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Extruding/Drawing Machine Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic Career Video



Sets up, operates, or tends machines to extrude or draw thermoplastic or metal materials into tubes, rods, hoses, wire, bars, or structural shapes.

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


A person in this career:

  • Measures and examines extruded products to locate defects and to check for conformance to specifications, adjusting controls as necessary to alter products.
  • Determines setup procedures and selects machine dies and parts, according to specifications.
  • Starts machines and sets controls to regulate vacuum, air pressure, sizing rings, and temperature, and to synchronize speed of extrusion.
  • Reels extruded products into rolls of specified lengths and weights.
  • Installs dies, machine screws, and sizing rings on machines that extrude thermoplastic or metal materials.
  • Changes dies on extruding machines according to production line changes.
  • Cleans work areas.
  • Troubleshoots, maintains, and makes minor repairs to equipment.
  • Weighs and mixes pelletized, granular, or powdered thermoplastic materials and coloring pigments.
  • Tests physical properties of products with testing devices such as acid-bath testers, burst testers, and impact testers.

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.
  • 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
  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • 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
  • 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:

  • Equipment Technician --
  • Extruder Operator --
  • Extrusion Operator --
  • Extrusion Press Operator --
  • Machine Operator --
  • Metal Inspector --
  • Operator --
  • Setup Operator --
  • Wire Mill Operator --
  • Wire Mill Rover --