A machine operator job description can vary a lot, depending on the type of warehouse or manufacturer you’re employed by. For example, a job as a machine operator at Amazon can include the operation of PIT's (power industrial trucks) like forklifts, turret trucks, and center riders. While a job as a machine operator at a furniture manufacturing warehouse can include operation of band saws, circular saws, or planers.
At a company like Amazon, experience may not be required to become an equipment operator. Because at Amazon, even if you already have experience operating warehouse machinery you'll still be required to get Amazon PIT training. But if you’re trying to get hired at a manufacturing warehouse you may need prior experience operating specialized machines.
Safety is the top priority of most machine operator jobs so you’ll need to understand and comply with all proper safety requirements. Another important part of this job is daily maintenance of the machines. Daily tasks such as inspection, lubrication, and equipment setup are common.
Machine Operator Job Requirements
Here's a general list of requirements often needed for a job as a warehouse or manufacturing machine operator.
- Possibly, One to three years of manufacturing/machine operations experience.
- Ability to lift 20 to 50lbs repetitively throughout the course of a shift.
- Ability to bend, sit, stand, twist, and stoop for long periods of time.
- Ability to walk 2-10 miles throughout the course of a shift.
- Have good vision and manual dexterity.
- Experience with RF scanning equipment.
Warehouse Machine Operator Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, material moving machine operators in 2021 earned an average of $38,810. The BLS also predicts that demand for material moving machine operators may increase 7 percent by 2031, which is growth as fast as the national average for all occupations. As with any job, compensation can increase as you gain experience. Your earning potential may also increase if you earn certain qualifications for more specialized equipment.