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Summary Report for:
51-4021.00 - Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Set up, operate, or tend machines to extrude or draw thermoplastic or metal materials into tubes, rods, hoses, wire, bars, or structural shapes.

Sample of reported job titles: Equipment Technician, Extruder Operator, Extrusion Operator, Extrusion Press Operator, Machine Operator, Metal Inspector, Operator, Setup Operator, Wire Mill Operator, Wire Mill Rover

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Measure and examine extruded products to locate defects and to check for conformance to specifications, adjusting controls as necessary to alter products. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Determine setup procedures and select machine dies and parts, according to specifications. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Install dies, machine screws, and sizing rings on machines that extrude thermoplastic or metal materials. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Change dies on extruding machines according to production line changes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Start machines and set controls to regulate vacuum, air pressure, sizing rings, and temperature, and to synchronize speed of extrusion. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Replace worn dies when products vary from specifications. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Reel extruded products into rolls of specified lengths and weights. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Troubleshoot, maintain, and make minor repairs to equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Clean work areas. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Adjust controls to draw or press metal into specified shapes and diameters. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate shearing mechanisms to cut rods to specified lengths. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Select nozzles, spacers, and wire guides, according to diameters and lengths of rods. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Weigh and mix pelletized, granular, or powdered thermoplastic materials and coloring pigments. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Load machine hoppers with mixed materials, using augers, or stuff rolls of plastic dough into machine cylinders. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Test physical properties of products with testing devices such as acid-bath testers, burst testers, and impact testers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain an inventory of materials. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Air dryers — Batch dryers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Belt conveyors — Extrusion press conveyors; Plate conveyors; Slat conveyors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Blowers — Air cooling systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Calipers — Digital calipers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Compression die adaptor — Die changers; Die holders; Die shuffles; Die slides See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Compressor control panels — Steam controls See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Counters — Production counters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cylinder gauge — Ring gauges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Electrical control panels for generators — Electrical panel boards See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Extruders — Blown film extruders; Single screw extruders; Tubing extruders; Twin screw extruders (see all 6 examples) See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Floor or platform scales — Industrial floor scales See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Forklifts — Wheeled forklifts See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Furnaces — Billet heating furnaces See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Go or no go gauge — Snap gauges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hydraulic classifier — Pellet classifiers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Impact testers — Variable impact testers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Injection molding machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Intensive mixers — Paddle blenders; Ribbon blenders; Sigma blade mixers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laminators — Nip rolls See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Loading equipment — Billet loaders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Metal shearing machine — Hot log shears; Metal shearing machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Micrometers — Digital micrometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Packaging hoppers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pin gauge — Pin gauge sets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pipe bending mandrel — Metal bending mandrels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pneumatic lubricators — Lubrication systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Quench machine — Horizontal cooling tanks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Roller conveyors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Rubber or plastic extrusion dies — Braiders; Dummy blocks; Plastic profile extrusion dies; Plastic sheet extrusion dies (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Rubber or plastic mills — Two-roll mills See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Screw conveyor — Conveyor augers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Stackers — Sheet stackers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Steel holding tank — Dye water tank farm systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tape measures — Measuring tapes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tensile strength tester — Burst testers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Vacuum pumps — Automatic vacuum pumps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Wire drawing machine — Extrusion pullers; Wire drawing machines See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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 there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles). See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Select production equipment according to product specifications. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Measure ingredients or substances to be used in production processes. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Diagnose equipment malfunctions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mix substances to create chemical solutions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Adjust temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Load materials into production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate cutting equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Package products for storage or shipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspect metal, plastic, or composite products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate metal or plastic forming equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Determine production equipment settings. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean work areas. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Replace worn equipment components. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain production or processing equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Repair production equipment or tools. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 96% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 91% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 87% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 87% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 72% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 87% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 72% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 84% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 71% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 47% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Consequence of Error — 27% responded “Very serious.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 62% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 19% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 43% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 43% responded “Contact with others most of the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 45% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 32% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 21% responded “Not at all competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 38% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 37% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 34% responded “More than 40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 43% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 33% responded “Less than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 33% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 34% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
Not available High school diploma or equivalent Help
Not available Post-secondary certificate Help
Not available Less than high school diploma

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: RC

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $15.68 hourly, $32,610 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 75,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Decline (-3% or lower) Decline (-3% or lower)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 14,400
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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