What do they do?

Set up, operate, or tend machines, such as glass-forming machines, plodder machines, and tuber machines, to shape and form products such as glassware, food, rubber, soap, brick, tile, clay, wax, tobacco, or cosmetics.

Also known as:

Extruder Operator, Extrusion Operator, Forming Machine Operator, Glass Forming Crew Member, Machine Operator, Press Operator, Rubber Extrusion Operator, Tuber Operator

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders is projected to grow 20 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • 20.2%

    Change

    Ranks #4 in job growth rate
    120

    Job Openings

    Ranks #26 in net job growth

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Education Level

Percent of workers in this field with these degrees:

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree  (<1%)
  • Master's degree  (<1%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (2%)
  • Associate's degree  (6%)
  • Some college, no degree  (17%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (56%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (18%)

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.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate flow of production materials or products.
  • Adjust temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment.
  • Operate metal or plastic forming equipment.
  • Inspect metal, plastic, or composite products.
  • Weigh finished products.
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure proper functioning.
  • Remove products or workpieces from production equipment.
  • Clear equipment jams.
  • Notify others of equipment repair or maintenance needs.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Select production equipment according to product specifications.
  • Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
  • Read work orders or other instructions to determine product specifications or materials requirements.
  • Study blueprints or other instructions to determine equipment setup requirements.
  • Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate coolant flow.
  • Clean production equipment.
  • Send information, materials or documentation.
  • Connect supply lines to production equipment or tools.
  • Load materials into production equipment.
  • Measure ingredients or substances to be used in production processes.
  • Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing.
  • Stack finished items for further processing or shipment.
  • Remove workpieces from molds.
  • Feed materials or products into or through equipment.
  • Move products, materials, or equipment between work areas.
  • Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information.
  • Record production information.
  • Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
  • Remove accessories, tools, or other parts from equipment.
  • Align parts or workpieces to ensure proper assembly.
  • Apply parting agents or other solutions to molds.
  • Ignite fuel to activate heating equipment.

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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