Career
Pathways

Career Interest

Is Machining right for you? Click here to find out more.     

How Do I Start

Find out more to build your pathway and find ways to become a Machinist. 

Career Prep

Looking for resources to prepare for your career? This is the place. Click here. 

Get to Work

Click here for resources and guides to help you find a job in manufacturing. 

MACHINIST PATHWAY

Let's look at some of the options available to you to consider for a pathway to become a Machinist. We will walk you through each step that we have covered as you consider the profession. If there is a step you do not need (e.g., you already know you want to be a Machinist), simply skip that section and move on. 

Our goal is to demonstrate how to build a framework for your career pathway. Let's begin. 

STEP 1: Career Interest - Machinist

Are you interested in how products and machines come together? Do you care about the quality of materials and workmanship? Then you should explore the Manufacturing career cluster, which covers how industry and technology work together to make or package the things we use or consume daily, like cars, computers, and food.

Careers in advanced manufacturing offer exciting opportunities to design and improve products, operate high-tech tools and machinery, analyze problems and come up with creative solutions, and work with your hands and your mind.

Is Machining Right for You?

MAKE THINGS

Do you like to make things with your hands? 

Do you like the idea of making products for the aerospace, medical, or auto industries? 

Are you interested in taking ideas from paper and making them a reality?

TECHNOLOGY

Are you ready to use the latest technology to program and build precision parts and equipment?

Do you want to be part of aerospace, making parts for rockets, spacecraft, and drones?

Do you want to program computers to run machines? 

SKILLED WORK

Are you good at math, problem-solving, and creating innovative solutions? 

Do you want to be known for your unique talents with highly sought-after skills?

Do you want to turn ideas into usable parts and solutions? 

COOL TOOLS

Do you want to use the latest technology in machinery?

Does Advanced Manufacturing sound exciting?

Do you want to use state-of-the-art tools and cutting-edge strategies? 

If you answered "yes" to any of these, chances are that Machining is for you...

Keep reading to discover opportunities to pursue a career in Machining or other area of Advanced Manufacturing. 

If you are unsure about your career interest or you would like to learn more, check out our Career Assessment page. 

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

STEP 2: Career Explore - Machinist

When you know you have interest in Machining as a career, its time to learn more about the career, industries that use Machinists, and the types of work they do. Dig into the resources available to learn about Machinists, their skillsets, and opportunities to prepare for your future. 

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What does a Machinist do?

As a CNC machinist, you are a critical member of an entire industrial engineering team. You are a builder, fabricator, mechanic, craftsperson, and quality assurance specialist all rolled into one.

 

Machinists set up and operate various computer-controlled and mechanically controlled machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments, and tools.

CNC machinists work with heavy machinery from setup through completion.

CNC machines cut, grind and drill raw materials to be used across many manufacturing areas.

Machinists oversee these machines and make adjustments that control the speed, how the material feeds and the path of where to cut.

What Kinds of Jobs Are There?

Here are just a few of the types of jobs available within the Manufacturing Cluster. 

CNC Machine Operator

Run high-tech precision cutting machines to make tools and parts.

Welder

Fabricate, create, and maintain equipment and parts. Build and repair.

Technician

Develop a skill set to become an expert in a specific field and provide tech services.

Quality Inspector

Ensure quality standards in production to maintain production & profits.  

Engineer

Design equipment, parts, buildings, cars, etc. using high-tech design software.

Programmer

Automate CNC machines, robotic functions, and production processes.

Assembler

Bring final products to life as you combine parts to deliver final products. 

Production Specialist

Become the most important person in manufacturing by knowing a little of everything.

Click Below to Learn More About CNC Machinists

Q&A about CNC Machining

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What do I want to do?

 

Learn about opportunities within the Machinist field. Take a career interest assessment. Learn about jobs in the field.

 

Career Interest

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How Do I Become a Machinist? 

Let's get you started by showing you several pathways you can take.

 

How Do I Start

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What steps should I take?

Are you preparing to graduate or looking ahead? Learn how to prepare for the job market to make your career a success.

 

Career Prep

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Ready to Go to Work?

Want a job during school or after school? Check out opportunities for internships, work-based learning, and full-time jobs after school.

 

Get to Work

Machinist Career Path Options?

Future Jobs as a Machinist

With training and certification as a Machinist, you can pursue any number of paths throughout your career. One of the most appealing aspects of training to be a CNC machinist is just how many different career paths it can take. Here are just a few.

 

  • Operator – Most entry CNC machinists start as machine operators, gaining skills and experience as they progress.

 

  • Set-up Machinist – From an operator, many are put in charge of setting-up CNC machines. This includes understanding GD&T (geometric dimensioning and tolerancing) and changing the CNC machine’s controller.  

  • CNC Programmer – As a Programmer, you create code that tells the CNC systems how to make the part you need. This includes programming, designing parts, and optimizing performance. Often, you will also inspect your parts.  

  • Manager – You may want to lead and manage others. Managers train employees, enforce safety rules, assign tasks, and oversee employee work. They also interpret blueprints and develop plans for how to complete a project. They also perform regular jobs such as upgrading and maintaining machinery, ordering parts, and maintaining repair records. 

CNC machinists are in high demand, especially those with programming skills and knowledge of advanced machinery. It’s a fantastic job with opportunities all over the country.

Step 3: Take Action

LEARN MORE ABOUT CAREERS (Including Machining)

Choosing a career is a big decision! How can you know if it's the right choice? Remember - you can change your mind later if you don't like what you study. The important thing is to GET STARTED

There are several tools available to help you explore careers. While we hope that a career in manufacturing is for you, let's take the time to find what's right for you. 

Click below to discover tools available to help you begin your journey. 

EXPLORE YOUR FIRST STEPS 

Choosing a career is a big decision! How can you know if it's the right choice? Remember - you can change your mind later if you don't like what you study. The important thing is to GET STARTED

There are several tools available to help you explore careers. While we hope that a career in manufacturing is for you, let's take the time to find what's right for you. 

Click below to discover tools available to help you begin your journey. 

PREPARE FOR A CAREER AS A MACHINIST

Let's talk about what it takes to get you from where you're at to where you want to go. There is not just one way to get there. You can start from almost anywhere and take several pathways to reach your destination. 

Whether you attend college, work an apprenticeship, start in high school, or follow a less traditional approach, you can become a Machinist with training and start working in an Advanced Manufacturing industry, making a good salary with a solid future. 

Learn about the pathways available to get you into the workplace. 

FIND A MACHINIST JOB WHEN YOU'RE READY

Let's talk about what it takes to get you from where you're at to where you want to go. There is not just one way to get there. You can start from almost anywhere and take several pathways to reach your destination. 

Whether you attend college, work an apprenticeship, start in high school, or follow a less traditional approach, you can become a Machinist with training and start working in an Advanced Manufacturing industry, making a good salary with a solid future. 

Learn about the pathways available to get you into the workplace.