Metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators
Choose Speciality
Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters and Operators
Sign In
Overview
Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate machines that cut, shape, and form metal and plastic materials or pieces.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators are expected to shrink by 9%, and should have about 18,900 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators are more likely to be automated than 60% of other careers.
Workforce size
Metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators, with 192,700 workers, form a larger workforce than 79% of careers.
Education
Only 3% of metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators have bachelor's degrees than 95% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 77% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators.
This job's median $34KAll jobs' median $39K$33K$38K20142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 16% of metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators -- that's a smaller percentage than 69% of other jobs.
Gender of metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators, the median men's salary was 26% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 16% of metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators are minority, and 16% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (16%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters and Operators per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 41% of metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators, and 62% have company-sponsored health insurance (12% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Contaminants (80%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (80%)
  • Time Pressure (76%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (66%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (53%)
  • Consequence of Error (50%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (40%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (34%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. In particular, the ACS data is reported for the larger career group metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators, which combines the data for 5 careers, including metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data is classified by SOC specialty, and excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators (BLS Salary Data)
$34K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$34K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. Additionally, we only have ACS survey data for the larger career category and not for the specialty level. We first show the full salary distribution for all metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators (ACS Salary Data)
$32K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$32K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators (ACS)
Private for-profit (97.3%)
Private not-for-profit (1.0%)
Local government (0.3%)
State government (0.0%)
Federal government (0.2%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.3%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.8%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators, which combines the 5 specialties for this career.
$32K$32K$34K$36K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000Self-employed not incorporatedPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$34K$34K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000PrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$38K$28K$24K$36K$36K$36K$36K$32K$31K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
05K10K15K20KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators and gender

With 16% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 69% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
16%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators
Men (84%)
Women (16%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median (middle) salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%, and the difference for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators tops that, with the median salary for men 26% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$26K$33K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators have one of the higher percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job even higher than that for 72% of other jobs.

26%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators than for 65% of other careers. Although this career does not include a large percentage of minorities, it does hire more foreign-born people that most other careers.

Race/origin of metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators
White (77% )
Black (9% )
Other (7% )
Asian (3% )
Multiracial (2% )
American Indian (1% )
Hispanic (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
16%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
16%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$26K$28K$28K$30K$31K$33K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KHispanicAsianOtherBlackMultiracialWhite
Distribution: Salaries for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators by nativity
$30K$33K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators.

Education attained by metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators

Although most metal and plastic machine workers typically have a high school diploma, many computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers usually need to complete coursework beyond high school. Some community colleges and other schools offer courses and certificate programs in operating metal and plastics machines including CNC programming.

For most metal and plastic machine workers, high school courses in computer programming, vocational technology, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and basic statistics are considered useful.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators

Certification can show competence and can be helpful for advancement. The National Institute for Metalworking Skills  (NIMS) offers certification in numerous metalworking specializations.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators? Below we see the distribution of metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$29K$33K$34K$38K$31K$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KNone (20%)High School (52%)Some College (21%)Associate's Degree (5%)Bachelor's Degree (3%)Master's Degree (0%)
Certificate/degree pathways

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click a program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Program
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Less than bachelor's
bachelor's degree
Higher than bachelor's
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Machine Tool Technology/Machinist
4,270
Sheet Metal Technology/Sheetworking
244
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators

What jobs will most metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operatorsMetal and plastic workersProduction workersAssemblers and fabricators (specialized areas)Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material moversMachinistsWelding, soldering, and brazing workersCutting workersExtruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machine setters andoperatorsComputer control programmers and operatorsFirst-line supervisors of production and operating workersAutomotive service technicians and mechanicsInspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighersDriver/sales workers and truck drivers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 7 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators as well as 1% of respondents after working as metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
389,900
$0$200K$28K
Assemblers and fabricators (specialized areas)
131,900
$0$200K$30K
First-line supervisors of production and operating workers
59,500
$0$200K$53K
Welding, soldering, and brazing workers
51,000
$0$200K$39K
Production workers
37,400
$0$200K$32K
Metal and plastic workers
20,700
$0$200K$34K
Cutting workers
8,300
$0$200K$29K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
389,900
$0$200K$28K
4.0%
Construction laborers
153,300
$0$200K$30K
1.9%
Assemblers and fabricators (specialized areas)
131,900
$0$200K$30K
2.1%
Carpenters
113,800
$0$200K$34K
1.6%
Industrial truck and tractor operators
66,000
$0$200K$31K
1.1%
First-line supervisors of production and operating workers
59,500
$0$200K$53K
1.4%
Cleaners of vehicles and equipment
58,500
$0$200K$23K
1.0%
Welding, soldering, and brazing workers
51,000
$0$200K$39K
1.7%
Production workers
37,400
$0$200K$32K
5.0%
Metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators
30,900
$0$200K$32K
33.3%
Artists and related workers
23,300
$0$200K$42K
1.0%
Metal and plastic workers
20,700
$0$200K$34K
8.7%
Refuse and recyclable material collectors
19,800
$0$200K$29K
1.1%
Sheet metal workers
16,300
$0$200K$41K
3.5%
Cutting workers
8,300
$0$200K$29K
1.4%
Metal and plastic Rolling machine setters and operators
2,300
$0$200K$37K
2.5%
Metal furnace operators, pourers, and casters
2,000
$0$200K$42K
1.9%
No occupation
8.2%
No occupation
1.5%
Read about metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Metal and plastic machine workers typically do the following:

  • Set up machines according to blueprints
  • Monitor machines for unusual sound or vibration
  • Insert material into machines, manually or with a hoist
  • Operate metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines
  • Adjust machine settings for temperature, cycle times, and speed and feed rates
  • Remove finished products and smooth rough edges and imperfections
  • Test and compare finished workpieces to specifications
  • Remove and replace dull cutting tools
  • Document production numbers in a computer database

Consumer products are made with many metal and plastic parts. These parts are produced by machines that are operated by metal and plastic machine workers. In general, these workers are separated into two groups: those who set up machines for operation and those who operate machines during production. Many workers, however, perform both tasks.

