor­
tunities for new workers to enter this occupa­
tion will occur each year as a result of retire­
ments, deaths, and transfers to other fields of
work.
Since 1940, the number of routemen has been
declining despite increases in population, in­
come, and consumer expenditures. During
World War II, there were sharp reductions in
the number of routemen, particularly in home
delivery, because of a shortage of men and
gasoline. Deliveries were made less frequently
— a practice which was continued after the
war. During the postwar period, the introduc­
tion of larger home refrigerators caused a fur­
ther decline in the home delivery of milk and
dairy products.
The employment of routemen in wholesale
routes has also been declining because individ­
ual manufacturers now produce a greater va­
riety of products than routemen can handle,
and because large supermarkets have been re­
placing small neighborhood stores. In recent
years, some manufacturers and wholesale food
companies have replaced their routemen with
salesmen who cover their assigned territory by
automobile. Truckdrivers, rather than routemen, then make the deliveries.
The decline in the employment of routemen
appears to have run its course. Any further
effect of the factors previously mentioned will

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

probably be counterbalanced by the continuingpopulation shift to the suburbs, with its demand
for retail routemen, and by the continuing- de­
velopment of new products, increasing the
demand for wholesale routemen. New lines of
frozen food for example are often introduced
and marketed by wholesale routemen in thou­
sands of food stores throughout the country.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Most routemen are paid a salary plus a per­
centage of the sales or collections they make.
Earnings vary considerably according to the
product sold and also between routemen selling
the same product. To a considerable extent,
the earnings of routemen may be determined
by their selling ability and the amount of time
they spend in canvassing. Wholesale routemen
generally earn more than retail routemen be­
cause, although they receive a lower percent­
age of sales, they handle much larger quan­
tities.
Some recent studies indicate that in 1960
retail milkmen, making home deliveries, aver­
aged about $100 a week. Weekly earnings of
these routemen, usually based on sales commis­
sions, ranged from $93 in Dallas, to $135.50 in
Minneapolis-St. Paul. The weekly earnings of
milkmen on regular wholesale routes averaged
more than $100 a week, and ranged from $101
in Boston, to $195.50 in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The average weekly earnings of dry-cleaning
and laundry routemen ranged from $72.50 in
the area around Providence, R.I., to $131 in
Chicago. According to a 1961 survey of baking
firms in 13 Eastern States, driver-salesmen for
both wholesale and home-service bakeries had
minimum weekly salaries of from $50 to $98.
By selling more baked products to their cus­
tomers and by increasing the number of cus­
tomers on their routes, driver-salesmen can in­
crease their earnings considerably.
The number of hours worked by routemen




487
varies. Some routemen work only about 30
hours a week; others may work as much as
60 or more hours a week. It depends, to some
extent, on whether the individual routeman has
a well-established route or whether he is trying
to build up a new one; whether he has a retail
or a wholesale route; and how ambitious he is.
For some routemen, the hours of work are
limited by union contract. The hours of routemen may also vary according to seasonal peaks
and lows. During the spring cleaning season,
for example, dry-cleaning routemen may work
about 60 hours a week; whereas, in the dead of
winter, they may not work more than 30 hours
a week.
Many companies require routemen to wear
uniforms. Some employers pay for the uni­
forms and for keeping them clean; others re­
quire the routemen to do so.
Most routemen receive paid vacations, gen­
erally ranging from 1 to 4 weeks, depending
upon length of service, and 6 or more paid
holidays a year. Many employers provide hos­
pitalization and medical benefits. Some routemen are covered by pension plans.
The routeman is on his own to a great ex­
tent. He does not work under strict supervision
and, within certain broad limits, may decide
how fast he will work and where and when he
will have his lunch or rest period. This freedom
of action, plus the daily meeting and dealing
with different people on his route, appeals to
many young men. On the other hand, a retail
routeman has to make deliveries in bad weather,
do a great deal of lifting and carrying, and
climb up and down stairs. He may also have
to work unusual hours.
Many routemen, particularly those delivering
bakery and dairy products, are members of the
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauf­
feurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America
(Ind.). Some routemen belong to the unions
which represent the plant workers of their
employers.

488

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Intercity Bus Drivers
(D.O.T. 5-36.010)

Nature of Work

The drivers of the big buses which travel
between the cities of our country are selected
on the basis of their driving skill, emotional
stability, and courtesy. A driver’s duties gen­
erally begin when he takes charge of the bus
at the terminal, garage, or on the highway.
Before beginning his scheduled trip, the driver
inspects the bus carefully at the terminal or
garage. He checks the fuel, oil, water, and
tires; and makes certain that the bus is carry­
ing safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers,
first-aid kits, flags, and flares. The driver also
picks up the tickets, change, report blanks, and
other items needed for his trip. He receives a
listing of the express and mail to be carried.
Unless the driver is to take over an already
loaded bus on the highway from another driver,
he moves his empty bus from the terminal or
garage to the proper loading platform, where
he takes on his passengers. He collects fares—
tickets or cash— from the passengers as they
board the bus, and announces the destination,
route, time of arrival, and other information
concerning the trip. The driver also loads or
supervises the loading of baggage into the bag­
gage compartment. He checks the loading plan
so that the baggage can be unloaded at the
proper destination with minimum effort.
The driver operates the bus carefully at
speeds which will enable him to arrive at and
leave regular bus stops according to established
time schedules. On most runs, he also stops
momentarily at other designated points to dis­
charge or pick up passengers, and load or un­
load baggage wherever necessary. He announces
regular stops, and rest or lunch stops. Before
continuing the trip he counts the passengers to
make certain all have reentered the bus. The
driver also regulates lighting, heating, and airconditioning equipment for the passengers’
comfort. In an emergency, he is sometimes
required to make minor road repairs such as
changing tires, for which he generally receives
extra pay.
Upon arriving at his final destination, the




Intercity bus driver taking baggage from passengers.

driver unloads or supervises the unloading of
the remaining baggage and turns in the lists
of packages or mail carried. He prepares re­
ports on mileage, time, and fares as required by
company rules. He also keeps a log of hours as
required by the Interstate Commerce Commis­
sion. The driver must make out a complete re­
port if an accident or unusual delay occurs.
Where Employed

Approximately 26,000 intercity bus drivers
were employed by more than 1,600 bus com­
panies in 1959. About 16,000 of these drivers
worked for the 143 large class I intercity com­
panies— those with annual revenues of over
$200,000. Although most bus drivers work out
of the larger cities, some are employed in
smaller cities and towns.
Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

All intercity bus drivers are required to meet
minimum age, health, and experience qualifica­
tions established by the Interstate Commerce
Commission. The ICC minimum age requirement
is 21 years. In addition, the applicant must be
able-bodied, have good hearing, and "his eyesight
must be at least 20/40 with or without glasses.
He must have at least 1 year’s driving experi­

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

ence (through all four seasons), he must be
able to read and speak English, and he must
have a good driving record.
Although many intercity bus companies
use these standards for bus driver positions,
the large companies have higher requirements.
Most of these companies prefer applicants to
be at least 23 years of age with a high school
education or its equivalent. Applicants are often
given comprehensive examinations to determine
their driving skill, intelligence, temperament,
and personality. Some of the large companies
do not accept applicants who wear glasses.
Young persons interested in becoming bus
drivers should have good foot, hand, and eye
coordination; be able to judge distances ac­
curately, and react quickly. An even tempera­
ment and emotional stability are other impor­
tant qualifications because bus drivers work
under considerable tension when they operate
large vehicles in heavy and swiftly moving
traffic. Since they represent their companies
in dealing with passengers, bus drivers must
also be courteous and tactful.
Although previous experience in the opera­
tion of a truck or bus is not required, it is
preferred by some employers. In most States,
the law requires that a trainee for a bus driver's
job must either have or obtain a chauffeur's
license, which is a commercial driving permit.
Most intercity bus companies conduct train­
ing courses for beginning drivers. These train­
ing programs, which usually last from 2 to 6
weeks, include both classroom and driving in­
struction. In the classroom, the trainee is in­
structed in company and Interstate Commerce
Commission rules; State and municipal regula­
tions; safe driving practices; rates, schedules,
and timetables; and how to deal with the public.
He is also taught how to keep clerical records,
check supplies, inspect the bus, and make minor
emergency repairs.
The trainee then rides with a regular driver
to observe correct driving practices and other
aspects of the job. He also makes trial runs,
without passengers, to demonstrate his driving
skill. After satisfactorily completing the train­
ing, which generally includes final driving and
written examinations, the new driver begips a

“ break-in"
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/period. During this period under
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

489
strict supervision, he makes regularly scheduled
trips with passengers.
New workers start out on the “ extra board,"
which is a list of drivers on call who are given
temporary assignments. While on the extra
board, the new driver may substitute for a reg­
ular driver who is ill or on vacation. He may
also drive a second or overload section, make
an extra trip if necessary, or drive chartered
buses. Extra drivers may have to wait several
years before they have the necessary seniority
to bid for and receive a regular assignment.
Opportunities for promotion are generally
somewhat limited, particularly in the small com­
panies. An experienced driver may be promoted
to a job as dispatcher, supervisor, sales repre­
sentative, terminal manager, or regional man­
ager. For most drivers, advancement consists
of receiving better assignments, with conse­
quent higher earnings, as their seniority in­
creases.
Employment Outlook

During the 1960's, employment of intercity
bus drivers will probably rise moderately, re­
versing the downward trend in the 1946-58
period when the number of drivers dropped
from 32,000 to 26,000 because intercity bus
traffic decreased. Additional workers in this
relatively small occupation will be needed main­
ly as a result of the expected increase in inter­
city bus travel.
Among the factors which contributed to the
decrease in the intercity bus traffic and af­
fected the employment of bus drivers, was the
rapid growth in the number of automobiles and
their use in intercity travel. The expansion of
the air transportation industry also offered some
competition to bus travel on long trips. The
drop in employment was also caused by the
increased efficiency which resulted from larger
buses, better highways, improved scheduling,
and generally more effective use of buses and
drivers.
The growth in population and higher con­
sumer incomes expected during the 1960's
should result in more travel generally, a portion
of which is expected to be by bus, since the
share of intercity traffic carried by automobile

490
is not likely to increase as rapidly as in the
past. Some of the other factors which are
expected to make bus travel more attractive
during the 1960’s are: New and improved high­
ways, which are expected to cut the scheduled
running time of many buses; larger and more
comfortable buses; and deluxe express buses
offering hostess service, refreshments, and other
conveniences. Touring and charter services,
package express and first-class mail delivered
by buses, which have become important sources
of revenue in the past few years, are also ex­
pected to affect the bus industry favorably in
the future. The further curtailment or elimina­
tion of railroad passenger service in many areas
may also bring about an increase in intercity
bus traffic.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Drivers (including extra men) employed by
class I intercity bus companies, averaged $6,148
in 1959. Many regular drivers employed by
these companies earned more than $7,000 a
year.
The wages of intercity bus drivers are typi­
cally computed on a mileage basis. Rates
ranged from about 7 to 1 1 cents a mile in
1960. Most regular drivers were guaranteed pay
for either 160 miles or for 8 hours a day. For
all work other than their regular assignment or
“ tour of duty,” they receive additional pay, cus­
tomarily at premium rates.
Extra drivers are usually paid by the hour
when they are on call, but not driving. They
are paid the regular mileage rate when actually
driving. Drivers usually start at a minimum
rate and receive increases at intervals of 6
months or a year. The maximum rate is gen­
erally reached at the end of 2 years. Extra men
generally earn slightly less than regular drivers
but, if enough work is available, they may earn
as much or more than regular drivers. Extra
drivers receive a weekly or biweekly guarantee
either in minimum hours, mileage, or earnings.
Trainees are usually paid a flat daily rate.
Most drivers who work for the large com­
panies average between 32 and 36 hours a week.
Work schedules may range from 6 to 10 hours

a day
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/and from 3*/^ to 6 days a week. For
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

example, a driver on the run between Washing­
ton, D.C., and New York City may make one
10-hour round trip a day for 3 days a week,
drive part way and return each day for 6 days,
or have the run split in some other way.
Interstate Commerce Commission regulations
limit the hours of work of intercity bus drivers.
According to ICC regulations, intercity drivers
may drive no more than 10 consecutive hours,
after which they must have at least 8 hours
off. Drivers are also limited to 60 hours of “ on
duty” time in a 7-day period. The on-duty
time is the period from the time the driver is
required to report for work until the time he is
relieved.
Most intercity bus drivers belong to the
Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric
Railway and Motor Coach Employees of Amer­
ica. The Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen,
and the International Brotherhood of Teams­
ters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of
America (Ind.) have also organized intercity
bus drivers in a few areas.
The labor-management contracts covering
most intercity bus drivers provide for health
and life insurance, and pension plans which are
usually financed jointly by the workers and
their employers. Drivers are also given vaca­
tions with pay ranging from 1 to 4 weeks,
depending on the company for which they work
and their length of service. They also usually
receive 6 paid holidays. When away from home
terminals overnight, drivers generally receive
pay for food and lodging. Drivers must usually
pay for their own uniforms.
Driving an intercity bus is not usually phys­
ically burdensome, but the work is demanding
and requires steady nerves. The bus driver is
given a great deal of independence in the actual
performance of his job and he is solely re­
sponsible for the safety of both the passengers
and bus. Many drivers enjoy working without
direct supervision and take pride in assuming
these responsibilities. Some drivers like the idea
of meeting the public and enjoy the opportunity
to travel.
Among the less desirable aspects of this job
are the weekend and holiday work and the
necessity of occasionally spending a night away
from home. Another unfavorable part of the

491

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

job is that extra drivers are on call at all hours
and may be required to work at any time on
very short notice. In addition, drivers with
little seniority may, in some cases, be laid off
when business declines.

Where To Go for More Information

For information regarding job opportunities,
a young man should apply to intercity bus com­
panies or the local office of the State employ­
ment service.

Local Transit Bus Drivers
(D.O.T. 5-36.010)

Nature of Work

Local bus drivers transport millions of
Americans to and from work every day. These
drivers follow definite time schedules and
routes over city and suburban streets in order
to get passengers to their destinations on time.
The local bus driver’s workday begins when
he reports to the terminal or garage where he
is assigned his bus. He receives his change, to­
kens, transfers, passes, and any other items
needed. Before starting the run, the driver is
usually required to check the tires, brakes, and
lights. Some companies also require him to
check the water, oil, and fuel.
On most runs, the driver makes regular stops
every block or two, where he operates the con­
trols of the bus doors to enable passengers to
enter and leave the vehicle. As the passengers
board the bus, the driver collects cash fares,
tokens, tickets, or transfers, issues trans­
fers and tokens, and makes change. The local
bus driver often answers questions concerning
schedules, routes, transfer points, and street
numbers; he is sometimes required to call out
the name of the street at each regular bus stop.
The driver also regulates heating, air-condition­
ing, and lighting equipment to keep the pas­
sengers comfortable.
At the end of his day’s run, the bus driver
turns in a trip sheet which usually includes a
record of fares received, trips made, and any
delays in schedule. In case of accident or an
unusual delay, the driver must make out a com­
prehensive report on its nature and cause.
Where Employed

In 1959, about 70,000 bus drivers were em­
ployed by the local transit bus industry. Ap­




proximately one-fourth of the drivers worked
in cities where the transit system was munic­
ipally owned, such as Boston, Chicago, Cleve­
land, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and
San Francisco.
In addition to the bus drivers employed by
the local transit bus industry, some local driv­
ers work for charter and sightseeing lines and
for companies which specialize in operating
school buses. A few drivers are employed by
the Federal, State, and local governments.
Although many drivers work in major metro­
politan areas such as New York, Chicago, and
Detroit, some bus drivers are employed in most
communities throughout the Nation.

492
Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

Applicants for bus driver positions should be
between the ages of 21 and 40, of average
height and weight, and have good eyesight—
with or without glasses. The applicant must
be in good health, with no physical disabilities,
and must be able to pass both the written and
physical examinations given by most em­
ployers. He must be able to judge distances ac­
curately; have good foot, hand, and eye coordi­
nation; and have quick reflexes. Because the
driver often works under pressure and deals
with many different personalities, an even tem­
perament and emotional stability are impor­
tant. Although educational requirements are
not high, many employers prefer applicants
with a high school education or its equivalent.
A motor vehicle operator’s permit and, gen­
erally, 1 or 2 years of driving experience on
some type of motor vehicle are basic require­
ments. Most States require bus drivers to have
a chauffeur’s license which permits the holder
to operate commercial motor vehicles. This li­
cense may be obtained either during or im­
mediately after the driver’s training period.
Some employers prefer drivers who have had
some experience operating a truck or bus. Be­
cause the applicants will eventually be trans­
porting passengers and since an accident could
involve serious injury to a large number of peo­
ple, good driving records are essential. An ap­
plicant who has had a serious traffic violation
or accident which occurred while a vehicle was
moving may be disqualified.
Most local transit companies conduct train­
ing courses which may last several weeks and
include both classroom and driving in­
structions. In the classroom, the trainee is
taught company rules, safety regulations, and
safe driving practices. He is taught how to
keep records, and how to deal tactfully and
courteously with passengers.
The trainee makes several trips without pas­
sengers, under the direct supervision of an ex­
perienced driver. After he becomes familiar
with the operation of the bus, the company’s
routes, and other details of his work, he makes,
under supervision, several trips over a regular
run with passengers. At the conclusion of his
training, the new driver is often required to



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

pass a written and final driving examination
before he goes out on a run.
After the driver passes the examinations, he
is placed on the “ extra” list. While on this
list, he takes over the runs of regular drivers
who are ill or on vacation and also makes extra
trips in the morning or evening rush hours.
He remains on the extra list until he has the
necessary seniority to “ bid” for and obtain a
regular run. It may take anywhere from sev­
eral months to several years before he is as­
signed a regular run. He also may drive char­
ter and sightseeing runs, and also other extra
runs such as special service buses for public
meetings and sporting events.
Promotional opportunities in regular driving
jobs are generally limited and slow. Experi­
enced drivers may advance to jobs as instruc­
tors, dispatchers, road supervisors, and, some­
times, to executive positions. Promotion in
municipally owned bus systems is usually by
examination. The opportunities for advance­
ment of most drivers are limited to assignments
to more desirable runs. Only after acquiring
sufficient seniority do the drivers receive these
assignments.
Employment Outlook

There will be a small number of opportuni­
ties for new workers to enter this occupation
each year during the 1960’s, even though em­
ployment of local bus drivers is expected to
continue to decline, as in recent years. These
openings will result from the need to replace
drivers who retire, die, or transfer to other
fields of work. Retirements and deaths alone
may account for more than 1,000 openings each
year during the 1960-70 decade.
In recent years, there has been a considerable
decline in the volume of passenger traffic han­
dled by the local-transit bus industry. The
main cause of this decline has been the rapid
rise in the number of private automobiles and
their increasing use for transportation in both
city and suburban areas. Another factor has
been the rapid growth of suburbs, most of
which have a wide variety of stores, theaters,
restaurants, and other services. Because most
suburban shopping centers have good parking

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

facilities and are easily reached by automobile,
many suburban residents have found it unnec­
essary to use public transportation for shop­
ping* or other activities. In addition, increas­
ing traffic congestion and parking problems
in most downtown sections have led to the de­
cline of many central business districts. This
in turn has resulted in the curtailment of down­
town bus service between rush hours.
As local transit bus traffic declined steadily
in recent years and bus schedules and routes
were curtailed or entirely eliminated, the em­
ployment of bus drivers also declined. The de­
cline in bus driver employment was limited,
however, partly because transit companies are
not completely free to curtail or eliminate un­
profitable routes, since the companies are usu­
ally regulated by municipal authorities.
Employment of local transit bus drivers is
expected to continue to decline during the
1960’s— but at a somewhat slower rate than
during 1950-60. The continuing population
shift to the suburbs will again be responsible
for a moderate drop in employment. No sharp
decline is expected because downtown traffic
congestion and parking problems will continue
to limit the use of automobiles in downtown
areas. Factors which will slow the downward
trend in bus driver employment ,are the
replacement of streetcars by buses, and the in­
creased need for school buses in the suburbs.
An increase in the number of munici­
pally owned companies might also favorably
affect bus driver employment, since munici­
pally owned companies, even more than
privately owned companies, may provide ser­
vice in the public interest on unprofitable
routes.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Local transit bus drivers are usually paid by
the hour, and earnings vary according to lo­
cality, length of service, size of company or
city, and length and type of run. According
to a survey of minimum hourly wage scales set
by union contracts for bus drivers in 52 large
cities, the average hourly rate was $2.36 on
July 1, 1960. For more than half o f the bus
Digitizeddrivers covered by the contracts, scales ranged
for FRASER


493
from $2.25 to $2.55 an hour. Hourly scales
were highest in the Great Lakes, Pacific, New
England, and Middle Atlantic regions. Among
the cities surveyed, the hourly pay scales for
experienced bus drivers ranged from $1.69 in
Charlotte, N. C., to $2.61 in Chicago, 111. Wage
scales for beginning drivers were generally 5
to 15 cents an hour less.
Most bus drivers have a standard work
schedule of 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week.
For additional work, drivers usually receive
11/2 times their hourly rates. In many com­
panies drivers often work in excess of their
standard work schedule, thereby increasing
their weekly earnings. Drivers on the extra list
generally are guaranteed a minimum number
of hours of work or a minimum weekly salary,
but frequently earn more than the guaranteed
minimum.
The workweek for regular drivers usually
consists of any 5 consecutive days, with Satur­
days and Sundays being counted as regular
workdays. All transit companies run some
buses in the evening and some companies op­
erate 24 hours a day. Therefore, many drivers
have to work at night. Many drivers have
regular “ straight” runs which are unbroken
except for meal periods. Others may work the
“ swing” run, in which the operator drives for
several hours, is off for several hours and then
drives again for several hours. If the total
elapsed time between the beginning and end of
a split shift exceeds a stated number of hours,
the driver generally receives extra pay.
Nearly all local transit bus drivers are
covered by labor-management contracts which
provide for health, insurance, and pension
plans; the major plans are financed jointly by
the workers and their employers. However,
there are many plans which are paid for solely
by the employer. Drivers also are given vaca­
tions with pay ranging from 1 to 5 weeks, de­
pending on the length of service, and usually
6 or 7 or more paid holidays a year.
Although driving a bus is not physically ex­
hausting, bus drivers are exposed to the nerv­
ous tension which arises from driving a large
vehicle on heavily congested streets and deal­
ing with many types of passengers. In addi­
tion to driving a bus, they must collect fares,

494

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

answer questions, see that passengers are
clear of the doors* and request riders to move
to the rear.
Among the more favorable aspects of
this job is the steady year-round employment
once a driver receives a regular assignment.
Bus drivers are usually free of direct supervi­
sion— which many drivers also find desirable.
Drivers take pride in being solely responsible
for the safety of the passengers and bus and
in acting as the bus company’s representative
to the general public.
Most bus drivers are members of the Amal­
gamated Association of Street, Electric Rail-

way and Motor Coach Employes of America.
Drivers in New York City and several other
large cities belong to the Transport Workers
Union of America. The International Brother­
hood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen
and Helpers of America (Ind.) has also organ­
ized some local transit bus drivers.
Where To Go for More Information

For information on employment opportuni­
ties for a local bus driver, a young man should
apply to the local transit company in his area
or to the local office of the State employment
service.

Taxi Drivers
(D.O.T

7-36.040)

Nature of Work

In many communities, taxicabs are a neces­
sary part of the regular transportation system.
Taxicab drivers, in addition to providing trans­
portation, also perform other services. For
example, they assist passengers with their lug­
gage and may also pick up and deliver pack­
ages. Cab drivers occasionally provide sight­
seeing tours for out-of-town visitors.
Drivers get their “ fares” or passengers in
one or more ways. Some companies have twoway radio systems over which requests for taxi­
cabs are transmitted to the driver. Other com­
panies have cab stands at which drivers may
wait for phone calls from their central office
which will direct them to pick up passengers.
Many drivers wait in front of theaters, hotels,
railroad stations, and other buildings which
may have large numbers of prospective passen­
gers. In small cities and in suburban areas,
drivers may work from a central location, such
as a terminal, to which they return after each
trip. Passengers may also be picked up while
the driver is returning to his stand or station.
Drivers are usually required to keep records,
such as the date, time, and place passengers
were picked up, and the destination, time of ar­
rival, and amount of fare collected. If the cab
driver owns his own cab or if he rents a cab
over an extended period of time, he may



Cab driver picking up fare.

periodically clean the cab. In large cab com­
panies, this job is generally performed by
cleaners employed by the company.
Where Employed

Approximately 135,000 to 150,000 taxi drivers
were employed full time in 1960 in the
taxicab industry, which is made up of both pri­
vately owned cabs and fleets of company-owned
vehicles. There were also many part-time driv­

495

DRIVING OCCUPATIONS

ers. Although taxicab drivers are employed
in every metropolitan area in the country, the
greatest concentration of these workers is
found in large cities. New York City, Wash­
ington, D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston,
New Orleans, Detroit, St. Louis, and Baltimore
lead in the employment of cab drivers.
Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

To become a taxi driver in most large cities,
it is necessary to have, in addition to a Stateissued chauffeur's license, a special taxicab
operator's license issued by the local police or
safety department or Public Utilities Commis­
sion. Although licensing requirements vary
considerably among cities, in general, appli­
cants must be over 21, in good health, have a
good driving record, and have no criminal rec­
ord.
Most large communities require an applicant
for a taxi driver's license to pass a written
examination on taxicab and traffic regulations.
The examination may include questions on
street locations, insurance regulations, accident
reports, lost articles, zoning or meter rules, and
passenger pickup and deliveries. In some cities,
the cab company will teach the driver-applicant
taxicab regulations and the location of streets
and important buildings. In other cities, the
driver may prepare himself for the license ex­
amination. After the driver has passed the ex­
amination, he pays an annual license fee gen­
erally ranging from $1 to $5.
Although formal education is seldom re­
quired, many companies prefer applicants for
a taxi driving job to have at least an eighthgrade education. A neat, well-groomed appear­
ance is desirable, as is the ability to deal tact­
fully and courteously with all types of people.
Good foot, hand, and eye coordination are par­
ticularly desirable because taxi drivers must
often operate their cabs in fast moving and
heavy traffic.
Opportunities for advancement for taxi driv­
ers are extremely limited, with promotion to
the job of dispatcher often the only possible
advancement. Some drivers, however, have be­
come road supervisors, garage superintendents,

or claims agents. Many drivers who work for


companies try to purchase their own cabs so
that they can become their own employers.
In some large cities, however, the number of
cabs is restricted by ordinance, which may lim­
it the opportunity to own cabs in such areas.
Employment Outlook

There will be a large number of op­
portunities for new workers to become
taxi drivers during the 1960-70 decade prima­
rily because of the high turnover rate in this
occupation. The total number of full-time taxi
drivers is not expected to increase to any great
extent during the 1960's.
In the past, the employment of taxi drivers
has been adversely affected by the increased
use of privately owned automobiles, rented
cars, and the continuing population shift to the
suburbs. In more recent years, however, the
level of employment appears to have stabilized.
During the 1960's, the use of taxicabs for local
transportation is expected to increase some­
what. Increased population, higher consumer
incomes, parking difficulties, and higher local
transit bus and streetcar fares are some of the
factors which may lead to a greater use of taxi­
cabs and a slight increase in the employment
of taxicab drivers.
This occupation has a relatively high turn­
over rate which results from the lack of assur­
ance of a steady income, long hours, and the
use by some workers of this job as stopgap em­
ployment when better jobs are not available.
Transfers from this occupation are expected
to be the major reason that employment oppor­
tunities will be available for many new workers
who wish to enter this field of driving.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Wage information collected from a small
number of employers in large cities on the East
Coast and in the Midwest indicates that, in
1960, full-time taxi drivers earned, with their
tips, from $60 to about $100 a week for a 6-day
week. Most full-time drivers in these areas
averaged about $75 or $85 a week. Driverowners earned about the same amount, after
deduction of their overhead and driving costs.

496
Most taxi drivers employed by taxicab com­
panies are paid a percentage— usually be­
tween 40 and 50 percent— of the total fare.
Drivers also frequently receive tips, ranging
from 10 to 20 percent of the fare. Some com­
panies pay their drivers a salary and give them
an additional commission based upon the
amount of business the drivers do. A few com­
panies guarantee their drivers minimum
daily or weekly earnings. Many drivers rent
their cabs from the company by the day for a
set price. Any receipts above the cab rental
and other operating expenses are retained by
the drivers.
A large percentage of full-time taxi drivers
work 9 or 10 hours a day for 6 days a week.
They usually begin work between 6 a. m. and
8 a. m. Many drivers work nights, starting
between 3 p. m. and 5 p. m. Some drivers work
on Sundays and holidays.
Taxi drivers usually put in long hours of
work and do not receive overtime pay. Many
of them do not receive fringe benefits, such as
pensions and severance pay, that workers in
many other occupations receive. When eco­
nomic conditions decline, their earnings are
generally reduced because of increased compe­
tition for less business.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Many college students have been able
to work their way through school by driving
cabs on a part-time basis and during summer
and spring holidays. Some workers also be­
come part-time drivers in order to supplement
their regular income.
Driving a taxicab is not physically strenu­
ous. Most drivers do not change tires or do
other heavy repair work. Drivers are, how­
ever, subject to nervous tension from driving
in heavy traffic in all kinds of weather, and
dealing with passengers who differ markedly
in their personalities.
Many drivers find the lack of direct super­
vision by an employer one of the more desir­
able aspects of their job. They may, however,
be subject to municipal regulations which
govern their personal appearance, the fares
they charge, and their driving practices.
Although unionization in this occupation is
not widespread in small cities, taxi drivers in
many of the large cities belong to labor unions,
particularly those drivers who work for the
large taxicab companies. The main union in
this field is the International Brotherhood of
Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and
Helpers of America (Ind.).

SOME FACTORY OCCUPATIONS NOT REQUIRING
SPECIALIZED TRAINING
Assemblers
Nature of Work

Many of the products and parts made in fac­
tories must be assembled during various steps
in the manufacturing process as well as in the
final assembly of the product. For example,
television sets, automobiles, and refrigerators
are typical products which must undergo many
assembly operations. The workers who put to­
gether parts or finished products are known as
assemblers.
Some assemblers, known as floor assemblers,
put together large, heavy machinery or equip­
ment on shop floors, often fastening parts with
bolts, screws, or rivets. Others, known as
bench assemblers, put together small parts to
make subassemblies or small complete units,
while working at a bench. Many assemblers
work on products or parts which move auto­
matically past their work stations on convey­
ors. These workers must do their assembly job
within the time period it takes the part or pro­
duct to pass their work station.
The job duties of assemblers depend upon
the product being manufactured or the manu­
facturing process being used. In aircraft and
missile production, these workers may assemble
and install units or parts into subassemblies.
In the automobile industry, one assembler may
start nuts on bolts and the next worker on the
assembly line tightens the nuts with powerdriven tools. Assemblers in electronic plants
may connect parts with electrical wire.
Semiskilled assemblers do relatively simple,
repetitive operations under close supervision,
often guided by simple instructions. In con­
trast, skilled assemblers work on the more
complex parts of subassemblies with little or
no supervision and are responsible for the final




Assembler soldering connections on automobile heater
motor.

assembly of complex jobs. These skilled work­
ers must know how to read blueprints and
other engineering specifications and use a vari­
ety of tools and precision measuring instru­
ments.
The kinds of tools semiskilled assemblers use
depend upon the job they are doing and the pro­
duct on which they are working. Pliers, screw­
drivers, soldering irons, power drills, and
wrenches are among the common tools used by
assemblers.
Where Employed

More than 500,000 semiskilled assemblers
were employed in manufacturing plants
497

498
in 1959, with the great majority in metalwork­
ing plants. Assemblers work in plants which
manufacture, on a mass production basis, such
diverse products as automobiles, aircraft,
electrical and electronic equipment (such as
radios and television sets), and instruments.
The number and types of assembly jobs with­
in a plant depend to a great extent upon the
product being manufactured and the way in
which production is organized. Large numbers
of semiskilled assemblers are usually employed
in plants where the work can be divided into
many routine and repetitive tasks.
Semiskilled assembly jobs are concentrated
in greatest number where metalworking in­
dustries are located. California, Michigan,
New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania are
among the leading States in which assembly
jobs are found.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Inexperienced workers may be hired as
trainees or helpers in manufacturing in­
dustries and trained on the job to do
semiskilled assembling work in a few hours or
days. The new worker may have his job duties
explained to him by his supervisor and then be
placed under the supervision of a more experi­
enced employee. The trainee observes the ex­
perienced employee at work or directly assists
him in his work. When the learner develops
sufficient speed, he is placed “ on his own” and
is responsible for the work he produces.
Employers generally want applicants for
semiskilled assembly jobs to be physically able,
dependable, and to have some aptitude for me­
chanical work.
Some employers prefer persons with no pre­
vious experience in factory assembly work so
that they can be more easily trained in the em­
ployers* assembly methods. High school grad­
uates or workers who have taken vocational
school courses, such as blueprint reading, are
preferred by many employers and usually have
more job opportunities and greater advance­
ment possibilities. Generally, for production­
line assembly jobs, employers look for appli­
cants who can do routine work at a steady and

fast pace. For other types of assembly jobs,


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

applicants may have to meet special re­
quirements. For example, in plants producing
electrical and electronic products which may
contain many different colored wires, ap­
plicants often are tested for color blindness.
Many women are employed in semiskilled as­
sembly jobs because much assembly work is re­
latively light and often requires the ability to
work with small and delicate objects. This is
particularly true in the electrical and electron­
ic equipment industry. On the other hand,
male workers are employed in final automobile
assembly where the work generally is phys­
ically hard.
Possibilities for advancement are limited in
this type of work. However, some workers who
learn to perform a variety of assembly work
and who have a knowledge of blueprint read­
ing and shop mathematics are able to become
skilled assemblers. A few workers also may be­
come skilled inspectors or foremen.
Employment Outlook

Many thousands of semiskilled assembly
jobs in manufacturing industries are expected
to become available during the 1960’s. The
metalworking industries (particularly those
which produce electrical and electronic equip­
ment), which employ the great majority of
these workers, are expected to experience em­
ployment increases. In addition to the new
openings which may be created by the expected
increase in the employment of semiskilled as­
semblers, replacement needs will provide a con­
siderable number of job opportunities for new
workers in this relatively large occupational
group. The need to replace workers who leave
their jobs, transfer to other types of work,
retire, or die should result in a considerable
number of job openings.
Not all assembly jobs are expected to in­
crease at the same rate. Technological changes
may slow up the growth of some jobs. For
example, the introduction of printed electrical
circuits reduces the wiring work required in
assembling radio and television sets, affecting
the employment of assembly workers in plants
producing these products. An increase in the

SELECTED FACTORY JOBS

use of automatic assembly processes also may
decrease the employment of these workers.
Although the outlook for semiskilled assem­
blers in manufacturing industries is generally
favorable, employment in metalworking manu­
facturing plants, which have many assemblers,
is particularly sensitive to changes in business
activities and national defense needs. There­
fore, these workers are subject occasionally to
layoffs.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of semiskilled assemblers in manu­
facturing industries vary widely, depending on
their skill, the type of product assembled, the
size and location of the plant in which they
are employed, and the method of wage payment.
For example, assemblers who are paid on the
basis of the number of items assembled may
earn more than those paid on an hourly basis.
Assembly jobs are commonly classified to re­
flect the level of skill and responsibility in­
volved. In its surveys of earnings in machinery
plants, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau
of Labor Statistics classifies assembly jobs as
class A, B, and C. A 1959-60 BLS survey of
earnings of assemblers in such plants in 21
large cities and metropolitan areas shows that
the average straight-time hourly earnings of
class B male assemblers ranged from $1.73 in

Nature of Work

Almost everything manufactured, including
those products we eat, drink, wear, or ride in,
must be carefully inspected during the manu­
facturing process. The* millions of automobiles,
sewing machines, television sets, production
machinery, and other mass-produced items
must be inspected to make sure they operate
properly. The workers who see that size and
quality of raw materials, parts, assemblies, and
the operation of the finished products meet
specifications are known as inspectors.
Inspectors may look for scratches and other
defects in products or parts. They often use

simple gages to find out whether parts are made


499
Dallas to $2.68 in Pittsburgh; and earnings of
class C male assemblers ranged from $1.43 in
Dallas to $2.45 in Milwaukee. (For the purpose
of this publication, class B and C assemblers
are considered to be semiskilled workers.)
The working conditions of semiskilled assem­
blers differ depending on the particular job
performed. Assemblers of electronic equipment
may put together small components at a bench
in a room which is clean, well lighted, and free
from dust. Floor assemblers of industrial ma­
chinery, on the other hand, may install and
assemble heavy parts and are often exposed to
contact with oil and grease. Assemblers on
assembly lines may be under pressure to per­
form their assignments in the time the con­
veyor moves the parts or subassemblies past
their work stations.
Many semiskilled assemblers in manufactur­
ing industries are members of labor unions.
These unions include the International Asso­
ciation of Machinists ; the International Union
of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers; and
the International Union, United Automobile,
Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers
of America. Most labor-management contracts
in the manufacturing plants in which assem­
blers are employed provide for fringe benefits
such as holiday and vacation pay, health insur­
ance, life insurance, and retirement pensions.

to specified sizes; they may also use measuring
devices such as micrometers (a precision­
measuring instrument) to check the accuracy
of the parts. Inspectors may be required to read
simple work orders and do arithmetic involving
decimals and fractions when reading measur­
ing instruments. Some inspectors use handtools such as screwdrivers or pliers in their
work.
The work done by semiskilled inspectors in
factories is different from that performed by
skilled inspectors. Semiskilled inspectors usu­
ally work under close supervision; skilled in­
spectors work under general supervision. In
addition, skilled inspectors are often required
to read blueprints, interpret specifications, and

500

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

number of inspectors also were employed in
the clothing, chemical, and ordnance indus­
tries.
Many of the inspection jobs are found in
States which are manufacturing centers such
as California, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Illi­
nois, and Pennsylvania.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Inspector using a mirror to help check brushes in a
motor.

use complex precision-measuring instruments.
Inspectors do a variety of jobs in many in­
dustries. For example, they may be employed
in radio and television manufacturing plants
to test tubes and circuits to see that they meet
specifications. They are also employed in the
automobile industry to examine raw materials
and parts during the various stages of manu­
facturing.
Inspectors often keep records of the number
of parts they have inspected, accepted, and
rejected. When they find that a large number
of pieces are faulty, they notify their super­
visors so that corrections can be made on the
production line.
Where Employed

More than 200,000 semiskilled inspectors
were employed in a wide variety of manufactur­
ing plants in 1959. Plants which produced
automobiles and parts; aircraft, missiles, and
parts; electrical machinery and equipment,
such as electrical motors, radios, and refrig­
erators; machinery; iron and steel; fabricated
metal products, such as structural steel for
buildings; and food products were among the
important employers of inspectors. A large



Inspectors generally learn the requirements
of their jobs during a brief period of on-thejob training. The training period may vary
from a few hours or days to several months,
depending upon the skill required.
Many employers prefer workers with no pre­
vious inspection experience. They look for ap­
plicants who are physically able, dependable,
have good eyesight, and can follow instructions.
Some employers prefer experienced production
workers for inspection jobs. A few large com­
panies give aptitude tests in selecting new em­
ployees for inspection work. For example, in
the electronics industry, new workers may be
given tests to determine their ability to work
with numbers. Employers also look for em­
ployees who can do work requiring constant
attention.
Many women are employed as inspectors be­
cause many inspection jobs are not physically
hard. They generally work in plants which pro­
duce relatively small and light products and
parts such as electrical and electronic equip­
ment.
Some semiskilled inspectors who supplement
their work experience with formal educational
courses such as blueprint reading, shop mathe­
matics, and electrical theory may advance to
jobs as skilled inspectors. A few semiskilled
inspectors, after acquiring sufficient experience
and knowledge, may advance to foremen jobs.
Employment Outlook

Many thousands of young workers will be
able to find employment as inspectors in manu­
facturing industries during the 1960-70 decade.
Most of the industries which employ these
workers are expected to increase their employ­
ment during this period.

