Refractory Materials Repairer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Builds or repairs equipment such as furnaces, kilns, cupolas, boilers, converters, ladles, soaking pits and ovens, using refractory materials.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Maintenance/Operations pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Relines or repairs ladles and pouring spouts with refractory clay, using trowels.
  • Chips slag from linings of ladles or removes linings when beyond repair, using hammers and chisels.
  • Mixes specified amounts of sand, clay, mortar powder, and water to form refractory clay or mortar, using shovels or mixing machines.
  • Measures furnace walls to determine dimensions and cuts required number of sheets from plastic block, using saws.
  • Tightens locknuts holding refractory stopper assemblies together, spreads mortar on jackets to seal sleeve joints, and dries mortar in ovens.
  • Dries and bakes new linings by placing inverted linings over burners, building fires in ladles, or by using blowtorches.
  • Removes worn or damaged plastic block refractory linings of furnaces, using hand tools.
  • Fastens stopper heads to rods with metal pins to assemble refractory stoppers used to plug pouring nozzles of steel ladles.
  • Climbs scaffolding, carrying hoses, and spray surfaces of cupolas with refractory mixtures, using spray equipment.
  • Drills holes in furnace walls, bolts overlapping layers of plastic to walls, and hammers surfaces to compress layers into solid sheets.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupations requires climbing things such as ladders, scaffold, and poles more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Whole body vibrations, such as when operating a jackhammer
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Maintaining a body position that prevents falling when in an unstable position
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Bricker --
  • Cell Reliner --
  • Cupola Repairer --
  • Furnace Repairer --
  • Hot Repairman --
  • Ladle Liner --
  • Ladle Repairman --
  • Refractory Bricklayer --
  • Refractory Technician --
  • Refractory Worker --