Foundry process operator

Job Description:

Foundry process operators make metal castings and parts used in industry.

Job Category:
Metals & Mining

What you will do:

On a typical day you could:

  • control the furnaces that melt metal
  • put together wax patterns used in castings
  • transfer molten metal from the furnace to moulds
  • operate die casting machines
  • grind surplus metal off castings with abrasive wheels
  • use shot blasting machinery to clean castings


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • 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

As well as:

  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to use your initiative (drive)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • concentration skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Foundry Process Operator, there are no specific subjects that are typically required. However, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial for those considering a career in foundry work. Foundry process operators are responsible for operating equipment and machinery in metal casting processes, so skills related to practical work, mathematics, and technical understanding can be helpful. Here are some subjects that may be relevant:

  1. Mathematics: Strong mathematical skills are important for measurements, calculations, and understanding technical specifications related to foundry processes.
  2. Design and Technology: Courses related to design and technology can provide practical skills and knowledge related to manufacturing methods, materials, and tools.
  3. Science: Basic knowledge of science, especially Physics, can be helpful in understanding the principles of heat, materials behaviour, and the casting process.
  4. Engineering: If available, courses in engineering can provide a foundational understanding of engineering principles and machinery operation.

Post School

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.

In the UK, courses include:

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

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

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

Working Hours and 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 & 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.