A line operator is responsible for assisting in warehouse and factory operations, usually assigned on doing heavy works for the production. Line operators' duties include operating manufacturing machines and equipment, placing products on the appropriate shelves, checking supplies and inventories, loading orders for shipments, inspecting products for any defects, labeling products accurately, adhering to the safety procedures to prevent product contamination, and observing sanitary regulations. A line operator must have comprehensive knowledge of the mechanical industry, as well as the ability to multi-task, especially on meeting deadlines and processing customers' orders.

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Line Operator Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real line operator resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Follow safety procedures, including but not limit to, wearing proper PPE, lock-out/tag-out, and HAZMAT.
  • Weld various models of Honda car seats.
  • Operate foam line for assembly of Toyota Tacoma car seats.
  • Work the assembly line building car door frames for Chrysler.
  • Work in high volume production setting, sewing seat covers for Toyota vehicles.
  • Wear all PPE while manually draining and cleaning of all dip tanks and stations after shift or when production quality lessen.
  • Foam equipment, hoses, floors, and swing panels that are locate throughout the brewery to help with GMP guidelines.
  • Build seating interiors for Chrysler vehicles, using mechanical tools, electrical tools, automatic tork wrenches, also drive forklift.
  • Repair and troubleshoot all complicate mechanical and electrical issues.
  • Experience in running plastic extrusion to specific tolerances as customers request.
  • Calculate dimensions and tolerances using knowledge of mathematics and measuring instruments.
  • Work in a fast-pace environment to ensure quality automobiles for Honda distribution & manufacturing
  • Set up and operate an extrusion machine in accordance with establish procedures and guidelines and customer requirements.
  • Used Keyence optical machine and CMM to measure part dimensions.
  • Use CMM, optical comparator, calipers, height gages, etc to check plastic components.

Line Operator Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a line operator does, you may be wondering, "should I become a line operator?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, line operators have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 4% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of line operator opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 32,600.

A line operator annual salary averages $34,520, which breaks down to $16.6 an hour. However, line operators can earn anywhere from upwards of $27,000 to $43,000 a year. This means that the top-earning line operators make $17,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

It's hard work to become a line operator, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a pack out operator, technical machine operator, manufacturing operator, and general machine operator.

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Line Operator Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 12% of Line Operators are proficient in Preventative Maintenance, PPE, and Basic Math. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Coordination, and Mechanical skills.

We break down the percentage of Line Operators that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Preventative Maintenance, 12%

    Work with maintenance and engineering for preventative maintenance countermeasures, process improvements and over productivity of the production line.

  • PPE, 9%

    Utilized GMP's, SOP's and PPE.

  • Basic Math, 9%

    Followed production instructions and utilized a computer and calculator to aid in basic math calculations.

  • Extrusion, 8%

    Set up and operate an extrusion machine in accordance with established procedures and guidelines and customer requirements.

  • Quality Checks, 7%

    Operate mold press line-Responsible for line changeover/adjustments and start-up-Responsible for minor line repairs-Perform quality checks of finished product

  • Assembly Line, 5%

    Observed material stock along assembly line and notified materials-handling personnel or supervisor of impending shortages.

"preventative maintenance," "ppe," and "basic math" aren't the only skills we found line operators list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of line operator responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for a line operator to have in this position are communication skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a line operator resume, you'll understand why: "material moving machine operators signal and direct workers to load and unload material" According to resumes we found, communication skills can be used by a line operator in order to "maintain strong relationship with supplier and distributor ensuring product availability by accurate forecasting, clear communication and strong inventory controls. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling line operator duties is coordination. According to a line operator resume, "material moving machine operators should have steady hands and feet to guide and control heavy machinery precisely." Here's an example of how line operators are able to utilize coordination: "hand, eye coordination, and physical strength. "
  • Line operators are also known for mechanical skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a line operator resume: "material moving machine operators make minor adjustments to their machines and perform basic maintenance on them." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "make minor adjustments to line equipment and obtain assistance with mechanical issues. "
  • In order for certain line operator responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "visual ability." According to a line operator resume, "material moving machine operators must be able to see clearly where they are driving or what they are moving" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "pulled customer orders and warehouse transfers requiring considerable mental, physical, and visual attention. "
  • See the full list of line operator skills.

    We've found that 15.0% of line operators have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 1.0% earned their master's degrees before becoming a line operator. While it's true that some line operators have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every two line operators did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those line operators who do attend college, typically earn either a business degree or a general studies degree. Less commonly earned degrees for line operators include a criminal justice degree or a electrical engineering degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a line operator. We've found that most line operator resumes include experience from Construction Specialties, Baxter International, and Express Employment Indy South. Of recent, Construction Specialties had 48 positions open for line operators. Meanwhile, there are 34 job openings at Baxter International and 21 at Express Employment Indy South.

