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Sandblaster

Sandblasters operate high-pressured equipment to shoot abrasives, to etch, clean, smooth or shape hard surfaces such as glass, rock or metal.

Also Known As

Shot Blaster

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 6662.4: Sandblasters
  • 9414.4: Stone Forming and Finishing Workers
  • 9612: Labourers in Metal Fabrication

2006 NOC-S

  • G932: Specialized Cleaners
  • J124: Concrete, Clay and Stone Forming Operators
  • J312: Labourers in Metal Fabrication

2011 NOC

  • 6732: Specialized cleaners
  • 9414: Concrete, clay and stone forming operators
  • 9612: Labourers in metal fabrication

2016 NOC

  • 6732: Specialized cleaners
  • 9414: Concrete, clay and stone forming operators
  • 9612: Labourers in metal fabrication

2021 NOC

  • 65311: Specialized cleaners
  • 94103: Concrete, clay and stone forming operators
  • 95101: Labourers in metal fabrication

2023 OaSIS

  • 65311.04: Vehicle cleaners
  • 94103.03: Stone forming and finishing workers
  • 95101.00: Labourers in metal fabrication
Duties
Updated May 20, 2021

Sandblasters may work in a variety of areas:

  • Stone forming and finishing workers clean and polish surfaces of stone blocks, slabs or other stone products to specific shapes or designs. They produce smooth finishes, such as for kitchen countertops. They also cut inscriptions or decorative designs in stone monuments
  • Labourers in metal fabrication operate metal cleaning equipment such as wheelabrators, deburrers and shot blasters. They remove excess welds, rust, scale and other unwanted material from metal products such as parts and castings, often to prepare the surfaces for paints or other finishes such as chrome
  • Specialized cleaners use sandblasting, pressurized steam or hydroblasting equipment to clean building exteriors, tanks, chimneys and industrial equipment. Dry ice blasting uses dry ice to clean surfaces such as commercial food equipment, with no toxic or abrasive residue

Types of sandblasting equipment include:

  • Portable blast systems (blast pots)
  • Blast pots fed from a silo
  • Blast cabinets
  • Blast rooms
  • Large industrial blasters (the size of a truck)

All these types of blasting equipment include a pressurized system attached to a hose, which has a nozzle that directs a flow of abrasive particles. Different types of abrasive particles, such as silica sand, fine glass beads, crushed nut shells, steel, aluminum and pressurized steam, are suited to particular materials and achieve different finishes.

In general, sandblasters:

  • Add abrasive material to blast pots
  • Operate equipment that introduces compressed air into a mixing chamber
  • Mask off areas to be protected from abrasives
  • Apply stencils used to create design patterns or lettering
  • Guide the flow of particles carefully across surfaces (mistakes can be very costly)
  • Clean, repair and maintain hoses, nozzles, machines and air compressors
  • Help to erect scaffolding or staging required for operations such as cleaning building exteriors
  • Order abrasive mediums and other materials as needed
  • Keep routine records

When etching, sandblasters may:

  • Cut stencils of letters or designs
  • Operate machines that automatically move the sandblasting nozzle back and forth over the surface being etched
  • Shape or carve designs into surfaces without the use of a stencil 
Working Conditions
Updated May 20, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Sandblasters work primarily outdoors. They sometimes work indoors in blast rooms or when using blast cabinets for smaller pieces. Standing for extended periods, bending, crouching, kneeling and working at heights or in confined spaces may be required, all while holding a pressurized hose.

Working conditions often are noisy, dusty and dirty. Occupational risks include exposure to hazardous dust particles, excessive noise and potentially explosive or flammable conditions created by using metallic abrasives. There can be a risk of injury if control of the nozzle is lost.

Sandblasters must follow safety procedures and wear personal protective equipment such as respirators, well-padded clothing and gloves, steel-toed boots, eye and ear protection, and blast hoods or helmets with an adequate air supply.

The job requires heavy lifting. For example, a sandblaster might have to hold a high-pressure hose (180 pounds per square inch) for several hours.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Sandblasters

2006 NOC: 6662.4

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
OBJECTIVE

Interest in operating sandblasting, pressurized steam and hydroblasting equipment

METHODICAL

Interest in comparing to inspect surfaces for dust, dirt, grease and other deposits; and in cleaning building exteriors and other surfaces

directive

Interest in selecting appropriate sandblasting equipment and techniques

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Stone Forming and Finishing Workers

2006 NOC: 9414.4

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
OBJECTIVE

Interest in operating machines to grind and polish surfaces of stone blocks, slabs and other stone products to specific shapes and designs, and to produce smooth finishes; in finishing stone products with spray paint and in mounting plaques and installing concrete bases

METHODICAL

Interest in copying information to operate blade and wire saws to cut blocks of stone to specified dimensions, and to operate machines to drill holes in blocks and slabs of stone according to specifications

innovative

Interest in operating sandblasting equipment to cut inscriptions and decorative designs on monument stones

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Labourers in Metal Fabrication

2006 NOC: 9612

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
METHODICAL

Interest in comparing information to clean work areas and equipment; and in loading and unloading vehicles using hand carts and dollies

