Coremakers work in job foundries, production foundries, or shops that make cores for metal products. Most foundries, according to the American Foundry Society, are small operations: Approximately 75 percent employ fewer than 100 people, and approximately 14 percent employ between 100 and 250 people.There are approximately 1,915 foundries located across the United States; this is a decrease from the 3,200 in 1990, and 6,150 in 1955. There are about 15,900 foundry mold and coremakers employed in the United States. About 166,000 workers are employed as molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders.
Workers who wish to become coremakers usually start out as helpers. They learn the basics of coremaking through on-the-job training and by working closely with an experienced coremaker. However, not many entry-level workers have been hired in recent years, so the traditional route of starting out in the shop and moving into a more technical position has become somewhat limited. Typically, the best way to obtain a job in coremaking is to apply directly to a foundry or shop that makes metal castings. You can learn about openings in area companies through state employment services or classified newspaper ads, or visit http://afsinc-jobs.careerwebsite.com for job listings. Many workers in foundries are members of unions such as the GMP Council: Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers, so you might try contacting a local union office.
Workers who begin as helpers may advance to become coremakers if they can demonstrate that they can do the work. Experienced coremakers who possess leadership qualities may become shop supervisors. Some advancement opportunities open up when workers transfer to other foundry jobs that deal with a variety of metals.
Tips for Entry
While in high school, take classes in mathematics, blueprint reading, drafting, computers, English, and shop.
Arrange to visit a foundry so that you can observe the work and ask questions to learn more about the job.
Pursue hobbies such as sculpture or metalworking to help you develop manual dexterity and provide experience working with metals.
Attend workshops or take classes in sculpture through museums or art centers.
If there is a foundry in your area, consider taking a summer or part-time job as a helper in a coremaking operation.