Metal and Plastic Machine Workers

Summary

metal and plastic machine workers image
Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate automated and computer-controlled machinery.
Quick Facts: Metal and Plastic Machine Workers
2016 Median Pay $34,840 per year
$16.75 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education See How to Become One
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Moderate-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2016 1,039,600
Job Outlook, 2016-26 -9% (Decline)
Employment Change, 2016-26 -91,100

What Metal and Plastic Machine Workers Do

Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate machines that cut, shape, and form metal and plastic materials or pieces.

Work Environment

Metal and plastic machine workers are employed mainly in factories. Workers must adhere to safety standards to protect themselves from workplace hazards. Most work full time, and some work evenings and weekends.

How to Become a Metal or Plastic Machine Worker

Most metal and plastic workers have a high school diploma and learn through on-the-job training typically lasting a year. Computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tool programmers, however, typically need to complete courses beyond high school.

Pay

The median annual wage for metal and plastic machine workers was $34,840 in May 2016.

Job Outlook

Employment of metal and plastic machine workers is projected to decline 9 percent from 2016 to 2026. Employment is expected to decline due to advances in technology and foreign competition.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for metal and plastic machine workers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of metal and plastic machine workers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about metal and plastic machine workers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Metal and Plastic Machine Workers Do About this section

Metal and plastic machine workers
Metal and plastic machine workers monitor and adjust machines during operation.

Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate machines that cut, shape, and form metal and plastic materials or pieces.

Duties

Metal and plastic machine workers typically do the following:

  • Set up machines according to blueprints
  • Monitor machines for unusual sound or vibration
  • Insert material into machines, manually or with a hoist
  • Operate metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines
  • Adjust machine settings for temperature, cycle times, and speed and feed rates
  • Remove finished products and smooth rough edges and imperfections
  • Test and compare finished workpieces to specifications
  • Remove and replace dull cutting tools
  • Document production numbers in a computer database

Consumer products are made with many metal and plastic parts. These parts are produced by machines that are operated by metal and plastic machine workers. In general, these workers are separated into two groups: those who set up machines for operation and those who operate machines during production. Many workers, however, perform both tasks.

Although many workers both set up and operate machines, some may specialize in being a machine setter or a machine operator and tender.

Machine setters, or setup workers, prepare the machines before production, perform test runs, and, if necessary, adjust and make minor repairs to the machinery before and during operation.

If, for example, the cutting tool inside a machine becomes dull after extended use, it is common for a setter to remove the tool, use a grinder or file to sharpen it, and reinstall it into the machine. New tools are produced by tool and die makers.

After installing the tools into a machine, setup workers often produce the initial batch of goods, inspect the products, and turn the machine over to an operator.

Machine operators and tenders monitor the machinery during operation.

After a setter prepares a machine for production, an operator observes the machine and the products it makes. Operators may have to load the machine with materials for production or adjust the machine’s speeds during production. They must periodically inspect the parts a machine produces. If they detect a minor problem, operators may fix it themselves. If the repair is more serious, they may have an industrial machinery mechanic fix it.

Setters, operators, and tenders are usually identified by the type of machine they work with. Job duties generally vary with the size of the manufacturer and the type of machine being operated. Although some workers specialize in one or two types of machinery, many are trained to set up or operate a variety of machines. Machine operators are often able to control multiple machines at the same time because of increased automation.

In addition, production techniques, such as team-oriented “lean” manufacturing, require machine operators to rotate between different machines. Rotating assignments results in more varied work but also requires workers to have a wide range of skills.

The following are examples of types of metal and plastic machine workers:

Computer-controlled machine tool operators operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform functions on metal or plastic workpieces.

Computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers develop computer programs to control the machining or processing of metal or plastic parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems.

Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate machines to extrude (pull out) thermoplastic or metal materials in the form of tubes, rods, hoses, wire, bars, or structural shapes.

Forging machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate machines that shape or form metal or plastic parts.

Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate machines to roll steel or plastic or to flatten, temper, or reduce the thickness of materials.

Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate machines to saw, cut, shear, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic materials.

Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate drilling machines to drill, bore, mill, or countersink metal or plastic workpieces.

Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate grinding and related tools that remove excess material from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff or polish metal or plastic workpieces.

Lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate lathe and turning machines to turn, bore, thread, or form metal or plastic materials, such as wire or rod.

Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate milling or planing machines to shape, groove, or profile metal or plastic workpieces.

Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders operate or tend furnaces, such as gas, oil, coal, electric-arc or electric-induction, open-hearth, and oxygen furnaces. These furnaces may be used to melt and refine metal before casting or to produce specified types of steel.

Pourers and casters operate hand-controlled mechanisms to pour and regulate the flow of molten metal into molds to produce castings or ingots.

Model makers set up and operate machines, such as milling and engraving machines to make working models of metal or plastic objects.

Patternmakers lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns and core molds.

Foundry mold and coremakers make or form wax or sand cores or molds used in the production of metal castings in foundries.

Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.

Multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate more than one type of cutting or forming machine tool or robot.

Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders (including workers who operate laser cutters or laser-beam machines) set up or operate welding, soldering, or brazing machines or robots that weld, braze, solder, or heat treat metal products, components, or assemblies.

Heat treating equipment setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate heating equipment, such as heat treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, soaking pits, or vacuum equipment, to temper, harden, anneal, or heat-treat metal or plastic objects.

Plating and coating machine setters, operators, and tenders set up or operate plating or coating machines to coat metal or plastic products with zinc, copper, nickel, or some other metal to protect or decorate surfaces (includes electrolytic processes).

Work Environment About this section

Metal and plastic machine workers
Metal and plastic machine workers usually wear protective equipment, such as safety glasses.

Metal and plastic machine workers held about 1.0 million jobs in 2016. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up metal and plastic machine workers was distributed as follows:

Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 192,700
Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic 145,700
Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 145,400
Multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 117,800
Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 76,200
Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 72,300
Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders 49,200
Plating and coating machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 35,300
Lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 33,700
Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 29,000
Computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers, metal and plastic 25,100
Heat treating equipment setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 19,800
Forging machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 19,200
Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders 17,700
Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 17,600
Foundry mold and coremakers 12,500
Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 12,300
Pourers and casters, metal 8,400
Model makers, metal and plastic 6,300
Patternmakers, metal and plastic 3,400

The largest employers of metal and plastic machine workers were as follows:

Fabricated metal product manufacturing 26%
Plastics and rubber products manufacturing 15
Transportation equipment manufacturing 14
Primary metal manufacturing 12
Machinery manufacturing 12

These workers often operate powerful, high-speed machines that can be dangerous, so they must observe safety rules. Operators usually wear protective equipment, such as safety glasses, earplugs, and steel-toed boots to protect them from flying particles of metal or plastic, machine noise, and heavy objects, respectively.

Other required safety equipment varies by work setting and machine. For example, respirators are common for those in the plastics industry who work near materials that emit dangerous fumes or dust.

Work Schedules

Most metal and plastic machine workers are employed full time. Overtime is common, and because many manufacturers run their machinery for extended periods, evening and weekend work is also common.

How to Become a Metal or Plastic Machine Worker About this section

Metal and plastic machine workers
Metal and plastic machine workers must be able to stand for long periods and perform repetitive work.

Most metal and plastic workers have a high school diploma and learn through on-the-job training typically lasting a year. Computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tool programmers, however, typically need to complete courses beyond high school.

Education

Although most metal and plastic machine workers typically have a high school diploma, many computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers usually need to complete coursework beyond high school. Some community colleges and other schools offer courses and certificate programs in operating metal and plastics machines including CNC programming.

For most metal and plastic machine workers, high school courses in computer programming, vocational technology, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and basic statistics are considered useful.

Training

Machine operator trainees usually begin by watching and helping experienced workers on the job. Under supervision, they may start by supplying materials, starting and stopping the machines, or by removing finished products. Then they advance to more difficult tasks that operators perform, such as adjusting feed speeds, changing cutting tools, and inspecting a finished product for defects. Eventually, some develop the skills and experience to set up machines.

