Machine OperatorJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Machine operators are responsible for the assembling, operating, and maintaining of advanced machinery. Although the education or background may depend on the type of machinery being used, these professionals ensure seamless production at maximum capacity, and the peace of mind of well maintained machinery.

These operators improve performance, and make routine checks to ensure maximum efficiency along with compliance to health and safety regulations. They can additionally be on hand to troubleshoot any problems that arise to minimize downtime, and create reports while maintaining records.

This job opportunity involves a high degree of hands-on work, along with a detail-oriented mindset. Analytical thinking and problem solving is a must for this position, and generally these operators are expected to work well in a team environment, and have great written and verbal communication skills. Previous experience in the manufacturing field is a plus.

Sample job description #1

The machine operator is responsible for continuous production of LNC. Projects and the production of LNC take place in the field, where temporary field production sites are set up to serve each project. The machine operator spends most of the time in the field operating LNC production for project deliveries, and as a person you are:

  • Self-motivated, highly dedicated professional motivated by driving sustainable change
  • Proactive individual who remains focused and productive under pressure
  • Committed to ongoing professional learning and development
  • You have experience with the operation of machines or heavy equipment, you are able to follow detailed instructions and processes, and you have good problem-solving skills
  • You are driven by a desire to be part of our team and make our earth green again!

Key responsibilities

  • Execute efficient continuous production of Liquid Natural Clay (LNC)
  • Run production cycles by setting up machines according to specific formulation instructions (calibration, etc.)
  • Control and regulate machine settings, as well as monitor input and output control
  • Inspect raw material and production processes with high precision
  • Feed raw material or parts to semi-automated machines
  • Ensure production batches consistently run according to formulation and instructions (including processing time, production steps and stages, loading, offloading, etc.)
  • Ensure optimal utilization of machines and production equipment throughout the work hours
  • Test system operation regularly
  • Address any problems that might arise during the change
  • Check performance for any machine-related errors or flaws
  • Escalate any issues or service disruptions that cannot be resolved swiftly to the Field Engineer
  • Support the team in other areas and carry out various fieldwork tasks as required


  • Experience with operating heavy machinery and mechanical equipment
  • Experience with production processes involving managing formulation and composition of ingredients etc.
  • Experience working with production processes involving liquids/fluids
  • Fluent in English is a requirement. Additional Spanish language skills is an advantage

Personality traits

  • You are technically literate and pay attention to details
  • You think on your feet, react, and respond to situations quickly and proactively
  • You are a team player able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously without confusion
  • You are enthusiastic with positive energy that inspires people around you
  • You are a good problem solver able to control situations and maintain a peaceful working environment
  • You remain attentive and focused even when doing repetitive tasks over long periods
  • You respect health and safety and actively promote this to your coworkers
  • You always go the extra mile and perform well under pressure
  • You are an effective problem solver
  • You are a hard worker, intensely driven, determined, goal-oriented, and intrinsically motivated
  • You are super focused and never diverge from your objectives, no matter how many obstacles you face
  • You are committed to delivering results; giving up is never an option


  • Mechanical operator skills.
  • Ability to operate control systems, pumps, valves, flowmeters, etc.
  • Understanding of manufacturing and production procedures
  • Adherence to health and safety laws
  • Attention to detail
  • Teamwork and communication
  • Physical stamina and strength
  • Ability to handle heavy equipment
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Self-motivated, hands-on, proactive, and independent
  • Enjoy working in multi-disciplinary and highly diverse teams

Sample job description #2

Job summary

Operate or tend one or more types of cutting or forming machine tools. May include such machine tools as band saws, chop saws, hand sanders, and a variety of hand tools.

