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Occupation Details

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Engineering Machine Operator

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a bank teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€20k >  
Engineering Machine Operator
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 -  
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
SOLAS

Last Updated: March, 2013

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Engineering machine operators are responsible for controlling machines such as lathes, borers, presses and drills, which are used to make engineering parts.


The Work header image

Engineering machine operators use automatic and semi-automatic machine tools including capstan lathes, borers, presses, and drilling, grinding and milling machines to produce engineering parts. This may involve switching on a machine, keeping it supplied with raw material, watching the controls while it is running and switching the machine off if anything goes wrong.

Some jobs involve setting the machines, selecting the cutting tools and machine speeds, and following instructions and diagrams to carry out the machining operation. Most machine operators train to use a single machine and may produce up to about 1000 items a day, although the type of machine and skill needed varies. For example, turners use lathes that spin pieces of metal at high speeds. The lathe holds the material and rotates it around a horizontal axis against a tool that shapes it.

A capstan lathe allows the machinist to do a number of cutting jobs one after the other. Some machinists are involved in milling. This is a process that uses a revolving cutter to take off metal from an object held by clamps or vices on a workbench.

Machine operators work mainly indoors in workshops and factories. Because the work may be messy or dirty, they may need to wear overalls and possibly protective footwear, goggles or gloves. It's usually noisy. Machine operators spend a great deal of their time standing or sitting at their machines. The work may also involve lifting and moving heavy materials. The quality of all materials produced need to be checked.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Observe machine operation to detect workpiece defects or machine malfunctions, adjusting machines as necessary.

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Set up and operate machines, such as lathes, cutters, shears, borers, millers, grinders, presses, drills, and auxiliary machines, to make metallic and plastic workpieces.

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Inspect workpieces for defects, and measure workpieces to determine accuracy of machine operation, using rules, templates, or other measuring instruments.

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Read blueprints or job orders to determine product specifications and tooling instructions and to plan operational sequences.

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Start machines and turn handwheels or valves to engage feeding, cooling, and lubricating mechanisms.

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Select, install, and adjust alignment of drills, cutters, dies, guides, and holding devices, using templates, measuring instruments, and hand tools.

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Move controls or mount gears, cams, or templates in machines to set feed rates and cutting speeds, depths, and angles.

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Position, adjust, and secure stock material or workpieces against stops, on arbors, or in chucks, fixtures, or automatic feeding mechanisms, manually or using hoists.

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Set machine stops or guides to specified lengths as indicated by scales, rules, or templates.

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Perform minor machine maintenance, such as oiling or cleaning machines, dies, or workpieces, or adding coolant to machine reservoirs.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Controlling Machines and Processes:  Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People:  Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

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Performing General Physical Activities:  Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Mechanical:  Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

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Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Production and Processing:  Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

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Design:  Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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Engineering and Technology:  Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Operation Monitoring:   Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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Operation and Control:   Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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Quality Control Analysis:   Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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Equipment Maintenance:   Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Instructing:   Teaching others how to do something.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To be an engineering machine operator, you need to be careful and methodical. You must observe health and safety rules to avoid accidents. You must be good with your hands and able to follow written and spoken instructions. You may need to have basic number skills to make accurate measurements.

The work can be tiring, so you must be physically fit. You must be able to concentrate for long periods; some of the tasks can be repetitive. Engineering machine operators need to be able to work on their own, as well as being able to co-operate with others in the team. You also need to have good computer skills.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Engineering Operative - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

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This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing

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