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Career and Education Opportunities for Buffing Machine Operators in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for buffing machine operators in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 5,800 working buffing machine operators in Pennsylvania; this should shrink 5% to 5,550 working buffing machine operators in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for buffing machine operators, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 15.9% over the next eight years. Buffing machine operators generally 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.

A person working as a buffing machine operator can expect to earn about $15 hourly or $31,680 annually on average in Pennsylvania and about $14 hourly or $29,460 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for buffing machine operators are not quite as good as in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work in Pennsylvania, and not quite as good as the overall Foundry and Metal Work category nationally.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can study to be a buffing machine operator, among eighty-three schools of higher education total in the Pittsburgh area. Given that the most common education level for buffing machine operators is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a buffing machine operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Buffing Machine Operator

In general, buffing machine operators 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.

Buffing machine operators inspect or measure finished workpieces to establish conformance to given requirements, using measuring instruments such as gauges or micrometers. They also observe machine operations to uncover any problems; make needed adjustments to fix problems. Equally important, buffing machine operators have to activate machine start-up switches to grind or cut workpieces, according to given requirements. Finally, buffing machine operators prepare grinding tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic workpieces.

Every day, buffing machine operators are expected to be able to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. It is also important that they respond quickly in general.

It is important for buffing machine operators to lift and position workpieces, manually or with hoists, and secure them in hoppers or on machine tables or chucks, using clamps. They are often called upon to measure workpieces and lay out work, using precision measuring devices. They also set and adjust machine controls in line with product specifications, utilizing knowledge of machine operation. They are sometimes expected to move machine controls to index workpieces, and to modify machines for pre-selected operational settings. Somewhat less frequently, buffing machine operators are also expected to adjust air cylinders and setting stops to set traverse lengths and feed arm strokes.

Buffing machine operators sometimes are asked to prepare grinding tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic workpieces. and maintain stocks of machine components and machining tools. And finally, they sometimes have to set and adjust machine controls in line with product specifications, utilizing knowledge of machine operation.

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

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pittsburgh include:

  • 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: Buffing Machine Operator Training

Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has 2 areas of study related to Buffing Machine Operator. They are:

  • Machine Tool Technology/Machinist, less than one year and associate's degree.
  • Machine Shop Technology/Assistant, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has an associate's degree program in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist.

CERTIFICATIONS

Precision Sheet Metal Operator: PSMO Certification is the metal fabricating industry's first comprehensive exam designed to assess a candidate's knowledge of fundamental precision sheet metal fabrication processes in shearing, sawing, press brake, turret punch press, laser cutting, and mechanical finishing.

For more information, see the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.