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Summary Report for:
51-4033.00 - Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic work pieces.

The occupation code you requested, 51-4033.02 (Buffing and Polishing Set-Up Operators), is no longer in use. In the future, please use 51-4033.00 (Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic) instead.

Sample of reported job titles: Cell Operator, Centerless Grinder Operator, CNC Operator (Computer Numerically Controlled Operator), Deburrer, Die Maintenance Technician, Fiberglass Finisher, Grinder, Grinder Operator, Machine Setter, Process Equipment Operator

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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

  • Inspect or measure finished workpieces to determine conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments such as gauges or micrometers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Lift and position workpieces, manually or with hoists, and secure them in hoppers or on machine tables, faceplates, or chucks, using clamps. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic workpieces. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Observe machine operations to detect any problems, making necessary adjustments to correct problems. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Set and adjust machine controls according to product specifications, using knowledge of machine operation. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Measure workpieces and lay out work, using precision measuring devices. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Select machine tooling to be used, using knowledge of machine and production requirements. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Study blueprints, work orders, or machining instructions to determine product specifications, tool requirements, and operational sequences. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Mount and position tools in machine chucks, spindles, or other tool holding devices, using hand tools. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Activate machine start-up switches to grind, lap, hone, debar, shear, or cut workpieces, according to specifications. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Move machine controls to index workpieces, and to adjust machines for pre-selected operational settings. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Brush or spray lubricating compounds on workpieces, or turn valve handles and direct flow of coolant against tools and workpieces. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Compute machine indexings and settings for specified dimensions and base reference points. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Slide spacers between buffs on spindles to set spacing. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Thread and hand-feed materials through machine cutters or abraders. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Adjust air cylinders and setting stops to set traverse lengths and feed arm strokes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Repair or replace machine parts, using hand tools, or notify engineering personnel when corrective action is required. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain stocks of machine parts and machining tools. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Angle grinder — Angle grinders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bench clamp — Bench clamps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Binocular light compound microscopes — Computerized microscopes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Buffing machine — Buffing machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Calipers — Digital calipers; Vernier calipers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Chamfering machine — Pipe chamfering machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Chuck keys — Chuck wrenches See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Comparators — Digital comparators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Coordinate measuring machines CMM See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Deburring tool — Hand deburring tools See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Gage block set — Gage blocks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hoists — Power hoists See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hole gauge — Bore gauges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Metal polishing machine — Metal polishing machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Micrometers — Digital micrometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Overhead crane — Electric overhead travelling EOT cranes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Precision surface plate — Metalworking surface plates See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Radius gauge — Digital radius gauges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surface grinding machine — Computer numerical control CNC grinding machines; Outer diameter OD grinders; Surface grinding machines; Universal grinding machines (see all 6 examples) See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Thickness measuring devices — Gage pins; Limit gauges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Vibratory or barrel finishing machine — Barrel finishing machines See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Industrial control software — Mazak Mazatrol SMART CNC See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Inventory management software — Manufacturing reporting system software See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

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

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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.
  • 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.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. 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.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. 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.
  • 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.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness. 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.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). 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.
  • Wrist-Finger Speed — The ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. 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.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. 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.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. 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.

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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.
  • Read work orders or other instructions to determine product specifications or materials requirements. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment. 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.
  • Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate coolant flow. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate cutting equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Calculate dimensions of workpieces, products, or equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Reshape metal workpieces to established specifications. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate grinding equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Feed materials or products into or through equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Lift materials or workpieces using cranes or other lifting equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Replace worn equipment components. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Notify others of equipment repair or maintenance needs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Set equipment guides, stops, spacers, or other fixtures. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Lay out parts to prepare for assembly. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Apply lubricants or coolants to workpieces. 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

  • Exposed to Contaminants — 99% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 91% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 91% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 70% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 79% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 82% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 58% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 49% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 62% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 75% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 49% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 42% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 33% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 40% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 36% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 33% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 48% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 52% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 44% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 55% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 29% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 34% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 41% responded “Moderate responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 38% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Consequence of Error — 33% responded “Fairly serious.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 30% responded “Minor results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 36% responded “Limited responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 40% responded “Less than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Degree of Automation — 37% responded “Highly automated.” 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
75   High school diploma or equivalent Help
12   Less than high school diploma
9   Post-secondary certificate Help

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: R

  • 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.

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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. 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.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. 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.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. 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.

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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) $15.70 hourly, $32,660 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 72,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Decline (-3% or lower) Decline (-3% or lower)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 16,000
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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