SELECTED FACTORY JOBS

501

In addition to the new jobs that will be
created by increases in employment, replace­
ment needs will provide job opportunities for
new workers. A considerable number of job
opportunities should result from workers who
leave their jobs, transfer from this field of
work, retire, or die.
The growing complexity of the products
manufactured in our factories and rising qual­
ity standards should result in a need for more
inspectors. However, the demand for inspec­
tors may be offset somewhat by the trend to­
ward the use of mechanized and automatic
inspection equipment.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings of inspectors vary considerably
depending on their skill, the type of product
inspected, the method of wage payment, and
the size and location of the plant in which
they are employed. Inspector jobs are com­
monly classified to reflect the level and skill
involved. In its survey of earnings in machin­
ery plants, the U.S. Department of Labor's
Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies inspector
jobs as class A, B, and C. A 1959-60 BLS sur­
vey of earnings of inspectors in such plants in
19 large cities and metropolitan areas shows

that the average straight-time hourly earnings
of class B male inspectors ranged from $1.92
in Dallas to $2.76 in Houston; and earnings of
class C male inspectors ranged from $1.64 in
New York City to $2.51 in Philadelphia. (For
the purpose of this publication, class B and C
inspectors are considered to be semiskilled
workers.)
The working conditions of inspectors vary
considerably. For example, they may work in
well-lighted, air-conditioned workplaces in an
aircraft or missile plant; others may work on
the production floor of a machinery or metal
fabricating plant, often exposed to high tem­
peratures, oil, grease, and noise.
Many inspectors employed in manufacturing
industries are members of labor unions. The
International Union, United Automobile, Air­
craft and Agricultural Implement Workers of
America; the International Association of Ma­
chinists; and the International Union of Elec­
trical, Radio and Machine Workers are among
the larger unions to which these workers be­
long. Most of the labor-management contracts
in manufacturing plants employing inspectors
provide for fringe benefits such as paid holi­
days and vacations, health insurance, life in­
surance, and retirement pensions.

Power Truck Operators
Nature of Work

In the past, manual workers in factories
usually did the hard physical labor of moving
raw materials and products. Today, many heavy
materials are moved, with little physical ef­
fort, by workers who operate various types of
self-powered trucks which can easily carry tons
of material and lift it to heights of 18 or more
feet.
A typical truck operated by these workers
is the forklift truck which has a hydraulic
lifting mechanism; other power trucks may
have attachments such as scoops to lift coal or
other loose material and tow bars to pull one or
more small trailers.

Power truck operators start the truck, make


it go forward or backward, stop the truck, and
control the lifting mechanism and attachments
by moving pedals and/or levers. Power truck
operators may be required to keep records of
material moved, do some manual loading, and
unloading of materials, and maintain their
trucks in good working condition by cleaning,
oiling, checking water in batteries, and making
simple adjustments.
The driver must use care and skill in driving
his truck. For example, in driving through
aisles where material is stored or when loading
or removing materials from stock, he must be
able to judge distance so that no damage oc­
curs. The operator also must know how much
of a load the truck can carry and the kinds of
jobs it can do.

502

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

plant, as well as the most efficient way of han­
dling the materials to be moved.
Large companies generally require applicants
for a power truck operator job to pass a physi­
cal examination. Many large employers also
have formal training programs for new em­
ployees. In these training programs, the em­
ployee learns how to operate the power truck,
how to do simple maintenance work, principles
of loading and handling materials, plant layout
and plant operation, and safe driving practices
and rules.
Advancement is limited. A few operators
may become materials movement foremen or
supervisors.
Employment Outlook

Forklift truck operator moving load of material.

Where Employed

Semiskilled power truckers are employed in
all types of manufacturing industries. Many of
these workers are employed in metal and metal­
working plants which manufacture products
such as automobiles and automobile parts, ma­
chinery, fabricated metal products, and iron
and steel.
In addition to working in factories, large
numbers of these workers are employed in com­
mercial establishments, warehouses, depots,
dock terminals, mines, and other places where
great quantities of materials must be moved.
In 1958, about 8,000 forklift truck operators
were employed by the Federal Government;
most of them were employed by the Army,
Navy, and Air Force.
Many of these jobs are found where the
metalworking industries are concentrated.
Large numbers of industrial power truck oper­
ators work in California, Michigan, New York,
Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

Power truck operator jobs in manufacturing
industries are expected to increase considerably
in the 1960’s. Most of the industries which em­
ploy large numbers of these workers are expect­
ed to have a long-range upward trend in employ­
ment. Replacement needs resulting from trans­
fers to other jobs, retirements, and deaths also
will provide many job openings.
The continued development and use of more
efficient power trucks and other mechanized
materials handling equipment could reduce
somewhat the expected increase in the employ­
ment of these workers. For example, new mech­
anized materials handling equipment, such as
continuous conveyor systems, moves materials
in fixed paths at constant rates of speed, elimi­
nating bottlenecks and allowing for accurate
production control. This method of materials
handling may result in less use of power trucks
in some plants. On the other hand, many com­
panies which use few or no power trucks today
will require many semiskilled power truck oper­
ators as they mechanize their materials han­
dling operations. Despite more efficient power
trucks and mechanized equipment, the more
widespread use of power trucks will result in a
significant growth in this occupation.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most persons learn to operate a power truck
in a few days. However, it takes several weeks
to learn the physical layout and operation of a




Earnings and Working Conditions

Power truck operators employed in manufac­
turing industries generally are paid an hourly

SOME FACTORY OCCUPATIONS NOT REQUIRING SPECIALIZED TRAINING

rate. According to wage surveys made by the
U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor
Statistics in 1959-60, the average straight-time
hourly earnings of forklift power truck oper­
ators in manufacturing plants in 59 cities and
areas ranged from $1.31 in Jackson, Miss., to
$2.71 in Akron, Ohio.
Safety instruction is an important part of
the job training in power trucking work. For
example, many of these workers are subject to
hazards— such as falling objects and collisions
between vehicles. The driver may operate his
truck inside buildings and outdoors where
he is exposed to various weather conditions.

503

Some operators may handle loose material which
can 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 machine
operator work.
Many power truck operators are members of
labor unions. Most labor-management contracts
in manufacturing plants employing power truck
operators provide for fringe benefits such as
paid holidays and vacations, health insurance,
life insurance, and retirement pensions.

Production Painters
Nature of Work

Almost every metal or wood product manufac­
tured by American industry is given a coating
of paint or other protective material. Although
some of this paint is applied by automatic
methods, much of the painting in mass-pro­
duction industries is done by workers known
as production painters. These workers use spray
guns to apply paint, lacquer, varnish, or other
finishes to parts or finished manufactured
products. Other production painters use brushes
to apply paint. The work done by production
painters in factories is different from that per­
formed by skilled painters who are employed
in construction and maintenance work. (See
index for page number references to Painters.)
Painters who operate spray guns pour mixed
paints into a spray gun container which is at­
tached to an air-compressor unit. They make
adjustments to the nozzle of the spray gun and
the air-compressor so that the paint will be ap­
plied uniformly to the surface. The objects
being sprayed may be stationary or attached
to a moving conveyor. When working on ob­
jects requiring more than one color, production
painters may apply masking tape to prevent
overlapping of colors.
Although the duties of most production paint­
ers are quite simple and repetitive, the jobs of
some may be rather varied. These production
painters may make decisions involving the ap­
plication of finishes, thinning of paint, and the



Production painter spraying paint on automobile fender
attached to moving conveyor.

adjustment of paint spray equipment. Produc­
tion painters also may clean the surface to be
painted before painting. For some assignments,
which require production painters to mix paints
and figure the size of the area to be painted,
they use simple arithmetic involving decimals
and fractions. Production painters may replace
nozzles and clean guns and other paint equip­

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

504
ment when necessary. In addition to spray tanks
and spray guns, production painters use tools
such as mixing paddles, pliers, rules, and liquid
mixing devices.

Where Employed

More than 90,000 production painters were
employed in manufacturing industries in 1959;
about 15 percent were women. About 40,000
of these workers were employed in plants
manufacturing furniture and transportation
equipment (primarily automobiles and air­
craft) . Others worked in plants which produce
electrical and electronic machinery, machinery
other than electrical, and fabricated metal prod­
ucts. Production painter jobs are found mainly
in New York, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Califor­
nia, and Pennsylvania.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most production painters learn their jobs
through on-the-job training. The length of
training may vary from 2 weeks to several
months.
The new worker may have his job duties ex­
plained to him by his supervisor and then be
placed under the supervision of an experienced
employee. The trainee may observe the experi­
enced employee at work or assist him in his
work.
Persons going into this work should be in
good health, be able to stand for long periods
of time, have a steady hand, and have good
eyesight so that they can distinguish between
colors and see whether the paint is applied
evenly.
There are limited advancement possibilities
in this field of work. A small number of workers
have been able to advance to jobs as skilled
inspectors or foremen.

Employment Outlook

There will be thousands of job opportunities
for new workers as production painters during
the 1960,s. Most openings will arise from the
need to replace workers who leave their jobs,
transfer out of this field of work, retire, or die.
Although many industries which employ
these workers are expected to increase their
employment in the 1960-70 decade, there prob­
ably will be only a slight increase in the em­
ployment of production painters. The increasing
development and use of mechanized and auto­
matic painting equipment probably will slow up
the employment increase of these workers.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Production painters generally are paid on an
hourly basis. According to a 1959 wage survey
of the wood household furniture industry by
the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor
Statistics, male production painters had aver­
age straight-time hourly earnings of $1.57. An
examination of several 1959-60 labor-manage­
ment contracts in the metalworking industries
indicates that these workers earned from about
$2 to $2.70 an hour.
Production painters are exposed to fumes
from paint and paint-mixing ingredients. Some
painters wear protective goggles and masks
which cover their nose and mouth. When work­
ing on large objects, they may work in awk­
ward and cramped positions.
Many production painters are members of
unions. Among the labor organizations to which
they belong are the International Union, United
Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Imple­
ment Workers of America; the United Furni­
ture Workers of America; and the United Steel­
workers of America. Many labor-management
contracts in the plants in which these workers
are employed provide for fringe benefits such
as holiday and vacation pay, health insurance,
life insurance, and retirement pensions.

Stationary Firemen (Boiler)
Nature of Work

Stationary firemen operate and maintain one

or more steam boilers used to provide power for


industrial machinery or for heating. In most
plants, these workers operate mechanical de­
vices which control the flow of air, gas, oil, or

SOME FACTORY OCCUPATIONS NOT REQUIRING SPECIALIZED TRAINING

powdered coal into the firebox to keep proper
steam pressure in the boilers. They keep water
in the boilers at required levels and move valves
and other devices such as levers and switches
to control and regulate boiler operation. They
also may add chemicals to boiler water to pre­
vent boiler corrosion. Stationary firemen reg­
ularly inspect boiler equipment, reading meters
and other instruments, to make sure that the
boilers are operating efficiently and in accord­
ance with safety regulations.
Although some firemen in manufacturing
plants operate low-pressure boilers, most fire­
men operate the more powerful high-pressure
equipment. In many plants using high-pressure
boilers, semiskilled stationary firemen are super­
vised by skilled workers called stationary engi­
neers. (These skilled workers are responsible
for the operation and maintenance of a variety
of equipment including boilers, diesel and steam
engines, and refrigeration and air-conditioning
equipment. See index for page number refer­
ences to Stationary Engineers.)
Stationary firemen keep equipment in good
working order by cleaning, oiling, and greasing
moving machinery parts. They may make minor
repairs, using small handtools such as wrenches
and hammers, and may keep simple records
such as those which show the amount of fuel
used and boiler temperatures.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most large and medium-size cities, and a few
States, require that the applicant for a station­
ary fireman job have a license which permits
him to do this work. Applicants can obtain the
knowledge and experience to pass the license ex­
amination by first working as a helper in a
boiler room, or working as a stationary fireman
under a conditional license.
License requirements differ from city to city
and from State to State. However, the appli­
cant usually must prove that he meets the ex­
perience and other requirements for the license
and pass an examination testing his knowledge
of the job.
There are two types of stationary firemen
licenses— for low and high pressure boilers. Low
pressure firemen operate low pressure boilers
generally used for heating. High pressure fire­
men operate the more powerful high pressure
boilers and auxiliary boiler equipment used to
power machinery and equipment in addition to
heating buildings. However, both high and low
pressure operators may operate equipment of
any pressure class, provided a stationary engi­
neer is on duty.
Stationary firemen must undertand the oper­
ation of machinery and have normal vision and
good hearing. (Because of the mechanization

Where Employed

About 70,000 stationary firemen were em­
ployed in a wide variety of manufacturing in­
dustries in 1959. Generally, these workers are
employed in industries which are large users of
power generating equipment. Leading industries
in the employment of stationary firemen are
lumber; iron and steel; textiles; stone, clay, and
glass; foods; and chemicals.
Because stationary firemen work in so many
different industries, they are employed in all
parts of the country. Although some are em­
ployed in small towns and even rural areas,
most work in the more heavily populated areas
where large manufacturing plants are located.
New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michi­
gan, and New Jersey are States which have large
numbers of firemen jobs.




505

Stationary fireman lighting a boiler.

506
of equipment, physical strength is no longer a
major requirement for this type of work.)
Stationary firemen may advance to jobs as
stationary engineers. In order to become sta­
tionary engineers, firemen sometimes supple­
ment their on-the-job training by taking courses
in subjects such as practical chemistry, ele­
mentary physics, blueprint reading, applied
electricity, and theory of refrigeration, air-con­
ditioning, ventilation, and heating. Stationary
firemen may also advance to jobs as mainte­
nance mechanics.
Employment Outlook

During the 1960's, a slight increase in the
number of semiskilled stationary firemen in
manufacturing industries is expected. Most op­
portunities for new workers will result from
replacement needs.
The expected increase in the use of stationary
boilers and auxiliary equipment— used to gen­
erate power or heat plant structures— in the
Nation's manufacturing industries is the main
reason why some increase in employment is ex­
pected in this occupation. However, improved
operating efficiency resulting from use of auto­
matic, more powerful, and more centralized
equipment, and better use of manpower will
limit the growth in the employment of station­
ary firemen.
Retirements and deaths of experienced sta­
tionary firemen will also result in job openings
for new workers. In addition, a large number
of job openings will be created by experienced
workers who leave their jobs or transfer to
other fields of work.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Earnings and Working Conditions

The type of equipment operated and the in­
dustry in which they are employed are among
the factors affecting the earnings of stationary
firemen. According to wage surveys made by
the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor
Statistics in 1959-60, the average straight-time
hourly earnings of stationary firemen in manu­
facturing plants in 51 cities and areas ranged
from $1.26 in Greenville, Ohio, to $2.83 in the
Beaumont-Port Arthur, Tex., area.
Although many boiler rooms where sta­
tionary firemen work are clean and well lighted,
these conditions do not always exist. Most sta­
tionary firemen, even under the most favorable
conditions, are at times exposed to noise, high
temperatures, dirt, dust, contact with oil and
grease, odors, and fumes from oil, gas, coal, or
smoke. In repair or maintenance work, these
workers may have to crawl inside a boiler and
work in a crouching or kneeling position.
Stationary firemen are subject to burns and
falls, and injury from moving machinery. Boil­
ers and auxiliary equipment which are not oper­
ated correctly, or are defective, may be danger­
ous to these workers and to other persons in
the work vicinity. However, modern equipment
and safety procedures have reduced accidents
considerably in recent years.
Many stationary firemen are employed in
plants which have labor-management contracts,
most of which provide benefits which may in­
clude paid holidays and vacations, hospitaliza­
tion, medical and surgical insurance, sickness
and accident insurance, and retirement pensions.
Among the unions to which these workers be­
long are the International Brotherhood of Fire­
men and Oilers and the International Union of
Operating Engineers.

OTHER TRADES AND INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS
Blacksmiths
(D.O.T. 4-86.010)

Nature of Work

The blacksmith makes and repairs many dif­
ferent kinds of metal articles, such as tools,
gears, machine frames, and other industrial
and agricultural equipment. He does this work
by heating the metal in a forge (a special type
of furnace) and hammering it into shape on
an anvil. He also joins metal by heating separ­
ate pieces and hammering them together. He
sharpens chisels, drills, picks, and other tools
by reshaping their cutting edges.
The blacksmith determines when the metal
being heated in the forge is ready for ham­
mering by observing its color. He then removes
the metal and hammers it into shape by hand
or machine. After the article is formed, the
blacksmith may heat-treat the metal to bring
it to the proper hardness and temper. To
harden tools, the blacksmith heats them to a
high temperature in a heat-treating furnace
and quickly cools them in an oil or water bath.
In tempering (the process of making metal
tougher and less brittle), the metal is heated in
a tempering furnace to a temperature less than
that used for hardening. The metal is kept at
this temperature for a specified time, and then
allowed to cool gradually in the air.
Blacksmiths use hand hammers, tongs, and
chisels. In addition to these handtools, they
often use welding equipment, grinders, presses,
and automatic hammers.

shaping; some shoe horses. Many blacksmiths
are self-employed.
The other workers in this occupation are the
industrial blacksmiths, employed chiefly in
maintenance and repair departments in many
industries. The petroleum industry leads in the
employment of blacksmiths. A large number
of these men work in oil-well drilling, sharpen­
ing and tempering drill bits, repairing tools,
and assisting the driller in operating and main­
taining drilling equipment. Many others work
in the maintenance departments of petroleum
refineries. Other industries which employ many
blacksmiths are the railroad, construction,
coal- and metal-mining, steel, and machinery
manufacturing industries. Some blacksmiths
have production jobs in metalworking estab­
lishments, where they operate machines that
make large numbers of identical articles. (A
detailed discussion of the duties, training, and
employment opportunities in jobs related to the
blacksmith trade is provided in the section on
Forge Shop Occupations, which appears else­
where in this Handbook. See index for page
numbers.)
Blacksmiths work in all parts of the country,
in small rural communities as well as in large
industrial centers. There is some concentra­
tion of employment in Pennsylvania, Texas, and
Illinois.
Training and Other Qualifications

Where Employed

In 1960, about 40 percent of the Nation's
blacksmiths worked in small shops repairing
farm and garden equipment, tools, automobile
parts, and household articles. Often, black­
smiths in these shops perform other services
such as welding and tool sharpening and re­



Most workers enter the occupation by get­
ting jobs as helpers in blacksmith shops where
they gradually learn the trade. Others enter
through apprentice training. The apprentice­
ship period is generally 3 or 4 years and cus­
tomarily includes training in blueprint reading,
the use of tools and equipment, heat-treatment
507

508
of metal, forging methods, and welding. Black­
smiths in the railroad industry usually begin
as apprentices. High school and vocational
school courses in metalworking, blueprint read­
ing, and mathematics will be helpful to young
persons interested in becoming blacksmiths.
A blacksmith must possess considerable
strength and stamina to pound metal into shape
and to handle heavy parts for an entire working
day. He must also have a precise touch when
shaping metal parts even though he uses heavy
tools and equipment.
Employment Outlook

There will be a small number of opportuni­
ties for new workers to enter the blacksmith
occupation in the 1960,s. Most of these open­
ings will occur because of replacement needs,
as many experienced blacksmiths are older
men. Retirements and deaths will provide about
1,000 job openings for new workers each year
during the 1960’s.
Fewer than 40,000 blacksmiths were em­
ployed in late 1960, substantially less than 20
years ago. The need for blacksmiths has les­
sened because many of their skills are being per­
formed by other workers such as welders and
hammersmiths. In addition, some repair work,
formerly done by blacksmiths, has been made
unnecessary by the use of parts which are
cheaper to replace than to repair. However,
the decline in the employment of blacksmiths
has slowed down in recent years, and this trend
is expected to continue through the 1960’s. The
skills of all-round blacksmiths will still be
needed in the maintenance departments of
large industrial plants and in the many small
metalworking and repair shops throughout the
country.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

employed in railroad shops averaged $2.62. In
the steel industry, the union base rate for ex­
perienced blacksmiths was $2.83 an hour. With
the cost-of-living adjustment but excluding in­
centive pay, they earned about $3 an hour in
the steel industry. Although no overall wage
data are available for blacksmiths employed in
the petroleum industry, an examination of some
1960 union contracts indicates that blacksmiths
in this industry earned $3.06 or more an hour.
Other wage data collected from a limited num­
ber of employers indicated that blacksmiths in
industry generally were receiving between $2.38
and $3.15 an hour in early 1960.
Although all blacksmith shops are rather hot
and noisy because of the furnaces and ham­
mers, the conditions under which blacksmiths
work are better in some shops than in others.
In small repair shops, the noise is not constant
and the temperature is more easily controlled.
In large production shops, the large forges and
the sound of many automatic hammers create
considerable heat and noise. In recent years,
however, the introduction of large ventilating
fans and the reduction of machine vibration
have improved working conditions in produc­
tion shops.
Blacksmiths are subject to a number of
hazards. These include burns from forges and
heated metals, and injuries from large pieces
of metal which may drop while being handled.
Safety devices such as goggles, metal-tip shoes,
and leather aprons have reduced hazards in
this trade.
Many blacksmiths belong to unions. The
principal union in the trade is the Interna­
tional Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship­
builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers.
Some blacksmiths are members of the Oil,
Chemical and Atomic Workers International
Union, the United Steelworkers of America,
and other unions. Many union-employer agree­
ments provide health insurance and pension
plans for blacksmiths.

Earnings and Working Conditions

The earnings of skilled blacksmiths depend
upon the part of the country, the kind of shop,
or the industry in which they work. In 1960,
straight-time hourly earnings for blacksmiths



Where To Go for More Information
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron
Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers ap^I Helpers,
570 New Brotherhood Bldg., Kansas City 1, Kans.

OTHER TRADES AND INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS

509

Boilermaking Occupations
Nature of Work

Boilermakers, layout men, and fitup men spe­
cialize in the repairing, fabricating, and as­
sembling of boilers, tanks, vats, and similar
vessels made of metal plate. These boilers and
other vessels are widely used throughout in­
dustry to hold liquids and gases under pressure.
Boilermakers are primarily engaged in the re­
pairing and erecting of boilers and vessels, while
layout men and fitup men are usually employed
in the manufacturing of new boilers and heavy
tanks. The repair work performed by boiler­
makers requires these workers to be all-round
skilled craftsmen; fitup men and layout men
have more specialized duties.
Boilermakers (D.O.T. 4-83.100). These crafts­
men assemble and erect prefabricated parts and
fittings at construction sites where the boilers
or vessels are to be used. After the installation
is completed they make all the necessary tests
to check for defects. Boilermakers doing repair

Boilermakers assembling units of heavy steel plate.




work in the field first determine the cause of
trouble. They may then dismantle the boilers,
vessels, or other units, and make repairs such
as patching weak spots with metal stock, re­
placing defective sections with new parts, or
strengthening joints. The repair and installa­
tion work performed by boilermakers must often
meet standards set by State and local boiler and
pressure vessel laws.
Boilermakers use a variety of tools and equip­
ment in repair and assembly work. They cut
and shape plate to size with power shears, power
rolls, power presses, or oxyacetylene torches.
They use welding or riveting equipment when
repairing or assembling boilers. When assem­
bling and erecting steel plate units in the field
on a construction site, the boilermakers may
use all types of rigging equipment including
hoists, jacks, and rollers.
Layout Men (D.O.T. 4-83.200). In the manu­
facture of units made of heavy steel plate or
other metals, the metal is initially prepared for
fabricating operations by layout men. They
mark on the plates and tubes all curves, lines,
points, and dimensions which serve as directions
to other workers for the cutting or shaping of
the parts of boilers, tanks, and pressure vessels.
They lay out the parts to scale as outlined on
blueprints, sketches, or patterns. Layout men
use compasses, dividers, scales, surface gages,
hammers, and scribers in laying out the parts
to be fabricated.
Fitup Men (D.O.T. 4-83.300). Before the vari­
ous parts of boilers, tanks, vats, or other vessels
are finally assembled, the fitup men assemble
and temporarily fit-them together in the shop.
They bolt or tack welded parts together and
correct irregularities in parts so that they fit
together neatly and securely. Fitup men also
assemble and fit together nozzles, pipes, fittings,
and other parts.
Fitup men read and interpret blueprints and
drawings used in the manufacturing process in
order to check parts for accuracy and fit ac­
cording to specifications. They use handtools
such as hammers, sledges, wrenches, and

510
punches, and equipment such as welding ma­
chines, portable drills, and grinding tools.
Where Employed

Boilermakers are employed principally in re­
pair shops which specialize in servicing and re­
pairing boilers and pressure vessels used in com­
mercial and industrial companies; they also are
employed in the railroad transportation and con­
struction industries. The boilermakers employed
by the railroads work, for the most part, in
locomotive shops where they maintain and re­
pair steam heat generators, locomotive and sta­
tionary boilers, fireboxes, tanks, and other parts
made of sheet iron or plate steel. Many boiler­
makers also work in the maintenance depart­
ments of industrial establishments to maintain
and repair boilers, tanks, and other vessels. More
than 2,400 boilermakers were employed in early
1960 in Federal Government installations, prin­
cipally in Navy shipyards and Federal powerplants.
Boilermakers are employed in every State be­
cause of the widespread need for their skills in
maintenance and repair work. Most of the
boilermaking jobs, however, are located where
the metalworking industries and railroad shops
are concentrated. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois,
New York, and New Jersey have the largest
numbers of boilermaking jobs. In the West,
California and Texas lead in the employment
of boilermakers.
Layout men and fitup men are primarily em­
ployed in the boilershop products industry
which produces fire-tube boilers, heat exchang­
ers, heavy tanks, heating boilers, water-tube
boilers, and similar boiler-type items. Most lay­
out men and fitup men are employed in the
Middle Atlantic and East North Central indus­
trial areas where the boilershop products in­
dustry is concentrated.
Training and Other Qualifications

Many men have become boilermakers by
working as helpers for several years, but most
training authorities agree that a 4-year appren­
ticeship is the best way to learn this trade. In the
apprenticeship program, the apprentice works



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

under the close supervision of a journeyman
who instructs him in the skills of the trade.
The apprentice learns how to use the tools and
machines of the trade during his training
period. Apprenticeship programs usually pro­
vide for about 8,000 hours of relatively con­
tinuous employment and training supplemented
by about 600 hours of related technical instruc­
tion. Some of the related technical subjects
studied by apprentice boilermakers during their
training period are blueprint reading, shop
mathematics, welding techniques, and shop
metallurgical science covering stress and strain
of metals.
Many layout men and fitup men acquire their
skills on the job. They are usually first hired
as helpers and learn the trade by working with
experienced workers. It generally takes at least
2 years to qualify as a journeyman layout or
fitup man in a fabricating shop where boilers
and vessels are produced on a mass-production
basis. However, in the railroad industry and in
shops where products are custom made, layout
and fitup jobs are generally filled by men who
have first qualified as skilled boilermakers.
Prior training in mathematics, blueprint
reading, and shopwork will prove helpful to
young men interested in entering these trades.
Mechanical aptitude and manual dexterity are
important qualifications for persons who want
to become boilermakers, layout men, or fitup
men. Such persons are also required to be in
good physical health and able to do heavy work.
Employment Outlook

During the 1960,s, a moderate rise in the em­
ployment of boilermakers, layout men, and fitup
men can be expected. Most opportunities for
new workers, however, will result from replace­
ment needs.
The expected large expansion in electric
power generation facilities and the development
of atomic energy for industrial use will result
in an increased need for these workers in boiler
manufacturing plants. In the construction in­
dustry, the fabrication and assembly of indus­
trial power boilers, smokestacks, heavy tanks,
and other large vessels also will favorably affect
the employment of these workers. Some addi­

511

OTHER TRADES AND INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS

tional maintenance boilermaker jobs will be
created by the expansion of facilities in pe­
troleum refineries, chemical plants, electric light
and power plants, and steel plants.
In contrast to this growth, the employment
of boilermakers in railroad repair shops will
decline further. The number of these workers
has been declining steadily since World War II
because diesel engines have been replacing
steam locomotives. In 1950, the railroads em­
ployed 9,800 boilermakers, but by March 1960,
the employment of boilermakers in this industry
had dropped to about 2,600.
Replacement needs will be the primary factor
in creating job opportunities for new workers
in these trades. Because a high proportion of
experienced boilermakers, fitup men, and layout
men are older men, many will be leaving the
labor force during the next 10 to 20 years.
Retirements and deaths may create about 8,000
new jobs during the 1960’s. Additional job open­
ings will be created by the transfer of experi­
enced workers in these occupations to other fields
of work.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The earnings of skilled boilermakers compare
favorably with those of other skilled craftsmen.
For example, the union wage rate of mainte­
nance boilermakers in the basic steel industry
was $3 an hour in 1960. The average straighttime hourly earnings of boilermakers employed
by Class I railroads were $2.64 an hour in 1960.
Recent earnings data of fitup men and layout
men are not available.
According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics
study of union wage scales in the building
trades in cities of 100,000 or more population,
the average minimum hourly scale for union
journeymen boilermakers was $4.11 in July
1960. The minimum union wage scale for these
workers in most of the areas surveyed ranged

from $3.75 to $4.81 an hour. However, in a few
areas the wage scale was higher; the highest
hourly rate reported was $4.81 in Newark, N.J.
Boilermakers employed in the building trades
are not as steadily employed throughout the
year as those who work in maintenance depart­
ments of large industrial establishments.
Many boilermakers, layout men, and fitup
men are employed in metalworking plants which
have employer-labor union contracts. Most of
these agreements have provisions for fringe
benefits such as hospitalization, medical and
surgical insurance, life insurance, sickness and
accident insurance, and retirement pensions.
When engaged in boiler repair and assembly
work, boilermakers are often required to work
in cramped quarters or at great heights. Some
work must also be done under conditions of
dampness, heat, and poor ventilation.
Boilermaking tends to be more hazardous than
many other metalworking occupations. Al­
though the injury-frequency rate in the boilershop products industry is considerably higher
than the average for manufacturing industries
as a whole, it has been declining in recent years
because of the safety programs of employers and
unions.
Most boilermakers, layout men, and fitup men
bqlong to labor unions. The principal union of
these trades is the International Brotherhood of
Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths,
Forgers and Helpers. Some of these craftsmen
also are members of industrial unions, such as
the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuild­
ing Workers of America; the Oil, Chemical and
Atomic Workers International Union; and the
United Steelworkers of America.
Where To Go for More Information
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron
Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers,
570 New Brotherhood Bldg., Kansas City 1, Kans.

Dispensing Opticians and Optical Laboratory Mechanics
Nature of Work

portant work done by dispensing opticians and

The more than 80 million persons who wear
prescription eyeglasses benefit from the im-

optical laboratory (shop) mechanics. These
workers make and fit eyeglasses prescribed by




512
an eye physician (oculist or ophthalmologist)
or optometrist to correct a patient’s visual de­
fect. The shop mechanic fabricates the fin­
ished eyeglasses by surfacing (grinding and
polishing) lenses to meet the specifications of
the prescription and the dispensing optician,
and mounts the lenses in a frame. Then the
dispensing optician fits and adjusts the eye­
glasses to the customer’s requirements. In gen­
eral, the fabrication and fitting of eyeglasses
involves two separate functions. The dispensing
optician serves the customer directly and the
optical mechanic works in the shop. Occa­
sionally, both functions are performed by the
same person.
Dispensing opticians may also fit various
types of prescription contact lenses. These
lenses are worn in contact with the eyes and
may be used as a substitute for, or change
from, conventional eyeglasses. The most re­
cently developed and currently the most pop­
ular type of contact lens is the corneal lens,
a tissue-thin plastic disc, about a third of an
inch in diameter. Although contact lenses are
becoming increasingly popular, the number of
persons wearing them is small compared with
the number wearing conventional eyeglasses.
The dispensing optician (D.O.T. 5-08.010)
works in a retail optical establishment. In fit­
ting prescription eyeglasses, he makes certain
that the eyeglasses follow the lens prescription
and fit the customer properly. The optician de­
termines exactly where the lenses should be in
relation to the pupils of the eyes, by measuring
the distance between the centers of the pupils
(the pupillary distance). He also assists the
customer in the proper selection of an eyeglass
frame, by measuring the customer’s facial fea­
tures and giving consideration to the various
styles and colors of the eyeglass frames.
Before prescription eyeglasses are fitted, the
dispensing optician prepares a work order which
gives the optical laboratory mechanic the in­
formation he needs to interpret the prescription
properly, grind the lenses, and insert them in a
frame. The work order consists of the lens pre­
scription; information on the size and optical
centering of the lens and other optical require­
ments; and the size, color, style, and shape of
the frame. After the finished eyeglasses are re-




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Dispensing optician using precision instrument to
determine inner curve of contact lens.

turned from the laboratory, the optician adjusts
them to the customer to make sure they fit
properly. He uses small handtools, such as opti­
cal pliers, files, and screwdrivers, and a milli­
meter ruler to measure the pupillary distance.
He also uses a precision instrument to check
the power of the lenses and their surface quality.
In fitting contact lenses, the dispensing opti­
cian, following the directions of the eye physi­
cian, takes certain measurements of the cornea
of the customer’s eye and then prepares specifi­
cations to be followed by a firm specializing in
finishing such lenses. The dispenser fits the cus­
tomer with the completed lenses, using preci­
sion instruments to measure the power and cur­
vature of the lenses and the curvature of the
cornea of the eye. Contact lens fitting requires
more skill, care, and patience than conventional
eyeglass fitting. The dispensing optician in­
structs the customer in the insertion, removal,
and care of the contact lenses over a period of
time, generally a few weeks. The physician re­
checks their fit as needed. If minor adjustments
are necessary, the dispensing optician makes
them; if major changes are needed, he returns
them to the contact lens manufacturer.
The opticial mechanic (D.O.T. 5-08.010) per­
forms the shop or laboratory work required to
make prescription eyeglasses. There are two
principal types of optical mechanics— the sur-

513

OTHER TRADES AND INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS

facer (D.O.T. 5-08.077) and the henchman (or
finisher) (D.O.T. 5-08.033). The surfacer,
starting with standard or stock size lens blanks,
lays out the work, grinds and polishes the sur­
faces of the lenses, and makes sure that the
ground lenses conform to the prescription re­
quirements. In small laboratories, one qualified
man may perform all these operations. In large
laboratories, the work is divided into separate
operations which are performed by semiskilled
workers who operate large power grinding and
polishing machines in producing the lens sur­
faces. The surfacer uses precision instruments
to measure the power and curvature of lenses.
The other principal type of optical laboratory
mechanic— the benchman or finisher— marks
and cuts the ground and polished lenses to fit
the frame. He then bevels or smooths the edges
of the lenses and assembles the lenses and
frame parts into the finished eyeglasses. In
large laboratories, these duties are divided into
several operations which are performed by semi­
skilled workers. The benchman uses small handtools, such as lens cutters, chippers, pliers,
files, protractors, and diamond point glass drills.
He also uses precision instruments to deter­
mine, for example, if there are any imperfec­
tions in the lenses.

