What do they do?

Set up, operate, or tend machines to saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic material.

Also known as:

Adjuster, Brake Operator, Brake Press Operator, Die Cutter, Die Setter, Equipment Technician, Fabrication Operator, Machine Operator, Machine Setter, Machining Associate, Press Brake Operator, Press Operator, Press Setup Operator, Punch Operator, Punch Press Operator, Saw Operator, Set-Up Operator, Setup Technician, Shear Operator, Shearman, Slitter Operator

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic is projected to show little or no change from 2020 to 2030.

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • 0.6%


    Ranks #30 in job growth rate

    Job Openings

    Ranks #29 in net job growth

Best colleges for Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Colleges with the most graduates that become Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Looking for colleges that offer a specific major? Use the College Match Tool to find your best-matched schools and discover your estimated Net Price!

Education Level

Percent of workers in this field with these degrees:

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree  (<1%)
  • Master's degree  (<1%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (3%)
  • Associate's degree  (6%)
  • Some college, no degree  (19%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (53%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (18%)

Typical College Majors

Most Popular Majors that prepare Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Select Type of Degree:

★ There are no majors that have graduates with this degree type

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Operations Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Inspect metal, plastic, or composite products.
  • Sort materials or products for processing, storing, shipping, or grading.
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
  • Set equipment guides, stops, spacers, or other fixtures.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure that products are not flawed.
  • Operate cutting equipment.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Inspect production equipment.
  • Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
  • Read work orders or other instructions to determine product specifications or materials requirements.
  • Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
  • Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
  • Align parts or workpieces to ensure proper assembly.
  • Load materials into production equipment.
  • Operate metal or plastic forming equipment.
  • Clean production equipment.
  • Lubricate production equipment.
  • Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information.
  • Set equipment controls to meet cutting specifications.
  • Draw guide lines or markings on materials or workpieces using patterns or other references.
  • Clean work areas.
  • Plan production or operational procedures or sequences.
  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate coolant flow.
  • Feed materials or products into or through equipment.
  • Operate forklifts or other loaders.
  • Smooth metal surfaces or edges.
  • Operate grinding equipment.
  • Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
  • Remove accessories, tools, or other parts from equipment.
  • Apply lubricants or coolants to workpieces.
  • Replace worn equipment components.
  • Select production equipment according to product specifications.
  • Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing.
  • Heat material or workpieces to prepare for or complete production.
  • Sharpen cutting or grinding tools.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 28.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Logo Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

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