How to Become a Machine Operator in 2022

by Usama Chaudry on July 24, 2022

Machine operators handle all tasks related to a specific machine, including configuring the tools, loading and running the gear, and maximizing the machine’s performance. They also manage the machine’s servicing, verify that it operates at peak efficiency, and conduct timely quality inspections.

Discovering more about this profession may help you decide if it’s a career path that intrigues you.

In this article, we will discuss how to become a machine operator, the annual average income, and the job responsibilities of these workers. Moreover, we will also help you discover the skills, competencies, educational requirements, and the best way to find machine operator jobs.

So without wasting any more time, let’s dive right in.

Steps to Become a Machine Operator

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to become a machine operator:

  1. Complete high school diploma
  2. Learn how to use hand tools
  3. Prove that you can work in a fast-paced environment
  4. Complete your apprenticeship
  5. Get certifications
  6. Create a resume
  7. Apply for machine operator jobs

1. Complete high school diploma

First and foremost, you generally need to acquire a high school diploma or GED to become a machine operator. Having a high school diploma or equivalent indicates that you have fundamental math abilities and solid expertise that will be beneficial in landing a machine operator job.

2. Learn how to use hand tools

After earning a high school diploma, consider completing machine operator training to learn how to employ fundamental instruments like pliers, hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches. It is essential to get an excellent command over these tools because they might be used extensively in a manufacturing environment.

3. Prove that you can work in a fast-paced environment

After that, you should aim to earn entry-level experience by considering getting a role in different types of machine operator jobs like manufacturing or warehouse workers. Gaining this experience can help you polish your machine operator skills such as teamwork, time management, and attention to detail.

4. Complete your apprenticeship

Next up, reckon completing an apprenticeship of at least one to two years. It will benefit you to learn how to properly interpret blueprints, run heavy machinery, and comprehend the fundamentals of a manufacturing line.

5. Get certifications

The next step that you must take to become a machine operator is to prepare for and pass the exams to attain certificates from numerous institutions. You can consider pursuing the following machine operator certifications:

  • Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) Certification.
  • Manufacturing Specialist (MS) Certification.
  • Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Production Technician.
  • Lean Certification.

Attaining one or more of these certifications will help boost your resume by clearly exhibiting your industry-related expertise and abilities. Some certifications may also result in prospects for growth, leadership roles, and higher incomes.

6. Create a resume

After gathering machine operator certifications, essential experience, and relevant education, you should start creating your resume. Keep in mind that your resume is a powerful asset in highlighting your skills and expertise to recruiters. So, make sure to add personal details like qualifications, competencies, and work experience in the manufacturing and warehousing industries.

7. Apply for machine operator jobs

Ultimately, start seeking various types of machine operator jobs in your vicinity. Broaden the scope of your employment search by using terms about particular machine kinds you are interested in or have used in the past, like packing, moving, or die-making machinery. After finding a machine operator job that matches your educational background, experience, and interest, thoroughly read the application procedures before applying. Then, briefly describe in your cover letter why and how you would prove to be a strong candidate for that position.

Duties and Responsibilities of Machine Operator

Following are the machine operator duties and responsibilities that you will have to perform after getting your foot in the industry:

  • Checking the final products after the machine has finished manufacturing them.
  • Analyzing the machine’s elements and utilizing micrometers and rulers to ensure that it complies with the blueprints’ design specifications.
  • Adhering to all company-established safety policies and procedures.
  • Performing basic repairs in machinery, like sharpening instruments, and calling a professional mechanic as necessary for major fixes.
  • Coordinating with coworkers to guarantee a rapid and effective manufacturing line that produces top-quality items from all machinery.
  • Carrying out certain activities before operation on one or more gear pieces to ensure proper execution and functioning.

Essential Skills for a Machine Operator

We’ll now take a look at some of the essential machine operator skills and competencies required to excel when performing duties in the machine operator job:

  1. Problem-Solving Skills.
  2. Attention to Detail.
  3. Physical Strength and Stamina.
  4. Proficiency with hand tools.

1. Problem-Solving Skills

Machine operators are responsible for spotting and resolving minor issues with their machinery. Solid problem-solving abilities will enable them to pinpoint the source of faults and determine the best solution.

2. Attention to Detail

Machine operators must pay great attention to details as they are in charge of product assessment. They may also be required to detect minute faults that signal the machinery is not working correctly.

3. Physical Strength and Stamina

Machine operator jobs necessitate standing for long hours and carrying objects that weigh up to 40 pounds. That’s why machine operators must have great physical strength and stamina to function smoothly and safely even after multiple hours of repetitive movements.

4. Proficiency with hand tools

Machine operators must acquire phenomenal proficiency with hand tools as they frequently use them to calibrate their equipment, carry out routine maintenance, and conduct simple repairs.

Educational Requirements for Machine Operator

Following are the educational requirements that are essential and will be beneficial in becoming a machine operator in Canada:

  • Earning a High School Diploma or GED.
  • Attaining a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree.
  • Passing the exams to acquire relevant certificates from numerous institutes, such as:
  • Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) Certification.
  • Manufacturing Specialist (MS) Certification.
  • Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Production Technician.
  • Lean Certification.

The Work Environment for Machine Operators

The majority of machine operators work in factories and production industries. It’s crucial to adhere to a timetable and keep up production speed in this rapid-paced sector.

Machine operator duties include standing, strolling, or sitting for extended periods each day. They frequently use their hands to conduct repetitive activities and may also need to carry heavy objects, usually weighing up to 40 lbs.

Safety can be an issue, as it is in any workplace with heavy equipment. Machine operators must usually wear safety gear like goggles, steel-toe footwear, thick gloves, and earbuds. They are also required to complete safety protocol training to uphold standards established by the government and corporations.

How Much Does a Machine Operator make in Canada?

The average machine operator’s salary in Canada is CAD 32,175 per year, which translates to CAD 16.50 per hour.

Entry-level machine operator jobs have a starting salary of CAD 28,275 per year or CAD 14.50 per hour.

On the other hand:

The most experienced machine operators earn up to CAD 40,959 per year or CAD 21 per hour.

Best Way to Find a Job as a Machine Operator in Canada

The best way to find a machine operator job in Canada is to earn a high school diploma or GED. You can also pursue a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree to double your chances of landing a job.

Garnering entry-level experience and completing an apprenticeship can also give you a leg up over other applicants while applying for this position.

Lastly, obtaining relevant certificates such as the Manufacturing Specialist (MS) Certificate is also an incredible way to demonstrate your competencies to employers, thereby increasing your prospects of securing a machine operator job

We also frequently post machine operator jobs on Primus Workforce. So if you are actively looking for vacant machine operator positions, check out our find work page to land your dream job.


The article covers an overview of a machine operator’s job description. We discussed the employment responsibilities, educational requirements, skills, pay scale, and even the best way to find machine operator jobs in Canada.

All in all, this article provides adequate information on how to become a machine operator.

If you want to read more informative articles like this, we recommend you go through our blog section. We have many resources available to assist you in making an informed career decision.

Usama ChaudryUsama has a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta. Computations of electrical and thermal characteristics are among his research interests. Usama's hobbies outside of professional work include reading, playing tennis, and trekking.


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