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How Do I Become an Engine Machinist?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

An engine machinist is a person who builds and repairs engines for automobiles or other industrial applications. In order to become an engine machinist, you will first need to complete a high school education, paying special attention to math and science courses. Once you finish high school, you can take a few different routes to become an engine machinist: you can enroll in a degree or certificate program that will teach you the necessary skills, or you can apply for an apprenticeship that will allow you to learn the skills necessary on the job.

An apprenticeship program allows you to earn money while learning the skills necessary to become an engine machinist. During an apprenticeship, you will work with a more experienced machinist who will supervise you as you work and teach you how to use the various machines for manipulating metal. An apprenticeship can last anywhere from one to five years, depending on the complexity of the job and the requirements of a particular company or labor union. It may be difficult to become an engine machinist through this route, as apprenticeships can be difficult to come by, especially if you have limited or no experience.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Enrolling in a degree or certificate program is an easier way to become an engine machinist, but it will also be a more expensive option. You will need to pay tuition fees for the duration of your education, which can range anywhere from one to four years. During your enrollment, you will participate in classroom learning as well as hands-on learning with machines and tools to develop the skills necessary to become an engine machinist in a professional setting. One of the advantages of this route is the ability to complete certification requirements quickly and easily. You will need to qualify for various professional certificates, depending on the laws and regulations in your area, and many schools will arrange for you to complete such certification as part of your enrollment.

Once you complete your education, you will need to apply for a job with a company or business. It is likely that you will start as an entry level machinist under the guidance of a more experienced machinist, and you may even end up as an apprentice even if you have already been trained. This probationary period will ensure you have developed the appropriate skills to become a full-time machinist.

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