An example of a part that could be machined from a piece of steel

An example of a part that could be machined from a piece of steel

CNC Machinists and Tool & Die Makers typically learn in apprenticeship programs , in technical colleges, and also on the job



Machinists typically work in a quality driven environment while working with high tech machinery. They typically learn the trade on the job and in the classroom.

Some of the daily tasks of a CNC Machinist include:

  • Interpret part drawings and setup sheets to determine requirements to manufacture the part

  • Calculates and determines the correct speeds and feeds for the workpiece material being machined

  • Trouble-shoot machining issues and perform machine setups


  • Mathematical Skills - Ability to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and compute basic trigonometry functions while choosing the right methods to solve the problem

  • Reasoning Ability - Ability to use common sense understanding and solve problems

  • Oral Comprehension - Ability to listen and understand information spoken

  • Computer Literacy - Ability to use a computer and work with Microsoft Office programs

  • Mechanical / Technical Skills - Must operate lathes, mills, grinders and other computer controlled machines


  1. Get a Technical Degree – A solid educational foundation is a critical building block, you will make a lot more money in your career if you follow through with a Technical College education.

  2. Serve a State Sponsored Apprenticeship – This is an excellent way to learn the skills of the trade and climb the pay scale also. It also will ensure that you are viewed as a professional in your career. By finishing an apprenticeship and becoming a journeyman, you will be put in a position to make a good wage for the rest of your career.

  3. Never Stop Learning – Enroll in at least two specialized classes per year. It is an excellent way to build a great resume also, as it shows future employers that you are a dedicated career professional.

  4. Become Proficient in Working with Others – This is the most important factor of the six steps. You will have more opportunities presented to you if you have the ability to work with everyone effectively.

  5. Gain the Ability to Turn Manufacturing Issues into Career Opportunities - Some may look away from the major issues that hinder the shop. These are the challenges that build a great resume, so ask your boss how you can help fix the major issues they encounter throughout the shop.