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Career and Education Opportunities for Woodworking Machine Setter and Operators in Durham, North Carolina

If you want to be a woodworking machine setter and operator, the Durham, North Carolina area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 6,530 people work as woodworking machine setter and operators in North Carolina. This is expected to shrink by 10% to about 5,870 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for woodworking machine setter and operators are expected to grow by about 7.0%. Woodworking machine setter and operators generally set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, and wood nailing machines.

A person working as a woodworking machine setter and operator can expect to earn about $12 per hour or $25,150 annually on average in North Carolina and about $11 per hour or $24,740 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for woodworking machine setter and operators are not quite as good as in the overall category of Furniture in North Carolina, and not quite as good as the overall Furniture category nationally.

There are twenty-six schools of higher education in the Durham area, including one within twenty-five miles of Durham where you can get a degree to start your career as a woodworking machine setter and operator. Woodworking machine setter and operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Durham 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.
  • Prepress Technician. Set up and prepare material for printing presses.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Woodworking Machine Setter and Operator Training

Alamance Community College - Graham, NC

Alamance Community College, 1247 Jimmie Kerr Road, Graham, NC 27253-8000. Alamance Community College is a small college located in Graham, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,607 students. Alamance Community College has a one to two year program in Cabinetmaking and Millwork/Millwright which graduated nine students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Durham, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina photo by Specious

Durham is situated in Durham County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 223,284, which has grown by 19.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Durham, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Durham are valued at $187,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,082 new homes were built in Durham, down from 1,574 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Durham are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 41.8% of Durham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 18.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Durham is 7.3%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Durham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Laymans Church, Holy Infant Church and Homestead Heights Church are among the churches located in Durham. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Durham is home to the Hope Valley Country Club and the Union Building as well as Durham County Stadium and Northgate Park. Shopping centers in the area include South Square Mall, Lakewood Shopping Center and Kings Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Durham can choose from Brownestone Inn, Durham-Days Inn ) and Hilton Durham for temporary stays in the area.