Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz
Table of contents
Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic set up, operate, or tend machines to saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic material.
What they do
- Examine completed workpieces for defects, such as chipped edges or marred surfaces, and sort defective pieces according to types of flaws.
- Measure completed workpieces to verify conformance to specifications, using micrometers, gauges, calipers, templates, or rulers.
- Set stops on machine beds, change dies and adjust components, such as rams or power presses, when making multiple or successive passes.
- Start machines, monitor their operations and record operational data.
On a daily basis, Cutting Machine Operators clean the work area. They clean and lubricate machines.
A typical day for a Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setter, Operator and Tender, Metal and Plastic will also include:
- Mark identifying data on workpieces.
- Plan sequences of operations, applying knowledge of physical properties of workpiece materials.
- Position, align, and secure workpieces against fixtures or stops on machine beds or on dies.
- Load workpieces, plastic material, or chemical solutions into machines.
- Read work orders or production schedules to determine specifications, such as materials to be used, locations of cutting lines, or dimensions and tolerances.
Besides their typical day, Cutting Machine Operators also hone cutters with oilstones to remove nicks. They may also remove housings, feed tubes, tool holders, or other accessories to replace worn or broken parts, such as springs or bushings.
On a weekly to monthly basis, Cutting Machine Operators grind out burrs or sharp edges, using portable grinders, speed lathes, or polishing jacks. They might also preheat workpieces, using heating furnaces or hand torches.
In addition, they replace defective blades or wheels, using hand tools.
Although specific duties may vary, many of them sharpen dulled blades, using bench grinders, abrasive wheels, or lathes.
To some Cutting Machine Operators, it is also their responsibility to scribe reference lines on workpieces as guides for cutting operations, according to blueprints, templates, sample parts, or specifications.
What is the job like
51% said they were satisfied with their job and 39% said they found their job meaningful.
Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.
Suitable for people who value relationships between co-workers and customers and want to work in a friendly non-competitive environment.
It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required to get started.
Normal working hours (40 hours per week).
Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.
One of the lowest paying jobs.
Demand for this career is declining.
Entry-level Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $26,400 to $30,440 per year or $13 to $15 per hour.
|Highest (Top 10%)||$26||$54,630|
|Senior (Top 25%)||$22||$45,630|
|Middle (Mid 50%)||$18||$36,980|
|Junior (Bottom 25%)||$15||$30,440|
|No experience (Bottom 10%)||$13||$26,400|
Should you become one
People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. You can read more about these career personality types here.
People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.