    Since salary is important to some line operators, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at BD, Dairy Farmers of America, and Kemps. If you were to take a closer look at BD, you'd find that the average line operator salary is $46,955. Then at Dairy Farmers of America, line operators receive an average salary of $45,972, while the salary at Kemps is $45,896.

    View more details on line operator salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a line operator include ManpowerGroup, Metro Chrysler Centre, and Kelly Services. These three companies were found to hire the most line operators from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    For the most part, line operators make their living in the manufacturing and professional industries. Line operators tend to make the most in the manufacturing industry with an average salary of $37,379. The line operator annual salary in the agriculture and automotive industries generally make $36,480 and $36,166 respectively. Additionally, line operators who work in the manufacturing industry make 16.3% more than line operators in the retail Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious line operators are:

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    What Pack Out Operators Do

    A pack out operator is a manufacturing or packaging operation employee responsible for the final packaging of goods prior to shipping. Pack out operators come in at the last stage of the manufacturing process to ensure readiness. You will primarily work with machines and ensure that the right packaging standards and procedures are adhered to. The pack out operator oversees package labeling, branding, weighing, inspection and verification, and palletizing.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take pack out operator for example. On average, the pack out operators annual salary is $1,303 lower than what line operators make on average every year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both line operators and pack out operators positions are skilled in basic math, extrusion, and quality checks.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a line operator responsibilities require skills like "mechanical troubleshooting," "preventative maintenance," "ppe," and "safety rules." Meanwhile a typical pack out operator has skills in areas such as "pallets," "math," "rf," and "haccp." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Pack out operators tend to make the most money in the finance industry by averaging a salary of $34,955. In contrast, line operators make the biggest average salary of $37,379 in the manufacturing industry.

    The education levels that pack out operators earn is a bit different than that of line operators. In particular, pack out operators are 0.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a line operator. Additionally, they're 0.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Technical Machine Operator?

    A manufacturing operator is primarily responsible for overseeing and controlling the performance of machines and equipment, ensuring efficiency and smooth workflow. Their responsibilities revolve around monitoring production operations, conducting regular maintenance checks to ensure the accuracy and quality of machinery, performing corrective measures and adjustments as needed, and assessing the quality of finished products, all while adhering to deadlines and goals. Furthermore, it is vital to comply with the company's safety policies and regulations to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for everyone.

    Now we're going to look at the technical machine operator profession. On average, technical machine operators earn a $708 lower salary than line operators a year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Line operators and technical machine operators both include similar skills like "mechanical troubleshooting," "preventative maintenance," and "ppe" on their resumes.

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, line operator responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "safety rules," "line equipment," "quality inspection," and "line operations." Meanwhile, a technical machine operator might be skilled in areas such as "math," "continuous improvement," "trouble shoot," and "spc." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    It's been discovered that technical machine operators earn lower salaries compared to line operators, but we wanted to find out where technical machine operators earned the most pay. The answer? The manufacturing industry. The average salary in the industry is $35,834. Additionally, line operators earn the highest paychecks in the manufacturing with an average salary of $37,379.

    On the topic of education, technical machine operators earn similar levels of education than line operators. In general, they're 0.3% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Manufacturing Operator Compares

    Let's now take a look at the manufacturing operator profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than line operators with a $63 difference per year.

    Using line operators and manufacturing operators resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "mechanical troubleshooting," "ppe," and "basic math," but the other skills required are very different.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from line operators resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "preventative maintenance," "safety regulations," "pallet jack," and "line equipment." But a manufacturing operator might have skills like "math," "hand tools," "lean manufacturing," and "good communication."

    Manufacturing operators make a very good living in the pharmaceutical industry with an average annual salary of $37,500. Whereas line operators are paid the highest salary in the manufacturing industry with the average being $37,379.

    When it comes to education, manufacturing operators tend to earn similar education levels than line operators. In fact, they're 2.6% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a General Machine Operator

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than line operators. On average, general machine operators earn a difference of $2,106 lower per year.

    While their salaries may vary, line operators and general machine operators both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "ppe," "quality checks," and "assembly line. "

    Each job requires different skills like "mechanical troubleshooting," "preventative maintenance," "basic math," and "extrusion," which might show up on a line operator resume. Whereas general machine operator might include skills like "math," "troubleshoot," "tape measure," and "product specifications."

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The finance industry tends to pay more for general machine operators with an average of $35,435. While the highest line operator annual salary comes from the manufacturing industry.

    General machine operators reach similar levels of education when compared to line operators. The difference is that they're 0.4% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.