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Furnace Operator Careers

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.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a furnace operator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $14.34 an hour? That's $29,829 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -8% and produce -83,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a furnace operator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 18.4% of furnace operators included stainless steel, while 9.5% of resumes included preventive maintenance, and 9.4% of resumes included heat treat. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the furnace operator job title. But what industry to start with? Most furnace operators actually find jobs in the manufacturing and automotive industries.

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 6.7% of furnace operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.0% 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.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a furnace operator. When we researched the most common majors for a furnace operator, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on furnace operator resumes include diploma degrees or bachelor's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a furnace operator. In fact, many furnace operator jobs require experience in a role such as machine operator. Meanwhile, many furnace operators also have previous career experience in roles such as forklift operator or cashier.

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Average Salary
$29,829
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
16,077
Job Openings

Furnace Operator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Furnace Operator

Cashier
6.8 %

Top Careers After Furnace Operator

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Furnace Operator

Furnace Operators in America make an average salary of $29,829 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $40,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $21,000 per year.
Average Salary
$29,829

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Kingman, AZ
Salary Range31k - 46k$38k$38,153
Tualatin, OR
Salary Range29k - 38k$34k$33,628
Euclid, OH
Salary Range24k - 36k$30k$29,917
Erie, PA
Salary Range24k - 36k$30k$29,768
Houston, TX
Salary Range23k - 36k$30k$29,614
Columbia, TN
Salary Range24k - 35k$29k$29,167
$23k
$46k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
2Nd Shift Furnace Operator-Elkhart In
2Nd Shift Furnace Operator-Elkhart In
Manpowergroup
Manpowergroup
03/29/2021
03/29/2021
$40,38303/29/2021
$40,383
1St. Shift Furnace Operator
1St. Shift Furnace Operator
Workbox Staffing
Workbox Staffing
03/15/2021
03/15/2021
$27,13103/15/2021
$27,131
Furnace Operator Direct !
Furnace Operator Direct !
Kelly Services
Kelly Services
03/15/2021
03/15/2021
$33,39203/15/2021
$33,392
Furnace Operator
Furnace Operator
Automation Personnel Services
Automation Personnel Services
03/11/2021
03/11/2021
$27,13103/11/2021
$27,131
Shipping Clerk/Heat Treat Operator
Shipping Clerk/Heat Treat Operator
Conrad's Tire Express and Total Car Care
Conrad's Tire Express and Total Car Care
03/10/2021
03/10/2021
$22,95703/10/2021
$22,957
See More Recent Salaries

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Furnace Operator Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Furnace Operator. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Furnace Operator Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Furnace Operator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Furnace Operator Demographics

Gender

male

87.6 %

female

8.7 %

unknown

3.7 %

Ethnicity

White

63.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

20.5 %

Black or African American

11.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

76.6 %

Italian

4.3 %

Swahili

2.1 %
See More Demographics

Furnace Operator Education

Majors

Business
21.0 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

38.7 %

Certificate

33.2 %

Associate

11.1 %
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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%
  • See All Furnace Operator Skills

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, Kansas, and Iowa. Furnace operators make the most in New York with an average salary of $46,848. Whereas in New Jersey and Kansas, they would average $46,705 and $45,707, respectively. While furnace operators would only make an average of $44,155 in Iowa, 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:
$71,000
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:
$60,000
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. Kansas

Total Furnace Operator Jobs:
138
Highest 10% Earn:
$64,000
Location Quotient:
0.84
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
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Top Furnace Operator Employers

1. Alcoa
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$36,508
Furnace Operators Hired: 
37+
2. Caterpillar
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$37,052
Furnace Operators Hired: 
32+
3. Eaton Corporation
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$34,609
Furnace Operators Hired: 
25+
4. Grede Holdings
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$25,780
Furnace Operators Hired: 
25+
5. Timken Company
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$40,366
Furnace Operators Hired: 
25+
6. Kennametal
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$27,872
Furnace Operators Hired: 
22+

Furnace Operator Videos

Updated October 2, 2020