Both the surfacer and the benchman also do
repair work. They may also duplicate eyeglass
lenses that have been broken and replace dam­
aged parts of frames.
Where Employed

About 21,000 dispensing opticians and opti­
cal mechanics were employed throughout the
country in 1960. Of these, about 9,000 (4,000
dispensing opticians and 5,000 optical labora­
tory mechanics) were employed in the Nation’s
estimated 3,100 retail optical shops, which deal
directly with individuals requiring correction
of visual defects. Approximately 12,000 work­
ers were employed in the prescription depart­
ments of the more than 1,250 wholesale optical
laboratories which did work for retail optical
firms. In addition to the 21,000 opticians and
mechanics mentioned above, many of the ap­
proximately 2,500 proprietors of retail optical
establishments were optical mechanics or dis­
pensing opticians. Opticians and mechanics
are mainly employed in cities and industrial
areas. New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Califor­
nia, and Illinois are the leading States in the
employment of these workers.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Benchman checking lens to insure proper fit into
eyeglass frame.




Most dispensing opticians and optical me­
chanics learn their skills through informal, onthe-job training. Mechanics start in jobs re­
quiring simple skill and dexterity and gradu­
ally work into the more difficult jobs. Some
then move into dispensing offices and, with ad­
ditional training, become dispensing opticians.
A small number of opticians start immediately
in dispensing work and learn their jobs under
the guidance of trained opticians.
In addition to this informal method, young
persons who are high school graduates can pre­
pare for these occupations through formal ap­
prenticeship programs. Most training authori­
ties agree that workers who have learned their
trade as apprentices have more job opportuni­
ties, improved job security, and are able to ad­
vance further in their careers. A number of
optical firms have 4- and 5-year apprentice­
ship programs. Apprentices with exceptional

514
ability may complete their training program in
a shorter period.
The typical program for an apprentice optical
mechanic in eyeglass lens production includes
on-the-job training and related instruction in
ophthalmic optics (vision improvement). This
training qualifies a person for both surfacing
and finishing work. However, apprentices may
specialize in one phase of this work in the
larger laboratories. The apprenticeship pro­
gram for the surfacer emphasizes training
in grinding operations, polishing, blocking,
inspection, and layout. The benchman ap­
prenticeship program concentrates on lens
edging, layout for cutting, lens cutting and
drilling, rimless spectacle assembly, inserting
lenses into frames, and inspection of eyeglasses.
In addition to this work experience, the ap­
prentice optical mechanic receives related in­
struction in subjects such as types and measure­
ment of lenses, the measurement and curvature
of lens surfaces, and the effect of glass surfaces
on light rays.
The dispensing optician apprentice is given
training similar to that of the benchman ap­
prentice. He receives additional instruction
in optical mathematics, the relationship of the
lens to the eye, the mechanics of dispensing,
and the inspection of eyeglasses.
Formal school training plays a relatively
small part in preparing for these occupations.
However, academic training for entry into
the dispensing optician occupation is being
encouraged. In 1960, three schools were offer­
ing 2-year courses at the college level in opti­
cal fabricating and dispensing work. One col­
lege offers a 2-year home study course in optics
and optical dispensing, designed to supplement
the training of apprentices employed in retail
optical dispensing shops. A few vocational
schools have courses for training of optical me­
chanics. The larger manufacturers of contact
lenses offer dispensers courses of instruction in
contact lens fitting, usually lasting a few
weeks.
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, geometry, and mechanical


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

drawing is particularly valuable in acquiring
skills in these occupations. Interest in, and
ability to do, precision work are essential. Be­
cause dispensing opticians deal directly with
the public they must be tactful and have a
pleasing personality. A discriminating color
sense is also very helpful in their work because
of the increasing importance of styling in eye­
glass frames.
Some States require dispensing opticians
and optical mechanics to be licensed. Two
States— Connecticut and New Jersey— license
optical mechanics. Fourteen States— Arizona,
Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Ken­
tucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey,
New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia,
and Washington— require dispensing opticians
to be licensed.
Advancement opportunities are available to
both optical mechanics and dispensing opti­
cians. Optical laboratory mechanics can be­
come supervisors, foremen, and, frequently,
managers. Many optical mechanics have be­
come dispensing opticians, although there has
been a trend in recent years to train especially
for this latter job. There are opportunities for
mechanics and dispensing opticians to go into
business for themselves. In the past decade or
so, the number of proprietors of retail optical
establishments has increased substantially,
reaching a total of about 2,500 in 1960. These
owners came, for the most part, from the ranks
of optical mechanics and dispensing opticians.
Opticians may also get jobs as salesmen for
wholesale optical goods companies. With ad­
ditional educational training, opticians may
become optometrists.
Employment Outlook

Employment of optical mechanics and dis­
pensing opticians is expected to increase in the
1960’s, as in prior years. New jobs in these rel­
atively small occupations will provide em­
ployment opportunities for a few thousand
workers. In addition, replacement needs will
provide a few hundred job openings each year.
More optical mechanics and dispensing opti­
cians will be needed to perform the growing
amount of prescription lens fabrication and

515

OTHER TRADES AND INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS

dispensing work. Because of the increasing
size, literacy, and educational level of the popu­
lation, and with the particularly large growth
in the number of older persons (who are those
most likely to need eyeglasses), the production
of prescription lenses should considerably ex­
ceed the 1960 level of about 29 million pairs.
The market for eyeglasses will expand also be­
cause the importance of good vision is being
emphasized increasingly in homes, schools,
factories, and offices. (A widespread national
promotion program which seeks to educate the
public about the need for professional eye care
is being sponsored by the optical industry.)
Another factor is the more attractive design
of eyeglass frames, in many different styles and
colors, which has increased the numbers of
pairs of eyeglasses purchased by individuals
and lessened the opposition of many persons to
the wearing of eyeglasses. The rapid growth
in purchases of contact lenses in recent years
also is expected to continue, providing more
dispensing work for opticians.
As in the past, many technological de­
velopments affecting employment needs will
continue to be made in the manufacture of
eyeglasses and in the equipment used by opti­
cal laboratories to fabricate lenses to prescrip­
tion specifications. Nevertheless, the expand­
ing market for eyeglasses should result in a
continued growth in the number of optical me­
chanics.

skilled workers depending on their experience,
skill, and responsibilities. Apprentices start at
about 60 percent of the skilled worker's rate
and their wages are increased periodically, so
that after they complete the apprenticeship
program they receive the pay of skilled
workers. Wholesale establishments usually
have a 5-day, 40-hour workweek. Retail shop
employees generally work a 5!/2 or 6-day
week. Workers in these occupations usually
have year-round employment.
The work of the dispensing optician requires
little exertion and is generally performed in
pleasant, well-lighted, and well-ventilated sur­
roundings.
Optical mechanics may work
under fairly noisy conditions because power
grinding and polishing machines are used in
preparing prescription lenses.
Physically handicapped persons who have
full use of their eyes and hands and can do
sedentary work, can perform some of the
more specialized jobs found in the larger
laboratories.
Some optical mechanics and dispensing op­
ticians are members of unions. One of the
unions organizing these workers is the Inter­
national Union of Electrical, Radio, and Ma­
chine Workers.
Where To Go for More Information
American Optical Company,
Box 1, Southbridge 1, Mass.
Association of Independent Optical Wholesalers,
222 West Adams St., Chicago 6, 111.

Earnings and Working Conditions

Weekly earnings for qualified optical labora­
tory mechanics generally ranged from about
$90 to $135 a week in 1960. Dispensing opti­
cians usually earn about 10 to 20 percent more
than optical mechanics. Opticians who have
their own business may earn much more.
Foremen earn up to 20 percent more than

Guild of Prescription Opticians of America,
110 East 23d St., New York 10, N .Y.
International Union of Electrical, Radio and
Machine Workers,
1126 16th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
Optical Wholesalers National Association,
Chamber of Commerce Bldg., Columbus 15, Ohio.

Electroplaters
(D.O.T. 4-74.010)

Nature of Work

Electroplaters use plating solutions and elec­
tric current to coat metal articles with a layer
of chromium, nickel, silver, gold, or other metal.



The electroplating process gives the metals a
protective surface or a more attractive appear­
ance. Metal products which are often electro­
plated include such widely different items as

516
automobile bumpers, cigarette lighters, silver­
ware, costume jewelry, plumbing fixtures,
electrical appliances, bearings, component
parts of electronic equipment, jet engine
parts, and ammunition.
The skilled plater first studies specifications
which indicate the parts of the objects to be
plated, the type of plating metal to be applied,
and the desired thickness of the plating. He
prepares the plating solution by mixing a com­
pound of the plating metal with other chemi­
cals. The plater also calculates the amount of
electric current required to carry the metal
particles through the plating solution and the
length of time the objects must remain in the
solution so that the plating metal will be of the
specified thickness. A plater must often use
originality in designing special racks for hold­
ing the objects while they are in the plating
tank.
In preparing an article for electroplating,
the plater cleans it by dipping it in cleansing
solutions, by scouring, or by buffing. He covers
with lacquer, or with rubber or plastic tape,
any part of the article which is not to
be plated. He then places the article in
the plating tank, where an electric cur­
rent carries metal in the solution to the surface
being plated. When the desired thickness of
metal plate has been obtained, he removes,
rinses, and dries the article.
The plater must analyze the plating solution
periodically and sometimes add chemicals to
keep the solution constant. It is also necessary
for him to control the temperature of the solu­
tion. He examines finished articles for defec­
tive plating and may use micrometers and cali­
pers to check the thickness of the plating.
In addition to plating, platers do other kinds of
finishing, such as spray painting, dipping, and
flow painting.
Electroplaters employed in job shops, which
do small lot plating of great variety, are often
required to use considerable ingenuity in
their work.. Platers working in production
shops, where large lots of metal parts of the
same type are electroplated, usually carry out
routine assignments. In some of the larger
shops, chemists and chemical engineers pften
make the technical plating decisions while




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Electroplater removing tumbler barrel containing small
parts from electroplating bath.

platers act as foremen and do some of the rou­
tine plating work.
As a foreman, a plater often supervises the
work of helpers, who place objects on racks
before plating and remove them afterwards,
and clean tanks and racks. In some shops, a
plater is expected to order chemicals and other
supplies for his work.
Where Employed

Although electroplating shops are found in
almost every part of the country, most are con­
centrated in the Northeast and Midwest near
the centers of the metalworking industry.
Large numbers of the approximately 20,000
electroplaters employed in 1960 were working
in Chicago, Detroit, New York, Cleveland,
Newark and Jersey City, Providence, and Los
Angeles.
About 8,000 of these electroplaters were em­
ployed in independent job shops specializing in
metal plating and polishing for other manufac­
turing firms and for individuals. The remain­
ing platers were employed in the plating
departments of plants primarily engaged in the
manufacture of plumbing fixtures, heating and
cooking utensils, lighting fixtures, wire prod­
ucts, electric control apparatus, electric appli­
ances, radio and television products, motor
vehicles and parts, mechanical measuring in­
struments, miscellaneous hardware items, and
other metal products.

OTHER TRADES AND INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most platers are hired as helpers and learn
the trade by working with skilled platers. It
usually takes 4 years or longer to become a
skilled worker in this way. Since less time is
required to learn to work with only one or two
metals, many employers tend to develop spe­
cialized platers rather than those who
can work with all kinds of metals. This often
makes it difficult for a plater to transfer to
shops doing other kinds of electroplating.
Another way to enter the electroplating
trade is through an apprenticeship program.
Although apprentice training provides better
all-round preparation, only a small percentage
of electroplaters have been trained this way.
The planned program for apprentices in­
cludes a combination of on-the-job training
and related classroom instruction in the prop­
erties of metals, chemistry, and electricity as
applied to plating. The apprentice does pro­
gressively more difficult work as his skill and
knowledge increase. By the third or fourth
year, he determines cleaning methods, does
plating without supervision, makes solutions,
examines plating results, and supervises
helpers. After 3 or 4 years of an apprentice­
ship program or general work experience, the
worker usually becomes a fully qualified plater.
From this position, he may qualify as a fore­
man.
High school and vocational school courses in
chemistry, electricity, physics, mathematics,
and blueprint reading will prove helpful to
young persons interested in becoming master
electroplaters. Some colleges, technical insti­
tutes, and vocational high schools offer 1- to
2-year courses in the principles and practices
of electroplating. In addition to the training
offered by these schools, many branches of the
American Electroplaters' Society conduct bas­
ic courses in the fundamentals of electroplat­
ing. The increasing complexity of the plating
process and the greater use of precision plating
will require platers with a higher degree of
technical training in the future.
Employment Outlook

The expected expansion in the machinery
industries and the broader

Digitizedand metalworking
for FRASER


517
application of the electroplating process
brought about by recent developments in the
use of aluminum, other metals, and metal alloys
will increase the demand for skilled electro­
platers in the 1960's. In addition to the new
job openings which are expected to develop be­
cause of the increased use of the electroplat­
ing process, a small number of vacancies will
develop from the need to replace those workers
who shift to other lines of work, retire, or die.
A factor which is limiting the growth of this
occupation somewhat is the tendency of some
of the large, highly mechanized plants to em­
ploy chemists and chemical engineers to plan
the plating operations and to use skilled platers
only as foremen.
The growing use of anodizing— another
method of finishing metals, used almost exclu­
sively on aluminum products— may have some
adverse effect on the use of the electroplating
process in the future. However, with only lit­
tle additional training, electroplaters can do
this work since the equipment and skills re­
quired are similar. Vacuum plating, a relative­
ly new metal finishing method, may limit the
growth of employment of electroplaters if use
of this process becomes widespread. This
method requires equipment and skills different
from those used in electroplating.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Wage rates of skilled electroplaters ranged
from about $1.50 to $2.90 an hour in late 1960,
as indicated by examination of a number of
union contracts and information from a limit­
ed number of employers. During a worker's pe­
riod of apprenticeship or on-the-job training,
his wage rate usually starts at 60 to 70 percent
of a skilled worker's rate and progresses to the
full rate by the end of his training period. In
almost all plants, workers are paid shift pre­
miums for working at night.
Plating work involves some hazards because
acid, alkaline, or poisonous solutions are used.
Problems of humidity and odor also prevail in
electroplating plants. However, most plants
have installed systeins of ventilation and other
safety devices which have considerably re­
duced the occupational hazards. Protective
clothing and boots provide additional protec­

518

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

tion. Mechanical devices are generally used to
handle most of the lifting required, but at times
the worker must lift and carry objects weigh­
ing up to 100 pounds.
Some platers are union members. Union
platers belong to the Metal Polishers, Buffers,
Platers and Helpers International Union. Oth­
er platers have been organized by the Interna­
tional Union, United Automobile, Aircraft and
Agricultural Implement Workers of America,
and the International Association of Machin­
ists. Some of the labor-management contracts
covering electroplaters provide health, insur­
ance, and other benefits.

Where To Go for More Information

For educational information concerning elec­
troplating and other metal finishing methods,
write t o :
American Electroplaters Society, Inc.,
445 Broad St., Newark 2, N.J.

For information on job opportunities, train­
ing, and other questions, write t o :
National Association of Metal Finishers,
11 Park St., Montclair, N.J.

Stationary Engineers
(D.O.T. 5-72.010)

Nature of Work

The man in charge of the heating and airconditioning equipment in a large office build­
ing is likely to be a stationary engineer. Sta­
tionary engineers are members of one of the
larger skilled occupations in the United States.
Stationary engineers operate and maintain
equipment used to generate power and to heat
and air condition large industrial plants and
commercial buildings. These workers are
needed wherever large boilers, diesel and steam
engines, refrigeration and air-conditioning ma­
chinery, generators, motors, and turbines are
used. They work in many different types of
establishments, such as power stations, facto­
ries, mines, sewage and water treatment plants,
office and apartment buildings, hotels, hospitals,
and schools.
The stationary engineer inspects the equip­
ment for which he is responsible, regularly each
day, to make sure that it is working properly.
He reads meters, gages, and other instruments,
and records such information as amount of fuel
used, temperature of boilers, number of pieces
of equipment in use, hours of operation, and
repairs made. He must be able to detect and
identify any trouble that develops by analyzing
the various readings and watching and listen­
ing to the machinery. He uses levers, throttles,
switches, valves, and other devices to regulate
and control the machinery so that it operates




efficiently. The engineer has a responsible job.
The equipment he is in charge of is essential
to the operation of the establishment. He also
must operate and maintain the equipment propperly in accordance with State and local safety
laws.
The duties of stationary engineers depend on

Stationary engineer making adjustment on pump.

OTHER TRADES AND INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS

the size of the establishment in which they
work and the type and capacity of the machin­
ery for which they are responsible. In a large
plant, the chief stationary engineer may be re­
sponsible for the entire operation of the boiler
room and direct the work of assistant stationary
engineers and other employees including tur­
bine operators, boiler operators, and air-condi­
tioning mechanics. Assistant stationary engi­
neers may be responsible for the operation of
all the equipment during a shift, or in charge of
a specific type of machinery, such as refrigera­
tion equipment. In relatively small plants, only
an engineer and a helper may be needed, and
the engineer, himself, may oil and clean the
equipment, grease moving parts, and clean
boiler tubes and walls.
Stationary engineers also may repair the
equipment they operate, using handtools such
as wrenches and hammers. The repacking of
valves and replacing of gaskets are common re­
pair jobs performed by these workers. The
amount of repair work done by these men de­
pends largely on the type of equipment and the
size of the plant in which they are employed.
Occasionally, stationary engineers make me­
chanical changes such as installing a bypass
line to change the flow of steam so that the
equipment will operate more efficiently.
Where Employed

About 200,000 stationary engineers were em­
ployed in a wide variety of establishments in
late 1960. More than 30,000 were employed by
Federal, State, and local governments. The
types of establishments in which the engineers
worked ranged in size from giant hydroelectric
plants and large public buildings to small in­
dustrial plants. Most plants which operate on
three shifts employ from 3 to 8 stationary en­
gineers, but some have as many as 60. In many
establishments, only one engineer is at work on
each shift.
Because stationary engineers work in so many
different kinds of establishments and industires,
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


519
commercial establishments are located. New
York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, California,
and Ohio are leading States in the employment
of these workers.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Most of the people now working as stationary
engineers started as helpers and acquired their
skills largely through informal on-the-job expe­
rience. However, many training authorities rec­
ommend formal apprenticeship as the most
desirable method for learning this occupation.
Formal training is more necessary today because
of the increasing complexity of stationary ma­
chinery and the varied training and experience
required before a stationary engineer can obtain
a first-class license. After completing appren­
ticeship, a stationary engineer usually must get
further work experience before he can qualify
for a first-class license. (This license is the
accepted proof of a worker's qualifications and
an important goal of his training.)
In selecting apprentices, most employers pre­
fer young men between 18 and 23 years of age
with high school or trade school education, who
have received instruction in such subjects as
algebra, geometry, trigonometry, shop mathe­
matics, mechanical drawing, machine-shop prac­
tice, physics, and chemistry. Employers also
look for young men with mechanical aptitude
and manual dexterity.
A stationary engineering apprenticeship
customarily lasts 4 years. Through on-the-job
training, the apprentice learns to operate, main­
tain, and make repairs on stationary equipment,
such as blowers, generators, compressors,
boilers, motors, and air-conditioning and re­
frigeration machinery. He is taught how to
use a variety of hand and machine tools, such
as chisels, hammers, small electric grinders,
lathes, and drill presses. He also may learn to
use precision measuring instruments, such as
calipers and micrometers. In addition, he may
be taught how to move machinery by the use of
blocks, chain hoists, or other equipment. This
on-the-job training is supplemented by class­
room instruction and home study in such related
technical subjects as practical chemistry, ele­
mentary physics, blueprint reading, applied

520
electricity, and theory of refrigeration, air con­
ditioning, ventilation, and heating.
Persons who become stationary engineers
without going through a formal apprenticeship
program usually do so only after many years of
experience as assistants to licensed stationary
engineers in such occupations as boiler, refrig­
eration, or turbine operator. This practical ex­
perience usually is supplemented by vocational
or other school training or home study.
Almost every large or medium-sized city and
a few States require stationary engineers to be
licensed. Although requirements for obtaining
a license differ from place to place, the following
are usual: (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 exper­
ience requirements for the class of license re­
quested. A license is issued to the applicants
meeting these requirements and passing an
examination which may be written, oral, or a
combination of both types.
There are generally three classes of sta­
tionary engineer licenses. These license classes
specify the steam pressure or horsepower of the
equipment the engineer may operate. The firstclass license permits the stationary engineer to
operate equipment of all types and capacities
without restriction. The second- and third-class
licenses limit the capacity of the equipment the
engineer may operate. However, engineers with
second- and third-class licenses may operate
equipment restricted by their license class,
provided they are under the supervision of a
higher rated engineer— usually one with a firstclass license.
Stationary engineers advance to more re­
sponsible jobs by being placed in charge of
larger, more powerful, or more varied equip­
ment. Generally, the engineer advances to such
jobs as he obtains higher grade licenses. Ad­
vancement, however, is not automatic. For ex­
ample, an engineer with 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 engineer occurs. In general,
the broader the knowledge a stationary engi­
neer
 has about the operation, maintenance, and


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

repair of various types of equipment, the better
are his chances for advancement in this field.
Stationary engineers may also advance to jobs
as plant engineers and as building and plant
superintendents.

Employment Outlook

A moderate increase in employment of sta­
tionary engineers is expected during the 1960's.
In addition, it is estimated that about 5,000
opportunities for new workers to enter this
large field of employment will occur each year
during the next decade because of the need to
replace workers who retire or die. Transfers
out of this occupation to other fields of work
also will be a source of job openings for new
workers.
Employment in this occupation is expected to
rise mainly because of the continuing increase
in the use of large stationary boilers and refrig­
eration and air-conditioning equipment in the
Nation's factories, powerplants, and commer­
cial buildings. However, improved operating ef­
ficiency resulting from the use of more power­
ful, automatic, and more centralized equipment
and better utilization of workers may limit the
growth in the employment of stationary engi­
neers.
The increasing use of atomic energy to gen­
erate power should not affect significantly the
employment of stationary engineers. It is likely
that both the number and skill requirements of
operating jobs (i.e., stationary engineer, boiler
operator, turbine operator, etc.) in a nuclear
plant will be about the same as those in a new
conventional powerplant.

Earnings and Working Conditions

According to wage surveys by the U.S. De­
partment of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics
in 1959-60, the average straight-time hourly
earnings of all classes of stationary engineers
in plants in 30 large cities and metropolitan
areas ranged from $2.03 in Miami, Fla., to $3.08
in the Newark and Jersey City, N.J., area.
Stationary engineers who are in charge of a
large boiler room operation may earn consider­

OTHER TRADES AND INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS

ably more than the average; some of these
workers earn more than $160 a week.
Stationary engineers generally have steady
year-round employment. They usually work a
straight 8-hour day and 40 to 48 hours a week.
In plants or institutions which operate around
the clock, stationary engineers may be assigned
to any one of three shifts— often on a rotating
basis— and to Sunday and holiday work.
Many stationary engineers are employed in
plants which have union-employer contracts.
Most of these contracts provide benefits which
may include hospitalization, medical and surgi­
cal insurance, life insurance, sickness and acci­
dent insurance, and retirement pensions. Simi­
lar benefits may also be provided in plants which
do not have union-employer contracts. Among
the unions to which these workers belong are
the International Union of Operating Engineers
and the International Union, United Automo­
bile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America.
Most engine rooms, powerplants, or boiler
rooms where stationary engineers work are
clean and well lighted. However, even under the
most favorable conditions, some stationary en­
gineers are exposed to high temperatures, dust,

Welders and Oxyj
Nature of Work

Many of the parts used in automobiles, air­
planes, refrigerators, and thousands of other
products are joined by a metalworking process
known as welding which is widely used in manu­
facturing and repair operations.
Welders join metals by applying intense heat
and, sometimes, pressure to melt the edges to
form a permanent bond with or without the use
of filler metal. Closely related to welding is
“ thermal cutting” (also called oxygen and arc
cutting). Oxygen and arc cutters use torches
to 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.
Of the more than 35 different ways of weld­
ing metals, most fall under 3 basic categories:

arc, gas, and resistance welding. Arc welders


521
dirt, contact with oil and grease, and odors from
oil, gas, coal, or smoke. In repair or mainte­
nance work, they may have to crawl inside a
boiler and work in a crouching or kneeling posi­
tion to clean or repair the interior.
Because stationary engineers often work
around boilers and electrical and mechanical
equipment, they must be alert to avoid burns,
electric shock, and injury from moving ma­
chinery. If the equipment is not operated cor­
rectly or if it is defective, it may be dangerous
to them as well as to other persons in the
vicinity. However, modern equipment and
safety procedures have reduced accidents
greatly.

Where To Go for More Information

Further information on this occupation may
be secured from State or local licensing agencies.
Locals of the International Union of Operating
Engineers also may be an important source of
information. Additional information may be
obtained from :
International Union of Operating Engineers,
1125 17th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.

r and Arc Cutters
>
(D.O.T. 4-85.020) perform their work either by
hand or machine methods. Gas welders (D.O.T.
4-85.030) usually join metals by hand opera­
tions, although they also may use automatic
and semiautomatic gas-welding equipment. Re­
sistance welding is mainly a machine process
performed by semiskilled resistance-welding
operators (D.O.T. 6-85.010, .020, .030, .060,
.100). Semiskilled oxygen cutters (D.O.T. 6 85.215, .240) work with either hand-guided
torches or with oxygen-fuel-gas-cutting ma­
chines.
The principal duty of the welder using the
manual technique is to control the melting of
the metal edges by directing the heat, either
from an electric arc or from a gas-welding
torch, and to add filler metal where necessary
to complete the joint. In one of the^most com­
monly used of the manual arc welding processes,
the welder selects a suitable electrode and ad-

522

Special clothing and protective helmets guard arc
welders against bums and eye injuries.

justs the electric current. The welder first
“ strikes” an arc (creates an electric circuit) by
touching the metal. After the arc is made, the
welder guides the electrode at a suitable dis­
tance from the joint seams to be welded. The
intense heat caused by the arc melts the metal
seams and the electrode tip. The molten metal
from the electrode is deposited in the joint and
together with the molten metal edges solidifies
to form a solid connection. During the past
decade or so, there has been a considerable in­
crease in the use of arc welding processes
employing inert gas for shielding the weld area.
This type of welding was developed for welding
hard-to-weld metals such as aluminum, magne­
sium, stainless steel, and titanium. Many weld­
ers are now specializing in this process.
In gas welding, the welder applies an intensely
hot flame (obtained from the combustion of a
mixture of fuel gas— most commonly acetylene
and oxygen) from a gas welding torch to the
metal edges. After the welder selects the proper
types of welding rods and welding torch tips
and adjusts the regulators on the oxygen and
acetylene cylinders, he lights his welding torch.
He then adjusts the oxygen and acetylene valves
on the torch to obtain the proper size and
quality of flame. The kind of flame selected de­
pends on the type of metal to be joined and
the type of joint to be made. The welder heats
the metal parts to be welded by directing the




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

flame against the metal until it begins to melt.
He then applies the welding rod to the molten
metal to supply additional metal for the weld.
Resistance-welding operators, unlike arc and
gas welders who use manual as well as machine
methods, operate machines which weld metal
parts by bringing them together under heat and
pressure. The operator sets the controls of the
machine for the desired electric current and
pressure, feeds and alines the work, and removes
it after the welding operation is completed. The
principal types of resistance-welding equipment
are spot, seam, projection, flash, upset, and
portable spot-welding guns.
Thermal (oxygen and arc) cutters commonly
use hand-guided torches to cut or trim metals.
In the oxygen-cutting process, for example, the
oxygen cutter directs a flame of oxygen and
fuel gas on the work area until the metal begins
to melt. He then releases an additional stream
of oxygen to burn or cut the metal. The oxygen
cutter prepares for the cutting job by attaching
the proper torch tip for the particular job, con­
necting the torch to the gas and oxygen hoses,
and regulating the flow of gases into the torch
for the desired cutting flame. He then cuts
through the metal, manually guiding the torch
along previously marked lines or following a
template or pattern. He may mark guidelines
on the metal by following blueprints or other
instructions. Arc cutting differs from oxygen
cutting because an electric arc is used as the
original source of heat. However, as in oxygen
cutting, an additional stream of gas may be
released in cutting the metal.
In addition to manual methods used in ther­
mal cutting, cutters may operate a torch or
torches mounted on a machine. These electri­
cally or mechanically controlled machines auto­
matically follow the proper guideline.

Where Employed

In mid-1960, an estimated 350,000 welders
and oxygen and arc cutters were employed
throughout the country. Their principal em­
ployers were the manufacturers of boilershop
and sheetmetal products, motor vehicle and
equipment plants, the aircraft industry, the con­

OTHER TRADES AND INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS

struction industry, and independent metalwork­
ing* repair shops.
Important employers of are, gas, and resist­
ance welders were steel mills, metal-stamping
establishments, machinery plants, and railroad
shops. Federal, State, county, and city govern­
ment agencies, such as arsenals, road commis­
sions, and departments of public works, also em­
ployed many welders. Many manual arc and
gas welders were employed in maintenance and
repair work in railroad shops, electric powerplants, street-railway systems, and in the main­
tenance shops of manufacturing plants. Re­
sistance-welding operators were employed in
production work in automobile manufacturing
establishments and other metalworking plants
where large quantities of identical sheet-metal
parts were manufactured. Among the major
employers of oxygen and arc cutters were ship­
yards, steel mills, and machinery, fabricated
structural-steel, and boilershop product plants.
The widespread use of the welding and cut­
ting processes in American industry enables
welders and cutters to find jobs in every State.
However, most of these jobs are found in the
major metalworking areas, with more than 40
percent of them concentrated in Michigan,
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and California.
Large numbers of welders and cutters are em­
ployed in Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los
Angeles, and other important metalworking
centers.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Skills of manual arc and gas welders, machine
resistance-welding operators, and flame cutters
vary widely. For most skilled arc- and gaswelding jobs, several years of training and a
knowledge of blueprint reading, welding sym­
bols, properties of metals, work planning, elec­
tricity, and welding techniques are desirable.
Some of the less skilled manual welding jobs
can be learned after a few months of on-thejob training.
Training requirements for the resistance­
welding operator's job depend upon the parti­
cular type of equipment used; most of these
operators learn their work in a few weeks. Little
Digitized skill is required for most flame-cutting jobs and,
for FRASER


523
generally, they can be learned in a few weeks
of on-the-job training. However, the cutting of
some of the newer alloys requires a knowledge
of the properties of metals as well as greater
skill in flame cutting.
Welding and oxygen- and arc-cutting work
requires manual dexterity, a steady hand, good
eye-hand coordination, and good eyesight.
Manual welders usually learn their trade
through a study of welding methods, generally
in public or private vocational schools, followed
by several years of job experience. A formal
apprenticeship generally is not required for this
occupation. However, apprenticeship programs
for many metal crafts include training in weld­
ing as one of the related skills. A few large
companies offer apprenticeship programs for
welders. The U.S. Department of the Navy, at
several of its installations, conducts 4-year weld­
ing apprenticeship programs for its civilian
employees.
Young persons entering the welding trade
often start with simple manual welding produc­
tion jobs where the type and thickness of metal,
as well as the position of the welding opera­
tion, rarely change. Occasionally, they are first
given jobs as flame cutters and later move into
manual welding jobs. Some large companies
employ general helpers in maintenance jobs
who, if they show promise, may be given op­
portunities to become welders. After serving
as a helper to an experienced welder, a young
man may be promoted to a semiskilled, class
B welding job where he will usually perform
repetitive work, or work which does not involve
critical safety and strength requirements. The
work duties of the class B welder are primarily
performed in only one position (flat, vertical,
horizontal, or overhead).
The class A or skilled, all-round welder should
be able to plan and lay out work from drawings,
blueprints, or other written specifications. He
should have a knowledge of the welding prop­
erties of steel, stainless steel, cast iron, bronze,
aluminum, nickel, and other metals and alloys.
He should be able also to determine the proper
sequence of work operations for each job and be
able to weld all types of joints in flat, vertical,
horizontal, and overhead positions. Some skilled
manual welders are required to know both arc

524
and gas welding. These craftsmen are usually
called “ combination welders/' The skilled
manual arc welder may specialize in one of the
many types of arc welding.
Before being assigned to work where the
strength of the weld is a highly critical factor,
welders may be required to pass a qualifying
examination. The test may be given by an em­
ployer, a municipal agency, a private agency
designated by local government inspection au­
thorities, or a naval facility. Certification
tests are also given to welders on some con­
struction jobs or to those who may be engaged
in the fabrication or repair of steam or other
pressure vessels where critical safety factors
are involved. In addition to certification, some
localities require welders to obtain a license be­
fore they can do certain types of outside con­
struction work. New developments in some
manufacturing industries are increasing the
skill requirements of welders. This is particu­
larly true in fields such as atomic energy or
missile manufacture, which have high stand­
ards for the reliability of welds and require
more precise work.
With 2 years' training at a vocational school
or technical institute, the skilled welder can
qualify as a welding technician. Generally,
workers in this small but growing occupation
interpret the engineers' plans and instructions.
Occasionally, welders may be promoted to jobs
as inspectors where they check welds for gen­
eral conformance with specifications and for
quality of workmanship. Welders also may be­
come foremen who supervise the work of other
welders. A small number of experienced, all­
round welders establish their own welding and
repair shops.
Welding also is used widely in maintenance
and repair work by workers other than welders.
The boilermaker, the structural-steel worker,
the machinist, and the plumber may at times
be required to weld. Frequently, when welding
is used as a repair process, as in the maintenance
shops of large factories, it is done by workers
who specialize in welding but who are not classi­
as welders.
fied


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Employment Outlook

A rapid increase in the number of welding
jobs is expected in the 1960's as a result of
the generally favorable longrun outlook for
metalworking industries and the wider use of
the welding processes. In addition, about 4,500
to 5,500 job openings will occur each year dur­
ing the 1960's because of vacancies resulting
from retirements and deaths.
Resistance welders, who make up the largest
single group of welders, are expected to con­
tinue to be in demand. Employment prospects
for this occupational group are favorable be­
cause of the increased use of the machine re­
sistance-welding process in such activities as
the manufacture of motor vehicles, aircraft and
missiles, and the production of light, stream­
lined railroad cars. The use of faster and more
highly automatic welding machines, however,
will slow down the growth in the number of
these welders.
Many more skilled manual welders will be
needed for maintenance and repair work in the
growing metalworking industries. The number
of manual welders engaged in production work
also is expected to increase in plants manufac­
turing structural-metal products, such as metal
doors, boilers, and sheet-metal products. The
construction industry will need an increasing
number of workers skilled in welding as the use
of welded steel structures expands.
The number of jobs for oxygen and arc cut­
ters is expected to rise somewhat during the
1960's as the result of the general expansion of
metalworking activity. The increased use of
oxygen- and arc-cutting machines, however, will
tend to restrict the growth of this occupation.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The amount a welder can expect to earn de­
pends to a great extent on the skill requirements
of his job and on the industry or activity in
which he is employed. Earnings of highly skilled
manual welders generally compare favorably
with those of other skilled metalworking occupa­
tions. Machine welders, such as resistance weld­
ers, who require little training, generally earn
somewhat less than skilled manual welders.
Average straight-time hourly earnings for

OTHER TRADES AND INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS

skilled (class A) manual welders in machinery
manufacturing industries in 21 cities and metro­
politan areas in 1959-60 ranged from $2.12 to
$2.95, with the highest rates in San FranciscoOakland ($2.95). Semiskilled (class B) manual
welders’ average hourly earnings ranged from
$1.76 to $2.68. (Welders who are covered by
union contracts may earn considerably more
than these average earnings.)
Many welders and cutters are union members.
Among the labor organizations which include
welders and cutters in their membership are
the International Association of Machinists; the
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers,
Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and
Helpers; the International Union, United Auto­
mobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; the United Association of
Journeymen 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. Labormanagement contracts which cover welders and
flame cutters provide employees with major
benefit programs which may include paid holi­
days and vacations, hospitalization, medical and
surgical insurance, life insurance, sickness and
accident insurance, and retirement pensions.
Welders and cutters are exposed to some
hazards in their work, but safety programs have
kept the injury rate relatively low. For example,
protective clothing, goggles, helmets with col­
ored lenses, and other devices are provided for




525
the safety and protection of the welder. Al­
though lighting and ventilation are usually ad­
equate, welders occasionally work in the pres­
ence of toxic gases and fumes generated by the
melting of some metals. Welders are often in
contact with rust, grease, paint, and other ele­
ments found on the surface of the metal parts
to be welded. Operators of resistance-welding
machines are largely free from the hazards
associated with hand welding. A clear eye shield
or clear goggles generally offer adequate pro­
tection to these operators.

