If you’re looking for a new role in the manufacturing industry, you might have seen job ads for CNC machinist positions. As manufacturing becomes ever more complex and automated, the need for people to fill these roles is likely to continue to grow. But what exactly is a CNC machinist and how can you become one? Let’s take a look.
CNC stands for computer numerical control. CNC machinists operate precision CNC machinery, including drills, presses, and lathes. You’ll be responsible for the entire manufacturing process on your CNC machines. This includes programming each job using computer software and then closely monitoring the machine’s performance. You’ll also perform a final quality control check at the end.
CNC machinist is a great job for people who love math and science. Every employer is slightly different, but in general you’ll need:
- Strong math skills
- The ability to read technical documents including blueprints
- Moderate to strong computer skills
- Excellent manual dexterity
- Some knowledge of precision tools and how to use them
How to Become a CNC Machinist
CNC machinists typically, though not always, start out as CNC operators. This allows you to gain experience with the different types of CNC machines without taking full responsibility for them. Under the direction of a CNC machinist, you’ll learn how the various machines work and how they are programmed. Depending on the facility, you may also work your way up through other roles, including setup person and programmer, before becoming a CNC machinist.
If you don’t want to work your way up, another option is to complete a training program at a vocational school or other facility. You will still learn the role hands-on, but in a classroom setting rather than on the job.
Whichever route you take, you’ll want to become certified. This involves both a written exam and a practical hands-on test. Certification isn’t always required, but having that piece of paper can open additional doors for you.
Looking for A New Job?
Phillips Staffing has been matching job seekers with open positions in manufacturing, distribution, and other industries for over 50 years. We also offer soft skills training that can help you land and succeed in almost any job. If you’re in Greenville or Upstate South Carolina and are looking for your next role, get started today!