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Career profile Drill Press Operator

Also known as Bore Mill Operator, Computer Numerical Control Drilling Operator (CNC Drilling Operator), Drill Operator, Drill Press Operator, Drill Setup Operator, Driller, Machine Operator, Machinist, Punch Operator, Radial Drill Operator

Drill Press Operator

Also known as Bore Mill Operator, Computer Numerical Control Drilling Operator (CNC Drilling Operator), Drill Operator

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$27,300 - $63,320 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Production and Processing
Core tasks
  • Verify conformance of machined work to specifications, using measuring instruments, such as calipers, micrometers, or fixed or telescoping gauges.
  • Study machining instructions, job orders, or blueprints to determine dimensional or finish specifications, sequences of operations, setups, or tooling requirements.
  • Change worn cutting tools, using wrenches.
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What does a Drill Press Operator do?

Drill Press Operators set up, operate, or tend drilling machines to drill, bore, ream, mill, or countersink metal or plastic work pieces.

What kind of tasks does a Drill Press Operator perform regularly?

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

  • Verify conformance of machined work to specifications, using measuring instruments, such as calipers, micrometers, or fixed or telescoping gauges.
  • Study machining instructions, job orders, or blueprints to determine dimensional or finish specifications, sequences of operations, setups, or tooling requirements.
  • Change worn cutting tools, using wrenches.
  • Select and set cutting speeds, feed rates, depths of cuts, and cutting tools, according to machining instructions or knowledge of metal properties.
  • Move machine controls to lower tools to workpieces and to engage automatic feeds.
  • Install tools in spindles.
  • Observe drilling or boring machine operations to detect any problems.
  • Position and secure workpieces on tables, using bolts, jigs, clamps, shims, or other holding devices.
  • Establish zero reference points on workpieces, such as at the intersections of two edges or over hole locations.
  • Lift workpieces onto work tables either manually or with hoists or direct crane operators to lift and position workpieces.
  • Verify that workpiece reference lines are parallel to the axis of table rotation, using dial indicators mounted in spindles.
  • Lay out reference lines and machining locations on work, using layout tools, and applying knowledge of shop math and layout techniques.
  • Operate single- or multiple-spindle drill presses to bore holes so that machining operations can be performed on metal or plastic workpieces.
  • Turn valves and direct flow of coolants or cutting oil over cutting areas.
  • Perform minor assembly, such as fastening parts with nuts, bolts, or screws, using power tools or hand tools.

The above responsibilities are specific to Drill Press Operators. More generally, Drill Press 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).
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.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

What is a Drill Press Operator salary?

The median salary for a Drill Press Operator is $39,780, and the average salary is $42,800. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Drill Press Operator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Drill Press Operators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Drill Press Operators earn less than $27,300 per year, 25% earn less than $32,310, 75% earn less than $51,050, and 90% earn less than $63,320.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Drill Press Operators is expected to change by -15.4%, and there should be roughly 700 open positions for Drill Press Operators every year.

Median annual salary
$39,780
Typical salary range
$27,300 - $63,320
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-15.4%

What personality traits are common among Drill Press 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 Drill Press Operator are usually higher in their Realistic, Conventional, and Investigative interests.

Drill Press 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.

Also, Drill Press Operators typically have strong Conventional interests. 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.

Lastly, Drill Press Operators typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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 Drill Press Operator tend to value Support, Relationships, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Drill Press Operators moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Drill Press 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.

Lastly, Drill Press Operators moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

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 Drill Press Operators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and integrity.

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

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Drill Press Operators need?

Working as a Drill Press Operator usually requires a high school diploma.

Drill Press 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 Drill Press Operators

  • 19.2% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 52.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 22.2% completed some college coursework
  • 3.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 0.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.2% earned a Master's degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Drill Press Operators

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

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

Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
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.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Important Abilities needed by Drill Press Operators

Drill Press 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, Drill Press Operators need abilities such as near vision, arm-hand steadiness, and control precision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Drill Press Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
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.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Critical Skills needed by Drill Press 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.

Drill Press Operators frequently use skills like operations monitoring, operation and control, and monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Drill Press 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.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
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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