Numerical Control Lathe Operator

Set up and operate numerically controlled horizontal lathes.
picture of Numerical Control Lathe Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$23,000 – $51,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Numerical Control Lathe Operators do?

Sets up and operates numerically controlled horizontal lathe to perform machining operations, such as turning, boring, facing, and threading parts, such as castings, forgings, and bar stock: Reads process sheets, blueprints, and sketches of part to determine machining to be done, dimensional specifications, set up, and operating requirements. Inserts beginning point of tape in reading head of control unit. Mounts workpiece between centers, in chuck, or to faceplate, manually or using hoist. Selects and installs preset tooling in tool posts, turrets or indexing heads, and automatic-tool-change magazine, in sequence specified on process sheet. Depresses buttons, toggles, or sets tape and starts machining operation. Observes numerical displays on control panel and compares with data on process sheet to verify dimensional adjustments, feed rates, and speeds of machining cuts. Turns dials and switches to override tape control and correct machine performance, applying practical knowledge of lathe operation. Inspects first-run piece and spot-checks succeeding pieces for conformance to specifications, using micrometers and precision dial gauges. Studies job packet and organizes materials for next run during automatic tape-controlled cycles to shorten changeover time. May set tools before positioning them in lathe, using precision gauges and instruments. May set up and operate another machine tool during tape-controlled machining cycles. May machine nonmetallic materials. May be designated by type of lathe operated as Engine Lathe Operator, Numerical Control; Turret Lathe Operator, Numerical Control.


Should I be a Numerical Control Lathe Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Engine Lathe Operator, Numerical Control, Lathe Operator, Numerical Control, Turret Lathe Operator, Numerical Control

    How to Become a
    Numerical Control Lathe Operator

    Most Numerical Control Lathe 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:9fcaaa&chl=no+college+%2864%25%29|certificate+%2832%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|bachelor%27s+%281%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,64,64
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