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Extruding/Forming/Pressing Machine Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


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:

  • Acoustical Tile Patternmaker -- Tends machines that perforate, groove, and blast patterns on insulation board panels to form acoustical tile.
  • Air Bag Curer -- Tends steam-heated press that molds and cures air bags used in automatic tire curing presses.
  • Baling Machine Operator -- Tends machine that compresses and binds paper, cloth, or other loose materials to facilitate handling.
  • Bark Press Operator -- Tends hydraulic bark press that squeezes water from pulpwood bark.
  • Bowling Ball Molder -- Tends presses that mold cover material on bowling-ball cores.
  • Candle Extrusion Machine Operator -- Sets up and operates machine to extrude sheets of candle wax or candles.
  • Combine Operator -- Operates combine machinery and ensures its smooth operations and functioning by performing the routine repairing and replacement of machinery parts.
  • Confectionery Drops Machine Operator -- Tends one or more machines that extrude chocolate or nonchocolate confectionery mixture through die plate onto conveyor to form such products as stars, chips, or sheets.
  • Glass Ribbon Machine Operator -- Tends intermediate units of machine that forms bulbs and other products from molten glass.
  • Hot Box Operator -- Tends machine that removes wrinkles from rolls of metal foil.
  • Machine Chocolate Molder -- Tends machine and equipment that deposit tempered chocolate into molds to form bars, blocks, and assorted figures.
  • Pretzel Twisting Machine Operator -- Tends machine that automatically rolls, cuts to size, and twists dough to form pretzels and conveys them to oven.
  • Pyrotechnics Press Tender -- Tends hydraulic press that compresses powder in cardboard cases for use as pyrotechnic (firework) flares and signals.
  • Record Press Operator -- Tends automatic steam-hydraulic press that molds plastic compound into phonograph records.