Machine Operator (Industrial)Print
INDUSTRIAL MACHINE OPERATORS can be separated into two groups, those who set up machines for operations and those who tend the machines during production. Setup workers prepare the machines before the production process begins and may adjust the machinery during operation. Operators monitor the machinery during operation; sometimes loading or unloading the machine or making minor adjustments to the controls. Plastic-working industrial machine operators operate machines that transform plastic compounds into a wide variety of consumer goods such as toys, tubing, and auto parts.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $36,500 average per year ($17.50 per hour)
- A very large occupation (2,193,000 workers in 2010)
- Expected to decline (0.5% per year)
INDUSTRIAL MACHINE OPERATORS learn their skills on the job. Workers with high school courses in shop, mathematics, and blueprint reading may stand a better chance of finding a job. A working knowledge of the properties of metals and plastics is an asset. A solid math background including courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and basic statistics is useful. Machine operators need no license or certification. However, the National Institute for Metalworking Skills has developed standards for metalworking machine operators.