Where To Go for More Information
The American Welding Society,
33 West 39th St., New York 18, N .Y.
International Association of Machinists,
1300 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 1, D.C.
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron
Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers,
570 New Brotherhood Bldg., Kansas City 1, Kans.
International Union, United Automobile, Aircraft
and Agricultural Implement Workers of America,
8000 East Jefferson Ave., Detroit 14, Mich.
United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices
of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the
United States and Canada,
901 Massachusetts Ave. N W ., Washington 1, D.C.
State Supervisor of Trade and Industrial Education
or the local Director of Vocational Education in
the State and/or city in which a person wishes to
receive training.

Some Major Industries and Their Occupations
OCCUPATIONS IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE, AND
SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING
America’s entry into the space age has caused
rapid growth in the aircraft, missile, and space­
craft field. By late 1960, about 1.1 million per­
sons were employed in private industry and
Federal agencies in the manufacture of aircraft,
missiles, and spacecraft. Many thousands of new
and interesting jobs have come into being, and
many more will be created during the 1960’s.
Generally known as the “ aerospace” industry,
this field is one of the most rapidly changing in
the country today, with a future full of exciting
prospects and stimulating job opportunities.
Because its products are complex and changing,
the majority of its job openings are for workers
with a college education or a specialized skill.
Engineers, scientists, and technicians represent
a much larger percentage of total employment
in the industry than in most other manufactur­
ing industries, and they probably will account
for an even higher percentage during the 1960’s.
Increases are also expected in the number of
skilled workers employed, such as tool and die
makers, skilled assemblers and inspectors, weld­
ers, and various types of mechanics. Employ­
ment opportunities for semiskilled and unskilled
workers, on the other hand, are not expected
to grow during the 1960-70 decade and may
even decrease.
Nature and Location of the Aircraft, Missile,
and Spacecraft 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. A major difference is that most aircraft
are manned whereas missiles and spacecraft
are not, although spacecraft in the future may
be manned. Another difference is that missiles
and spacecraft can reach into space and attain
 526


speeds many times the speed of sound, whereas
aircraft fly only in the earth’s atmosphere and
at slower speeds.
Many types of aircraft are made. They vary
from small personal planes, costing not much
more than an automobile, to multimillion-dollar
giant bombers and supersonic fighters. Aircraft
plants also produce transport planes, helicop­
ters, dirigibles, balloons, and gliders. About 80
percent of aircraft (in dollar value) is manu­
factured for military use; the rest is for
commercial passenger and freight traffic, pri­
vate business and pleasure use, and civilian
instructional flying.
Missiles and spacecraft also vary greatly in
the purposes for which they are made, and in
their size and capabilities. Missiles are pro­
duced chiefly for military use and generally
carry destructive warheads. Some can travel
only a few miles and are intended for such pur­
poses as the support of ground troops and de­
fense against low flying aircraft. Others, such
as the Atlas and Minuteman, have intercontinen­
tal ranges of 5,000 miles or more. Some missiles
are designed for launching from land or under­
ground sites, others for firing from aircraft,
submarines, ships, or trains.
Spacecraft are sent aloft with a “ payload” of
instruments which measure conditions in space
and transmit the data to receiving stations on
earth. Payloads successfully launched by the
United States have varied in weight from less
than 25 pounds to nearly 1 ton ; currently being
developed is the Saturn rocket which will be
able to launch 25-ton payloads. Some space
vehicles probe the space environment and then
immediately fall back to earth. Others are put
into orbit and become artificial satellites around
the earth, sun, or other celestial body. Nearly
all this country’s missiles and spacecraft are
built for the Air Force, Navy, Army, or the

OCCUPATIONS IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE, AND SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING

National Aeronautics and Space Administra­
tion (N ASA).
Because the aerospace industry makes many
kinds of finished products, it uses many kinds
of engines, electronic systems, and other com­
ponents. Aircraft engines may be reciprocating
(piston), jet, or rocket. Missile engines may be
jet or rocket. Spacecraft are always rocket
powered, because rockets are the most powerful
type of engine we have and also can operate in
airless space whereas other engine types need
oxygen from the air for combustion. Today’s
rocket engines are powered by chemical pro­
pellants, which may be either liquid or solid.
New sources of rocket propulsion may be availa­
ble in the future, such as nuclear energy or ion
power. Guidance, control, and instrument-payload systems are usually electronic. Because
missiles and spacecraft are unmanned, they gen­
erally have more complex guidance and control
systems than most aircraft.
An aircraft, missile, or spacecraft is manu­
factured usually under the technical direction
of a prime contractor. He manages and co­
ordinates the entire project, subject to periodic
inspections by the Federal agency or the airline
which ordered the vehicle. His engineering de­
partment prepares design drawings, blueprints,
and other specifications. These go to the pro­
duction department, where planners work on
the many details regarding machines, materials,
and operations needed to manufacture the ve­
hicle in the quantity required. Decisions must
be made as to what part of the production work
the prime contractor will do and what part will
be contracted to outside firms.
Special tools, dies, jigs, and fixtures must be
made to manufacture the vehicle. Many sheetmetal workers, machinists, machine tool opera­
tors, and other metal processors produce the
thousands of parts and components which go
into the craft. All parts and equipment must be
inspected and tested many times, both before
and after they are assembled, and all assembly
work must also be thoroughly inspected and
checked. Assemblers and installers are needed
in every stage of the production process to fit
together, hook up, and install systems and com­
ponents. After its final assembly, the vehicle
 out by a team of mechanics, flight
is checked


527

tested if an aircraft, and then prepared for
delivery.
Many subcontracts are awarded for the parts
and assembly work that go into the aircraft,
missile, or spacecraft. It is estimated, for ex­
ample, that about 50,000 subcontractors produce
components and other equipment for missiles
and that the average missile contains approxi­
mately 300,000 parts. The prime contractor
may manufacture components of the craft and
also do the final assembly.
Aerospace plants range in size from the large
factories of major manufacturers, each with
thousands of employees, to the shops of small
subcontractors and suppliers with only a few
workers each. Jobs in aerospace work may be
found in practically every State, although
roughly one-third are concentrated in Cali­
fornia. Ohio has the next largest work force,
with about 6 percent of industry employment.
Other States with large numbers of aerospace
jobs include New York, New Jersey, Connecti­
cut, Massachusetts, and Maryland, in the East;
and Washington, Texas, Missouri, and Kansas,
west of the Mississippi River.
An estimated 1.1 million people— about onefifth of them women— were working on aero­
space products in late 1960. About 500,000 of
these persons were producing aircraft, aircraft
engines, and propellers; about 300,000 were
making missiles and spacecraft; and approxi­
mately 135,000 worked in the electronics field
producing electronic equipment for aircraft,
missiles, and spacecraft. The rest of the 1.1
million persons were civilian employees of the
Federal Government working in the aerospace
field— approximately 150,000 in the Department
of Defense and 16,000 in the National Aeronau­
tics and Space Administration.
Occupations in Aircraft, Missile, and
Spacecraft Manufacturing

Workers with many different kinds of educa­
tional backgrounds and job skills are needed to
design and manufacture aircraft, missiles, and
spacecraft. Engineers and scientists with ad­
vanced university degrees as well as plant work­
ers who can learn their jobs after a few days
or weeks of training are employed.

528
Occupational needs vary among establish­
ments in the industry, depending on the work
being done. Research and development labora­
tories employ mainly engineers, scientists, and
supporting technicians and craftsmen. These
laboratories are run by manufacturers, univer­
sities, independent research organizations, and
Government agencies such as the Air Force,
Navy, Army, and the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration. Factories engaged in
production, on the other hand, employ mostly
plant workers such as assemblers, inspectors,
tool and die makers, sheet-metal workers, ma­
chinists, and machine tool operators.
Some of the more important jobs found in
aerospace-products manufacturing are de­
scribed below, under three major categories:
professional and technical occupations; admini­
strative, clerical, and related occupations; and
plant occupations. (Many of the jobs in this
industry are found in other industries as well
and are discussed in greater detail elsewhere in
this Handbook, in the sections covering individ­
ual occupations. See index for page numbers.)

Engineer in protective suit checking rocket-engine model
between tests in wind tunnel.




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Professional and Technical Occupations. Before
production of an aircraft, missile, or spacecraft
can begin, a design must be approved. This re­
quires many experiments and “ feasibility”
studies, to determine how well various design
possibilities meet the conditions under which
the vehicle will be operated. A scale model is
made from the approved design. It is tested in
wind, temperature, and shock tunnels, on bal­
listic ranges, and in centrifuges where actual
flight conditions are simulated. The next step
is to develop a full-size experimental model or
prototype, which is thoroughly tested in the air
and on the ground. If test results are satisfac­
tory, production may begin. Many modifications
in the craft are normally made during the
course of design and development, and often
even after production has started.
The pace of discovery and change is so rapid
that much equipment becomes obsolete while
still in the experimental stage or soon after
being put into operation. Research and develop­
ment are vital in the industry, particularly in
the missile and spacecraft field. (In 1960, for
example, only about half of missile and space­
craft spending was for production, the other
half being for research and development.) An
intensive effort is being made to develop aero­
space vehicles with greater speeds, ranges, and
reliability; engines with more power; and
metals and plastics with wider capabilities.
Increasing emphasis on research and develop­
ment makes the aerospace industry an important
and growing source of jobs for engineers, scien­
tists, and technicians. The industry was em­
ploying 83,000 engineers, 12,000 scientists, and
52,500 technicians in January 1959, according
to a Bureau of Labor Statistics’ survey of aero­
space companies. Many more thousands of
workers in these occupations were employed in
aerospace establishments not covered by the
survey. It is estimated that in late 1960 about
one-fifth of all employees in all plants making
aerospace products were engineers, scientists,
and technicians, considerably more than the
percentage of such personnel in most other man­
ufacturing industries.
Many kinds of engineers and scientists are
employed in aerospace work. For example, over
30 different college degree fields are represented

OCCUPATIONS IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE, AND SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING

among the engineers and scientists employed
by the National Aeronautics and Space Admini­
stration. Among the more important types of
engineers working in the industry are electronic,
electrical, aeronautical, chemical, nuclear, me­
chanical, and industrial engineers. Some of the
types of scientists employed in the industry in­
clude physicists, mathematicians, chemists, met­
allurgists, psychologists, physiologists, and as­
tronomers. Aerospace engineers and scientists
work in a wide and varied range of applied
fields, such as materials and structures, energy
and power systems, fluid and flight mechanics,
measurement and control systems, communica­
tions and data systems, human factors and bio­
astronautics, and space sciences.
Engineers and scientists are assisted by aero­
nautical draftsmen, mathematics aids, labora­
tory technicians, electronic technicians, tool
designers, research mechanics, and research
electricians. They also work with production
planners (D.O.T. 0-68.50), who plan the layout
of machinery, movement of materials, and se­
quence of operations so that manufacturing
processes will flow efficiently from one step to
the next; and technical writers (D.O.T. 0-06.
90) and technical illustrators (D.O.T. 0-48.32),
who produce technical manuals and other litera­
ture used to describe the operation and main­
tenance of air and space craft and their many
parts.
Administrative, Clerical, and Related Occupa­
tions. Managerial and supervisory jobs are gen­
erally comparable with similar jobs in other
industries. Personnel in these jobs include execu­
tives, who are responsible for the direction and
supervision of research and production, and of­
ficials in such departments as sales, purchasing,
accounting, public relations, advertising, and in­
dustrial relations. Many thousands of clerks,
secretaries, stenographers, typists, tabulating
machine operators, and other office personnel
are also employed.
Plant Occupations. Nearly 60 percent of all
workers in the aircraft, missile, and spacecraft
field were employed in plant jobs in late 1960.
Plant jobs can be classified into the following

groups: sheet-metal work; machining and tool


529

fabrication; other metal processing; assembly
and installation; inspecting and testing; flight
checkout; and materials handling, maintenance,
and custodial.
Sheet-metal occupations. Sheet-metal work­
ers shape parts from sheet metal by hand
or machine methods. When hand methods are
used, the worker shapes the part by pounding
it with a mallet and by bending, cutting, and
punching it 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. 4-80.050 and
.060) lays out the sequence of operations on
the basis of blueprints and other engineering in­
formation. 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 such
titles as stretch press operator (D.O.T. 6-88.
627), poiver brake operator (D.O.T. 6-94.207),
power hammer operator (D.O.T. 6-94.221),
power shear operator (D.O.T. 6-88.664), punch
press operator (D.O.T. 6-88.622), and profile
cutting torch operator (D.O.T. 6-85.240).
Machining and tool fabrication occupations.
Another important group of workers engaged
in shaping and finishing metal parts with ma­
chine tools are machinists (D.O.T. 4-75.010 and
.120) and machine tool operators. The most
skilled of these are the all-round or general ma­
chinists who can lay out the work and set up
and operate several types of machine tools. They
perform machining operations of a highly varied
and nonrepetitive nature. They are most fre­
quently employed in departments which are
engaged in experimental and prototype produc­
tion.
Machine tool operators are employed in the
large-volume production of metal parts. They
generally specialize in the operation of a single
type of machine tool, such as a lathe, drill press,
or milling machine. The more skilled machine
tool operators are able to set up the work on a
machine and handle difficult and varied jobs.
The less skilled operators usually do more
repetitive work.
Machinists and machine tool operators rep­

530
resent a higher proportion of the work force
in engine and propeller plants, which are basi­
cally metalworking establishments, than in
plants performing the final assembly of air and
space vehicles. Among engine plants, those
manufacturing reciprocating engines do rela­
tively more machining and less sheet-metal work
than those producing jet or rocket engines.
Many of the plants in the aerospace industry
make a large proportion of the jigs, fixtures,
tools, and dies they use. Fabrication of these
items requires skilled metal-processing work­
ers, chiefly jig and fixture builders (D.O.T. 5-17.
060) and tool and die makers (D.O.T. 4-76.010,
.040, and .210). Jig and fixture builders make
the work-holding and tool-guiding devices used
in production and assembly operations. On the
basis of information received from the engineer­
ing 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 fix­
tures used in machine tool operations and the
dies used in forging and punch press work.
They must be all-round experts in the use of
machine tools.
Other metal-processing occupations. Other
metalworkers, such as tube benders, riveters,
and welders are also employed. Tube benders
(D.O.T. 6-95.060) form tubings which are used
for oil, fuel, hydraulic, and electrical conduit
lines. Riveters (D.O.T. 6-95.080 and .081) and
welders (D.O.T. 4-85.020, .030, .040, and .063)
join fabricated parts by hand or machine rivet­
ing 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 opera­
tors and other forge shop workers are employed
in the forging departments.
Many aircraft, missile, and spacecraft parts
are chemically and heat treated during several
stages of their manufacture in order 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 surfaces of parts. Workers in these metal­



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

processing jobs have such titles as heat treater
(D.O.T. 4-87.020), painter fD.O.T. 5-16.940),
and plater (D.O.T. 4-74.010).
Assembly and installation occupations. As­
sembly and installation workers are a major oc­
cupational group, employed in practically all
plants in the industry. Many work in factories
producing engines, electronic equipment, and
auxiliary components, but the majority are
found in plants which assemble air or space
craft into completed form. They perform such
final assembly work as the fitting together of
major subassemblies and the installing of ma­
jor components. In the case of aircraft, for
example, this work involves joining wings and
tail to the fuselage and installing the engine and
such auxiliary equipment as the fuel system and
flight controls. In the course of their duties,
assemblers perform such operations as riveting,
drilling, filing, bolting, soldering, cementing,
and gluing.
A large proportion of assemblers are semi­
skilled workers doing repetitive work, but some

Final assembly mechanics installing and inspecting
equipment in fighter-bomber jet airplane.

OCCUPATIONS IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE, AND SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING

are skilled mechanics and installers. Many of
the latter perform diversified assembly or in­
stallation operations, and often work on ex­
perimental, prototype, or special craft. They
assemble, take apart, inspect, and install com­
plex mechanical and electronic assemblies. They
read blueprints and interpret other engineering
specifications. They may be called final assem­
blers of complete aircraft (D.O.T. 5-03.572),
missile assembly mechanics (temporary D.O.T.
5-03.599), or rocket assembly mechanics (temp­
orary D.O.T. 5-03.699).
Some skilled assemblers are employed in
plants which produce relatively large num­
bers of aircraft and missiles rather than a few
experimental types. These assemblers usually
specialize in one or more fields of work. They
are often assisted by less skilled assemblers who
do the more routine work. For example, a class
A armament assembler (D.O.T. 5-83.543) typi­
cally does such work as assembling, installing,
and alining power turrets, weapons, gun cam­
eras, and related accessories. Lower rated arma­
ment assemblers typically do such work as un-

Women assemblers follow specifications to put together
electronic equipment for aerospace vehicles.




531

crating and cleaning weapons, loading ammuni­
tion, installing armor plate, and placing parts in
jigs. Power plant installers (D.O.T. 5-03.572),
sometimes known as engine mechanics* install,
aline, and check the various types of engines and
accessories. Skilled electrical assemblers (D.O.T.
4-97.910), sometimes called electricians, in­
stall, hook up, and check major units in elec­
trical or radio systems. They are assisted by
less skilled assemblers, who do the more routine
installations and wire routings by following
standard wiring diagrams and charts. Assem­
blers also specialize in other systems, such as
plumbing, hydraulic, heating and ventilating,
and rigging and controls.
Inspecting and testing occupations. Because
aircraft, missiles, 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 em­
ployees of the manufacturers but also by civil­
ian employees of Federal agencies which have
contracted for the equipment.
Some inspectors specialize in examining ma­
terials and equipment purchased from the out­
side, others inspect components during fabri­
cation and subassembly within their own plants,
while still others inspect completed craft after
their final assembly. Many inspection jobs re­
quire highly skilled workers. On the other hand,
some tests are made by automatic equipment
which can be run by relatively unskilled persons.
Such equipment not only checks the component
or assembly under test but may also run simul­
taneous checks on itself to eliminate the possi­
bility of error.
Some of the most skilled inspectors, especially
in final assembly plants, are outside production
inspectors (D.O.T. 4-76.220). They examine
machined parts, subassemblies, and tools and
dies which have been ordered from other firms.
They also serve as liaison men between their
own engineering departments and supplying
companies. Other inspectors, frequently known
as receiving inspectors (D.O.T. 7-03.810), with
less responsibility than outside production in­
spectors, check purchased materials and parts
for conformity with blueprints, armed services
requirements, and other established standards.

532
They operate testing equipment and must be
familiar with specifications of the parts and
materials purchased from different sellers.
In the production department, machined
parts inspectors (D.O.T. 4-78.671) determine,
by the use of precision testing instruments,
whether or not a part has been properly ma­
chined to conform to blueprint specifications.
They may also test for hardness and porosity
and determine the “ machineability” of castings
and forgings. Fabrication inspectors (D.O.T.
5-03.812) are generally skilled sheet-metal
workers. They inspect fabricated sheet-metal
work and complex parts which have required
numerous fabricating operations.
As the parts are fitted together, they undergo
numerous inspections by assembly inspectors
(D.O.T. 5-03.814). 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 functioning of such systems as hy­
draulics, plumbing, and controls. Subassem­
blies are usually inspected by less skilled as­
sembly inspectors. Final testing must be
especially rigorous with missiles and spacecraft
since, unlike aircraft, they have no human
guidance aboard to correct for improper work­
ing of components which may cause a target
miss or other failure of the mission.
Flight checkout occupations. The job of
checking out an air or space craft before its
first flight requires a team of mechanics with
different levels and types of skills. Sometimes
the checking-out process involves making re­
pairs 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 re­
sponsible 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 or more fields. For example,
engine mechanics specialize in checking out the
power plant, including the engine, propellers,
and oil and fuel systems. Engine mechanics
use handtools, testing equipment, and precision
measuring instruments in their work. The
electronics checkout men perform or supervise



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Inspectors examining nose cones of air-defense missiles.

the final operational checkout of such systems
as radio, radar, automatic pilot, fire control,
and complete electronic guidance systems.
Other skilled workers may specialize in checking
out and repairing armament, instruments,
rigging and controls, plumbing, and hydraulic
systems. In some cases, less skilled mechanics
are employed to help conduct tests and make
repairs.
Materials handling, maintenance, and cus­
todial occupations. Aerospace plants employ
large numbers of materials handlers, such as
truckdrivers, crane operators, shipping clerks,
stock clerks, and tool crib attendants. Main­
tenance workers, who keep equipment and
buildings in good operating condition and make
changes in the layout of the plant, include
maintenance mechanics, millwrights, electri­
cians, carpenters, plumbers, painters, and weld­
ers. Guards, firemen, and janitors make up a
major portion of the plant’s protective and cus­
todial employees.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

A college degree in engineering or in one of
the sciences is usually the minimum require­
ment for engineering and scientific jobs in the
aerospace industry. A few workers may get
jobs as professional engineers without a college

OCCUPATIONS IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE, AND SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING

degree, but only after years of semiprofessional
work experience and some college-level training.
Since many kinds of engineers and scientists
are employed in aerospace work, college grad­
uates in many different degree fields may qualify
for professional jobs in the industry. Regard­
less of his degree field, the undergraduate stu­
dent preparing for professional aerospace work
is well advised to get as solid a grounding as
possible in fundamental concepts and basic
general areas of engineering and science. Math­
ematics and physics courses are especially im­
portant, since these sciences provide the neces­
sary language understood by the variety of en­
gineers and scientists working on any given
project. Training in the more concentrated
fields of specialization which exist in aerospace
work is generally received in graduate school or
through on-the-job experience.
An increasing number of semiprofessional
workers, such as electronic technicians, engi­
neering aids, draftsmen, production planners,
and tool designers receive training for their
jobs through 2 years of formal education in a
technical institute or junior college. Others
qualify for these jobs through several years of
diversified shop experience rather than through
institute or college training.
Training requirements for plant jobs vary
from a few days of on-the-job instruction to
several years of formal apprenticeship training.
Apprenticeship programs are used to develop
craftsmen, such as machinists, tool and die
makers, sheet-metal workers, patternmakers,
aircraft mechanics, and electricians. These pro­
grams vary in length from 3 to 5 years depend­
ing on the trade; during this time, the appren­
tice handles work of progressively increasing
difficulty. Besides on-the-job experience, he
receives classroom instruction in subjects re­
lated to his craft. Such instruction for a ma­
chinist apprentice, for example, 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 with 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 ex­


533

perience in addition to a high school or voca­
tional school education or its equivalent. Skilled
assemblers must be able to read and interpret
engineering blueprints, schematic diagrams,
and production illustrations.
Skilled inspectors must have at least several
years of machine shop experience. They must
be able to install and use various kinds of testing
equipment and instruments, read blueprints and
other engineering specifications, and use shop
mathematics. New workers with little or no
experience in shop trades may also be hired and
trained for jobs requiring less skilled inspectors.
Mechanics who perform the final checkout of
air and space craft qualify for their jobs in
several ways. Many gain experience as me­
chanics by working in earlier stages of the
plant's production line, before final checkout of
the craft. Others receive all their training in
checkout work, or come from "line mainte­
nance" jobs with commercial airlines.
Chief mechanics usually need 3 to 5 years
of experience in the manufacture of aircraft,
missiles, and spacecraft, including at least 1
year as a checkout mechanic. Specialized me­
chanics, working under the supervision of the
chief mechanic, are usually required to have at
least 2 years' experience. Workers with less ex­
perience serve as helpers or assistants and pick
up the mechanic's skills on the job and through
plant training courses,
Because of the manufacture of their complex
and rapidly changing products requires workers
who are highly trained and aware of new de­
velopments, the majority of aerospace plants
support some kind of formal worker training.
Instruction of this type supplements day-to-day
job experience and helps workers advance more
rapidly to higher skills and better paid work.
A U.S. Department of Labor study of some of
the industry's major producers showed that
nearly three-fourths of them were sponsoring
training programs in 1959. Many of these
plants were conducting educational and training
classes themselves, others were paying tuition
and related costs for outside courses taken by
their employees, and some were doing both.
Some classes were held during working hours,
in which case trainees were paid for class time,
and others were after working hours. Courses

534
were available for practically every occupa­
tional group, and covered many skills and areas
of knowledge. Examples of subjects typically
offered include blueprint reading, drafting,
welding, aircraft maintenance and repair, elec­
tronic data processing, shop mathematics, su­
pervisory practices, and safe working practices.
Most of the trainees were taking short-term
courses designed to meet immediate skill needs.
Only a relatively few employees were enrolled
in long-term programs scheduled to run for
several years, such as apprenticeship.
Employment Outlook

Thousands of employment opportunities are
expected to develop in the aerospace field during
the 1960's. Many new jobs will be created by
expanding activity in the industry, and many
others will result from the need to replace
workers who transfer to other industries, re­
tire, or die. Retirements and deaths alone will
probably result in an average of 15,000 to
18,000 openings each year during the 1960-70
decade.
The industry's future depends largely on
Government spending. Unless the international
situation changes significantly from that pre­
vailing in late 1960, Government expenditures
for aerospace products are expected to rise
during the decade ahead.
The overall picture for aerospace activity
during the 1960's is one of growth, but this is
not true for every segment of the industry. Jobs
in the spacecraft field will probably increase
rapidly. Employment in the production of
missiles is not expected to change much,
after a sharp rise which occurred during the
last few years of the 1950's. Employment in
military-aircraft manufacture will probably
drop. Civil-aircraft production is not expected
to change much during the first half of the
1960's but may expand during the second half.
Many new jobs will be created to produce elec­
tronic units for the industry. Electronic sys­
tems and components are major items of aero­
space craft and their importance in the industry
is growing.
Expenditures for research and development

should rise rapidly during the 1960's. Employ­


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ment opportunities will, therefore, be parti­
cularly favorable for engineers and scientists,
and for such workers as draftsmen, electronic
technicians, mathematics aids, and research
craftsmen. Many job openings in these special­
ties will become available not only in manu­
facturing concerns but also in university lab­
oratories, independent research organizations,,
and Federal agencies such as the Air Force,
Navy, Army, and the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration.
Opportunities will also be favorable during
the 1960's for skilled plant personnel, such as
tool and die makers, skilled assemblers and in­
spectors, and maintenance craftsmen. Because
of the shift from the volume production of con­
ventional items, chiefly aircraft, to the custom
production of relatively small numbers of many
diversified products, employment of semiskilled
and unskilled plant workers is not expected to
increase during the 1960-70 decade and may
even decrease. Semiskilled and unskilled work­
ers are also more likely to be laid off during
production cutbacks than are skilled workers
and office personnel. Aerospace employment
has fluctuated sharply in the past, owing mainly
to changes in the needs of the industry's major
customer— the Federal Government.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Plant workers' earnings in the aerospace in­
dustry are higher than those in most other
manufacturing industries. During January
1961, for example, production workers in plants
making aircraft and parts earned an average of
$114.13 a week or $2.75 an hour, while produc­
tion workers in all manufacturing industries as
a whole averaged $90.25 a week or $2.32 an
hour. Production workers in the Department of
Defense and other Federal agencies receive
wages equal to prevailing rates paid for com­
parable jobs by local private employers.
Information on earnings for professional and
technical workers in the aerospace field indicate
that they are higher than earnings for similar
work in most other industries. The relatively
favorable position of these workers is due
mainly to the recent rapid growth-of research
and development activity on missiles and space-

OCCUPATIONS IN AIRCRAFT, MISSILE, AND SPACECRAFT MANUFACTURING

craft, which has created an urgent need for wellqualified engineers, scientists, and technicians.
(General information on earnings of profes­
sional and technical personnel may be found in
the sections on individual occupations in this
Handbook. See index for page numbers.)
The following tabulation was developed from
examination of collective bargaining agreements
of a number of representative aircraft and
missile manufacturers. It indicates the approxi­
mate range of hourly wage rates for selected
occupations in mid-1960. The ranges in the
various jobs are rather wide, partly because
wages within an occupation vary according to
the worker's skill and experience and partly be­
cause wages differ from plant to plant depending
upon plant size, locality, and other factors.
Aircraft mechanics _________________________ $2.35-$3.20
2.00- 2.95
Assemblers _________________________________
Draftsmen __________________________________
2.10- 3.05
Electronics technicians _____________________
2.50- 3.50
Heat treaters _______________________________ 2.10- 3.00
Inspectors and testers______________________
2.00- 3.40
Jig and fixture builders ____________________ 2.10- 3.40
Laboratory technicians ___ ,_________________ 1.90- 3.25
Machine tool operators _____________________
2.05- 3.00
Machinists __________________________________
2.50- 3.40
Maintenance craftsmen ____________________ 2.15- 3.25
Riveters _____________________ r
_______________ 1.95- 2.85
Tool and die makers _______________________
2.15- 3.40
Welders _____________________________________ 2.10- 2.95

Fringe benefits are common in the industry.
Workers usually get 2 weeks of paid vacation
after 1 or 2 years of service, and 3 weeks
after 10 or 12 years. They generally get 6 to
8 paid holidays a year and 1 week of paid sick
leave. Other major benefits include life insur­
ance ; medical, surgical, and hospital insurance;
payments in case of accident and sickness; and
retirement pensions. Fringe benefits in Federal




535

aerospace employment are comparable with
those in the rest of the industry.
Most employees work in modern factory build­
ings which are clean, light, and airy. Some
work is done outdoors. Operations such as
sheet-metal processing, riveting, and welding
may be relatively noisy, and some assemblers
may work in cramped quarters. Aerospace
plants are comparatively safe working places,
with an injury-frequency rate which in 1960
averaged only about one-third that for manu­
facturing as a whole.
Most plant workers in the aerospace field are
union members. They are represented by several
unions, among them being the International
Association of Machinists; the International
Union, United Automobile, Aircraft and Agri­
cultural Implement Workers of America; and
the International Union of Electrical, Radio and
Machine Workers. Some craftsmen, guards, and
truckdrivers belong to unions which represent
specific occupational groups rather than plant
workers as a whole.

Where To Go for More Information
National Aeronautics and Space Administration,
1520 H St. N W ., Washington 25, D.C.
Aerospace Industries Association of America, Inc.,
15th and H Sts. N W ., Washington 5, D.C.
International Association of Machinists,
1300 Connecticut Ave. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.
International Union, United Automobile, Aircraft
and Agricultural Implement Workers of America,
8000 East Jefferson Ave., Detroit 14, Mich.
International Union of Electrical, Radio and
Machine Workers,
1126 16th St. N W ., Washington 6, D.C.

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS
The widespread use of airplanes has provided
jobs for many thousands of workers in a variety
of interesting and responsible occupations.
Some of these jobs, such as pilot, copilot, and
stewardess, are especially appealing to young
men and women.
Nature of Air Transportation Activities

Many different types of employers have jobs
for workers in the various air transportation
occupations. The scheduled airlines (those which
operate regularly scheduled flights over pre­
scribed routes) employ workers in most of the
major air transportation occupations. Other
employers have workers in only a few of these
occupations. These employers include the Fed­
eral Government; companies and individuals
that provide commercial flying services, such
as “ air-taxi operators” who fly their own planes
on special chartered flights to deliver cargo or
transport passengers between cities not con­
veniently serviced by the scheduled airlines; and
airlines that hold licenses to make nonscheduled
flights, and fewer scheduled flights than sched­
uled airlines. These airlines— called “ certifi­
cated supplemental airlines” — fly both domestic
and international routes.
The 54 scheduled airlines that were operating
in late 1960 employed about 168,000 workers.
Of these workers, about 80 percent (134,000)
were employed by 28 airlines to fly and service
aircraft and passengers on domestic routes—
between cities in the United States. About
29,000 other workers handled the operations of
the scheduled airlines which flew international
routes. The remaining workers were employed
by airlines that handled only cargo, or by lines
that were based in Alaska or Hawaii. About
half of all scheduled airline employees (82,000)
worked for the four largest domestic airlines.
Many thousands of workers in jobs concerned
with air transportation— most of them either

http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/
536
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

pilots or mechanics— are employed by several
Federal Government agencies. They work for
the Federal Aviation Agency (F A A ), which
develops air safety regulations, inspects and
tests airplanes and airline facilities, provides
ground electronic guidance equipment, and gives
tests for licenses to such personnel as pilots,
copilots, flight engineers, dispatchers, and air­
plane mechanics; the Civil Aeronautics Board
(CAB), which establishes policy concerning such
matters as airline rates and routes and investi­
gates accidents; and the Department of De­
fense, which employs civilian mechanics to serv­
ice their many aircraft. In addition to pilots
and maintenance personnel, the FAA also em­
ploys about 12,300 air traffic control specialists
to provide weather and other information to
pilots and to guide planes around airports and
through the Federal Airways System— a net­
work of designated air lanes along which air­
craft are guided from airport to airport. Most
FAA personnel are civilian Federal employees
whose major function is to serve those who use
the airways.
Thousands of other workers— also mostly pi­
lots and maintenance personnel— are employed
in the field of commercial flying. Most of these
workers are employed by air-taxi operators, and
by companies that operate airplanes to trans­
port their executives; do agricultural flying such
as crop dusting, spraying, and seeding; run fly­
ing schools; and specialize in aircraft and en­
gine repair. A small number of workers are
employed by companies that do aerial photog­
raphy and advertising through sky writing.
An additional 2,500 workers were employed
by 26 certificated supplemental airlines which
were operating in late 1960. These airlines oper­
ated a limited number of scheduled flights each
month. The majority were small companies
which operated charter flights between com­
munities off the main airline routes.

