Career summary

Details for Machinists


Description

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, shop mathematics, metal properties, layout, and machining procedures.

Tasks

  • Calculate dimensions or tolerances, using instruments such as micrometers or vernier calipers.
  • Machine parts to specifications, using machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, shapers, or grinders.
  • Set up, adjust, or operate basic or specialized machine tools used to perform precision machining operations.
  • Align and secure holding fixtures, cutting tools, attachments, accessories, or materials onto machines.
  • Measure, examine, or test completed units to check for defects and ensure conformance to specifications, using precision instruments, such as micrometers.
  • Monitor the feed and speed of machines during the machining process.
  • Maintain machine tools in proper operational condition.
  • Study sample parts, blueprints, drawings, or engineering information to determine methods or sequences of operations needed to fabricate products.
  • Operate equipment to verify operational efficiency.
  • Check work pieces to ensure that they are properly lubricated or cooled.
  • Program computers or electronic instruments, such as numerically controlled machine tools.
  • Diagnose machine tool malfunctions to determine need for adjustments or repairs.
  • Confer with engineering, supervisory, or manufacturing personnel to exchange technical information.
  • Lay out, measure, and mark metal stock to display placement of cuts.
  • Fit and assemble parts to make or repair machine tools.
  • Set up or operate metalworking, brazing, heat-treating, welding, or cutting equipment.
  • Dispose of scrap or waste material in accordance with company policies and environmental regulations.
  • Separate scrap waste and related materials for reuse, recycling, or disposal.
  • Evaluate machining procedures and recommend changes or modifications for improved efficiency or adaptability.
  • Dismantle machines or equipment, using hand tools or power tools to examine parts for defects and replace defective parts where needed.
  • Install repaired parts into equipment or install new equipment.
  • Design fixtures, tooling, or experimental parts to meet special engineering needs.
  • Confer with numerical control programmers to check and ensure that new programs or machinery will function properly and that output will meet specifications.
  • Support metalworking projects from planning and fabrication through assembly, inspection, and testing, using knowledge of machine functions, metal properties and mathematics.
  • Establish work procedures for fabricating new structural products, using a variety of metalworking machines.
  • Prepare working sketches for the illustration of product appearance.
  • Advise clients about the materials being used for finished products.
  • Test experimental models under simulated operating conditions for purposes such as development, standardization, or feasibility of design.
  • Install experimental parts or assemblies, such as hydraulic systems, electrical wiring, lubricants, or batteries into machines or mechanisms.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Skills

Related careers

  • Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, and Systems Assemblers
  • Engine and Other Machine Assemblers
  • Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers
  • Mechanical Engineering Technicians
  • Millwrights
  • Model Makers, Metal and Plastic
  • Welders, Cutters, and Welder Fitters