Trades & Services

Engraver

Engravers use a range of electrical and hand tools to create designs on metal, glass, wood, plastic and other materials.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does an Engraver do?

Engravers use a range of electrical and hand tools to create designs on metal, glass, wood, plastic and other materials.

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Work activities

As an engraver, you would:

  • produce designs on a variety of items including trophies, goblets, bowls, decanters, mirrors and glass panels
  • sketch original designs, or decide on designs to copy
  • lay out designs, lettering or wording on the items to be engraved
  • mark the outline of designs and cutting with engraving tools
  • clean and polish the areas which have been engraved
  • operate engraving machines to reproduce standard designs
  • acid etch photographic images onto metal objects.

Each method of engraving produces a different effect and requires different skills. For example, you might engrave personalised gifts by hand, but to engrave the same design on to a set of wine glasses, you would use a machine.

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Key skills and interests

To become an engraver, you would need:

  • a steady hand for detailed work
  • practical ability
  • creative flair, with an interest and ability in art, particularly drawing
  • patience with the ability to concentrate and work alone for long periods
  • a methodical approach to your work
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • good eyesight.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

You would typically work a standard number of hours each week. If you were self-employed your hours would need to be more flexible and depend on the needs of your customers.

Conditions

You could be based in a retail engraving booth, workshop or factory, and you may need to wear ear protection, goggles and a mask as conditions could be noisy and dusty. You would use equipment ranging from a simple diamond-point hand tool to electrical machinery and laser cutters.

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How to become an Engraver?

Entry Level Education

You can work as an engraver without formal qualifications, but employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent. You would get some training on the job.

Skills that are common to jewellery making may be useful in this occupation and may also improve your job prospects. You may like to consider a VET course in hand engraving fundamentals, for example.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of engravers is declining with the increase in availability of inexpensive, mass-produced items designed to look handmade.

Engravers are likely to undertake their work as part of a broader role in, for example, jewellery making or repair.

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Devices

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