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Career and Education Opportunities for Mold Machine Operators in Elgin, Illinois

Mold machine operators can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Elgin, Illinois area. About 8,560 people are currently employed as mold machine operators in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to shrink by 15% to about 7,260 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for mold machine operators, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 4.4% over the next eight years. Mold machine operators generally set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.

Income for mold machine operators is about $13 per hour or $28,240 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $13 hourly or $27,390 yearly. Earnings for mold machine operators are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Foundry and Metal Work in Illinois and not quite as good as general Foundry and Metal Work category earnings nationally.

There are sixty-one schools of higher education in the Elgin area, including two within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree to start your career as a mold machine operator. The most common level of education for mold machine operators is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a mold machine operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Mold Machine Operator

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

In general, mold machine operators set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.

Every day, mold machine operators are expected to be able to lift, push and move large and heavy objects. They need to control objects and devices with precise control. It is also important that they move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices.

It is important for mold machine operators to observe continuous operation of automatic machines to insure that products meet specifications and to uncover jams or malfunctions, making adjustments as needed. They are often called upon to measure and visually inspect products for surface and dimension defects in order to insure conformance to given requirements, using precision measuring instruments. They also cool products after processing to inhibit distortion. They are sometimes expected to position and secure workpieces on machines, and start feeding mechanisms. Somewhat less frequently, mold machine operators are also expected to maintain inventories of materials.

Mold machine operators sometimes are asked to adjust equipment and workpiece holding fixtures, such as mold frames and cutting tables, to insure proper functioning. They also have to be able to repair or remove damaged molds or other equipment, using hand tools, hand-powered presses, or jib cranes and observe meters and gauges to confirm and record temperatures, pressures, and press-cycle times. And finally, they sometimes have to set up dies onto machines or presses, then coat dies with parting agents, in line with work order specifications.

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

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Elgin 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.
  • Heat Treating Equipment Operator. Set up, operate, or tend heating equipment, such as heat-treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, or vacuum equipment to temper, harden, or heat-treat metal or plastic objects.
  • Layout Technician. Lay out reference points and dimensions on metal or plastic stock or workpieces, such as sheets, plates, or machine parts, for further processing. Includes shipfitters.
  • Petroleum Refinery Worker. Control the operation of petroleum refining or processing units. May specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.
  • Solderer. Braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.
  • Tool and Die Maker. Analyze specifications, lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts to make and repair dies, cutting tools, and machinists' hand tools.
  • Welder. Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
  • Welding Operator. Set up, operate, or tend welding, soldering, or brazing machines or robots that weld, braze, or heat treat metal products, components, or assemblies.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mold Machine Operator Training

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production which graduated one and eight students respectively in 2008.

The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg - Schaumburg, IL

The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg, 1000 Plaza Drive Ste. 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4913. The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg is a small school located in Schaumburg, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,257 students and an admission rate of 47%. The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg has an associate's degree program in Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production.

CERTIFICATIONS

National Certification in Plastics : The National Certification in Plastics (NCP) program is a national, voluntary certification examination that tests plastics operations employees' skills and knowledge.

For more information, see the Society of Plastics Industry website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.