Numerical Control Machine Set-Up Operator

Set up and operate numerical control machines or machining centers.
picture of Numerical Control Machine Set-Up Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$23,000 – $51,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Numerical Control Machine Set-Up Operators do?

Sets up and operates numerical control machines or machining centers to perform various machine functions, such as cutting, drilling, milling, reaming, boring, and broaching of metallic and nonmetallic workpieces, utilizing knowledge of machine tool capabilities, machinability of materials, and shop math: Reads and interprets blueprints, planning sheets, sketches, and related technical data to determine tooling requirements, setup procedures, control settings, and machining methods and sequences. Mounts, aligns, and secures tooling, attachments, and workpiece on machine. Selects and installs cutting tools in machine spindle. Loads control media, such as tape, card, or disk, in machine controller or enters commands to retrieve preprogrammed instructions from data base. Calculates and sets machine controls to position spindle in relationship to workpiece and to regulate factors, such as cutting depth, speed, feed, and coolant flow. Starts machine and monitors displays and machine operation to detect malfunctions. Stops machine to change cutting tools and setup according to required machining sequence or to measure parts for conformance to blueprint specifications, using precision measuring instruments. Enters commands or manually adjusts machine controls to correct malfunctions or out-of-tolerance machining. Operates machine manually to perform nonautomated functions and when automatic programming is faulty or machine malfunctions. Discusses control media errors with supervisor or programming personnel to resolve problems. May clean machine, tooling, and parts. May perform machine maintenance.


Should I be a Numerical Control Machine Set-Up 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.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.

  • How to Become a
    Numerical Control Machine Set-Up Operator

    Most Numerical Control Machine Set-Up 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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