Thermal Cutting Machine Operator

Set up and operate thermal cutting machines which cut metal plates.
picture of Thermal Cutting Machine Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$20,000 – $54,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Thermal Cutting Machine Operators do?

Sets up and operates thermal cutting machines which cut metal plates and structural shapes to dimensions, contour, and bevel specified by blueprints, layout, work orders, and templates: Lifts, positions, and clamps metal stock onto bed of machine. Connects hoses from torch to regulator valves and cylinders of oxygen and fuel gas, such as acetylene, hydrogen, or propane. Selects torch tip and computes gas pressure and mixture, and speed of cut, according to type and thickness of metal, data charts, or record of previous cuts. Installs tip to torch. Pushes button to adjust sliding arm from side or overhead carriage to position torch over cutting line, and to adjust height of head over workpiece to make longitudinal cuts. Adjusts length of radial arm to cut out arcs or circles. Tilts angle of torch to cut bevels. Pushes buttons and reads gauges to obtain selected gas pressure and mixture and set speed of cutting action. Pushes button to automatically light torch, preheat metal to oxidizing temperature, and open valve to release additional oxygen to cut through metal. Pushes button to automatically position torch at cutting line and to start machine moving along line. May maintain records of operating data. May lay out cutting lines, using rule, tape, and square. May preheat metal to remove surface impurities, using hand torch. May clamp two or more plates together for simultaneous cutting. May be designated according to equipment used as Electronic-Eye-Thermal-Cutting-Machine Operator; Magnetic-Thermal-Cutting-Machine Operator; Thermal-Cutting-Tracer-Machine Operator; Track-Template-Thermal-Cutting-Machine Operator; Plasma-Cutting-Machine Operator.

Should I be a Thermal Cutting 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.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Electronic-Eye-Thermal-Cutting-Machine Operator, Flame-Cutting-Machine Operator, Gas-Cutting-Machine Operator See More

    How to Become a
    Thermal Cutting Machine Operator

    Thermal Cutting Machine Operators generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Thermal Cutting Machine Operator-related education!
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