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Examples of Machinist Careers

Machinists are machine-tool operators, involved in the production of precision metal products. The work involves operation of a variety of different types of equipment and includes

  • Component manufacture
  • Production of machine parts off blueprints
  • Working with a range of different metals
  • Metal cutting
  • Metal finishing
  • Monitoring production issues
  • Tool maintenance

Machinists are responsible for the production of the components used in all forms of machinery, cars, electrical and electronic equipment.

Career path

Machinists have multiple career entry options. Although formal apprenticeships are the normal form of training, many machinists receive training on site and develop their skills in this way. Formal training is available from vocational colleges and some degree of training is available in high schools.

However - In order to read blueprints and plans and operate advanced machinery, it is necessary for machinists to receive full technical training. An unskilled or semiskilled machinist cannot progress in the trade without this training. Machinists to start at an unskilled level will eventually need to receive training equivalent to an apprenticeship.

Career progression

Career progression for machinists is typically related to the area of employment. Machinists skills, like those in other trades, are very portable - to a point. Familiarity with types of machine work and equipment is naturally an essential requirement for employment which affects job mobility.

Career development therefore involves acquiring accredited competencies in relation to both machine tools and electronic systems. In many cases machinists are also required to be trained in computer systems like training in the operation and programming of CNC machine tools, which is now essential in the US.

The employment market for machinists is highly variable, and may be subject to economic downturns, as seen in the US auto industry in recent years. Skilled machinists, however, can work anywhere in the world. This is a truly global trade, and career opportunities are many.

A further element of machinist careers includes supervisory and management roles, for which formal business training is often required. For machinists, this additional training also opens up a significant range of both business and career opportunities.

Some machinists may go into business for themselves, doing contract production for industries. Some of those contracts can be worth millions of dollars, and this is the high-end area of career progression for machinists.

For those with good manual and technical skills, a machinist career is an excellent opportunity to develop those skills. Financial rewards for highly qualified machinists can be extremely good, and there are business opportunities as well. If you're looking for a career where you can turn your skills into both technical achievements and financial rewards, this may be exactly what you're looking for.