How to become a foundry process operator

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You can do an engineering course at college, which may help when you start looking for work. Courses include:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Skills for Engineering
  • Level 1 Diploma In Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Level 2 Certificate in Engineering

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for this route but it may help you to get in if you have:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course

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You can complete an engineering operative intermediate apprenticeship or a metal casting and foundry technician advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

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Direct Application

You can apply to foundries for work if you've got experience in engineering, factory production or metal fabrication.

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Further information

You can find out more about careers in the metals industry from the Institute of Cast Metals Engineers and Tomorrow's Engineers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • concentration skills
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • controlling the furnaces that melt metal
  • putting together wax patterns used in castings
  • transferring molten metal from the furnace to moulds
  • operating die casting machines
  • grinding surplus metal off castings with abrasive wheels
  • using shot blasting machinery to clean castings

Working environment

You could work in a foundry workshop.

Your working environment may be hot and physically demanding.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

You can move into supervisory jobs or more skilled foundry work, like pattern making, moulding or coremaking.

With further training, you could switch to other areas of engineering, like welding, metal fabrication or industrial blacksmithing.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Machinist/Die Setter

  • Wage: £13,080.60 Annually
  • Location: Buxton

Apprentice CNC Operator

  • Wage: £8,840.00 Annually
  • Location: Alton

Courses In England

NVQ Diploma in Performing Engineering Operations

  • Start date: 07 September 2021
  • Location: CHESTERFIELD

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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