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Become A Punch Press Operator

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Working As A Punch Press Operator

  • Getting Information
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $31,280

    Average Salary

What Does A Punch Press Operator Do At The Boeing Company

* Workers will obtain work assignments from area lead, hot list, or ready for work rack, will review work orders (W/O) to determine requirements of work to be performed, ensuring the correct type and quantity of material, and obtain drawings, Manufacturing Enhanced Data Sheets (MEDS), as required.
* Perform safety check of machine to ensure that the area around machine is clear of any obstacles (e.g., loose material, tools, etc.), power switch is off, safety jacks and/or guards are installed and press bed is clear of any obstructions.
* Check fluid levels (hydraulic, oil) and call Maintenance to fill, as required.
* Determine machine set up by reviewing W/O, tooling usage instructions, and/or die set up charts.
* Move heavy material and tools/dies to work area using stackers or overhead cranes.
* Examine tools, dies and fixtures for damage.
* Separate dies, as required, using appropriate handling equipment (e.g., pry bar, hoist).
* Load proper length and width parallel bars and tool/die set into press per W/O, tooling usage instructions and/or die set up charts.
* Secure standard tool pins and mounting bolts in place using hand tools.
* Set up press cycle using CNC control panel or manual power switch to adjust height and stroke of press head.
* Verify temperature accuracy for hot dies by using temperature stick and/or Pyrometer.
* Select appropriate heating elements for hot dies and plug into place.
* Use test strip to verify tool/die set up per Boeing (BAC) specifications.
* Verify that material is free from burrs and debris, use hand file and/or denatured alcohol prior to forming operation.
* Insert material to be formed, joggled, flanged or blanked and cycle press.
* Run first part and obtain first part check from area lead.
* Run remainder of job, check press periodically to verify alignment and make necessary adjustments.
* Check work to ensure parts are complete per W/O and/or drawing and that there are no visible defects using precision measuring tools to check part periphery and/or dimensions.
* Clean parts, equipment and tools, as required.
* Contact lead, supervisor, or co-worker when assistance is needed or when any problem arises.
* Handle hazardous material in approved manner (e.g., solvents, rags).
* Maintain personal and tool certifications, as required.
* Boeing is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
* Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic factors, military/veteran status or other characteristics protected by law

What Does A Punch Press Operator Do At Illinois Tool Works, Inc.

* Operate press to run production as assigned
* Assemble boxes for daily production
* Ensure press is properly set-up for production
* Makes sure product is handled and packaged correctly
* Records production activity
* Cleans and maintains immediate work area

What Does A Punch Press Operator Do At Honeywell

* Set up, operate and trouble shoot all types of punch presses.
* Visually check parts for obvious defects.
* Check parts dimensionally, based on blueprints and layouts.
* Set up and maintain auxiliary equipment such as straighteners and reels.
* Determine necessary tooling, service or repairs at end of run.
* Place and fasten tools in machine per layout instructions.
* Make required setting and adjustment to feeds, cams, tapping heads, speeds and micro switches.
* Detect and analyze any setup difficulty and make corrective adjustments to produce quality
* acceptable parts.
* Adjust air and knockouts for parts ejection and check setup for observance of safety standards.
* Make necessary machine adjustments to meet print, layout and gauge specifications,
* using such measuring tools as comparators, micrometers, Vernier, protractors, scales and furnished gauging.
* Continue to check parts visually and dimensionally throughout the production run.
* Operate machine and maintain machine process.
* Visually observe machine process for such things as: stock misfeeeds, improper parts
* ejection, improper functioning of reels and straighteners.
* Position parts container to avoid damaged parts when filling or in a filled condition.
* Notify stores of anticipated needs of containers and stock to avoid interrupted production.
* Maintain neat and orderly immediate work area.
* Check tooling at end of run for such things as wear and broken details.
* Write up repair orders specifying needed repair.
* Maintain efficient storage area to facilitate handling and storage of dies.
* Operate assigned equipment.
* Participate in continuous improvement activities.
* High School Diploma or GED
* Experience setting up, operating and troubleshooting 150 to 400-ton punch press equipment using progressive tooling.
* Analyze, incorporate and apply new information and concepts
* Complete work, follow up and appropriate reporting on responsibilities
* Focus on important information and identify key details
* Troubleshooting skills.
* Good coordination, motor skills, and dexterity
* Creative thinking and idea generation.
* Nonexempt
* st Shift
* Continued Professional Development

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How To Become A Punch Press Operator

A few months of on-the-job training is enough for most workers to learn basic machine operations, but 1 year or more is required to become proficient. Computer-controlled machine workers may need more training.


Employers prefer metal and plastic machine workers who have a high school diploma. Prospective workers can improve their employment opportunities by completing high school courses in computer programming and vocational technology, and by gaining a working knowledge of the properties of metals and plastics. Having a sturdy math background, including taking courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and basic statistics, is also useful.

Some community colleges and other schools offer courses and certificate programs in operating metal and plastics machines.


Machine operator trainees usually begin by watching and helping experienced workers on the job. Under supervision, they may start by supplying materials, starting and stopping the machines, or by removing finished products. Then they advance to more difficult tasks that operators perform, such as adjusting feed speeds, changing cutting tools, and inspecting a finished product for defects. Eventually, some develop the skills and experience to set up machines and help newer operators.

The complexity of the equipment usually determines the time required to become an operator. Some operators and tenders learn basic machine operations and functions in a few months, but other workers, such as computer-controlled machine tool operators, may need a year or more to become proficient.

Some employers prefer to hire workers who either have completed or are enrolled in a training program.

As the manufacturing process continues to utilize more computerized machinery, knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines can be helpful.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification can show competence and professionalism and can be helpful for advancement. The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) offers certification in numerous metalworking specializations.


Advancement usually includes higher pay and more responsibilities. With experience and expertise, workers can become trainees for more advanced positions. It is common for machine operators to move into setup or machinery maintenance positions. Setup workers may become industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers, or machinists or tool and die makers.

Experienced workers with good communication and analytical skills may move into supervisory positions.

Important Qualities

Computer skills. Metal and plastic machine workers must often be able to use programmable devices, computers, and robots on the factory floor.

Dexterity. Metal and plastic machine workers who work in metal and plastic machined goods manufacturing use precise hand movements to make the necessary shapes, cuts, and edges that designs require.

Mechanical skills. Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate machinery. They must be comfortable working with machines and have a good understanding of how the machines and all their parts work.

Physical stamina. Metal and plastic machine workers must be able to stand for long periods and perform repetitive work.

Physical strength. Metal and plastic machine workers must be strong enough to guide and load heavy and bulky parts and materials into machines.

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Punch Press Operator jobs

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Punch Press Operator Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Polish

  • Hmong

  • Indonesian

  • German

  • Carrier

  • Italian

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Punch Press Operator

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Punch Press Operator Education

Punch Press Operator

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Top Skills for A Punch Press Operator


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Top Punch Press Operator Skills

  1. Inspect Parts
  2. Punch Press Machine
  3. CNC Punch
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Inspect parts for conformance to specifications, visually or using gauges or templates, and adjusts machine to correct errors.
  • Operated the Punch Press machines everyday to stamp different size pieces of metals.
  • Operated and set up the CNC punch press.
  • Completed machines set-ups with accuracy and efficiency.
  • Use of die probes and safety devices.

Top Punch Press Operator Employers

Punch Press Operator Videos

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