The Skills You’ll Need If You Want to Be a Machine Operator

If you’ve been looking for work, you may have noticed a few openings for machine operators on The Resource’s website. The term “Machine Operator” can cover a lot of industries, so the responsibilities of the position will vary.

Some of these jobs are entry-level openings with training provided by the employer. Others will require prior experience; while still others require training and experience. Here are just some of the jobs you will find:

  • Fabrication Machine Operators (some training and experience required)
  • Sheet Metal Fabricators (some previous training required)
  • CNC Machine Operators (training and experience required)
  • Machine operator for a textile manufacturer (previous machine operating experience)
  • Machine operator for a packaging company (will provide training)
  • Rivet machine operator in the upholstery manufacturing industry (experience preferred)

As you can see, any training you can obtain will give a boost to your resume and set you apart from other candidates.

The Skills You Will Need to Become a Machine Operator

Most, if not all, openings for a machine operator require that candidates have a high school diploma or the equivalent. If you haven’t yet done so, now would be a great time to work towards your diploma or GED, before starting the application process.

Also, it’s not unusual for a machine operator to be required to operate a forklift. Forklift training and certification is not long or intense, but it makes a substantial difference on your resume. The Resource offers forklift certification!

Not surprisingly, many of the skills required for machine operators are so-called “soft skills” that can make employees so valuable to their company. Be aware that these skills, just like other technical skills, can be developed and honed to make you a better fit for any organization. Here are a few examples:

  • Communication:

    You must be able to comprehend instructions—both written and verbal—and, in turn, you must be able to present information one-on-one and in small groups. You may also be called upon to communicate with customers and suppliers.

  • Good Work Ethic:

    This one speaks for itself and includes showing up each day and being on time.

  • Work Well On a Team:

    This soft skill contains elements of communication, cooperation, and collaboration.

What About the Skilled Trades?

Skilled machinists typically learn their trade in vocational schools, technical colleges, and apprenticeship programs. The programs entail a commitment of months, and even years because they require excellent math skills, blueprint reading ability, technical skills, and computer knowledge.

If you can list these qualifications on your resume, you will be in high demand and can command higher hourly rates than those of an operator.

Whichever route you decide to take, don’t underestimate the importance of those soft skills, especially in situations in which your employer is offering to train you. Having them is the difference between being an average worker and one who soars through the ranks.

Looking For Work?

If you are looking to dive into a machine operating career, or simply want help finding your next job, contact us today!

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