Summary Report for:
51-4072.00 - Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
Sample of reported job titles: Core Machine Operator, Cup Fabricating Machine Operator, Cup Operator, Die Cast Technician, Eight Arm Operator, Injection Press Operator, Machine Operator, Press Operator, Process Technician, Production Technician
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
- Observe continuous operation of automatic machines to ensure that products meet specifications and to detect jams or malfunctions, making adjustments as necessary.
- Measure and visually inspect products for surface and dimension defects to ensure conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments.
- Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
- Position and secure workpieces on machines, and start feeding mechanisms.
- Turn valves and dials of machines to regulate pressure, temperature, and speed and feed rates, and to set cycle times.
- Remove finished or cured products from dies or molds, using hand tools, air hoses, and other equipment, stamping identifying information on products when necessary.
- Skim or pour dross, slag, or impurities from molten metal, using ladles, rakes, hoes, spatulas, or spoons.
- Trim excess material from parts, using knives, and grind scrap plastic into powder for reuse.
- Cool products after processing to prevent distortion.
- Install dies onto machines or presses and coat dies with parting agents, according to work order specifications.
- Mix and measure compounds, or weigh premixed compounds, and dump them into machine tubs, cavities, or molds.
- Observe meters and gauges to verify and record temperatures, pressures, and press-cycle times.
- Spray, smoke, or coat molds with compounds to lubricate or insulate molds, using acetylene torches or sprayers.
- Read specifications, blueprints, and work orders to determine setups, temperatures, and time settings required to mold, form, or cast plastic materials, as well as to plan production sequences.
- Adjust equipment and workpiece holding fixtures, such as mold frames, tubs, and cutting tables, to ensure proper functioning.
- Remove parts such as dies from machines after production runs are finished.
- Inventory and record quantities of materials and finished products, requisitioning additional supplies as necessary.
- Pour or load metal or sand into melting pots, furnaces, molds, or hoppers, using shovels, ladles, or machines.
- Unload finished products from conveyor belts, pack them in containers, and place containers in warehouses.
- Connect water hoses to cooling systems of dies, using hand tools.
- Preheat tools, dies, plastic materials, or patterns, using blowtorches or other equipment.
- Operate hoists to position dies or patterns on foundry floors.
- Smooth and clean inner surfaces of molds, using brushes, scrapers, air hoses, or grinding wheels, and fill imperfections with refractory material.
- Obtain and move specified patterns to work stations, manually or using hoists, and secure patterns to machines, using wrenches.
- Perform maintenance work such as cleaning and oiling machines.
- Repair or replace damaged molds, pipes, belts, chains, or other equipment, using hand tools, hand-powered presses, or jib cranes.
- Maintain inventories of materials.
- Select coolants and lubricants, and start their flow.
- Assemble shell halves, patterns, and foundry flasks, and reinforce core boxes, using glue, clamps, wire, bolts, rams, or machines.
- Pull level and toggle latches to fill molds, to regulate tension on sheeting, and to release mold covers.
- Select and install blades, tools, or other attachments for each operation.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adjustable widemouth pliers — Right angle pliers
- Borescope inspection equipment — Video borescopes
- Casting machines — Gravity die casting machines; Pressure die casting machines
- Cleaning scrapers — Hand scrapers
- Compressed air gun — Air guns
- Die casting die — Die cast dies
- Die casting machine — Cold chamber die casting machines; Hot chamber die casting machines
- Extruders — Extruding equipment
- Forklifts — Wheeled forklifts
- Foundry ladles — Robotic metal ladles; Standard metal ladles
- Hammers — Aluminum hammers; Brass hammers
- Handheld thermometer — Digital handheld thermometers
- Heat resistant clothing — Aluminized suits
- Heat tracing equipment — Thermal imaging cameras
- Hex keys — Hex key sets
- Hydraulic hand crimp tool — Hand crimpers
- Injection molding machines
- Limit switch — Mechanical limit switches
- Longnose pliers — Duckbill pliers
- Machine tending robot — Loading robots
- Metal cutters — Flash trimming knives; Gate cutters
- Micrometers — Digital micrometers
- Needlenose pliers — Needle nose pliers
- Overhead crane — Electric overhead traveling EOT cranes
- Power clamp — Mold clamps
- Power grinders — Air angle die grinders; Pneumatic die grinders
- Powered platform truck — Powered industrial trucks
- Pressure indicators — Hydraulic pressure gauges
- Pressure or steam cleaners — Pressure washers
- Pressure transducer — Melt pressure transducers
- Pry bars — Die bars
- Psychrometers — Digital psychrometers
- Pullers — Sprue pullers
- Radius gauge — Digital radius gauges
- Respirators — Air purifying respirators
- Round nose pliers
- Safety glasses — Protective glasses
- Screwdrivers — Multipurpose screwdrivers
- Slings — Lifting slings
- Spray gun — Compressed air sprayers
- Stop watch — Digital timers; Stopwatches
- Strain gauges — Tie bar strain gauges
- Surface thermometers — Digital surface thermometers
- Tape measures — Measuring tapes
- Thickness measuring devices — Orifice gauges
- Torque wrenches — Digital torque wrenches
- Trim press — Trim presses
- Utility knives — Deflashing tools
- Wire brushes — Wire cleaning brushes
Technology used in this occupation:
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- 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.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- 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.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- 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.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- 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.
- 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.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- 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.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- 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.
- 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.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
- 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.
- 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).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- 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.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- 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.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Detailed Work Activities
- Remove products or workpieces from production equipment.
- Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
- Select production equipment according to product specifications.
- Select production input materials.
- Place materials into molds.
- Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
- Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
- Monitor equipment operation to ensure that products are not flawed.
- Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
- Monitor instruments to ensure proper production conditions.
- Record operational or production data.
- Trim excess material from workpieces.
- Mix substances to create chemical solutions.
- Smooth metal surfaces or edges.
- Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
- Apply parting agents or other solutions to molds.
- Adjust temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment.
- Apply protective or decorative finishes to workpieces or products.
- Load materials into production equipment.
- Study blueprints or other instructions to determine equipment setup requirements.
- Load items into ovens or furnaces.
- Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information.
- Package products for storage or shipment.
- Remove accessories, tools, or other parts from equipment.
- Operate metal or plastic forming equipment.
- Operate grinding equipment.
- Inspect metal, plastic, or composite products.
- Clean production equipment.
- Heat material or workpieces to prepare for or complete production.
- Replace worn equipment components.
- Connect supply lines to production equipment or tools.
- Set equipment guides, stops, spacers, or other fixtures.
- Skim impurities from molten metal.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
- Fill cracks, imperfections, or holes in products or workpieces.
- Maintain production or processing equipment.
- Lubricate production equipment.
- Build production molds.
- Move products, materials, or equipment between work areas.
- Remove workpieces from molds.
- Repair templates, patterns, or molds.
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 66% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 71% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 53% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 41% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 34% responded “Some freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 36% responded “Some freedom.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 42% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 27% responded “Important.”
- Time Pressure — 37% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 54% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 29% responded “Important.”
- Physical Proximity — 46% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Contact With Others — 33% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 41% responded “Minor results.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 73% responded “40 hours.”
|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)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|65||High school diploma or equivalent|
|21||Less than high school diploma|
Interest code: RCI
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 (2014)||$13.85 hourly, $28,810 annual|
|Employment (2012)||125,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Decline (-3% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||15,100|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "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.
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, 2014-15 Edition.