Working as a 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.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a machine operator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $13.31 an hour? That's $27,695 a year!

What Does a Machine Operator Do

There are certain skills that many 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 dexterity, math skills and physical stamina.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a machine operator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 12.0% of machine operators included inspect parts, while 8.4% of resumes included machine parts, and 6.6% of resumes included cnc. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the machine operator job title. But what industry to start with? Most machine operators actually find jobs in the professional and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Machine Operator

If you're interested in becoming a machine operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 8.5% of machine operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.7% of machine operators have master's degrees. Even though some machine operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a machine operator. When we researched the most common majors for a machine operator, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on machine operator resumes include diploma degrees or bachelor's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a machine operator. In fact, many machine operator jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many machine operators also have previous career experience in roles such as customer service representative or forklift operator.

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Average Salary$27,695
Job Growth Rate%

Machine Operator Jobs

Machine Operator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Machine Operator
Cashier17.8 %
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Top Careers After Machine Operator
Cashier10.6 %
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What is the right job for my career path?

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

Average Salary for a Machine Operator

Machine Operators in America make an average salary of $27,695 per year or $13 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $35,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $21,000 per year.
Average Salary
$27,695

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Machine Operator
Machine Operator
Westrock
Westrock
07/31/2020
07/31/2020
$31,30507/31/2020
$31,305
Keurig Dr Pepper
Machine Operator II
Machine Operator II
Keurig Dr Pepper
Keurig Dr Pepper
07/31/2020
07/31/2020
$31,30507/31/2020
$31,305
Machine Operator III
Machine Operator III
Intertape Polymer Group
Intertape Polymer Group
07/31/2020
07/31/2020
$37,56607/31/2020
$37,566
Machine Operator
Machine Operator
Graphic Packaging International
Graphic Packaging International
07/31/2020
07/31/2020
$25,54507/31/2020
$25,545
NOW Machine Operator
NOW Machine Operator
Proampac
Proampac
07/31/2020
07/31/2020
$27,13107/31/2020
$27,131
See More Recent Salaries

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Machine Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

68.8 %

Female

27.2 %

Unknown

4.0 %
Ethnicity

White

61.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.8 %

Black or African American

11.9 %
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

77.2 %

French

5.0 %

Arabic

2.4 %
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Machine Operator Education

Schools

Grand Rapids Community College

8.2 %

Kaplan University

7.4 %

Ashford University

6.8 %

Baker College

6.6 %
Show More
Majors

Business

21.6 %

General Studies

9.3 %

Criminal Justice

7.4 %

Computer Science

5.7 %
Show More
Degrees

High School Diploma

55.7 %

Associate

14.0 %

Diploma

12.1 %

Bachelors

8.5 %
Show More

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Machine Operator

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a 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 machine operators listed inspect parts on their resume, but soft skills such as dexterity and math skills are important as well.

Best States For a Machine Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a machine operator. The best states for people in this position are Kentucky, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Machine operators make the most in Kentucky with an average salary of $30,775. Whereas in Wyoming and Wisconsin, they would average $30,511 and $30,290, respectively. While machine operators would only make an average of $30,286 in Minnesota, 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. Kentucky

Total Machine Operator Jobs:
365
Highest 10% Earn:
$40,000
Location Quotient:
1.61
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. Wisconsin

Total Machine Operator Jobs:
961
Highest 10% Earn:
$38,000
Location Quotient:
2.33
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. Pennsylvania

Total Machine Operator Jobs:
1,393
Highest 10% Earn:
$39,000
Location Quotient:
1.46
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
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Machine Operator Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a machine operator. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless machine operator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Machine Operator Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless machine operator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

How Do Machine Operator Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

I love to work as a operatorAugust 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoI love to work as a operatorAugust 2019

What do you like the most about working as Machine Operator?

It challenging I love challenge to work as a operator it a very challenging job Show More

What do you NOT like?

Short time at work that to day U not working we will call you when we have busy I need a full time job not part time Show More

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Top Machine Operator Employers

1. ManpowerGroup
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$30,043
Machine Operators Hired: 
1,635+
2. Kelly Services
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$29,557
Machine Operators Hired: 
1,249+
3. Adecco Staffing, USA
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$29,178
Machine Operators Hired: 
1,133+
4. International Paper
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$45,547
Machine Operators Hired: 
881+
5. Aerotek
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$32,107
Machine Operators Hired: 
874+
6. Georgia-Pacific
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$46,056
Machine Operators Hired: 
785+

Machine Operator Videos

Recently Added Machine Operator Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020