Machinists set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments out of metal. This includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. They 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.
Machinists work in machine shops and manufacturing spaces, creating precise tools and parts for mechanical equipment and objects.
Machinists are trained tradespersons operating milling and drilling machines, grinders, and lathes. Machinist jobs require extreme precision as sometimes they make cuts to at least one-thousandth of an inch.
Machinist careers require a high school diploma, with years of on-the-job training. Trade schools also offer machining degrees. They require knowledge of the working properties of metals, and skills with machine tools to make products that meet precise specifications.
Strong knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, metallic properties, and machining is needed, requiring them to take math courses, especially trigonometry and geometry, and courses in blueprint reading, metalworking, and drafting. In the aircraft manufacturing industry, knowledge of advanced applied calculus and physics is needed.
Mechanist jobs are found in the utilitarian, transportation, and military industries. The job comes with hazards of working around machine tools and workers follow safety precautions, including wearing protective equipment. A machinist's salary is commensurate with the nature of the job and experience.
To be successful, machinists should be mechanically inclined and able to do highly accurate work that requires concentration and physical effort.
Every career requires an element of study and academic qualification, and there can be several study routes and pathways you can take. In following any academic pathway you will study subjects that contribute to the specialised knowledge required to achieve your career goals. These qualifications provide a future employer with the evidence that you have the desired knowledge, understanding and experience of their industry, so it’s important to consider the various types of qualifications available to you and to understand how they can boost your career and create opportunities for you.
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