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What Does an Electroplater Do?

An electroplater manipulates metal surfaces using electric currents, enhancing durability, corrosion resistance, and aesthetic appeal. They play a crucial role in industries like automotive, jewelry, and electronics. Curious about how this process impacts your daily life? What items around you might have been electroplated?
M. West
M. West

An electroplater, sometimes referred to as a plater, is responsible for coating items with metal using the process of electroplating. Electroplating involves the application of a thin layer of metal solution to an object, using an electric current to affix the metal particles to the item’s surface. The process involves setting up and operating coating machines, which cover plastic and metal objects with metals, such as chromium, zinc, and copper, for the purposes of either protecting the items or decorating their surfaces. Industries that use electroplated parts include automotive parts, jewelry, and appliances, as well as electronic components and metal furniture.

The work activities of an electroplater involve every part of the electroplating process from start to finish. They begin the task by checking work orders and noting specifications regarding the plating and amount of current needed. Items to be electroplated are then put through a cleansing bath and measured. The next step is to prepare and apply the solution to the objects, and later follow the cool down period with quality assessment.

Woman posing
Woman posing

Electroplater duties involve other activities, aside from the actual electroplating process. Tasks include inspecting equipment and materials, in addition to monitoring the work process to identify and assess problems. These workers must maintain documents and records, as well as evaluate information to ensure compliance with laws and standards. An electroplater’s job description includes estimating characteristics of products, such as sizes, distances, and quantities, to anticipate the costs and resources necessary to perform a task. The work also involves educational activities, as electroplaters develop training programs along with coaching others to improve their skills.

The requirements to become an electroplater involve education, as well as certain physical abilities. A high school diploma is needed, preferably one which has included courses in math, physics, and chemistry, along with blueprint reading and metal shop. Manipulative skills, such as manual dexterity, arm-hand steadiness, and multi-limb coordination, are needed for the safe and efficient electroplating process. Other physical abilities include excellent vision and good auditory attention to ensure accuracy and precision, along with general strength and stamina for coping with the rigors of the job. Visual color discrimination is also needed to notice differences in color shades and brightness, and depth perception is required to judge distances.

Other electroplater requirements involve mental skills and personality traits. Written and oral speech comprehension and expression skills are needed for understanding instructions, maintaining records, and sharing information with others. Inductive and deductive reasoning skills are required for task performance, as well as for anticipating and solving problems. Adaptability is necessary to deal with the substantial variety in the workplace, and independence is required to work without supervision. Electroplater jobs also necessitate being detail oriented, as much care and thoroughness is required for accuracy.

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