Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic
SOC: 51-4011.00

Description:

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


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
148,800 employed

Projected (2024):
174,800 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Automated Cutting Machine Operator
  • Automation Machine Operator
  • Brake Press Operator
  • CNC Laser Operator (Computer Numerical Control Laser Operator)
  • CNC Machine Operator (Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Operator)
  • CNC Machinist (Computer Numerically Controlled Machinist)
  • CNC Operator (Computer Numeric Control Operator)
  • CNC Technician (Computer Numerical Control Technician)
  • Computer Numerical Control Lathe Operator (CNC Lathe Operator)
  • Computer Numerical Control Machine Operator (CNC Machine Operator)
  • Computer Numerical Control Machinist (CNC Machinist)
  • Computer Numerical Control Mill Operator (CNC Mill Operator)
  • Computer Numerical Control Operator (CNC Operator)
  • Computer Numerical Control Set-Up and Operator (CNC Set-Up and Operator)
  • Computer Numerically Controlled Shot Peening Operator
  • Jig Boring Machine Operator for Metal
  • Laser Beam Trim Operator
  • Machine Operator
  • Machine Set-Up, Operator
  • Machinist
  • Manufacturing Assistant
  • Manufacturing Associate
  • Manufacturing Operator
  • Medical Numerical Control Operator
  • Metal CNC Operator
  • Numerical Control Drill Press Operator
  • Numerical Control Jig Boring Machine Operator
  • Numerical Control Lathe Operator
  • Numerical Control Machine Operator
  • Numerical Control Machine Operator, Metal and Plastic
  • Numerical Control Machine Set-Up Operator
  • Numerical Control Machine Tool Operator
  • Numerical Control Milling Machine Operator
  • Numerical Control Milling Machine Set-Up Operator
  • Numerical Control Router Operator
  • Numerical Control Router Set-Up Operator
  • Plastic CNC Machine Operator
  • Printed Circuit Boards Numerical Control Drill Operator
  • Robotic Machine Operator
  • Shot Peening Operator
  • Welding Robot Operator


  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

    Education:

    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Installation
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

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

  • Tools & Technology:

  • 0-1 drop indicators
  • 2/3 axis computer numerically controlled CNC milling machines
  • 5 axis lathes
  • 8 axis lathes
  • Automatic measuring equipment
  • Bench grinders
  • Bore gauges
  • Bore mills
  • Borers
  • Boring bars
  • Buffers
  • Comparators
  • Computer numerical control CNC vertical lathes
  • Computer numerical controlled CNC milling machines
  • Computerized numerical control CNC laser cutting equipment
  • Computerized numerical control CNC lathes
  • Computerized numerical control CNC routers
  • Computerized numerical control CNC tappers
  • Computerized numerical control CNC turning centers
  • Controllers
  • Coordinate measuring machines CMM
  • Deburring tools
  • Desktop computers
  • Dial calipers
  • Dial indicators
  • Drill presses
  • Gauges
  • Go/no go test equipment
  • Grinders
  • Hand clamps
  • Height gauges
  • Horizontal machining tools
  • Jog mode operation joy sticks
  • Keyway broaches
  • Laser printers
  • Lathes
  • Manual mills
  • Micrometers
  • Milling machines
  • Optical comparators
  • Personal computers
  • Personal digital assistants PDA
  • Pin gauges
  • Portable welding equipment
  • Power drills
  • Power sanders
  • Programmable logic controllers PLC
  • Reamers
  • Scribers
  • Slot micrometers
  • Soft jaws
  • Surface grinding machines
  • Swiss screw machines
  • Swiss style lathes
  • Tapping machines
  • Thread gauges
  • Threading machines
  • Turning centers
  • Twin spindle lathes
  • Twist drills
  • Vernier calipers
  • Vertical milling machines
  • Vises
  • Welding lenses
  • Welding shields
  • 1CadCam Unigraphics
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • BobCAD-CAM software
  • Cadem CAPSMill
  • Cadem CAPSTurn
  • Cadem NCnet
  • Cadem seeNC Mill
  • CGTech Vericut CNC
  • CNC Consulting Machinists' Calculator
  • CNC Mastercam
  • CNC TurboCAD/CAM
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA software
  • Delcam PowerMILL
  • Direct Motion computer numerically controlled CNC software
  • EditCNC software
  • Enterprise Resource Planning ERP software
  • ESPRIT computer aided manufacturing CAM software
  • ExtraTech Machine Tools Suite
  • EZ-CAM software
  • FlashCut computer numerically controlled CNC software
  • G-code
  • JETCAM software
  • KCDw Software
  • Kentech Kipware M CNC
  • Kentech Kipware software
  • Kentech Kipware T CNC
  • Kentech Kipware TP
  • Kentech Kipware X CNC
  • Kentech PROTALK
  • Kentech Trig Kalculator
  • MDSI OpenCNC
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft Word
  • MUMPS M
  • PartMaker SwissCAM
  • Pathtrace Systems EdgeCAM
  • Predator DNC
  • PTC Pro/ENGINEER software
  • SigmaTEK SigmaNEST
  • SmartCAM software
  • SolidWorks CAD software
  • Surfware SURFCAM
  • TekSoft CAMWorks
  • UGS Solid Edge
  • Vero International VISI-Series
  • Virtual Gibbs CADD/CAM
  • Work inspection software


  • production


    industry stats

    SOC: 51-0000

    Total Employed: 9,073,290

    Average Annual Salary: $36,220