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Job Photographs

  • A shop front, in a busy street. The sign above the shop reads 'Arena Awards & C.H. Smith (engravers)'.

    Many engravers are self-employed and some own small shops. The shop will also, sometimes, have a workshop attached.

  • A man is sitting at a workbench, using various pieces of equipment.

    In this workshop, there's hand-engraving equipment, such as the type pictured.

  • A commemorative plaque is being designed on a computer.

    Here, a commemorative plaque is being prepared using design software.

  • A man is standing at a desk, using a computer.

    Modern engravers also need computers for much of their work.

  • A man, wearing a white lab coat, is standing in a shop, talking to a woman.  He is showing her a small object.

    Explaining a design idea to a potential customer.

  • A row of shelves, full of different trophies.

    The range of goods engravers work on is quite wide. Here are a selection of commemorative trophies and cups.

  • A metal sign lies on a desk.  It reads 'Dr. J. O'Leary B.D.S.U. Lond. BSc (Hons), Dental Surgeon'.

    Metal engravers also work on things like signs for doors or buildings.

  • Metal Engraver

Metal Engraver

Introduction

Metal engravers cut designs and lettering into all types of metals. Varying levels of skill are involved. Most jobs are done using computers and engraving machinery. However, there are still some engravers who work by hand.

Also known as

  • Engraver

Video: - Roger: Engraver

Work Activities

As a Metal Engraver, you will 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. You also mark inscriptions or lettering for nameplates, trophies, cups and gifts. In industry, you 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. You follow customer requirements, which can involve copying existing patterns onto objects. Highly skilled Metal Engravers, working with decorative objects, may create their own designs.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Metal Engraver, you will need:

  • an aptitude for practical craft work
  • a steady hand and good co-ordination
  • an interest in art and design
  • good IT skills
  • to be creative
  • an eye for detail

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £19,000 - £21,000
  • With experience: £22,500 - £26,500
  • Senior Metal Engravers earn £27,500

Hours of work

Engravers usually work 40 hours a week, however, late finishes and weekend work may be required. Part-time opportunities are also available.

Where could I work?

Employers are hand and machine engraving companies.

Opportunities for Metal Engravers occur with firms in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Self-employment

You may become self-employed as any type of Engraver. Opportunities occur for experienced Metal Engravers to work independently as self-employed Craftworkers.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised on all the major job boards, on Universal Jobmatch, and at Jobcentre Plus.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

There are no set entry routes into this career. Artistic qualifications will be useful for new entrants.

An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is also a great place to start. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

There are a large number of art and design courses that might help you prepare for a career as a Metal Engraver.

Training

Most of your training for this type of work will be done on-the-job. You might attend college on a part-time basis.

Work Experience

Previous experience working in craft design and metalwork would be really useful for this career.

Progression

It is very common for Metal Engravers to become self-employed.

For employed Metal Engravers, progression is usually to supervisory positions.

Qualifications

You do not usually need qualifications to get into this job, but it's always useful to have some GCSEs, or equivalent. Subjects like design and technology (resistant materials technology), manufacturing, and art and design will be helpful.

Experience of working with your hands in areas such as woodwork or metalwork is very useful and in many cases is more important than qualifications.

To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Skills gained using your hands in a skilled way can be important. Some artistic ability is needed for certain jobs. A background in craft design and metalwork can be an advantage.

Courses

Some people enter this career via a Jewellery Silversmithing and Allied Trades Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

Statistics

  • 83% of metal engravers are self-employed.
  • 26% work part-time.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

ScreenSkills

Skills for the creative industries

Email: info@creativeskillset.org

Website: www.creativeskillset.org

Creative Choices

Publisher: Creative & Cultural Skills

Email: info@creative-choices.co.uk

Website: www.creative-choices.co.uk

Creative & Cultural Skills

Skills for craft, cultural heritage, design, literature, music, performing arts and visual arts

Email: london@ccskills.org.uk

Website: ccskills.org.uk

ABC Awards

Email: centresupport@abcawards.co.uk

Website: www.abcawards.co.uk

Pearson

Tel: 0845 6180440

Website: www.edexcel.org.uk

Jewellery & Allied Industries Training Council (JAITC)

Address: c/o British Jewellers' Association, Federation House, 10 Vyse Street, Birmingham B18 6LT

Tel: 0121 2371110

Email: http://www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk/

Website: www.jaitc.org.uk

craft&design

Address: PO Box 5, Driffield, East Yorkshire, YO25 8JD

Tel: 01377 255213

Website: www.craftanddesign.net

The National Association of Jewellers

Address: Federation House, 10 Vyse Street, Birmingham B18 6LT

Tel: 0121 2371110

Email: info@bja.org.uk

Website: www.bja.org.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

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