Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Set up, operate, or tend machines to roll steel or plastic forming bends, beads, knurls, rolls, or plate, or to flatten, temper, or reduce gauge of material.
Sample of reported job titles: Breakdown Mill Operator, Calender Operator, Cold Mill Operator, Machine Operator, Mill Operator, Rolling Mill Operator, Roughing Mill Operator, Temper Mill Operator, Tube Mill Operator, Weld Mill Operator
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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 | Additional Information
- Monitor machine cycles and mill operation to detect jamming and to ensure that products conform to specifications.
- Adjust and correct machine set-ups to reduce thicknesses, reshape products, and eliminate product defects.
- Start operation of rolling and milling machines to flatten, temper, form, and reduce sheet metal sections and to produce steel strips.
- Examine, inspect, and measure raw materials and finished products to verify conformance to specifications.
- Read rolling orders, blueprints, and mill schedules to determine setup specifications, work sequences, product dimensions, and installation procedures.
- Manipulate controls and observe dial indicators to monitor, adjust, and regulate speeds of machine mechanisms.
- Set distance points between rolls, guides, meters, and stops, according to specifications.
- Calculate draft space and roll speed for each mill stand to plan rolling sequences and specified dimensions and tempers.
- Install equipment such as guides, guards, gears, cooling equipment, and rolls, using hand tools.
- Position, align, and secure arbors, spindles, coils, mandrels, dies, and slitting knives.
- Fill oil cups, adjust valves, and observe gauges to control flow of metal coolants and lubricants onto workpieces.
- Activate shears and grinders to trim workpieces.
- Signal and assist other workers to remove and position equipment, fill hoppers, and feed materials into machines.
- Record mill production on schedule sheets.
- Direct and train other workers to change rolls, operate mill equipment, remove coils and cobbles, and band and load material.
- Thread or feed sheets or rods through rolling mechanisms, or start and control mechanisms that automatically feed steel into rollers.
- Select rolls, dies, roll stands, and chucks from data charts to form specified contours and to fabricate products.
- Remove scratches and polish roll surfaces, using polishing stones and electric buffers.
- Disassemble sizing mills removed from rolling lines, and sort and store parts.
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- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
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- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
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- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- 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.
- 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.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
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- 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.
- 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).
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- 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.
- 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.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- 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.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- 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).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
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- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- 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.
- 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.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- 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.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- 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.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- 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.
- 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.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Operate metal or plastic forming equipment.
- Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions.
- Inspect metal, plastic, or composite products.
- Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
- Read work orders or other instructions to determine product specifications or materials requirements.
- Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
- Study blueprints or other instructions to determine equipment setup requirements.
- Monitor equipment operation to ensure proper functioning.
- Feed materials or products into or through equipment.
- Set equipment guides, stops, spacers, or other fixtures.
- Calculate specific material, equipment, or labor requirements for production.
- Install mechanical components in production equipment.
- Select production equipment according to product specifications.
- Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
- Adjust equipment controls to regulate coolant flow.
- Monitor instruments to ensure proper production conditions.
- Operate cutting equipment.
- Operate grinding equipment.
- Reshape metal workpieces to established specifications.
- Signal others to coordinate work activities.
- Record operational or production data.
- Polish materials, workpieces, or finished products.
- Direct operational or production activities.
- Instruct workers to use equipment or perform technical procedures.
- Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
- Sort materials or products for processing, storing, shipping, or grading.
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- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 73% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 63% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Time Pressure — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 64% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 68% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 45% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 55% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 69% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 46% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 41% responded “Very important results.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 60% responded “40 hours.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 47% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 41% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 41% responded “Some freedom.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 42% responded “Important.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 33% responded “High responsibility.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 37% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 34% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Physical Proximity — 32% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Consequence of Error — 39% responded “Serious.”
- Deal With External Customers — 32% responded “Very important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 52% responded “Every day.”
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|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)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|74||High school diploma or equivalent
|13||Less than high school diploma|
|10||Some college, no degree|
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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.
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- 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.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- 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.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$20.96 hourly, $43,600 annual|
|Employment (2020)||34,500 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||3,000|
|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.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Association for Manufacturing Technology
- Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International
- National Institute for Metalworking Skills
- National Tooling and Machining Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Metal and plastic machine workers
- Plastics Industry Association
- Precision Machined Products Association
- Precision Metalforming Association
- United Steelworkers
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