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Extruding/Forming/Pressing Machine Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders Career Video



Sets up, operates, or tends machines, such as glass forming machines, plodder machines, and tuber machines, to shape and form products, such as glassware, food, rubber, soap, brick, tile, clay, wax, tobacco, or cosmetics.

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


A person in this career:

  • Adjusts machine components to regulate speeds, pressures, and temperatures, and amounts, dimensions, and flow of materials or ingredients.
  • Examines, measures, and weighs materials or products to verify conformance to standards, using measuring devices such as templates, micrometers, or scales.
  • Monitors machine operations and observes lights and gauges in order to detect malfunctions.
  • Presses control buttons to activate machinery and equipment.
  • Turns controls to adjust machine functions, such as regulating air pressure, creating vacuums, and adjusting coolant flow.
  • Reviews work orders, specifications, or instructions to determine materials, ingredients, procedures, components, settings, and adjustments for extruding, forming, pressing, or compacting machines.
  • Selects and installs machine components such as dies, molds, and cutters, according to specifications, using hand tools and measuring devices.
  • Records and maintains production data such as meter readings, and quantities, types, and dimensions of materials produced.
  • Notifies supervisors when extruded filaments fail to meet standards.
  • Synchronizes speeds of sections of machines when producing products involving several steps or processes.

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.
  • 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
  • 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):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Extruder Operator --
  • Extrusion Operator --
  • Glass Forming Crew Member --
  • Job Change Crew Member --
  • Machine Operator --
  • Operator --
  • Press Operator --
  • Production Operator --
  • Tuber Operator --
  • Upkeep Mechanic --