Machinists

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Also known as:  Automotive Machinist, CNC Machinist, Gear Machinist, Manual Lathe Machinist, Precision Machinist, Production Machinist, Tool Room Machinist

ABOUT MACHINIST CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Machinists make things. They mount steel billets, brass rods, and other metal stock onto lathes, drill presses, and milling machines and use their skills and tools to shape them into a part that will be used in some other machine. Some machinists produce large quantities of a single part, but most p ...
roduce small numbers of one-of-a-kind components.

Every job is unique, requiring the machinist to draw on his or her knowledge of different metals and how they behave when shaped. The ability to precisely follow blueprints or other written specifications is an essential skill in this job.

Computers allow machinists to be more productive, so an ability to work with both hardware and software is important. But computers will never replace machinists. No computer can match the skill, the knowledge, and the "eye" of an experienced machinist. After all, when you need only a few copies of a part, it is far cheaper to hire an experienced machinist than it is to pay a computer expert to write the necessary program.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. May also fabricate and modify parts to make or repair machine tools or maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, metal properties, layout, and machining procedures.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
LOW
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Design fixtures, tooling, or experimental parts to meet special engineering needs.
Evaluate experimental procedures, and recommend changes or modifications for improved efficiency and adaptability to setup and production.
Position and fasten work pieces.
Observe and listen to operating machines or equipment to diagnose machine malfunctions and to determine need for adjustments or repairs.
Program computers or electronic instruments, such as numerically controlled machine tools.
Lay out, measure, and mark metal stock to display placement of cuts.
Set controls to regulate machining, or enter commands to retrieve, input, or edit computerized machine control media.
Maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, shop mathematics, metal properties, layout, and machining procedures.
Operate equipment to verify operational efficiency.
Monitor the feed and speed of machines during the machining process.
Select the appropriate tools, machines, and materials to be used in preparation of machinery work.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Control Precision The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Manual Dexterity The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Finger Dexterity The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Multilimb Coordination The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Arm-Hand Steadiness The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
TOP SKILLS Expand
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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