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Details for Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders


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.


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


  • 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.

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.


  • 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.


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Wages for this career
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