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Woodworking Machine Setter, Operator, or Tender

All About Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

Occupation Description Set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood nailing machines. May operate CNC equipment.

Woodworking Machine Operator Responsibilities

  • Control hoists to remove parts or products from work stations.
  • Start machines and move levers to engage hydraulic lifts that press woodstocks into desired forms and disengage lifts after appropriate drying times.
  • Clean or maintain products, machines, or work areas.
  • Adjust machine tables or cutting devices and set controls on machines to produce specified cuts or operations.
  • Secure woodstock against a guide or in a holding device, place woodstock on a conveyor, or dump woodstock in a hopper to feed woodstock into machines.
  • Remove and replace worn parts, bits, belts, sandpaper, or shaping tools.

Woodworking Machine Operator Needed Skills

These are the skills Woodworking Machine 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.

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.

Equipment Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Types of Woodworking Machine Setter, Operator, or Tender

  • Veneer Clipper
  • Dowel Inserting Machine Operator
  • Burn Table Operator
  • Planer Setup Operator
  • Pipe and Tank Fabricator

Woodworking Machine Operator Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 77,100 jobs for Woodworking Machine Setter, Operator, or Tender in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Woodworking Machine Setter, Operator, or Tender. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 8,400 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Woodworking Machine Operator are Utah, Florida, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Kansas, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Make A Lot Of Money?

The average yearly salary of a Woodworking Machine Operator ranges between $20,870 and $44,420.


Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders who work in Wyoming, Connecticut, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $28,600
Alaska $36,660
Arizona $27,500
Arkansas $28,110
California $32,360
Colorado $37,050
Connecticut $40,440
Florida $29,150
Georgia $27,650
Hawaii $36,070
Idaho $33,350
Illinois $33,310
Indiana $31,140
Iowa $33,680
Kansas $32,160
Kentucky $27,700
Louisiana $31,570
Maine $30,240
Maryland $32,160
Massachusetts $37,660
Michigan $30,870
Minnesota $36,320
Mississippi $29,660
Missouri $28,940
Montana $34,530
Nebraska $30,160
Nevada $38,300
New Hampshire $35,240
New Jersey $33,090
New Mexico $36,440
New York $35,300
North Carolina $29,630
North Dakota $33,570
Ohio $31,500
Oklahoma $31,190
Oregon $35,950
Pennsylvania $33,220
Rhode Island $32,730
South Carolina $29,360
South Dakota $29,800
Tennessee $28,800
Texas $26,790
Utah $31,160
Vermont $31,650
Virginia $28,730
Washington $35,530
West Virginia $29,430
Wisconsin $31,510
Wyoming $41,170

Tools & Technologies Used by Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software
  • YouTube
  • Apple macOS
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Suite
  • Computer aided design and drafting CADD software

How do I Become a Woodworking Machine Operator?

Education needed to be a Woodworking Machine Setter, Operator, or Tender:


How many years of work experience do I need?


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


Image Credit: Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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