A molding machine operator knows how to start, run, and stop plastic and metal molding machines.

If you’re good with your hands and interested in different kinds of machines, then a job as a molding machine operator might be a great next step for you. You’ll work on the production floor, supervising the operation of a machine that creates and fills molds for various manufactured products. You might work extensively with plastics, metals, or other materials, and large blades or presses.

Molding machine operator is a more specialized kind of machine operator, so you may need previous experience working with less advanced machines before earning this job. You’ll start, run, and stop the machine according to visual, written, and oral instructions, and you’ll know what to do if the machine malfunctions. You’ll load raw materials into the machine if necessary, and remove the finished product from the mold using a variety of tools. You might need to make adjustments to the equipment or to the item itself after it’s been removed from the machine. In order to perform your job duties, you’ll need to know how to use power tools, hand tools, and other instruments, and how to read gauges and dials.

Because molding machine operators work with molten metal and plastic, safety procedures are extremely important. You’ll need to be detailed and cautious, and report any issues to the front line supervisor. This is an entry-level job, but any additional training or hands-on experience is a plus when searching for a job. Look for an apprenticeship or a vocational training program.

Also Known As:

Mold Mechanic

“I wanted to go into machining because it offers the continual knowledge I seek and can open up doors to many other branches of manufacturing.” - Isaiah Sanchez, Geotech Environmental Equipment, Inc.

Critical Skills


  • Comprehend and Follow Visual, Written, and Oral Instructions
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly
  • Precision


  • Advanced Computer Skills
  • Communication - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking/Oral
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Judgement
  • Problem Solving
  • Quality Assurance
  • Repairing
  • Technology Design
  • Working with Tools

Key Responsibilities

  • Observe and adjust operation of automatic machines
  • Measure and inspect products for surface and dimension defects
  • Set up, operate, and tend metal or plastic molding machines to mold metal or thermoplastic parts or products
  • Position and secure workpieces on machines
  • Remove finished products from molds using hand tools, air hoses, and other equipment
  • Skim or pour impurities from molten metal
  • Trim excess material from parts
  • Cool products after processing
  • Install dies onto machines

Special Requirements

  • Lifting Ability


  • Airplanes/Aerospace
  • Energy Equipment
  • Tools and Construction Equipment

How to get this job

This is an entry level position, advancements come through experience.

Next Steps for this job

Associate's degree in molding or machines is helpful.

Specific job titles and duties vary by employer so check for details.