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 need 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.
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