CNC machinist

CNC Machinists Jobs -

 

What Do CNC Operators Do


CNC machines are those machines that are Computer Numerically Controlled, which simply means that they are run by computers. In some sources, CNC stands for computer numerical control, but the meaning is basically the same. Individuals who use CNC machines in their work are called CNC operators or CNC machinists.

 

Job Description

A CNC operator or machinist uses machines such as milling and lathe machines. These equipment are connected to computer-controlled servomotors that cut or move a particular work piece.  There is a special program used in the computer called the M code or G code which aids in precisely cutting the material into its final form.

 

The job of a CNC operator is not just pushing buttons to start the operation.  The CNC machinist job requires that the operator set up the CNC machine, including selecting the tools, and maintaining the sharpness of the cutting edges. The process of machining or cutting a work piece involves high speed operation.  Even if the machine does the moving of the materials, a CNC operator needs to monitor the machine movements and check each part that is produced to determine if it was cut according to specifications in the blue print.

 

The Good Qualities of a CNC Machinist

A person holding a CNC machinist job or a CNC operator job position must be able to show different skills ranging from managing the computer program to knowing the type of work piece to be cut.  An operator must be knowledgeable about the machines used, be it a lathe or a milling machine, and have a fairly good skill in joining materials.  He or she must also be able to use surface grinders.  Another skill required of a CNC operator job, which in fact is among the primary requirements, is a high mathematical ability.

 

How To Secure A CNC Machinist Job

To secure a CNC machinist or operator job, a high school diploma or its equivalent is required, plus enough experience working in a machine shop that uses CNC machines. But many companies today require more than that; prospective machinists must  attend a training program and work as apprentice in shops.  Some employers may agree to hire you even if you attended  only one of the 2 programs.

 

You will be provided with classroom lessons and hands-on instructions  in training programs which you can get from your community college or a trade school.  You will be taught about the different CNC machines, workplace guidelines, safety procedures, and the latest technology. The program usually takes from 6 months to 2 years.  In taking an apprenticeship program, you may undergo a paid on-the-job training in addition to classroom classes, and may take you 4 years to finish.

 

If you want to improve your credentials as a CNC machinist and have better chances of landing a high paying job, you may take an exam with the National Institute of Metalworking Skills in the US. In countries outside of the US there are also similar agencies that will issue you a certification once you passed their written exams.  Getting certified is not an employment requirement, though.

 

The job of a CNC operator is not just pushing buttons to start the operation.  The CNC machinist job requires that the operator set up the CNC machine, including selecting the tools.


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