Foundry jobs – Opportunity is waiting!

What do your grandmother’s artificial hip and a manhole cover have in common? No, a missing manhole cover didn’t cause Grandma to break her hip – it’s that her hip prosthesis and the manhole cover were both made in a foundry! Far from being an outdated type of manufacturing, foundries are alive and well and in need of quality employees. If you’re looking to build a better life in a career with a future, consider foundry employment. This is an industry with job growth!

If you think that foundry jobs are a thing of the past, you’d be surprised to learn that opportunities in foundry employment, aren’t just holding steady, but are on the rise. Well-paying foundry jobs from molding to management are going unfilled, and the trend is expected to continue. Foundry Management & Technology reported that over 58% of respondents in their annual survey of foundry managers and decision makers listed labor shortages as a significant problem for their company in 2018, and two-thirds planned to increase employment totals in 2019. Foundry recruiters are continually looking for individuals with foundry casting experience for positions including molders, patternmakers, foundry production managers, foundry engineers, foundry plant maintenance engineers, and more. Modern foundries have come a long way. Visit a foundry today, and you’ll still find fire and molten metal, but you’ll see these traditional methods being combined with modern, computerized processes to create products that are used every day. Computer-aided drafting (CAD), 3D printing, and casting simulation software are used in many plants to increase quality, efficiency, and safety.

What kinds of foundry jobs are there?

Foundries are the backbone of the manufacturing industry in the United States because they create most of the metal parts that go into everything from automobiles and appliances to aircraft and medical devices. The American Foundry Society reports that nearly 90% of all manufactured goods contain at least some metal castings and that the average person is rarely more than 10 feet away from a metal cast object! Foundries require many workers with a wide variety of skills sets to meet the demand for all of those parts. The need for skilled individuals to fill these roles continues to grow. Working with an experienced metal foundry industry recruiter is a great way to find the best opportunities in the strongest companies.

Many different entry-level to mid-level jobs are available in foundries in North America. Foundry labor can involve setting up molds, removing castings from molds, cleaning molds for reuse, and general labor throughout the facility. Foundry workers are needed in the maintenance program to keep the building and equipment running smoothly. Maintenance technicians may need specialized training or an Associate’s degree, but in some foundries, they can be trained on the job. At the highest level, industrial maintenance is overseen by maintenance engineers who usually are required to have a Bachelor’s degree in engineering. A foundry production worker may work a variety of schedules. Some foundries run only a day shift; many others will operate 1st shift, 2nd shift, and even 3rd shift to meet production demands. Conditions in different types of foundries can vary, based upon the metals used. An aluminum foundry may be cooler to work in than a steel foundry, as aluminum melts at a lower temperature than steel.

Foundry engineers are involved in many areas of foundry activity. Before an order is begun, foundry engineers coordinate with customers and the sales team to understand how the parts customers need will be used, then use that information to design the molds accordingly. A foundry engineer must be able to read blueprints, coordinate with patternmakers or outside pattern vendors, and understand how to design gates and risers to assure proper mold filling. A foundry’s process engineer uses software such as MAGMASOFT to simulate and optimize casting processes. The engineer must be able to envision how all segments of the casting process fit together, resulting in high-quality parts production while ensuring workplace safety. Foundry engineers usually have a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering or many years of on-the-floor experience in a foundry. Opportunities for foundry engineers can be found across the country, but especially in the Midwest and Northeast.

Once the design for a part is completed, the foundry must make a mold, and the first step in this process is making a pattern. Patternmakers are part draftsman, part craftsman, and part artisan. Different casting methods require different types of patterns. In sand casting for example, patterns usually are made out of wood, so it is helpful for patternmakers to have excellent carpentry skills. Sand casting patterns may be used many times, so they are constructed to last. In a different process – investment casting – the pattern is used only once, as it will melt or evaporate during the casting process. Patternmakers must be able to work with different materials to produce the pattern required for the casting method being used. The patternmaker must see not just the outside of the part, but also any voids or cavities that must be left empty inside the part. Having the ability to visualize objects three-dimensionally and having a sense of positive and negative space is crucial in this role. Patternmakers need to be well-versed in CAD (computer-aided drafting) for designing patterns, but also be skilled with using general shop machinery such as power saws, drilling and boring machines, lathes, planers, and more to create the actual patterns. Foundry hiring managers prefer patternmakers with at least an Associate’s degree but may be willing to hire a good candidate with experience in the field.

