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Milling & Planing Machine Setters, Operators, & Tenders, Metal & Plastic

Also called: CNC Machinist (Computerized Numerical Control Machinist), CNC Mill Operator (Computerized Numerical Control Mill Operator), Machine Operator, Mill Operator

Where in the Marine Corps? In the Marine Corps: Machinery Repairman; Machinist

What they do:
Set up, operate, or tend milling or planing machines to mill, plane, shape, groove, or profile metal or plastic work pieces.
On the job, you would:
  • Remove workpieces from machines, and check to ensure that they conform to specifications, using measuring instruments such as microscopes, gauges, calipers, and micrometers.
  • Observe milling or planing machine operation and adjust controls to ensure conformance with specified tolerances.
  • Position and secure workpieces on machines, using holding devices, measuring instruments, hand tools, and hoists.


Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
  • manufacture and distribution of products
Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical
  • design
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
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
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
  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say


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
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Cooperation


You might use software like this on the job:

Computer aided design CAD software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • Siemens Solid Edge
Object or component oriented development software
  • G code
  • M code
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel


Education: (rated 3 of 5)
certificate after high school or
high school diploma/GED
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 milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic.