Becoming a Brazing Machine Technician: Job Description & Salary

About this article
What are the pros and cons of a career as a brazing machine technician? Get real job descriptions, career prospects and salary info to see if becoming a brazing machine technician is right for you.
View available schools

Pros and Cons of a Brazing Machine Operator Career

Brazing machine technicians, more commonly called brazing machine operators, setters or tenders, operate machines that treat metal products. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons associated with this field.

Pros of Being a Brazing Machine Technician
Little or no formal education required**
On-the-job training opportunities*
Opportunities for overtime*
Increased job opportunities for experienced workers**

Cons of Being a Brazing Machine Technician
Slower-than-average job growth (6% between 2014 and 2024)**
Some physical risk involved in working with hot materials**
Work in an industrial environment**
Many jobs pay low wages (median wage in 2014 was just under $17.00 an hour)**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Occupational Information Network.

Essential Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Brazing machine technicians configure, operate and tend robots or machines that weld, solder or braze metal products, assemblies and components. They load, assemble and align metal pieces in their machines and press buttons, turn knobs or enter operating parameters into computers to begin production. They monitor robotic welding production lines and correct problems by adjusting controls and by stopping machines in order to open holding devices. In order to determine job instructions or specifications, they read blueprints, production schedules or work orders. When the machines have completed work, technicians test or measure the finished pieces in order to determine if they conform to specifications. In addition to operating welding or brazing machines, technicians use tools such as hammers, welding equipment, cutting torches, calipers and micrometers. Technicians might also utilize computer software, such as spreadsheet and word-processing applications.

Job Growth and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in May 2014 the median hourly wage for welding, soldering and brazing machine setters was nearly $17.00, and the median annual wage was over $35,000 (www.bls.gov). The Occupational Information Network predicted that between 2014 and 2024 job growth is expected to increase between 2% and 4%, slower than average among all occupations (www.onetonline.org).

Education and Training Requirements

This field does not have any special educational requirements. According to survey information provided by the Occupational Information Network, about 50% of brazing machine technicians have a high school education, 16% have less than a high school diploma and 11% have some college but no degree. This information shows that many brazing machine technicians learn their skills from more experienced workers through on-the-job training experiences. In general, the following skills, traits and talents are needed in order to work in this field:

  • An understanding of brazing or welding robots and machines
  • The ability to use a variety of mechanical and hand tools
  • The ability to inspect work in order to verify that all guidelines have been met
  • The ability to detect and solve problems
  • Arm and hand steadiness, manual dexterity
  • Good vision for seeing details up close
  • Knowledge of proper safety procedures and guidelines

Job Postings from Real Employers

Employers in this field often look for workers who understand how to use a variety of machines in addition to brazing and welding machines. Some employers seek individuals who also understand how to use traditional hand-welding equipment. Employers typically require a high school education and seek candidates who are willing to learn skills through on-the-job training. The following job postings were open during April 2012:

  • An engineering and staffing company in Wisconsin was seeking welding machine operators. Job duties included using a projection tube and collar welder, metal shear, seam welder, arc wire feed and heli-arc welders. Workers are expected to be able to adjust wire speed feeds, gas, amperages and voltages and use hand tools to attach fixtures to machines during size changeovers.
  • A New Hampshire staffing company that works in manufacturing was seeking workers, including brazing technicians and welding machine operators, to fill a number of full-time manufacturing positions. This employer was looking for candidates who were eager to gain work experience in the manufacturing industry and preferred candidates who were experienced in manufacturing operating machines and working with small parts.
  • A staffing company that specializes in manufacturing in Connecticut was seeking individuals with experience operating a variety of machines including brazing machines, milling machines and drill presses. This full-time position required a high school education, at least three years of machining experience and a willingness to learn on the job.

How to Stand Out in the Field

Experience with a number of machines and types of equipment is highly valued in this field, so by learning a variety of skills, you can be more versatile and might qualify for more employment positions. Education beyond the high school level is rare in this field, but by attending a community or technical college program, you can learn to use welding and brazing machines and robots as well as learn more traditional welding and brazing techniques. A postsecondary education in conjunction with relevant work experience can allow you to stand out in this field and qualify for a greater variety of jobs that offer higher wages.

Alternative Career Paths

Brazer or Solderer

If you want to work in the manufacturing industry joining metal parts but want to work with your hands rather than operate automated machines and robots, then you could consider becoming a brazer or a solderer. Brazers and solderers use gas torches, soldering irons or electric-ultrasonic equipment to melt and apply solder to pieces of metal in order to join them together. They examine their work in order to ensure that joined pieces meet all specifications and guidelines and must straighten or remove damaged or misaligned components using hand torches and furnaces. Most brazers and solderers have a high school education, and some attend colleges in order to learn their skills. The Occupational Information Network reports that in 2011 the median hourly wage for these professionals was over $17.00, and the median annual wages was almost $36,000. Job growth between 2010 and 2020 was expected to be about 10% to 19%, which is average among all occupations.

Welder

If you enjoy manufacturing work but want to specialize in a field with a more positive employment outlook than brazing machine technicians have, then you might want to become a welder. Welders are typically proficient in a variety of welding techniques including flux-cored arc, gas metal arc, gas tungsten arc, plasma arc and resistance welding. Because of the variety of specialized expertise involved in welding techniques, many welders learn skills through postsecondary education. According to the Occupational Information Network, the median annual wage of a welder was nearly $36,000, and the median hourly wage was $17.00 as of 2011. Between 2010 and 2020, job growth was projected to increase at an average rate, between about 10% and 19%.

Popular Schools

Featured Schools

Penn Foster High School

  • HS Diploma

What is your age?

Yuba College