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Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, & Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, & Tenders, Metal & Plastic

Also called: Centerless Grinder Operator, Grinder, Grinder Operator, Grinding Machine Operator

Where in the military? In the military: see titles from the Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy.

What they do:
Set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic work pieces.
On the job, you would:
  • Inspect or measure finished workpieces to determine conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments such as gauges or micrometers.
  • Measure workpieces and lay out work, using precision measuring devices.
  • Observe machine operations to detect any problems, making necessary adjustments to correct problems.


Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
  • manufacture and distribution of products
Math and Science
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics


Basic Skills
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
  • reading work related information
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


Hand and Finger Use
  • hold or move items with your hands
  • keep your arm or hand steady
Controlled Movement
  • quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
  • use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
Visual Understanding
  • quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
  • see hidden patterns
Reaction Time and Speed
  • quickly move your hand, finger, or foot based on a sound, light, picture or other command


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependability
  • Self Control
  • Cooperation
  • Integrity
  • Achievement/Effort


You might use software like this on the job:

Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology
Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot Technology
  • SAP software Hot Technology
Operating system software
  • Microsoft Windows


Education: (rated 2 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
certificate after high school
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic.