Machine operators are responsible for managing the machines assigned to them. They set up, install, operate, maintain, troubleshoot, and ensure quality output. Machine operators must know the inner workings of the machine such that they can easily address any problems that may arise. They must ensure that all components of the machine are working well. They perform maintenance routine checks to ensure that the machine is working at the most efficient capacity, is well-stocked with needed materials, and producing the best output. Machine operators are also responsible for ensuring the cleanliness and sanitation of the machine.

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Machine Operator Responsibilities

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

  • 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.
  • Provide leadership and support to reach efficiency and productivity goals.
  • Program PLC's according to setup manuals and standard work.
  • Operate and maintain SMT machine as well as printer and oven.
  • Place supply package of yarn, thread and selvage on spindles.
  • Machine operator make right hand and left hand parts for Chrysler seat belts
  • Operate a manufacturing PVC line, size and cut each piece to specifications.
  • Band steel coils, operate overhead crane, band steel coils, tag finish product, make pallets.
  • Operate forklifts and other heavy machinery safely.
  • Certify as an overhead crane operator and forklift operator.

Machine Operator Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a machine operator does, you may be wondering, "should I become a machine operator?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, machine operators have a growth rate described as "decline" at -11% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of machine operator opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is -203,300.

A machine operator annual salary averages $32,874, which breaks down to $15.8 an hour. However, machine operators can earn anywhere from upwards of $26,000 to $40,000 a year. This means that the top-earning machine operators make $12,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

It's hard work to become a machine 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 an assembly operator, machine operator/forklift operator, production operator, and manufacturing operator.

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12 Machine Operator Resume Examples

Machine Operator Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 11% of Machine Operators are proficient in Basic Math, CNC, and Math. They’re also known for soft skills such as Color vision, Math skills, and Technical skills.

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

  • Basic Math, 11%

    Measured dimensions accurately using micrometers, calipers, and basic mathematical skills.

  • CNC, 9%

    Operated various CNC machine Milled drill machined parts to specification

  • Math, 9%

    general math, use of all cleaning devices,and procedures.

  • Safety Procedures, 8%

    Created or enhanced new and existing safety procedures to improve quality and safe operating practices in the manufacturing facility.

  • Machine Operation, 6%

    Set thermostat to regulate temperature and observed machine operation and examined products ejected by machines to determine whether products meet specifications.

  • Quality Standards, 5%

    Examined final products to verify conformance to quality standards and counted finished products to determine complete product orders.

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

  • The most important skills for a machine operator to have in this position are color vision. In this excerpt that we gathered from a machine operator resume, you'll understand why: "assemblers and fabricators who make electrical and electronic products must distinguish different colors, because the wires they often work with are color coded." According to resumes we found, color vision can be used by a machine operator in order to "completed daily production reports and reported production concerns to supervision. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many machine operator duties rely on math skills. This example from a machine operator explains why: "assemblers and fabricators must know basic math and be able to use computers, because the manufacturing process continues to advance technologically." This resume example is just one of many ways machine operators are able to utilize math skills: "recorded statistics on iso documentation, and coordinated with machine technicians and electrical technicians to keep machines operating at maximum efficiency. "
  • Machine operators are also known for technical 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 machine operator resume: "assemblers and fabricators must understand technical manuals, blueprints, and schematics for a wide range of products and machines in order to manufacture the final product properly." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "provided technical maintenance and troubleshooting of production lines, filing daily technical and production reports. "
  • A machine operator responsibilities sometimes require "dexterity." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "assemblers and fabricators should have a steady hand and good hand–eye coordination, as they must grasp, manipulate, or assemble parts and components that are often very small." This resume example shows how this skill is used by machine operators: "operated a forklift proficiently while following all safety guidelines and procedures. "
  • Yet another important skill that a machine operator must demonstrate is "physical strength." Assemblers and fabricators must be strong enough to lift heavy components or pieces of machinery This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a machine operator who stated: "assure quality per iso standards while operating in a fast pace and physically demanding environment. "
  • While "mechanical skills" is listed last on this skills list, don't underestimate its importance to machine operator responsibilities. The skill is described by this resume snippet, "modern production systems require assemblers and fabricators to use programmable motion-control devices, computers, and robots on the factory floor." Here is an example of how this skill is used, "set up and operated mechanical punch press and various assembly machines"
  • See the full list of machine operator skills.

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

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a machine operator. We've found that most machine operator resumes include experience from Aerotek, Randstad North America, Inc., and Sheridan. Of recent, Aerotek had 467 positions open for machine operators. Meanwhile, there are 321 job openings at Randstad North America, Inc. and 320 at Sheridan.

    Since salary is important to some machine operators, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at BD, CONMED, and Ventura Foods. If you were to take a closer look at BD, you'd find that the average machine operator salary is $49,043. Then at CONMED, machine operators receive an average salary of $45,273, while the salary at Ventura Foods is $44,852.

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

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at ManpowerGroup, Kelly Services, and Johnson Controls. These three companies have hired a significant number of machine operators from these institutions.

    In general, machine operators fulfill roles in the manufacturing and professional industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the machine operator annual salary is the highest in the automotive industry with $37,558 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the manufacturing and technology industries pay $36,050 and $35,582 respectively. This means that machine operators who are employed in the automotive industry make 6.4% more than machine operators who work in the professional Industry.

