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Career and Education Opportunities for Mold Machine Operators in Vancouver, Washington

Mold machine operators can find many career and educational opportunities in the Vancouver, Washington area. There are currently 2,120 jobs for mold machine operators in Washington and this is projected to grow by 7% to 2,260 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for mold machine operators are expected to shrink by about 4.4%. 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 $14 hourly or $30,440 annually on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $13 hourly or $27,390 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work, people working as mold machine operators in Washington earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can study to be a mold machine operator, among forty-eight schools of higher education total in the Vancouver area. The most common level of education for mold machine operators is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying 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 Vancouver 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.