Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic Career

Job Description: Operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic work pieces.

Is Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic the right career path for you?
Take the MyMajors Quiz and find out if it fits one of your top recommended majors!

Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic Career

What Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastics do:

  • Stop machines to remove finished workpieces or to change tooling, setup, or workpiece placement, according to required machining sequences.
  • Confer with supervisors or programmers to resolve machine malfunctions or production errors or to obtain approval to continue production.
  • Listen to machines during operation to detect sounds such as those made by dull cutting tools or excessive vibration and adjust machines to compensate for problems.
  • Lift workpieces to machines manually or with hoists or cranes.
  • Check to ensure that workpieces are properly lubricated and cooled during machine operation.
  • Measure dimensions of finished workpieces to ensure conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments, templates, and fixtures.
  • Clean machines, tooling, or parts, using solvents or solutions and rags.
  • Set up and operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic workpieces.
  • Adjust machine feed and speed, change cutting tools, or adjust machine controls when automatic programming is faulty or if machines malfunction.
  • Monitor machine operation and control panel displays and compare readings to specifications to detect malfunctions.
  • Mount, install, align, and secure tools, attachments, fixtures, and workpieces on machines, using hand tools and precision measuring instruments.
  • Remove and replace dull cutting tools.
  • Insert control instructions into machine control units to start operation.
  • Calculate machine speed and feed ratios and the size and position of cuts.
  • Input initial part dimensions into machine control panels.
  • Review program specifications or blueprints to determine and set machine operations and sequencing, finished workpiece dimensions, or numerical control sequences.
  • Maintain machines and remove and replace broken or worn machine tools, using hand tools.
  • Stack or load finished items or place items on conveyor systems.
  • Modify cutting programs to account for problems encountered during operation and save modified programs.
  • Control coolant systems.
  • Enter commands or load control media, such as tapes, cards, or disks, into machine controllers to retrieve programmed instructions.
  • Set up future jobs while machines are operating.
  • Implement changes to machine programs and enter new specifications, using computers.
  • Write simple programs for computer-controlled machine tools.
  • Transfer commands from servers to computer numerical control (CNC) modules, using computer network links.
  • Lay out and mark areas of parts to be shot-peened and fill hoppers with shot.
  • Examine electronic components for defects or completeness of laser-beam trimming, using microscopes.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

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.

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.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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.

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.

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.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Holland Code Chart for a Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

Is This Career Right for Me?

The fastest way toward knowing if computer-controlled-machine-tool-operators-metal-and-plastic is the career for you is to take this quiz to find your career path.