Machine Operator Job Description Template

A machine operator is majorly seen working with heavy equipment. They help in installing heavy machines and maintaining them by carrying out tests and repairs from time to time. They are also called a forklift operator.

Their main duties include performing routine maintenance checks, following stringent safety rules, among others. They can be a self-starter, being willing to undergo training if applicable so that they could have adequate knowledge of their job role.  

Let’s take a look at a machine operator job description template.

Machine Operator Job Description

The job of a machine operator is to install, maintain and operate machines. Machine operators must have a solid knowledge of the machines and their workability. That is why they must partake of comprehensive training to help them carry out their duties well. 

Machine operators may work with mechanical or computer-operated machinery. And using this equipment means that once in a while, they may develop some fault. That is why, as a machine operator, you must be able to discover the problem, analyze the situation and come up with a solution. 

Therefore, you must be detail-oriented, willing to learn, and follow instructions. You must also have the ability to work with others and make sure safety measures are put in place and followed to reduce the risk of casualty. 

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Machine Operator Responsibilities

The responsibilities of a machine operator include:

  • Operates and maintains lathe and milling machine
  • Analyses drawings, instructions, designs or samples to make certain that accurate production is carried out
  • Chooses the right machine setting for a given task
  • Takes accurate measurement for cutting or shaping machine part
  • Plans the appropriate order of tasks to ensure every detail is given adequate attention
  • Monitors production and adjusts settings while work is ongoing
  • Identifies faults and carries out adequate maintenance and repairs
  • Cleans machinery and maintains sanitation at the workplace 
  • Follows safety and health instructions and wears the right PPE for the job
  • Contributes to team efforts, offering suggestions and recommendations where necessary
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Machine Operator Qualification

A machine operator must possess:

  • Exceptional management and mechanical skills
  • Solid attention to details, accuracy, and safety
  • Concrete written and verbal communication skills
  • Numerical, analytical and computer skills
  • Ability to lift heavy equipment, bend, stand or walk for long periods
  • Willingness to work in shifts – late hours, weekends, or overtime
  • Ability to work as a team
  • Ability to read manuals, blueprints and
    handbooks.  

Education, Experience, and License Requirements of a Machine Operator

  • High school diploma, GED, or its equivalence
  • 2+ years of experience as a machine operator 
  • Solid knowledge of safety measures
  • Licensure from a professional body

Education and Training Requirements of a Machine Operator

Most times, a high school diploma or GED is required for one to assume the position of a machine operator. Some applicants may need on-the-job training to under the intrinsic of machine operation and maintenance of equipment. This could be because of their level of knowledge of the job and also the requirements of the recruiter. 

In other cases, the applicant may need to have completed a vocational training program, especially if the recruiter is specific on the skills the machine operator must possess. In addition, there may be needed for the applicant to have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree
in specific fields like engineering, business management, or any other specific fields. 

In all this, most recruiters turn around to train the applicants on the specific skills they want regarding the job position. This includes work setting training, professional certification in bulldozers, forklifts, backhoes, or loaders. There is also the need for safety training through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

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How Much Does A Machine Operator Earn?

On average, a machine operator makes around $13.85 per hour. However, the rate of payment may be dependent on the geographical location, experience, and educational qualification of the machine operator. 

Machine Operator Experience Requirements

For entry-level machine operator jobs, you may know nothing or just a little about the practical aspect of the position you are to occupy. However, it simply means that you may need to train under a skilled machine operator. You will need to pay attention to how to inspect, maintain and repair each piece of equipment.  

For other entry-level machine operator jobs, you are expected to display a reasonable level of experience, although additional on-the-job training may be helpful for you to successfully become skilled in the job. Equally important, if you have years of experience, you may be qualified for the role of leadership and help in training the junior staff. 

Career Path For Machine Operators

Since there are various industries that a machine operator can work, there are also many paths that they can take. If you are with entry to intermediate level experience in a production company, you may find yourself as a quality assurance manager. This position requires high responsibility and you would be in charge of operating and handling the machines to help in the
production line.  

Equally, you can get a job in small, private office machines, or in a large construction company. You may be required to work with extruding and drawing machines, construction and moving machines, drilling and boring machines, welding, soldering, and brazing machines and digging and excavating machines. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there diverse roles of machine operators in different industries?

As a machine operator, you can work in a range of diverse industries or companies that may need precise tools and equipment. You may operate in an organization where you will need to lift heavy machines like forklifts. You may also work in a mining company where you will work underground using machines that are involved in coal removal. Mostly, machine operators work in construction companies and move trucks, bulldozers and tractors around the jobsites. 

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Is there any difference between a machine operator and machinist?

While the duties of both professionals involve operating large machines and equipment, their job roles are quite different to an extent. Their responsibilities, skills and training are slightly not the same. For machine operators, they are trained to operate, maintain and repair particular kinds of machines. Whereas, machinists are not just trained to operate, repair and maintain these machines, they are also trained to program them. Therefore, a machinist may receive a more advanced training in the field than a machine operator because of the demands of their duties in the application of high-level programming techniques. 

Whom does a machine operator report to?

On a normal day, machine operators have supervisors in the job that they report to. These supervisors make sure the members of the team carry out their duties accordingly. They watch the machine operators closely and provide feedback and directives to help them get better at their job. Mostly, machine operator supervisors assign duties and responsibilities to the members of the team, while the team tables their challenges, findings and other issues to them. 

How do you identify a good machine operator?

A good workman is identified by their work. Therefore, a machine operator must be technically disposed to have a good knowledge of machines. He must be able to identify faults with a machine, repair the faults using computerized equipment, and also maintain the machine from time to time. Machine operators are also mandated to have a strong understanding and knowledge of the tools they use in working on the machines.

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