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Our one-of-kind Opportunity Meter rates jobs based on salary, current openings and future demand to help you choose the career that is best for you.
What Does a Machinist Do?

If you value precision and you like solving problems, here’s a job to consider. Machinists run computer numerical control (CNC) equipment to create machine parts, tools and one-of-a-kind items out of metal. Machinists, also called CNC machine operators, set up and operate the computer-driven precision machinery that cuts, grinds or drills the material. They also polish and perfect each item for quality assurance. They work in machine shops or factory tool rooms. They may also work in any manufacturing setting that requires the installation, maintenance, programming and operation of CNC technology. Tool and die makers construct metal forms, called dies, that are used to cut metal and other materials. 

These technical skills are in high demand. As a result, these jobs almost always require overtime. 

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Our one-of-kind Opportunity Meter rates jobs based on salary, current openings and future demand to help you choose the career that is best for you.
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Apprentices learn how to run a computer control panel in a machine shop
If you’re good at math and have an analytical mind, you might make a good machinist. (Credit: ALPA PROD/Shutterstock)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Set up and operate precision equipment
  • Maintain precision equipment
  • Turn, mill, drill, shape and grind machine parts to specifications
  • Plan stock inventory 
  • Inspect and test finished products
  • Program mills and lathes
  • Maintain production and quality logs
Education + Training

Most employers require a high school diploma. To learn the trade, machinists require specific training that is offered by community colleges or technical schools, including classes in math, blueprint reading, metalworking and drafting. Most machinists enter apprenticeship programs. Candidates must be able to work comfortably with complex machines and tools. Certification through the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) is highly recommended.

  • Like working with computers
  • Are detail-oriented
  • Have strong math skills
  • Enjoy creating things
  • Manage your time well
  • Have excellent problem-solving skills
  • Adapt easily
  • Work well with others

Machinist training in your area

Mesa Community College logo

CNC Machining II Certificate

Mesa Community College
Mesa (0.0 Miles)

Machine Tool Technology - CNC Production Machinist Certificate

Ivy Tech Community College
Indianapolis (0.0 Miles)

Applied Technology - Advanced Processes, A.A.S.

Macomb Community College
Warren (0.0 Miles)

Advanced Manufacturing Technology, A.S.

Long Beach City College
Long Beach (0.0 Miles)

CNC, CAD/CAM Machinist Certificate Level 2

San Jose City College
San Jose (0.0 Miles)

CAD/CAM-CNC Certificate

Mountain View College
Dallas (0.0 Miles)

CNC Operator Technical Certificate

Waukesha County Technical College
Pewaukee (0.0 Miles)

Computer Controlled Welding Certificate

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh (0.0 Miles)

Machine Tool Technology Certificate

Spartanburg Community College
Spartanburg (0.0 Miles)

Machine Tool Technology: Numerical Control Machine Operator Option Associate Degree

Cerritos College
Norwalk (0.0 Miles)

CNC Operator Certificate

Waubonsee Community College
Sugar Grove (0.0 Miles)

Industrial Technology General Studies, A.A.S.

Henry Ford College
Dearborn (0.0 Miles)
Meet Ambassador Tony Tinge
Meet Ambassador Tony Tinge

When Tony graduated with honors from high school, he didn't have a lot of direction.

He was drawn to Lincoln Electric because he knew if he worked hard, it would pay off — literally. It took him six years to learn about tool and die, but once he started an apprenticeship, he knew he'd found not just a job, but a career. It's one of the lesser known skills-based careers, but there's a huge need for tool and die makers.

You can make an extremely good living as a tool and die maker, says Tony, as long as you're willing to work hard. Plus you get the satisfaction of helping create so many different things people use every day.

"Literally everything around you was probably produced by a tool that a tool and die maker made." 

Find Machinist Jobs in Your Area



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Posted 2 weeks 3 days ago


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Tool Maker 2nd shift Cooking New Bern, NC

BSH Continental Eletrodomesticos LTDA
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CNC Milling Machinist - second shift

ATI Metals
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Posted 2 weeks ago

CNC Machinists - 2nd Shift

The Bradbury Co., Inc.
Moundridge ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week 5 days ago

Machinist Apprentice Program

General Electric
Greenville ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week 5 days ago

CNC Machinist M-2

Saint Louis ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 week 5 days ago