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Details for Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Set up, operate, or tend drilling machines to drill, bore, ream, mill, or countersink metal or plastic work pieces.


  • Position and secure workpieces on tables, using bolts, jigs, clamps, shims, or other holding devices.
  • Select and set cutting speeds, feed rates, depths of cuts, and cutting tools according to machining instructions or knowledge of metal properties.
  • Install tools in spindles.
  • Lay out reference lines and machining locations on work, using layout tools, and applying knowledge of shop math and layout techniques.
  • Lift workpieces onto work tables either manually or with hoists, or direct crane operators to lift and position workpieces.
  • Move machine controls to lower tools to workpieces and to engage automatic feeds.
  • Observe drilling or boring machine operations to detect any problems.
  • Operate single- or multiple-spindle drill presses to bore holes so that machining operations can be performed on metal or plastic workpieces.
  • Perform minor assembly, such as fastening parts with nuts, bolts, and screws, using power tools and hand tools.
  • Study machining instructions, job orders, and blueprints to determine dimensional and finish specifications, sequences of operations, setups, and tooling requirements.
  • Turn valves and direct flow of coolants or cutting oil over cutting areas.
  • Verify conformance of machined work to specifications, using measuring instruments such as calipers, micrometers, and fixed and telescoping gauges.
  • Change worn cutting tools, using wrenches.
  • Establish zero reference points on workpieces, such as at the intersections of two edges or over hole locations.
  • Operate tracing attachments to duplicate contours from templates or models.
  • Sharpen cutting tools, using bench grinders.
  • Verify that workpiece reference lines are parallel to the axis of table rotation, using dial indicators mounted in spindles.


  • 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.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • 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.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Related Careers

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  • Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic
  • Tool and Die Makers
  • Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners
Wages for this career
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