How to Become a Machinist

How to Become a Machinist

How to Become a Machinist

Are you interested in metalworking?  Have you always excelled in your math classes at school?  Do you enjoy programs like CAD?  If you find yourself answering 'yes' to some of these questions, you may want to consider a career in machining.  Machining, or specifically CNC machining, is actually a fast-growing and ever-changing field that has many career opportunities for those who are interesting in the industry.  There are a few steps you need to take if you want to become a machinist.

Be Prepared to Get Hands-On

Machining is a career path that can take anyone as high as they are willing to go, as long as they are willing to put the time, energy, and work into the job.  As an entry-level machinist, you will likely be learning with an experienced machinist by your side.  Because this job doesn't require any experience past high school to get started, many people start by training with other professional machinists.  Working hands-on is one of the best methods to teach novice machinists how to create CNC machined parts.

Consider Moving to a Machinery Hot Spot

You can certainly get a job as a machinist anywhere in the country, but there are certain areas that have higher concentrations of manufacturing and machining plants.   The Great Lakes region of the country, which contains Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana, and the Southeast region, which contains Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and the Carolinas, are places where machinists are in demand.  If you move to these areas, you will have an easier time finding work at higher wages.

Expect to Work Your Way Up

Once you start working in machining and practicing your craft, you will have a few different career paths to consider.  Many people work their way up, starting as a CNC machine operator and ending in a management position.  Others, however, chose to specialize and become programmers or work more closely with CAD and CAM software programs.  There are many opportunities to move up the corporate ladder or specialize within the industry.

Try Different Shops

When you first start working in machining, you may think that your first shop does everything the same way as other shops.  However, this isn't true.  Many shops have different levels of experienced employees, different management styles, more innovative CNC machinery, and many other differences.  Take the time to find the place that suits you the best.  As you hone your craft and learn more about your skillset, interests, and passions within the field of machining, you should try out different shops to see which one is the best fit for you.

These are a few steps you can take to embrace a career in machining.  When you work to create CNC machined parts, you will have the opportunity to climb up the ladder in the industry as long as you are willing to learn.  Many people start out as operators and then work their way up to management positions.  Contact us if you want to learn more about what it takes to become a CNC machinist.

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