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What does a
Blacksmith do?

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Other common names for this position: Anvilsmith, Coppersmith, Farm Blacksmith, Gunsmith, Hammersmith, Safe Expert, Safe Maker, Toolsmith, Vault Repairer


Blacksmiths hammer, bend, and cut iron or steel using different hand tools (e.g. hammers, anvils, and chisels) and heat in order to create and produce objects such as gates, grills, railings, light fixtures, furniture, cooking utensils, tools, agricultural implements, sculptures, decorative and religious items, and weapons. They can be employed by mining or engineering companies or they may be self-employed.

Even though most people probably imagine Blacksmiths hammering the shoes on horses or making swords, nowadays, this traditional and ancient craft has been reinvented. Blacksmiths can specialize in either industrial work, making specialist tools, fire escapes, and grills; or architectural/artistic work, making decorative gates, furniture, or special commissions.

Primary Responsibilities

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Blackmiths are required to complete.

  • Forging and repairing a variety of metal articles, such as tongs, edged tools, hooks, chains, machines and structural components, and agricultural implements as specified by work orders, diagrams, or sample parts.
  • When working independently or on commission, meeting with the client to go over their requirements and take measurements, if necessary, and creating an original design or following one made by a professional designer.
  • Positioning, aligning, and bolting dies to a ram and anvil.
  • Setting and sharpening all types of saws.
  • Working with different metals including wrought iron, steel, brass, bronze, and copper.
  • Heating metal in a forge or furnace in order to be able to easily handle or shape it.
    • Tempering, hardening, or annealing forged items.
    • Shaping metal using different hand tools such as hammers, tongs, anvils, chisels, and shapers.
    • Handling and using different power tools, such as drills, air chisels, grinders, and hydraulic presses:
    • Using power tools to cut, shape, and form parts and components; and
    • ensuring safe use of tools and exercise caution while being exposed potentially harmful temperatures.
    • Joining metals together using blacksmithing and welding methods, such as drawing down, punching, twisting, or other traditional methods for joining.
    • Applying finishes and last touches to their products, polishing the metal with wax or linseed oil:
    • When making a gate or a piece that is bound to be outdoors, treating the finished product with zinc and applying paint.
    • Installing, repairing, and adjusting safes, vaults, and locks.
    • Ensuring that their products are well constructed and sturdy enough for the purpose for which they were designed.
    • Creating a network of vendors, suppliers, and clients.
    • Estimating amount, type, and cost of materials required.

    Daily Tasks

    • Heating metal in a forge.
    • Hammering, punching, cutting, or forming metal into desired shapes.
    • Forging special tools, jigs, or fixtures.
    • Shaping metal using power forging machinery.
    • Selecting dies for forging according to specifications.
    • Positioning, aligning, and bolting dies to a ram and anvil.
    • Checking the machines’ set-up for proper usage.
    • Working out the quantity, type, and cost of the materials needed.

    The average Blacksmith salary is $48,432 per year or $25 per hour. This is around 1.5 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $34,000 while most experienced workers make up to $68,000. These results are based on 10 salaries extracted from job descriptions.

    Gross Salary49,013.25 $
    CPP- 2,252.88 $
    EI- 921.45 $
    Federal Tax- 5,306.82 $
    Provincial Tax- 2,725.00 $
    Total Tax- 11,206.15 $
    Net Pay*37,807.10 $
    In Ontario, Canada, if you make 49,013.25 $ a year, you will be taxed 11,206.15 $. That means that your take home pay will be 37,807.10 $ per year, or 3,150.59 $ per month. Your average tax rate is 22.86% and your marginal tax rate is 49.12%.
    * Deductions are calculated based on the tables of Ontario, Canada income tax.
    Job Offers
    There are currently 3 available job offers for the Blacksmith position on Below is a list of available jobs, based on Canada's most populated metropolitan areas.
    Education is key ! Over [number] graduates attended one or more of these schools prior to becoming a Blacksmith. These Schools usually offer specialized courses and programs that impart the necessary knowledge and skills required by most employers.
    Top 5 Schools in Canada
    to become Blacksmith
    • 1
      Montreal, Quebec
    • 2
      Montreal, Quebec
    Required Skills and Qualifications
    • Exceptional knowledge of metals and other materials.
    • Outstanding creativity and stamina.
    • Interpersonal, communication, and customer service skills:
    • Communicating clearly, especially verbally, in order to create a clear and communicative environment with clients and colleagues; and
    • great listening skills in order to fully understand the clients’ requirements and/or the designer’s instructions.
    • Organizational and time management skills.
    • Analytical skills:
    • Being able to do basic calculations for measurements and quantities.
    • Exceptional attention to detail.
    • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
    • Continual focus on safety and client satisfaction:
    • Wearing hard hats, aprons, safety boots, safety goggles, and ear protection.
    • Manual dexterity, motor coordination, and physical strength:
    • Displaying good hand skills with a high regard for neat workmanship;
    • being able to lift or carry heavy objects;
    • being able to work in very high temperatures, as well as noisy environments; and
    • being able to stand, crouch, and kneel for extensive periods of time.

    Blacksmiths aren’t required to have a formal education to enter this career. However, many Blacksmiths enter the profession through an apprenticeship with an experienced professional in the area and learn their skills on-the-job. Previous experience in welding, metalwork, or art and design (using metals) can be very useful and may give the candidate an advantage over other applicants when looking for a job. Employers usually require at least 5 years of experience in the job.

    When specializing in artistic work, Blacksmiths are usually self-employed and they tend to sell their work at craft shows, galleries, and fairs. Furthermore, they may produce their own designs or follow instructions from clients or professional designers. On the other hand, Industrial Blacksmiths usually work in major mining and engineering sites, which can be more physically demanding.