A furnace operator is in charge of ensuring that a furnace, a machine that heats things to high temperatures, is operating properly. They usually work in the manufacturing industry, where furnaces are used to melt metal before being shaped and refined.

Furnace operators use different tools, such as thermostats and pyrometers, to analyze and record the furnace's heat. They make adjustments if necessary to make sure that it is at the ideal temperature for melting metal. Furnace operators also load material into furnaces. In order to do their job, they need to have experience with tools used to manage complex equipment such as furnaces and a lot of physical stamina.

The skills needed to become a successful furnace operator aren't exactly learned in a classroom. In fact, only 6.7% of furnace operators have bachelor's degrees. Practical experience operating machinery, for example, by working as a machine or forklift operator, is more important than any diploma. Furnace operators earn an average annual salary of $30,659.

What Does a Furnace Operator Do

There are certain skills that many furnace operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed computer skills, dexterity and physical strength.

Learn more about what a Furnace Operator does

How To Become a Furnace Operator

If you're interested in becoming a furnace operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 10.9% of furnace operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.1% of furnace operators have master's degrees. Even though some furnace operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Furnace Operator

Furnace Operator Career Paths

Average Salary for a Furnace Operator

Furnace Operators in America make an average salary of $35,972 per year or $17 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $44,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $29,000 per year.
Average Furnace Operator Salary
$35,972 Yearly
$17.29 hourly
$29,000
10 %
$35,000
Median
$44,000
90 %

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Furnace Operator Education

Furnace Operator Majors

21.4 %

Furnace Operator Degrees

High School Diploma

54.9 %

Associate

15.5 %

Diploma

11.2 %

Top Skills For a Furnace Operator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 18.4% of furnace operators listed stainless steel on their resume, but soft skills such as computer skills and dexterity are important as well.

  • Stainless Steel, 18.4%
  • Preventive Maintenance, 9.5%
  • Heat Treat, 9.4%
  • Safety Procedures, 5.6%
  • Safe Operation, 4.9%
  • Other Skills, 52.2%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Furnace Operator Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Furnace Operator templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Furnace Operator resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Furnace Operator Demographics

Furnace Operator Gender Distribution

Male
Male
93%
Female
Female
7%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among furnace operators, 7.4% of them are women, while 92.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among furnace operators is White, which makes up 68.5% of all furnace operators.

  • The most common foreign language among furnace operators is Spanish at 76.6%.

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Best States For a Furnace Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a furnace operator. The best states for people in this position are New York, New Jersey, Iowa, and Kansas. Furnace operators make the most in New York with an average salary of $57,107. Whereas in New Jersey and Iowa, they would average $56,998 and $54,148, respectively. While furnace operators would only make an average of $51,748 in Kansas, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total Furnace Operator Jobs:
782
Highest 10% Earn:
$70,000
Location Quotient:
1.81 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Iowa

Total Furnace Operator Jobs:
289
Highest 10% Earn:
$66,000
Location Quotient:
1.47 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Wisconsin

Total Furnace Operator Jobs:
638
Highest 10% Earn:
$51,000
Location Quotient:
2.12 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Furnace Operators

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Top Furnace Operator Employers

Most Common Employers For Furnace Operator

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1General Electric$46,519$22.3616
2Kennametal$43,261$20.8023
3Eaton$41,610$20.0027
4ATI Physical Therapy$41,202$19.8117
5Grede$41,153$19.7925
6Cloyes Gear and Products, Inc.$40,702$19.5717
7Alcoa$39,515$19.0041
8Sunrise Preschools$38,530$18.5213
9Viracon$37,745$18.1512
10ThermTech$36,935$17.7614

Furnace Operator Videos