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Career profile Paper Machine Operator

Also known as Blender / Cook, Brewer, Cellar Worker, Digester Cook, Machine Tender, Paper Machine Tender, Plant Operator, Pulper Operator, Winemaker

Paper Machine Operator

Also known as Blender / Cook, Brewer, Cellar Worker

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$27,910 - $72,220 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Critical Thinking
  • Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Mechanical
  • Public Safety and Security
Core tasks
  • Dump, pour, or load specified amounts of refined or unrefined materials into equipment or containers for further processing or storage.
  • Operate machines to process materials in compliance with applicable safety, energy, or environmental regulations.
  • Monitor material flow or instruments, such as temperature or pressure gauges, indicators, or meters, to ensure optimal processing conditions.
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What does a Paper Machine Operator do?

Paper Machine Operators set up, operate, or tend continuous flow or vat-type equipment; filter presses; shaker screens; centrifuges; condenser tubes; precipitating, fermenting, or evaporating tanks; scrubbing towers; or batch stills.

In addition, Paper Machine Operators

  • these machines extract, sort, or separate liquids, gases, or solids from other materials to recover a refined product,
  • includes dairy processing equipment operators.

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

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

  • Dump, pour, or load specified amounts of refined or unrefined materials into equipment or containers for further processing or storage.
  • Operate machines to process materials in compliance with applicable safety, energy, or environmental regulations.
  • Monitor material flow or instruments, such as temperature or pressure gauges, indicators, or meters, to ensure optimal processing conditions.
  • Turn valves or move controls to admit, drain, separate, filter, clarify, mix, or transfer materials.
  • Set up or adjust machine controls to regulate conditions such as material flow, temperature, or pressure.
  • Examine samples to verify qualities such as clarity, cleanliness, consistency, dryness, or texture.
  • Start agitators, shakers, conveyors, pumps, or centrifuge machines.
  • Inspect machines or equipment for hazards, operating efficiency, malfunctions, wear, or leaks.
  • Collect samples of materials or products for laboratory testing.
  • Communicate processing instructions to other workers.
  • Turn valves to pump sterilizing solutions or rinse water through pipes or equipment or to spray vats with atomizers.
  • Maintain logs of instrument readings, test results, or shift production for entry in computer databases.
  • Remove clogs, defects, or impurities from machines, tanks, conveyors, screens, or other processing equipment.
  • Clean or sterilize tanks, screens, inflow pipes, production areas, or equipment, using hoses, brushes, scrapers, or chemical solutions.

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

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.
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.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

What is a Paper Machine Operator salary?

The median salary for a Paper Machine Operator is $43,100, and the average salary is $46,850. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Paper Machine Operator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Paper Machine Operators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Paper Machine Operators earn less than $27,910 per year, 25% earn less than $34,230, 75% earn less than $55,900, and 90% earn less than $72,220.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Paper Machine Operators is expected to change by 5.0%, and there should be roughly 5,300 open positions for Paper Machine Operators every year.

Median annual salary
$43,100
Typical salary range
$27,910 - $72,220
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
5.0%

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

Paper 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.

Also, Paper Machine 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, Paper Machine 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 Paper Machine Operator tend to value Support, Working Conditions, and Independence.

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

Second, Paper Machine Operators moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

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

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

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.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Paper Machine Operators need?

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

Paper 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 Paper Machine Operators

  • 5.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 32.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 25.7% completed some college coursework
  • 9.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 22.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 4.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Paper Machine Operators

Paper Machine Operators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, mechanical, or public safety and security knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Paper 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.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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 Paper Machine Operators

Paper 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, Paper Machine Operators need abilities such as near vision, perceptual speed, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Paper Machine Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Perceptual Speed
The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
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.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
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.

Critical Skills needed by Paper 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.

Paper Machine Operators frequently use skills like operations monitoring, critical thinking, and monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Paper Machine Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
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.

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.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.