537

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

Air Transportation Occupations

The scheduled airlines employ a great many
workers to fly planes, maintain and repair
equipment, provide services to passengers at
terminals and during flights, and perform cleri­
cal and other business services. Mechanics and
other aircraft maintenance personnel made up
about 20 percent of scheduled airline employ­
ment in 1960; pilots and copilots, 8 percent;
and stewardesses, stewards, flight engineers,
and navigators, 9 percent. (See chart 26.)
About 17 percent of all airline workers were
traffic agents and clerks, and almost 3 percent
worked at airline ground stations as communi­
cations personnel and dispatchers. The re­
mainder (about 43 percent) were cargo and
freight handlers, custodial and other aircraft^
servicing personnel, office workers, and admini­
strative and professional personnel.
Flight crews consist of pilots, copilots, flight
engineers, flight attendants (stewardesses and
stewards), and sometimes navigators. All com­
mercial airline flights have a pilot and at least
one copilot who operate the aircraft. On many
types of aircrafts, a flight engineer is on board
to see that the engines, gages, and controls
CHART 26

AIRLINES EMPLOY M O RE M E C H A N IC S THAN
FLIGHT P E R S O N N E L ....
Thousands of workers with scheduled airlines,I9601
0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

operate satisfactorily and to take proper emer­
gency measures in flight. Navigators are carried
on flights over water to aid the pilot in navigat­
ing and maintaining communications. Almost
all passenger flights carry stewardesses or
stewards to serve the passengers.
Ground operational personnel consist of work­
ers such as dispatchers, controllers, radio oper­
ators, and mechanics. Dispatchers guide and
give flight information to all planes operated
by their company and flying within a given
radius of their airport. Air-route and airport
traffic controllers, mainly employed by the FAA,
give landing and takeoff clearances and naviga­
tional information to all planes operating within
their areas of control. Radio operators and
teletypists assist dispatchers by making direct
connections with the planes and relaying mes­
sages to flight crews and to other airports. Other
flight service specialists who operate radio
equipment help air traffic controllers perform
their work. Mechanics make sure that planes are
in good condition before each flight, do repair
jobs, and overhaul and recondition aircraft and
engines at periodic intervals.
A detailed description of the duties, training,
qualifications, employment outlook, earnings,
and working conditions for each of the following
air transportation jobs appear in the later sec­
tions of this chapter: (1) pilots and copilots,
(2) flight engineers, (3) stewardesses, (4) air­
plane mechanics, (5) airline dispatchers, (6)
air traffic controllers, (7) ground radio operators
and teletypists, and (8) traffic agents and
clerks.
Employment Outlook

Traffic a ge n ts and
clerks

Flight
engineers

I
G ro u n d ra d io operators
and teletypists

D isp a tch e rs
a ssis ta n ts




Pilots and
copilots

Stewards, stewardesses,
and pursers

I

Total employment in air transportation oc­
cupations is expected to increase moderately in
the 1960,s, although employment is not expected
to change much during the early years of the
decade. The new planes and equipment being
introduced by airlines will enable them to
handle more traffic in this early period with
little or no increase in employment. Neverthe­
less, there will be many thousands of opportuni­
ties for young women and men to obtain jobs
as stewardesses and traffic agents and clerks. In
the latter part of the decade, overall employ-

538
ment is expected to increase, largely because
of the anticipated growth in air transporta­
tion. The combination of anticipated increase
in total employment and continuing replace­
ment needs will result in larger numbers of job
opportunities for new workers.
Airline traffic and employment have grown
rapidly during most of the industry’s brief
history. For example, during the 1950’s, the
number of miles flown by paying passengers
(revenue passenger miles) on the scheduled air­
lines more than tripled. Employment doubled
over the same period.
Air traffic is expected to continue to grow
in the 1960’s. The FAA has estimated that by
1970 the scheduled airlines will fly twice the
revenue passenger miles flown in 1959. Among
the factors which will contribute to greatly in­
creased air travel are a larger population, in­
creased consumer purchasing power, the trend
toward longer vacations, the greater dependence
upon air travel by businessmen, faster flights
on jet aircraft which will save considerable time
in long-distance travel, and more low-cost air
coach service. An even larger increase is ex­
pected in air cargo traffic, which, however,
represents a relatively small percentage of total
traffic. Continued growth in commercial flying
services, such as air-taxi operations and busi­
ness executive flying, is also expected.
As in the past, employment is not expected
to increase as fast as the increase in traffic over
the 1960’s. With the transition to jet-powered
planes and jet-powered propeller planes, more
passengers will be carried at a much greater
speed. Some of the smaller airlines, which have
been operating smaller planes, probably will re­
place much of their equipment with jet-powered
propeller planes and the larger piston aircraft
now used by the major airlines. Expanded lowcost air coach service should also enable airlines
to handle more traffic without a comparable in­
crease in employment.
The greater use of electronic data-processing
systems will enable airlines to handle a much
greater volume of reservations, scheduling, and
accounting operations without a comparable ex­
pansion in clerical employment. Also, increased
installation of mechanical equipment, such as

conveyors, will permit airlines to move more


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

baggage and cargo without additional cargo and
baggage handlers.
Despite the introduction of more efficient
planes and equipment, employment in many air
transportation occupations is expected to grow.
The number of pilots, copilots, mechanics, and
dispatchers employed by the airlines is expected
to increase moderately during the 1960’s, but
the number of flight engineers is expected to
increase only slightly; employment of pilots and
mechanics in the other areas of commercial fly­
ing is also expected to grow. Many more air
traffic controllers will be hired. There will also
be many employment opportunities in such air­
line jobs as stewardesses and traffic agents and
clerks largely because of the high turnover in
these occupations.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings vary greatly among the air trans­
portation occupations because of such factors
as skill requirements, length of experience, and
amount of responsibility for safe and efficient
operations. The statements on individual occu­
pations which follow contain detailed discus­
sions of earnings.
As a rule, employees and their immediate
families are entitled to free transportation on
their companies’ domestic flights. In addition,
they may fly at greatly reduced rates with other
airlines. In overseas travel, employees and their
immediate families receive fare discounts of
up to 90 percent. Flight personnel may be away
from their home bases about a third or more of
the time. When they are away from home, the
airlines either provide living accommodations
or pay actual expenses.
Airlines operate flights at all hours of the
day and night. Flight personnel, therefore, often
have irregular work schedules. Maximum hours
of work per month for these workers have been
established by the FAA as a safety precaution
against fatigue. In addition, union-company
agreements often stipulate that persons in flight
occupations be paid for a minimum number of
hours each month, to guarantee a substantial
proportion of their normal earnings.
Ground personnel who work as dispatchers,
mechanics, traffic agents, communications oper-

539

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

ators, and in administrative jobs, usually work
a 5-day, 40-hour week. Their working* hours,
however, like those of flight personnel, often in­
clude nights, weekends, or holidays. Air traffic
controllers work a 5-day, 40-hour week; they are
periodically assigned to night, weekend, and
holiday work. Ground personnel generally re­
ceive extra pay for overtime work.
In domestic operations, employees usually re­
ceive 2 or 3 weeks’ vacation with pay, depend­
ing upon length of service. Most flight person­
nel in international operations get a month’s
vacation. Employees also receive paid sick leave
and retirement, insurance, and hospitalization
benefits. FAA employees are entitled to the
same benefits as other Federal personnel, in­
cluding from 13 to 26 days of vacation leave
and 13 days of sick leave a year, as well as
retirement, life insurance, and health benefits.
Many of the workers in air transportation
are union members. These unions are identi­
fied in the statements covering the individual
jobs.
Where To Go for More Information

Information about job openings in a particu­
lar airline and the qualifications required,
may be obtained by writing to the personnel

Pilots an

manager of the company. Addresses are avail­
able from the Air Transport Association of
America, 1000 Connecticut Ave. NW., Washing­
ton 6, D.C.
Inquiries regarding jobs with the Federal
Aviation Agency should be addressed to the
Personnel Officer, Federal Aviation Agency, at
any of the following addresses:
Region 1.

Federal Building, New York
International Airport,
Jamaica, Long Island, N .Y.
Region 2. Box 1689, Fort Worth 1, Tex.
Region 3. 4825 Troost Ave., Kansas City 10, Mo.
Region 4. Box 90007, Airport Station, Los Angeles
45, Calif.
Region 5. Box 440, Anchorage, Alaska
Region 6. Box 4009, Honolulu 12, Hawaii
National Aviation Facilities Center, Atlantic City,
N.J.
Aeronautical Center, Box 1082, Oklahoma City,
Okla.

Inform ation concerning FA A -approved
schools offering training for work as an air­
plane mechanic, pilot, or in other technical
fields related to aviation may be obtained from
the Correspondence Inquiry Branch, MS-126,
Federal Aviation Agency, Washington 25, D.C.
Career information about dispatchers may be
obtained from the Air Line Dispatchers Associa­
tion, 4620 Lee Highway, Arlington, Va.

Copilots

(D.O.T. 0-41. 0 and .12)

Nature of Work

The men who have the responsibility for
flying a multimillion dollar plane and transport­
ing as many as 125 passengers safely are the
pilot and copilot. The pilot (called “ captain”
by the airlines) operates the controls and per­
forms other tasks necessary for getting a plane
into the air, keeping it on course, and returning
it safely to earth. He supervises a crew which
may include— in addition to the copilot— a
flight engineer, a navigator, and flight attend­
ants. The copilot is second in command. He
must be present on airline flights since he also
operates the controls of the plane. On some
jets, there may be two copilots in addition to

http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/ members.
the other crew
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Both captain and copilot must do a great deal
of planning before a plane may leave the ground.
Before each flight, they confer with the com­
pany meteorologist about weather conditions
and, in cooperation with the airline dispatcher,
they prepare a flight plan along a route and at
altitudes which offer the best weather and wind
conditions so that a safe, fast, and smooth flight
will be possible. This flight plan must be ap­
proved by Federal Aviation Agency (FA A ) air
traffic control personnel. The copilot plots the
course to be flown and computes the flying time
between various points. Just prior to take-off,
both men check the operation of each engine
and the functioning of the plane’s many instru­
ments.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

540

Flight crew receiving training in operation of jet aircraft.

During the flight, the captain or copilot re­
ports, by radio, to ground control stations.
They radio information about their altitude, air
speed, weather conditions, and other flight de­
tails. The captain also supervises the navigation
for the flight and keeps close watch on the many
instruments which indicate the plane’s fuel load
and the condition of the engines, controls, elec­
tronic equipment, and landing gear. The copilot
records the progress of the flight and also keeps
close watch on all instruments.
Before landing, the pilot or the copilot per­
form such duties as rechecking the operation of
the landing gear and requesting permission to
land from the airport control tower. When visi­
bility is limited, the captain must rely solely on
instruments, such as radar, when landing. 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 act as “ check
pilots.” They make at least two flights a year
with each captain to observe his proficiency and
adherence to Federal Aviation Agency (FAA)
flight regulations and company policies. Air­
lines also employ pilot-instructors to train new
pilots, as well as to train experienced ones in the
use of new equipment. Airlines also employ
some pilots to fly planes leased to private cor­
porations.
Pilots not employed by the major airlines
may fly planes that are smaller and less expen­
sive and transport fewer passengers and less
cargo. These pilots seldom have the assistance
of flight crews. In addition to flying, they may
perform minor maintenance and repair work on
their planes. Those who are self-employed also
have duties similar to those of other small busi­
nessmen.

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

Where Employed

Scheduled airlines employed about 11,500
pilots and copilots in domestic operations in
late 1960. Another 1,500 were employed on
scheduled international flights. In addition, ap­
proximately 800 pilots were employed by the
certificated supplemental airlines (airlines that
hold licenses to make nonscheduled flights and
fewer scheduled flights than the scheduled air­
lines).
More pilots are employed outside of the sched­
uled airlines than by the scheduled airlines.
For example, the FAA estimates that in mid1960 about 6,200 pilots and copilots were em­
ployed by companies that used their private air­
craft solely to transport their executives. A
similar number were employed by about 2,600
air taxi operators who operate smaller planes to
transport passengers and cargo on specially
chartered flights. An additional 4,000 pilots
were employed as “ crop dusters”— scattering
insecticides, fertilizers, and seeds from the air.
The Federal Government employs approxi­
mately 700 pilots (about half in the FAA) to
perform a variety of services, such as examining
applicants for pilots’ licenses, inspecting navi­
gation facilities along Federal airways, testing
planes that are newly designed or have major
modifications, enforcing game laws, fighting
forest fires, and patrolling national boundries.
In addition to employment in these fields, a
few thousand pilots were employed by companies
to transport engineers, scientists, and other
technical personnel to branch plants in special
or emergency situations, to inspect pipelines
and installations for oil companies, and to pro­
vide other aerial services such as private flight
instruction, and flights for sightseeing, sky
writing, and aerial photography. A small num­
ber work for aircraft manufacturers as test
pilots.
Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

To do any type of commercial flying, pilots
or copilots must be licensed by the FAA. Air­
line pilots must have an “ airline transport
pilots’ ” license. Copilots, and pilots who do not
work for the airlines, must have a “ commercial
airplane
 pilots’ ” license. In addition, airline


541
copilots, and 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 must also have a rating for the class of
plane they can fly, (single-engine, multiengine,
or seaplane) and on the specific type of plane
they can fly, such as DC-3 or DC-6.
To qualify for a license as a commercial pilot,
applicants must be at least 18 years old and have
at least 200 hours of flight experience. To ob­
tain an instrument rating, applicants must have
at least 40 hours of instrument flying time.
Applicants for an airline transport pilots’
license must be at least 23 years old and have a
total of 1,200 hours of flight time, including
night flying time and instrument 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
such subjects as principles of safe flight opera­
tions, Civil Air Regulations, navigation prin­
ciples, radio operation, and meteorology. He
must also submit proof that he has completed
the minimum flight-time requirements and, in
a practical test, demonstrate flying skill and
technical competence. His certification as a pro­
fessional pilot remains in effect as long as he
can pass an annual physical examination. An
airline transport pilot’s license expires when
the pilot reaches his 60th birthday.
A young man may obtain the knowledge,
skills, and flight experience necessary to be­
come a pilot through military service or from a
private flying school. Graduation from flying
schools approved by the FAA satisfies the flight
experience requirements for licensing. Appli­
cants who have appropriate military flight
training and experience are required to pass
only the Civil Air Regulations examination if
they apply for a license within a year after
leaving the service. Those trained in the armed
services have the added opportunity to gain ex­
perience and accumulate flying time on large
aircraft similar to those used by the airlines.
As a rule, applicants for a pilot’s job with the
airlines must be between 20 and 27 years old,
5 feet 7 inches to 6 feet 4 inches tall, and
weigh between 140 and 200 pounds. All appli­
cants must be high school graduates; some air­

542
lines require 2 years of college and prefer to
hire college graduates. Physical requirements
for pilots, especially in scheduled airline employ­
ment, are very high. They must have normal
(20/20) vision without the aid of glasses, good
hearing, outstanding physical stamina, 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 appli­
cant’s alertness, emotional stability and matu­
rity, and his ability to assume responsibility,
command respect, and make quick decisions and
accurate judgments under pressure.
Men hired by the scheduled airlines (and by
some of the larger supplemental airlines) usually
start as copilots, although in a few airlines they
may begin as flight engineers. An applicant for
a copilot’s job with a scheduled airline often
must have more than the FAA minimum quali­
fications for commercial pilot licensing. For
example, although the FAA requires only 200
flying hours to qualify for such a license, the
airlines generally require from 500 to 1,000 fly­
ing hours. Airlines also require a “ restricted”
radio-telephone operator permit, issued by the
Federal Communications Commission, which
allows the holder to operate the plane’s radio.
All newly hired airlines pilots go through
company orientation courses. In addition, some
airlines give beginning copilots from 3 to 10
weeks of training on company planes before
assigning them to a scheduled flight. Trainees
also receive classroom instruction in subjects
such as flight theory, radio operation, Civil Air
Regulations, and airline operations.
The beginning copilot generally is permitted
only limited responsibility, such as operating
the flight controls in good weather over safe
terrain. As he gains experience and skill, his
responsibilities gradually are increased. When
he has proved his skill, accumulated sufficient ex­
perience and seniority, and passed the test for
an airline transport 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.
A few opportunities exist for captains with

administrative ability to advance to chief pilot,


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

flight operations manager, and other super­
visory and executive jobs. Most airline captains,
however, spend their entire careers flying. As
they increase their seniority, they obtain a
better selection of flight routes and schedules
which offer higher earnings. Some pilots may go
into business for themselves if they have ade­
quate financial resources and business ability.
They may operate their own flying schools or
air-taxi and other aerial services. Pilots may
also shift to administrative and inspection jobs
in aircraft manufacturing and government
aviation agencies, even when they are no longer
able to fly.
Employment Outlook

A moderate increase in the employment of
airline pilots is expected in the 1960’s. The
number of pilots will be affected by the larger,
faster, and more efficient jet-powered and jetpowered propeller planes now being introduced.
In these planes, a pilot is able to fly many more
passenger and cargo miles than he can in piston
aircraft. Thus, although air transportation is
expected to continue to grow in the 1960’s, there
probably will be little or no need for additional
pilots during the next few years. However, after
the period of transition to new flight equipment,
the continuing increase in traffic should result
in an expansion of airline activity and lead to
a slow rise in the employment of pilots.
The employment of pilots outside of the air­
lines is expected to grow in the 1960-70 decade.
Flying of business executives, crop dusting, and
air taxi and patrol work are among the activities
expected to increase most rapidly.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Captains and copilots are among the highest
paid workers in the Nation. Those employed by
the scheduled airlines averaged about $15,700 a
year in domestic air transportation and $18,500
in international operations, in late 1960. Most
of the senior captains on large aircraft earned
well over $20,000 a year; those assigned to the
new jet aircraft may earn more than $30,000.
Pilots employed by the scheduled airlines gener­
ally earn more than those employed elsewhere,

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

543

although pilots who work for supplemental air­
lines may earn almost as much. Beginning co­
pilots generally earned $5,400 a year. Some
experienced copilots were earning as much as
$15,000 a year in domestic and more than
$17,000 in international flying in late 1960.
The earnings of airline pilots and copilots
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 co­
pilots with at least 3 years of service, are guar­
anteed minimum monthly earnings which rep­
resent a substantial proportion of their earn­
ings.
Under PAA regulations, pilots cannot fly
more than 100 hours a month or 1,000 hours
a year in domestic operations. Pilots in inter­
national operations are limited either to 100
hours a month, 300 hours every 90 days, or 350
hours every 90 days, depending on the size of
the flight crew. In actual practice, pilots and
copilots average between 72 and 82 hours’

flying time a month, plus between 15 and 35
hours in ground duties before and after their
flights.
Some pilots prefer the shorter distance flying
usually associated with the local airlines and
commercial flying activities such as air-taxi
operations, 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 physi­
cal effort, the pilot is often subject to stress be­
cause of his great responsibility. He must be
constantly alert and prepared to make decisions
quickly. Poor weather conditions also make his
work more difficult.
Most airline pilots are members of the Inter­
national Air Line Pilots Association.
(See introductory section for Where To Go
for More Information and for general informa­
tion on supplementary benefits and working con­
ditions.)

Flight Engineers
(D.O.T. 5-80.100)

Nature of Work

The flight engineer is responsible for the prop­
er functioning of the airplane so that the pilot
and copilot can concentrate on guiding the plane.
Before takeoffs, he inspects the tires and other
outside parts of the plane and makes sure that
the plane’s fuel tanks have been properly filled.
In the plane, he assists the pilot and copilot in
making preflight checks of instruments and
equipment. Once the plane is in the air, the
flight engineer watches and operates many in­
struments and devices to check the performance
of the engines and the air-conditioning, pres­
surizing, and electrical systems. In addition, he
keeps records of engine performance and fuel
consumption. He reports any mechanical diffi­
culties to the captain and, if possible, makes
emergency repairs. Upon landing, he makes
certain that mechanical troubles that may have
developed are repaired by airport mechanics.
Flight engineers employed by the smaller air­



lines may have to make minor repairs them­
selves at those few airports where mechanics are
not stationed.
Flight engineers are employed on all com­
mercial planes that have a maximum takeoff
weight of more than 80,000 pounds, which in­
cludes almost all four-engine planes, and twoengine jet planes. Almost all of the 3,700 flight
engineers were working for the major scheduled
airlines, which operate virtually all such planes.
Most flight engineers are stationed in or near
large cities where long-distance flights originate
and terminate.
Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

All flight engineers must be licensed by the
Federal Aviation Agency (F A A ). A man
can qualify for a flight engineer’s certificate
if he has had 2 years of training or 3 years
of work experience in the maintenance, re-

544

Flight engineer checking airplane’s engines and airconditioning, pressurizing, and electrical systems.

pair, and overhaul of aircraft and engines, in­
cluding a minimum of 6 months’ training or a
year of experience on four-engine piston, jetpowered, or jet-powered propeller planes. He
may also qualify with at least 200 hours of
flight time as a pilot in command of a fourengine piston or jet plane or with 100 hours
of experience as a flight engineer in the Armed
Fortes. A third method of qualifying is to com­
plete a course of ground and flight instruction
approved by the FAA. A few of the airlines
conduct such courses for their flight engineer
trainees.
In addition to such experience or training,
an applicant for a license must pass a written
test on flight theory, engine and aircraft per­
formance, fuel requirements, weather as it af­
fects engine operation, and maintenance pro­
cedures. In a practical flight test on a fourengine plane, he must demonstrate his skill in




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

emergency procedures and his ability to dis­
cover and correct troubles which might arise
while the airplane is in the air. He must also
pass a rigid physical examination every year.
Young men can acquire the knowledge and
skills necessary to qualify as airline flight en­
gineers through military training as airplane
pilots, mechanics, or flight engineers. They may
also attend a civilian ground school and then
gain experience as an airplane mechanic. Air­
lines which employ mechanic-trained flight en­
gineers usually select men from among their
own senior mechanics and give them additional
training for 5 or 6 months to qualify them for
flight duties.
In selecting licensed flight engineers, airlines
generally prefer men 23 to 35 years of age, from
5 feet 7 inches to 6 feet 4 inches tall, and in
excellent physical condition. They require a
high school education but prefer men with 2
or more years of college. For employment in
airlines which hire mechanic-trained flight en­
gineers, applicants must have FAA mechanic
certificates. Some airlines, however, hire pilottrained flight engineers. In these airlines, pilots
usually begin as flight engineers.
A flight engineer can become a chief flight
engineer for his airline. His advancement, how­
ever, comes mainly by gaining enough seniority
to enable him to select the routes and schedules
which offer the highest earnings. In airlines
that employ pilot-qualified flight engineers, he
can be promoted to copilot, and then follow the
regular line of advancement open to other co­
pilots.
Employment Outlook

Employment of flight engineers is expected
to increase slowly during the 1960’s. The num­
ber of flight engineers probably will not change
much during the early part of the 1960’s, as
faster and more efficient jet planes continue to
be put into scheduled airline service. After this
transition to the new type of planes, the antici­
pated growth in air traffic should result in a
slow increase in the employment of flight engi­
neers.

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

545

E a r n in g s a n d W o r k in g C o n d itio n s

In late 1960, the earnings of flight engineers
ranged from about $550 a month for new em­
ployees to $1,600 for experienced flight engi­
neers on jet aircraft on international flights.
Many flight engineers earned between $1,000
and $1,500 a month. Average monthly earnings
for all flight engineers in domestic operations
was $975; those employed on international
flights averaged nearly $1,200. The earnings
of flight engineers depend upon such factors as
size, speed, and type of the plane; hours and
miles flown; length of service; and the type of
flight (such as night or international). Engi­
neers are guaranteed minimum monthly earn­
ings, which represent a substantial proportion

of their earnings. Their actual flight time is re­
stricted, under FAA regulations, to a maximum
of 100 hours a month or 1,000 hours a year in
domestic flying. Flight engineers in interna­
tional operations are limited either 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 belong to the Flight
Engineers’ International Association. Some are
represented by the International Association of
Machinists.
(See introductory section for Where To Go
for More Information and for general infor­
mation on supplementary benefits and working
conditions.)

Stewardesses
(D.O.T. 2-25.37)
N a tu re o f W o r k

Stewardesses or stewards (sometimes called
flight attendants) are aboard almost all passen­
ger planes operated by the commercial airlines.
Their most important job is to make the pas­
sengers’ flight safe, comfortable, and enjoyable
from the time the passengers board the plane
until they arrive at their destinations. Like
other flight personnel, they are responsible to
the captain.
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 assists them with their
coats and small luggage.
During the flight, the stewardess makes cer­
tain that seat belts are fastened and gives
safety instructions when required. She answers
questions about the flight and weather, distrib­
utes reading matter and pillows, helps care for
small children and babies, and keeps the cabin
neat. On some flights, she serves ready-cooked
meals or light refreshments. On international
flights, she also gives customs information, 'in­
structs passengers on the use of emergency




equipment, and repeats instructions in several
languages to accommodate foreign passengers.
After the flight, she completes flight reports
about the passengers, cabin, and supplies.
About 9,500 stewardesses and 1,000 stewards
worked for the scheduled airlines in late 1960.
About 80 percent were employed by the domestic
airlines, and the rest worked for international
lines. Most of the stewards were employed on

Stewardess serving dinner to airline passengers.

546
overseas flights where heavier work was in­
volved, such as making up berths on the older
propeller aircraft. Airliners generally carry one
to six flight attendants, depending on the size of
the plane and whether the flight is tourist or
first-class. 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.
Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

Because stewardesses are in constant contact
with passengers, the airlines place great stress
on hiring young women who are attractive,
poised, tactful, and resourceful. As a rule, ap­
plicants must be 20 to 27 years old, 5 feet 2
inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, with weight in
proportion to height (but not to exceed 135
pounds), and in excellent health. They must also
have a pleasant speaking voice and good vision.
Most major airlines require that stewardesses
be unmarried and require them to resign when
they marry or shortly afterwards.
Applicants for stewardess’ jobs must have at
least a high school education. Those with 2
years of college, nurses’ training, or business
experience in dealing with the public are pre­
ferred. Stewardesses who work for interna­
tional airlines generally must be able to speak
an appropriate foreign language fluently.
Most large airlines give newly hired stew­
ardesses 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 attendance. Training in­
cludes classes in flight regulations and duties,
company operations and schedules, emergency
procedures and first aid, and personal grooming.
Additional courses in passport and customs reg­
ulations are given trainees for the international
routes. Toward the end of their training, stu­
dents go on practice flights and perform their
duties under actual flight conditions.
(A few airlines which do not operate their
own schools employ graduates who have paid
for their own training at private stewardesses
schools. Girls interested in becoming steward­



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

esses should check with the airlines before en­
tering a private school to be sure they have
the necessary qualifications.)
Immediately upon completing their training,
stewardesses report for work at one of their
airline’s main bases. They serve on probation
for about 6 months, and an experienced stew­
ardess usually works with them on their first
flights. Until a regular flight is available, they
may work as reserve flight attendants, during
which time they serve on extra flights or replace
stewardesses who are sick or on vacation.
Stewardesses may advance to jobs as first
stewardess or purser, supervising stewardess,
stewardess instructor, or recruiting representa­
tive. Such jobs are few in number. However,
since stewardesses work only about 2 or 3 years
on the average, and then resign to get married,
advancement opportunities for those who con­
tinue to work are good. Stewardesses who can
no longer qualify for flying, such as those who
marry, may obtain jobs in traffic or public rela­
tions work.
Employment Outlook

Young women will have thousands of op­
portunities to get jobs as stewardesses each
year in the 1960’s. Most of these openings will
occur as girls marry or leave the occupation for
other reasons. (About 40 percent of the em­
ployed stewardesses leave their jobs each year.)
In addition, total employment of stewardesses
will grow moderately as a result of the antici­
pated large increase in passenger traffic and
the need for additional stewardesses on the
larger jet planes. This rise should more than
offset any adverse effect that the introduction
of faster jet planes may have on the employment
of stewardesses.
Young women interested in becoming stew­
ardesses should realize that thousands of girls
apply for this type of work each year, because
of the glamour attached to the occupation. De­
spite the large number of applicants, the air­
lines are finding it difficult to obtain enough
young women who can meet their high stand­
ards of attractiveness, personality, and intelli­
gence.

547

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

Earnings and Working Conditions

An examination of union-management con­
tracts covering several large domestic and in­
ternational airlines indicates that in 1960 begin­
ning stewardesses earned approximately $300 to
$345 a month for 85 hours of flying time. Stew­
ardesses with 2 years' experience earned ap­
proximately $345 to $375 a month. Those as­
signed to jet flights usually earned more.
All stewardesses employed on domestic flights
averaged $340 a month; those working on inter­
national flights averaged about $450.
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 are usually
limited to 85 hours of flight time a month. In
addition, they devote up to 35 hours a month
to ground duties. As a result of irregular hours
and limitations on the amount of flying time,

some stewardesses may have 15 or more days
off each month. Of course, some time off may
occur between flights while away from home.
Airlines generally use the seniority bidding
system for assigning home bases, flight sched­
ules, and routes. Stewardesses with the longest
service, therefore, get the more desirable flights.
The stewardess' occupation is exciting and
glamorous, with opportunities to meet interest­
ing passengers and to see new places. However,
the work can be strenuous and trying. A stew­
ardess may be on her feet during a large part
of the flight. She must remain pleasant and
efficient during the entire flight, regardless of
how tired she may be.
Most stewardesses belong to a labor union.
(See introductory section for Where To Go
for More Information and for general informa­
tion on supplementary benefits and working
conditions.)

Airplane Mechanics
(D.O.T. 5-80.100, .120 and .130)

Nature of Work

Airplane mechanics have the important job
of keeping airplanes operating safely and effi­
ciently. Basically, they do either “ line-mainte­
nance" work at the larger airline terminals, or
overhaul work at the airline's main overhaul
base. A line-maintenance mechanic may be
instructed by the flight engineer or lead me­
chanic on which kinds of repairs to make, or
he may examine the aircraft thoroughly to dis­
cover the cause of malfunction. He then makes
the necessary repairs or adjustments, or he may
install a new part; for instance, he may replace
an entire engine when it cannot be fixed quickly.
Line-maintenance mechanics must be all-round
mechanics able to make repairs on all parts of
the plane. They may also have to do mainte­
nance work such as changing oil or cleaning
spark plugs.
Mechanics who do overhaul work make major
repairs or perform the periodic inspections that
are necessary on all aircraft. These mechanics
may specialize in work on a particular part of

the airplane such as propellers, landing gear,


hydraulic equipment, radio and radar, instru­
ments, or on sheet metal work. They frequently
take apart a complex airplane component, re­
place damaged or worn parts, put the compo­
nent together, and test it to make sure that it is
operating perfectly.
Airplane mechanics not employed by the air­
lines usually do maintenance and repair work
comparable with that performed by line-main­
tenance mechanics. However, the planes which
these mechanics service may be smaller and less
complex than those flown by the airlines. One
mechanic frequently does the entire servicing
job with little supervision, and he works on
many different types of planes and engines.
Mechanics who work for such employers as the
certificated supplemental airlines (airlines that
hold licenses to make nonscheduled flights, and
fewer scheduled flights than scheduled airlines),
air-taxi operators (operators of small planes
carrying passengers or cargo on specially chart­
ered flights), flying schools, and independent
repair shops may also do overhaul work. In­
dependent repair shops usually specialize in

548

either engine, instrument, or airframe over­
haul. (The airframe consists of the plane’s fuse­
lage, wings, landing gear, and other parts
which are not part of the engine, propeller, or
instruments.)
Airplane mechanics use many different kinds
of tools in their work. These may range
from simple handtools, such as screwdrivers,
wrenches and pliers, to large and expensive ma­
chines and equipment designed to diagnose
troubles and help the mechanic to correct them.
Examples of such equipment are propeller
grinding machines and magnetic and black light
inspection equipment which is designed to de­
tect flaws and cracks in metal parts.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

tivities as air taxiing, crop dusting (applying
seeds, fertilizer or chemicals to land or crops),
and selling airplanes. Organizations which
maintain fleets of planes to transport their ex­
ecutives, scientists, or other key personnel em­
ploy mechanics to maintain and repair these
planes. Many other airplane mechanics work in
aircraft manufacturing plants. (These workers,
whose duties are somewhat different from those
of airline mechanics, are discussed in the chap­
ter on Occupations in the Aircraft, Missile, and
Spacecraft Field. See index for page numbers).
About 18,000 civilian airplane mechanics
were employed by the Air Force in late 1960.
Another 9,000 worked for the Navy. The FAA
employs about 500 skilled men with maintenance
experience to inspect aircraft manufacturing
plants; examine airline and other commercial
flying organizations’ aircraft maintenance
methods, training programs, and spare parts
stock; and test applicants for FAA mechanic
licenses. This agency also employs approxi­
mately 500 airplane mechanics to maintain its
own planes. Most of these men are employed
at the FAA Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma
City. Some mechanics are employed by other
Government agencies, principally the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Most airline mechanics are employed in the
larger cities on the main airline routes. Each
airline usually has one main overhaul base
where more than half of its mechanics are em­
ployed. Large concentrations of mechanics are
employed in such cities as New York, Chicago,
Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami, all of
which are important domestic and international
air traffic centers.
Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

Where Employed

Approximately 34,000 mechanics were em­
ployed by the scheduled airlines in late 1960.
The Federal Aviation Agency (FA A ) estimates
that about 38,000 mechanics were employed by
firms that are engaged in the repair of air­
frames, aircraft engines, or instruments (known
as FAA approved repair stations). Mechanics
also were employed by the certificated supple­
mental airlines and by firms engaged in such ac­




Because the safety of an aircraft in flight
depends largely on good mechanical operation,
mechanics who are responsible for any repair
or maintenance operation must be licensed.
Mechanics may be licensed by the FAA as “ air­
frame mechanics” (to work on the plane’s fuse­
lage, covering surface, landing gear, and control
surfaces such as rudder or ailerons); “ powerplant mechanics” (to work on the plane’s en­
gines), or “ airframe and powerplant mechanics”

549

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

(to work on all parts of the plane). A repair­
man's license is issued by the FAA to qualified
mechanics. These licenses spell out the partic­
ular repairs that the mechanics are authorized
to do. Mechanics who work on radio or radar
equipment are required to have at least a Federal
Communications Commission 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 required for the combined air­
frame and powerplant license. This experience
is not required of graduates of mechanics'
schools approved by the FAA, however. In ad­
dition to meeting these requirements, applicants
must pass a written test and give a practical
demonstration of their ability to do the work.
Repairman licenses are issued to mechanics who
are able to perform those maintenance and re­
pair operations for which his employer has re­
ceived FAA authorization.
Mechanics may prepare for the trade and
their licenses by working as trainees or appren­
tices, or as helpers to experienced mechanics.
The larger airlines train apprentices or trainees
in a carefully planned 3- or 4-year program of
instruction and work experience. Men who have
learned aircraft maintenance in the Armed
Forces are usually given credit for this training
toward the requirements of apprenticeship or
other on-the-job training programs.
For trainee or apprentice jobs, the airlines
prefer men between the ages of 20 or 30 who
are in good physical condition. Applicants
should have a high school or trade school educa­
tion, including courses in mathematics, physics,
chemistry, and machine shop. Experience in
automotive repairs or other mechanical work is
also helpful.
Other mechanics prepare for their trade by
graduating from an FAA approved mechanics
school. Most of these schools have an 18- to 24month program. Several colleges and univer­
sities also offer 2-year programs that prepare the
student for the FAA mechanic examinations and
for jobs as engineering aids and research and
development technicians in aircraft manufac­

turing.


Mechanics are generally required to have
their own handtools which they must pay for
themselves. They usually acquire their tools
gradually.
Several advancement possibilities are avail­
able to skilled mechanics employed by the sched­
uled airlines. The line of advancement is usu­
ally mechanic, lead mechanic (or crew chief),
inspector, lead inspector, shop foreman, and,
in a few cases, supervisory and executive posi­
tions. In most shops, mechanics in the higher
grade positions are required to have both air­
frame and powerplant ratings. In many cases,
the mechanic must pass a company examination
before he is promoted. A mechanic may also
become a flight engineer after he qualifies for
an FAA flight engineer's certificate and satisfies
other requirements that the airline may have.
To qualify for jobs as FAA inspectors, me­
chanics must have broad experience in main­
tenance and overhaul work, including supervi­
sion over the maintenance of aircraft.
Applicants for this job must also have both air­
frame and powerplant ratings or a combined
rating.
Employment Outlook

A moderate increase in the employment of
airplane mechanics is expected during the
1960-70 decade. The number of mechanics em­
ployed by scheduled airlines is not expected to
change much during the first half of the decade
because of the increasing use of jet-powered
and jet powered propeller planes which have
larger capacities and fly at greater speeds than
piston aircraft. Also, less complex engines in
the jet aircraft may reduce somewhat the
amount of maintenance required. Furthermore,
the airline fleet will grow only slightly. An in­
crease in the employment of airline mechanics,
however, is expected in the latter part of the
1960's as a result of the continued large expan­
sion of air traffic and the increase in the total
number of airline planes.
The rapid growth anticipated in the amount
of business executive flying and a moderate ex­
pansion of other commercial flying services will
also contribute to an increase in the number of
planes and, therefore, mechanics employed by

550

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

firms providing such services. The number of
mechanics employed outside of the scheduled
airlines has been increasing rapidly. The FAA
reports that the number of approved repair
stations, which do most of the maintenance and
repair work on nonairline planes, increased
from 376 in 1955 to about 700 in mid-1960.
Employment opportunities for airplane me­
chanics in the Federal Government will depend
largely on the size of the Government’s military
aircraft program.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Mechanics employed by the scheduled domes­
tic airlines earned, on the average, $540 a

month in late 1960. Other airplane mechanics
generally had lower average earnings.
Airline mechanics work in hangers or in
other indoor areas, whenever possible. How­
ever, when repairs must be made quickly, which
is sometimes the case in line-maintenance
work, mechanics may work outdoors.
Mechanics employed by most major airlines
are covered by union agreements. Most of these
employees are members of the International
Association of Machinists. Many others belong
to the Transport Workers Union of America.
(See introductory section for Where To Go
for More Information and for general infor­
mation on supplementary benefits and working
conditions.)

Airline Dispatchers
(D.O.T. 0-61.61)

Nature of Work

Dispatchers (sometimes called flight super­
intendents) are employed by the airlines to
coordinate flight schedules and operations
within an assigned area and to make sure that
all Federal Aviation Agency (FA A ) and com­
pany flight and safety regulations are observed.
After examining weather conditions, the dis­
patcher makes a preliminary decision as to
whether a flight may be safely undertaken. He
frequently must arrange to notify the passen­
gers and crew if there is any change from the
scheduled departure time. The dispatcher con­
fers 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 al­
ternate fields that may be used if landing at the
scheduled airport is hazardous. The dispatcher
and the captain must agree on all details of the
flight before the plane leaves the airport. In
some instances, the dispatcher is also respon­
sible for keeping records and checking such
matters as the availability of aircraft and
equipment; the weight and balance of loaded
cargo; the amount of time flown by each plane
and engine; and the number of hours flown by
each crew member based at his station.
After the flight has begun, the dispatcher
plots the plane’s progress as reported by the cap­



tain at regular intervals by radio, and keeps
him informed of changing weather and other
conditions that affect his flight.
The assistant dispatcher helps the dispatcher
to plot the progress of flights, secure weather
information, and handle communications with
aircraft.
In late 1960, only about 700 dispatchers and
200 assistants were employed in scheduled do­
mestic and international operations, primarily
at large airports in the United States. A small

Airline dispatcher calculating the quantity of fuel
needed to complete a flight.

