Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

Operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic work pieces.

Median Annual Wage: $36,440

Education: High school diploma or equivalent (39%); Post-secondary certificate (19%); Some college, no degree (15%)

Projected Growth: Faster than average (15% to 21%)

Related Job Titles: Machine Operator; Computer Numerical Control Operator (CNC Operator); Computer Numerical Control Machinist (CNC Machinist); Computer Numerical Control Lathe Operator (CNC Lathe Operator); Computer Numerical Control Machine Operator (CNC Machine Operator); Computer Numerical Control Mill Operator (CNC Mill Operator); Brake Press Operator; Machinist; Computer Numerical Control Set-Up and Operator (CNC Set-Up and Operator); Machine Set-Up, Operator

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic.

More Production Careers

  • Mount, install, align, and secure tools, attachments, fixtures, and workpieces on machines, using hand tools and precision measuring instruments.
  • Stop machines to remove finished workpieces or to change tooling, setup, or workpiece placement, according to required machining sequences.
  • Transfer commands from servers to computer numerical control (CNC) modules, using computer network links.
  • Insert control instructions into machine control units to start operation.
  • Set up and operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic workpieces.
  • Check to ensure that workpieces are properly lubricated and cooled during machine operation.
  • Review program specifications or blueprints to determine and set machine operations and sequencing, finished workpiece dimensions, or numerical control sequences.
  • Enter commands or load control media, such as tapes, cards, or disks, into machine controllers to retrieve programmed instructions.
  • Monitor machine operation and control panel displays and compare readings to specifications to detect malfunctions.
  • Remove and replace dull cutting tools.
  • Listen to machines during operation to detect sounds such as those made by dull cutting tools or excessive vibration and adjust machines to compensate for problems.
  • Modify cutting programs to account for problems encountered during operation and save modified programs.
  • Stack or load finished items or place items on conveyor systems.
  • Lift workpieces to machines manually or with hoists or cranes.
  • Adjust machine feed and speed, change cutting tools, or adjust machine controls when automatic programming is faulty or if machines malfunction.
  • Calculate machine speed and feed ratios and the size and position of cuts.
  • Control coolant systems.
  • Maintain machines and remove and replace broken or worn machine tools, using hand tools.
  • Confer with supervisors or programmers to resolve machine malfunctions or production errors or to obtain approval to continue production.
  • Implement changes to machine programs and enter new specifications, using computers.
  • Set up future jobs while machines are operating.
  • Clean machines, tooling, or parts, using solvents or solutions and rags.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic.

  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic.

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