live chat

New User


Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

  PRINT Print

Set up, operate, or tend machines to saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic material.

    Work Activities
    • Measure completed workpieces to verify conformance to specifications, using micrometers, gauges, calipers, templates, or rulers.
    • Examine completed workpieces for defects, such as chipped edges or marred surfaces and sort defective pieces according to types of flaws.
    • Set stops on machine beds, change dies, and adjust components, such as rams or power presses, when making multiple or successive passes.
    • Start machines, monitor their operations, and record operational data.
    • Set up, operate, or tend machines to saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic material.
    • Test and adjust machine speeds or actions, according to product specifications, using gauges and hand tools.
    • Install, align, and lock specified punches, dies, cutting blades, or other fixtures in rams or beds of machines, using gauges, templates, feelers, shims, and hand tools.
    • Read work orders or production schedules to determine specifications, such as materials to be used, locations of cutting lines, or dimensions and tolerances.
    • Position guides, stops, holding blocks, or other fixtures to secure and direct workpieces, using hand tools and measuring devices.
    • Position, align, and secure workpieces against fixtures or stops on machine beds or on dies.
    • Load workpieces, plastic material, or chemical solutions into machines.
    • Adjust ram strokes of presses to specified lengths, using hand tools.
    • Clean and lubricate machines.
    • Mark identifying data on workpieces.
    • Turn controls to set cutting speeds, feed rates, or table angles for specified operations.
    • Scribe reference lines on workpieces as guides for cutting operations, according to blueprints, templates, sample parts, or specifications.
    • Clean work area.
    • Place workpieces on cutting tables, manually or using hoists, cranes, or sledges.
    • Plan sequences of operations, applying knowledge of physical properties of workpiece materials.
    • Turn valves to start flow of coolant against cutting areas or to start airflow that blows cuttings away from kerfs.
    • Thread ends of metal coils from reels through slitters and secure ends on recoilers.
    • Operate forklifts to deliver materials.
    • Grind out burrs or sharp edges, using portable grinders, speed lathes, or polishing jacks.
    • Remove housings, feed tubes, tool holders, or other accessories to replace worn or broken parts, such as springs or bushings.
    • Lubricate workpieces with oil.
    • Replace defective blades or wheels, using hand tools.
    • Set blade tensions, heights, and angles to perform prescribed cuts, using wrenches.
    • Select, clean, and install spacers, rubber sleeves, or cutters on arbors.
    • Hand-form, cut, or finish workpieces, using tools such as table saws, hand sledges, or anvils.
    • Preheat workpieces, using heating furnaces or hand torches.
    • Sharpen dulled blades, using bench grinders, abrasive wheels, or lathes.
    • Hone cutters with oilstones to remove nicks.
    • Operation Monitoring

      Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

    • Operation and Control

      Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

    • Monitoring

      Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy
    • 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.

    • Control Precision

      The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

    • Near Vision

      The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

    • Mechanical

      Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    • Production and Processing

      Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

    • Mathematics

      Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

    Career Video
    Video not available
    Additional videos and more information available on CareerOneStop
    • Ohio Annual Salary $35,130/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage $16.89/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage
    Ohio Employment Trends
    • Currently Employed 17,640
    • Yearly Projected Openings 1,770
    Typical Education
    Realistic: People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They do well at jobs that need:
    • Attention to Detail
    • Dependability
    • Independence
    • Initiative
    • Integrity
    • Self Control
    • Open die forging press
    • Metal shearing machine
    • Hydraulic press brake
    • Drill press or radial drill
    • Cutting machines
    • Word processing software
    • Spreadsheet software
    • Office suite software
    • Inventory management software
    • Enterprise resource planning ERP software
    • InDemand occupations are considered a priority by the state of Ohio.
    • Green occupations are jobs that contribute to energy conservation, development of alternative energy, reducing pollution, or recycling.
    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.