Career outlook for blacksmith
Average UK salary
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would shape heated metal into practical and decorative objects including gates, railings, furniture, tools and horseshoes.
You’d heat a piece of a metal such as steel, iron, brass, copper or bronze in a very hot fire until it is soft and workable. You’d then hammer, bend, cut and join the hot metal before it cools and hardens.
You could specialise in industrial work and make items such as specialist tools, fire escapes or security grills.
Or you could produce artistic or architectural metalwork such as decorative ironwork, gates, sculptures and furniture. You’d either make your own designs or create pieces based on instructions from clients.
Depending on the type of blacksmithing you do, you’d use this equipment:
- A forge or furnace
- Traditional hand tools such as hammers, punches and tongs or anvils
- Power tools, such as power hammers, drills, grinders, air chisels and hydraulic presses
- Engineering machinery such as pillar drills, centre lathes, milling machines and welding equipment
- Work with various metals, including wrought iron, steel, brass, bronze and copper
- Heat metal to the right temperature so that it can be shaped
- Join metals together using various blacksmithing methods
- Apply 'finishings' to metal or products
If you specialise in artistic work, you would normally be self-employed. You’d sell your work at craft shows, galleries and fairs, and do the administration needed for running a business.
Some blacksmiths are trained and registered as farriers and also fit shoes to horses.
UK employment status
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