Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
SOC: 51-4035.00


Set up, operate, or tend milling or planing machines to mill, plane, shape, groove, or profile metal or plastic work pieces.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
22,400 employed

Projected (2024):
17,800 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Barrel Rib Matting Machine Operator
  • Barrel Rifler
  • Broacher
  • Broaching Machine Operator
  • Broaching Machine Set Up Operator
  • CNC Inspector (Computer Numerical Control Inspector)
  • CNC Lathe Operator (Computer Numerical Control Lathe Operator)
  • CNC Machine Operator (Computerized Numerical Control Machine Operator)
  • CNC Machinist (Computerized Numerical Control Machinist)
  • CNC Mill Operator (Computerized Numerical Control Mill Operator)
  • CNC Mill Set Up Operator (Computerized Numerical Control Mill Set Up Operator)
  • CNC Operator (Computerized Numerical Control Operator)
  • CNC Programmer (Computerized Numerical Control Programmer)
  • CNC Surface Grind Operator (Computerized Numerical Control Surface Grind Operator)
  • Conventional Machinist
  • Escape Wheel Tooth Cutter
  • Feed Mill Operator
  • File Cutter
  • Gear Milling Machine Set Up Operator
  • Gear Roller
  • Hooking Machine Operator
  • Jewel Stripper
  • Keyseater Operator
  • Keyseating Machine Set Up Operator
  • Laborer
  • Lever Miller
  • Machine Operator
  • Machine Repairman
  • Machine Set-Up Operator
  • Machine Shop Foreman
  • Machine Shop Pantograph Machine Operator
  • Machinist
  • Magnesium Mill Operator
  • Manufacturing Assistant
  • Manufacturing Associate
  • Manufacturing Operator
  • Metal Milling Machine Operator
  • Metal Rotary Head Milling Machine Setup Operator
  • Mill Operator
  • Miller
  • Milling and Planing Machine Operator and Tender
  • Milling Machine Operator
  • Milling Machine Set-Up Operator
  • Milling Machine Tender
  • Pantograph Machine Set-Up Operator
  • Planer Setup Operator
  • Planer Type Milling Machine Set-Up Operator
  • Planing Machine Operator
  • Plastic Thread Milling Machine Setup Operator
  • Printed Circuit Boards Beveler
  • Printed Circuit Boards Router
  • Production Broaching Machine Operator
  • Profiler
  • Profiler Operator
  • Profiling Machine Operator
  • Profiling Machine Setup Operator
  • Rotary Head Milling Machine Set-Up Operator
  • Router Machine Operator
  • Router Operator
  • Scalper
  • Scalper Operator
  • Scalping Machine Operator
  • Scribing Machine Operator
  • Set Up Person
  • Shaper Operator
  • Shaper Set Up Operator
  • Shaping Machine Operator
  • Squaring Machine Operator
  • Steel Wool Machine Operator
  • Thread Milling Machine Set Up Operator
  • Tire Mold Engraver
  • Tool and Die Maker
  • Tool Maintainer
  • Tool Maker
  • Tool Planer Set-Up Operator
  • Tool Profiling Machine Set-Up Operator
  • Tool Setter
  • Tool Shaper Set-Up Operator
  • Tool Shaper Setup Operator
  • Tooling Technician
  • Tooth Cutter
  • Wheel Cutter

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Installation
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Remove workpieces from machines, and check to ensure that they conform to specifications, using measuring instruments such as microscopes, gauges, calipers, and micrometers.
  • Observe milling or planing machine operation and adjust controls to ensure conformance with specified tolerances.
  • Position and secure workpieces on machines, using holding devices, measuring instruments, hand tools, and hoists.
  • Study blueprints, layouts, sketches, or work orders to assess workpiece specifications and to determine tooling instructions, tools and materials needed, and sequences of operations.
  • Move controls to set cutting specifications, to position cutting tools and workpieces in relation to each other, and to start machines.
  • Compute dimensions, tolerances, and angles of workpieces or machines, according to specifications and knowledge of metal properties and shop mathematics.
  • Verify alignment of workpieces on machines, using measuring instruments such as rules, gauges, or calipers.
  • Select cutting speeds, feed rates, and depths of cuts, applying knowledge of metal properties and shop mathematics.
  • Move cutters or material manually or by turning handwheels, or engage automatic feeding mechanisms to mill workpieces to specifications.
  • Replace worn tools, using hand tools, and sharpen dull tools, using bench grinders.
  • Select and install cutting tools and other accessories according to specifications, using hand tools or power tools.
  • Record production output.
  • Turn valves or pull levers to start and regulate the flow of coolant or lubricant to work areas.
  • Make templates or cutting tools.
  • Mount attachments and tools such as pantographs, engravers, or routers to perform other operations such as drilling or boring.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Adjustable spanner wrenches
  • Allen wrench sets
  • Automatic tool changers
  • Bore gauges
  • Boring bars
  • Center finders
  • Coaxial indicators
  • Collet chucks
  • Computer numerical control CNC milling machines
  • Coolant chillers
  • Coordinate measuring machines CMM
  • Crescent wrenches
  • Desktop computers
  • Dial calipers
  • Digital bench scales
  • Digital calipers
  • Digital height gauges
  • Drill presses
  • Drop indicators
  • Electronic edge finders
  • End mills
  • Fillet gauges
  • Grease dispensers
  • Hand grinders
  • Height gauges
  • Height setters
  • Horizontal boring mills
  • Horizontal milling machines
  • Industrial bench grinders
  • Inside digital ID micrometers
  • Lapping tools
  • Layout compasses
  • Machine deburring tools
  • Mechanical comparators
  • Mechanical edge finders
  • Metal cutters
  • Metal planers
  • Metal shears
  • Multipurpose screwdrivers
  • Outside digital OD micrometers
  • Overhead cranes
  • Pin gauge sets
  • Polishing tools
  • Power hoists
  • Precision milling vises
  • Precision rules
  • Protective safety glasses
  • Setting jigs
  • Soft jaws
  • Tool probes
  • Turret lathes
  • Vernier calipers
  • Vertical machining centers VMC
  • Vertical milling machines
  • Wheeled forklifts
  • Wire cleaning brushes
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • Edgecam software
  • EditCNC software
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • G code
  • Kentech Kipware TB
  • M code
  • Mastercam software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Siemens PLM Software Solid Edge
  • SmartCAM software
  • Vero Alphacam software

  • production

    industry stats

    SOC: 51-0000

    Total Employed: 9,073,290

    Average Annual Salary: $36,220