What Do Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic Do

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Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz




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.

Salary: $38650
Salary Rank: D
Education: No degree required
Becoming One: Easy
Job Satisfaction: Low
Job Growth: Declining
Suitable Personality: The Builder

Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius


What they do

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.

  • 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.

Typical day

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.

Other responsibilities

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.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction
Low
Is this job meaningful
Low

51% said they were satisfied with their job and 39% said they found their job meaningful.

Pros

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).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

One of the lowest paying jobs.

Demand for this career is declining.


Salary

Average salary
$38650 per year
Average hourly wage
$19 per hour

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.

Salary range Hourly Annual
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

How to become one

Should you become one

Best personality for this career
The Builder

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.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.


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