Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

Job Description:
Operate robots or computer-controlled machines to execute machine tasks on metal and plastic.

Associated Tasks:

  • Measure dimensions of finished workpieces to ensure conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments, templates, and fixtures.
  • 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.
  • Check to ensure that workpieces are properly lubricated and cooled during machine operation.
  • Set up and operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic workpieces.
  • Insert control instructions into machine control units to start operation.
  • Review program specifications or blueprints to determine and set machine operations and sequencing, finished workpiece dimensions, or numerical control sequences.
  • 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.
  • Remove and replace dull cutting tools.
Salary & Education

Entry Level Earnings: $12.50 and up
Median Hourly Earnings: $18.50 and up
Experienced Earnings: $23.02
Typical Entry Level Education: High school diploma

Job Projections
2017 Jobs 13,569
2022 Jobs 14,460
Average Annual Openings: 1,567 per year
Average Monthly Hires (2017): 353
Job Categories


WorkKeys Occupational Profile

Median Scores
Applied Mathematics: 3
Reading for Information: 3
Locating Information: 4
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Hard Skills

Computer Numerical Control (CNC)  

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