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

Salem, Oregon provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for mold machine operators. About 1,310 people are currently employed as mold machine operators in Oregon. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 6% to about 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.

Mold machine operators earn approximately $12 hourly or $25,820 yearly on average in Oregon. Nationally they average about $13 hourly or $27,390 annually. Earnings for mold machine operators are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Foundry and Metal Work in Oregon and not quite as good as general Foundry and Metal Work category earnings nationally.

The Salem area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Salem where you can get a degree as a mold machine operator. Given that the most common education level for mold machine operators is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Salem 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

Chemeketa Community College - Salem, OR

Chemeketa Community College, 4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, OR 97305. Chemeketa Community College is a large college located in Salem, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,000 students. Chemeketa Community College has an associate's degree program in Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production.


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.


Salem, Oregon
Salem, Oregon photo by Aboutmovies

Salem is located in Marion County, Oregon. It has a population of over 153,435, which has grown by 12.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Salem, 97, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Salem are valued at $215,800 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-nine new homes were constructed in Salem, down from five hundred forty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Salem are health care, public administration, and educational services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 24.1% of Salem residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Salem is 10.2%, which is less than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Salem residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Salem is home to the Oregon Women's Correctional Center and the Oregon State Penitentiary as well as Waldo Park and Olinger Pool Park. Visitors to Salem can choose from Red Lion Hotel-Salem Reservations, Shilo Inn Salem and Econo Lodge Salem for temporary stays in the area.