Machinists play an essential role in many manufacturing companies. They handle CNC machine tools, like lathes, to create precision parts used in the fabrication of tools, machines, or other instruments. But what does it take to become a professional machinist? There will be a huge need for these roles in the coming job market as many trained professionals are looking to retire. Here are the things you need to know to follow this career path.
Do Your Research
The first step before you travel the road of becoming a machinist is to do your homework. Knowing what a machinist does isn’t enough to help you find a job in the field. You need to put in the work it will take to move to the next level. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to talk to others in the field. Find a mentor who can give you an idea of the steps to take and help answer questions along the way.
Most jobs will require a high school diploma for the role, but that’s not all. You may be able to get on the job training, but some additional courses will help you get started. While in school, or after you graduate at a technical school, consider taking classes like metal shop and drafting. You may also want to learn to read blueprints. Other courses that can be helpful are computers and math such as trigonometry and algebra.
Work an Apprenticeship
You will need on the job training as well, and an apprenticeship is one of the best ways to get fully immersed in the role of a machinist. A typical apprenticeship can last up to 4 years, and while you’re working, you’ll learn all of the most important ins and outs of CNC and other types of machining. You may be able to find an apprenticeship through a local organization or your mentor. You may also want to consider a technical school program that offers an Associate’s degree, which will often include apprenticeship hours.
The National Institute of Metalworking Skills, or NIMS, offers a certification for individuals wanting to advance their careers in machining and other metalworking fields. While it isn’t necessarily required to find a job, it will give you the credentials you’ll need to impress employers. The organization will provide a performance-based test that is part written and part practical. There are other certifications as well, such as becoming a certified journey worker or a NIMS certified machinist.
Do you think a career as a machinist is right for you?
Meador Staffing, your trusted career advisors in the Houston, TX area, is currently hiring machinists. Contact us today to get started.