551

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

number work for the large certificated supple­
mental airlines and for private firms which
offer dispatching services to small airlines.
Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

Dispatchers are required to have an FAA
dispatcher certificate. Assistant dispatchers do
not need certification. An applicant for such a
certificate may qualify, in part, if he has spent
at least a year engaged in dispatching work un­
der the supervision of a certificated dispatcher.
He may also qualify by completing an FAAapproved dispatcher's course at a school or an
airline training center. If an applicant has none
of this schooling or experience, he may also
qualify if he has spent 2 of the previous 3 years
in air traffic control work, or in such airline
jobs as dispatch clerk or radio operator, or in
similar work in military service.
An applicant for an FAA dispatcher certifi­
cate must pass a written examination on such
subjects as Civil Air Regulations, weather
analysis, air-navigation facilities, radio proce­
dures, and airport and airway traffic procedures.
In an oral test, he also has to demonstrate his
ability to interpret weather information, his
knowledge of landing and cruising speeds and
other aircraft operational characteristics, and
his familiarity with airline routes and naviga­
tional facilities. A licensed dispatcher is checked
periodically by his employer to make sure that
he is maintaining the skills required by Federal
regulations. Some experienced 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 is also required to “ fly the line" as an observer
over the portion of the system which he serv­
ices, in order to maintain his first-hand famil­
iarity with airline routes and flight operations.
For assistant dispatcher jobs, airlines hire
men who have had at least 2 years of college or
an equivalent amount of time working in some
phase of air transportation, such as communi­
cations. Preference is given to college graduates

who have had courses in mathematics, physics,


and related subjects. Some experience in flying,
meteorology, or business administration is also
helpful.
Most airlines fill dispatcher positions by pro­
motion or transfer from within the company.
Men are preferred who have had long experi­
ence in ground flight operations work. As a
result, most openings are filled by men who
have been assistant dispatchers, meteorologists,
or radio operators; a few jobs are filled by men
who have been pilots.
Employment Outlook

The increase in airline traffic anticipated in
the 1960's is expected to result in a slight in­
crease in the number of workers employed in
this very small occupation. Most of the new
workers will be hired as assistant dispatchers.
Job openings for dispatchers will be filled
mainly by promoting or transferring experi­
enced persons already employed by the airlines.
The need for some additional dispatchers will
result from the increase in air traffic, the ad­
dition and extension of routes, and the extra
difficulties in dispatching jet aircraft. Addi­
tional dispatchers probably will be employed
by helicopter lines and supplemental airlines to
service their increased air traffic. Foreign air­
lines which fly between overseas points and
cities in the United States will also provide a
few job opportunities for dispatchers. These
factors are expected to more than offset any ad­
verse employment effect of improved radio and
telephone communication facilities. As com­
munication facilities continue to improve, a
dispatcher at a major terminal center will be
able to service larger areas by dispatching air­
craft at the smaller airports by radio and tele­
phone.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Beginning dispatchers earned between $600
and $700 a month in early 1961. Dispatchers
with 10 years' service earned between $900 and
$1,000 a month. Assistant dispatchers earned
$400 to $500 a month to start and $455 to $560

552

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

a month after 3 years. Assistant dispatchers
with FAA certificates may earn $25 a month
extra. Most dispatchers are members of the
Air Line Dispatchers Association.

(See introductory section for Where To Go
for More Information and for general informa­
tion on supplementary benefits and working
conditions.)

Air Traffic Controllers
N a tu re o f W o r k

Air traffic controllers are the guardians of
the airways. These employees of the Federal
Aviation Agency (FAA ) give instructions, ad­
vice, and information by radio to pilots in order
to avoid collisions and minimize delays as planes
fly between airports or in the vicinity of air­
ports. All traffic controllers must take into
consideration such factors as the weather, geog­
raphy, the amount of traffic, and the size, speed,
and other operating characteristics of aircraft.
The men who control traffic in the areas around
airports are known as airport traffic controllers
(D.O.T. 0-61.60); those who guide planes be­
tween airports are called air-route traffic con­
trollers.
Airport traffic controllers are stationed at
airport control towers to give all pilots within
the vicinity of the airport takeoff and landing
instructions, such as what flight approach and
airfield runway to use and when to land and
take off. They also provide pilots with weather
and location information. These workers keep
records of all messages received from aircraft
and operate runway lights, radar screens, and
other airfield equipment. They may also send
and receive information to and from air-route
traffic control centers about flights made over
the airport.
Air-route traffic controllers are stationed at
air traffic control centers to coordinate the
movements of planes which are being flown
‘‘on instruments.” They use the written flight
plans which are filed by pilots and dispatchers
before planes leave the airport. To make sure
that planes remain on course, they check the
progress of flights, using radar and other elec­
tronic equipment and information received from
the aircraft, other control centers and towers,
and from FAA or airline communication
stations.




C o u rte sy o f F ed eral A v iatio n A gency

Airport traffic controllers using radar and radio to guide
airplanes near airport.
W h e re E m p lo y e d

More than 12,300 air traffic controllers were
employed by the FAA in mid-1961. Of these,
about 5,600 airport traffic controllers were em­
ployed at airport control towers located at air­
fields with heavy traffic. A few of these jobs
are located at a small number of towers and
centers outside the continental United States.
About 6,700 air-route traffic controllers worked
in the 36 control centers scattered throughout
the United States.
Q u a lific a tio n s , T ra in in g , a n d A d v a n c e m e n t

Applicants for positions as air-route or air­
port traffic controller must be at least 21 years
of age and able to speak clearly and precisely.
They enter the field through the competitive
Federal Civil Service system after passing a
rigid physical examination. Applicants must
have had from 21/2 to 3 years’ experience in one
or a combination of several fields, such as flight

553

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

communications, radar operations, dispatching,
and commercial flying. Education beyond high
school may be partially substituted for some of
this experience; however, some experience in
air-ground communications is necessary.
Successful applicants for FAA air traffic con­
troller jobs are given 6 to 8 weeks of formal
training at the FAA aeronautical center in
Oklahoma City, to learn the fundamentals of
air traffic control. After completing this train­
ing, they qualify for a basic air traffic control
certificate. They are then assigned to an FAA
control tower or center for additional classroom
instruction and receive on-the-job training to
become familiar with specific traffic problems.
After about 6 months, they generally qualify
as assistant controllers and receive additional
training. After they successfully complete this
training which takes a minimum of 1 year, they
are eligible for jobs as airport or air-route traf­
fic controllers. All controllers must pass a rigid
physical examination every year.
Controllers can advance to the job of chief
controller. After this promotion, they may ad­
vance to more responsible management jobs in
air traffic control and to a few top administra­
tive jobs in the FAA.
Employment Outlook

The employment of air traffic controllers is
expected to grow rapidly during the 1960’s. Ad­
ditional controllers will be employed to work in
airport towers that will be built to reduce the
burden on existing facilities and to handle the
increasing airline traffic. More controllers will
also be needed to provide services to the growing
number of pilots outside of the airlines, such as
those employed by companies to fly their execu­
tives. There will be additional opportunities to
enter this field because many air traffic con­
trollers leave for other jobs. The FAA estimates
that there will be approximately 1,100 job
openings each year between 1962 and 1966 for
young men who want to become air traffic con­
trollers.
Competition for jobs as air traffic controllers
will continue to be great. For example, the U.S.

Civil Service
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/ Commission reports that there
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

were approximately 1,000 to 2,000 qualified ap­
plicants for such jobs in 1960 in each of the four
Federal Aviation Agency regions in the United
States (exclusive of Hawaii and Alaska). By
contrast, in that same year, only about 1,200
men began their careers as air traffic controllers.
To help the controller perform the routine
functions of his job, the FAA is installing
modern electronic equipment, such as computers,
in many air traffic control centers and airports.
Despite such improvements in air traffic control
equipment, there will be many opportunities
to get jobs as traffic control specialists.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The monthly salary for air traffic controllers
during their first 6 to 12 months of training
was about $400 in early 1961. After this train­
ing period, they receive about $490 monthly
during their first year as an assistant air traffic
controller. Air-route traffic controllers earn
$580 to $700 a month depending on the type
of work they do. Airport traffic controllers earn
between $535 and $910 a month depending on
the amount of traffic handled at their station
and how long they have been on the job. In
addition, all traffic controllers receive automatic
wage increases every 12 or 18 months, depending
upon their job grade. In areas that handle
extremely large volumes of air traffic, a chief
controller may earn from $1,100 to $1,200 a
month. These employees receive the same an­
nual, sick leave, and other benefits as other
Federal workers.
FAA controllers work a basic 40-hour week;
however, they may work overtime, for which
they receive equivalent time off or additional
pay. Because control towers and centers must
be operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, con­
trollers are periodically assigned to night shifts
on a rotating basis. However, an additional
10 percent 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 is re­
sponsible for directing as many as 10 to 20 or
more aircraft at the same time. He must simul­
taneously check flights already under his con­

554

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

trol, know the flight schedules of planes ap­
proaching his area, and coordinate these pat­
terns with other controllers as each flight passes
from his control area to another.

(See introductory section for Where To Go
for More Information and for general informa­
tion on supplementary benefits and working
conditions.)

Ground Radio Operators and Teletypists
(D.O.T. 0-61.33 and 1-37.33)

Nature of Work

Ground radio operators and teletypists
transmit highly important messages concern­
ing weather conditions and other flight infor­
mation between ground station personnel or be­
tween ground station personnel and flight per­
sonnel. Radio operators use a radio-telephone
to send and receive spoken messages; some op­
erators may use a radio-telegraph to transmit
written messages. Radio operators occasional­
ly may make minor repairs on their equipment.
Teletypists transmit only written messages be­
tween ground personnel. They operate a tele­
type machine which has a keyboard similar to
that of a typewriter.
Flight service station specialists employed
by the Federal Aviation Agency (FA A ) do
work that is similar to that of airline ground
radio operators and teletypists. They use radio­
telephones, radio-telegraph, and teletype ma­
chines in their work. In addition to providing
pilots with weather and navigational informa­
tion before and during flights, these workers
relay messages from air traffic control facil­
ities to other ground station personnel, and to
pilots.
Where Employed

More than 8,000 ground radio operators and
teletypists were employed in air transportation
in late 1960. Flight service station specialists
employed by the FAA made up about half of
these employees. The scheduled airlines em­
ployed about 3,200 radio operators and tele­
typists. An additional 400 were employed by
a cooperative organization which offers the
airlines, private pilots, and corporation air­
craft its services over a centralized communi­
cations system. A few hundred were em­

ployed by the Army and Navy.


FAA flight service station specialists 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 air­
ports in or near large cities.
Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

Applicants for airline radio operator jobs
must usually have at least a third-class Feder­
al Communications Commission radio-telephone
or radio-telegraph operator's permit, a high
school education, a good speaking voice, the
ability to type at least 40 words a minute, and a
basic knowledge of the language used in weath­
er reports. Teletypists must be able to type at
least 40 words a minute and have had training
or experience in operating teletype equipment.
Applicants for jobs as radio operators and tele­
typists must also have a knowledge of standard
codes and symbols used in communications.
To qualify for entry positions as FAA flight
service station specialists, applicants must be
at least 18 years old and have from 2 1/2 to 3
years' experience in some phase of air commu­
nications, traffic control, or flying. Permanent
appointments are made on the basis of Federal
civil service examinations.
The airlines usually employ women as tele­
typists, and an increasing number are being
hired as radio operators. Both airline radio
operators and teletypists and FAA flight serv­
ice station specialists serve probationary peri­
ods, during which time they receive on-the-job
training. Skill gained in communications is
helpful experience for transferring into such
higher paying jobs as airline dispatchers or
meteorologists.

AIR TRANSPORTATION OCCUPATIONS

Employment Outlook

There will be several hundred opportunities
each year during the 1960’s for new workers
to get entry jobs as radio operators or tele­
typists, even though the overall employment of
these workers may decline somewhat. These
openings will arise as workers transfer to other
fields of work, retire, or die.
The number of flight service station special­
ists employed by the FAA is expected to re­
main about the same during the 1960’s, but the
number of radio operators and teletypists em­
ployed by airlines probably will decrease. Com­
munications systems are becoming more auto­
matic and centralized, and the number of air­
craft equipped with radios, which allow direct
communication between pilots and traffic con­
trollers are increasing. However, employment
of flight service station specialists by the FAA
is not expected to decline, as more of these em­

555
ployees will be needed to perform more services
for pilots.
Earnings and Working Conditions

The beginning salary for airline radio oper­
ators who held the minimum third-class permit
generally was about $400 a month in late 1960.
Workers who held a second-class license gener­
ally received $10 or $15 more a month. Begin­
ning FAA flight service station specialists re­
ceived between $360 and $440 a month, de­
pending on the amount of traffic for which
they are responsible; experienced communica­
tors earned up to $660 a month.
Radio operators and teletypists in a number
of airlines are unionized. The major union in
these fields is the Communications Workers of
America.
(See introductory section for Where To Go
for More Information and for general informa­
tion on supplementary benefits and working
conditions.)

Traffic Agents and Clerks
(D.O.T. 1-44.12, .27, and .32)

Nature of 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 work­
ers includes ticket or reservation agents and
clerks, operations or station agents, and traffic
representatives.
Reservation agents and clerks give custom­
ers flight schedule and fare information over
the telephone. They record reservations as
they are made and report the reservations by
teletype machine to clerks in other cities so
that the same space will not be sold twice.
They also receive teletype messages informing
them of the sale of space. Ticket agents sell
tickets and fill out ticket forms including such
information as the flight number and the pas­
senger’s name and destination. They also
check and weigh baggage, answer inquiries
about flight schedules and fares, and keep rec­
ords of tickets sold. Traffic representatives
contact potential customers in order to pro­

mote greater
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/ use of the airlines’ services.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Operations or station agents are responsible
for the ground handling of airplanes at their
stations. They supervise the loading and un­
loading of the aircraft and sometimes do this
work themselves. They see that the weight car­
ried by the planes is distributed properly, com­
pute gas loads and the weight carried by the
plane, prepare a list of the cargo, and keep rec­
ords of the number of passengers carried.
They may also make arrival and departure an­
nouncements and prepare the weather forms
that pilots use when they plan their routes.
Where Employed

Nearly 30,000 men and women were em­
ployed as traffic agents and clerks by the
scheduled airlines in late 1960. Some were also
employed by the supplemental airlines.
Traffic staffs are employed principally in
downtown offices and at airports in or near
large cities where most airline passenger and
cargo business originates. Some are employed
in smaller communities where airlines have
scheduled stops.

556

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

able to transfer to better paying jobs with trav­
el agencies or to the traffic departments of big
corporations.
Employment Outlook

Ticket agent weighing passenger’s baggage prior to
flight.

Qualifications, Training, and Advancement

Traffic agents and clerks must deal directly
with the public, either in person or by tele­
phone. For this reason, airlines have strict
hiring standards with respect to appearance,
personality, and education. A good speaking
voice is essential because these employees fre­
quently use the telephone or public address
systems. High school graduation generally is
required, and college training is considered de­
sirable. Experience with freight, passenger, or
express traffic in other branches of transpor­
tation is also desirable.
College courses in air transportation, such as
traffic and fare analysis and aviation manage­
ment, as well as experience in other areas of
air transportation, are helpful for higher grade
jobs. Both men and women are employed as
reservation and ticket agents; however, most
operations agents are men.
Traffic agents may advance to positions as
traffic representative and supervisor. A few
may eventually move up to jobs as city and dis­
trict traffic and station manager. Some are




There will be many thousands of opportuni­
ties for new workers to get jobs as traffic
agents and clerks in the 1960’s, mainly because
of high turnover. Total employment in these
jobs is expected to increase only slightly. Air­
lines will be able to handle the anticipated
large expansion of air traffic expected in the
1960-70 decade with only a slight increase in
traffic personnel, because of the increased use
of electronic equipment to process informa­
tion. Most of the major airlines are installing
new machines to record and process reserva­
tions, keep records, and perform a variety of
other routine tasks. The job of reservation
clerk, in particular, will be affected by this
mechanization. The employment of ticket
agents, however, whose main job involves per­
sonal contacts, will not be affected very much,
although their paper work will be reduced con­
siderably. In addition, improved equipment
for the handling of baggage and freight will
tend to reduce the need for workers in these
jobs. The small group of traffic representatives
probably will increase substantially as the air­
lines compete for new business.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Beginning salaries of reservations and ticket
agents ranged from $330 to $375 a month in
late 1960. Station and operations agents
started at about $350 a month.
Many reservation and transportation agents
belong to labor unions. Most of the organized
agents belong to the Transport Workers Union
of America or the Brotherhood of Railway and
Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express
and Station Employes. The Air Line Agents
Association also represents some of these
workers.
(See introductory section for Where To Go
for More Information and for general informa­
tion on supplementary benefits and working
conditions.)

OCCUPATIONS IN THE APPAREL INDUSTRY
Well over a million men and women are em­
ployed in the factories which make cloth­
ing for the Nation’s population. This industry
annually produces about $70 worth of cloth­
ing for every man, woman, and child.
The apparel industry is an important field of
employment for people with a wide range of
skills and interests. Some of the jobs in this
industry can be learned in a few weeks; others
can be filled only by persons who have had sev­
eral years of experience or training.
Four out of five garment workers are women,
making this industry the Nation’s largest em­
ployer of women in manufacturing. Women
work mainly as sewing machine operators.
Many others also work in jobs as trimmers and
basters as well as in office occupations. Men
usually predominate in such jobs as cutters,
markers, and pressers.
Many thousands of job openings in this in­
dustry are expected each year during the
1960’s. Most of the opportunities will be for
sewing machine operators.
Nature and Location of the Industry

Of the more than 1,210,000 men and women
employed in the apparel industry in 1960,
about 538,000 make women’s and children’s
garments, such as suits, dresses, skirts, blouses,
and undergarments. Approximately 450,000 of
the apparel industry’s workers produce men’s
and boys’ suits, coats, shirts, slacks, work
clothes, undergarments, and other men’s and
boys’ clothing and furnishings. Hats for men,
women, and children are made by over 18,000
workers, and fur garments by about 9,000 em­
ployees. Over 60,000 workers produce accesso­
ries such as gloves, belts, handkerchiefs, robes,
and raincoats. About 135,000 workers in this
broad industry make other fabricated textile
products, including curtains, draperies, tents,
and awnings.



Apparel factories are small; only a handful
of them employ more than a thousand people.
The great majority of the 31,000 apparel estab­
lishments in the United States employ less than
100 workers each. Plants which manufacture
garments that are subject to rapid style
changes tend to be smaller than plants which
make standardized garments having little or
no style change.
The New York metropolitan area is the cen­
ter of the Nation’s apparel industry. Nearly
half of all garment plants and nearly a third
of the industry’s workers are located in this
area. The rest of the workers are employed in
many cities throughout the United States;
none of these other cities, however, has more
than 5 percent of the workers. The major cen­
ters of the men’s tailored clothing industry are
New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore,
Rochester, Boston, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.
Jobs for workers who manufacture women’s
dresses, coats, and suits are concentrated in
New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Boston,
Chicago, and St. Louis. Dallas and Miami are
two manufacturing centers which have grown
rapidly in the last 15 years as a result of the
trend toward highly styled garments especial­
ly designed for resort wear. Plants making
underwear, children’s apparel, and work shirts
are found in many Southern States including
Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia,
and South Carolina.
Occupations in the Industry

The major operations in making apparel are:
Designing the garment, cutting the cloth, sew­
ing the pieces together, and pressing the assem­
bled garment. Generally, high-grade clothing
and style-oriented garments involve more
handwork and fewer machine operations than
cheaper and more standardized garments. For
example, making men’s high quality suits re­
557

558
quires a great amount of hand tailoring and
pressing. Similarly, much hand detailing goes
into a high-priced woman’s fashionable cock­
tail dress. In contrast, standardized garments,
such as men’s undershirts, overalls, and work
shirts are usually sewn entirely by machine.
To make the many different types, styles, and
grades of garments, workers with various
skills and educational backgrounds are em­
ployed in the apparel industry.
Designing Room Occupations. Typically, the
manufacturing process begins with the de­
signer (D.O.T. 0-46.01) who creates original
designs for new types and styles of apparel. He
may get ideas for designs by visiting museums,
libraries, and major fashion centers in both
the United States and Europe. He makes
sketches of his designs and presents them to
the management and sales staff for approval.
The sketches include information about type
of fabric, trimming, and color. The designer
makes an experimental garment in muslin
from approved sketches. He cuts, pins, sews,
and adjusts the muslin on a tjlress form or on a
live model until the garment matches his
sketch. In large manufacturing plants, a
sample stitcher (D.O.T. 4-26.202) or skilled
all-round tailor (D.O.T. 4-26.201) prepares
these sample garments by following the design­
er’s sketch.
Since designing is a creative job, designers
usually work on their own as long as they pro­
duce a satisfactory number of successful styles
during a season. A large garment manufactur­
er generally has one designer and several assist­
ants who often have specialized designing re­
sponsibilities of their own. Most small plants
and plants making standardized garments do
not employ designers but purchase readymade
designs or patterns.
When the sample garment has been approved,
it is sent to a patternmaker (D.O.T. 4-27.432)
who constructs a full-size master pattern.
Working closely with the designer, the pattern­
maker translates the sketch or sample garment
into paper or fiberboard pattern pieces to be
used as guides for cutting fabric. In drawing
and cutting pattern pieces, the patternmaker
must make allowances for pleats, tucks, yokes,



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

seams, and shrinkage. In some shops, designers
or all-round tailors make patterns, whereas in
other shops the assistant designer performs the
patternmaking tasks.
The master pattern serves as a guide for the
pattern grader (D.O.T. 4-27.431) who makes
a wide range of sizes in each garment style.
In a sense, the pattern grader is a specialized
draftsman. He measures the pieces that make
up the master pattern and modifies them to fit
all sizes. The pattern grader then draws an
outline of 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 attaches a la­
bel to identify the part and size of the garment.
Cutting Room Occupations. Workers in the
cutting room prepare cloth for sewing into ar­
ticles of wearing apparel. There are six basic
operations in the cutting department: mark­
ing, spreading, cutting, assembling, and ticket­
ing. In small shops, two or more of these op­
erations may be combined into a single job.
Most jobs in the cutting room are held by men.
In most plants, markers (D.O.T. 6-27.011)
trace the fiberboard pattern pieces on large
sheets of paper, making several carbon copies
of these tracings at the same time. In plants

Marker arranging pattern pieces on cloth to guide
cutter.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE APPAREL INDUSTRY

which make men’s and boys’ suits and coats,
the pattern pieces are traced with chalk di­
rectly on the cloth itself, rather than on paper.
In order to get the greatest number of cuttings
from a given quantity of cloth, markers ar­
range pattern pieces so that there is just
enough distance between them for the cutter
to work. Figured materials must be marked in
such a way that adjoining garment parts will
match when the garment is assembled.
The fabric that has been selected by the de­
signer to use with a particular garment style
is laid out on long tables by spreaders. Hand
spreaders (D.O.T. 6-27.016) lay out bolts of
cloth by hand, neatly piling the layers into
exact lengths on the cutting table. In large
plants, machine spreaders (D.O.T. 6-27.015)
do this work, using a machine which lays the
cloth by traveling back and forth over the
table.
The job of a cutter (D.O.T. 6-27.054) is to
cut 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 layers at once.

Cutter using machine to cut garment parts from marked
cloth.




559
Sometimes layers of cloth are as high as 9
inches. The work of a cutter and a marker is
frequently combined into the single job of
cutter-marker.
Other types of cutters are employed in shops
making high-quality garments. Hand cutters
or shapers (D.O.T. 4-27.043) trim and cut the
pieces for these garments to make them con­
form exactly to the original pattern. Some­
times cutters sit in sewing rooms so that they
can trim and shape garments as they advance
through sewing operations; for example, they
may trim excess canvas around armholes of a
suit.
The pieces of cloth that have been cut out
are prepared for the sewing room by another
group of specialized workers. Assemblers,
sometimes called bundlers, (D.O.T. 6-27.137)
bring together and bundle garment pieces and
accessories (linings, tapes, and trimmings)
needed to make a complete garment. They sort
the pieces by matching color, size, and fabric
design. In addition, assemblers may mark lo­
cations for pockets, buttonholes, buttons, and
other trimmings with chalk or thread. They
identify each bundle with a ticket. The ticket
is also used for figuring the earnings of work­
ers who are paid on the basis of the number
of pieces they produce. The bundles are then
routed to the various sections of the sewing
room.
Setving Room Occupations. Nearly three out of
four clothing workers are in some kind of sew­
ing job. Most of the employees in these jobs
are women. Sewers stitch the garment cuttings
together either by machine or by hand. The
quality and style of the finished garment usually
determine how much handwork is involved. Gen­
erally, higher priced clothing, such as suits
and coats, require more handwork than do
standardized garments. In the average plant,
however, the work is broken down into a large
number of machine operations with some hand­
work when the garment nears completion.
Sewing machine operators (D.O.T. 6-27.530
through .589) use power-driven sewing ma­
chines which are generally used to stitch ma­
terial together. These machines are usually
heavier and .capable of faster speeds than the

560

Sewing machine operators are the largest group of
workers in the apparel industry.

sewing machines found in the home. Special
devices or attachments that hold buttons, guide
stitches, or fold seams are often used to aid
sewing operations. Some sewing machine oper­
ators specialize in a single operation such as
sewing shoulder seams, attaching cuffs to
sleeves, or hemming blouses. Others make gar­
ment sections such as pockets, collars, or sleeves.
Still others assemble these completed sections
and join them to the main parts of the garment.
Some sewing machine operators are classified
according to the type of machine they use, such
as single-needle sewing machine operator or
blind-stitch machine operator. Others are
known by the type of work performed, such as
collar stitcher, sleeve finisher, or cuff tacker.
(Further discussion of Sewing Machine Opera­
tors is included elsewhere in this Handbook. See
index for page numbers.)
Hand sewing is done on better quality or
highly styled dresses, suits, or coats to produce
garments which are superior in fit and drape.
Hand sewers (D.O.T. 4-27.070 through .119, 6 27.071, .074, .075, .082, and .098) use needle
and thread to perform various operations rang­
ing from simple sewing to complex stitching.
Many hand sewers specialize in a single opera­
tion such as buttonhole making, lapel basting,
or lining stitching.



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

In a typical garment factory, bundles of cut
garment pieces move through the sewing depart­
ment where the garments take form as they pass
through a series of sewing operations. Each
operator performs one or two assigned tasks
on each piece in the bundle and then passes
the bundle to the next operator. Some plants
employ work distributors (D.O.T. 9-88.40),
often called floor boys or floor girls, who move
garment pieces from one sewing operation to
another.
At various stages of the sewing operations,
inspectors (D.O.T. 4-27.121) and checkers
(D.O.T. 6-27.120, .121, .125, and .126) examine
garments for proper workmanship. They mark
such defects as skipped stitches or bad seams,
which are repaired before passing the garments
on to the next sewing operation. Inspectors
sometimes make minor repairs. Thread trim­
mers and cleaners (D.O.T. 6-27.122) remove
loose threads, basting stitches, and lint from
garments.
Tailoring Occupations. Tailors (D.O.T. 4 26.101 and .201) and dressmakers (D.O.T.
4-25.025 and .030) are skilled hand and ma­
chine sewers who are able to perform all
or most of the sewing operations needed to
make a garment. These skilled workers are
usually employed in shops which specialize in

making better quality or styled dresses, suits,
and coats. Because their duties vary widely
from shop to shop and from one type of gar­
ment to another, some tailors and dressmakers
are more highly skilled than others.
All-round tailors and dressmakers are able
to make a garment from start to finish by hand
or by machine. Some skilled tailors who are
employed in plants making men’s, women’s, and
children’s outer garments may make up sample
garments from the designer’s specifications. In
other plants, they may also perform the duties
of designer and patternmaker.
Head tailors are often known as “ quality
men.” They supervise all-round tailors and the
machine sewers to make certain that standards
of workmanship set by the shop are met and
that garment parts which have imperfections
are returned to the operator for correction.
Bushelmen, or alteration tailors, repair de­

OCCUPATIONS IN THE APPAREL INDUSTRY

fects 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 neces­
sary to correct defects.
Shop tailors perform specialized hand or ma­
chine sewing tasks required for making many
types of high quality garments. They may set
in sleeves by machine, hand-sew canvas linings
in suits and coats, stitch shoulder padding, or
baste collars to coat bodies. Shop tailors are
usually known by the type of work they do;
for example, there are coat basters, or sleeve
tailors. Although the work of shop tailors is
generally limited to one or two operations, some
of them can do all-round tailoring because of
their training and experience. In some plants,
a skilled tailor may be responsible also for a
thorough final inspection of garments.
Pressing Occupations. The shape and appear­
ance of the finished garment 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 dur­
ing the sewing of suits, coats, and better quality

Pressers using hand irons to press seams and hems in
dresses.




561
dresses, seams are pressed open in order to pro­
duce a better fitting and neater garment and
to make it easier to assemble the garment. In
the manufacture of lighter weight garments, on
the other hand, pressing is done only after com­
pletion of all the sewing operations.
Pressers (D.O.T. 7-57.501, .510, and .511) use
various types of steam pressing machines or
hand irons to flatten seams and to shape gar­
ment parts and finished garments. Pressers
may specialize in one type of pressing or ironing.
For example, in a shirt factory, a collar pointer
(D.O.T. 6-27.211) operates a pressing machine
which shapes and presses points of shirt collars;
in a necktie plant, a roller presser (D.O.T. 6 27.218) feeds neckties between heated rollers
of a roller press.
There are two basic types of pressers— underpressers and finish pressers. Underpressers spe­
cialize on particular garment parts, such as
collars, shoulders, seams, or pockets. Their
duties vary from simple smoothing of cloth and
flattening of seams to skillful shaping of gar­
ment parts. Finish pressers generally do final
pressing and ironing at the end of the sewing
operations. Their duties vary from operating
a machine which presses a dozen folded shirts
at a time to hand pressing delicate ruffles on
an evening gown.
Fur Shop Occupations. The apparel industry
includes plants which manufacture garments
made of fur. Because furs are expensive ma­
terials and difficult to work with, each opera­
tion in making a fur garment requires skilled
handwork by an experienced craftsman. Al­
though fur shops employ only about 9,000 work­
ers altogether, a large proportion of these work­
ers have special skills which are not found in
plants that make other types of apparel.
The most skilled job in a fur garment manu­
facturing plant is that of a cutter who some­
times is also the foreman in the shop. A fur
cutter (D.O.T. 4-21.210) 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
cutter, fur machine operators (D.O.T. 6-21.110)

562
stitch these pelts together to form the major
garment sections. A fur nailer (D.O.T. 6-21.
210) wets the sewn garment sections, stretches
them by hand, and nails them on a board so
that they will cover the pattern. When the sec­
tions are dry, the nailer removes the nails and
trims the fur exactly along the outline of the
pattern. The fur machine operator then finishes
sewing the various sections together to make
the complete garment. Fur finishers (D.O.T.
4-21.110) sew in the lining, tape edges, make
pockets, and sew on buttons and loops.
Office, Sales, and Related Occupations. The
majority of the administrative positions in an
apparel plant are in the production department.
The production manager and his assistants plan
the flow of work, make up the work specifica­
tions, and supervise all the operations that are
used to make a finished garment.
Clerks, bookkeepers, stenographers, and other
office workers make up payrolls, prepare in­
voices, keep records, and attend to other paper­
work required in this industry. Salesmen, pur­
chasing agents, models, credit managers, and
accountants are among other types of workers
in the apparel industry. (Discussions of many
of these jobs can be found elsewhere in this
Handbook. See index for page numbers.)
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Training requirements for production (plant)
jobs in the apparel industry range from a few
days of on-the-job training to several years 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 and the worker's aptitude.
Most plant workers pick up their skills while
working as helpers or assistants to experienced
workers. Apprenticeship is infrequent and is
limited mainly to designing, cutting, or tailor­
ing jobs. Some private and public schools in
garment manufacturing centers offer instruc­
tion in occupations such as designing, pattern­
making, and cutting as well as machine and
hand sewing.
Physical requirements for most production

jobs in
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/ the apparel industry are not high, but
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

good eyesight and manual dexterity are essen­
tial. Many occupations are well suited for handi­
capped workers since the majority of the jobs
are performed while seated and require little
physical exertion. Older workers and women
workers also perform well in a variety of jobs.
Many workers in their fifties and sixties are
among the industry's most skilled and produc­
tive workers. Women are employed in most of
the occupations in this industry, although men
hold most of the cutting, tailoring, and pressing
jobs.
Designers enter the industry in various ways.
Many designers receive their training by work­
ing on the job with experienced designers, by
advancing from cutting or patternmaking jobs,
or through apprenticeship. Some designers have
worked in related fields such as designing tex­
tiles; others have attended schools or colleges
which 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, in­
cluding a talent for sketching; a thorough
knowledge of fabrics and a keen sense of color;
as well as the ability to translate design ideas
into a finished garment. He should also be ac­
quainted with garmentmaking techniques so
that he can make, or supervise others in the
making of, sample garments.
Most patternmakers pick up the skills of the
trade by working for several years as helpers
to experienced patternmakers. Pattern graders
and cutters are occasionally promoted to patternmaking jobs. Patternmakers must have the
ability to visualize from a sketch or model fur­
nished by the designer the size, shape, and num­
ber 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 fabrics.
Pattern graders are usually selected from em­
ployees working in the cutting room or in other
plant jobs. Training in drafting is helpful since

OCCUPATIONS IN THE APPAREL INDUSTRY

much of the work requires the use of drafting
tools and techniques.
Most workers enter the cutting room by tak­
ing jobs as assemblers, or bundlers. Patience and
the ability to match colors and patterns are
necessary qualifications for these jobs. Assem­
blers, or bundlers, may sometimes be promoted
to such jobs as spreaders. Several years of ex­
perience 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 include training in spreading,
cutting, marking, and patternmaking.
Entry into beginning hand- or machine-sew­
ing jobs is relatively easy since there are few
restrictions regarding education, physical condi­
tion, age, or sex, though women hold most sew­
ing room jobs. Some previous training in sew­
ing operations is preferred, but most apparel
plants hire workers who have had no experience
in sewing. Training is generally informal and
received on the job. As a rule, inexperienced
workers start by sewing rags in order to get
used to operating a sewing machine. After about
a week, they are assigned to a simple sewing
task in the sewing room under the supervision
of a section foreman or experienced coworker.
Most sewing jobs require the ability to do
routine work rapidly. The same sewing opera­
tion is repeated 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 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 sewer has little opportunity for
promotion beyond section foreman although
some sewers have worked their way up to the job
of production manager. Most sewers stay on the
same general type of operation throughout most
of their working lives. Promotion is largely
from beginning sewing jobs to more skilled and
better paid sewing jobs in the same field.
Some tailors enter the trade through appren­
ticeship programs, but most of them become
tailors by first acquiring experience in less
Digitizedskilled operations. The skills of the trade are
for FRASER
usually learned by working beside experienced


563
tailors. Training time varies from the few
months required to become a shop tailor to the
many years of experience necessary to become
a head tailor. Generally, men are employed in
tailoring jobs, but more and more women are
entering the field.
Head tailors and all-round tailors must be
able to do all the operations involved in making
♦ garment and also be familiar with their firm’s
a
quality standards. Much more training is needed
by these tailors than by the bushelman whose
work is restricted to the correction of defects,
or by the shop tailors, who are limited to one
or two sewing operations.
The head tailor is considered to be the top
craftsman since he must have the most skill and
experience. A possible path of promotion is from
bushelman to all-round tailor to head tailor. In
some cases, all-round tailors with artistic ability
.may advance to assistant designer or designer.
Supervisory jobs in apparel plants are often
filled by workers who were once all-round tai­
lors. Promotion for shop tailors is limited be­
cause of the specialized nature of their job,
although some may have an opportunity to be­
come section foremen or bushelmen. Some
tailors open their own tailoring shops since
the amount of capital needed for such a busi­
ness is low. Highly skilled tailors and dress­
makers may qualify for jobs as fitter or altera­
tion tailor in department stores, clothing stores,
cleaning and dyeing shops, or custom tailoring
shops.
Pressers usually begin as underpressers work­
ing 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 pro­
moted to the job of finish presser. Pressing, like
tailoring, is one of the few needle 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.
Employment Outlook

The apparel industry will offer many thou­
sands of job opportunities for new workers each

564
year in the 1960’s. Although total employment
in the industry is expected to increase only
moderately above the 1.2 million employed in
1960, a considerable number of employment op­
portunities in the needle trades will arise be­
cause of the need to replace workers who retire,
die, or transfer out of this area of work, or to
replace women who leave their jobs to marry,
or have children.
Demand for apparel in the 1960*8 will grow
substantially and will be the major reason for
the rise in employment. The increased need
for apparel will be due mainly to clothe our
rapidly growing population, but other factors
will also be important. For example, the num­
ber of people in their teens and early twenties
will rise greatly in the next decade, and these
are the age groups in which spending for ap­
parel is greatest. The trend toward more work­
ers in clerical, sales, professional, and other
white-collar occupations will increase the de­
mand for apparel since these workers spend
more for apparel than other workers. Increas­
ing numbers of working women, particularly
those in secretarial and other office jobs that
require “ dressing up,” will stimulate apparel
purchases. Men, also, are buying more clothing
that is highly styled because they are becom­
ing more fashion-conscious.
Changing buying habits of consumers, how­
ever, will largely offset the greater demand for
apparel. Despite rising incomes, people have
been spending only a small share of their earn­
ings for apparel. They are spending more on
automobiles, television sets, radios, and similar
products. Also, young couples tend to buy
homes in the suburbs and spend more of their
incomes for household products rather than
apparel.
Taking into consideration all the factors that
affect employment in this industry, it is expected
that the number of workers will increase moder­
ately by 1970. However, most opportunities for
young people to enter the apparel industry will
occur because of the large numbers of people
who will leave the industry. About 80 percent
of needle trades’ employment is made up of
women, and a large number of them leave the
industry each year to marry or to raise families.

