What does a Machinist do?

Set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. May also fabricate and modify parts to make or repair machine tools or maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, metal properties, layout, and machining procedures.

Jobs Roles

  • Machine parts to specifications, using machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, shapers, or grinders.
  • Measure, examine, or test completed units to check for defects and ensure conformance to specifications, using precision instruments, such as micrometers.
  • Align and secure holding fixtures, cutting tools, attachments, accessories, or materials onto machines.
  • Monitor the feed and speed of machines during the machining process.
  • Lay out, measure, and mark metal stock to display placement of cuts.
  • Check work pieces to ensure that they are properly lubricated or cooled.
  • Operate equipment to verify operational efficiency.
  • Install repaired parts into equipment or install new equipment.
  • Advise clients about the materials being used for finished products.
  • Program computers or electronic instruments, such as numerically controlled machine tools.
  • Confer with engineering, supervisory, or manufacturing personnel to exchange technical information.
  • Dismantle machines or equipment, using hand tools or power tools to examine parts for defects and replace defective parts where needed.
  • Establish work procedures for fabricating new structural products, using a variety of metalworking machines.
  • Support metalworking projects from planning and fabrication through assembly, inspection, and testing, using knowledge of machine functions, metal properties and mathematics.
  • Confer with numerical control programmers to check and ensure that new programs or machinery will function properly and that output will meet specifications.
  • Fit and assemble parts to make or repair machine tools.
  • Design fixtures, tooling, or experimental parts to meet special engineering needs.
  • Prepare working sketches for the illustration of product appearance.
  • Install experimental parts or assemblies, such as hydraulic systems, electrical wiring, lubricants, or batteries into machines or mechanisms.
  • Set up or operate metalworking, brazing, heat-treating, welding, or cutting equipment.
  • Test experimental models under simulated operating conditions for purposes such as development, standardization, or feasibility of design.
  • Dispose of scrap or waste material in accordance with company policies and environmental regulations.
  • Separate scrap waste and related materials for reuse, recycling, or disposal.
  • Calculate dimensions or tolerances, using instruments such as micrometers or vernier calipers.
  • Set up, adjust, or operate basic or specialized machine tools used to perform precision machining operations.
  • Maintain machine tools in proper operational condition.
  • Study sample parts, blueprints, drawings, or engineering information to determine methods or sequences of operations needed to fabricate products.
  • Diagnose machine tool malfunctions to determine need for adjustments or repairs.
  • Evaluate machining procedures and recommend changes or modifications for improved efficiency or adaptability.
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