Job and Die Setters

Job and Die Setter at Work

Job setters and die setters, also known as setup operators or setup workers, prepare machine tools and production tools for others to use. They set up jigs, fixtures, cutting tools, and stamping tools on machines that are used for the shaping of metal. They also instruct machine tool operators on how to use the machines, and they make minor repairs and adjustments as needed during production. In some smaller companies these employees may also operate the machinery they set up.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Setup Operators, Setup Workers
Duties Prepare machine tools and production tools for others to use; set up planers, milling machines, grinders, presses, and other machinery and equipment; train operators and maintain equipment
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions, with the highest demand in California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Apprenticeship
School Subjects
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Technical/Shop
Experience Three to five years as an operator recommended
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
  • Building/Trades
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Poor
Advancement Prospects Poor
Outlook Decline
Career Ladder
  • Machine Shop Owner
  • Shop Supervisor
  • Job or Die Setter
  • Machine Operator