The complexity of the equipment usually determines the time required to become an operator. Some operators and tenders are trained on basic machine operations and functions in a few months, but other workers, such as computer-controlled machine tool operators, may need up to a year to become trained.

As the manufacturing process continues to utilize more computerized machinery, training on computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and CNC machines can be helpful.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification can show competence and can be helpful for advancement. The National Institute for Metalworking Skills  (NIMS) offers certification in numerous metalworking specializations.

Advancement

Advancement usually includes higher pay and more responsibilities. With experience and expertise, workers can become trainees for more advanced positions. It is common for machine operators to move into setup or machinery maintenance positions. Setup workers may become industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers, or machinists or tool and die makers.

Experienced workers with good communication and analytical skills may move into supervisory positions.

Important Qualities

Computer skills. Metal and plastic machine workers often must be able to use programmable devices, computers, and robots on the factory floor.

Dexterity. Metal and plastic machine workers who work in metal and plastic machined goods manufacturing use precise hand movements to make the necessary shapes, cuts, and edges that designs require.

Mechanical skills. Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate machinery. They must be comfortable working with machines and have a good understanding of how the machines and all their parts work.

Physical stamina. Metal and plastic machine workers must be able to stand for long periods and perform repetitive work.

Physical strength. Metal and plastic machine workers must be strong enough to guide and load heavy and bulky parts and materials into machines.

Pay About this section

Metal and Plastic Machine Workers

Median annual wages, May 2016

Total, all occupations

$37,040

Metal and plastic machine workers

$34,840

Production occupations

$33,130

 

The median annual wage for metal and plastic machine workers was $34,840 in May 2016. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,470, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $54,600.

Median annual wages for metal and plastic machine workers in May 2016 were as follows:

Computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers, metal and plastic $50,580
Model makers, metal and plastic 48,550
Patternmakers, metal and plastic 44,210
Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders 41,040
Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 40,680
Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 39,840
Lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 38,480
Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic 37,880
Heat treating equipment setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 37,180
Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders 36,980
Forging machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 36,930
Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 36,410
Pourers and casters, metal 36,180
Foundry mold and coremakers 34,790
Multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 34,340
Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 33,870
Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 32,890
Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 32,370
Plating and coating machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 31,280
Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 30,480

In May 2016, the median annual wages for metal and plastic machine workers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Machinery manufacturing $38,180
Primary metal manufacturing 37,260
Transportation equipment manufacturing 37,130
Fabricated metal product manufacturing 35,220
Plastics and rubber products manufacturing 30,300

Most metal and plastic machine workers are employed full time. Overtime is common, and because many manufacturers run their machinery for extended periods, evening and weekend work also is common.

Job Outlook About this section

Metal and Plastic Machine Workers

Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26

Total, all occupations

7%

Production occupations

-4%

Metal and plastic machine workers

-9%

 

Employment of metal and plastic machine workers is projected to decline 9 percent from 2016 to 2026. Employment declines are expected to stem from continued advances in technology and foreign competition.

One of the most important factors influencing employment of these occupations is the use of labor-saving machinery. Many firms are adopting technologies such as computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools and robots to improve quality and lower production costs. The switch to CNC machinery requires computer programmers instead of machine setters, operators, and tenders. Therefore, demand for manual machine tool operators and tenders is likely to be reduced by these new technologies, and conversely, demand for CNC machine programmers is expected to be strong.

The demand for metal and plastic machine workers is also affected by the demand for the parts they produce. Both the plastic and metal manufacturing industries face foreign competition that limits the orders for parts produced in this country. Some U.S. manufacturers have moved their production to foreign countries, reducing jobs for machine setters and operators. However, some companies are bringing jobs back to the United States from overseas, and this is expected to continue over the coming decade.

Job Prospects

Most job opportunities will result from the need to replace workers who leave these occupations.

Workers who are able to operate CNC machines and have industry certifications should also have best job prospects.

