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All About Machine Tool Operators

Machine Tool Operator Definition Operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic work pieces.

What Do Machine Tool Operators Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Set up and operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic workpieces.
  • Lift workpieces to machines manually or with hoists or cranes.
  • Input initial part dimensions into machine control panels.
  • 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.
  • Remove and replace dull cutting tools.

Skills Needed to be a Machine Tool Operator

These are the skills Machine Tool Operators say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Other Machine Tool Operator Job Titles

  • Plastic CNC Machine Operator
  • CNC Laser Operator (Computer Numerical Control Laser Operator)
  • Computer Numerical Control Operator (CNC Operator)
  • Printed Circuit Boards Numerical Control Drill Operator
  • Numerical Control Milling Machine Set-Up Operator

Are There Job Opportunities for Machine Tool Operators?

There were about 145,700 jobs for Machine Tool Operator in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 1.1% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,600 new jobs for Machine Tool Operator by 2026. The BLS estimates 14,500 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Machine Tool Operator are Utah, North Dakota, and Montana. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, New Mexico, or Washington. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Machine Tool Operators Salary

Machine Tool Operators make between $26,890 and $60,650 a year.

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Machine Tool Operators who work in Washington, Massachusetts, or North Dakota, make the highest salaries.

How much do Machine Tool Operators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $38,170
Arizona $38,820
Arkansas $37,780
California $42,930
Colorado $43,990
Connecticut $47,240
Delaware $35,700
Florida $38,960
Georgia $37,510
Idaho $38,730
Illinois $39,570
Indiana $39,700
Iowa $40,740
Kansas $42,650
Kentucky $36,110
Louisiana $45,920
Maine $47,530
Maryland $44,080
Massachusetts $51,150
Michigan $40,500
Minnesota $45,670
Mississippi $36,250
Missouri $39,730
Montana $40,430
Nebraska $38,970
Nevada $42,850
New Hampshire $45,220
New Jersey $45,750
New Mexico $36,360
New York $38,700
North Carolina $38,780
North Dakota $49,590
Ohio $41,760
Oklahoma $39,730
Oregon $43,560
Pennsylvania $39,870
Rhode Island $42,710
South Carolina $43,220
South Dakota $38,630
Tennessee $39,140
Texas $41,560
Utah $35,220
Virginia $41,110
Washington $64,290
West Virginia $43,590
Wisconsin $44,190

What Tools & Technology do Machine Tool Operators Use?

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

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
  • PTC Creo Parametric
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software
  • 1CadCam Unigraphics
  • CNC Mastercam
  • ERP software
  • Delcam PowerMILL
  • MUMPS M
  • UGS Solid Edge
  • G-code
  • Vero Software SURFCAM

How to Become a Machine Tool Operator

Are there Machine Tool Operators education requirements?

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What work experience do I need to become a Machine Tool Operator?

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Where Machine Tool Operators Are Employed

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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You May Also Be Interested In…

Are you already one of the many Machine Tool Operator in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: US Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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