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Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic - 51-4021.00

O*NET-SOC Description

Set up, operate, or tend machines to extrude or draw thermoplastic or metal materials into tubes, rods, hoses, wire, bars, or structural shapes.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Equipment Technician
  • Extruder Operator
  • Extrusion Operator
  • Extrusion Press Operator
  • Machine Operator
  • Metal Inspector
  • Setup Operator
  • Wire Mill Operator
  • Wire Mill Rover

SOC Occupation Groups

51-0000 Production Occupations
51-4000 Metal Workers and Plastic Workers
51-4020 Forming Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
51-4021.00 Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Related Occupations


  • Adjust controls to draw or press metal into specified shapes and diameters.
  • Change dies on extruding machines, according to production line changes.
  • Clean work areas.
  • Determine setup procedures and select machine dies and parts, according to specifications.
  • Install dies, machine screws, and sizing rings on machines that extrude thermoplastic or metal materials.
  • Load machine hoppers with mixed materials, using augers, or stuff rolls of plastic dough into machine cylinders.
  • Maintain an inventory of materials.
  • Measure and examine extruded products to locate defects and to check for conformance to specifications, adjusting controls as necessary to alter products.
  • Operate shearing mechanisms to cut rods to specified lengths.
  • Reel extruded products into rolls of specified lengths and weights.
  • Replace worn dies when products vary from specifications.
  • Select nozzles, spacers, and wire guides, according to diameters and lengths of rods.
  • Start machines and set controls to regulate vacuum, air pressure, sizing rings, and temperature, and to synchronize speed of extrusion.
  • Test physical properties of products with testing devices such as acid-bath testers, burst testers, and impact testers.
  • Troubleshoot, maintain, and make minor repairs to equipment.
  • Weigh and mix pelletized, granular, or powdered thermoplastic materials and coloring pigments.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Adjust temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment.
  • Clean work areas.
  • Determine production equipment settings.
  • Diagnose equipment malfunctions.
  • Inspect metal, plastic, or composite products.
  • Load materials into production equipment.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
  • Maintain production or processing equipment.
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
  • Measure ingredients or substances to be used in production processes.
  • Mix substances to create chemical solutions.
  • Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
  • Operate cutting equipment.
  • Operate metal or plastic forming equipment.
  • Package products for storage or shipment.
  • Repair production equipment or tools.
  • Replace worn equipment components.
  • Select production equipment according to product specifications.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Allied Trades Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • Cavalry Scout (Army - Enlisted)
  • Combat Engineer (Army - Enlisted)
  • Machinist (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic (Army - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Extruder Operator (Plastics)

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Draw-Bench Operator
  • Extruder Operator
  • Extruding-Press Operator
  • Extrusion-Press Adjuster
  • Extrusion-Press Operator I
  • Extrusion-Press Operator II
  • Spinning-Bath Patroller
  • Tube Drawer
  • Wire Drawer
  • Wire Drawing Machine Operator
  • Wire-Drawing-Machine Tender