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Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
SOC Code: 51-9196.00

Set up, operate, or tend 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.

Sample of reported job titles: Corrugator Operator, Cup Room Technician, Folder Machine Operator, Gluer Operator, Paper Cutter Operator, Paper Machine Backtender, Paper Machine Operator, Stitching Machine Operator, Winder Operator, Winderman

Tasks

  • Examine completed work to detect defects and verify conformance to work orders, and adjust machinery as necessary to correct production problems.
  • Observe operation of various machines to detect and correct machine malfunctions such as improper forming, glue flow, or pasteboard tension.
  • Start machines and move controls to regulate tension on pressure rolls, to synchronize speed of machine components, and to adjust temperatures of glue or paraffin.
  • Disassemble machines to maintain, repair, or replace broken or worn parts, using hand or power tools.
  • Install attachments to machines for gluing, folding, printing, or cutting.
  • Cut products to specified dimensions, using hand or power cutters.
  • Place rolls of paper or cardboard on machine feed tracks, and thread paper through gluing, coating, and slitting rollers.
  • Monitor finished cartons as they drop from forming machines into rotating hoppers and into gravity feed chutes to prevent jamming.
  • Adjust guide assemblies, forming bars, and folding mechanisms according to specifications, using hand tools.
  • Measure, space, and set saw blades, cutters, and perforators, according to product specifications.
  • Fill glue and paraffin reservoirs, and position rollers to dispense glue onto paperboard.
  • Stamp products with information such as dates, using hand stamps or automatic stamping devices.
  • Remove finished cores, and stack or place them on conveyors for transfer to other work areas.
  • Lift tote boxes of finished cartons, and dump cartons into feed hoppers.

Technology Skills

  • Customer relationship management CRM software - Virtual Systems Mail-Shop
  • Desktop publishing software - Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign ; Quark
  • Document management software - Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Electronic mail software - Objectif Lune PrintShop Mail
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Automatic postal or mailing machine - Mailing machines
  • Book folding machines - Power folders
  • Book stitching machines - Book stitchers
  • Cutters - Power paper cutters; Programmable cutters
  • Hot stamp printer - Automatic stamping machines
  • Industrial shrink wrap equipment - Shrink wrap machines
  • Inkjet printer for commercial printing applications - Commercial inkjet printers
  • Laser printers - Black and white laser printers; Color laser printers
  • Mallets
  • Paper drilling machines - Paper drills
  • Paper machine - Corrugated paper machines
  • Paper press machine - Paper padding presses
  • Paper punching or binding machines - Combining machines; Fully automatic binding machines; Power speed binders
  • Personal computers
  • Printing collators or decollators - Collator gatherers; Printing collators
  • Printing guillotines - Guillotine paper cutters
  • Rubber stamping stamps - Hand stamps
  • Slitters - Paper slitter machines
  • Stapler units - Automatic stapling machines
  • Thermal book binding machines - Case making machines

Knowledge

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.

Interests

  • Interest code: RC
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 94% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 79% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls
  • Work With Work Group or Team
  • Contact With Others - 71% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 47% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Time Pressure - 23% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 45% responded “Important results.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 42% responded “Very important.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 15% responded “Important.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 15% responded “Never.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 18% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 70% responded “40 hours.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 63% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 24% responded “Very important.”
  • Level of Competition - 58% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 24% responded “About half the time.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 39% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 25% responded “Never.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 36% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 22% responded “Not important at all.”
  • Physical Proximity - 25% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 36% responded “Every day.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 24% responded “Never.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 50% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 28% responded “Less than half the time.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
69%High school diploma or equivalent
20%Less than high school diploma
9%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $18.22 hourly, $37,890 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 95,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 8,300

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