Job and Die Setters


Job and Die Setters


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.

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma



Three to five years as an operator recommended





Personality Traits

Hands On


Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters earned median annual salaries of $31,480 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Salaries ranged from less than $22,020   to $50,240 or more. Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders earned median annual salaries of $38,650. Ten percent of workers earned less than $25,720, and 10 percent earned $60,640 or more. Many jobs in...

Work Environment

Overall work conditions for setters are good. Machine shops are not too noisy and are usually well lit and ventilated, and air-conditioned during the summer months. Some places, such as forge shops, may be noisy, however, and many job and die setters work on production lines in factories.

Setters spend much of their workdays on their feet. Although cranes do most of the heavy lifting, di...


Employment of job and die setters is generally expected to decline, depending on the specific job, through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Although multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic, will experience growth of 2 percent, declines are projected for most other positions. The most significant decline (21 percent) will occur among milling and p...