Machine Operator

Check production speed and quality on many types of automated machines.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$21,000 – $48,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Machine Operators do?

The Machine Operator title covers so many jobs it’s kind of mind-blowing. For example, under this general title, you might be a Sewing Machine Operator a or a Filing Machine Operator. You could work in a lot of different industries with a lot of different products and machines.

Wherever you end up as a Machine Operator will dictate your exact day-to-day responsibilities, but in general, your job is to oversee the work of a machine or machines in a factory or manufacturing plant. While the machine is running, you, the Machine Operator do things like checking its production speed and the quality of the finished product. You also load the raw material and then make sure everything works correctly throughout the production process.

If something breaks, it’s your job to fix it. This could mean grabbing a screwdriver if the problem is basic, or calling in a more experienced Technician if the problem is too complicated for you. You keep an eye on the maintenance schedule of your particular machine, making sure it gets the upkeep it needs in order to avoid a major breakdown.

Though the job varies depending on the business, a big part of it entails keeping an eye on production numbers. At the beginning of each shift, your Manager lets you know what you need to produce. As the day progresses, you keep careful records of the work you complete. These records are then included in a final report created by your Supervisor at the end of each day.


Should I be a Machine 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.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • Also known as: All-Around-Gear-Machine Operator, Fabricating-Machine Operator, Gear-Machine Operator, General, Hob Mill Operator See More

    How to become a Machine Operator

    Most Machine 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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