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Machine Operator Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Machine Operator, or Machinist, works with heavy machinery. They maintain equipment to ensure it operates safely and effectively. Their duties include preparing machinery for daily use, inspecting machinery for safety issues, and training other employees. The equipment they handle depends on the industry, and Machine Operators sometimes require special certification to operate specific machinery.

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Machine Operator duties and responsibilities

A Machine Operator’s duties and responsibilities dictate the safety and efficiency of everyone around them. Machine Operators must remain focused and diligent in performing their tasks correctly and with care to keep everything running smoothly. Their duties and responsibilities may include:

  • Setting up manufacturing equipment for daily use
  • Maintaining equipment and machinery so they can operate safely
  • Training and overseeing other employees on specialty machines
  • Maintaining the understanding of operating procedures for their machines
  • Proposing improvements to the process or machines as needed
  • Reporting safety hazards within the work environment
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What does a Machine Operator do?

A Machine Operator is a highly skilled professional who focuses on the use of heavy machinery to complete a task, which can vary depending on the industry. Machine Operators specialize in different types of machinery, often depending on their specific industry. Common sectors for Machine Operators to work in include manufacturing, construction, farming, and transportation. Some Machine Operators move heavy materials, while others may aid in completing construction projects or assembling products.

Machine Operator skills and qualifications

In order to be successful in their role, a Machine Operator must have a variety of skills and qualifications. Both technical and soft skills are needed, including:

  • Great communication for working with others on the job
  • Excellent problem-solving skills to troubleshoot potential issues
  • Ability to lead a team and train other employees, as needed
  • Resourcefulness in learning new manuals and processes
  • Outstanding attention to detail with the ability to understand mechanics and technical tasks
  • Ability to identify issues or problems in operations or maintenance

Machine Operator experience requirements

Look for Machine Operators with at least one year of experience. You can also hire entry-level candidates for this role to train under a more experienced Operator. Machine Operators with extensive experience can work in a leadership or supervisory role to support new and Junior Machine Operators. Experience gained through on-the-job training is necessary for new hires, as they need to become familiar with your company’s specific machinery.

Machine Operator education and training requirements

Candidates often have a high school diploma, GED, or higher academic certification. Some candidates may also have completed a technical training program in specific styles of machine operation, and these candidates are generally well-suited for the role. There are specific certifications to operate certain kinds of machinery, like a forklift licence, so candidates with those qualifications are an asset.

Look for candidates with additional safety training through a provincial occupational safety program, like the Ontario Construction Health and Safety program. Additionally, WHMIS training is mandatory across Canada for any employee working with hazardous materials. Cleaning and maintenance products used for machine operation can be hazardous, so all Machine Operators need this training before starting work.

Machine Operator salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average pay for a Machine Operator is $17.49 per hour in Canada. This may depend on the experience and background of a candidate, the location of the job, and the duties assigned.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a job description sample for a Machine Operator is not what you are looking for, consider some other examples, including:

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Machine Operator job description FAQs

What are the day-to-day duties of a Machine Operator?

On any given day, a Machine Operator has a variety of duties to perform. A Machine Operator uses machinery to complete their daily tasks as directed by their supervisor and manages their time to fulfill expected tasks. A Machine Operator adheres to health and safety training and protocols on a daily basis to minimize the risk of workplace accidents. If they are senior or in a supervisory role, they may instruct the training for new and junior employees.

Who reports to a Machine Operator?

As there are several industries that need the expertise of a Machine Operator, it’s important to highlight the specific requirements of the role. For example, if you need a Machine Operator to use a forklift, include that detail to draw in candidates who have an existing forklift licence. In order to make the job description stand out, include attractive benefits. State whether the company offers flexible hours, a competitive salary, or pension programs. Describing a positive company culture also draws suitable candidates.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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