Foundry Worker
How to Become a

Foundry Worker

The complete career guide to be a Foundry Worker: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $33,930
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • -27.5%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute
  • Fast Paced Career
    Career Attribute

A foundry worker takes up a wide range of tasks to make products that involve melting and pouring metal. At a foundry, this role may involve pouring, sand making, grinding, molding, melting, or core making.

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What is a Foundry Worker?


As a foundry worker, you will fulfill the following duties:

  • Monitor the pouring of molten metal into molds and other forms to create castings with the help of ladles and hand-operated equipment.
  • Carefully track the temperature gauges and color, heating units, furnace flames, etc. to melt metal as per requirements.
  • Adjust extra metal and skim slag in inglots or equipment with strainers, burners and other hand tools.
  • Ensure that water is circulated through the cores or water is sprayed on filled molds to create a solid metal product.
  • Build sand molds for castings with rotolifts, induction furnaces and jolt squeeze machines.

Day In The Life

You will be creating cast metal products in your role as a foundry worker on a daily basis. These items can be varied depending on the industry you work in – e.g. automobile parts, church bells, church bells, etc. You will closely observe different metals being melted at a furnace, then poured into sand or metal moulds to be set. The work is usually carried out in noisy and hot areas.

The foundry industry has workers that specialize in different aspects of the process. For instance, if your primary task is as a sand mill operator or sand mixer, you will oversee the sand mixture that is used for metal molds and operate sand mixing equipment accurately. As a furnace operator, you will have to load various furnaces with metal, check the temperature settings and observe changes in color from the heat. Knock our operators are responsible for removing the mold from the casting carefully.

Work Schedule

A typical foundry worker can expect to work around 40-hour work weeks, with occasional overtime, weekend and shift duties. The type of work environment depends on your role and the particular foundry. While certain plants are dusty and noisy, others have good ventilation or air conditioning. The job can have high risks and protective clothing such as safety goggles, metal-covered shoes or uniforms should be worn as a safety precaution. Most foundry workers also belong to different unions.

Growth Of The Job

With sufficient experience, workers in the foundry industry can join a supervisory role. There are also openings for alternate career paths as hand core-makers or moulders, and patternmakers. New jobs will emerge to replace workers who quit and supply a steady stream of workers for recently constructed foundries.

Typical Employers

You are likely to be employed by independent foundries that produce quality castings to provide them to other manufacturing companies. You may work as part of a large company or an old-school factory. Many companies also require foundry workers to craft the final product. An example of this includes, the agricultural or automobile industry and their requirement of parts for equipment or engine blocks.

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How To Become a Foundry Worker

Most foundry jobs these days require at least a high school diploma or its equivalent before you can undertake the on-the-job training provided. Formal apprenticeship programs are a common way to master the tricks of the trade and take around four years to finish. Such programs are thoughtfully crafted to blend applied learning with formal instruction in a classroom setting. In addition, a few foundries also provide training courses for aspiring candidates to develop their skills further. You can specialise in becoming a hand moulder, core-maker or patternmaker as part of the foundry industry.

Many foundry workers often enter the profession by working in unskilled positions like helpers or labourers as an opportunity to advance. Prior experience gained in related industries such as metal production and fabrication, can also come in handy. Starting from such posts give you an on-ground idea of aspects such as grinding and chipping.

In terms of the ideal skill set, you need to be good with your hands and have a fondness for physically intensive work. This is especially because less developed foundries require workers that can lift up to 50 pounds and move around heavy metal items or equipment when necessary. Since there are so many ways a job can go wrong, each foundry worker has to pay close attention to the safety procedures and have strong hand-eye coordination. You must be comfortable following instructions closely and work well in a team setting.

Foundry Worker Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Foundry Worker salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Foundry Worker's can make an average annual salary of $33,930, or $16 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $26,750 or $13 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #640 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Foundry Workers

  • 0.3%   Doctorate
  • 0.1%   Masters
  • 4.1%   Bachelors
  • 5.1%   Associates
  • 23.5%   College
  • 50.8%   High School
  • 16%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Foundry Worker job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -3,300 jobs for a total of 8,700 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -27.5% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #811 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Foundry Workers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Foundries 8,400 -2,500 -3%
Metalworking machinery manufacturing 500 -100 0%
Other fabricated metal product manufacturing 500 -100 0%

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