Machine Operator Job

To become a Machine Operator you know how to use construction equipment and machinery.

To excel, machine operators need many years of experience and must show an aptitude for math, problem-solving and computer skills. Certification is available. Machine operators make sure their machines are working at full capacity, are stocked with needed materials, well-maintained and perform periodic checks on output.  To learn if this professional track is something for you, you are welcome to take a free career & personality quiz.

Machine Operator Salary

  • Average Annual Salary: $35,250
  • Expected Lifetime Earnings: $1,448,000

Machine Operator – Education

In general, machine operators receive most of their training on the job, and an experienced machine operator is usually shadowing a new worker during the early stages of employment. They will need this guidance to be able to operate the equipment they’re going to use safely and effectively. In general, it will just need a few weeks for most machine operators to master the needed skills to perform their jobs successfully. You can see if you are fit for this job if you take a free career aptitude quiz!

They learn their skills so fast because their jobs are mostly redundant, and during the day, machine operators typically perform one specific task over and over again. Consequently, the required skills can be quickly reinforced and in a short period of time. To become a machine operator, usually a high school or GED test diploma is needed, but those thinking about a career in this field may very well take specific additional courses already in high school to become attractive to employers. Computer classes may be very helpful because many machines that need to be operated these days are computerized.

Machine Operator – The Job

Machine operators can be operating several machines, it all depends on the industry they’re working at. Machine operators that are employed in the construction industry will likely operate construction equipment, while other machine operators, or, machinists, may be working in factories or warehouses. Machine operator generally are required to hold at least a secondary education credential (high school or GED test diploma), and most positions come with an extensive on-the-job training. Machine operators may, depending on their specific positions, be required to be licensed, and in many cases, certification is wanted as well.

Machine operators may be employed in a variety of settings. They often are employed at metals or plastic facilities, and they may be performing many assignments, from injection molding to drilling. Some machine operators work with a so-called ‘extruder’, a machine that forms wire from hot metal, and others may operate grinding machines, devices that remove debris from a top layer of materials.

Machine operators are often working with machines that can transform certain types of metal or plastics into specific consumer goods. Today, a specific type of process, called injection molding, is widely used. Machines are heating the plastic and inject this into a mold. When the mold is cooled down, it will be opened and the finished product is revealed.

Machine Operator – Required Skills

Machine operators usually need to be standing on their feet for longer periods of time and to be successful, they need to stamina to endure these challenges. Machine operators typically will be working in noisy environments where they must wear earplugs and protective clothing. Machine operators must also be able to deal with the repetitive nature that often comes with the job, and applicants who get easily bored should think twice before they choose this career path. Machine operators must pay attention to detail and make sure that all operations are done correctly and in accordance with instructions to prevent damage to products or machines.

How much do they make?

In 2014, the average earnings for machine operators was around $35,000, but we can see major differences depending on a worker’s experience, the type of industry, and the region where they are employed. It is pretty common that machine operators make an hourly wage rather than a salary. Average hourly wages will vary as well, and they may expect to have an hourly wage between $12.20 and $15.90.

Machine operators may additionally improve their income if they learn how to operate multiple machinery types, and this will prove also to be beneficial for securing future jobs. Machine operators may also increase their wages if the obtain certification to operate a specific type of equipment, and working in shifts (which they often need to do) will help too. A pretty good source of information about certification is offered by the National Institute of Metal Working Skills.