What do they do?

Set up, operate, or tend forging machines to taper, shape, or form metal or plastic parts.

Also known as:

Blacksmith, Cold Header Operator, Forge Operator, Forge Press Operator, Forger, Hammer Operator, Header Set-Up Operator, Machine Operator, Manipulator Operator, Process Technician, Set Up Technician

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic is projected to Decline 16 percent from 2020 to 2030

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • -16.7%


    Ranks #34 in job growth rate

    Job Openings

    Ranks #23 in net job growth

Best colleges for Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Colleges with the most graduates that become Forging 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  (2%)
  • Associate's degree  (9%)
  • Some college, no degree  (23%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (49%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (14%)

Typical College Majors

Most Popular Majors that prepare Forging 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 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Study blueprints or other instructions to determine equipment setup requirements.
  • Maneuver workpieces in equipment during production.
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
  • Operate metal or plastic forming equipment.
  • Operate cutting equipment.
  • Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
  • Remove accessories, tools, or other parts from equipment.
  • Conduct test runs of production equipment.
  • Exchange information with colleagues.
  • Trim excess material from workpieces.
  • Maintain production or processing equipment.
  • Replace worn equipment components.
  • Repair production equipment or tools.
  • Select production equipment according to product specifications.
  • Set equipment guides, stops, spacers, or other fixtures.
  • Operate grinding equipment.
  • Sharpen cutting or grinding tools.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 28.1 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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