Machine Operator I

Set up and operate metal fabricating machines.
picture of Machine Operator I

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$21,000 – $48,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Machine Operator Is do?

Sets up and operates metal fabricating machines, such as brakes, rolls, shears, saws, and presses, to cut, bend, straighten, and form metal plates, sheets, and structural shapes according to blueprints and specifications: Reads and interprets blueprints, engineering specifications, and shop orders to determine machine setup, production methods, and sequence of operation. Selects, positions, and secures dies, blades, cutters, and fixtures onto machine, using rule, square, shims, templates, handtools, and built-in gauges. Positions and clamps stops, guides, and turntables. Adjusts controls to set and regulate machining factors, such as pressure and depth of ram stroke, adjustment rolls, blade angle, and machine speed. Locates and marks bending or cutting lines and reference points on workpiece, using instruments, such as rule and compass, or by tracing from templates. Positions workpiece against stops and guides or aligns layout marks with dies or cutting blades manually or using hoist. Starts machine and observes machine operation to reposition workpiece, change dies, or adjust machine settings for multiple or successive passes. Inspects or measures work, using rule, gauges, and templates. May operate machines to fabricate nonmetallic materials, such as composites or plastics. May set up and operate sheet-metal fabricating machines only and be designated Sheet-Metal-Fabricating-Machine Operator.


Should I be a Machine Operator I?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • How to become a Machine Operator I

    Most Machine Operator Is 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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