Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders set up, operate, or tend machines to saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend or straighten metal, plastic or other materials. They work with a variety of machines that may require manual or computer-aided controls. This position is essential in any manufacturing and production process. To become a Machine Setter, Operator or Tender usually requires a high school diploma and on-the-job training, certifications or apprenticeships. Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders earn an average of $16.57 an hour.