The average general machine operator salary is $32,414. The most common degree is a high school diploma degree with an business major. It usually takes zero years of experience to become a general machine operator. General machine operators with a OSHA Safety Certificate certification earn more money. Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 32,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a General Machine Operator Do

There are certain skills that many general machine operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, coordination and visual ability.

Learn more about what a General Machine Operator does

How To Become a General Machine Operator

If you're interested in becoming a general machine operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 9.0% of general machine operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.6% of general machine operators have master's degrees. Even though some general machine operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a General Machine Operator

General Machine Operator Career Paths

Average Salary for a General Machine Operator

General Machine Operators in America make an average salary of $32,414 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $39,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $26,000 per year.
Average General Machine Operator Salary
$32,414 Yearly
$15.58 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of General Machine Operator

There are several types of general machine operator, including:

Machine Operator


Someone has to operate the machine - why not you? Machine operators are able to transfer a variety of objects through the use of machinery. So if driving a forklift around sounds like your idea of fun, then maybe this is the job for you.

Some machine operators need training in order to operate certain machinery such as cranes and excavators. The hours you work as a machine operator can vary, but often include overtime, night shifts, and weekend shifts.

As a machine operator, you have lots of industries you could go into, from warehousing and storage to food manufacturing and construction. The list goes on and on. Depending on the industry, your work can take you outside or you may get to work inside.
  • Average Salary: $32,874
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Assembling Machine Operator


An assembly machine operator makes sure that an assembly line in a factory is working properly by installing and maintaining the machinery. Assembling machine operators set up the assembly line according to specifications and make sure that all machine components are in sequence according to blueprints. Once machines are operational, assembling machine operators monitor their work and take note of any potential mechanical errors that could affect production, stopping the line if something is seriously wrong. They participate in the production process by feeding supplies into a machine and packaging inventory. Assembling machine operators need to have excellent mechanical skills, organizational skills, and an eye for detail in order to succeed.

However, they do not usually need a college degree. In fact, most assembling machine operators only have a high school diploma.

Assembling machine operators usually learn how to operate their machines through on-the-job training. It helps if they have a few years of mechanical experience before that in order to have a basic grasp of factory work. Once they are trained, assembling machine operators can earn an average salary of $24,568 a year.
  • Average Salary: $31,275
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Line Operator


A line operator works the assembly lines at manufacturing sites and in factories. They operate heavy machinery, maintain a clean and safe working environment, and functional equipment. Line operators are expected to perform quality checks on products and document processes as well.

Working in several shifts to optimize production rates, line operators are not required to have higher education. They are usually trained on-site for the role they are hired for and take it from there.

Physical stamina and being agile and dexterous will be skills that make your day easier, as well as an ability to endure monotonous activities and a loud environment.
  • Average Salary: $34,520
  • Degree: High School Diploma

States With The Most General Machine Operator Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active general machine operator jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where general machine operators earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of General Machine Operator Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
4New York1,972$32,728
5New Jersey1,599$30,895
14North Carolina886$29,454
25New Hampshire397$31,961
28South Carolina346$31,207
32Rhode Island280$34,257
40North Dakota143$35,032
41South Dakota143$30,919
47West Virginia61$26,886
48New Mexico45$28,166

General Machine Operator Education

General Machine Operator Majors

22.7 %

General Machine Operator Degrees

High School Diploma

49.6 %


18.4 %


17.6 %

Top Skills For a General Machine Operator

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, 12.0% of general machine operators listed math on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and coordination are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable General Machine Operator Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use General Machine Operator templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your General Machine Operator resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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General Machine Operator Resume

General Machine Operator Demographics

General Machine Operator Gender Distribution


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

  • Among general machine operators, 18.8% of them are women, while 81.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among general machine operators is White, which makes up 61.0% of all general machine operators.

  • The most common foreign language among general machine operators is Spanish at 66.7%.

Online Courses For General Machine Operator That You May Like

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Best States For a General Machine Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a general machine operator. The best states for people in this position are Wisconsin, Kansas, Washington, and Maine. General machine operators make the most in Wisconsin with an average salary of $36,679. Whereas in Kansas and Washington, they would average $36,062 and $35,538, respectively. While general machine operators would only make an average of $35,129 in Maine, 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. Wisconsin

Total General Machine Operator Jobs: 1,061
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Maine

Total General Machine Operator Jobs: 271
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Pennsylvania

Total General Machine Operator Jobs: 2,670
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For General Machine Operators

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Top General Machine Operator Employers

Most Common Employers For General Machine Operator

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2Rich Products$39,938$19.205
3The Kraft Heinz Company$36,652$17.626
5International Paper$35,842$17.236
6Tyson Foods$35,408$17.0213
7Sandvik Coromant$35,111$16.886
9Kohler Co.$34,833$16.755
10Remedy Intelligent Staffing$33,657$16.1810

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