Heavy Duty Press Operator

Operate heavy duty power presses to bend, form and straighten metal plates.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$20,000 – $44,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Heavy Duty Press Operators do?

Sets up and operates heavy-duty power press to bend, form, stretch, and straighten metal plates, metal extrusions, formed sheet metal, structural shapes, forgings, and weldments as specified by blueprints, layout, and templates: Plans sequence of operations, applying knowledge of physical properties of metal. Measures and sights along workpiece, using tape, rule, straightedge, and transit, to mark reference lines. Selects and positions flat, V-block, radius, or special purpose die sets into ram and bed of machine, using jib or crane. Aligns and bolts dies to ram and bed of machine, using gauges, templates, feelers, shims, and wrenches. Turns handwheel or levers to set depth and pressure of ram stroke. Preheats workpiece in furnace, using hand torch. Lifts and positions workpiece between dies of machine, using jib or crane and sledge. Starts machine to lower ram which bends or straightens workpiece between dies. Repositions workpiece and changes dies when making multiple or successive passes. Hand forms or finishes workpiece, using hand sledge and anvil. Grinds out burrs and sharp edges, using portable grinder. Inspects and marks job number on finished workpiece. May bend or straighten cold metal. May set dies to punch and blank heavy metal. May operate horizontal power press to bend or straighten long pieces of bar stock or structural shapes. May operate press equipped with two or more rams to bend angles or flanges or bend to radius by successive passes; or operate multiple acting hydraulic press to perform deep progressive and reverse draw operations of sheet metal. May be designated according to type press operated as Bulldozer Operator II; Stretch-Press Operator; or according to shape product produced as Dishing-Machine Operator.


Should I be a Heavy Duty Press Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Brake Operator, Heavy Duty, Press Operator, Heavy Duty

    How to Become a
    Heavy Duty Press Operator

    Most Heavy Duty Press 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:9baaaa&chl=no+college+%2898%25%29|certificate+%282%25%29|associate%27s+%281%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,98,98
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