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Summary Report for:
51-4034.00 - Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Set up, operate, or tend lathe and turning machines to turn, bore, thread, form, or face metal or plastic materials, such as wire, rod, or bar stock.

Sample of reported job titles: Machinist, Lathe Operator, Computer Numerical Control Lathe Operator (CNC Lathe Operator), Machine Operator, Tool Maker, Set Up / Operator, Computer Numerical Control Machinist (CNC Machinist), Computer Numerical Control Operator (CNC Operator), Numerical Control Operator (NC Operator), Screw Machine Operator

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

Tasks

  • Inspect sample workpieces to verify conformance with specifications, using instruments such as gauges, micrometers, and dial indicators.
  • Study blueprints, layouts or charts, and job orders for information on specifications and tooling instructions, and to determine material requirements and operational sequences.
  • Adjust machine controls and change tool settings to keep dimensions within specified tolerances.
  • Move controls to set cutting speeds and depths and feed rates, and to position tools in relation to workpieces.
  • Start lathe or turning machines and observe operations to ensure that specifications are met.
  • Select cutting tools and tooling instructions, according to written specifications or knowledge of metal properties and shop mathematics.
  • Crank machines through cycles, stopping to adjust tool positions and machine controls to ensure specified timing, clearances, and tolerances.
  • Lift metal stock or workpieces manually or using hoists, and position and secure them in machines, using fasteners and hand tools.
  • Replace worn tools, and sharpen dull cutting tools and dies using bench grinders or cutter-grinding machines.
  • Position, secure, and align cutting tools in toolholders on machines, using hand tools, and verify their positions with measuring instruments.

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Knowledge

Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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Skills

Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
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.
Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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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.
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.
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.
Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
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 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.
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.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

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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).
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
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.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
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.

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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.”
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 74% responded “Extremely important.”
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 74% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 86% responded “Every day.”
Spend Time Standing — 70% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 63% responded “Every day.”
Time Pressure — 46% responded “Every day.”
Duration of Typical Work Week — 58% responded “More than 40 hours.”
Exposed to Contaminants — 68% responded “Every day.”
Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 53% responded “Every day.”

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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
45   High school diploma or equivalent Help
39   Post-secondary certificate Help
  Less than high school diploma

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Apprenticeships

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Interests

Interest code: RIC

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.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
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.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
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.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

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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.
Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Related Occupations

51-2031.00 Engine and Other Machine Assemblers Green Occupation
51-4022.00 Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
51-4031.00 Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic   Green Occupation Green
51-4033.00 Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
51-4035.00 Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
51-4081.00 Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
51-4121.06 Welders, Cutters, and Welder Fitters   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook   Green Occupation
51-4122.00 Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
51-7041.00 Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood
51-7042.00 Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $17.18 hourly, $35,740 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 39,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Decline (-3% or lower) Decline (-3% or lower)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 7,400
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 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

Find Jobs Job Banks

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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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