Forge Shop Workers
Education and Training Requirements
Courses in mathematics (especially geometry), mechanical drawing, blueprint reading, computer science (because many forging processes are now automated), and English are recommended if you are planning to work in a forging operation. Machine shop and other shop courses are also helpful.
A high school diploma is required to enter this field, and many employers prefer to hire applicants who have had electronics training or training with quality control systems in a trade school, community college, or technical institute. Students in two-year technical programs should study electronics or take programs in metallurgy, engineering, machinery, or computers.
Apprenticeship programs are available for occupations such as die setters, die sinkers, forge shop machinery repairers, and press operators. They generally take one to four years to complete. Apprentices get practical experience by working under the supervision of skilled workers. Their work experience is supplemented by classroom training in related areas such as power hammer, hand tool use, and blueprint reading.
Other Education or Training
The Forging Industry Association offers Forging University, a Web-based training center that features more than 100 interactive courses. Classes include Fundamentals of Forging 101, Ferrous Metallurgy for Plant Personnel, Hammer Safety, Press Safety, Heat Treatment of Carbon Steel Forgings, Induction Heating For Forging, and Safety & Health Orientation for the Forge Shop. The National Tooling and Machining Association also provides continuing education opportunities. Contact these organizations for more information.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
While not a requirement, certification in specific machine skills may enhance employment and advancement opportunities for forge shop workers. Various trade organizations offer certification, which varies based on the skill involved, for machine operators and setup workers.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Aspiring forge shop workers can obtain experience in the field by participating in postsecondary training or an apprenticeship.
Workers employed in forge shops need to have strong mechanical aptitudes, good mathematical and reading skills, and the ability to pay attention to fine details. Forge shop workers today must operate complex machinery and sophisticated quality control systems. They also must be able to read blueprints, understand quality standards, and pay attention to detail and accuracy. Workers need to be in good physical condition and be able to lift objects of up to 50 pounds.