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Drilling/Boring Machine Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Sets up, operates, or tends drilling machines to drill, bore, ream, mill, or countersink metal or plastic work pieces.

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


A person in this career:

  • Verifies conformance of machined work to specifications, using measuring instruments, such as calipers, micrometers, or fixed or telescoping gauges.
  • Studies machining instructions, job orders, or blueprints to determine dimensional or finish specifications, sequences of operations, setups, or tooling requirements.
  • Changes worn cutting tools, using wrenches.
  • Selects and sets cutting speeds, feed rates, depths of cuts, and cutting tools, according to machining instructions or knowledge of metal properties.
  • Installs tools in spindles.
  • Moves machine controls to lower tools to workpieces and to engage automatic feeds.
  • Establishes zero reference points on workpieces, such as at the intersections of two edges or over hole locations.
  • Positions and secures workpieces on tables, using bolts, jigs, clamps, shims, or other holding devices.
  • Observes drilling or boring machine operations to detect any problems.
  • Lifts workpieces onto work tables either manually or with hoists or directs crane operators to lift and position workpieces.

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.
  • 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
  • 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

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Computer Numerical Control Machine Operator (CNC Machine Operator) -- Operates computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic work pieces.
  • Countersinker -- Operates vertical- or horizontal-drill press to countersink drilled holes.
  • Jewel Cupping Machine Operator -- Tends cupping machine that cuts and polishes oilcups in jewel bearings.
  • Printed Circuit Boards Pinner -- Tends machine that drills pinning holes and inserts metal pins into sets of copper laminated fiberglass boards and backing material preparatory to fabrication of printed circuit boards.
  • Radial Drill Press Operator -- Sets up and operates radial drill press to perform drilling and other machining operations, such as boring, reaming, and tapping holes in metal workpieces, such as castings, forgings, and weldments, according to specifications, machining instructions, and
  • Tool and Die Maker -- Makes, repairs and modifies custom-made, prototype or special tools, dies, jigs, fixtures and gauges using various metals, alloys and plastics which require precise dimensions.