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Career and Education Opportunities for Mold Machine Operators in Columbia, South Carolina

Mold machine operators can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, South Carolina area. The national trend for mold machine operators 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.

Mold machine operators earn approximately $13 hourly or $28,880 annually on average in South Carolina. Nationally they average about $13 hourly or $27,390 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work, people working as mold machine operators in South Carolina earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work nationally.

The Columbia area is home to twenty schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a mold machine operator. Mold machine operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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 Columbia 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

Midlands Technical College - West Columbia, SC

Midlands Technical College, 1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170-2176. Midlands Technical College is a large college located in West Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,157 students. Midlands Technical College has a less than one year program in Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production which graduated two students in 2008.

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: Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina photo by Akhenaton06

Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.