Laser Operator

Cut various materials to a specific design by using a laser.
picture of Laser Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $36,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Laser Operators do?

Lasers make great death rays, as any science fiction fan will tell you. But they also make excellent tools. Laser can be used to cut through glass, metal, wood, plastic, and more. As a Laser Operator, you wield laser—just like a sci-fi character—to make these cuts.

On a typical workday as a Laser Operator, you’re given a set of drawings telling you exactly what must be cut and where those cuts should be made. You may have paper drawings to look at, or you may be given drawings on the computer. Your laser is likely housed inside a sophisticated machine, and you use your drawings to program that machine when you’re a Laser Operator.

You load the materials onto the machine, and supervise it as it makes the laser cuts. Afterwards, you inspect the finished pieces and make adjustments to the programming if the products don’t quite match the drawings. Imperfect pieces are considered waste, so you do everything possible to avoid making multiple mistakes and adjustments.

Once the pieces are done, you stack them up and bundle them together. If there’s another team assigned to complete work on the pieces you’ve cut, you deliver the products to that team. Otherwise, you prepare the products for shipping, and take them to the shipping area.

You also clean the machine periodically, removing debris to ensure that it doesn’t smear and ruin the products you’re making. If the machine breaks down, you may need to call in a manufacturer’s representative to make repairs. You’ll plead with them to come quickly so you won’t fall too far behind schedule.

Should I be a Laser 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.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Electric Knife Operator

    How to become a Laser Operator

    Most Laser Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9iaaaa&chl=no+college+%2864%25%29|certificate+%2836%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,64,64
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