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Machine Operator


How to Become a Machine Operator
Machine Operator Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of a Machine Operator
Machine Operator Salaries
Influential Professionals in Machine Operator Field
Leading Organizations for Machine Operators
Top Cities for Machine Operator Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Machine Operator

Most machine operators will receive the majority of their training on the job. During the first few weeks of employment, a machine operator will frequently shadow a fellow worker who has expertise with the equipment they will be using. During this introductory period, the new hire will likely assist the experienced machine operator either by gathering necessary parts or helping to perform certain procedures.

Generally, most machine operators can master the skills required to perform their job within the first few weeks of employment. Depending on the degree of difficulty that the job may involve, it could take a machine operator up to a year to feel confident in their overall abilities to perform the job.

Machine operators generally learn their job skills so quickly because most of their job is redundant. A machine operator typically performs one particular task over and over during the course of the day. As a result, the skills needed to perform their job are quickly reinforced during a short amount of time.

A college degree is generally not required for a machine operator, but those considering pursuing this type of work can take preparatory classes in high school to make themselves more attractive to potential employers. Classes, such as shop, drafting, and even math, will be helpful to a machine operator. It is also very helpful to take computer training classes as well because so much of the machinery used today has been computerized.

What does a Machine Operator do?

Machine operators pop up in many different settings. They generally can be found working with metals and plastic. A machine operator can perform anything from drilling to injection molding.

One type of machine that an operator could work with is called an extruder. This machine actually forms wire out of hot metal. Grinding machines are also popular. This type of device actually removes extra debris from the top layer of a material.

A machine operator can take different types of plastics and transform them into consumer goods. A popular type of this kind of process is called injection molding. A machine will heat the plastic and then inject it into a mold. The mold is cooled and then opened to reveal the finished product.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Machine Operator?

Machine operators will likely be required to stand on their feet during much of the day. A successful machine operator will require the stamina needed to endure this type of environment. The environment in which a machine operator will work in is likely to be noisy and a worker would likely be required to wear earplugs and a variety of protective clothing.

A machine operator will also have to be able to tolerate the repetitive nature of the job. A candidate who has the propensity to become bored quickly may not be best suited for this type of job.

Attention to detail will be a critical quality that a successful machine operator will need to make this a career. They must ensure that everything is operating correctly with their machine and observe any potential problems quickly to avoid damage to the machine or to the product that is being made.

How much do Machine Operators make?

On average, the middle 50 per cent of machine operators will earn between $25,230 and $34,344 a year. The top ten percent of machine operators will make over $39,110. The bottom ten percent of machine operators will earn less than $21,699.

It is not uncommon for a machine operator to have an hourly wage instead of a salary. The average hourly wage will vary with the specific type of work performed by the machine operator. One could typically expect to see hourly wages between $12.00 and $15.50.

Machine operators can also increase their earnings by learning to operate multiple types of machinery. This increased experience will also benefit the machine operator when trying to secure future jobs.

Another way that a machine operator can increase their earnings is by obtaining a certification for the type of equipment that they work on. The National Institute of Metal Working Skills is a great source of information and certification for machine operators.

Machine operators frequently work in shifts. Workers choosing to take the night shift will often receive higher wages, so this can be a desirable position.


Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Henry Ford, who essentially created the production line with his Model T, showed how machine operators could really benefit a company. Instead of having a highly skilled worker build whole sections of the Model T, he broke the assembly process down into 84 parts and had one machine operator perform one specific step in the assembly. The process proved to be extremely successful for Ford.

During World War II, women began working at a variety of manufacturing plants to fill jobs that men typically performed but could not because they were off to war. These women became machine operators who built airplanes and ships for the military. They have become a cultural icon collectively known as Rosie the Riveter.

Alan Roger Mulally is the President and CEO of Ford Motor Company. Before taking over at Ford, he was CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Both companies employ numerous machine operators and have helped to shape modern day transportation with the help of thousands of machine operators.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

Toyota Motor Corporation employs a significant number of machine operators at their production plants. Founded back in 1937, Toyota Motor Corporation has grown to be one of the most successful automotive makers in the world. They currently employ over 300,000 people.

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills, or NIMS, develops standards for manufacturing and is the only organization to do so that is ANSI accredited. They also offer certifications for machine operators.

What are the top cities for Machine Operator jobs?

The top city to find machine operator jobs is Houston, Texas. A machine operator will also find a large number of available jobs in Indianapolis, Indiana and San Antonio, Texas.

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