How To Become A Coppersmith
A coppersmith is responsible for choosing the appropriate materials for a project (copper and supporting metals such as nickel or brass). A coppersmith must use their knowledge of tools and equipment to create the exact product that is needed. Extremely fine eye-hand coordination is necessary on projects, and attention to detail is crucial.
Why Become A Coppersmith
Copper is a very important metal in our daily lives. Copper is a metal that is a superconductor of heat and electricity; because of this, copper is used in many ways, from cooking pots and pans, to piping and wiring for electronics and inside of our homes. A coppersmith in responsible for creating a wide variety of copper-based materials to suit a diverse array of needs.
Technology has become a standard part of a coppersmith’s workplace. Coppersmiths rely on computers to produce specifications for a project. Computers also make it possible to test each copper piece for quality assurance purposes.
A few of the tasks a coppersmith may have to do include creating drawings of projects; laying out and cutting copper; cutting and bending pipes with welding tools; soldering; adding coatings to copper parts to prevent erosion and other chemical reactions; and other tasks as necessary.
A Coppersmith should possess the following qualities and skills:
- Attention to Detail
- Hand-Eye Coordination
- Mechanical Aptitude
- Physically Fit
- Enjoys Manual Labor
- Enjoys Working Individually
Coppersmith Work Environment
A coppersmith often works for a metal manufacturing company, creating copper products that are used by companies such as electronics and cookware stores. Occasionally a coppersmith may work for themselves in their own coppersmithing studio.
A coppersmith works in a factory-like setting. They can expect a lot of noise and heat in a coppersmith factory, from the equipment and tools being used. A coppersmith will have to be on their feet throughout the day creating pieces. There is typically 40 hours a week worked in this career field.
When they are not in the factory, a coppersmith may be asked to work out in the field. Tasks might include installing copper wiring, pipes, or other pieces. A coppersmith must understand blueprints and other technical aspects of the job.
The salary for a coppersmith can vary, depending on location, education, years of experience, and many other factors. Currently in the United States the average salary for a coppersmith is $50,000. This salary can be related to the need for copper materials in many career fields, as well as the relatively low amount of coppersmiths in the United States.
Coppersmith Career Outlook
People who are knowledgeable about the uses of copper are in high demand in many field. In engineering, for example, copper is needed to help build new projects. Copper is needed in the medical field. Architects want access to people who have experience in coppersmithing to help install electric wiring and piping. Because of how prominent copper is in our daily lives, those who have access to this knowledge are highly desired.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the career outlook for those involved in metalsmithing will be an increase of six percent between 2012 to 2022. In 2022, approximately 357,000 people were employed as metal workers in the United States.
To start your career in coppersmithing, it is highly suggested that you graduate from high school, or earn your GED. During high school you can take a variety of technology and metalworking classes, to see if coppersmithing is something that interests you. This might be the first time you get a chance to work with copper.
Many coppersmiths choose to apply for a job directly after high school and receive on-the-job training. This is a way to learn as you work, directly under the supervision of your team members and manager.
Another way to receive a job and stand out from other coppersmiths is to go through an apprenticeship program. An apprenticeship program is a vocational training program that involves both classroom instruction and on-the-job work in a coppersmithing factory. An apprenticeship lasts four to five years. At the end of the apprenticeship, the apprentice is awarded a certificate of completion.
A pre-apprenticeship program may be available at your local community college. These types of programs typically last six months. This program is designed to help enhance your skills and connect you with a company to do your apprenticeship program with.