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

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    What Assembly Operators Do

    In a manufacturing setting, an assembly operator is in charge of assembling materials using hands or tools. Their responsibilities include following assembly guidelines, packing items in containers and boxes, operating tools and equipment, and developing strategies to optimize operations. They may also perform regular maintenance checks on machines and equipment to maintain a safe and efficient work environment. Furthermore, it is essential to observe an active communication line with co-workers, coordinating for a structured and smooth workflow.

    We looked at the average machine operator annual salary and compared it with the average of an assembly operator. Generally speaking, assembly operators receive $946 lower pay than machine operators per year.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between machine operators and assembly operators are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like basic math, cnc, and math.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a machine operator responsibility requires skills such as "safety rules," "tape measure," "product quality," and "aided design." Whereas a assembly operator is skilled in "hand tools," "quality checks," "troubleshoot," and "assembly operations." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    Assembly operators receive the highest salaries in the automotive industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $34,880. But machine operators are paid more in the automotive industry with an average salary of $37,558.

    The education levels that assembly operators earn is a bit different than that of machine operators. In particular, assembly operators are 0.8% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a machine operator. Additionally, they're 0.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Machine Operator/Forklift Operator?

    A machine operator/forklift operator is responsible for operating industrial trucks to move merchandise around the warehouse facilities and other assigned areas. Machine operators/forklift operators also assist with inventory tasks by scanning orders and ensuring the correct merchandise for shipment. They manage the stability of the vehicles, ensuring its efficiency and optimization during operations, performing engine repairs for any inconsistencies to avoid delays on deliveries. A machine operator/forklift operator should strictly follow the safety protocols of the business, as well as have knowledge of the mechanical industry.

    Now we're going to look at the machine operator/forklift operator profession. On average, machine operator/forklift operators earn a $422 lower salary than machine operators a year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Machine operators and machine operator/forklift operators both include similar skills like "cnc," "safety procedures," and "machine operation" on their resumes.

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real machine operator resumes. While machine operator responsibilities can utilize skills like "basic math," "math," "product quality," and "production equipment," some machine operator/forklift operators use skills like "drive forklift," "load trucks," "electric pallet jack," and "quality checks."

    On average, machine operator/forklift operators earn a lower salary than machine operators. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, machine operator/forklift operators earn the most pay in the automotive industry with an average salary of $36,711. Whereas, machine operators have higher paychecks in the automotive industry where they earn an average of $37,558.

    On the topic of education, machine operator/forklift operators earn similar levels of education than machine operators. In general, they're 0.2% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Production Operator Compares

    A production operator is responsible for handling and monitoring manufacturing machines in a factory or similar establishment, ensuring that everything is running smoothly and according to schedule. Aside from assisting with the processing and packaging of goods, a production operator must also conduct necessary inspections to the machine or equipment that they are using to make sure that it is in good condition and is safe to use. Should there be any issues or concerns regarding safety, it is essential to notify a supervisor right away.

    The third profession we take a look at is production operator. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than machine operators. In fact, they make a $2,311 higher salary per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several machine operators and production operators we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "basic math," "cnc," and "math," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from machine operators resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "tape measure," "product quality," "aided design," and "quality control checks." But a production operator might have skills like "quality checks," "hand tools," "customer service," and "data entry."

    Production operators make a very good living in the manufacturing industry with an average annual salary of $37,865. Whereas machine operators are paid the highest salary in the automotive industry with the average being $37,558.

    When it comes to education, production operators tend to earn similar education levels than machine operators. In fact, they're 1.0% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Manufacturing 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.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than machine operators. On average, manufacturing operators earn a difference of $1,583 higher per year.

    According to resumes from both machine operators and manufacturing operators, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "basic math," "cnc," and "math. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "tape measure," "product quality," "pallet jack," and "safety regulations" are skills that have shown up on machine operators resumes. Additionally, manufacturing operator uses skills like hand tools, lean manufacturing, quality products, and fda on their resumes.

    Manufacturing operators earn a higher salary in the pharmaceutical industry with an average of $37,500. Whereas, machine operators earn the highest salary in the automotive industry.

    Manufacturing operators reach similar levels of education when compared to machine operators. The difference is that they're 2.9% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Machine Operator Does FAQs

    How Much Do Machine Operators Make A Year?

    Machine operators make $28,000 a year. A machine operator, on average, makes $28,000 a year, with salaries ranging anywhere between $23,000 and $34,000.

    The barrier to entry for a machine operator is incredibly low, but sadly so is the pay rate. People with significant experience may find themselves earning more, though it is usually more beneficial to pursue advancement within the field.

    Is A Machine Operator A Machinist?

    Yes, machine operators are considered machinists. Google defines a machinist as "a person who operates a machine, especially a machine tool." By this broad term, they are interchangeable.

    What Industry Is Machine Operator?

    Machine operators are part of various industries depending on the job, such as manufacturing and production facilities, warehouses, or construction.

    If they handle large machinery to transport objects, they most likely work in warehouses or construction. If they create specific parts for various products using specialized machines like a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine, they most likely work in manufacturing and production plants.

    What Skills Do You Need To Be A Machine Operator?

    A machine operator should have at least good analytical, mechanical, and coordination skills.

    Depending on the industry, you may need certification in specific technical skills to perform safely and efficiently. Overall, it's helpful to have the ability to handle large and heavy machinery with steady hands and the ability to understand schematics and detailed instructions.

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