Machine Operator: The 12 Key Responsibilities

The main duty of a machine operator (as the name suggests) is to work the machines during manufacture. They ensure that machines are in working condition prior to production by carrying out primary test runs. They may also do some minor repairs to the machine.

Examples of machines an operator may handle include (but not limited to) milling machines drills, industrial printers, large scale sewing machines, forklifts and cranes and other heavy machines. A machine operator is also expected to verify the quality of raw materials and the products to help them manage quality.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Operates machines like mills, lathe, drills, and numerical control equipment efficiently to maximum production 
  • Reads blueprints and interprets drawings to perform their tasks.  
  • Loads, aligns and operates machines based on the instruction given by the  supervisor or machine manufacturer
  • Weighs ingredients using scales and balances according to instructions 
  • Monitor machines for problems and conducts minor troubleshooting
  • Examines the quality and quantity of the raw material quantity before production
  • Ensures the raw material are well prepared for loading into the machine
  • Prepared tooling for changeovers and performed machine changeovers.
  • Followed production instructions of supervisor to ensure quality
  • Interacts with customers and company guest when necessary 
  • Compiles and completes relevant documentation and reports as instructed
  • Carries out simple computerized calculations when compiling reports or to aid in the calibration of machine 

Academic Requirements

  • At least a college diploma 
  • Technical college diploma in machine Operation is preferred 
  • Degree in relevant disciplines e.g. mechanical engineering is an added advantage


  • Must have 1-2 years of Machine Operator experience in a busy factory
  • Experience in customer services is preferred in some instances

Skills and Abilities

  • Should have some mathematical skills to help with complex instructions and understanding the schematics  of the machine
  • Should be a fast problem solver especially when the machine is not running at optimum and know how to fix errors to increase output
  • Must have keen attention to detail as just minor calibration error could result in unimaginable loss to the company
  • Must have mechanical and technical skills especially when dealing with manually operated machines
  • Must  have static strength/ stamina since machine operation involves long working hours and repetitive movements
  • Must possess some analytical skills to read and understand models or blueprints of the machine in order to operate them well
  • Must  have basic machine maintenance skills
  • Must be computer literate especially one who is conversant with the office packages) 
  • Should have strong interpersonal skills especially if dealing directly with the customers or charged with writing reports and making presentations. 
  • Should be flexible and easily adapt to change (e.g. working on any shift including )  
  • Must be a team player and work towards the growth of the company

Since this is a technical job, manual dexterity and static strength are key. Employers should therefore ensure that such abilities are given high priority as long as the minimum educational, technical training and experience requirements have been met.

A choice based on this criterion can only get the company highly productive machine operator (s).

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