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Life As a Cutting, Punching, & Press Machine Operator

Career Description Set up, operate, or tend machines to saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic material.

Life As a Cutting, Punching, & Press Machine Operator

  • Load workpieces, plastic material, or chemical solutions into machines.
  • Clean and lubricate machines.
  • Sharpen dulled blades, using bench grinders, abrasive wheels, or lathes.
  • Plan sequences of operations, applying knowledge of physical properties of workpiece materials.
  • Turn controls to set cutting speeds, feed rates, or table angles for specified operations.
  • Examine completed workpieces for defects, such as chipped edges or marred surfaces and sort defective pieces according to types of flaws.

Cutting, Punching, & Press Machine Operator Required Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders say are important on the job.

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

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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

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

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Types of Cutting, Punching, & Press Machine Operator Jobs

  • Machine Operator Slitter Technician
  • Strip Metal Punch and Straightener Operator
  • Toggle Press Operator
  • Automatic Punch-Press Operator
  • Billet Cutter

Job Opportunities for Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 192,700 jobs in the United States for Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic.

Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setter, Operator, or Tender jobs are decreasing by a rate of -8.7%. This means the total job opportunities are shrinking. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a loss of -16,800 jobs for Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 18,900 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic are Georgia, Texas, and Florida.

Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, Michigan, or California. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Cutting, Punching, & Press Machine Operator Make?

The typical yearly salary for Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic is somewhere between $23,440 and $52,270. A Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setter, Operator, or Tender median salary is $34,460.

Salary Ranges for Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

How much do Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Washington

$44,670

Wyoming

$43,330

Minnesota

$43,200

Maryland

$42,770

Massachusetts

$41,090

Kentucky

$40,270

New York

$40,240

Maine

$39,000

Wisconsin

$38,970

Oregon

$38,960

Alaska

$38,340

Connecticut

$38,250

Michigan

$37,940

Louisiana

$37,840

Colorado

$37,820

California

$37,430

Nebraska

$37,360

Pennsylvania

$37,360

Montana

$37,050

Missouri

$36,920

New Hampshire

$36,850

South Dakota

$36,660

Virginia

$36,610

Arizona

$36,540

West Virginia

$36,520

Vermont

$36,360

Illinois

$36,340

Iowa

$36,060

Utah

$35,910

South Carolina

$35,690

Arkansas

$35,690

North Dakota

$35,640

Ohio

$35,590

New Jersey

$34,850

Oklahoma

$34,490

Delaware

$33,990

Indiana

$33,940

Kansas

$33,680

Tennessee

$33,420

Rhode Island

$32,810

Texas

$32,650

Alabama

$32,580

Nevada

$32,360

Mississippi

$32,210

Florida

$31,860

North Carolina

$31,620

Georgia

$31,460

Idaho

$30,910

New Mexico

$29,760

What Tools do Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders may use on a daily basis:

  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Excel
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office

Becoming a Cutting, Punching, & Press Machine Operator

What education or degrees do I need to become a Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setter, Operator, or Tender?

Cutting, Punching, & Press Machine Operator Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Cutting, Punching, & Press Machine Operator?

Cutting, Punching, & Press Machine Operator Work Experience

Where Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Work

Cutting, Punching, & Press Machine Operator Sectors

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Are you already one of the many Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

  • Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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