Also,
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/ because there are more older workers in
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

this industry than in other industries, many
opportunities will arise for younger workers to
replace those who retire or die.
Most of the opportunities for employment will
be in sewing machine operator jobs because this
is the largest occupational group and because
this group is made up mostly of women. Some
job openings will occur in tailoring occupations
in which a large proportion of the employees are
older workers. There will be a limited number
of new employment opportunities in designing,
patternmaking, and cutting room jobs. These
relatively small occupational fields have little
employment turnover because workers in these
jobs have high earnings and prestige.
The nature of the jobs in this industry will
remain about the same since it is much less
mechanized than most manufacturing indus­
tries. However, some new and improved equip­
ment that is being introduced speeds production
and reduces the physical and skill requirements
of certain jobs. For example, new compressedair pressing machines which require less physi­
cal effort than the older pressing machines make
it possible to employ more women in these jobs.
One development, still in its infancy, may
bring about a change in the manufacture of
clothing and thus affect employment. This is the
production of disposable garments, such as pro­
tective coveralls, made of cheap, felted fabrics
similar to heavy quality paper napkins. If
paper clothing should become widespread, bond­
ing or fusing of seams rather than sewing, would
be the most economical method of manufacture.
Substitution of these methods would reduce the
need for sewing machine operators.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Earnings in the apparel industry as a whole
are well below the general level for all manu­
facturing industries. In 1960, the average
earnings of production workers in this industry
were $55.69 a week or $1.56 an hour, compared
with $90.91 a week or $2.29 an hour for those
in all manufacturing industries. Production
workers in this industry generally worked fewer
hours per week than those in manufacturing
as a whole. Production workers have much
higher earnings in some kinds of garment fac-

OCCUPATIONS IN THE APPAREL INDUSTRY

tories than in others. For example, those mak­
ing women's suits, coats, and skirts averaged
$69.01 a week in 1960, whereas those producing
men's work shirts averaged $42.60 a week.
There is also a wide range of earnings among
the different occupations in the apparel industry
and the States in which garment factories are
located. The following tabulation indicates the
approximate average hourly earnings or the
range of such earnings in selected jobs in three
apparel industries in 1960:
Men’s and boys’ coats and suits

hou^earningl

$2.50
C utters____________________________
Markers __________________________________
2.40
Spreaders ______________________________
1.80
Pressers, machine, finish________________
2.45
Sewing machine operators______________
1.97
Tailors, all-round________________________
2.15

Women’s and misses’ coats and suits

Range of approximate
average hourly earnings
in 10 major garment
centers

Cutters and markers__________________ $2.25-$3.55
Pressers, machine _____________________
2.35- 4.35
Sewers, hand___________________________
1.55- 2.50
Sewing machine operators____________
1.55- 2.50
Thread trimmers ______________________
1.05- 1.40

Women’s and misses’ dresses
Cutters and markers____
Pressers, hand __________
Sewers, hand_____________
Sewing machine operators
Thread trimmers ________

Range of approximate
average hourly earnings
in 12 major garment
centers

_______ $2.02-$3.21
_______
1.25- 4.26
_______
1.25- 1.85
_______
1.56- 2.58
_______
1.12- 1.39

Because most production workers in this in­
dustry are paid on the basis of the number of
pieces they produce, their total earnings depend
mainly upon speed as well as skill. Sewing ma­
chine operators, hand sewers, and pressers are
generally 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, patternmakers, graders, in­
spectors, and work distributors, are paid by the
hour or week.
Almost all apparel employees work in shops
which have labor-management contracts. New
employees in plants which have these agree­
ments are required to join the union after 30
days of employment. These agreements deal

with such subjects as wages; hours of work;


565
vacation and holiday pay; seniority; health, in­
surance, and pension plans; and other employ­
ment matters. Among the unions to which ap­
parel workers belong are the Amalgamated
Clothing Workers of America (ACW A), Inter­
national Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU), and United Garment Workers of America
(UGW). The ILGWU sponsors vacation resorts
for union members and their families. Both
the ACWA and the ILGWU operate health
centers for garment workers in major producing
areas.
Workers in the apparel industry can expect
to lose very little work time as a result of strikes
or other work stoppages because the industry
has had many years of peaceful labor-manage­
ment relations. However, workers making cer­
tain types of garments may have layoffs of sev­
eral weeks during slack seasons. Generally, such
layoffs occur more often in plants making sea­
sonal garments, such as women’s coats and suits,
than in plants producing standardized gar­
ments, such as pajamas and men's shirts which
are worn all year long. In many plants, the
available work during slack periods is divided
so that workers can be assured of at least some
earnings.
Plants in which garment workers are em­
ployed are generally clean, without the dust,
grease, or noise often found in many other man­
ufacturing plants. Large shops are generally in
modern factory buildings with ample space and
good lighting. Many have cafeterias and health
clinics with a trained nurse on duty. Small ap­
parel plants which are located in older garment
manufacturing centers have much less favor­
able working conditions than modern plants.
Most sewing jobs are performed while sitting
and are not physically strenuous. The working
pace is rapid because workers’ earnings depend
on their production speed. In addition, many
tasks are extremely monotonous. Serious acci­
dents 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 sometimes is done in hot and humid
rooms.
Working conditions in cutting rooms and in
designing rooms are pleasant. Jobs ip these
operations are more interesting and less monot­

566
onous than most other apparel jobs. Moreover,
since accuracy, skill, as well as individual talent
and judgment in these jobs are valued more
than speed, the work pace is less rapid.
Where To Go for More Information

Information relating to vocational and high
schools which offer training in designing, tailor­
ing, and sewing may be obtained from the
Division of Vocational Education of the Depart­
ment of Education in the State capital.
Information concerning apprenticeships may
be obtained from the Apprenticeship Council of
the State Labor Department or the local office
of the U.S. Employment Service. Some local




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Employment Service offices offer training
courses for sewing machine operators. Others
give tests to determine hand-eye coordination.
Information of a general nature may be ob­
tained from the following sources:
Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America,
15 Union Square, New York 3, N .Y.
Clothing Manufacturers Association of U .S.A .,
220 Fifth Ave., New York 1, N .Y.
International Association of Garment
Manufacturers,
347 Fifth Ave., New York 16, N.Y.
International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union,
1710 Broadway, New York 19, N .Y.
United Garment Workers of America,
31 Union Square, New York 3, N .Y.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ATOM IC ENERGY FIELD
The rapid growth in the use of atomic energy
and the continuing development of new applica­
tions will provide many thousands of job op­
portunities for young people in the atomic
energy field in the 1960-70 decade. In 1960,
approximately 200,000 workers had jobs in a
variety of atomic energy activities. Large num­
bers of these workers were employed in research
and development work. Others were engaged in
such activities as the production of nuclear fuels
and the design and manufacture of nuclear re­
actors. Scientists, engineers, technicians, and
craftsmen accounted for a large proportion of
atomic energy workers.

Applications of Atomic Energy

Atomic energy is a tremendous source of heat
and radiation which can be used in many im­
portant ways for both peaceful and military
purposes. A major use of this energy is the pro­
duction of commercial electricity, using nuclear
reactors as the heat source. A nuclear reactor
(see chart 27) can be thought of as an atomic
furnace, although there is no fire and no com­
bustion in the usual sense. Several reactors are
already producing electricity which is being fed
into electric utility lines for public consump­
tion, and many others are being built. Rapid

CHART 27

NUCLEAR REACTOR GENERATING ELECTRICITY




567

568
progress is being made in the development of
portable nuclear power plants to provide elec­
tricity and heat for buildings at remote installa­
tions. Nuclear reactors are being used to power
submarines and shortly will be used to propel
surface ships. Intensive research toward devel­
oping nuclear propulsion systems for missiles,
space vehicles, and some types of ground vehi­
cles is in progress. Reactors which have been
built primarily as radiation rather than heat
sources are used for many kinds of research
and may be used, for example, to initiate chemi­
cal reactions and to produce radioisotopes.
Radioisotopes, once considered only byprod­
ucts of nuclear reactors, have become immensely
valuable as research tools in agriculture, medi­
cine, and industry and for use in industrial in­
spection and control devices. Their value lies
in their unique property of emitting radiation
which can alter materials and which can be de­
tected even in minute quantities by sensitive
instruments.
One important use of radioisotopes is as
tracers. Radioisotopes can be placed in the blood
stream of men and animals, for example, and
their movements traced by instruments. In
medicine, this aids the physician in diagnosing
a patient's illness. Tracers may also be used
to study such diverse processes as the assimila­
tion of fertilizer by plants and the wear on
automobile engine parts.
Radioisotopes are also used as high intensity
radiation sources to kill bacteria, to destroy
cancerous tissue, to sterilize insect pests, and to
develop better strains of plants. They are used
in radiography units (similar to X-ray ma­
chines) to detect flaws in metal castings and
welds. Radioisotope gages are used to measure
and control, automatically, the thickness of
products manufactured in sheet form and the
level of liquids in closed containers.
How Atomic Energy Is Produced

Atomic energy, or more accurately nuclear
energy, may be produced through two processes,
called fission and fusion. In fission, the nucleus
of an atom is split, thereby releasing energy in
the form of heat and radiation. In fusion, energy

is produced by combining the nuclei of two


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

atoms. The detonation of nuclear bombs is an
application of the explosive release of the tre­
mendous energy created through the fission and
fusion processes. Nonweapon applications re­
quire that release of this energy be carefully
controlled and regulated so that it proceeds at
a manageable rate. Scientists have developed
practical methods of controlling the fission re­
action, but have not yet mastered control of the
fusion (or thermonuclear) reaction.
Controlled fission is produced in a nuclear
reactor. The reactor, being a kind of furnace,
needs fuel to operate. The principal source ma­
terial for reactor fuel is natural uranium, which
contains a small percentage of the readily fis­
sionable material, uranium U-235. Although
natural uranium may be used as reactor fuel,
a more concentrated fuel, called “ enriched
uranium," can be made by separating the U-235
atoms from the remaining atoms which are dif­
ficult to fission. U-235 is the only naturally oc­
curring material that undergoes fission readily,
but two manmade fissionable materials (pluto­
nium and uranium U-233) can also be used as
reactor fuel.
Fissionable fuel is placed in the nuclear re­
actor in a particular arrangement with certain
other elements. The fuel will sustain a “ chain
reaction"— the continuous fissioning (or split­
ting) of the nuclei of atoms— resulting in the
release of energy in the form of heat and radia­
tion. When the fissionable atoms in the fuel
split, they release neutrons (so-called “ atomic
bullets") which can be made to split other fis­
sionable atoms. These, in turn, release additional
neutrons which can similarly split more atoms.
This is how the fission process is maintained.
The level of the chain reaction 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 reg­
ulated or stopped completely.
Thus, harnessed atomic energy is produced in
a nuclear reactor in the form of heat and radia­
tion. However, if reactors are to be used for
power, the heat must be removed from the re­
actor and put to work. This is done by con­
verting the heat to electricity through the use
of conventional generating equipment. The

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ATOMIC ENERGY FIELD

major difference between nuclear and conven­
tional electric power stations is that a nuclear
reactor replaces the conventional steam-generat­
ing boiler fueled with coal, gas, or oil.
During the fission process, neutrons and other
forms of nuclear radiation are released. Nuclear
radiation, which is identifiable only by sensitive
instruments, can be ruinous to equipment and
highly dangerous to personnel. Therefore, spe­
cial metals which are resistant to damage by
radiation are used in reactors and great care
is taken to protect personnel; for example, the
nuclear reactor is housed in a special container
and surrounded by shielding materials, such as
concrete, water, and lead, to absorb nuclear
radiation.
A valuable byproduct of reactor operation is
the production of radioisotopes. The major
method of producing radioisotopes is to expose
stable atoms of various elements to the neutrons
emitted from the reactor core. Radioisotopes
can also be produced by bombarding materials
placed in a particle accelerator (also known as
an “ atom smasher” ), a machine which acceler­
ates electrically charged particles to speeds of
thousands of miles per second.
Nature of the Atomic Energy Field

Many different kinds of research and indus­
trial activities are required for the production
and application of nuclear energy. These include
the mining, milling, and refining of uranium
bearing ores; the production of nuclear fuels;
the manufacture of nuclear reactors, reactor
components, and nuclear instruments; the pro­
duction of special materials for use in reactors;
the designing, engineering, and construction of
nuclear facilities; the operation and mainte­
nance of nuclear reactors; the disposal of radio­
active wastes; the processing and packaging of
radioisotopes; the production of nuclear weap­
ons ; and research and development work.
These activities are performed in plants in
many different industries, as well as in labora­
tories and other types of facilities. Much of
this work, such as ore mining and milling, manu­
facture of heat transfer equipment, and con­
struction of facilities, differs little from similar

nonatomic energy work. Other activities, such


569
as manufacture of the fuels needed to run re­
actors, are unique to the atomic energy field.
The Federal Government supports most of the
basic atomic energy activities. The Atomic
Energy Commission (AEC) directs the Federal
Government's atomic energy program and reg­
ulates the use of nuclear materials by private
organizations. Most of the AEC’s work pro­
gram is contracted out to private organiza­
tions, including the operation of Commissionowned facilities. The AEC-owned facilities in­
clude laboratories, uranium processing plants,
nuclear reactors, and weapon manufacturing
plants. More than half of all workers in the
atomic energy field are employed in these facili­
ties. Private firms in their own installations
are engaged in every type of atomic energy ac­
tivity except development and production of
military weapons and certain nuclear fuel proc­
essing 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 AEC-owned
research centers and by university and college
laboratories, other nonprofit institutions, and
industrial organizations under Commission con­
tracts. Additional research in atomic energy is
carried on without financial assistance from the
AEC.
Jobs in the atomic energy field are found in
every State, although employment is most
heavily concentrated in Tennessee, New Mexico,
California, and Ohio.
Occupations in the Atomic Energy Field

Engineers, scientists, technicians, and other
technical personnel (such as designers and tech­
nical writers) accounted for a large proportion
of the approximately 200,000 workers in the
atomic energy field in 1960. There was a higher
proportion of these professional and technical
workers in this field than in most other fields
of work, largely because of the concentration
on research and development in atomic energy
work. Personnel in administrative and profes­
sional (other than engineering and scientific)
occupations and in clerical jobs were other large
groups in 1960. Many highly skilled workers
were also employed. Most of the remaining em­

570

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

ployment consisted of semiskilled and unskilled
workers in production work, and plant protec­
tion and other service workers. The following
tabulation shows the distribution of employ­
ment among major occupational groups as re­
ported in a 1960 Bureau of Labor Statistics’
survey covering about two-thirds of the work­
ers in the atomic energy field:
Number

Total employment _____________ 125,900
Engineers ____________________________
Scientists ______________________________
Administrative and other professional
workers ____________________________
Clerical and other officeworkers______
Technicians and other technical
workers ____________________________
Skilled workers ______________________
All others ____________________________

Percent

100.0

15,100
9,500

12.0
7.5

12,400
18,500

9.9
14.7

18,400
23,900
28,100

14.6
19.0
22.3

Although some engineers in the atomic energy
field are highly trained in nuclear technology,
engineers in all major engineering fields are
employed. Mechanical engineer is probably the
largest single job specialty, but large numbers
of electrical, chemical, nuclear reactor, civil, and
metallurgical engineers are also employed. Many
of these engineers do research and development
work, whereas others are engaged in designing
nuclear reactors, nuclear instruments, and
other equipment used in the atomic energy field,
and in the supervision of construction activities
or the operation of production plants.
Mainly because of the emphasis given to basic
and applied nuclear research, a large number of
scientists are employed by research laboratories
and other organizations engaged in atomic
energy work. Physicists and chemists predomi­
nate, but nearly all types of scientists are em­
ployed, including many mathematicians, metal­
lurgists, biological scientists, and health physi­
cists.
Among the large number of technicians who
are employed in the atomic energy field to assist
engineers and scientists in research and develop­
ment work and in the designing and testing of
equipment and materials are draftsmen; elec­
tronic, instrument, chemical, and other engi­
neering and physical science technicians; and
radiation monitors.
Many highly skilled workers are employed in

the atomic energy field because of such factors


as the need to fabricate special parts and equip­
ment for use in experimental and pilot work
and the need for large maintenance forces to
care for the considerable amount of complex
equipment and machinery. Machinery repair­
men and millwrights, who maintain and repair
machinery and other mechanical equipment, and
all-round machinists are employed extensively
in most atomic energy activities. A large num­
ber of chemical operators, who operate chemi­
cal-processing equipment, are employed in the
production of defense materials and reactor fuel
materials. In addition, many other skilled work­
ers are employed, such as electricians, carpen­
ters, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters in
construction and maintenance activities; weld­
ers and sheet-metal workers to fabricate reactor
components and other equipment; and instru­
ment repairmen to install and repair electronic
and other instruments. The following tabulation
shows the employment of skilled workers by
occupation, as reported in the 1960 survey men­
tioned previously:
Number

Skilled workers, total____________________

23,900

Machinery repairmen andmillwrights__________
Chemical operators______________________________
All-round machinists ___________________________
Electricians _____________________________________
Plumbers, pipefitters, andsteamfitters__________
W elders__________________________________________
Instrument repairmen __________________________
Carpenters ______________________________________
Sheet-metal workers____________________________
Instrument m akers______________________________
Tool and die makers_____________________________
Other skilled workers___________________________

3,640
3,230
3,070
2,260
1,460
1,320
1,270
720
650
540
500
5,240

The following is a brief description of the
types of workers employed in some important
atomic energy activities. In several of these
activities, such as mining, the percentage dis­
tribution of employment by occupation is simi­
lar to that in comparable nonatomic work.
Uranium Mining. The 4,100 workers employed
in nearly 1,000 uranium mines in 1960 had jobs
similar to those in the mining of other metallic
ores. Their jobs were largely concentrated in the
Colorado Plateau area of the Far West, in the
States of New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Wyo­
ming, and Arizona. A relatively few mines ac­

571

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ATOMIC ENERGY FIELD

counted for the bulk of production and employ­
ment. Most workers in uranium mines were in
production jobs, such as miners and drillers in
underground mines, and truckdrivers, bulldozer
operators, and machine loaders in open pit mines.
A small proportion of the employees in uranium
mining were in professional jobs, such as mining
engineer and geologist.
Uranium Ore Milling. In uranium mills, metal­
lurgical and chemical processes are used to ex­
tract uranium from the mined ore. The basic
steps included are ore preparation (primarily
crushing and grinding), leaching to extract the
uranium, and product recovery— operations
similar to those used in the milling of other
metallic ores. There are 25 uranium mills, most
of which are located on the Colorado Plateau.
They employed 3,400 workers in 1960, distrib­
uted among major occupational groups in the
following proportions:

souri, and Illinois. In 1960, nearly 12,000 work­
ers were employed in these plants, distributed
among major occupational groups in the follow­
ing proportions:
Percent

Total employment __________________________

100

Engineers and scientists___________________________
Administrative and other professional workers___
Clerical and other office workers___________________
Technicians and other technical workers__________
Skilled workers_____________________________________
Other workers______________________________________

10
13
13
7
36
21

Among skilled workers, the largest single oc­
cupation was chemical operator in processing
operations. Maintenance workers, particularly
in the highly automatic uranium enriching
plants, accounted for a large proportion of the
skilled workers. Chemical engineers and chem­
ists accounted for half of the engineers and
scientists at these plants. Many of the techni­
cians worked in chemical analytical laboratories
associated with production processes.

Percent

Total employed______________________________

100

Engineers and scientists___________________________
Administrative and other professional workers___
Clerical and other office workers___________________
Technicians and other technical workers__________
Skilled workers_____________________________________
Other workers______________________________________

6
9
8
7
27
43

More than a third of the skilled workers were
machinery repairmen and millwrights, and
nearly 20 percent were chemical operators.
Chemists, metallurgists, and metallurgical en­
gineers accounted for over half of the engineers
and scientists employed in the uranium mills.
Uranium Refining and Enriching. There are
three uranium refining plants, in which milled
uranium is chemically processed to remove im­
purities and then coverted to metal or inter­
mediate chemical products for reactor fuel prep­
aration. Conventional chemical and metallurgi­
cal processes are used, but they must meet more
exacting standards than in most other indus­
tries. The output of the refining plants may
be further processed to obtain enriched urani­
um. Enriched uranium, used as the fuel for
most reactors, is produced in three huge plants.
The uranium refining and enriching plants

are located in
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/ Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mis­
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Reactor Manufacturing. An estimated 20,000
workers were employed in the design and manu­
facture of nuclear reactors and unique reactor
components in 1960. Reactor manufacturers do
extensive research and development work on
reactors and auxiliary equipment, design the
reactor, and generally fabricate some of the
intricate components, such as fuel elements,
control rods, and reactor cores. Many reactor
components are similar to standard power
equipment and, therefore, are purchased from
plants manufacturing such products.
About a third of the employees in firms that
design and manufacture reactors were profes­
sional and administrative workers. Engineers
alone represented about 20 percent of employ­
ment, with nuclear reactor engineers, who are
specialists in reactor technology, and mechani­
cal engineers predominating. Among the
scientists, the largest group were physicists,
but there were also many chemists, mathema­
ticians, and metallurgists. Assisting these en­
gineers and scientists were a great many
draftsmen, engineering aids, and physical
science technicians.
Skilled workers were employed by reactor
manufacturers in experimental, production, and
maintenance work. All-round machinists, weld­

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

572
ers, and sheet-metal workers accounted for
about two-thirds of these craftsmen. Other
craftsmen, such as instrument makers, ma­
chinery repairmen, instrument repairmen, and
electricians, were also employed. In addition,
reactor manufacturers employed nuclear reac­
tor operators to operate experimental and test
reactors.
Fuel elements and other unique components
are fabricated not only by reactor manufac­
turers, but in specialized plants. Many me­
chanical engineers and metallurgists, techni­
cians, all-round machinists, welders, and ma­
chine tool operators were employed in the fab­
rication of fuel elements in 1960.
Reactor Operation and Maintenance. Only a
few hundred workers were engaged in the
operation and maintenance of nuclear reactors
producing commercial electricity in 1960.
Workers typically employed in the operation of
a nuclear power station include mechanical and
electrical engineers, health physicists, instru­
ment technicians, chemical analysts, radiation
monitors, reactor operators, and other power
plant operators and attendants. Among the em­
ployees needed to maintain and repair reactors
are machinery repairmen, instrument repair­
men, electricians, welders, and pipefitters.
Research and Development Facilities. The
Atomic Energy Commission research and de­
velopment laboratories and other research
facilities (which are operated for the AEC by
colleges and universities and industrial con­
cerns) are the major centers for basic and ap­
plied nuclear research in the physical, engineer­
ing, and life sciences and the development of
nuclear reactors and other nuclear equipment.
In 1960, these facilities employed about 42,000
workers, distributed among major occupational
groups m the following proportions:
Percent

Total employment __________________________

100

Engineers _________________________
Scientists _______________________ ,___________________
Administrative and other professional workers___
Clerical and other office workers___________________
Technicians and other technical workers__________
Skilled workers ____________________________________
Other workers _____________________________________

15
13
9
17
22
12
12




Metallurgist, shielded by a lead glass window and con­
crete walls, operates controls of Master-Slave
Manipulator in working with radioactive materials.

Approximately half of the employees in the
AEC research and development facilities were
engineers, scientists, and supporting technical
personnel. Among the engineers and scientists
were physicists, mechanical engineers, electri­
cal engineers, chemists and chemical engineers,
mathematicians, nuclear reactor engineers,
metallurgists and metallurgical engineers, bio­
logical scientists, and health physicists. As­
sisting scientists and engineers were many
draftsmen, electronic technicians, physical
science and engineering aids, biological techni­
cians, and radiation monitors.
Administrative and clerical workers together
accounted for another large proportion of em­
ployment. The skilled worker group included
large numbers of all-round machinists, electri­
cians, and machinery repairmen and mill­
wrights, as well as substantial numbers of tool
and die makers, welders, instrument makers,
and pipefitters. Nuclear reactor operators were
employed to operate research and test reactors
and many service workers were employed in
plant protection and security operations.
In addition to the atomic energy research

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ATOMIC ENERGY FIELD

performed by the AEC research and develop­
ment facilities, additional research is performed
by educational institutions and other nonprofit
institutions, and by industrial concerns in their
own laboratories. Like the AEC facilities, these
laboratories employed a high proportion of
workers in scientific, engineering, and other
technical jobs.
Production of Plutonium and Other Defense
Materials. Special defense materials, such as
plutonium, are produced in nuclear reactors at
two giant production facilities located in the
States of Washington and South Carolina. A
great deal of research and development work
is also done in these plants. Nuclear weapons
and other defense materials are manufactured
in other plants which are almost exclusively de­
voted to production activities, such as the metal­
lurgical and chemical processing of materials
and the manufacture and assembly of weapons
components.
More than 35,000 workers were employed
in these defense production facilities in 1960,
distributed among major occupational groups
in the following proportions:
Percent

T o ta l______________ -_________________________
Engineers and scientists___________________________
Administrative and other professional workers___
Clerical and other office workers___________________
Technicians and other technical workers_________
Skilled workers ____________________________________
Other workers______________________________________

100
10
11
13
9
24
33

About one out of every four workers in the
defense production facilities was a skilled
worker in production and maintenance jobs.
Included among these skilled workers were large
numbers of machinery repairmen and mill­
wrights, chemical operators, all-round machin­
ists, electricians, instrument repairmen, pipe­
fitters, welders, tool and die makers, and instru­
ment makers.
Among the large number of scientists and
engineers employed at these facilities were
many chemists, physicists, and mechanical,
chemical, and electrical engineers. Many drafts­
men, electronic technicians, engineering and
physical science aids, and radiation monitors

were employed to assist scientists and engineers.


573
More than 600 nuclear reactor operators and
assistants were employed at the two facilities
producing plutonium and other special defense
materials.
Other Atomic Energy Activities. Several thou­
sand workers were employed in 1960 to produce
special materials such as beryllium, zirconium,
and hafnium for use in reactors. About twothirds of these workers were in production,
maintenance, and service jobs. Chemical opera­
tors, all-round machinists, and machinery re­
pairmen were the most numerous among the
skilled workers. Some chemists and chemical
engineers were also employed.
Many thousands of workers were engaged in
designing and constructing nuclear reactor
housing, atomic energy laboratories, and reactor
fuel processing plants in 1960. Many mechani­
cal, civil, and electrical engineers, designers,
and draftsmen were employed in the design of
these facilities. Pipefitters, electricians, car­
penters, welders, boilermakers, operating engi­
neers, and other building trades craftsmen were
employed in the actual construction.
Several thousand workers were employed in
1960 by companies that manufacture reactor
control instrumentation, radiation detection
and monitoring devices, and other instruments
for the atomic energy field. Production of these
instruments involves work similar to that in in­
strument manufacturing in general. Engineers
and scientists represented a substantial propor­
tion of employment in such companies. Among
the technicians and craftsmen were draftsmen,
electronic technicians, machinists, and instru­
ment makers.
A few companies specialize in the manufac­
ture of particle accelerators— machines which
enable scientists to study the structure and
properties of the elem.entary particles that make
up the nucleus of an atom. Workers typically
employed in the design and manufacture of these
machines include mechanical and electrical en­
gineers, physicists, electronic technicians, and
machinists.
Other workers in the atomic energy field in
1960 were engaged in such activities as process­
ing and packaging radioisotopes, manufacturing
radiography units and radiation gages, packag­

574
ing and disposing of radioactive wastes, and in­
dustrial radiography. Among the workers in
these activities were engineers, chemists, chemi­
cal technicians, radiographic equipment opera­
tors (radiographers), remote handlers and
packagers of radioisotopes, and mechanics and
other workers who repair equipment containing
radioisotopes.
Government Employment. The Atomic Energy
Commission, which directs the Federal Govern­
ment’s atomic energy program, employed nearly
6,700 workers in its national and field offices
in 1960. About 1,000 engineers and scientists
were employed by the Commission, including
personnel in nearly every major engineering
and scientific occupation, such as nuclear reac­
tor, civil, and electrical engineers, chemists,
health physicists, and physicists. Since the
AEC is primarily an administrative and regula­
tory agency, nearly 70 percent of Commission
employees were in administrative and other
professional positions and in clerical and other
office jobs. Another large group was engaged
in protective and security activities.
In addition to those employed by the Atomic
Energy Commission, Government employees
were engaged in atomic energy work in other
Federal agencies and in health and labor depart­
ments of State and local governments. Their du­
ties involved atomic energy research and appli­
cation, and preparing and carrying out radiation
health and safety measures. Outside the AEC,
most of the scientists, engineers, and other pro­
fessional and supporting workers in atomic en­
ergy work in Federal Government agencies were
employed by the Department of Defense, Geo­
logical Survey, Department of Agriculture, and
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
The Department of Health, Education, and Wel­
fare in cooperation with the AEC aids States
in establishing measures to meet radiation
health hazard problems.
Unique Atomic Energy Occupations. Most of
the occupations discussed in the preceding sec­
tions are similar to those found in other indus­
trial activities, although engineers, scientists,
and other workers may have job titles unique
to the atomic energy field (such as nuclear en­




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLpOK HANDBOOK

gineer, radiation chemist, and nuclear reactor
operator), and their jobs may require some
specialized knowledge of atomic energy in addi­
tion to the training typical of their occupations.
A detailed discussion of the duties, training,
and employment outlook for most of these occu­
pations appears elsewhere in this Handbook.
(See index for page numbers.)
The health physics’ occupations, which are
unique to the atomic energy field, and some
other occupations that are unique in that they
require training in the handling and use of
radioactive materials or radiation producing
equipment are discussed briefly in the following
sections.
Health physicists (also called radiological
physicists) are concerned with the problem of
radiation safety for workers in atomic energy
installations and for people in the surrounding
community. They have a very responsible job
of protecting individuals and property from the
hazards of radiation by detecting radiation and
controlling exposures to it. These professional
workers usually are assisted by radiation moni­
tors. In 1960, there were more than 700 health

Health physicist (left) using meter containing a geiger
counter to make sure personnel are not exposed to
dangerous amounts of radiation.

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ATOMIC ENERGY FIELD

physicists in radiation protection work, re­
search, or teaching.
Health physicists are responsible for planning
and organizing radiological health programs at
atomic energy facilities. For example, they set
up standards of inspection and establish proce­
dures for protecting employees and eliminating
radiological hazards. They supervise the inspec­
tion of work areas with potential radiation
hazards and prepare instructions covering safe
work procedures for use by employees working
in these areas. Health physicists are also re­
sponsible for the inspection of shipments of
equipment and materials and for the inspection
of radioactive waste disposal activities to in­
sure compliance with Government standards
and regulations. Another duty involves the
preparation of reports on radioactive contami­
nation, radiation levels, and radiation exposure.
Health physicists may also plan and supervise
training programs dealing with radiation haz­
ards and may advise public authorities on
methods of dealing with radiation hazards. In
some cases, they are employed on research pro­
jects dealing with the effects of human exposure
to radiation and may develop procedures to be
followed in using radioactive materials. Finally,
they assist in the development of better methods
and equipment for the detection and control of
radiation hazards. These scientists are employed
at nuclear reactor sites and wherever there are
sizable amounts of radioactive materials.
Radiation monitors (also called healthphysics technicians) generally work under the
supervision of health physicists. They use
special instruments to monitor (check) work
areas, tools, and equipment to detect radio­
active contamination. They monitor incoming
and outgoing shipments of equipment and ma­
terials for radiation levels and contamination.
Soil, water, and air samples are taken to de­
termine radiation levels. Monitors may also
collect and analyze radiation monitoring equip­
ment worn by workers, such as film badges and
pocket detection chambers, to measure each
worker's exposure to radiation.
Monitors inform their supervisors when a
worker's exposure to radiation or the level of
radiation in a work area approaches specified

maximum permissible limits and they recom­


575
mend work stoppage in potentially unsafe areas.
They calculate the amount of time that personnel
may work in contaminated areas, considering
maximum radiation exposure limits for wor­
kers, as determined by a health physicist, and
the radiation level in the area. Monitors may
also determine clothing requirements and other
safety precautions to be followed by workers
entering radiation zones.
Other duties may include instructing workers
in radiation safety procedures, checking and
servicing radiation detection instruments, and
maintaining records on individual radiation ex­
posures and the location and intensity of radio­
activity in contaminated areas.
In addition to the health physics occupations,
other job specialties require training which is
unique to the atomic energy field. For example,
although a nuclear reactor operator's job in a
nuclear power station is similar to a boiler
operator's job in a conventional power station,
he must learn to operate the controls of a nu­
clear reactor rather than the controls of a con­
ventional steam-generating boiler. In addition,
reactor operators may perform work in connec­
tion with reactor fuel handling operations, such
as the loading and unloading of nuclear fuel.
Power reactor operators may also be trained as
turbine operators and switchboard operators
in order to provide interchangeability of jobs,
and in small nuclear power plants there may be
some combining of these jobs.
Nuclear reactor operators who work with
research and test reactors check reactor control
panels and adjust controls to maintain specified
operating conditions within the reactor, such as
power and radiation levels, working under the
direction of the scientist in charge of the ex­
periment. They also assist in setting up and
conducting tests and experiments; for exam­
ple, they may insert objects into the reactor
core for exposure to radiation.
Accelerator operators set up and coordinate
the operation of particle accelerators. The
operator adjusts the machine controls to accel­
erate electrically charged particles, in accord­
ance with instructions from the scientist in
charge of the experiment, and sets up target
materials which are to be bombarded by the

576
accelerated particles. He may also assist in the
maintenance of the 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. These workers, taking into con­
sideration the object to be radiographed, select
the proper type of radiation source and type of
film to use and apply standard mathematical
formulas to determine exposure distance and
exposure time. While taking radiographs, they
use radiation detection instruments to monitor
the work area for potential radiation hazards.
Radiographers also remove and develop the film
or plate and may assist in its analysis.
Many other specialized workers are employed
in the atomic energy field. Hot-cell technicians
operate remote-controlled equipment to test
radio-active materials which are placed in hot
cells— rooms which are enclosed with radiation
shielding materials, such as lead and concrete.
By controlling “ slave manipulators” (mechani­
cal devices which act as a pair of arms and
hands) from outside the cell and observing
their actions through the cell window, these
technicians perform standard chemical and
metallurgical tests involving radioactive ma­
terials. Hot-cell technicians may also enter the
cell wearing protective clothing (after clearance
by a radiation monitor) to set up experiments
or to decontaminate the cell and equipment.
Decontamination men have the primary duty of
decontaminating equipment, plant areas, and
materials exposed to radioactive contaminants.
They use radiation-detection instruments to lo­
cate the contamination; eliminate it by the use
of special equipment, detergents, and chemicals;
and then verify the effectiveness of the decon­
tamination measures. Waste-treatment opera­
tors operate heat exchange units, pumps, com­
pressors, and other equipment to decontaminate
and dispose of radioactive waste liquids. Waste
disposal men seal contaminated wastes in con­
crete containers and transport the containers to
a burial ground or arrange for sea burial.
Radioisotope-production operators use slave
manipulators and other equipment to prepare
radioisotopes for shipping and to perform chem­
ical
 analyses to ensure that radioisotopes con­


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

form to specifications. The tasks performed by
employees in the above five jobs may also be
done by chemical process operators.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

The training and educational requirements
and advancement opportunities for most work­
ers in atomic energy activities are generally
similar to those for comparable jobs in other
fields and are discussed elsewhere in this Hand­
book under the specific occupations. (See index
for page numbers.) However, specialized train­
ing is required for many workers because the
atomic energy field is a relatively new field of
work, and one which requires rigorous work
standards in both its research and production
activities and has unique health and safety
problems.
Engineers and scientists at all levels of pro­
fessional training are employed in the atomic
energy field. Many of them have had advanced
training, particularly those engaged in research,
development, and design work. Of the scientists
employed by major AEC contractors in 1958,
about one in three had a Ph.D. degree or equiva­
lent academic training. The proportion of engi­
neers with Ph.D. degrees is small. However,
graduate training is preferred for an increasing
number of engineering jobs, and training in nu­
clear engineering is available almost exclusively
at the graduate level.
Specialized knowledge of nuclear energy is
not required for many engineering and scientific
positions in the atomic energy field, although
some basic knowledge of it is preferred. How­
ever, specialized knowledge of nuclear energy
is essential for some engineers and scientists.
For example, health physicists must be specially
trained in health physics, and other positions
may require engineers specially trained in nu­
clear engineering or chemists with special train­
ing in radiochemistry. This specialized training
may be obtained through taking graduate work
at a university or on-the-job training. It em­
phasizes problems dealing with the properties
and control of radiation and its effects on ma­
terials or living systems.
Colleges and universities have rapidly ex­
panded their facilities and curriculums in order

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ATOMIC ENERGY FIELD

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 introductory or
background courses may be taken at the under­
graduate level. Some colleges and universities
award graduate degrees in nuclear engineering
or nuclear science. Others offer graduate train­
ing in these fields, but award degrees only in
the traditional engineering or scientific fields.
Craftsmen in some atomic energy jobs may
need more training than most craftsmen in com­
parable nonatomic jobs. Stricter performance
requirements may be needed because of the ex­
treme precision that is usually required to in­
sure efficient operation of equipment and be­
cause complex equipment and machinery must
be maintained. For example, pipefitters on
atomic projects may have to fit pipe to toler­
ances of less than one ten-thousandth of an inch
and work with pipe made from rare metals
costing more than $1,000 a foot. Welders, who
may also work with rare metals, may have to
maintain higher standards for reliability of
work than in most nonatomic fields. Craftsmen
in the atomic energy field generally obtain the
required special skills through on-the-job train­
ing. Most AEC installations have apprentice
training programs to develop craft skills. Some
union craft training programs give particular
attention to the special work requirements of
the atomic energy field.
The following discussion of training, educa­
tion, and other qualifications relates to jobs
which are unique to the field of atomic energy
or which require specialized training which is
unique to the field. Such training mainly gives
workers an understanding of radiation, methods
of handling radioactive materials or radiation
producing equipment, and procedures to follow
when working in radioactive areas.
Employers prefer that health physicists have
a bachelor’s degree in physics, chemistry, or
engineering and a year or more of graduate
work in health physics. In some cases, related
technical training and experience can be sub­
stituted for part of the academic requirement.
Under an AEC fellowship program, health
physicists attend lectures at a university during

the academic year to obtain a fundamental


577
knowledge of radiation physics and biophysics,
instrumentation, the interaction of radiation
with matter and living systems, and the princi­
ples of permissible radiation exposure and pre­
vention of undesirable exposure. During the
summer months, they work at Commission in­
stallations on problems of monitoring (measure­
ment of radiation level), instrument adjust­
ment, shielding, and waste disposal aassociated
with the operation of nuclear reactors and
particle accelerators, the processing of nuclear
fuels, and the handling of radioisotopes.
To qualify for on-the-job training as a radia­
tion monitor, a high school education with
courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry
usually is sufficient. Completion of some college
courses in the physical or biological sciences is
preferred and experience in working with
laboratory equipment is desirable. Radiation
monitors must become familiar with some of the
characteristics of radiation, maximum permis­
sible radiation exposure levels, and methods of
calculating exposure periods. They must also
learn how to use radiation detection instru­
ments.
Nuclear power reactor operators need a basic
understanding of reactor theory and a working
knowledge of reactor controls. The minimum
requirement for an operator trainee usually is
a high school education, although college-level
training may be required by some employers.
To become a fully qualified operator, the trainee
must get experience in power station operation
and complete 6 months to 1 year of intensive
on-the-job training in reactor theory and opera­
tion. Power reactor operators usually are
selected from conventional power plant person­
nel having experience as boiler or turbine opera­
tors. Operators of research and test reactors
must also be high school graduates. Preference
is given to those who have completed courses in
science and engineering at a college level. They
need from 2 to 4 years of on-the-job training,
covering all phases of reactor operation, before
being considered fully qualified. Workers who
operate the controls of private nuclear 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 Commission,
and a medical examination.

