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Summary Report for:
51-4051.00 - Metal-Refining Furnace Operators and Tenders

Operate or tend furnaces, such as gas, oil, coal, electric-arc or electric induction, open-hearth, or oxygen furnaces, to melt and refine metal before casting or to produce specified types of steel.

Sample of reported job titles: Arc / Argon Oxygen Decarborization Melter (ARC / AOD Melter), Automatic Furnace Operator, Central Melt Specialist, Control Room Operator, Direct Casting Operator, Electric Melt Operator, Melt Room Operator, Melt Supervisor, Utility Person, Vessel Operator

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Draw smelted metal samples from furnaces or kettles for analysis, and calculate types and amounts of materials needed to ensure that materials meet specifications. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Drain, transfer, or remove molten metal from furnaces, and place it into molds, using hoists, pumps, or ladles. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Record production data, and maintain production logs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate controls to move or discharge metal workpieces from furnaces. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Weigh materials to be charged into furnaces, using scales. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Regulate supplies of fuel and air, or control flow of electric current and water coolant to heat furnaces and adjust temperatures. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Inspect furnaces and equipment to locate defects and wear. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Observe air and temperature gauges or metal color and fluidity, and turn fuel valves or adjust controls to maintain required temperatures. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Observe operations inside furnaces, using television screens, to ensure that problems do not occur. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Remove impurities from the surface of molten metal, using strainers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Kindle fires, and shovel fuel and other materials into furnaces or onto conveyors by hand, with hoists, or by directing crane operators. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Sprinkle chemicals over molten metal to bring impurities to the surface. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Direct work crews in the cleaning and repair of furnace walls and flooring. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare material to load into furnaces, including cleaning, crushing, or applying chemicals, by using crushing machines, shovels, rakes, or sprayers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Scrape accumulations of metal oxides from floors, molds, and crucibles, and sift and store them for reclamation. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Ammeters — Digital ammeters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Belt conveyors — Conveyor belt systems; Pivoting conveyors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Blow torch — Oxygen lances See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Closed circuit television CCTV system — Closed circuit television monitors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Control unit — Control computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Core drying ovens — Drying systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ear plugs — Hearing protection plugs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Electric furnace — Electric arc furnaces See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Electrical or power regulators — Rheostats See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Evaporative coolers — Evaporative cooling systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Flowmeters — Fluid flow meters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Forklifts — Wheeled forklifts See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Foundry ladles — Foundry casting ladles; Foundry transfer ladles; Foundry treatment ladles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Foundry molds See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Foundry shovels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Furnaces — Gas furnaces; Oil furnaces; Removable crucible furnaces; Vacuum furnaces (see all 14 examples) See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Goggles — Chemical protection goggles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hoists — Power hoists See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Loading equipment — Scrap charging buckets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Overhead crane — Foundry overhead cranes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pressure indicators — Air gauges; Pressure gauges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Protective gloves — Heat reflective gloves See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pulverizing machinery — Slag crushing machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pyrometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Respirators — Protective respirators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Roller conveyors — Holding conveyors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Safety glasses — Industrial safety glasses See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Scissor lift or lift table — Scissor lifts See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Single gas monitors — Helium leak detectors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Spray gun — Sprayers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surface thermometers — Digital thermometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Vacuum pumps — Industrial vacuum pumps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Vibrating conveyors — Vibratory conveyors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Voltage or current meters — Digital voltmeters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Wattmeters — Digital wattmeters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Weigh belt feeder — Feed scales See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Data base user interface and query software — Process safety management software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Industrial control software — Process control software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Inventory management software — Production tracking system software See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Glare Sensitivity — The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles). See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Calculate specific material, equipment, or labor requirements for production. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collect samples of materials or products for testing. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Place materials into molds. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Direct operational or production activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Measure ingredients or substances to be used in production processes. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Record operational or production data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Adjust temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate gas flow. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate coolant flow. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Adjust flow of electricity to tools or production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor instruments to ensure proper production conditions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Signal others to coordinate work activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Load materials into production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspect production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean materials to prepare them for production. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Skim impurities from molten metal. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Ignite fuel to activate heating equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Exposed to Contaminants — 98% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 82% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 90% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 84% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 85% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 85% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 70% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 75% responded “More than 40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 22% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 12% responded “Contact with others most of the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 66% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 70% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 15% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 65% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 45% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 13% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 34% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 43% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 46% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 22% responded “Moderate responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 45% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Consequence of Error — 35% responded “Extremely serious.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 36% responded “Very close (near touching).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 43% responded “High responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 44% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 40% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 26% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 47% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 15% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 17% responded “About half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 54% responded “Moderate results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 52% responded “Moderately competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 48% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 53% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 41% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
68   High school diploma or equivalent Help
14   Less than high school diploma
13   Associate's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: RIC

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $19.78 hourly, $41,140 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 21,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Decline (-3% or lower) Decline (-3% or lower)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 2,700
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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