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Kiln Technician

Bake clay, glass and lumber in massive furnaces.

What does a Kiln Technician do?

A kiln is a sort of sophisticated oven, used to dry out materials quickly and uniformly. As a Kiln Technician, you operate the kiln during your workday, and make sure it’s always clean and well maintained.

As a Kiln Technician, you will see different work environments often. Kilns are used by a variety of companies, including ceramic factories, lumber mills, and glass shops. Each company uses a different type of kiln, as kiln designs vary depending on the material they will heat up.

When you come to work as a Kiln Technician, you turn the kiln on and allow the temperature to rise. Then you load items onto a sort of conveyor belt, leaving enough space between items so each can heat up properly. You turn a crank to move the items through the kiln, and when they emerge, you check them to make sure they’re fully cured.

Some kilns require you to load items inside and leave them there for a specified time. You need to watch the clock closely when running these kilns. Other types require you to turn the heat up slowly when items are inside.

You use thermometers to check the temperature of your kiln, and replace worn or damaged heating elements and sensors. You also clean the kiln so debris doesn’t build up and catch fire.

The equipment you work with has its dangers so you need to be extremely careful, wearing proper gloves, aprons, and headgear while you work. Never touch freshly fired items with your bare hands, no matter what, so your fingerprints stay where they belong instead of fusing to the hot items.