What Do Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators And Tenders Do

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Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators And Tenders

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.

Salary: $33540
Education: No degree required
Job Satisfaction: Low
Personality: The Builder

What they do

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.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Woodworking Machine Operators clean or maintain products, machines, or work areas. They feedstock through feed mechanisms or conveyors into planing, shaping, boring, mortising, or sanding machines to produce desired components.

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

  • Inspect pulleys, drive belts, guards, or fences on machines to ensure that machines will operate safely.
  • Operate gluing machines to glue pieces of wood together, or to press and affix wood veneer to wood surfaces.
  • Examine raw Woodstock for defects and ensure conformity to size and other specification standards.
  • Attach and adjust guides, stops, clamps, chucks, or feed mechanisms, using hand tools.
  • Inspect and mark completed workpieces and stack them on pallets, in boxes, or on conveyors so that they can be moved to the next workstation.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Woodworking Machine Operators also grease or oil woodworking machines. They may also sharpen knives, bits, or other cutting or shaping tools.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Woodworking Machine Operators remove and replace worn parts, bits, belts, sandpaper, or shaping tools. They might also control hoists to remove parts or products from workstations.

In addition, they install and adjust blades, cutter heads, boring-bits, or sanding-belts, using hand tools and rules.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them change alignment and adjustment of sanding, cutting, or boring machine guides to prevent defects in finished products, using hand tools.

To some Woodworking Machine Operators, it is also their responsibility to clean or maintain products, machines, or work areas.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction
Low
Is this job meaningful
Low

61% said they were satisfied with their job and 46% 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.

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 like to help and teach others.

One of the lowest paying jobs.


Salary

Average salary
$33540 per year
Average hourly wage
$16 per hour

Entry-level Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators And Tenders with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $22,490 to $26,840 per year or $11 to $13 per hour.

Salary range Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $23 $47,780
Senior (Top 25%) $19 $39,130
Middle (Mid 50%) $15 $32,160
Junior (Bottom 25%) $13 $26,840
No experience (Bottom 10%) $11 $22,490

How to become one

Should you become one

Best personality for this career
The Builder

You can read more about these career personality types here.

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.

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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