What Do Lathe And Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators And Tenders, Metal And Plastic Do

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

Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic set up, operate, or tend lathe and turning machines to turn, bore, thread, form, or face metal or plastic materials, such as wire, rod, or bar stock.

Salary
$43100
Becoming One
Easy
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth

Personality





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

What they do

Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic set up, operate, or tend lathe and turning machines to turn, bore, thread, form, or face metal or plastic materials, such as wire, rod, or bar stock.

  • Adjust machine controls and change tool settings to keep dimensions within specified tolerances.
  • Replace worn tools, and sharpen dull cutting tools and dies, using bench grinders or cutter-grinding machines.
  • Inspect sample workpieces to verify conformance with specifications, using instruments such as gauges, micrometers, and dial indicators.
  • Start lathe or turning machines and observe operations to ensure that specifications are met.

Typical day

On a daily basis, CNC Lathe Operators refill, change, and monitor the level of fluids, such as oil and coolant, in machines. They replace worn tools, and sharpen dull cutting tools and dies, using bench grinders or cutter-grinding machines.

A typical day for a Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setter, Operator and Tender, Metal and Plastic will also include:

  • Turn valve handles to direct the flow of coolant onto work areas or to coat disks with spinning compounds.
  • Install holding fixtures, cams, gears, and stops to control stock and tool movement, using hand tools, power tools, and measuring instruments.
  • Select cutting tools and tooling instructions, according to written specifications or knowledge of metal properties and shop mathematics.
  • Adjust machine controls and change tool settings to keep dimensions within specified tolerances.
  • Lift metal stock or workpieces manually or using hoists, and position and secure them in machines, using fasteners and hand tools.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, CNC Lathe Operators also mount attachments, such as relieving or tracing attachments, to perform operations, such as duplicating contours of templates or trimming workpieces. They may also turn valve handles to direct the flow of coolant onto work areas or to coat disks with spinning compounds.

On a weekly to monthly basis, CNC Lathe Operators refill, change, and monitor the level of fluids, such as oil and coolant, in machines. They might also install holding fixtures, cams, gears, and stops to control stock and tool movement, using hand tools, power tools, and measuring instruments.

In addition, they move tool holders manually or by turning handwheels or engage automatic feeding mechanisms to feed tools to and along workpieces.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them compute unspecified dimensions and machine settings, using knowledge of metal properties and shop mathematics.

To some CNC Lathe Operators, it is also their responsibility to move controls to set cutting speeds and depths and feed rates, and to position tools in relation to workpieces.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

Low

35% said they were satisfied with their job and 32% said they found their job meaningful.


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Cons

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

Salary is below average.

Demand for this career is declining.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).

How much do they make

Average salary

$43100 per year

Average hourly wage

$21 per hour

Entry-level Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $28,020 to $33,690 per year or $13 to $16 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $61,710 $30
Senior (Top 25%) $50,840 $24
Median $41,380 $20
Junior (Bottom 25%) $33,690 $16
No experience (Bottom 10%) $28,020 $13

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors $57510 $27.65
Iron and Steel Mills and Ferroalloy Manufacturing $53920 $25.92
Engine, Turbine, and Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing $52740 $25.36
Communications Equipment Manufacturing $51210 $24.62
Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers $51130 $24.58
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing $50550 $24.30
Foundries $50200 $24.13
Building Finishing Contractors $48660 $23.39
Household Appliance Manufacturing $46660 $22.43
Other Electrical Equipment and Component Manufacturing $46430 $22.32

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Machine Shops; Turned Product; and Screw, Nut, and Bolt Manufacturing 8010 $41210 $19.81
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing 3920 $41900 $20.14
Machinery Manufacturing 2580 $44660 $21.47
Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing 1270 $41610 $20.01
Metalworking Machinery Manufacturing 1090 $43240 $20.79
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing 1080 $50550 $24.30
Engine, Turbine, and Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing 590 $52740 $25.36
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing 540 $41200 $19.81
Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing 450 $44420 $21.35
Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing 420 $45230 $21.74

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
0%

40 hours
67%

More than 40 hours
33%

Working schedule

91%

9%

0%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
0%

Every day
2%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
8%

Every day
3%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
10%

Every day
66%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
78%

Once a year
19%

Once a month
0%

Once a week
3%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
29%

Slightly competitive
25%

Moderately competitive
21%

Highly competitive
11%

Extremely competitive
14%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
52%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
6%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
41%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
42%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
57%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
91%

Once a year or more
8%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
91%

Once a year or more
9%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Easy
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category usually don’t require a degree. However, you will need a few months of on-the-job training with experienced employees. Similar careers include Customer Service Representatives, Security Guards, and Bank Tellers.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
2%

High School Diploma or equivalent
68%

Post-Secondary Certificate
20%

Some College Courses
1%

Associate’s Degree or similar
9%

Bachelor’s Degree
0%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Machine Tool Technology/Machinist

A program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to plan, manufacture, assemble, test, and repair parts, mechanisms, machines, and structures in which materials are cast, formed, shaped, molded, heat treated, cut, twisted, pressed, fused, stamped or worked.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
25%

1 month
9%

1 to 3 months
18%

3 to 6 months
1%

6 months to 1 year
3%

1 to 2 years
11%

2 to 4 years
20%

4 to 6 years
12%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
34%

1 month
21%

1 to 3 months
23%

3 to 6 months
13%

6 months to 1 year
7%

1 to 2 years
2%

2 to 4 years
1%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type 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.

The Builder
100%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
67%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
29%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
14%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
19%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
62%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


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 working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
43%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
40%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
29%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
24%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
76%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
43%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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