Employment projections data for metal and plastic machine workers, 2016-26
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Metal and plastic machine workers

1,039,600 948,500 -9 -91,100

Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic

51-4011 145,700 147,300 1 1,600 employment projections excel document xlsx

Computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers, metal and plastic

51-4012 25,100 29,200 16 4,100 employment projections excel document xlsx

Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

51-4021 72,300 61,300 -15 -11,000 employment projections excel document xlsx

Forging machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

51-4022 19,200 15,500 -19 -3,700 employment projections excel document xlsx

Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

51-4023 29,000 25,300 -13 -3,700 employment projections excel document xlsx

Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

51-4031 192,700 175,900 -9 -16,800 employment projections excel document xlsx

Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

51-4032 12,300 9,900 -19 -2,400 employment projections excel document xlsx

Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

51-4033 76,200 68,500 -10 -7,600 employment projections excel document xlsx

Lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

51-4034 33,700 30,800 -8 -2,800 employment projections excel document xlsx

Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

51-4035 17,600 14,200 -19 -3,400 employment projections excel document xlsx

Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders

51-4051 17,700 16,300 -8 -1,400 employment projections excel document xlsx

Pourers and casters, metal

51-4052 8,400 6,500 -23 -2,000 employment projections excel document xlsx

Model makers, metal and plastic

51-4061 6,300 5,500 -12 -800 employment projections excel document xlsx

Patternmakers, metal and plastic

51-4062 3,400 2,900 -15 -500 employment projections excel document xlsx

Foundry mold and coremakers

51-4071 12,500 9,500 -24 -3,000 employment projections excel document xlsx

Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

51-4072 145,400 123,600 -15 -21,800 employment projections excel document xlsx

Multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

51-4081 117,800 114,700 -3 -3,100 employment projections excel document xlsx

Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders

51-4122 49,200 44,200 -10 -5,100 employment projections excel document xlsx

Heat treating equipment setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

51-4191 19,800 17,000 -14 -2,800 employment projections excel document xlsx

Plating and coating machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

51-4193 35,300 30,400 -14 -4,900 employment projections excel document xlsx

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of metal and plastic machine workers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2016 MEDIAN PAY Help
Assemblers and fabricators

Assemblers and Fabricators

Assemblers and fabricators assemble finished products and the parts that go into them. They use tools, machines, and their hands to make engines, computers, aircraft, ships, boats, toys, electronic devices, control panels, and more.

High school diploma or equivalent $30,930
Computer programmers

Computer Programmers

Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow.

Bachelor's degree $79,840
Industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers

Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and Millwrights

Industrial machinery mechanics and machinery maintenance workers maintain and repair factory equipment and other industrial machinery, such as conveying systems, production machinery, and packaging equipment. Millwrights install, dismantle, repair, reassemble, and move machinery in factories, power plants, and construction sites.

High school diploma or equivalent $49,100
Machinists and tool and die makers

Machinists and Tool and Die Makers

Machinists and tool and die makers set up and operate a variety of computer-controlled and mechanically controlled machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments, and tools.

See How to Become One $43,160
Painting and coating workers

Painting and Coating Workers

Painting and coating workers paint and coat a wide range of products, including cars, jewelry, and ceramics, often with the use of machines.

See How to Become One $35,300

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more information about metal and plastic machine workers, including training and certification, visit 

Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA)

National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS)

For information about manufacturing careers, machinery, and equipment, visit

Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT)

National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA)

Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA)

Precision Metalforming Association (PMA)

O*NET

Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic

Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

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

Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Foundry Mold and Coremakers

Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Metal-Refining Furnace Operators and Tenders

Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Model Makers, Metal and Plastic

Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic

Plating and Coating Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Pourers and Casters, Metal

Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Metal and Plastic Machine Workers,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/metal-and-plastic-machine-workers.htm (visited November 17, 2017).

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What They Do

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Work Environment

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Pay

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State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2016 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2016, the median annual wage for all workers was $37,040.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2016

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2016, which is the base year of the 2016-26 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2016-26

The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026. The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.

Employment Change, 2016-26

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2016-26

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2016 to 2026.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

2016 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2016, the median annual wage for all workers was $37,040.