Crushing, Grinding, and Polishing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

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About the Job

Set up, operate, or tend machines to crush, grind, or polish materials, such as coal, glass, grain, stone, food, or rubber.

It is also Called

  • Wood Grinder Operator
  • Wood Grinder
  • Wood Flour Miller
  • White Lead Grinder
  • Wheel Mill Operator
  • Wheat and Oats Flake Miller
  • Wet Process Miller
  • Wet Pan Operator
  • Wet Mix Operator
  • Water Fabricator Operator
View All

What They Do

  • Break mixtures to size, using picks.
  • Add or mix chemicals and ingredients for processing, using hand tools or other devices.
  • Turn valves to regulate the moisture contents of materials.
  • Mark bins as to types of mixtures stored.
  • Set mill gauges to specified fineness of grind.
  • Collect samples of materials or products for laboratory testing.
  • Test samples of materials or products to ensure compliance with specifications, using test equipment.
  • Inspect chains, belts, or scrolls for signs of wear.
  • Reject defective products and readjust equipment to eliminate problems.
  • Transfer materials, supplies, and products between work areas, using moving equipment and hand tools.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RCI.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Conventional and Investigative environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Relationships and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.

Education Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.


In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $38,370 with most people making between $27,390 and $49,900


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,380 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 1,310 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 0 openings due to growth and about 30 replacement openings for approximately 30 total annual openings.

Pennsylvania Department of Education