Skip navigation

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

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

Where in the Navy? In the Navy: Machinery Repairman

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:
  • Position and secure workpieces on machines, using holding devices, measuring instruments, hand tools, and hoists.
  • Remove workpieces from machines, and check to ensure that they conform to specifications, using measuring instruments such as microscopes, gauges, calipers, and micrometers.
  • Verify alignment of workpieces on machines, using measuring instruments such as rules, gauges, or calipers.


Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
  • manufacture and distribution of products
Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical
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
  • Cooperation
  • Self Control
  • Initiative
  • Integrity


You might use software like this on the job:

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


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

Get started on your career:

Find Training Find Certifications Registered Apprenticeship

Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
per year, on average
Check out my state Local Salary Info Find Jobs

Explore More

See more details at O*NET OnLine about milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic.