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
Video: - Roger: Engraver
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
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.
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
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
There are a large number of art and design courses that might help you prepare for a career as a Metal Engraver.
Most of your training for this type of work will be done on-the-job. You might attend college on a part-time basis.
Previous experience working in craft design and metalwork would be really useful for this career.
It is very common for Metal Engravers to become self-employed.
For employed Metal Engravers, progression is usually to supervisory positions.
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.
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 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.
Some people enter this career via a Jewellery Silversmithing and Allied Trades Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.
- 83% of metal engravers are self-employed.
- 26% work part-time.
Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far
National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
Tel: 0800 015 0400
Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 9178000
Skills for the creative industries
Publisher: Creative & Cultural Skills
Creative & Cultural Skills
Skills for craft, cultural heritage, design, literature, music, performing arts and visual arts
Tel: 0845 6180440
Jewellery & Allied Industries Training Council (JAITC)
Address: c/o British Jewellers' Association, Federation House, 10 Vyse Street, Birmingham B18 6LT
Tel: 0121 2371110
Address: PO Box 5, Driffield, East Yorkshire, YO25 8JD
Tel: 01377 255213
The National Association of Jewellers
Address: Federation House, 10 Vyse Street, Birmingham B18 6LT
Tel: 0121 2371110
Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 028 4844