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Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.

Occupation Details

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Metal Engraver

Job Zone

These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, jobs requiring you to deal with the public would benefit from previous experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€18k > 36
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 36
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Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Inscribes artwork, designs and lettering into various types of metals .

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The Work header image

Engravers inscribe designs and/or letters into metals including aluminium, stainless steel, brass, copper, bronze, and precious metals such as gold and silver.  
Engravers decorate objects such as plaques, bowls, pieces of jewellery and clock faces. They also mark inscriptions or lettering for nameplates, trophies, cups, gifts and so on. In industry, engravers produce signs and machine labels, control panels, dials and measuring scales for equipment.  
Engravers cut into flat or curved surfaces, or use techniques to raise lettering or patterns from the metal. They follow customer requirements, which can involve copying existing patterns onto objects. Highly skilled engravers, working with decorative objects, may create their own designs.  
There are various techniques and methods of engraving. There are also different degrees of skill involved, ranging from machine operating to the highest levels of craftsmanship.  
Hand engraving is highly skilled. Engravers use a hand engraver, which is a cutting tool that removes a fine, V-shaped sliver of metal when pressure is applied. Objects are fixed into a vice to keep them still for engraving. Some engravers work freehand, others mark out the work on the object before making cuts.  
There are three main types of machine engraving:  
Pantograph machines are used to engrave all types of metals (and other materials, such as plastics and glass). The object is fixed into the machine. The engraver follows a template with a type of stylus that is connected to a cutting spindle on the machine.  
The engraver can set the machine to scale the engraving to different sizes and to use various letter styles. Some pantograph machines are fully automatic and the machines are becoming increasingly computerised. Engravers can use computer-aided design (CAD) to produce images, designs, lettering and so on.  
Diamond milling is a type of machine engraving that involves the use of diamond cutting tools. It is used for ornamental engraving and produces a very shiny, glittering cut. The machine produces a flat, rather than a V-shaped cut. The level of skill involved is the same as required to operate the pantograph machines. 

Engine turning is a separate, and highly specialised, form of machine engraving. Engine turners use hand-held power-driven cutting tools and techniques similar to the hand engraver applying the tool to the object. This requires a great deal of skill and is used on individual items, such as jewellery and precious metals.

Machine engraving is usually used for mass produced items. Hand engraving is used for single pieces. Engravers may produce original designs as well as copying old ones.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

The skills you need vary according to the type of engraving you do. Generally, you will need an aptitude for practical craft work. Most require a steady hand. An interest in art and design is necessary and for some, creativity is essential. You need to have an eye for shape and designs.  
You will need to work very carefully, so that you do not spoil or damage the objects you engrave. An eye for detail is important as is the ability to concentrate for long periods.  
If you enter hand engraving or engine turning you need to be exceptionally patient. It can take several hours to make a single flawless cut and days or weeks to finish a piece of work. You need to be consistent and persistent in order to achieve the required high quality standards. Accuracy is essential.  
For all types of engraving you need good eyesight, co-ordination and hand skills. Machine engravers can spend a long time on their feet; others may spend much of the day sitting.

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This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Art, Craft & Design
Engineering & Manufacturing

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