Career Spotlight: Machine Operators

If you’re looking for an interesting, hands-on career, you might want to consider being a machine operator. It’s an excellent foot in the door for a manufacturing career, and it can be a natural fit for those with some mechanical aptitude. Here’s what you should know.

Day to Day Tasks

As the name implies, a machine operator is responsible for running heavy machinery on the manufacturing floor. Every facility is slightly different, but in general, you can expect to do some or all of the tasks below:

  • Following detailed specifications for each job
  • Setting up the machine and preparing it for use
  • Loading raw materials and any necessary components
  • Operating the machine according to designated protocols
  • Quality control inspections on the finished goods
  • Troubleshooting and performing minor maintenance
  • Maintaining logs and reports for each job
  • Keeping your work area clean and safe

Skills and Experience

In most facilities, machine operators don’t need any specific education or experience. But you do need some basic skills and job function compatibility to be successful. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Organization. You’ll be expected to keep track of a variety of parts, raw materials, and finished items, and to document any defects or errors. Therefore, strong organizational skills are essential to meeting productivity expectations.
  • Mechanical and technical skills. By definition, machine operators spend their time working with heavy machinery, as well as diagrams, schematics, and blueprints. So it’s not the right position for someone who doesn’t have a basic aptitude for mechanics.
  • Multitasking without losing focus. One of the most challenging aspects of the job is the need to multitask. You’ll be responsible for safety and quality control across your workstation. This means solving problems as they arise without losing focus on your station as a whole.

Advantages of Being a Machine Operator

Becoming a machine operator can be the first step in a long and stable manufacturing career. It’s a great job for those who enjoy hands-on work that also requires some critical thinking. Many facilities offer opportunities to cross-train in different positions, along with the chance to enter a management track. The pay is good, and no special training or education is required.

Ready for your next role?

Cardinal Staffing has been matching candidates with manufacturing specialties across Ohio and Michigan with just the right light industrial, administrative, and professional positions for nearly 30 years. With deep roots in these areas, we’re experts on the local job markets. Contact us to learn more, or start searching for your next position today!