A machine operator, sometimes referred to only as an operator, is responsible for the installment, maintenance, and control of machinery in a facility. Their duties include conducting tests and repairs on said machinery and operating these tools in order to complete some kind of a task, whether it be packaging or sorting products, moving merchandize, or labeling packages. As mentioned, they also ensure that machines run smoothly and that all problems are reported to the necessary manager or repair personnel.

Summary. We reviewed real candidate profiles to learn the best path to become a machine operator. We'll guide you through the education, experiences, and skills hiring managers look for in a machine operator.

  • Common job titles before becoming a machine operator include cashier, customer service representative, and forklift operator.

  • Hiring managers expect a machine operator to have soft skills such as color vision, math skills, and technical skills.

  • Once you have all the required skills and experience, it takes an average of less than 1 month of job training to become a machine operator.

  • Getting a certification as a OSHA Safety Certificate will help you to earn more as a machine operator.

  • To become a machine operator, you typically do not need formal education.

How to become a Machine Operator in 5 steps:

  • Step 1: Explore machine operator education
  • Step 2: Develop machine operator skills
  • Step 3: Complete relevent training/internship
  • Step 4: Research machine operator duties
  • Step 5: Prepare your resume
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Key Steps To Become a Machine Operator

  1. Explore Machine Operator Education

    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 10.6% of machine operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.8% 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.

    Machine Operator Degrees

    High School Diploma

    52.9 %


    15.9 %


    14.3 %

  2. Develop Machine Operator Skills

    It'll be a good idea to develop machine operator skills before applying for a job. Here are some skills commonly requested in machine operator job descriptions:

    Basic Math11.15%
    Safety Procedures8.17%
    Machine Operation6.40%

  3. Complete Relevent Training/Internship

    Machine operators spend an average of Less than 1 month on post-employment, on-the-job training. During this time, new machine operators learn the skills and techniques required for their specific job and employer. The chart below shows how much time it takes to gain competency as a machine operator based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and data from real machine operator resumes.

    Average Amount Of Time At Training

    Less than 1 month

    1-3 months

    3-6 months

    6-12 months

  4. Research Machine Operator Duties

    When you decide to become a machine operator, It's important to know what duties and responsibilities are required for this position. Some common responsibilities are a part of most machine operator jobs. Here is a list of the main duties that define the role:

    • Conduct preventative maintenance checks on industrial brake manufacturing machines and forklifts.
    • Follow company and safety procedures using industrial chemicals and PPE to efficiently clean and sanitize all equipment.
    • Operate forklift and bobcat as needed.
    • Run a line in a PVC pipe production plant.
    • Operate machinery including forklift, bobcat and various power tools.
    • Provide leadership to others through example and sharing of knowledge/skill.

  5. Prepare Your Resume

    Finally, when you already have checked the skills and responsibilities for this role, you can start creating your resume. Everything that goes into creating a perfect resume can take hours, days, or even weeks. No worries, we created a resume builder to make this process as easy as possible with tips and examples of skills, responsibilities, and a summary.

    Choose From 10+ Customizable Machine Operator Resume templates

    Build a professional Machine Operator resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Machine Operator resume.

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  6. Apply For a Machine Operator Job

    With your ready resume, it's time to start searching for a new job. Consider the tips below for a successful job search:

    1. Browse job boards for relevant postings
    2. Consult your professional network
    3. Reach out to companies you're interested in working for directly
    4. Watch out for job scams

    Machine Operator Jobs

  7. How To Become a Machine Operator
    How To Become a Machine Operator Career Overview