Electrical Discharge Machine Setup Operator

Set up and operate electrical-discharge machines to shape metal workpieces.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$20,000 – $54,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Electrical Discharge Machine Setup Operators do?

Sets up and operates one or more electrical-discharge machines to shape metal workpieces to specifications, following standard charts and manuals, and applying knowledge of electrical-discharge machining processes and methods, electric currents and circuitry, metal properties, and shop mathematics: Examines blueprint of product and plans operations. Positions and secures workpiece on machine table with clamps, vise, or fixture. Positions and secures electrode in holder on surface plate, verifying concentricity, alignment, and depth, using measuring instruments, such as calipers and dial indicators. Mounts electrode and holder on machine spindle, using vernier dials on machine to verify alignment of electrode and workpiece. Positions gauge blocks, dial indicator, and spindle stop on machine so that descending electrode will stop at specified depth when indicator feeler point touches gauge blocks. Turns valve to adjust flow of dielectric coolant over electrode and workpiece or to immerse them in circulating bath. Turns controls to adjust machine setting, such as voltage, current, frequency, and electrode feed rate, according to information on charts or knowledge of electrical discharge machining procedures. Starts machine and observes beginning of operation. May move controls to rotate electrode or workpiece. May inspect completed workpiece visually and with templates and other measuring instruments. May compute settings from specifications and knowledge of machine capacities. May give TOOL MAKER 601.280-042 specifications, such as allowances between blueprint dimensions and dimensions of electrode to be made. Important variables may be indicated by trade names of machine used.


Should I be an Electrical Discharge Machine Setup Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.

  • Also known as: Electrical Discharge Machine Operator, Electrical Discharge Machine Set Up Operator

    How to Become an
    Electrical Discharge Machine Setup Operator

    Electrical Discharge Machine Setup Operators generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Electrical Discharge Machine Setup Operator-related education!
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