What does a Machinist do?
|Citation||Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org|
A machinist and tool and die maker operates and sets up many different mechanically controlled and computer-controlled machine tools used to make precision tools, metal parts, and instruments. Some machinists and tool and die makers use CAD (computer-aided design) to produce parts and products. They work in machine shops, factories, and tool rooms, usually on a full time basis.
How to Become a Machinist
Machinist and tool and die makers require a high school diploma or the equivalent with suggested classes in math, drafting, metal working, and blueprint reading. Experience with computers is also needed. Machinists usually train in apprenticeship programs, trade schools, community colleges, and on-the-job. Programs in community colleges and trade schools take 2 years to complete with courses that teach using wielding and cutting tools, blueprint reading, and programming and function of computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines.
Tool and die makers commonly receive on-the-job training that lasts 1 year or more. Some manufactures sponsor apprenticeship programs but these can be difficult to enter. Apprenticeship training has paid shop training and related technical instruction that lasts several years. Local community colleges and vocational technical schools often cooperate by providing the technical instruction. The apprentice typically works a 40 hour week and receives technical instruction at night.
Machinist and tool and die makers need to get experience in using computers to work with CAD/CAM technology, CNC machine tools, and computerized measuring machines.
Job Description of a Machinist
Machinists typically work from sketches, blueprints, or computer-generated files. They set up, operate, and dissemble machine tools and manual tools. They also align, adjust, and secur work pieces and cutting tools as well as monitor the speed and feed of machines. They shape, drill, turn, grind, and mill machine parts to specifications. He or she presents finished products to customers and may make needed modifications.
Machinists also compute and verify tolerances, sizes, dimensions, and shapes of workpieces to ensure all parts fit together properly and test tools and dies to meet specifications.