Gear Cutting Machine Set-Up Operator

Set up and operate gear-cutting machines to machine spline on metal blanks.
picture of Gear Cutting Machine Set-Up Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$21,000 – $48,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Gear Cutting Machine Set-Up Operators do?

Sets up and operates two or more types of gear-cutting and finishing machines, such as gear shapers, hobs, honers and lappers, and generators, to machine spline or gear teeth on metal blanks according to machining instructions and knowledge of gear types and gear machining: Reads blueprint or job order to determine gear dimensions and specifications, fixture and cutter to use, and machine settings. Secures and positions cutters in toolhead, on spindle, or on arbor, and bolts fixtures on machine. Mounts gears, cams, or templates, or moves levers to set feed rates and rotation speeds of cutters and workpiece in relation to each other. Positions and secures workpiece to specified cutting angle on arbor, in chuck, or in fixture, using wrenches. Starts machine, turns valve handle, and directs flow of coolant against tool and workpiece. Verifies conformance to specifications, using micrometers, gear measuring wires, master gears, and special gear inspection equipment. May set cutting speeds and depth of stroke and cut for reciprocating cutters. May mount guides to control twisting motion of spindle for cutting helical gears. May compute gear dimensions and machine settings, applying knowledge of shop mathematics and gear design. May machine nonmetallic materials. May be required to have experience with custom or production work, or with particular material, product, or size, type, or trade name of machine.


Should I be a Gear Cutting Machine Set-Up Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • How to Become a
    Gear Cutting Machine Set-Up Operator

    Most Gear Cutting Machine Set-Up Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:a9scaa&chl=|no+college+%2875%25%29|certificate+%2822%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,75
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