What Do Woodworking Machine Operators Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Job Description

Job Description

Woodworking Machine Operators set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood nailing machines. May operate CNC equipment. They also set up, program, operate, or tend computerized or manual woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, or wood-nailing machines.

Other tasks include:

  • 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.
  • Examine raw woodstock for defects and to ensure conformity to size and other specification standards.
  • Adjust machine tables or cutting devices and set controls on machines to produce specified cuts or operations.
  • Install and adjust blades, cutterheads, boring-bits, or sanding-belts, using hand tools and rules.

We asked Woodworking Machine 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, Woodworking Machine Operators clean or maintain products, machines, or work areas. They feed stock 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 to 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.

We asked some Woodworking Machine 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? 16% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 46% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 85% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 10% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 22% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 58% said yes


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 work stations.

In addition, they Install and adjust blades, cutterheads, 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.


Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Woodworking Machine Setter, Operator and Tender, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

Do Woodworking Machine Operators work in an office-style work environment?

Never
84%


Every day
15%


Do Woodworking Machine Operators work outdoors?

Never
67%


Once a week
13%



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 Woodworking Machine Operators

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Related to Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders Job Description

Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders job description, what do Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders do, typical day for Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, what is it like to work as a Woodworking Machine Setter, Operator and Tender, how many hours do Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders work, day to day work of a Woodworking Machine Setter, Operator and Tender

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/production/woodworkers.htm
http://www.woodworkcareer.org/
http://www.wmia.org/
http://www.ntma.org/


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