Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

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.



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Salary

Average salary
$36180 per year

Average hourly wage
$17 per hour


Cutting Machine Operators with little to no experience tend to make between $23440 and $27900 while the more experienced ones can earn over $42440 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
WA$21$44,670
WY$21$43,330
MN$21$43,200
MD$21$42,770
MA$20$41,090

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setter, Operator and Tender, Metal and Plastic is to move to a higher paying state like WA. Right now, the highest paying states for Cutting Machine Operators are WA, WY, MN, MD and MA.

However, a higher pay at WA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at WA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setter, Operator and Tender, Metal and Plastic is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
High School Diploma (or GED)

We asked other Cutting Machine Operators what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by a Post-Secondary Certificate.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Machine Tool Technology/Machinist
Sheet Metal Technology/Sheetworking

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setter, Operator and Tender, Metal and Plastic.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants 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 likes to help and teach others
One of the lowest paying jobs
Demand for this career is declining

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
51%

Is this job meaningful
39%


51% of Cutting Machine Operators said they were satisfied with their job and 39% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

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.




Learn more about Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

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Related career information

Cutting Machine Operators job description, Cutting Machine Operators salary, Cutting Machine Operators information, what is the job of a Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setter, Operator and Tender, Metal and Plastic like, pros and cons about Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic, colleges and universities for Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic, is Cutting, Punching and Press Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic the right career for me, careers in Production

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