Machine Operator/Production

Machine operators and tenders operate or tend machines that prepare industrial or consumer products for storage or shipment.

Machine Operator/Production

Average Hourly Earnings



High school diploma


  • Operate machine controls
  • Observe how the machine operates to maintain product quality and make sure filled or packaged products conform to standards
  • Attach identification labels to finished packaged items, or cut stencils and stencil information on containers
  • Monitor the production line, watching for problems such as pile-ups, jams, or glue that isn't sticking properly
  • Stock and sort product for packaging or filling machine operation, and refill supplies like wrapping paper, boxes, glue, or labels
  • Package the product in the proper form for distributing it
  • Inspect and remove defective products and packaging material

Work Environment

They must wear protective or safety equipment because they are frequently exposed to hazardous equipment or materials. Every day they work in settings where the noise levels are distracting or uncomfortable. On a typical workday, workers will often use their hands to handle, control or feel objects, tools, or controls. They spend a fair amount of their days standing and making repetitive motions. Workers are often responsible for the health and safety of others. Their workdays may include face-to-face discussions and occasional contact with others. Accuracy is very important in this work.

Key Traits

Conventional. Involves following set procedures and routines. May include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually have a clear line of authority to follow.