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As a machinist, you’ll set up and operate machine tools to make precision metal parts, instruments and tools.
Machinists are typically are trained on the job. Some learn through training or apprenticeship programs, vocational schools or community and technical colleges.
You’ll need the ability to analyze and understand technical blueprints, models, and specifications. Manual dexterity is important for accurate work, and mechanical and technical aptitude essential to work with the tools and processes used in the job. You’ll also need solid math skills and computer application experience to utilize modern computer-aided technology. And you must be comfortable standing for extended periods and performing repetitious movements.
You’ll likely continue to work through your apprenticeship or other training program. Apprenticeships often consist of paid shop training and related technical instruction lasting several years.
Around the five-year mark you may decide to continue pursuing additional certifications to become a tool and die maker. Tool and die makers construct precision tools or metal forms, called dies, that are used to cut, shape, and form metal and other materials.
After 10 years, you’ll be expected to have mastered your craft and called upon to bring up new workers through on-the-job training or an apprenticeship program.