Etchers and Engravers perform a century-old craft using high-tech tools for speed and
precision. They use specialized tools and machinery to create decorative engravings,
such as awards and trophies, gifts and signs, or identification plates and circuit boards.
Engravers may use both traditional routers and new technologies, such as lasers and sublimation.
Today’s tools of the trade also include computers, scanners and simple graphic programs.
You must have a steady hand and good eyesight to sketch, trace or scribe layout lines and
design using a compass, scriber, graver or pencil. Computer skills and artistic creativity
are also important. You might need to determine machine settings, and operate equipment to
engrave the design into steel rollers or plates. The work can be draining when performed over
several hours; eyestrain is sometimes a problem. An Etcher or Engraver may work in an office,
factory, school or retail shop. Depending on the kind of work you’re being hired to
do, this is a craft that can be taught on-the-job, or even self-taught for your own business.
More artistic techniques may be taught in art schools or through apprentice programs.
Even for the most basic etching and engraving work, an eye for design, patience and precision
are essential to success.