Laser Operator Jobs Offer Varied Responsibilities, Good Employment Potential
Many people have undoubtedly seen science-fiction or futuristic movies in which the hero or the villain used a laser beam to cut through a supposedly impenetrable door, wall, or fortress to perform a good or evil deed respectively. While the context of that particular movie scene may require a suspension of reality in order to be believed, the concept of using a laser to cut through various materials is not fictional by any means; laser-related technology has actually been used in the manufacturing sector for several decades.
Laser cutting is applied to cut, bend, punch, or bore through flat-sheet materials as well as structural and piping materials. In the most basic of terms, a laser beam is a column of very high intensity light; in the cutting process, this beam is focused into a pinpoint, through the use of special lenses or mirrors, in order to generate the appropriate amount of power or energy needed to rapidly heat, melt, and partially or completely vaporize the material that is being cut, shaped, or drilled/bored; this process is most frequently used with the following types of metals:
- Mild Steel
- Stainless Steel
- Copper and Brass
Advances in computer technology/software have dramatically influenced the laser cutting process over the last several years; it has been converted into an automated procedure that delivers better production efficiency, higher precision/tolerances, and less downtime for the manufacturer. For laser operators, such advancements have not diminished their roles but rather changed their focus from primarily manual tasks (equipment set-ups and change-overs, etc.) to responsibilities that now include a greater emphasis on:
- Computer Programming
- Preventative Maintenance
- Troubleshooting/Problem Solving
- Quality Assurance and Record keeping
In terms of the job descriptions for laser operators, specific responsibilities might include some or all of the following:
- Reading and understanding blueprints and mechanical drawings
- Knowledge/use of appropriate tools to keep machines in operation
- Attention to detail; adherence to all standards of quality and safety
- Addressing machine malfunctions in an efficient and expedited manner
- Chart machine performance and administer routine checks/maintenance
- Ensuring that projects are implemented/completed according to timelines
- Plan the sequences of operation to achieve optimal precision and tolerances
- Preparing raw materials for production; assembling final products for shipping
Candidates for the position of laser operator must possess their high school diploma (or equivalent), although some employers may require short-course technical certification or accreditation. Specific areas of study and/or proficiency should consist of the following:
- Industrial mathematics
- Tooling and tool maintenance
- Computer programming (CNC)
- Computer-aided design (AutoCAD)
- Reading and interpreting blueprints
The employment outlook for laser operators is strong, with a projected compound annual growth rate of 9% through the year 2020. Key contributing factors to this global growth rate include: the need for automation, increasing demand from end-user industries, and an ever-growing need to develop and manufacture high-quality products.
Placement Specialists Have Valuable Insight to Help Find Laser Operator Jobs
Individuals with an interest in highly-specialized manufacturing jobs, such as the role of laser operator, may be uncertain of the available employment options and opportunities at a given point in time. For such reasons, coordinating their job search efforts with the professional services offered by a staffing agency such as Winters Staffing Technical can prove to be a most valuable association.
Placement specialists at Winters Technical Staffing establish and maintain strong working relationships with employers in many major industries that require the skills of qualified laser operators; a cross-section of these industries would include but are not limited to:
Based on these employer relationships, Winters Technical Staffing consultants will often have direct/first-hand knowledge of employment opportunities for new and experienced laser operators, including prospects for apprenticeships, entry-level roles, and senior or advanced positions. In many of these cases, the employers do not advertise their hiring needs to the general public, choosing instead to have Winters Technical Staffing perform a targeted search to identify and recruit capable laser operators who have the skills and expertise to meet the needs for this specific function within their respective organization.
Contact Winters Today
Placement specialists can offer valuable insight to individuals seeking laser operator jobs. Call the professionals at Winters Technical Staffing today at 416-495-7422 to request a complimentary consultation on your career goals and expectations.