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Career profile Cutter Operator

Also known as Cutter, Cutter Operator, Cutting Pressman, Die Cutter Operator, Flat Cutter, Machine Operator, Paper Cutter, Sheeter, Skiver Operator, Slitter

Cutter Operator

Also known as Cutter, Cutter Operator, Cutting Pressman

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$26,230 - $52,650 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Quality Control Analysis
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical
Core tasks
  • Set up, operate, or tend machines that cut or slice materials, such as glass, stone, cork, rubber, tobacco, food, paper, or insulating material.
  • Examine, measure, and weigh materials or products to verify conformance to standards, using measuring devices such as templates, micrometers, or scales.
  • Review work orders, blueprints, specifications, or job samples to determine components, settings, and adjustments for cutting and slicing machines.
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What does a Cutter Operator do?

Cutter Operators set up, operate, or tend machines that cut or slice materials, such as glass, stone, cork, rubber, tobacco, food, paper, or insulating material.

What kind of tasks does a Cutter Operator perform regularly?

Cutter Operators are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Set up, operate, or tend machines that cut or slice materials, such as glass, stone, cork, rubber, tobacco, food, paper, or insulating material.
  • Examine, measure, and weigh materials or products to verify conformance to standards, using measuring devices such as templates, micrometers, or scales.
  • Review work orders, blueprints, specifications, or job samples to determine components, settings, and adjustments for cutting and slicing machines.
  • Press buttons, pull levers, or depress pedals to start and operate cutting and slicing machines.
  • Start machines to verify setups, and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Feed stock into cutting machines, onto conveyors, or under cutting blades, by threading, guiding, pushing, or turning handwheels.
  • Stack and sort cut material for packaging, further processing, or shipping, according to types and sizes of material.
  • Monitor operation of cutting or slicing machines to detect malfunctions or to determine whether supplies need replenishment.
  • Adjust machine controls to alter position, alignment, speed, or pressure.
  • Remove completed materials or products from cutting or slicing machines, and stack or store them for additional processing.
  • Remove defective or substandard materials from machines, and readjust machine components so that products meet standards.
  • Maintain production records, such as quantities, types, and dimensions of materials produced.
  • Position stock along cutting lines, or against stops on beds of scoring or cutting machines.
  • Move stock or scrap to and from machines manually, or by using carts, handtrucks, or lift trucks.
  • Select and install machine components, such as dies, molds, and cutters, according to specifications, using hand tools and measuring devices.
  • Clean and lubricate cutting machines, conveyors, blades, saws, or knives, using steam hoses, scrapers, brushes, or oil cans.

The above responsibilities are specific to Cutter Operators. More generally, Cutter Operators are involved in several broader types of activities:

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.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
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.

What is a Cutter Operator salary?

The median salary for a Cutter Operator is $36,980, and the average salary is $38,220. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Cutter Operator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Cutter Operators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Cutter Operators earn less than $26,230 per year, 25% earn less than $30,290, 75% earn less than $45,470, and 90% earn less than $52,650.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Cutter Operators is expected to change by -3.5%, and there should be roughly 6,200 open positions for Cutter Operators every year.

Median annual salary
$36,980
Typical salary range
$26,230 - $52,650
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-3.5%

What personality traits are common among Cutter Operators?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Cutter Operator are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Cutter Operators typically have very strong Realistic interests. 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.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Cutter Operator tend to value Support, Independence, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Cutter Operators strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Cutter Operators moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Cutter Operators moderately value 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.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Cutter Operators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and self-control.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Cutter Operators, ranked by importance:

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.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Cutter Operators need?

Working as a Cutter Operator usually requires a high school diploma.

Cutter Operators need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Cutter Operators

  • 31.2% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 44.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 16.8% completed some college coursework
  • 3.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 3.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Cutter Operators

Cutter Operators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, mathematics, or mechanical knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Cutter Operators might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
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.

Important Abilities needed by Cutter Operators

Cutter Operators must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Cutter Operators need abilities such as finger dexterity, control precision, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Cutter Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
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).
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.
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.

Critical Skills needed by Cutter Operators

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Cutter Operators frequently use skills like operations monitoring, operation and control, and quality control analysis to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Cutter Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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