The words machining services could reference anything that requires a piece of raw material being cut into a specific shape and size by a machine. Machining has to be a part of any process where metals are cut but it can also be apart of the process of cutting wood, plastic, ceramic and other types of materials. The person that works the machine or offers the machining services is called the machinist. The machines are usually in a facility or machine shop and the machinist has to be a qualified professional in order to be allowed to run the mill, lathe or other cutting machine. Tig welding is often put into the same category.
So, what does it take to become a machinist?
- Research the Duties
If you think that you might be interesting in being someone who offers machining services, you will want to look into the different types of duties that are required of various machinist titles. There are different kinds of machinists. A production machinist might have to mass product tons of the same piece or part while a maintenance machinist is responsible for fixing and replacing broken parts of the machines. You could be doing anything from setting up the machines and tools to cutting or adjusting different pieces to replacing and repairing defective machines and tools and parts to watching to make sure the machine is doing its job correctly. You will want to make sure that you are willing to do all parts of the job, not just the part that you love.
- Get the Right Credentials
At the bare minimum, you will definitely to have a high school diploma in order to be a machinist. There could be apprentice positions or on the job training options where you watch and learn from an experienced machinist but most machine services shops require their workers to get their training from an official course or series of classes. Trying to get on as an apprentice is doable but extremely difficult as the competition is very high. In order to make yourself stand out from the crowd, you might try taking courses in a metal shop or in some sort of drafting and blueprint reading. Passing mathematics class such as trig and alebra will look good on a resume to. These classes help you to be able to make the precise measurements that are necessary in machining services.
- Complete an Apprenticeship
It is difficult to get into these but they are extremely beneficial. Apprenticeships normally take about four years to complete. You will learn all the different aspects of the machinery industry such as safety protocols, machine operating foundations and basics, metal work, computer design and programming as well as mathematics, physics and geometric dimensions. Some technical colleges will offer apprenticeships as well as two year associate degree programs that could help you out. However, if you do those, then you’ll need a lot of hands on training if you want to become a good machinist.
- Get You NIMS Certificate
After the apprenticeship is complete, you will be able to become a credentialed worker. If you want to keep moving up in the machine world and make a better image for yourself then you should get the NIMS certificate. This will make you a lot more attractive to potential employers. NiMS is the National Institute of Metalworking Skills. The exam will include a written portion as well as a practical part. You could also get the CNC Setup Programmer credential or a become a certified journey worker.
- Move Up in Your Career
The longer you work for a machining company, the more like you are to be able to get promoted and advance in the industry. There are positions such as tool and die makers or programmers or management positions and supervisory jobs that could become available to you. If you have the business mind, you could even open a business yourself once you have enough experience to know not only how to do the job but how to run it and manage others that are working for you. In order to do that you’ll also need to make sure that your communication skills are up to par so that working with customers is easier.