Metalworking and forging machine operators (NOC 9416)

About this job

Light metalworking machine operators:

  • operate metalworking machines which shape and form sheet or other light metal into parts or products.
  • work for sheet metal products manufacturing companies, sheet metal shops and other light metal products manufacturing establishments.

Heavy metalworking machine operators:

  • operate metalworking machines which shape and form steel or other heavy metal into parts or products.
  • work for structural steel fabrication, boiler and platework manufacturing companies, heavy machinery manufacturing companies and in the shipbuilding industry.

Forging machine operators operate:

  • forging machines to form and shape metal into various shapes and sizes and impart desired strength, hardness or other characteristics.
  • work primarily in the fabricated metal products, machinery and transportation equipment manufacturing industries.
Common job titles
  • acetylene torch / arc cutter
  • aluminum sheet cutter - ductwork
  • automatic cut-off saw operator
  • bender, tube - musical instruments
  • bending press
  • burning table / plate burner


Metalworking and forging machine operators:

  • Read specifications or follow verbal instructions
  • Lay out, set up and operate one or more light or heavy metalworking machines such as shears, power presses, saws, plate rolls, drills, brakes, slitters, punch presses, computer numerically controlled (CNC) equipment, and other hand tools to cut, bend, roll, ream, punch and drill, weld or otherwise shape and form metal stock into parts or products
  • Operate machines or equipment which weld, solder, bolt, screw or rivet metal parts together
  • Check products for correct shapes, dimensions and other specifications
  • Troubleshoot and perform corrective action or minor repairs
  • May select and transport material to work area manually or using crane or hoist
  • May document work completed
  • May build staging or erect scaffolding as required for heavy metalworking jobs
  • May clean or lubricate equipment and replace parts as required.

Forging machine operators:

  • Position and adjust dies on anvil of forging machinery using overhead cranes or other hoisting devices and hand tools.
  • Operate presses or other forging machines to perform hot or cold forging by flattening, straightening, twisting, forming, drawing, upsetting, splitting, cutting, punching, piercing, bending, coining, or other operations to shape or form metal
  • Position heated or cold metal pieces, on die of press or other forging machinery
  • Place metal pieces in furnace using hand tongs or overhead cranes and remove from furnace when colour of metal indicates proper forging temperature, or load and unload furnace with automatic conveyor
  • Operate gas or oil fired furnaces to heat metal to proper temperature prior to forging

Work environment

Key aspects of work in this occupation:

  • Machine operators in this unit group usually work in a conventional controlled environment such as an office, hospital or school.
  • This work produces enough noise to cause loss of hearing.
  • Work is done with equipment, machinery or power/hand tools that could cause an injury.
  • Workers are exposed to small pieces of flying material and falling objects that could cause injury.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

  • There is little or no mobility between operators of light and heavy metalworking machines.
  • Progression to structural metal fabricator or supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Additional resources

Additional resources are not currently available for this career.