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Plating/Coating Machine Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Sets up, operates, or tends plating or coating machines to coat metal or plastic products with chromium, zinc, copper, cadmium, nickel, or other metal to protect or decorate surfaces. Includes electrolytic processes.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Inspects coated or plated areas for defects such as air bubbles or uneven coverage.
  • Immerses objects to be coated or plated into cleaning solutions, or sprays objects with conductive solutions to prepare them for plating.
  • Immerses workpieces in coating solutions or liquid metal or plastic for specified times.
  • Sets up, operates, or tends plating or coating machines to coat metal or plastic products with chromium, zinc, copper, cadmium, nickel, or other metal to protect or decorate surfaces.
  • Positions and feeds materials into processing machines, by hand or by using automated equipment.
  • Tests machinery to ensure that it is operating properly.
  • Operates hoists to place workpieces onto machine feed carriages or spindles.
  • Maintains production records.
  • Adjusts controls to set temperatures of coating substances and speeds of machines and equipment.
  • Removes objects from solutions at periodic intervals and observes objects to verify conformance to specifications.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work
  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Anodize Machine Operator -- Controls anodizing equipment to provide corrosion resistant surface to aluminum objects.
  • Electrogalvanizing Machine Operator -- Sets up and operates continuous multistrand electrogalvanizing and heat-treating machine to coat steel strip or wire with zinc, according to written specifications.
  • Semiconductor Wafers and Components Plater -- Electroplates semiconductor wafers and electronic components, for example copper leads and rectifiers, with metals, for example gold, silver, and lead.
  • Bronze Plater --
  • Chrome Plater --
  • Copper Plater --
  • Gold Plater --