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What Do Production Operators Do?

Production operators are tasked with setting up, monitoring, and maintaining machines and equipment used in production lines. They're responsible for feeding raw materials into machines, operating machines, making minor repairs, replacing parts, and testing finished materials for compliance. Problem-solving is a key element of this position, as production operators are expected to effectively diagnose and treat machinery malfunctions as well as adjust equipment so that it is operating at maximum efficiency. They may have to read blueprints, perform tests, and install tools. They may also operate computer-controlled machine tools.

What Education Do I Need to Become a Production Operator?

This position requires a minimum of a high school diploma. College-level technical courses may be required for those who intend to operate computer-controlled machine tools. A background in computer-aided drafting (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) may be helpful. Work experience is the key to career advancement.

What Skills are Necessary for a Career as a Production Operator?

Production operators should have strong technical understanding and expertise and be able to quickly and effectively diagnose and treat mechanical problems. Good hand-eye coordination and steady hands are important. Adhering to safe practices is a must for the health and well-being of the production operator as well as those they work with. Physical strength and stamina also factor into working with raw materials on a production floor.