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Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, & Tenders

Also called: Cabinet Maker, Computer Numerical Control Operator (CNC Operator), Machine Operator, Sander Operator

What they do:
Set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, and wood nailing machines. May operate CNC equipment.
On the job, you would:
  • Set up, program, operate, or tend computerized or manual woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, shapers, routers, sanders, planers, or wood-nailing machines.
  • Examine finished workpieces for smoothness, shape, angle, depth-of-cut, or conformity to specifications and verify dimensions, visually and using hands, rules, calipers, templates, or gauges.
  • Start machines, adjust controls, and make trial cuts to ensure that machinery is operating properly.


Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
  • manufacture and distribution of products


Basic Skills
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
  • talking to others
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


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
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Independence
  • Integrity
  • Cooperation


You might use software like this on the job:

Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel
Word processing software
  • Microsoft Word
Time accounting software
  • Timekeeping software


Education: (rated 2 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
no high school diploma/GED
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Average Outlook
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders.