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Career profile Grinding Machine Operator

Also known as Cell Operator, Centerless Grinder Operator, Deburrer, Die Maintenance Technician, Finisher, Grinder, Grinder Operator, Grinding Machine Operator, Process Equipment Operator

Grinding Machine Operator

Also known as Cell Operator, Centerless Grinder Operator, Deburrer

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$26,580 - $54,790 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Quality Control Analysis
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Mathematics
  • Administration and Management
Core tasks
  • Inspect or measure finished workpieces to determine conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments, such as gauges or micrometers.
  • Measure workpieces and lay out work, using precision measuring devices.
  • Observe machine operations to detect any problems, making necessary adjustments to correct problems.
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What does a Grinding Machine Operator do?

Grinding Machine Operators set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic work pieces.

What kind of tasks does a Grinding Machine Operator perform regularly?

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

  • Inspect or measure finished workpieces to determine conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments, such as gauges or micrometers.
  • Measure workpieces and lay out work, using precision measuring devices.
  • Observe machine operations to detect any problems, making necessary adjustments to correct problems.
  • Move machine controls to index workpieces, and to adjust machines for pre-selected operational settings.
  • Study blueprints, work orders, or machining instructions to determine product specifications, tool requirements, and operational sequences.
  • Select machine tooling to be used, using knowledge of machine and production requirements.
  • Mount and position tools in machine chucks, spindles, or other tool holding devices, using hand tools.
  • Set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic workpieces.
  • Activate machine start-up switches to grind, lap, hone, debar, shear, or cut workpieces, according to specifications.
  • Set and adjust machine controls according to product specifications, using knowledge of machine operation.
  • Brush or spray lubricating compounds on workpieces, or turn valve handles and direct flow of coolant against tools and workpieces.
  • Lift and position workpieces, manually or with hoists, and secure them in hoppers or on machine tables, faceplates, or chucks, using clamps.
  • Repair or replace machine parts, using hand tools, or notify engineering personnel when corrective action is required.

The above responsibilities are specific to Grinding Machine Operators. More generally, Grinding Machine 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.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

What is a Grinding Machine Operator salary?

The median salary for a Grinding Machine Operator is $36,880, and the average salary is $38,800. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Grinding Machine Operator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Grinding Machine Operators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Grinding Machine Operators earn less than $26,580 per year, 25% earn less than $30,310, 75% earn less than $45,820, and 90% earn less than $54,790.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Grinding Machine Operators is expected to change by -3.3%, and there should be roughly 7,500 open positions for Grinding Machine Operators every year.

Median annual salary
$36,880
Typical salary range
$26,580 - $54,790
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-3.3%

What personality traits are common among Grinding Machine 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 Grinding Machine Operator are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Grinding Machine 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 Grinding Machine Operator tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

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

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

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 Grinding Machine Operators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and self-control.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Grinding Machine 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.
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.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Grinding Machine Operators need?

Working as a Grinding Machine Operator usually requires a high school diploma.

Grinding Machine 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 Grinding Machine Operators

  • 22.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 50.6% completed high school or secondary school
  • 17.4% completed some college coursework
  • 5.1% earned a Associate's degree
  • 3.7% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Grinding Machine Operators

Grinding Machine Operators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, mathematics, or administration and management knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Grinding Machine 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.
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.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Grinding Machine Operators

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

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.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
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.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.

Critical Skills needed by Grinding Machine 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.

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

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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