Folding Machine Operator

Use heavy machinery to create folds in fabric or paper.
picture of Folding Machine Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$19,000 – $46,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Folding Machine Operators do?

Humans are often praised for being original. People who are just a tiny bit different than everyone else tend to stand out, and they receive extra praise for their uniqueness. In the world of manufacturing, however, being different means being rejected. Everything must be uniform and indistinguishable.

A Folding Machine Operator has a large role to play in ensuring conformity. As a Folding Machine Operator, you make creases in fabric or paper, making sure each fold is exactly the same as the one that came before it.

Folding Machine Operators tend to specialize in one specific type of raw material. In other words, you fold either paper or fabric. Your machine isn’t designed to work with both types of materials.

If you work with fabric, your job is to prepare the items for the Sewing Machine Operator. Bits of fabric arrive at your workstation, with notes about how they should be folded. Often, you use your machine to create cuffs, pockets, and collars, but you can also create fancy pleats, if required.

You load the fabric onto the machine, program it to make the right sort of folds, and then start the process. When the item is complete, you place it in a box and move on to the next scrap.

If you work with paper, printed pieces come from the Press Operator and you fold them into perfect points. Sometimes, you use your machine to make three folds in a flyer so it can fit into an envelope. Other times, you make the envelopes themselves. You load in the paper, program the machine, turn it on, and take out the finished product.


Should I be a Folding Machine Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.

  • Also known as: Bindery Folder Operator, Folder Operator, Folding and Gluing Operator, Folding Machine Setter

    How to become a Folding Machine Operator

    Folding Machine 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 Folding Machine Operator-related education!
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