Major tasks, responsibilities and key accountabilities

  • Operate machines to cut, shape, drill, or mill non-metallic material
  • Read job specifications to determine machine adjustments and material requirements
  • Align layout marks with die or blade. Set machine stops or guides to specified length as indicated by scale, rule, or template. Install machine components, such as chucks or cutting tools, according to specifications
  • Remove burrs or sharp edges from work piece, using file, hand grinder, wire brush, or power tools. Verify conformance to specifications
  • Examine completed work pieces for defects, such as chipped edges and marred surfaces, and sort defective pieces according to defect
  • Perform minor machine maintenance, such as oiling or cleaning machines, dies, or work pieces, or adding coolant to machine reservoir
  • Other duties as assigned

Nature and scope

  • Refers complex, unusual problems to supervisor
  • Under general supervision, exercises some judgment in accordance with well-defined policies, procedures, and techniques. Work typically involves regular review of output by a senior coworker or supervisor

Work environment

  • Typically in a comfortable environment but with regular exposure to factors such as temperature extremes, moving machinery, loud noises, and fumes, which may cause noticeable discomfort or a moderate risk of accident or illness
  • No travel required
  • Requires intermittent periods during which continuous physical exertion is required, such as walking, standing, stooping, climbing, lifting, and maneuvering material or equipment, some of which may be heavy (50+ pounds) or awkward

Minimum qualifications

  • Must be a minimum of 18 years of age or older
  • Must pass pre-employment assessment(s) if applicable

Education and experience

  • HS Diploma or GED, strongly preferred. Specialized skills training/certification may be required. Generally 2-5 years of experience in area of responsibility.

Sample job description #3

The individual who fills this position will be responsible running the machine for processing, rejecting, and/or re-associating incoming mail daily. This position is considered a production-oriented position, which includes adherence to Client based service level agreement goals.

You will be offered a competitive salary, benefits and a supportive team environment.


  • Lockbox experience – nice to have
  • Knowledge of MS Office, including Excel, Outlook, and Word
  • Ability to lift 20 to 30 lbs.
  • Ability to work in fast paced environment
  • Quality and production are extremely important
  • Experience with multitasking
  • Attention to detail and organization skills
  • Performs clerical task functions as needed
  • High school diploma or GED


  • You will be running a machine and making sure all processed documents are going in correctly
  • Standing job 90% of the time and more hands-on type of role
  • Working independently but be a team player. Minimum supervision
  • Performs clerical tasks functions as needed

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a machine operator is $36,500 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$36,300$49,100 
Los Angeles, California$40,950 $55,400 
Denver, Colorado$34,150 $46,150
Washington, DC$41,550 $56,250
Miami, Florida$34,000$45,950 
Orlando, Florida$31,350$42,400
Tampa, Florida$31,650$42,800 
Atlanta, Georgia$33,200$44,900 
Chicago, Illinois$38,150$51,650 
Boston, Massachusetts$41,250$55,850 
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$32,900 $44,500 
New York City, New York$43,450$58,750 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$35,350$47,850 
Dallas, Texas$34,450 $46,600
Houston, Texas$34,150 $46,150
Seattle, Washington$39,700 $53,750
National Average$31,050 $42,000

Sample interview questions

  • What do you enjoy about working in production?
  • What are some of the qualities that will help you in this job?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • How do you respond to other employees committing security and hazard violations?
  • Can you tell us how you worked through an issue in your previous job?
  • How do you handle missed production deadlines?
  • What machines do you have experience with?
  • How do you perform quality checks to ensure equipment is working properly?
  • How do you maintain equipment logs?
  • How do you prioritize when multiple machines need to be repaired?
  • What must you do before starting a production cycle?
  • Why is quality assurance important as a machine operator?
  • How do you respond if your supervisor asks you to hold off on repairing a faulty machine until the daily production quota has been met? 
  • What tools do you use regularly on the job?  
  • Would you rather work alone or as part of a team? Why? 
  • How do you respond if you’re asked to work overtime?
  • What process do you employ when performing maintenance on a machine?
  • Do you have experience programming machines? 
  • What do you do when you make a mistake in measuring parts or final products?  
  • Describe a time when you disagreed with a coworker. What was the issue and how was it resolved?

Machine Operator Jobs in Ashburn

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