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Occupational Employment Statistics


51-4051 Metal-Refining Furnace Operators and Tenders

Operate or tend furnaces, such as gas, oil, coal, electric-arc or electric induction, open-hearth, or oxygen furnaces, to melt and refine metal before casting or to produce specified types of steel. Excludes “Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic" (51-4191).

Geography Click link for Career Profile EmploymentEmp SE*Percentiles
Northeast Minnesota 4015$30.99/hr$24.65/hr$31.11/hr$31.11/hr$31.16/hr$39.05/hr

IndustryOES Employment (Statewide)OES Median Wage (Statewide)
Natural Resources and Mining30$31.11/hr
Professional and Business ServicesN/AN/A
Geography Click link for details EmploymentMedian WageProjections
% Change -10-
Northwest Minnesota N/AN/AN/A
Grand Forks ND-MN MSA N/AN/AN/A
Mankato-North Mankato MN MSA N/AN/AN/A
Rochester MN MSA N/AN/AN/A
Northwest Balance of State N/AN/AN/A
Northeast Balance of State N/AN/AN/A
Southeast Balance of State N/A$23.76/hrN/A
Central Minnesota 10$24.59/hr16.7%
Southwest Minnesota 20$25.05/hrN/A
Southeast Minnesota 30$24.29/hr6.5%
Northeast Minnesota 40$31.11/hr-6.4%
Duluth MN-WI MSA 40$31.11/hrN/A
Seven County Mpls-St Paul, MN 130$29.68/hr3.3%
Minneapolis-St Paul-Bloomington MN-WI MSA 150$29.68/hrN/A
Minnesota 240$26.59/hrN/A

  • Inspect furnaces and equipment to locate defects and wear.
  • Record production data, and maintain production logs.
  • Observe air and temperature gauges or metal color and fluidity, and turn fuel valves or adjust controls to maintain required temperatures.
  • Prepare material to load into furnaces, including cleaning, crushing, or applying chemicals, by using crushing machines, shovels, rakes, or sprayers.
  • Draw smelted metal samples from furnaces or kettles for analysis, and calculate types and amounts of materials needed to ensure that materials meet specifications.
  • Sprinkle chemicals over molten metal to bring impurities to the surface.
  • Remove impurities from the surface of molten metal, using strainers.
  • Operate controls to move or discharge metal workpieces from furnaces.
  • Regulate supplies of fuel and air, or control flow of electric current and water coolant to heat furnaces and adjust temperatures.
  • Drain, transfer, or remove molten metal from furnaces, and place it into molds, using hoists, pumps, or ladles.