Electroplating Workers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

If you are interested in becoming an electroplater, a good background in mathematics, chemistry, physics, electrical shop, metal shop, and blueprint reading is essential. Such classes will introduce you to some of the basic concepts underlying the industrial applications of electroplating as well as give you a hands-on sense of related technical fields.

Postsecondary Training

The trend in this industry has been for plating processes to involve increasing complexity and engineering precision. A high school diploma is the minimum requirement to enter this career, but often employers prefer to hire students who have had specialized training and technical education. Some community colleges and vocational schools offer one- or two-year courses in electroplating. In addition, some customized courses are available through the AESF Education Foundation, part of the National Association for Surface Finishing.

Many electroplaters, however, start out as helpers with little or no prior training and learn the trade by working with skilled platers. This method requires at least four years to become a skilled plater. Sometimes platers are trained with just one or two metals because it takes too much time to learn the necessary techniques for more than that. Workers who know only one or two metals may have trouble transferring to other shops where different metals are used.

Other Education or Training

The National Association for Surface Finishing's AESF Education Foundation offers custom training courses, individual training, home study courses, and webinars to help electroplating workers stay up to date with changes in technology and industry developments. Recent educational offerings included Basic Chemistry for Electroplaters, Basics in Electricity for Electroplaters, Plating & Anodizing Equipment, and Precious Metals Plating. Contact the association for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

The National Association for Surface Finishing offers three voluntary certification categories for electroplating workers: certified electroplater-finisher, master surface finisher, and certified aerospace finisher. Applicants must complete a specified number of courses, pass examinations, and meet other eligibility requirements. 

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Postsecondary education or four years of experience as an electroplating helper is required to enter the field

Electroplaters possess an interest in metals, chemicals, and electrical processes. They can mathematically calculate the correct proportions for solutions and mix the necessary solutions, which are often caustic and dangerous. If you are interested in this field, you should also be able to accurately perform mathematical calculations and be detail-oriented so that you can mix solutions correctly. You should be able to work on your own, without direct supervision, but also be willing to cooperate with coworkers when a project requires teamwork.