How to become a Kiln Operator

Kiln operators use solar, gas or steam kilns or ovens to dry and season clay, ceramic, glass and wood products. They control the temperature, heating times and ventilation in the kilns and may also carry out inspections of the equipment to maintain performance.

Personal requirements of a Kiln Operator

  • Enjoy practical and manual work
  • aptitude for problem-solving
  • mechanical aptitude
  • able to multi-task
  • able to work as part of a team
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • alert and safety-conscious.

Duties & Tasks of a Kiln Operator

Kiln operators may perform the following tasks:

  • inspect the plant, and check the performance of equipment and gauges, and record readings
  • control temperature, heating times and ventilation in kilns or ovens
  • control rates of flow of ceramics and wood products into kilns
  • collect samples for laboratory analysis
  • weigh, measure and mix ingredients
  • measure, test, weigh and package products
  • remove products and waste from kilns or ovens.

Working conditions for a Kiln Operator

Kiln operators wear special clothing to protect them from heat and fumes. They may work shifts over a seven-day period.\par \par The work can sometimes be physically demanding, although working conditions have improved with the introduction of new technology and specialist equipment.

Related careers