The average machine operater salary is $33,480. The most common degree is a high school diploma degree with an general studies major. It usually takes zero years of experience to become a machine operater. Machine operaters with a Forklift Safety and Inspector certification earn more money. Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -11% and produce -203,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Machine Operater Do

There are certain skills that many machine operaters 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 color vision, math skills and technical skills.

How To Become a Machine Operater

If you're interested in becoming a machine operater, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 5.2% of machine operaters have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.6% of machine operaters have master's degrees. Even though some machine operaters 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 Machine Operater

Machine Operater Career Paths

Top Careers Before Machine Operater

Top Careers After Machine Operater

Average Salary for a Machine Operater

Machine Operaters in America make an average salary of $33,480 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $41,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $27,000 per year.
Average Machine Operater Salary
$33,480 Yearly
$16.10 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Machine Operater

There are several types of machine operater, 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

Production Operator


Have you ever wondered what is the official job role for those people in charge of work, like assembling parts in a factory? Well, I certainly have. I never used to think too much and assumed those people magically appeared as part of the factory. But they are actually called production operators and you can apply for this role, too, with little experience. This role is fun and exposes you to the way different things connect together, but it requires physical stamina and high concentration levels.

Daily, a production operator is involved in activities such as undertaking product assembly, performing product packaging, maintaining the production line machinery, and achieving production line targets. Besides that, they also need to clean the production floor and comply with health and safety guidelines.

Employers require production operators to have a minimum of a high school diploma and have the stamina to stand on their feet during work operations. This role earns, on average, $14 per hour and suits individuals passionate about understanding assembly lines.

  • Average Salary: $35,185
  • 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

States With The Most Machine Operater Jobs

Number Of Machine Operater Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
6North Carolina845$32,125
14New York554$34,916
19New Jersey323$33,188
21South Carolina306$33,572
31New Hampshire186$32,800
40South Dakota61$32,863
42Rhode Island52$35,801
44West Virginia47$29,289
46North Dakota39$35,550
47New Mexico28$29,773

Machine Operater Education

Machine Operater Majors

17.6 %

Machine Operater Degrees

High School Diploma

57.1 %


23.2 %


8.7 %

Top Skills For a Machine Operater

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, 17.7% of machine operaters listed safety rules on their resume, but soft skills such as color vision and math skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Machine Operater Resume templates

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

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Machine Operater Demographics

Machine Operater Gender Distribution


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

  • Among machine operaters, 26.8% of them are women, while 73.2% are men.

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

  • The most common foreign language among machine operaters is Spanish at 69.4%.

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Top Machine Operater Employers

Most Common Employers For Machine Operater

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Avery Dennison$37,600$18.084
2International Paper$37,180$17.886
4Green Mountain Coffee Roasters$36,577$17.594
5The Kraft Group$35,964$17.295
6Dart Container$35,488$17.065
8H P Pelzer Automotive$34,899$16.784
10Tyson Foods$34,789$16.739

Machine Operater Videos