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Career and Education Opportunities for Woodworking Machine Setter and Operators in Chicago, Illinois

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for woodworking machine setter and operators in the Chicago, Illinois area. Currently, 1,980 people work as woodworking machine setter and operators in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 6% to 2,100 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for woodworking machine setter and operators, which sees this job pool growing by about 7.0% over the next eight years. In general, woodworking machine setter and operators set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, and wood nailing machines.

Woodworking machine setter and operators earn about $11 hourly or $23,100 annually on average in Illinois and about $11 per hour or $24,740 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Furniture, people working as woodworking machine setter and operators in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Furniture nationally.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as a woodworking machine setter and operator. Given that the most common education level for woodworking machine setter and operators is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a woodworking machine setter and operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Woodworking Machine Setter and Operator

Woodworking Machine Setter and Operator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, woodworking machine setter and operators set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, and wood nailing machines.

Woodworking machine setter and operators start machines and make trial cuts to insure that machinery is operating properly. They also clean and maintain products, machines, and work areas. Equally important, woodworking machine setter and operators have to inspect pulleys and fences on machines to insure that machines will operate safely. They are often called upon to examine finished workpieces for smoothness, shape, and conformity to given requirements, and verify dimensions. They are expected to monitor operation of machines, and make adjustments to fix problems and insure conformance to given requirements. Finally, woodworking machine setter and operators decide on knives or belts, in line with workpiece and product specifications.

Every day, woodworking machine setter and operators are expected to be able to respond quickly in general. It is also important that they focus attention on specific tasks without being distracted.

It is important for woodworking machine setter and operators to decide on product specifications and materials and machine setup requirements, in line with blueprints, oral or written instructions, drawings, or work orders. They are often called upon to feed stock through feed mechanisms or conveyors into planing or sanding machines to produce desired components. They also secure woodstock against a guide or in a holding device, place woodstock on a conveyor, or dump woodstock in a hopper to feed woodstock into machines. They are sometimes expected to inspect and mark completed workpieces and stack them on pallets or on conveyors so that they can be moved to the next workstation. Somewhat less frequently, woodworking machine setter and operators are also expected to clean and maintain products, machines, and work areas.

and prepare or tend computerized or manual woodworking machines, such as drill presses and wood-nailing machines. And finally, they sometimes have to secure woodstock against a guide or in a holding device, place woodstock on a conveyor, or dump woodstock in a hopper to feed woodstock into machines.

Like many other jobs, woodworking machine setter and operators must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Buffing Machine Operator. Set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic work pieces.
  • Cabinet Maker. Cut, shape, and assemble wooden articles or set up and operate a variety of woodworking machines, such as power saws, jointers, and mortisers to surface, cut, or shape lumber or to fabricate parts for wood products.
  • Mold Machine Operator. Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
  • Prepress Technician. Set up and prepare material for printing presses.
  • Printing Press Machine Operator. Set up or operate various types of printing machines, such as offset, letterset, or gravure presses or screen printers to produce print on paper or other materials.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Woodworking Machine Setter and Operator Training

Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest - Gary, IN

Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest, 1440 E 35th Ave, Gary, IN 46409-1499. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest is a medium sized college located in Gary, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,701 students. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest has an associate's degree program in Cabinetmaking and Millwork/Millwright which graduated one student in 2008.

Prairie State College - Chicago Heights, IL

Prairie State College, 202 South Halsted Street, Chicago Heights, IL 60411-8226. Prairie State College is a medium sized college located in Chicago Heights, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,368 students. Prairie State College has a one to two year program in Cabinetmaking and Millwork/Millwright which graduated four students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.