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Sand wood, buff metal, or polish granite.

What does a Buffer do?

Buffers sand, clean, and polish materials such as wood, metal, or plastic in preparation for the next step of the production process. Working in the manufacturing industry, Buffers are part of a production team that creates products for the end-consumer (the person who buys them) or for incorporation into other products.

For example, if you’re a Buffer you may work in a factory that produces granite countertops for residential use. The raw material (granite) arrives to you in a large slab with uneven edges and a rough surface. Using buffing and sanding machines, you sand the edges and the top. Next, you polish the same areas to remove any loose dust or debris, and create the shiny surface that granite countertops are known for.

Excellent hand-eye coordination is vital for this position, as you’re often adjusting the material while simultaneously moving it through the machine (or moving the buffing machine across the surface). Basic mechanical knowledge is helpful as well since you’re also responsible for monitoring the equipment and providing basic maintenance services as needed. You need to be able to identify necessary adjustments and repairs, which will put your observation skills to the test.

Physical strength and stamina are also essential. You’re expected to stand, bend, twist, and lift up to 50 pounds repeatedly throughout a shift. The work is physically demanding, but you’ll find that it’s also extremely rewarding when you see the finished product in someone’s home, office, or the shelves of your favorite store.

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