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How Do I Become a Precision Machinist?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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While you won't necessarily need a college education in order to become a precision machinist, you will need to undergo job-specific training and take part in an apprenticeship program that will allow you to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to complete the job. As a precision machinist, you will work with a variety of complex machines, and you will need to learn how to use them properly and safely. Training programs can help you get a job as a precision machinist by teaching you how to use the machines and how to use various computer programs associated with the operation of these machines.

Many of the machines you will use once you become a precision machinist will feature computer numeric controls (CNC). CNC machines allow the machinist to program the machine to make the exact same cuts or movements over and over again; this means the machinist will be able to produce parts repeatedly to the same tolerances each time. Part of the training you will undergo to become a precision machinist will focus exclusively on the use of CNC, while other training will focus on other computer programs such as computer-aided drafting, or CAD, programs. You will need to be able to read complex blueprints as well.

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Safety training is vital if you want to become a precision machinist, since many of the tools used in this process are dangerous. You will need to become a certified machinist to get a job in most industries, and part of the certification process involves this very important safety training. Once you earn your certification, which shows employers that you know how to use the machines and have the basic knowledge to work in the precision machining setting, you will need to take part in an apprenticeship program offered by a particular company or machinist's union.

This apprenticeship period is a learning period that can last anywhere from one to five years, during which time you will work under the guidance and supervision of a more experienced machinist. You will get paid during this time, but not as much as a full-time machinist. At first, you are likely to perform only basic functions as they relate to precision machining, but as your apprenticeship moves forward, you will be able to spend more and more time doing real machining. Once the apprenticeship period ends, you may need to get another certification in order to work full time.

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