Industries & Professions /
The job outlook for workers in this field will always depend on the market for manufactured metal products, which in turn depends on the strength of the economy. The U.S. Department of Labor projects slower than average employment growth for machine setters, operators, and tenders through 2020. Factors that will affect the job market for heat treaters include increased automation that will replace lower-skilled workers in particular, and foreign competition, which is cutting into the domestic metal-product industry. Competition for heat-treating positions will be keen, so skilled heat treaters will have the greatest chance of filling any open positions if they have good working knowledge of the properties of metals, have certification from an industry association, are well versed in computer-aided machinery, and can operate a variety of machines.