OBJECTIVE

Interest in operating metal-cleaning equipment such as wheelabrators, deburrers and shotblasters to remove excess welds, rust, scale and other material from surfaces of metal parts, castings and other metal products

innovative

Interest in sorting metal sheets and parts, scrap metal and other materials

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Traits & Skills
Updated May 20, 2021

Sandblasters need:

  • A safety-conscious attitude
  • Strength and physical fitness
  • Hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity
  • Organizational skills
  • The ability to pay careful attention to detail and work with others on a team

Sandblasters should enjoy working outdoors, operating machinery and performing tasks that require precision.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Specialized cleaners

2016 NOC: 6732

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 107 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between May 10, 2022 and May 26, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Operate cleaning machines
Tasks: Clean interior and exterior of motor vehicles
Experience: Will train
Attention to detail
Tasks: Wash and clean interior and exterior windows and other glass surfaces
Tasks: Provide customer service
Tasks: Vacuum floors
Tasks: Shampoo upholstery
Construction Specialization: Reliability
Construction Specialization: Flexibility

Concrete, clay and stone forming operators

2016 NOC: 9414

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 103 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between May 10, 2022 and May 26, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Operate machines to grind and polish surfaces of stone blocks, slabs or other stone products to specific shape or design and to produce a smooth finish
Tasks: Operate machines to drill holes in blocks or slabs of stone according to specifications
Tasks: Operate blade or wire saws to cut blocks of stone to specified dimensions
Tasks: Perform ongoing machine adjustments
Tasks: Operate stone-dressing lathe to sharpen and dress grindstones that grind logs into pulp
Tasks: Check products for quality control
Work Site Environment: Noisy
Attention to detail
Tasks: Finish stone products with spray paint and by mounting plaques or installing concrete bases
Hand-eye co-ordination

Labourers in metal fabrication

2016 NOC: 9612

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 122 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between May 10, 2022 and May 26, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Clean machines and immediate work areas
Tasks: Sort metal sheets and parts, scrap metal and other materials
Tasks: Operate metal cleaning equipment to remove excess welds, rust, scale and other materials from surfaces of metal products
Tasks: Load and unload vehicle
Tasks: Grind or chip excess metal from metal products using hand tools
Tasks: Assist structural steel and platework fitters, sheet metal workers, metal machine operators or other metal workers
Tasks: Read and interpret work orders
Attention to detail
Construction Specialization: Reliability
Construction Specialization: Team player
Educational Requirements
Updated May 20, 2021
  • Minimum Education At least Grade 10

Most sandblasters are trained on the job. There are no standard education requirements for sandblasters, but employers generally prefer to hire applicants who have a high school diploma or related experience, a valid driver's licence with a good driving record, and 1 or more of the following types of training:

  • WHMIS (Workplace Hazards Management Information System)
  • H2S Alive
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)
  • Confined space entry
  • Fall arrest awareness

Industrial positions may require related safety training such as CSTS (Construction Safety Training System).

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 20, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 20, 2021

Sandblasters are employed by:

  • Sandblasting and spray-coating companies
  • Marine, farming, heavy equipment and automotive restorers
  • Cemeteries
  • Metal casting and fabrication companies
  • Industrial cleaning companies
  • Road-surfacing companies

With experience, sandblasters may advance to supervisory positions.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 6732: Specialized cleaners occupational group, 75.8% of people work in:

In the 9414: Concrete, clay and stone forming operators occupational group, 86.3% of people work in:

In the 9612: Labourers in metal fabrication occupational group, 81.3% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 6732: Specialized cleaners occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.5% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 169 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

In Alberta, the 9414: Concrete, clay and stone forming operators occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 2.1% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 7 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

In Alberta, the 9612: Labourers in metal fabrication occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 2.2% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 27 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated May 20, 2021

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Specialized cleaners

2016 NOC: 6732
Average Wage
$18.80
Per Hour
Average Salary
$33,593.00
Per Year
Average Hours
35.1
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.7
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 6732 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $23.40 $16.97 $15.25
Overall $15.00 $29.00 $18.80 $16.73
Top $16.50 $34.02 $21.71 $19.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction
Manufacturing
Wholesale Trade
Retail Trade
Transportation and Warehousing
Information, Culture, Recreation
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
56%
56%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
16%
16%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
5%
5%
Vacancy Rate
3%

Concrete, clay and stone forming operators

2016 NOC: 9414
Average Wage
$29.24
Per Hour
Average Salary
$59,600.00
Per Year
Average Hours
40.2
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.7
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 9414 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.00 $33.30 $21.73 $22.00
Overall $24.00 $40.00 $29.24 $29.33
Top $26.00 $43.00 $33.37 $32.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
17%
17%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
N/A
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
3%
3%
Vacancy Rate
N/A

Labourers in metal fabrication

2016 NOC: 9612
Average Wage
$25.98
Per Hour
Average Salary
$52,517.00
Per Year
Average Hours
39.1
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 9612 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $23.00 $19.37 $20.00
Overall $18.33 $32.00 $25.98 $25.00
Top $21.50 $38.00 $31.61 $31.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
40%
40%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
23%
23%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
3%
3%
Vacancy Rate
0%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 20, 2021

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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