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Career and Education Opportunities for Mold Machine Operators in Gresham, Oregon

If you want to be a mold machine operator, the Gresham, Oregon area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 1,310 people are currently employed as mold machine operators in Oregon. By 2016, this is expected to grow 6% to 1,380 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for mold machine operators are expected to shrink by about 4.4%. 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.

A person working as a mold machine operator can expect to earn about $12 hourly or $25,820 yearly on average in Oregon and about $13 per hour or $27,390 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for mold machine operators are not quite as good as in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work in Oregon, and not quite as good as the overall Foundry and Metal Work category nationally.

The Gresham area is home to forty-six schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Gresham where you can get a degree as a mold machine operator. The most common level of education for mold machine operators is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn 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 Gresham 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.
  • Solderer. Braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.
  • 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

Mt Hood Community College - Gresham, OR

Mt Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030. Mt Hood Community College is a medium sized college located in Gresham, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,251 students. Mt Hood Community College has 2 areas of study related to Mold Machine Operator. They are:

  • Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production, one to two year and associate's degree.
  • Precision Metal Working, Other Specialties, less than one year which graduated 26 students in 2008.


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.


Gresham, Oregon
Gresham, Oregon photo by Amadeust

Gresham is situated in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 101,221, which has grown by 12.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Gresham, 100, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Gresham cost $219,200 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, one hundred three new homes were built in Gresham, down from three hundred five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Gresham are health care, accommodation and food services, and educational services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 27 minutes. More than 18.4% of Gresham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.9%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Gresham is 10.8%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Gresham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Gresham is home to the Linnemann and the Ruby Junction Maintenance Facility-Portland Light Rail System as well as Kane City Park and Davis City Park. Visitors to Gresham can choose from Best Western, Gresham Suites and Shilo Inn-Gresham for temporary stays in the area.