How to Become a Machinist

A machinist is an individual who uses hand tools and machine tools to modify items made of plastics, metal and wood. Machinists can operate, disassemble and reassemble, repair parts such as splines, gears and shafts using various machine tools like mills, grinders, lathers, and planers.

In the past, majority of the machinists were people aged 40 and above. Today, more young people are considering a careers as machinists. If you are interested in becoming one, read on to find out what you need.

Tools of the Machinist

A machinist is expected to know how to use the following categories of tools

Measuring Tools

  • Comparison tools – adjustable parallels, plain calipers
  • Direct reading tools – rules, scales, Vernier calipers
  • Micrometer tools – clockwork gear movements
  • Electronics measuring tools – transducers, digital calipers

Hand Tools

  • Machine Tools – Computer numerically controlled machines
  • Drilling machines, floor, bench, radial and horizontal
  • Milling machines, vertical, horizontal, boring mills
  • Turning machines, turret lather engine lathe, vertical boring mill, and vertical turret lathe
  • Grinding machines, cylindrical, surface, centerless, universal

Work holders

  • Vises, chucks, pallets, indexing accessories, fixtures, specialty jigs, and faceplates

Tool Holders

  • Cutter extension, indexable turrets, quick change adapters, arbors, and collets.

Cutting Tools

  • Face mills, end mills, turning tools

Path to becoming a machinist

A machinist does not require very high academic credentials; in fact, most machinists begin working right from high school. However if one intends to be a machinist it’s advisable to take math classes that include geometry, trigonometry, and also participate in metalworking, drafting, and blueprinting reading classes.

Another path that one can take is enrolling in two-year machining – based program in a community college or technical school to learn more advanced skills Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) programming, Computer Aided Design (CAD) or Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining.

Attending trade schools gives one exposure and opens one to new career opportunities across the Machinist Industry. There more advanced learning centers for those that want to take calculus, physics, and engineering to enter into advanced industries like aerospace or tech.


There are areas that are considered hotspots for machinist job openings because machining skills are in high demand. In such regions often the pay wages are more senior. For example, Mississippi is known to offer the highest annual salaries to machinist than any other country.

Rising as a Machinists

Machinist have their career paths which include;

Shop ladder – entry level is CNC operator, full-on CNC machinist, shop management positon. From there they can transition to programming application, programming and troubleshooting the machines and designing new parts to be created.

Other careers are inspection and quality control, production planning moving up the ladder.

For those who continue learning like an associate degree in a matching program, engineering would be a wise choice. From here there can advance to finishing a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and climb up the career ladder in the Machinist industry. To do become the best machinist, you can watch a few videos that give important insights on the same. Do not forget to use tools like VPN shortcut Windows 10 while watching to protect your identity. Machinists are highly sort after in most work spaces and this is a promising career for young people. If you are looking for a career that allows you to express creativity while working with many tools, being a machinist is the way to go.