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Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

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What Does it Take to Be a Machine Tool Operator?

Job Description & Duties Operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic work pieces.

Life As a Machine Tool Operator

  • Modify cutting programs to account for problems encountered during operation and save modified programs.
  • Stack or load finished items or place items on conveyor systems.
  • Calculate machine speed and feed ratios and the size and position of cuts.
  • Confer with supervisors or programmers to resolve machine malfunctions or production errors or to obtain approval to continue production.
  • Lift workpieces to machines manually or with hoists or cranes.
  • Review program specifications or blueprints to determine and set machine operations and sequencing, finished workpiece dimensions, or numerical control sequences.

Things a Machine Tool Operator Should Know How to Do

Machine Tool Operators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Types of Machine Tool Operators

  • Shot Peening Operator
  • Robotic Machine Operator
  • CNC Technician (Computer Numerical Control Technician)
  • Computer Numerical Control Set-Up and Operator (CNC Set-Up and Operator)
  • Machinist

Job Opportunities for Machine Tool Operators

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 145,700 jobs in the United States for Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 1.1% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,600 new jobs for Machine Tool Operators by 2026. The BLS estimates 14,500 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Machine Tool Operators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic are Texas, Indiana, and South Carolina.

Watch out if you plan on working in Washington, Vermont, or Idaho. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Machine Tool Operator Average Salary

The salary for Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic ranges between about $26,890 and $60,650 a year. A Machine Tool Operator median salary is $40,070.

Salary Ranges for Machine Tool Operators

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Washington

$64,290

Massachusetts

$51,150

North Dakota

$49,590

Maine

$47,530

Connecticut

$47,240

Louisiana

$45,920

New Jersey

$45,750

Minnesota

$45,670

New Hampshire

$45,220

Wisconsin

$44,190

Maryland

$44,080

Colorado

$43,990

West Virginia

$43,590

Oregon

$43,560

South Carolina

$43,220

California

$42,930

Nevada

$42,850

Rhode Island

$42,710

Kansas

$42,650

Ohio

$41,760

Texas

$41,560

Virginia

$41,110

Iowa

$40,740

Michigan

$40,500

Montana

$40,430

Pennsylvania

$39,870

Oklahoma

$39,730

Missouri

$39,730

Indiana

$39,700

Illinois

$39,570

Tennessee

$39,140

Nebraska

$38,970

Florida

$38,960

Arizona

$38,820

North Carolina

$38,780

Idaho

$38,730

New York

$38,700

South Dakota

$38,630

Alabama

$38,170

Arkansas

$37,780

Georgia

$37,510

New Mexico

$36,360

Mississippi

$36,250

Kentucky

$36,110

Delaware

$35,700

Utah

$35,220

Tools & Technologies Used by Machine Tool Operators

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Machine Tool Operators may use on a daily basis:

  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Microsoft Project
  • SAP
  • Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • UGS Solid Edge
  • ERP software
  • Enterprise Resource Planning ERP software
  • Microsoft Word
  • Kentech Kipware Studio

How to Become a Machine Tool Operator

Individuals working as Machine Tool Operators have obtained the following education levels:

Machine Tool Operator Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become Machine Tool Operator?

Machine Tool Operator Work Experience

Who Employs Machine Tool Operators?

Machine Tool Operator Sectors

Career changers with experience as a Machine Tool Operator sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

  • Printing Press Operators

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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