Grinding and Polishing Workers, Hand
51-9022.00

Grind, sand, or polish, using hand tools or hand-held power tools, a variety of metal, wood, stone, clay, plastic, or glass objects. Includes chippers, buffers, and finishers.

Sample of reported job titles: Buffer, Casting Finisher, Chipper, Deburring Technician, Finisher, Grinder, Jewelry Polisher, Knife Grinder, Metal Finisher, Polisher

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Grind, sand, clean, or polish objects or parts to correct defects or to prepare surfaces for further finishing, using hand tools and power tools.
  • Verify quality of finished workpieces by inspecting them, comparing them to templates, measuring their dimensions, or testing them in working machinery.
  • Move controls to adjust, start, or stop equipment during grinding and polishing processes.
  • Remove completed workpieces from equipment or work tables, using hand tools, and place workpieces in containers.
  • Measure and mark equipment, objects, or parts to ensure grinding and polishing standards are met.
  • Transfer equipment, objects, or parts to specified work areas, using moving devices.
  • Trim, scrape, or deburr objects or parts, using chisels, scrapers, and other hand tools and equipment.
  • Repair and maintain equipment, objects, or parts, using hand tools.
  • File grooved, contoured, and irregular surfaces of metal objects, such as metalworking dies and machine parts, to conform to templates, other parts, layouts, or blueprint specifications.
  • Mark defects, such as knotholes, cracks, and splits, for repair.
  • Study blueprints or layouts to determine how to lay out workpieces or saw out templates.
  • Sharpen abrasive grinding tools, using machines and hand tools.
  • Load and adjust workpieces onto equipment or work tables, using hand tools.
  • Fill cracks or imperfections in marble with wax that matches the stone color.
  • Record product and processing data on specified forms.
  • Select files or other abrasives, according to materials, sizes and shapes of workpieces, amount of stock to be removed, finishes specified, and steps in finishing processes.
  • Apply solutions and chemicals to equipment, objects, or parts, using hand tools.
  • Clean brass particles from files by drawing file cards through file grooves.
  • Spread emery powder or other polishing compounds on stone, or wet stone surfaces with hoses, and guide buffing wheels over stone to polish surfaces.
  • Wash grit from stone, using hoses.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • 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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • 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 materials.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — 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.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • 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.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • 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.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Detailed Work Activities

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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 — 95% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 71% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 45% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 53% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 43% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure — 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 37% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 30% responded “Very important.”
  • Contact With Others — 45% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 60% responded “40 hours.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 33% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 61% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 50% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 30% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 33% responded “Very important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 30% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 45% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 38% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 35% responded “Fairly important.”
  • Level of Competition — 44% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 43% responded “Important results.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 30% responded “Every day.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed
Education
Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
Related Experience
Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include food preparation workers, dishwashers, floor sanders and finishers, landscaping and groundskeeping workers, logging equipment operators, and baristas.
SVP Range
Up to 3 months of preparation (Below 4.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Operations 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.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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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.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 39%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 34%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required
  • 11%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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 that there is a problem.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.

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Interests

Interest code: RC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • 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.

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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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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.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$17.15 hourly, $35,670 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
23,700 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Decline (-1% or lower)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
2,100
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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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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