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Paper Goods Machine Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Sets up, operates, or tends paper goods machines that perform a variety of functions, such as converting, sawing, corrugating, banding, wrapping, boxing, stitching, forming, or sealing paper or paperboard sheets into products.

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


A person in this career:

  • Examines completed work to detect defects and verify conformance to work orders, and adjusts machinery as necessary to correct production problems.
  • Starts machines and moves controls to regulate tension on pressure rolls, to synchronize speed of machine components, and to adjust temperatures of glue or paraffin.
  • Adjusts guide assemblies, forming bars, and folding mechanisms according to specifications, using hand tools.
  • Installs attachments to machines for gluing, folding, printing, or cutting.
  • Measures, spaces, and sets saw blades, cutters, and perforators, according to product specifications.
  • Observes operation of various machines to detect and correct machine malfunctions such as improper forming, glue flow, or pasteboard tension.
  • Stamps products with information such as dates, using hand stamps or automatic stamping devices.
  • Places rolls of paper or cardboard on machine feed tracks, and threads paper through gluing, coating, and slitting rollers.
  • Fills glue and paraffin reservoirs, and positions rollers to dispense glue onto paperboard.
  • Cuts products to specified dimensions, using hand or power cutters.

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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:

  • Bindery Machine Operator --
  • Matchbook Maker --
  • Paper Feeder --