Manufacturing > Production

Projected Growth: Slower than average

Projected Job Openings

Medium Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Operate production machines such as pug mill, jigger machine, or potter’s wheel to process clay in manufacture of ceramic, pottery and stoneware products.

Common job titles of Potters include:

Experience and Education

Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

  • 24.06% said they needed a High School Diploma.

  • 19.73% said they needed a Associate's Degree.

Tasks & Responsibilities

Essential Tasks

    Move pieces from wheels so that they can dry.

    Smooth surfaces of finished pieces, using rubber scrapers and wet sponges.

    Raise and shape clay into wares such as vases and pitchers, on revolving wheels, using hands, fingers, and thumbs.

    Press thumbs into centers of revolving clay to form hollows, and press on the inside and outside of emerging clay cylinders with hands and fingers, gradually raising and shaping clay to desired forms and sizes.

    Position balls of clay in centers of potters' wheels, and start motors or pump treadles with feet to revolve wheels.

    Adjust wheel speeds according to the feel of the clay as pieces enlarge and walls become thinner.

    Examine finished ware for defects and measure dimensions, using rule and thickness gauge.

    Pull wires through bases of articles and wheels to separate finished pieces.

    Adjust pressures, temperatures, and trimming tool settings as required.

    Operate drying chambers to dry or finish molded ceramic ware.

    Operate jigger machines to form ceramic ware, such as bowls, cups, plates, and saucers.

Regular Tasks

    Teach pottery classes.

    Verify accuracy of shapes and sizes of objects, using calipers and templates.

    Mix and apply glazes, and load glazed pieces into kilns for firing.

    Operate pug mills to blend and extrude clay.

    Start machine units and conveyors and observe lights and gauges on panel board to verify operational efficiency.

    Maintain supplies of tools, equipment, and materials, and order additional supplies as needed.

    Perform test-fires of pottery to determine how to achieve specific colors and textures.

    Design clay forms and molds, and decorations for forms.

    Prepare work for sale or exhibition, and maintain relationships with retail, pottery, art, and resource networks that can facilitate sale or exhibition of work.

Occasional Tasks

What Tools and Technologies do Potters use?


Triple beam balances

Tile cutters

Thickness gauges

Texturing brushes

Spring scales

Spray booths

Slip trail applicators

All Tools

Slab rollers

Scoring tools

Safety glasses

Raku tongs


Pug mills

Precision rulers

Pottery wheels

Pottery molds

Portable pottery wheels

Personal computers


Mold trimming knives

Layout templates

Laptop computers

Lace tools

Kiln gloves

Kiln glasses

Kick wheels

Insulated gloves

Hole cutters

Handheld sprayers

Hake brushes

Grinding wheels

Gas kilns

Fettling knives

Electric kilns

Dust masks

Drying ovens

Dipping tongs

Digital scales

Dial calipers

Conveyor feeding systems

Cleanup tools

Clay presses

Clay mixers

Clay extruders

Clay cutters

Ceramics kilns

Carving tools

Carving spatulas

Banding wheels

Ball mills

Air compressors

Air cleaners


Inventory control software


No abilities found

Everything Potters Should Know…


Production and Processing

Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Fine Arts

Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

Sales and Marketing

Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.


Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Administration and Management

Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.


Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

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