Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood nailing machines. May operate CNC equipment.

  • Set up, program, operate, or tend computerized or manual woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, or wood-nailing machines.
  • Examine finished workpieces for smoothness, shape, angle, depth-of-cut, or conformity to specifications and verify dimensions, visually and using hands, rules, calipers, templates, or gauges.
  • Start machines, adjust controls, and make trial cuts to ensure that machinery is operating properly.
  • Monitor operation of machines and make adjustments to correct problems and ensure conformance to specifications.
Read more about what does a Woodworking Machine Setter, Operator and Tender really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Salary

Average salary
$31110 per year

Average hourly wage
$15 per hour


Woodworking Machine Operators with little to no experience tend to make between $20870 and $24520 while the more experienced ones can earn over $36710 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
WY$20$41,170
CT$19$40,440
NV$18$38,300
MA$18$37,660
CO$18$37,050

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Woodworking Machine Setter, Operator and Tender is to move to a higher paying state like WY. Right now, the highest paying states for Woodworking Machine Operators are WY, CT, NV, MA and CO.

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

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Woodworking Machine Setter, Operator and Tender 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 Woodworking Machine Operators what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by less than a High School Diploma.

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

Woodworking, General
Cabinetmaking and Millwork
Read more about how to become a Woodworking Machine Setter, Operator and Tender and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Woodworking Machine Setter, Operator and Tender.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required to get started.
Demand for this career is growing fast
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
One of the lowest paying jobs

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
61%

Is this job meaningful
46%


61% of Woodworking Machine Operators said they were satisfied with their job and 46% 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.




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Related career information

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