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Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setter, Operator, or Tender

All About Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders

Occupation Description Set up, operate, or tend lathe and turning machines to turn, bore, thread, form, or face metal or plastic materials, such as wire, rod, or bar stock.

Lathe & Turning Machine Tool Operator Responsibilities

  • Position, secure, and align cutting tools in toolholders on machines, using hand tools, and verify their positions with measuring instruments.
  • Crank machines through cycles, stopping to adjust tool positions and machine controls to ensure specified timing, clearances, and tolerances.
  • Study blueprints, layouts or charts, and job orders for information on specifications and tooling instructions, and to determine material requirements and operational sequences.
  • Move toolholders manually or by turning handwheels, or engage automatic feeding mechanisms to feed tools to and along workpieces.
  • Replace worn tools, and sharpen dull cutting tools and dies, using bench grinders or cutter-grinding machines.
  • Adjust machine controls and change tool settings to keep dimensions within specified tolerances.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Lathe & Turning Machine Tool Operator?

These are the skills Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

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.

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.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Types of Lathe & Turning Machine Tool Operator Jobs

  • Vertical Lathe Operator
  • Cup Trimming Machine Operator
  • Turret Lathe Set Up Operator
  • Multiple Spindle Screw Machine Operator
  • Computer Numerical Control Operator (CNC Operator)

Job Outlook for Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders

In the United States, there were 33,700 jobs for Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setter, Operator, or Tender in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setter, Operator, or Tender. There will be an estimated 2,900 positions for Lathe & Turning Machine Tool Operator per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Lathe & Turning Machine Tool Operator are Alabama, Utah, and Texas. Watch out if you plan on working in Delaware, West Virginia, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders Make A Lot Of Money?

Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders make between $26,000 and $59,960 a year.

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Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders who work in Massachusetts, Oregon, or Arizona, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $35,440
Arizona $47,100
Arkansas $36,310
California $40,280
Colorado $34,110
Connecticut $46,110
Florida $37,560
Georgia $36,310
Illinois $42,540
Indiana $41,180
Iowa $41,340
Kansas $39,560
Kentucky $43,950
Louisiana $43,650
Maine $33,760
Maryland $36,060
Massachusetts $50,760
Michigan $38,830
Minnesota $41,440
Mississippi $34,760
Missouri $42,720
Montana $31,790
Nebraska $39,500
Nevada $41,430
New Hampshire $38,980
New Jersey $44,030
New York $40,720
North Carolina $47,200
Ohio $40,190
Oklahoma $41,100
Oregon $54,150
Pennsylvania $41,390
Rhode Island $44,830
South Carolina $45,310
South Dakota $37,310
Tennessee $36,040
Texas $40,200
Utah $47,130
Vermont $38,570
Virginia $38,470
Washington $45,070
West Virginia $42,270
Wisconsin $41,710

Tools & Technologies Used by Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders:

  • Inventory tracking software
  • G-code
  • M-code
  • Autodesk HSMWorks

How to Become a Lathe & Turning Machine Tool Operator

Individuals working as a Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setter, Operator, or Tender have obtained the following education levels:

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

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Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders Sector

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Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders work in the following industries:

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Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setter, Operator, or Tender may also be interested in:

Those who work as a Metal and Plastic Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setter, Operator, or Tender sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

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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