Although many workers both set up and operate machines, some may specialize in being a machine setter or a machine operator and tender.

Machine setters, or setup workers, prepare the machines before production, perform test runs, and, if necessary, adjust and make minor repairs to the machinery before and during operation.

If, for example, the cutting tool inside a machine becomes dull after extended use, it is common for a setter to remove the tool, use a grinder or file to sharpen it, and reinstall it into the machine. New tools are produced by tool and die makers.

After installing the tools into a machine, setup workers often produce the initial batch of goods, inspect the products, and turn the machine over to an operator.

Machine operators and tenders monitor the machinery during operation.

After a setter prepares a machine for production, an operator observes the machine and the products it makes. Operators may have to load the machine with materials for production or adjust the machine’s speeds during production. They must periodically inspect the parts a machine produces. If they detect a minor problem, operators may fix it themselves. If the repair is more serious, they may have an industrial machinery mechanic fix it.

Setters, operators, and tenders are usually identified by the type of machine they work with. Job duties generally vary with the size of the manufacturer and the type of machine being operated. Although some workers specialize in one or two types of machinery, many are trained to set up or operate a variety of machines. Machine operators are often able to control multiple machines at the same time because of increased automation.

In addition, production techniques, such as team-oriented “lean” manufacturing, require machine operators to rotate between different machines. Rotating assignments results in more varied work but also requires workers to have a wide range of skills.

The following are examples of types of metal and plastic machine workers:

Computer-controlled machine tool operators operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform functions on metal or plastic workpieces.

Computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers develop computer programs to control the machining or processing of metal or plastic parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems.

Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate machines to extrude (pull out) thermoplastic or metal materials in the form of tubes, rods, hoses, wire, bars, or structural shapes.

Forging machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate machines that shape or form metal or plastic parts.

Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate machines to roll steel or plastic or to flatten, temper, or reduce the thickness of materials.

Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate machines to saw, cut, shear, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic materials.

Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate drilling machines to drill, bore, mill, or countersink metal or plastic workpieces.

Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate grinding and related tools that remove excess material from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff or polish metal or plastic workpieces.

Lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate lathe and turning machines to turn, bore, thread, or form metal or plastic materials, such as wire or rod.

Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate milling or planing machines to shape, groove, or profile metal or plastic workpieces.

Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders operate or tend furnaces, such as gas, oil, coal, electric-arc or electric-induction, open-hearth, and oxygen furnaces. These furnaces may be used to melt and refine metal before casting or to produce specified types of steel.

Pourers and casters operate hand-controlled mechanisms to pour and regulate the flow of molten metal into molds to produce castings or ingots.

Model makers set up and operate machines, such as milling and engraving machines to make working models of metal or plastic objects.

Patternmakers lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns and core molds.

Foundry mold and coremakers make or form wax or sand cores or molds used in the production of metal castings in foundries.

Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.

Multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate more than one type of cutting or forming machine tool or robot.

Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders (including workers who operate laser cutters or laser-beam machines) set up or operate welding, soldering, or brazing machines or robots that weld, braze, solder, or heat treat metal products, components, or assemblies.

Heat treating equipment setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate heating equipment, such as heat treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, soaking pits, or vacuum equipment, to temper, harden, anneal, or heat-treat metal or plastic objects.

Plating and coating machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate plating or coating machines to coat metal or plastic products with zinc, copper, nickel, or some other metal to protect or decorate surfaces (includes electrolytic processes).

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Computer skills
Metal and plastic machine workers often must be able to use programmable devices, computers, and robots on the factory floor.
Dexterity
Metal and plastic machine workers who work in metal and plastic machined goods manufacturing use precise hand movements to make the necessary shapes, cuts, and edges that designs require.
Mechanical skills
Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate machinery. They must be comfortable working with machines and have a good understanding of how the machines and all their parts work.
Physical stamina
Metal and plastic machine workers must be able to stand for long periods and perform repetitive work.
Physical strength
Metal and plastic machine workers must be strong enough to guide and load heavy and bulky parts and materials into machines.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 77% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $34KAll jobs' median $39K$34K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators are anticipated to shrink by 9%. over the next decade; 91% of jobs are projected to grow more.

The projected employment for metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

20002010202020300100,000200,000300,000400,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters and Operators per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.01.02.03.04.05.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Median salary ratio: Metal and Plastic Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters and Operators to all workers (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which metal and plastic cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.20.40.60.81.01.2
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Metal and plastic machine tool cutting setters and operators (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Ⓒ 2019 RipeData LLC. All Rights Reserved.