Employment agencies know machinists play a critical role in many industrial facilities, operating CNC machine tools like lathes and milling equipment to cut and fabricate parts for a variety of tools and machines. Perhaps the best part about becoming a machinist is just about anyone can develop the skills to handle and repair different manufacturing tools. Doing so will not be easy, however, as it requires years of training through apprenticeships or associate degree programs.
If you’re curious about how to have a career as a machinist, below are five steps you need to take to get there.
Step 1: Do Your Homework
Not all machinists are the same. For example, production machinists mass-produce hundreds, if not thousands, of precision parts for different instruments and tools. On the other hand, maintenance machinists specialize in replacing specific parts of different machinery and equipment.
Knowing the duties of the kind of machinist you want to become helps you build your skill set efficiently.
Step 2: Seek Training
Once you’ve decided on the type of machinist you want to become, you’ll need to undergo training. At the very least, you’ll need a high school diploma to get started. The best approach is through an apprenticeship sponsored by a manufacturing company or union — though spots in these programs can be hard to get. The safest option is to enroll in classroom-based and practical training programs.
Step 3: Finish Your Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship programs typically run about four years and will involve learning about machinery, safety practices, CNC machine operation, CNC programming, metallurgy and computer-aided design (CAD). You can also expect to cover the fundamentals of math, geometry, trigonometry and physics.
You can always finish a 2-year apprenticeship program, though you will need to compensate with several hours of on-the-job training.
Step 4: Get NIMS Certified
Completing your apprenticeship makes you eligible to seek proper credentials. If you want to enhance your image as a professional machinist, it’s strongly recommended that you acquire credentials from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS), which conducts performance-based exams for machinists and all kinds of metalworkers.
Step 5: Level Up
At some point in your career, you will want to enhance your skills and credentials. For example, you may be interested in becoming a CNC programmer or a specialist in tool and die making. You may also want to set out on your own and open a machine shop. Both career moves will require continuing education of some sort, so don’t settle for the basic training and credentials available to you.
For more information on how to jumpstart your career in the industrial and manufacturing industry, sit down for a consultation with Top Notch Personnel. Contact our Wichita, KS, manufacturing recruiters today to find out how we can help!