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What is a Caster

What Does a Caster Do

Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate machines that cut, shape, and form metal and plastic materials or pieces.

Learn more about what a Caster does

How To Become a Caster

A few months of on-the-job training is enough for most workers to learn basic machine operations, but 1 year or more is required to become proficient. Computer-controlled machine workers may need more training.

Education

Employers prefer metal and plastic machine workers who have a high school diploma. Prospective workers can improve their employment opportunities by completing high school courses in computer programming and vocational technology, and by gaining a working knowledge of the properties of metals and plastics. Having a sturdy math background, including taking courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and basic statistics, is also useful.

Some community colleges and other schools offer courses and certificate programs in operating metal and plastics machines.

Training

Machine operator trainees usually begin by watching and helping experienced workers on the job. Under supervision, they may start by supplying materials, starting and stopping the machines, or by removing finished products. Then they advance to more difficult tasks that operators perform, such as adjusting feed speeds, changing cutting tools, and inspecting a finished product for defects. Eventually, some develop the skills and experience to set up machines and help newer operators.

The complexity of the equipment usually determines the time required to become an operator. Some operators and tenders learn basic machine operations and functions in a few months, but other workers, such as computer-controlled machine tool operators, may need a year or more to become proficient.

Some employers prefer to hire workers who either have completed or are enrolled in a training program.

As the manufacturing process continues to utilize more computerized machinery, knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines can be helpful.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification can show competence and professionalism and can be helpful for advancement. The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) offers certification in numerous metalworking specializations.

Advancement

Advancement usually includes higher pay and more responsibilities. With experience and expertise, workers can become trainees for more advanced positions. It is common for machine operators to move into setup or machinery maintenance positions. Setup workers may become industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers, or machinists or tool and die makers.

Experienced workers with good communication and analytical skills may move into supervisory positions.

Important Qualities

Computer skills. Metal and plastic machine workers must often be able to use programmable devices, computers, and robots on the factory floor.

Dexterity. Metal and plastic machine workers who work in metal and plastic machined goods manufacturing use precise hand movements to make the necessary shapes, cuts, and edges that designs require.

Mechanical skills. Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate machinery. They must be comfortable working with machines and have a good understanding of how the machines and all their parts work.

Physical stamina. Metal and plastic machine workers must be able to stand for long periods and perform repetitive work.

Physical strength. Metal and plastic machine workers must be strong enough to guide and load heavy and bulky parts and materials into machines.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. The Doe Run Company Jobs (7)
  2. Century Aluminum Jobs (2)
  3. Dutchland Plastics Jobs (12)
  4. Kohler Jobs (23)
  5. Chase Brass and Copper Jobs (3)
Average Salary
$30,214
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
127
Job Openings
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Caster Career Paths

Caster Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for a Caster

Casters in America make an average salary of $30,214 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $36,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $25,000 per year.
Average Salary
$30,214
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How much should you be earning as an Caster? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
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Caster Demographics

Caster Gender Distribution

Male
Male
91%
Female
Female
9%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Casters, 8.7% of them are women, while 91.3% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Casters is White, which makes up 68.9% of all Casters.

  • The most common foreign language among Casters is Spanish at 50.0%.

Job Openings

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Caster Education

Caster Majors

13.5 %

Caster Degrees

High School Diploma

53.5 %

Bachelors

16.7 %

Associate

14.0 %
Job Openings

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Online Courses For Caster That You May Like

Leading Healthcare Quality and Safety
coursera

Ensuring patient safety and healthcare quality is critical and should be a key focus of everyone in healthcare practice. This course provides healthcare practitioners and others with an introduction to the knowledge and skills needed to lead patient safety and quality improvement initiatives at the micro and macro levels. Participants will explore the foundations of health care quality and the science underlying patient safety and quality improvement, design and select effective health care meas...

Fire Safety: Become A Fire Safety Expert
udemy
4.6
(271)

Become an expert in Fire Safety, Fire Hazards Control, Fire Evacuation Plans, and Fire Risk Assessment...

Aerospace materials
coursera

The course involves the study of the main types of metallic materials used in the manufacture of aerospace parts, their properties and technological aspects of production. The course examines the dependence of strength and other properties of titanium, aluminum alloys and high-strength steels on their composition, production and machining technologies. The course is aimed at developing competencies required when selecting and using modern aerospace materials, equipment and quality control tools...

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Top Skills For a Caster

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.1% of Casters listed Heavy Equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as Computer skills and Dexterity are important as well.

  • Heavy Equipment, 17.1%
  • Aluminum, 16.4%
  • Safety Procedures, 15.0%
  • Foundry, 11.1%
  • Skim, 8.4%
  • Other Skills, 32.0%

Best States For a Caster

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Caster. The best states for people in this position are Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York. Casters make the most in Iowa with an average salary of $37,114. Whereas in Michigan and New Jersey, they would average $36,823 and $35,112, respectively. While Casters would only make an average of $35,084 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Michigan

Total Caster Jobs:
3
Highest 10% Earn:
$42,000
Location Quotient:
2.57
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Iowa

Total Caster Jobs:
1
Highest 10% Earn:
$43,000
Location Quotient:
1.83
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Ohio

Total Caster Jobs:
5
Highest 10% Earn:
$37,000
Location Quotient:
3.25
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Casters

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Top Caster Employers

Most Common Employers For Caster

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Caster SalaryAverage Salary
1$40,487
2$36,352
3
3.The Homer Laughlin China Company
$34,709
4$33,977
5
5.Bodine Aluminum
$33,593
6
6.Mansfield Plumbing Products
$33,480