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Summary Report for:
51-9195.05 - Potters, Manufacturing

Operate production machines such as pug mill, jigger machine, or potter's wheel to process clay in manufacture of ceramic, pottery and stoneware products.

Sample of reported job titles: Clay Mixer, Glazer, Jigger Artisan, Jigger Machine Operator, Potter, Production Potter

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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

Tasks

  • Press thumbs into centers of revolving clay to form hollows, and press on the inside and outside of emerging clay cylinders with hands and fingers, gradually raising and shaping clay to desired forms and sizes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Adjust wheel speeds according to the feel of the clay as pieces enlarge and walls become thinner. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Mix and apply glazes, and load glazed pieces into kilns for firing. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Position balls of clay in centers of potters' wheels, and start motors or pump treadles with feet to revolve wheels. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Raise and shape clay into wares such as vases and pitchers, on revolving wheels, using hands, fingers, and thumbs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare work for sale or exhibition, and maintain relationships with retail, pottery, art, and resource networks that can facilitate sale or exhibition of work. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Smooth surfaces of finished pieces, using rubber scrapers and wet sponges. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Design clay forms and molds, and decorations for forms. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Move pieces from wheels so that they can dry. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Pull wires through bases of articles and wheels to separate finished pieces. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Examine finished ware for defects and measure dimensions, using rule and thickness gauge. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform test-fires of pottery to determine how to achieve specific colors and textures. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain supplies of tools, equipment, and materials, and order additional supplies as needed. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Verify accuracy of shapes and sizes of objects, using calipers and templates. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate drying chambers to dry or finish molded ceramic ware. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Start machine units and conveyors and observe lights and gauges on panel board to verify operational efficiency. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Adjust pressures, temperatures, and trimming tool settings as required. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate pug mills to blend and extrude clay. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate jigger machines to form ceramic ware, such as bowls, cups, plates, and saucers. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Air compressors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Air exhausters — Air cleaners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bench scales — Digital scales See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Calipers — Dial calipers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Clay or modeling tools — Clay cutters; Slab rollers; Slip trail applicators; Texturing brushes (see all 15 examples) See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Conveyor feeders — Conveyor feeding systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Drying cabinets or ovens — Drying ovens See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Extruders for modeling materials — Clay extruders; Clay presses See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hand sprayers — Handheld sprayers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Kilns for firing ceramics — Ceramics kilns; Electric kilns; Gas kilns See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory mills — Ball mills See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Masks or accessories — Dust masks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Oxygen sensors — Oxyprobes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Paint application system — Spray booths See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Potters wheels for hand made ceramics — Banding wheels; Kick wheels; Portable pottery wheels; Pottery wheels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power grinders — Grinding wheels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Protective gloves — Insulated gloves; Kiln gloves See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pull spring balances — Spring scales See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pyrometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Rulers — Precision rulers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Safety glasses — Kiln glasses See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Scribers — Scoring tools See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Templates — Layout templates See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Thickness measuring devices — Thickness gauges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tile cutter — Tile cutters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tongs — Dipping tongs; Raku tongs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Triple beam balances See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Inventory management software — Inventory control software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel 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.
  • Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models. 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.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources. 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.

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Skills

  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly. 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.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged. 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.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. 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.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. 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.
  • 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.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. 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.
  • 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

  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests. 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.
  • 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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions. 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.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. 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.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Remove products or workpieces from production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mix ingredients to create specific finishes. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure proper functioning. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Apply protective or decorative finishes to workpieces or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Shape clay or dough to create products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Load items into ovens or furnaces. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Set equipment controls to meet cutting specifications. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Design jewelry or decorative objects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate mixing equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Position raw materials on processing or production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Conduct test runs of production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate heating or drying equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maneuver workpieces in equipment during production. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 90% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 86% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 78% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 52% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 43% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 46% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 36% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 31% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 50% responded “About half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 43% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 38% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 45% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 44% responded “More than 40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 29% responded “Less than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 25% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
24   High school diploma or equivalent Help
20   Associate's degree
17   Bachelor's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: RA

  • 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.
  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules. 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.
  • 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.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. 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.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. 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.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. 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.
  • 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.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. 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

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service. 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 data collected from Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal and Plastic.
Employment data collected from Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal and Plastic.
Industry data collected from Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal and Plastic.

Median wages (2014) $14.34 hourly, $29,820 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 42,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 17,000
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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