The foundry production manager oversees the casting process from start to finish, ensuring that the appropriate personnel, equipment and materials are available for the job. The production manager is responsible for technical and quality issues, as well as key production metrics. He or she ensures that all staff have the appropriate training for their roles. Keeping scrap (waste) within approved limits, meeting deadlines, and maintaining quality standards are all responsibilities of the foundry production manager. He or she must have excellent organizational skills, be a strong leader, and communicate well with others. Production managers often have a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, but in some cases may be hired with extensive on-the-job experience. Experienced foundry production managers are always in high demand. A manufacturing recruiter with experience in the foundry industry can connect you with excellent opportunities in foundry production management.

Skilled foundry plant maintenance engineers are vital for keeping foundry operations running smoothly and avoiding downtime. These professionals see to it that equipment is maintained for optimum production, and they perform repairs when necessary. Knowledge of mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems is fundamental to this role. Foundry plant maintenance engineers must have a strong understanding of how all production processes are related and anticipate problems before they arise. A good foundry plant maintenance engineer thinks creatively and can identify new processes or equipment that can streamline production, reduce costs, and increase safety. Foundry recruiters usually look for candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in engineering for this role, but may consider persons with extensive foundry maintenance experience. As in all manufacturing settings, in a foundry time is money, so companies recognize the importance of keeping all of their machinery on-line and running efficiently. As foundry equipment becomes increasingly technical, foundry plant maintenance engineers are more important than ever, and companies are willing to pay top-dollar for persons skilled in this role.

Are there foundry jobs near me?

Foundry employment is available across the country, but the states surrounding the Great Lakes have the highest concentration of foundry jobs, thanks to their historical connection with the US automobile and steel industries. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Wisconsin foundry jobs are in high supply, especially around the Milwaukee/Waukesha area. According to the American Foundry Society, the three states with the largest numbers of foundries are Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Other areas with plentiful foundry jobs include upstate New York, Indiana, and Michigan. As a bonus, the cost of living in all of these areas is at or below the national average, as reported by Business Insider using data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. They also offer some of the best opportunities for outdoor recreational activities in the country! A search of “foundry jobs near me” in any of these areas will show that foundry jobs are out there; working with a skilled recruiter can help you find the best opportunities in the healthiest companies.

What do I need to know to get a foundry job?

Hiring managers are always interested in candidates with relevant education, foundry experience, or both to fill foundry jobs. For many positions, you will need Bachelor’s degree in mechanical or industrial engineering, but if you have had many years of experience with foundry processes, you may still be considered. An Associate’s degree or specialized vocational training can prepare you for positions including foundry technician or patternmaker. Having knowledge of many different casting processes including sand casting, investment casting, permanent molding, and cope and drag, will make you a much stronger candidate. Familiarity with the different metals used in casting – aluminum, zinc, gray iron, white iron, ductile iron, and more – is a plus. If you don’t have relevant experience yet, consider taking an entry level position to learn from the inside out how a foundry operates and see if foundry employment is for you. The American Foundry Society has information and a video on their website that explains the wide variety of foundry careers that are available.

Foundry employment contributes to the very heart of American manufacturing, making everything from simple aluminum shapes to precision products. You can be a part of this vital and growing field while building the career and lifestyle you want. If you’re a job seeker, and you’re confused by job titles, don’t be intimidated by a job search. A reputable recruiter can help you through the hiring process, prepare you for interviews and help you work out the details regarding a job offer. 

We have clients in Ohio, Wisconsin and New York who are looking to hire individuals with foundry experience. We’re currently recruiting for a foundry engineer-aluminum sand casting, program manager fabrications, foundry engineer, production manager, maintenance/plant engineer, foundry supervisor and foundry assistant manager. Give us a call or email us to discuss a foundry job in this exciting industry. All conversations are confidential.