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Forging Machine Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Sets up, operates, or tends forging machines to taper, shape, or form metal or plastic parts.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Production/Process Technology pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Reads work orders or blueprints to determine specified tolerances and sequences of operations for machine setup.
  • Positions and moves metal wires or workpieces through a series of dies that compress and shape stock to form die impressions.
  • Measures and inspects machined parts to ensure conformance to product specifications.
  • Sets up, operates, or tends presses and forging machines to perform hot or cold forging by flattening, straightening, bending, cutting, piercing, or other operations to taper, shape, or form metal.
  • Turns handles or knobs to set pressures and depths of ram strokes and to synchronize machine operations.
  • Installs, adjusts, and removes dies, synchronizing cams, forging hammers, and stop guides, using overhead cranes or other hoisting devices, and hand tools.
  • Starts machines to produce sample workpieces, and observes operations to detect machine malfunctions and to verify that machine setups conform to specifications.
  • Confers with other workers about machine setups and operational specifications.
  • Trims and compresses finished forgings to specified tolerances.
  • Removes dies from machines when production runs are finished.

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 bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • 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.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • 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 hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • 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
  • Whole body vibrations, such as when operating a jackhammer
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Seeing clearly up close

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Blacksmith --
  • Cold Header Operator --
  • Forge Operator --
  • Forge Press Operator --
  • Forger --
  • Hammer Operator --
  • Header Set-Up Operator --
  • Machine Operator --
  • Process Technician --
  • Set Up Technician --