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Career profile Machine Feeder

Also known as Cotton Tipper, Dryer Feeder, Feeder, Lug Loader, Machine Feeder, Offbearer, Sawmill Worker, Sewing Line Baler, Tube Puller

Machine Feeder

Also known as Cotton Tipper, Dryer Feeder, Feeder

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$24,020 - $48,570 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Monitoring
  • Reading Comprehension
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Inspect materials and products for defects, and to ensure conformance to specifications.
  • Record production and operational data, such as amount of materials processed.
  • Push dual control buttons and move controls to start, stop, or adjust machinery and equipment.
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What does a Machine Feeder do?

Machine Feeders feed materials into or remove materials from machines or equipment that is automatic or tended by other workers.

What kind of tasks does a Machine Feeder perform regularly?

Machine Feeders are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Inspect materials and products for defects, and to ensure conformance to specifications.
  • Record production and operational data, such as amount of materials processed.
  • Push dual control buttons and move controls to start, stop, or adjust machinery and equipment.
  • Weigh or measure materials or products to ensure conformance to specifications.
  • Identify and mark materials, products, and samples, following instructions.
  • Clean and maintain machinery, equipment, and work areas to ensure proper functioning and safe working conditions.
  • Load materials and products into machines and equipment, or onto conveyors, using hand tools and moving devices.
  • Transfer materials and products to and from machinery and equipment, using industrial trucks or hand trucks.
  • Fasten, package, or stack materials and products, using hand tools and fastening equipment.

The above responsibilities are specific to Machine Feeders. More generally, Machine Feeders are involved in several broader types of activities:

Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

What is a Machine Feeder salary?

The median salary for a Machine Feeder is $33,000, and the average salary is $34,470. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Machine Feeder salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Machine Feeders earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Machine Feeders earn less than $24,020 per year, 25% earn less than $27,860, 75% earn less than $39,930, and 90% earn less than $48,570.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Machine Feeders is expected to change by 6.2%, and there should be roughly 8,800 open positions for Machine Feeders every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$24,020 - $48,570
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Machine Feeders?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Machine Feeder are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Machine Feeders typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Machine Feeder tend to value Relationships, Support, and Independence.

Most importantly, Machine Feeders moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Machine Feeders moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Machine Feeders somewhat value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Machine Feeders must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Machine Feeders, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

What education and training do Machine Feeders need?

Working as a Machine Feeder usually requires a high school diploma.

Machine Feeders need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Machine Feeders

  • 17.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 49.5% completed high school or secondary school
  • 16.5% completed some college coursework
  • 6.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 8.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.0% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Machine Feeders

Machine Feeders may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, mechanical, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Machine Feeders might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Machine Feeders

Machine Feeders must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Machine Feeders need abilities such as arm-hand steadiness, control precision, and rate control in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Machine Feeders, ranked by their relative importance.

Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Rate Control
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Machine Feeders

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Machine Feeders frequently use skills like operations monitoring, monitoring, and reading comprehension to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Machine Feeders, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
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.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.