Summary Report for:
51-4035.00 - Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend milling or planing machines to mill, plane, shape, groove, or profile metal or plastic work pieces.
Sample of reported job titles: CNC Inspector (Computer Numerical Control Inspector), CNC Lathe Operator (Computer Numerical Control Lathe Operator), CNC Machine Operator (Computerized Numerical Control Machine Operator), CNC Machinist (Computerized Numerical Control Machinist), CNC Mill Operator (Computerized Numerical Control Mill Operator), CNC Mill Set Up Operator (Computerized Numerical Control Mill Set Up Operator), CNC Operator (Computerized Numerical Control Operator), CNC Programmer (Computerized Numerical Control Programmer), Machine Operator, Mill Operator
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
- Remove workpieces from machines, and check to ensure that they conform to specifications, using measuring instruments such as microscopes, gauges, calipers, and micrometers.
- Observe milling or planing machine operation and adjust controls to ensure conformance with specified tolerances.
- Position and secure workpieces on machines, using holding devices, measuring instruments, hand tools, and hoists.
- Study blueprints, layouts, sketches, or work orders to assess workpiece specifications and to determine tooling instructions, tools and materials needed, and sequences of operations.
- Move controls to set cutting specifications, to position cutting tools and workpieces in relation to each other, and to start machines.
- Compute dimensions, tolerances, and angles of workpieces or machines, according to specifications and knowledge of metal properties and shop mathematics.
- Verify alignment of workpieces on machines, using measuring instruments such as rules, gauges, or calipers.
- Select cutting speeds, feed rates, and depths of cuts, applying knowledge of metal properties and shop mathematics.
- Move cutters or material manually or by turning handwheels, or engage automatic feeding mechanisms to mill workpieces to specifications.
- Replace worn tools, using hand tools, and sharpen dull tools, using bench grinders.
- Select and install cutting tools and other accessories according to specifications, using hand tools or power tools.
- Record production output.
- Turn valves or pull levers to start and regulate the flow of coolant or lubricant to work areas.
- Make templates or cutting tools.
- Mount attachments and tools such as pantographs, engravers, or routers to perform other operations such as drilling or boring.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adjustable wrenches — Crescent wrenches
- Allen wrench — Allen wrench sets
- Bench grinder — Industrial bench grinders
- Bench scales — Digital bench scales
- Calipers — Dial calipers; Digital calipers; Vernier calipers
- Chucks — Soft jaws
- Collets — Collet chucks
- Comparators — Mechanical comparators
- Compasses — Layout compasses
- Coordinate measuring machines CMM
- Deburring tool — Machine deburring tools
- Desktop computers
- Dial indicator or dial gauge — Coaxial indicators; Drop indicators
- Drill press or radial drill — Drill presses
- End mills
- Forklifts — Wheeled forklifts
- Grease guns — Grease dispensers
- Grinders — Hand grinders
- Hand lapper — Lapping tools
- Height gauges — Digital height gauges
- Hoists — Power hoists
- Hole gauge — Bore gauges
- Horizontal boring machine — Boring bars; Horizontal boring mills
- Metal polishing machine — Polishing tools
- Micrometers — Inside digital ID micrometers; Outside digital OD micrometers
- Milling vise — Precision milling vises
- Pin gauge — Pin gauge sets
- Planer style milling machine — Metal planers
- Radius gauge — Fillet gauges
- Rulers — Precision rules
- Safety glasses — Protective safety glasses
- Sawing and cut-off machine — Metal cutters
- Screwdrivers — Multipurpose screwdrivers
- Setting jig — Setting jigs
- Spanner wrenches — Adjustable spanner wrenches
- Tinners snips — Metal shears
- Tool holders — Automatic tool changers
- Tool template sets — Center finders; Electronic edge finders; Mechanical edge finders; Tool probes (see all 5 examples)
- Track cranes — Overhead cranes
- Turret lathe — Turret lathes
- Turret milling machine — Vertical milling machines
- Unit cooler — Coolant chillers
- Universal milling machine — Computer numerical control CNC milling machines; Horizontal milling machines
- Vertical machining center — Vertical machining centers VMC
- Wire brushes — Wire cleaning brushes
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — Kentech Kipware TB
- Computer aided design CAD and computer aided manufacturing CAM system — Edgecam software
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Siemens PLM Software Solid Edge; SmartCAM software; Vero Alphacam software
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — Mastercam software
- Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML
- Industrial control software — EditCNC software
- Object or component oriented development software — G code; M code
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- 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.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- 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.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- 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.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- 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.
- 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.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- 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.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- 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.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- 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).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- 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.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- 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.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- 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.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Detailed Work Activities
- Remove products or workpieces from production equipment.
- Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
- Select production equipment according to product specifications.
- Read work orders or other instructions to determine product specifications or materials requirements.
- Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
- Monitor equipment operation to ensure that products are not flawed.
- Record operational or production data.
- Align parts or workpieces to ensure proper assembly.
- Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
- Adjust equipment controls to regulate coolant flow.
- Calculate dimensions of workpieces, products, or equipment.
- Set equipment controls to meet cutting specifications.
- Operate grinding equipment.
- Feed materials or products into or through equipment.
- Determine production equipment settings.
- Replace worn equipment components.
- Sharpen cutting or grinding tools.
- Construct patterns, templates, or other work aids.
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 93% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 92% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 75% responded “Extremely important.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 75% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 52% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 28% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Contact With Others — 17% responded “Contact with others about half the time.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 52% responded “Some freedom.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 28% responded “Important.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 24% responded “Never.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 37% responded “Fairly important.”
- Consequence of Error — 23% responded “Serious.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 36% responded “More than half the time.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 74% responded “40 hours.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 39% responded “Fairly important.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 36% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 40% responded “Very little freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 42% responded “Every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|Not available||Post-secondary certificate|
|Not available||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Not available||Less than high school diploma|
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- 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.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- 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.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$18.39 hourly, $38,250 annual|
|Employment (2014)||22,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Decline (-2% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||3,900|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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.
- Metal and plastic machine workers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.