Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Set up, operate, or tend paper goods machines that perform a variety of functions, such as converting, sawing, corrugating, banding, wrapping, boxing, stitching, forming, or sealing paper or paperboard sheets into products.
Sample of reported job titles: Corrugator Operator, Cup Room Technician, Folder Machine Operator, Gluer Operator, Paper Cutter Operator, Paper Machine Backtender, Paper Machine Operator, Stitching Machine Operator
View report: Summary Details Custom Easy Read Veterans Español
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings
- Examine completed work to detect defects and verify conformance to work orders, and adjust machinery as necessary to correct production problems.
- Observe operation of various machines to detect and correct machine malfunctions such as improper forming, glue flow, or pasteboard tension.
- Start machines and move controls to regulate tension on pressure rolls, to synchronize speed of machine components, and to adjust temperatures of glue or paraffin.
- Disassemble machines to maintain, repair, or replace broken or worn parts, using hand or power tools.
- Install attachments to machines for gluing, folding, printing, or cutting.
- Cut products to specified dimensions, using hand or power cutters.
- Place rolls of paper or cardboard on machine feed tracks, and thread paper through gluing, coating, and slitting rollers.
- Monitor finished cartons as they drop from forming machines into rotating hoppers and into gravity feed chutes to prevent jamming.
- Adjust guide assemblies, forming bars, and folding mechanisms according to specifications, using hand tools.
- Measure, space, and set saw blades, cutters, and perforators, according to product specifications.
- Fill glue and paraffin reservoirs, and position rollers to dispense glue onto paperboard.
- Stamp products with information such as dates, using hand stamps or automatic stamping devices.
- Remove finished cores, and stack or place them on conveyors for transfer to other work areas.
- Lift tote boxes of finished cartons, and dump cartons into feed hoppers.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
back to top
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Virtual Systems Mail-Shop
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign ; Quark
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Electronic mail software — Objectif Lune PrintShop Mail
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
back to top
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
back to top
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
back to top
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- 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.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
back to top
- 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.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- 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.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- 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.
- 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.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- 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.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
back to top
Detailed Work Activities
- Adjust equipment to ensure optimal performance.
- Inspect finished products to locate flaws.
- Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions.
- Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
- Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing.
- Load materials into production equipment.
- Feed materials or products into or through equipment.
- Set equipment guides, stops, spacers, or other fixtures.
- Adjust temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment.
- Set equipment controls to meet cutting specifications.
- Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
- Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information.
- Remove products or workpieces from production equipment.
- Stack finished items for further processing or shipment.
Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities
back to top
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 96% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 94% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls
- Work With Work Group or Team
- Contact With Others — 71% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 47% responded “High responsibility.”
- Time Pressure — 23% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 45% responded “Important results.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 42% responded “Very important.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 15% responded “Important.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 15% responded “Never.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 18% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 70% responded “40 hours.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 63% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 24% responded “Very important.”
- Level of Competition — 58% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 24% responded “About half the time.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 39% responded “High responsibility.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 25% responded “Never.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 36% responded “Limited freedom.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 22% responded “Not important at all.”
- Physical Proximity — 25% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 36% responded “Every day.”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 24% responded “Never.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 50% responded “Limited freedom.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 28% responded “Less than half the time.”
back to top
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
back to top
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|69||High school diploma or equivalent
|20||Less than high school diploma|
|9||Some college, no degree|
back to top
back to top
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.
back to top
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- 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.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
back to top
- 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.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
back to top
back to top
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$19.15 hourly, $39,820 annual|
|Employment (2020)||102,300 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||10,200|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “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.
back to top
Job Openings on the Web
back to top