578
To qualify for on-the-job training as an ac­
celerator operator, a high school education, in­
cluding courses in mathematics and physics, is
usually required. Extensive training in elec­
tronics or a bachelor's degree in engineering or
physics may be required for operators of very
high-energy machines. Accelerator operators
receive on-the-job training covering operating,
repair, and safety procedures. Such training
may last from 2 to 7 months or more, depending
on the type of accelerator. To qualify for onthe-job training as radiographers, a high school
education, including courses in mathematics,
chemistry, and physics is usually sufficient.
High school graduates with some mechanical
experience usually can qualify for on-the-job
training as hot-cell technicians. They are given
about 1 to 2 years of in-plant training. High
school graduates can become decontamination
men after receiving 3 to 15 months of formal
technical instruction and on-the-job training.
For the job of radioisotope-production operator,
a high school education, with courses in chemis­
try, is usually required. One or 2 years of onthe-job training may be necessary to become
fully qualified. High school graduates can qual­
ify as waste-treatment operators, but experi­
ence in reading electronic instruments or in a
chemical laboratory is desirable. After 15 to
18 months of on-the-job training in the opera­
tion of equipment and use of instruments, they
are fully qualified. High school graduates can
also qualify for employment as waste-disposal
men. They receive on-the-job training in the
operation of equipment and the avoidance of
radiation hazards.
Many other workers in the atomic energy
field also need special training because of the
presence of potential radiation hazards. Em­
ployees who work in the vicinity of such haz­
ards should have some training in the nature of
radiation and the procedures to follow in case
of its accidental release. Workers who handle
radioisotopes or maintain radioisotope gages
need a basic knowledge of health physics in
addition to specific training related to their
particular jobs. Technicians, chemical process
operators, and maintenance craftsmen in nu­
clear power plants and fuel processing facili­
 also require some health physics training if
ties


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

they work with radioactive materials or perform
work in radiation contaminated areas. Such
training is generally provided through in-plant
programs— for example, through apprentice
training programs for craftsmen— and may
range from less than an hour to several weeks
or more, depending largely on the degree of
potential exposure to radiation. In some States,
workers may obtain such training through adult
vocational educational programs.
Individuals who handle classified (restricted
for reasons of national security) data or who
work on classified projects in the atomic energy
field must have a security clearance. This is
a finding based on an investigation of a person's
character, loyalty, and associations. All Atomic
Energy Commission employees must have such
clearance.
The Atomic Energy Commission supports ex­
tensive on-the-job and specialized training pro­
grams to help prepare scientists, engineers,
technicians, and other workers for the growing
atomic energy field. The AEC offers graduate
fellowships in specialized fields, trains people
at its contractor-operated facilities, conducts
training schools, and provides uranium and
other materials as well as financial aid to educa­
tional institutions.
Several kinds of graduate fellowships are of­
fered by the AEC. The largest number of fellow­
ships are offered for the study of nuclear energy
technology. About one hundred and fifty such
fellowships are available for first, intermediate,
and final years of graduate work at 53 partici­
pating universities. The prerequisite is a bach­
elor's degree in engineering or physical science
with courses in mathematics through differen­
tial equations.
Fellowships in radiological (or health)
physics provide for 9 months' training at a uni­
versity, followed by 3 months' training at a
Commission laboratory. Approximately 90 such
fellowships are available each year to students
with bachelor's degrees in biology, chemistry,
engineering, or physics with courses in mathe­
matics through calculus. About 10 additional
fellowships are available for advanced training
in health physics leading to a doctorate. The
AEC also offers about 10 fellowships each year
leading to the master's degree in industrial

OCCUPATIONS IN THE ATOMIC ENERGY FIELD

hygiene for students who hold bachelor's de­
grees with a major in physics, chemistry, or
engineering.
Additional educational and training oppor­
tunities are offered in cooperative programs ar­
ranged by the AEC laboratories with colleges
and universities. Temporary employment at
AEC-owned laboratories is available to faculty
members and students. Engineering undergrad­
uates may work at the laboratories and other
Commission facilities on a rotation basis with
classroom studies, and graduate students may
do their thesis work at laboratories.
The AEC sponsors institutes at which college
and high school faculty members can obtain
training in the latest developments in nuclear
energy technology, in radiation biology, and in
the use and safe handling of radioisotopes.
Courses in health physics are offered by the AEC
to State and local government employees who
will be concerned with licensing and inspecting
functions in the atomic energy field. The AEC
also sponsors the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear
Studies, which conducts a school to train physi­
cians, scientists, and engineers in radioisotope
technology.
Many Commission contractors offer technical
and graduate instruction at their own plants
or at nearby colleges to prepare new employees
for work in their organizations or to give fur­
ther training to experienced personnel. Some
contractors send employees outside the imme­
diate area to receive graduate level instruction,
and pay their transportation, tuition, and other
expenses. Contractors often give tuition assist­
ance to employees desiring to attend college
and university courses on their own time.
Employment Outlook

Continued employment growth is expected in
most atomic energy activities in the 1960's as a
result of the growth of existing uses of atomic
energy and the development of new applications.
Job opportunities will be especially good for
highly trained technical and skilled personnel.
In addition to opportunities provided by em­
ployment growth, a few thousand additional

job openings will result each year from the need


579
to replace workers who transfer to other fields
of work, or who retire or die.
Increasing research and development expendi­
tures should lead to further employment growth
in laboratories engaged in atomic energy work.
More workers are already employed in such
laboratories than in any other atomic energy
activity. Employment is also expected to con­
tinue to increase in the design and manufacture
of nuclear reactors and reactor components, in
the manufacture of nuclear instruments, and in
the processing and packaging of radioisotopes.
As more nuclear reactors are built and put into
operation, employment will increase both in
the operation and maintenance of reactors and
in such related activities as the fabrication and
reprocessing of reactor fuel elements and the
disposal of radioactive wastes. In contrast, em­
ployment in the mining, milling, refining, and
enrichment of uranium probably will increase
little, and may even decline.
The expanding number of activities develop­
ing from the widespread application of nuclear
energy will create an increased need for trained
technical workers and skilled craftsmen. Partic­
ular need will exist for scientists (such as
physicists, chemists, mathematicians, metallur­
gists, biological scientists, and health physicists)
and engineers (such as mechanical, electrical,
chemical, nuclear reactor, and metallurgical).
There will also be an increased need for elec­
tronic and other technicians and for skilled
workers, such as machinery repairmen, machin­
ists, electricians, plumbers and pipefitters,
welders, and instrument repairmen.
Earnings and Working Conditions

Information on earnings in individual occupa­
tions in atomic energy activities is not available.
However, indications are that the earnings of
the work force as a whole in some nuclear
energy activities were higher than in most non­
nuclear energy activities. In 1960, blue-collar
workers employed by contractors at AEC lab­
oratories and other installations had average
straight-time hourly earnings of $2.84. This
compares, for example, with an average of $2.29
an hour for production workers in all manu­
facturing industries.

580
Professional workers employed at AEC in­
stallations averaged $792 a month in base pay
in 1960, and other white-collar workers (largely
clerical and other office personnel), $462.
(Earnings data for many of the occupations
found in the atomic energy field are included
in the statements on these occupations elsewhere
in this Handbook. See index for page numbers.)
Most workers in the atomic energy field re­
ceive 2 or 3 weeks7vacation with pay, depending
on their length of service. In addition, most
firms in this field have group life, health, and
accident insurance coverage and retirement
plans.
Working conditions in uranium mining,
milling, instrument and auxiliary equipment
manufacturing, and facilities construction are
similar to those in comparable nonatomic energy
activities. In other atomic energy activities,
in which the major proportion of workers in
the field are employed, working conditions
generally are unusually good. Buildings and
plants are relatively new and are well lighted
and ventilated. Equipment, tools, and machines
are modern and sometimes the most advanced
of their type. The surroundings are also pleas­
ant because the buildings are often spread out
over wide land areas. In some cases, plants
are located in remote areas.
Extensive safeguards have been established to
insure the health and safety of workers in the
atomic energy field. However, only a small pro­
portion of employees in the atomic energy field
work in areas where direct radiation dangers
exist.
The AEC regulates the possession and use of
radioactive materials and AEC personnel in­
spect nuclear facilities to insure compliance
with the AEC’s health and safety requirements.
Because the hazards of radiation are unique,
constant efforts are being made to provide better
safety standards and regulations.
Workers in uranium mines are subject to




OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

some hazard from the presence of radioactive
gas in the air, which, if inhaled over a number
of years, could cause lung injury. However,
practically all mines have mechanical ventila­
tion systems to reduce concentrations of this
gas. Uranium mills and other fuel processing
facilities employing modern processes usually
have no difficulty in maintaining safe working
levels of radioactivity.
The AEC and its contractors, who employ
more than half of all atomic energy workers,
have maintained a good safety record. In 1960,
the average number of disabling injuries for all
AEC operations was 1.7 for each million em­
ployee hours worked, compared with an average
of over 11 for all manufacturing industries. Of
the lost-time injuries in 1960, only one was
caused by radiation. From 1943 through 1960,
only 35 lost-time injuries in AEC operations
were due to overexposure to radiation.
Most plant hourly paid workers belong to
unions. Among unions which have members in
the atomic energy field are unions in the Metal
Trades Department, AFL-CIO, such as: The
International Association of Machinists; the In­
ternational Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron
Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, F orgers and
Helpers; the International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers; the International Chemical
Workers Union; and the United Association of
Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing
and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United
States and Canada. The Oil, Chemical and
Atomic Workers International Union also rep­
resents workers in this field.
Where To Go for More Information

Information about employment in the atomic
energy field may be obtained by writing to the
Office of Industrial Relations, Atomic Energy
Commission, Washington 25, D.C.

AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS
In the 60 or more years of its existence, the
automobile industry has grown from an experi­
ment concerned with the development of a horse­
less carriage to one of the most important of
America's manufacturing industries. This in­
dustry, which in the 1890's occupied the atten­
tion of a few inventive mechanics working in
small sheds and shops, is now among the Na­
tion's largest employers with about threefourths of a million workers.
By the end of 1960, an estimated 73.9 million
cars, trucks, and buses were traveling the
Nation's streets and highways. About 7.9
million of these motor vehicles were built during
1960. The industry has produced an average of
nearly 7 million vehicles each year since 1950.
Not only has the automobile industry helped
to develop existing industries but it has also
created new ones. Many businesses, including
automotive repair shops, service stations, and
truck and bus transportation facilities, have
been created as a result of the automobile. More­
over, this industry is the most important con­
sumer of such basic commodities as steel, rubber,
and plate glass.
The automobile industry, like other large in­
dustries, is a source of employment for workers
with widely different levels of education and
skill. Requirements for jobs vary from college
degrees for engineers and other professional and
technical personnel to a few hours of on-the-job
training for some of the less skilled assemblers,
material handlers, and custodial workers. The
largest number of employees work in factory
(or plant) occupations. Plant jobs range from
the skilled tool and die makers, millwrights, and
electricians to the less skilled machine tool
operators, assemblers, material handlers, and
custodial workers. A great number of automo­
tive employees also work in office and adminis­
trative jobs as clerks, business machine opera­
tors, stenographers, accountants, purchasing



agents, market analysts, and industrial relations
personnel.
Nature and Location of the Industry

This industry's tremendous growth over the
years has been due mainly to the mass produc­
tion of standardized parts. Thousands of iden­
tical parts are produced by workers whose jobs
are divided into a limited number of operations
on high-speed automatic machinery. These
mass-produced parts are then put together by
assemblers to form the completed vehicle. Be­
cause of the minute division of labor, cars can
be driven off assembly lines at the astounding
rate of one every 45 seconds.
The automobile industry in 1960 consisted
of more than 2,000 plants which manufactured
parts or subassemblies and assembled these
parts into motor vehicles of all types. These
plants ranged in size from huge assembly plants
employing many thousands of workers to parts
plants employing a small number of workers.
About 50 percent of the 780,000 automobile
workers in 1960 were employed in establish­
ments with 2,500 or more employees.
Hundreds of companies supply the parts or
subassemblies for new automobiles and also pro­
duce the replacement parts necessary to keep
the millions of vehicles already on the road in
operation. These firms often specialize in pro­
ducing certain parts— for instance, brakes and
clutches. About a third of the automobile work­
ers are employed in these parts-manufacturing
plants. Only a few companies produce the com­
pleted vehicles— passenger cars, trucks, buses,
and special-purpose vehicles, such as ambu­
lances, fire engines, and taxicabs.
Automobile manufacturing is concentrated in
the Great Lakes region where roughly four out
of every five workers are so employed. Michigan
alone accounted for about 45 percent of the
industry's employment in 1960. Ohio, Indiana,
581

582
and New York together had another 25 percent.
Seven other States each employed 10,000 or
more workers. They were Wisconsin, California,
Illinois, Pennsylvania, Missouri, New Jersey,
and Georgia.
The Detroit metropolitan area is the center
of the industry. About one out of every three
of the Nation's automobile workers is em­
ployed within its industrial area, which includes
the nearby communities of Dearborn and
Pontiac. Several other Michigan cities, espe­
cially Flint, Lansing, and Saginaw, employ large
numbers of automobile workers. The Great
Lakes region has many other important centers:
Cleveland, Lorain, Toledo, and Cincinnati, Ohio;
South Bend, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne,
Ind.; Chicago, 111.; Buffalo, N .Y .; and Milwaukee
and Kenosha, Wis.
Much of the automobile manufacturing on the
East Coast is centered in the New York-North­
eastern New Jersey-Philadelphia industrial area
in such localities as Newark, Paterson, Linden,
and New Brunswick, N.J.; and New York, N.Y.
The Los Angeles industrial area is the leading
automobile manufacturing center in the Pacific
Coast region. The Bay area (Oakland) is
another automobile manufacturing center in
California.

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

Stylist consulting with engineer regarding future
automobile designs.

The modern mass-produced automobile repre­
sents an engineering triumph matched by few
other mechanical products. Mass production of
standardized parts and assembly-line manufac­
turing methods enable the automobile industry
to produce millions of these complex products
each year.
Motor vehicles are produced in three major
stages. The first step is preliminary designing
and engineering, the second is the production
of motor vehicle parts and subassemblies, and
the third is the final assembly of parts into
completed vehicles.

work closely with engineers and other technical
personnel who are concerned with improving
mechanical operation, design, and safety. The
creative designs of the stylists are transferred
to drafting boards and then skilled modelmakers
convert the blueprints into clay, wood, and
plastic models of the new automobile. From
these models, refinements in styling and design
of the new car are developed.
For the mass production of the car, master
dies are made from the finally accepted model.
Throughout this initial stage of producing an
automobile, companies which produce parts
work closely with the automobile manufacturers
on questions of designing, engineering, and
tooling. Problems of production methods, costs,
and scheduling also are worked out long before
the actual manufacturing process begins.

Planning for New Model Production. Approxi­
mately 3 to 4 years of designing, planning, and
testing often precede the actual production of
an automobile. Stylists constantly strive to
improve the appearance of the automobile. They

Making Automobile Parts. The manufacture of
motor vehicle parts and subassemblies is the
second stage of automobile production. After
the design of the new model automobile is de­
veloped, automobile parts plants begin produc­

How Automobiles Are Made




AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

tion of the various components of the car. Be­
cause parts are made by many different firms,
rigid quality control is maintained to insure
that the parts fit properly on the final assembly
line. Quality control is also stressed to insure
the safety of the finished automobile product.
Motor vehicle parts are made of many dif­
ferent materials. Although most of the parts
are made from steel, other materials such as
aluminum, copper, and zinc also are used. Some
of the parts contain plastic, rubber, fabric, or
glass.
Metal parts for motor vehicles can be shaped
in several ways depending upon the purpose for
which the part is to be used, the size of the
part, and the type of metal used. The principal
methods of shaping metal are casting, forging,
machining, and stamping. Most metal parts
are produced by foundry workers, forge shop
workers, machining workers, and operators of
stamping or pressing machines.
Castings are made in foundries where molten
metal is poured into molds and allowed to cool
and harden into the desired shape. Bulky parts,
such as engine blocks, generally are made by
the casting process. In the forge shops, metal
is heated and then shaped into the desired form
by mechanical steam hammers and forging
presses.
The forging process shapes metal objects
which are required to withstand great stress,
such as automobile crankshafts, axles, and con­
necting rods. Generally, parts that are pro­
duced by casting or forging must undergo fur­
ther processing, usually machining, before be­
ing ready for assembly.
Machining is the metalworking process gen­
erally best adapted for the production of parts
to precise sizes. It is a process of cutting or
chipping excess metal from rough castings,
forgings, and bars by the use of power-driven
machine tools. Among the more common types
of machine tools are lathes, boring machines,
drill presses, grinding machines, milling ma­
chines, and gear cutters. The machine tools are
used to turn, drill, grind, cut, and finish metal
parts to exact sizes. Hundreds of machining
operations are required to complete some of the

more intricate parts, such as engine blocks, pis­


583
tons, ring gears, connecting rods, camshafts,
and crankshafts.
The automobile industry has taken the lead
in trying to develop continuous automatic pro­
duction for many machining operations. This
approach to production has been called “ auto­
mation,” which is the use of instruments to
direct and control manufacturing processes. In
applying automation to machining processes,
automobile manufacturers have linked auto­
matic machine tools to perform a variety of
machining operations. Less labor is required
because the parts or pieces being machined are
not handled manually.
For example, one large motor vehicle pro­
ducer has built an automated engine plant in
which a rough engine block goes through 555
different cutting, drilling, and grinding opera­
tions with the use of little or no manual labor.
The engine block is moved into and out of load
stations mechanically, machined automatically
by a battery of machine tools, and transferred
by conveyors to the next machining operation.
Much of the inspection is done automatically.
The machine tools, the conveyors, and the in­
spection equipment often are controlled by
electronic, hydraulic, or air control mechanisms.
Workers tend the automated lines of machine
tools by watching the panel-control boards for
interruptions of the machines’ normal func­
tioning.
Metal stamping is another important manu­
facturing operation. The large sections of the
body of the car are formed from sheet steel
shaped by huge electronically controlled presses.
Smaller parts of the vehicle also are stamped
or pressed out of sheet steel or aluminum.
The production of parts does not entirely con­
sist of metalworking operations. For example,
to make body parts rustproof and attractive,
they are spray painted and then baked in ovens
lined with infrared lights. Also, upholstery for
the car interior is cut, sewn, and installed.
Throughout the production of parts, numer­
ous inspections are made to insure that the
quality of the assembled vehicles will meet es­
tablished standards. Such inspection begins
with a spot check of incoming raw materials
from which parts are to be made. All machined

584

OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

new motor vehicle is driven off the line. The
finished car is inspected before it leaves the
factory.
As the many chassis move down the assembly
line, “ banks” of material located in aisles along
the line are continually fed to the assemblers
in accordance with a careful system of sched­
uling arranged by the production control de­
partment. Behind the movement of the parts
and subassemblies to the assembly line is the
work of the materials control men who, months
before, coordinated the movement of material
from outside suppliers with a planned produc­
tion schedule.
The sequence of the models to be built may
be transmitted to the various stations along
the line by either teletype or telautograph. The
information on color and on the special equip­
ment desired in each car is obtained from car
orders placed by automobile dealers. By this
scheduling program, cars of different colors and
types follow each other down the assembly
line— for example, a light blue sedan may be
followed by a beige station wagon.
Inspector checking engine before installation in
automobile.

Automobile Manufacturing Occupations

parts are carefully inspected so that they will
not vary from the specified size limits.
Assembling the Final Product. The last stage
of motor vehicle manufacturing takes place on
the final assembly line. Final assembly is the
process of putting together in sequence the in­
dividual parts and the subassemblies, with the
completed vehicle rolling off the end of the line.
Overhead wires feed electric power to nut
tighteners, welding equipment, and other tools
used by workers on the assembly line. A con­
veyor carries the motor vehicle forward while
men at work stations attach the necessary parts
and subassemblies in proper sequence.
Generally, large and heavy subassemblies,
such as the engine and the body, are lowered
by hoists into position on the chassis as it comes
down the line. The finishing accessories, such
as bumpers, hubcaps, and floor mats, are added
near the end of the line. Finally, the headlights
are adjusted, the wheels are alined, and gasoline
is pumped into the fuel tank, and thus another




About 780,000 workers were employed in
hundreds of occupations in the automobile in­
dustry in 1960. Approximately 8 percent of the
workers were employed in scientific, engineer­
ing, and technician jobs. Many thousands of
other workers were in administrative, super­
visory, and clerical positions. The rest of the
automobile workers were employed in as­
sembling, metalworking, inspecting, material
handling, maintenance, and other plant occupa­
tions. The duties and training requirements
of some of the important occupations are de­
scribed briefly below. (Detailed discussions
of professional, technical, mechanical, and other
occupations found in the automobile industry
as well as in many other industries are given
elsewhere in this Handbook, in the sections
covering individual occupations. See index for
page numbers.)
Professional and Technical Occupations. The
modern automobile is a product of the research,
design, and developmental work of thousands of

AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

585

engineers, chemists, metallurgists, physicists,
mathematicians, statisticians, and other profes­
sional and technical personnel employed by the
automobile companies. According to a Bureau
of Labor Statistics survey of manpower in
American industry, about 32,000 scientists and
engineers were employed in the automobile in­
dustry in January 1959. Engineers make up the
largest group of professional and technical
workers in the automobile industry. Automobile
companies hire engineers specializing in me­
chanical, electrical, industrial, metallurgical,
and other fields. For example, the mechanical
engineer continually seeks ways of improving
the engine, transmission, or other parts of the
automobile through research and development
and better design. The electrical engineer
works on the design of electrical parts such as,
ignition systems, voltage regulators, and gen­
erators. The industrial engineer concentrates
on the layout of plant equipment, improved
processes, and production scheduling. The in­
dustry also employs civil, chemical, and
ceramic engineers.
Although most of these professional workers
are employed in research and development de­
partments, some also supervise the more techni­
cal production jobs. For example, a metallurgist
may be employed to supervise the melting oper­
ations in the precision casting and forging
departments.
The industry also employs many semiprofes­
sional workers or technicians, such as drafts­
men, engineering aids, laboratory assistants,
and other technical aids to assist engineering
and scientific workers. About 25,000 technicians
were so employed in January 1959, according
to the Bureau of Labor Statistics survey men­
tioned above.

second level of administrative jobs are those
such as personnel manager and purchasing
agent, who direct individual departments or spe­
cial phases of operations. Among those who as­
sist the administrators are accountants, lawyers,
market analysts, economists, statisticians, and
industrial relations experts. This large industry
also has many supervisory employees in charge
of specific groups of office or plant workers.
A large staff of clerical workers also is em­
ployed by the industry, including secretaries,
stenographers, bookkeepers, clerks and typists,
key punch operators, and business machine
operators. A large proportion of these office
workers are women.

Administrative, Clerical, and Related Occupa­
tions. Many types of workers are employed in
the industry to perform the many administra­
tive functions needed to operate the automobile
companies. Included in this group are execu­
tives who determine, among other things, how
many vehicles to produce, what styles to make,
what prices to charge, which parts the company
should produce and which parts it should buy,

and where it
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/ is best to locate plants. On the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Plant Occupations. About three-fourths of the
workers in the automobile industry are employed
in plant jobs. Most of these workers make auto­
mobile parts, assemble them into the complete
vehicles, and put the finishing touches on the
cars and trucks. Other plant workers service
and maintain the vast amount of machinery and
equipment needed for automobile manufactur­
ing. The plant work force is predominantly
male. Only about 10 percent of the workers in
automobile plants in 1960 were women.
After the stylists, engineers, and draftsmen
have planned and designed the new model car,
the production process gets under way. First,
the parts must be made. Parts are principally
metal and are shaped by a variety of metal­
forming processes which require workers in a

number of metalworking occupations. For ex­
ample, bodies must be stamped out by huge
presses, cylinder blocks must be cast in foun­
dries, crankshafts must be forged in forge shops,
and pistons must be ground by machine tools.
Machining occupations. Automobile parts
are manufactured to precise dimensions by
machining workers. One of the largest metal­
working occupations in the automobile industry
is that of machine tool operator. These workers
operate power-driven machines (machine tools)
which hold both the piece of metal to be cut and
a cutting instrument, or “ tool,” and bring them
together so that the metal can be cut, shaped,
drilled, or ground. The job titles of these work­
ers depend on the type of machine tool they

586

Machine tool operator using highly automatic machine
which bores cylinders in engine blocks.

operate, for example, engine lathe operator, drill
press operator, and milling machine operator.
The most highly skilled workers who use ma­
chine tools are the tool and die makers. Toolmakers make the jigs, fixtures, and other ac­
cessories that hold the work which is being
machined. Diemakers construct the dies that
are used in stamping, pressing, forging, and
other metalforming operations. Tool and die
makers read blueprints, set up and operate ma­
chine tools, use precision measuring instru­
ments, and make shop computations in their
work. They must work to closer tolerances
(more exact dimensions) and do more precision
handwork than most other machining workers.
Foundry occupations. Some parts of the
automobile are made in foundry departments
which make castings' for such units as engine
blocks. Patternmakers make a wood or metal
pattern in the shape of the final casting de­
sired. Coremakers shape the bodies of sand, or
“ cores/’ which are placed inside molds in order
to form hollow spaces needed in castings. Ma­
chine molders make the sand mold into which
the metal is poured. Castings are produced by



OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

pouring metal into molds where it cools and
hardens in the shape of the molds.
Many other workers are in less skilled occupa­
tions in the foundries. Melters operate electric
furnaces and cupolas used to melt metal for
castings. The actual pouring is done by metal
pourers. After the casting cools, the shakeout
men remove it from the mold. Other workers
clean the castings and remove the excess metal.
Forging occupations. Some automobile
parts, such as crankshafts and connecting rods
which are required to withstand great stress,
are shaped by forging hammers and presses in
the forge shop. Hammermen operate drop ham­
mers which pound metal into various shapes
between closed dies. The hammermen are as­
sisted by heaters who heat the metal stock in
a furnace to prepare it for forging and then
pass the stock to the hammermen. Other forge
shop workers are engaged in cleaning, finishing,
heat treating, or inspecting forgings.
Other metalworking occupations. The auto­
mobile industry employs large numbers of work­
ers in other metalworking occupations. Included
among these are punch press operators who run
power-driven presses which vary in size from

Press operator removing a wheel rim.

AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

small presses used for forming brackets, clips,
or other small parts to the massive presses
which form, trim, and pierce holes in the doors,
body panels, and frame.
Automobile plants employed many thousands
of welders in mid-1960. These welders operate
equipment used to join metal parts. Welding
can be performed manually or by machine.
Some manual electric-arc welders and gas weld­
ers work in production jobs in parts and
body manufacturing plants, and others work in
maintenance jobs repairing and rebuilding ma­
chinery and equipment. Machine (resistance)
welders are primarily employed on the assembly
lines to weld the separate parts of the bodies
and subassemblies.
Inspection occupations (D.O.T. 5-02.700
through .799, 5-81.630, 6-78.671, and 7-02.700
through .799). Automobiles can be produced on
a mass basis because parts and assemblies for
the same make of automobile are interchange­
able. They are made to exact measurements and
are subject to close quality control and inspec­
tion. (The industry employs statisticians and
engineers in quality control departments who
use statistical techniques designed to control
the quality of the product.)
Inspectors check incoming raw materials
when received, examine parts during the manu­
facturing stages, and make quality and con­
formity checks during the subassembly and as­
sembly operations. Micrometers, specially de­
signed gauges, and other measuring and testing
instruments are used by inspectors and testers
in performing their duties.
Finishing occupations. Many finishing
operations must be performed before a car is
completed. For example, the metal surfaces
must be readied for finishing, the exteriors
painted, the interiors covered, the seats up­
holstered, and finally, the finished product must
undergo a thorough inspection. Among those
employed in the finishing departments are metal
finishers, platers, sprayers, polishers, sanders,
trim cutters, sewing machine operators, and
trimmers. Metal finishers (D.O.T. 6-77.040, and
.530 and 8-77.10) file and polish rough surface
areas of metal parts in preparation for painting.
Platers put a thin coat of metal on automobile
bumpers and “ hardware” for ornamentation



Sewing machine operators sew fabric sections for
interiors of automobiles.

and protection against corrosion. Sprayers
(D.O.T. 7-16.210, and .500 through .629) oper­
ate spray guns to apply paint or other finishes
to the metal parts. Polishers (D.O.T. 6-77.020,
.025, .080, and .330) rub the finished surfaces
by hand or polish them with a portable motordriven buffing wheel.
Cutters, sewing machine operators, and trim­
mers combine their skills to provide comfortable
and attractive interiors. With hand shears or
an electric knife, the cutter (D.O.T. 4-62.020
and 6-27.054) cuts fabric or leather to the spe­
cific shape according to a pattern. The sewing
machine operator (D.O.T. 6-27.503), using a
power-driven machine, sews together the up­
holstery sections after they have been cut to
size. Trimmers (D.O.T. 4-35.610) arrange and
fasten springs and padding or foam rubber for
the seats and backs, and tack the covering ma­
terial in place.
Assembling occupations (D.O.T. 5-02.300
through .399, 5-25.570, 7-02.300 through .399,
and 9-02.01, and .81). The workers who do the
assembling make up the largest occupational

588
group in the automobile industry. Assemblers
may work on small units or subassemblies or
they may assemble large units. Those employed
on subassemblies may work in parts plants or
on the subassembly lines of the larger automo­
bile manufacturers. Line assemblers work on the
final assembly line where they may bolt parts
and subassemblies to make the completed car.
Most assembly jobs are repetitive and require
little skill; however, they do require coordina­
tion and may be strenuous. Division of labor
is carried to its extreme degree on the assembly
line. For example, one worker may start nuts
on bolts and the next worker may tighten the
nuts with a power-driven tool called a nutrunner. Each worker is assigned the amount
of work he can do within the time it takes the
automobile to pass his work station.
Material handling, custodial, and plant pro­
tection occupations. The production of motor
vehicles by the assembly-line process requires an
elaborate system of material movement to sup­
ply the assembly lines and to remove finished
products. A considerable number of workers are
employed to move materials in automobile and
automobile parts plants. Drivers operate power
trucks which deliver parts or subassemblies to
the assembly line or move materials between
plants. Material handlers load and unload ma­
terial from trucks or into and out of containers.
Crane operators use machines to move raw steel
stock, heavy dies, and other materials that can­
not be lifted by hand.
Many persons are needed to keep the produc­
tion workers supplied with tools, parts, and ma­
terials, and to keep records of materials.
Factory clerks, such as checkers, 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 shipments.
The automobile industry also employs many
workers in plant protection and custodial work.
These workers include plant patrolmen, gatemen, janitors, and porters.
Maintenance occupations. A large staif is
required to keep machines and equipment in
good operating condition and to make changes
 the layout of automobile plants. Because
in


OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK

breakdowns in the assembly lines and in the
highly mechanized machining lines are partic­
ularly costly, the automobile industry employs
many skilled maintenance employees to service
this complicated production system. The main­
tenance and repair of complex electrical, elec­
tronic, and hydraulic equipment require welltrained electricians, electronic technicians, and
machinery repairmen. Millwrights move, in­
stall, and maintain heavy machinery and me­
chanical equipment. Plumbers and pipefitters lay
out, install, and repair piping, valves, pumps,
and compressors. Other maintenance workers
in automobile plants include carpenters, station­
ary engineers, tool and die makers, and sheetmetal workers.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

The training requirements for jobs in the
automobile industry range from a few hours of
on-the-job training to years of preparation.
Many of the plant workers can learn their jobs
in a day or two. On the other hand, engineering
and scientific jobs, as well as craft jobs, are filled
by persons who have spent years in training for
their occupations.
The automobile industry’s emphasis upon new
design and mechanical improvements has made
it an important employer of persons with engi­
neering and scientific backgrounds. The mini­
mum requirement for professional engineering
jobs is a bachelor of science or a bachelor of
engineering degree from a recognized college.
Advanced degrees are often required for scien­
tists, particularly for those engaged in research
and development work. Many of the companies
give their newly hired engineers and scientists
specialized training courses. It is from this
group of professional workers that some com­
panies have selected many of their top execu­
tives.
The requirements for other technical workers
vary according to their specialties. For example,
engineering aids, laboratory assistants, and
draftsmen are often technical institute or junior
college graduates. Some automobile companies
train their own semiprofessional technical work­
ers at company-run schools or subsidize students
at local junior colleges or technical institutes.

AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURING OCCUPATIONS

These workers may also take advanced training
and acquire engineering degrees.
Administrative positions are usually filled by
men and women who have college degrees in
business administration, marketing, accounting,
industrial relations, or other specialized fields.
Some companies have advanced training pro­
grams for workers in these specialties. Most
of the top administrative jobs are filled by
promotion from within the organization.
Most automobile firms hire persons who have
had commercial courses in high schools or busi­
ness schools for office jobs such as clerks, book­
keepers, key punch operators, stenographers,
and typists. These workers usually have not been
trained specifically for jobs in this industry.
Applicants for most plant jobs must be physi­
cally able, dependable, and have aptitude for
mechanical work. For semiskilled jobs, the in­
dustry looks for applicants who are high school
graduates and who can do routine work at a
steady and fast pace. As noted earlier, many
assembling jobs can be learned in a few hours
or days. Some of the less skilled machine oper­
ating jobs can be learned in a few weeks. Other
plant production jobs require about a month of
on-the-job experience before the worker can per­
form his job satisfactorily.
Extensive periods of training are required for
craft jobs in the automobile industry. Tool and
die makers, patternmakers, electricians, mill­
wrights, and machinery repairmen are some of
the highly skilled workers who generally require
at least 4 years of training before they can
perform their specialized jobs. Although many
of the workers in craft jobs have acquired the
skills of their trade by working for many years
with experienced workers, most training au­
thorities agree that apprenticeship training is
the best way to learn a skilled trade. Auto­
mobile firms, in cooperation with labor unions,
conduct apprenticeship programs for many of
the skilled trades. The industry's apprenticeship
program enables several thousand young men
each year to prepare themselves for skilled jobs.
Applicants for apprenticeship training are
generally required to be between the ages of
18 and 26 (50 percent of the apprentices can be
workers between the ages of 26 and 41 who are

already employed in automobile companies) and


589
graduates of a high school, trade, or vocational
school. Training authorities stress that young
persons interested in apprenticeship training
should prepare themselves by taking courses in
mathematics and other sciences. Apprentice
applicants are given physical examinations,
mechanical aptitude tests, and other qualifying
tests.
Apprenticeship training includes both onthe-job training and classroom instruction re­
lated to