For someone who is mechanically inclined with a strong ability to pay close attention to detail, becoming a machinist might be a good career choice. A machinist works with machine tools to create different parts. This individual works with many different materials and tools and must be proficient in one or all of the following subjects: computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing or computer numerical control.
Individuals who know at a young age that they want to become a machinist should take courses in physics, drafting and metalworking early on in their education. Practice reading blueprints and always putting a great amount of effort into ensuring their work is one hundred percent accurate will also be helpful. Also, practice working with machine tools is essential. These may include lathes, drill presses, milling machines and grinding machines, such as centerless grinders. In addition to practicing working with these tools, it is important to also work with different materials as they are available. Machinists often encounter wood, steel, aluminum, brass, copper, plastics, glass and more.
Upon completion of high school, it is a good idea to meet with any companies an individual is interested in working for and ask about what type of training they require for entry level machinist jobs. Many machinists receive training at community colleges and technical schools. Once one is aware of what is required for a position, search for a program that will teach the relevant skills. Once a program has been decided upon and begun, one should seek out apprenticeships that will further their education and training.
Then, once an individual has become a machinist, they will be expected to read blueprints and look over specifications. They will need to be able to determine whether the metal or other material they are working with needs to be cut or bore, how quickly it will need to be fed into a machine and just how much of the material needs to be removed. They will also need to be able to determine the best tool for the job. Then, once all the planning has been done, they will be expected to successfully complete the process.
Choosing to be a machinist is a good choice for mechanically inclined individuals who posses a strong sense of attention to detail. Proper education or training is necessary to pursue this profession. A good resource for machinists and potential machinists is the National Tooling and Machining Association. This group can help you along the path towards becoming a machinist.