What Do CNC Operators Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

CNC Operators set up, operate, or tend machines that cut or slice materials, such as glass, stone, cork, rubber, tobacco, food, paper, or insulating material. They also set up, operate, or tend machines that cut or slice materials, such as glass, stone, cork, rubber, tobacco, food, paper, or insulating material.

Other tasks include:

  • Review work orders, blueprints, specifications, or job samples to determine components, settings, and adjustments for cutting and slicing machines.
  • Examine, measure, and weigh materials or products to verify conformance to specifications, using measuring devices, such as rulers, micrometers, or scales.
  • Press buttons, pull levers, or depress pedals to start and operate cutting and slicing machines.
  • Start machines to verify setups, and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Feed stock into cutting machines, onto conveyors, or under cutting blades, by threading, guiding, pushing, or turning handwheels.
  • Operate cranes, or signal crane operators to position or remove stone from cars or saw beds.

We asked CNC Operators how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

61%

How meaningful is this job

46%


61% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 46% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, CNC Operators press buttons, pull levers, or depress pedals to start and operate cutting and slicing machines. They feed stock into cutting machines, onto conveyors, or under cutting blades, by threading, guiding, pushing, or turning handwheels.

A typical day for a Cutting and Slicing Machine Setter, Operator and Tender will also include:

  • Remove completed materials or products from cutting or slicing machines, and stack or store them for additional processing.
  • Turn cranks or press buttons to activate winches that move cars under sawing cables or saw frames.
  • Examine, measure, and weigh materials or products to verify conformance to specifications, using measuring devices, such as rulers, micrometers, or scales.
  • Move stock or scrap to and from machines manually, or by using carts, handtrucks, or lift trucks.
  • Set up, operate, or tend machines that cut or slice materials, such as glass, stone, cork, rubber, tobacco, food, paper, or insulating material.

We asked some CNC Operators a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?19% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?23% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?70% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?5% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?11% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?50% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, CNC Operators also change or replace saw blades, cables, cutter heads, and grinding wheels, using hand tools. They may also position width gauge blocks between blades, and level blades and insert wedges into frames to secure blades to frames.

On a weekly to monthly basis, CNC Operators Start pumps to circulate water and abrasives onto blades or cables during cutting. They might also Cut stock manually to prepare for machine cutting, using tools such as knives, cleavers, handsaws, or hammers and chisels.

In addition, they Clean and lubricate cutting machines, conveyors, blades, saws, or knives, using steam hoses, scrapers, brushes, or oil cans.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Sharpen cutting blades, knives, or saws, using files, bench grinders, or honing stones.

To some CNC Operators, it is also their responsibility to Wash stones, using water hoses.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Cutting and Slicing Machine Setter, Operator and Tender, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do CNC Operators work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
56%


Never
43%


Do CNC Operators work outdoors?

Never
67%


Once a year
16%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Organizers

People who are suitable for this job tends 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.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about CNC Operators

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Related to Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes519032.htm


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