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Metal and Plastic Machine Workers

Metal and Plastic Machine Workers
Quick Facts : Metal and Plastic Machine Workers*
2010 Median Pay$31,910
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012939,700
Job Outlook6% (Slower than average)
Employment Change56,100


Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate machines that cut, shape, and form metal and plastic materials or pieces. They monitor and adjust machines during operation, detecting malfunctions.

What Metal and Plastic Machine Workers Do

  • Set up machines and monitor them for unusual sound or vibration
  • Lift material onto machines, manually or with a hoist
  • Operate metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines
  • Adjust the machines' speed and other settings
  • Adjust cutting machine settings to account for irregularities

Work Environment

Metal and plastic machine workers are employed mainly in factories. Although the work is generally not dangerous, hazards exist and workers must adhere to safety standards. Most work full time, and schedules may include evenings and weekends.
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Job Outlook

Employment of metal and plastic machine workers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2010 to 2020, affected by advances in technology, changing demand for the goods these workers produce, foreign competition, and the reorganization of production processes.
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Pay

The average hourly wage of metal and plastic machine workers was $15.34 in May 2010.
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Metal and Plastic Machine Workers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Metal and Plastic Machine Workers

31910

Installation & Production Occupations

39887.3333

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Metal and Plastic Machine Workers*
Percent Change in Employment

Metal and Plastic Machine Workers

5.96999

Installation & Production Occupations

10.336959024270376

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Metal and Plastic Machine Workers

Generally, a few weeks of on-the-job training are enough for most workers to learn basic machine operations, but 1 year or more is required to become highly skilled. A high school diploma is not required, but employers prefer to hire workers who have one.
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