For many job seekers, the idea of being a machinist is enticing. After all, production and manufacturing roles allow you to physically see the results of your hard work, and that can be incredibly rewarding. Plus, machining enables you to combine that feeling with being able to work with technology, creating a unique combination that isn’t always present in other jobs.
But, like any position, having the right skills, abilities and experiences is essential if you want to break into the machining field. If you are wondering if you have what it takes to be a machinist, here’s what you need to know.
Technical Skills and Experience
Machinists need specific hard skills to thrive in their roles. Typically, this means either acquiring experience on the job while in an entry-level position, or completing a program through a local trade school or community college.
For example, the ability to read blueprints and schematics is a necessity. Similarly, understanding how to use the various control panels on the equipment, such as a CNC machine, and how to program the machine to handle specific cuts are also vital.
There is also a variety of skills that pertain to the various pieces of equipment. Grinders, lathes and micrometers are just a few of the tools you may need to interact with in a machinist role.
Being proficient with computers, in general, is also helpful, even for entry-level roles. Additionally, at least high school level math skills are necessary to complete basic calculations and ensure cuts are precise.
Machinists also need specific soft skills to thrive in these roles and in manufacturing environments. Since machining involves making precision cuts, attention to detail is essential. Even the slightest error can render a part unusable, so being vigilant at all times is a necessity.
Problem-solving skills are also highly valuable for machinists. If there is an issue with the final product or the system begins acting up, being able to troubleshoot the problem effectively is incredibly useful to employers.
Finally, being safety oriented is also a must. All production environments can be potentially hazardous, including machine shops. Understanding the value of always wearing your protective equipment and being proactive when you spot a potential hazard is paramount to everyone’s safety, so keeping it in mind is essential.
It’s important to note every machine shop may have slightly different requirements depending on the equipment they use, the products they produce, or even the size of the company. Additionally, some employers may require you to have open availability, particularly if shops run multiple shifts as a means of hitting their production goals.
If you are interested in learning more about being a machinist, the professionals at The Advance Group can help you assess your skills. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced team members today and see how our services can make finding the right new job easier than ever. Or click here to check out our newest machinist jobs in Michigan and Ohio!