What Does a Blacksmith Do?

A Blacksmith (600P) forges and repairs metal parts; makes striking and cutting tools; makes, sharpens or hardens drills; chisels; and performs custom work including ornamental railings, gates, grilles, and furniture. 

Additional information on training standards for this particular trade in the Industrial sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/industrial

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • reads and interprets engineering drawings; plans or sketches as well as weld-processes documentation in order to prepare the sequence of work to be performed
  • performs calculations and determines the type and profile of workpiece material
  • knowledgeable about the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Chemical Hazards and hazardous materials, environmental protocols as well as Welding Certification and Regulations
  • gains knowledge and expertise in metal pre-cutting, heat-treating and forging technology
  • uses layout tools and equipment including rules, squares, protractors, dividers, callipers and/or layout medium or dyes
  • cuts template and tracing features on workpiece material; rough-sizing preliminary cuts so that completed layout conforms to job specifications
  • identifies, selects and operates machines and equipment including reciprocating, circular, band or cut-off saws, drill presses, punch presses and hand, electrical or pneumatic tools
  • performs heat treating procedures by using coal, coke, electrical and gas forges or furnaces
  • forges metals using tooling and equipment such as anvils, sledge hammers, tongs, flatters, fullers, swages, setts and Hardys, dies and templates
  • uses flux cored, carbon arc-air, metal inert gas welding equipment; performs cold or hot-finish forgings
  • inspects final products to ensure compliance with engineering drawings or job specifications
  • communicates with co-workers 

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

To become a Blacksmith, you need Grade 12, preferably with credits in Math and Science as well as communication, and completion of a 6-8,000 hour apprenticeship comprised of on-the-job training (5280 hours) and industry approved theory. To view Essential Skills related to Apprenticeship and the Skilled Trades, visit:

http://www.jobbank.gc.ca/report-eng.do?area=6261&lang=eng&noc=7266&action=final&ln=n®ionKeyword=Burlington%2C+Ontario&s=3&source=0&titleKeyword=blacksmith#RegulatedOccupation                     NOC Code: 7266

What’s Your Future as A Blacksmith?

Traditional Blacksmithing has involved forging, repairing metal parts used in farm machinery, industrial or domestic equipment. A specialized sub-set of Blacksmithing called Farrier involves creation of horse shoes for farm and racing animals. Demand is not as strong in this area as it once was, but there has been a resurgence of interest in ornamental or artistic Blacksmithing. Ornamental or artistic blacksmiths are often self-employed. See our feature article: The Blacksmithing Renaissance

Wage Rate

  • as an Apprentice you earn less than a Journeyperson
  • this rate increases gradually as you acquire skills and gain competency
  • wage rates vary depending on the nature of the blacksmithing area you specialize in (e.g. industrial, farm equipment, artistic or ornamental); from $16.00-22.00/hr


Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Blacksmith for You?


Do you have good hand-eye coordination?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy learning about, mastering and applying different forging, heat-treating and metal pre-cutting processes and techniques?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy working with tools, equipment and machinery and being creative?

Yes      No

Do you like to get the job done just right and pay attention to detail?

Yes      No

Can you bend, lift, stretch, stand?

Yes      No

Can you look at a diagram and figure out how things come together?

Yes      No

Do you like to follow different jobs through from start to finish?

Yes      No



If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Blacksmith may be for You!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Welder
  • Welder-Fitter
  • Ironworker
  • Industrial Maintenance Mechanic
  • Composite Structures Technician
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Boilermaker
  • Tool & Die Maker

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