CNC stands for "computer numerical control". In today's manufacturing, these machines are everywhere, doing hundreds of jobs that used to be done by hand. A CNC machinist is responsible for making sure that the control units keep working properly time after time. You probably already have many of the math and computer skills that this job requires. A CNC basically controls the motion of the manufacturing equipment to go in either a straight line or in a circular or rotary path.
What kinds of machines could you find yourself working with? The list is a long one. CNC machining centers are programmed to perform all kinds of milling tasks. That includes drilling, tapping, boring, reaming and counter-boring.
CNC turning centers take metal and groove it, cut threading into it, turn, face, or bore it. And that's just for starters. Today's manufacturers are investing in the latest CNC laser equipment to do intricate cutting, time after time. And, CNC plasma cutters for amazing accuracy. And these same manufacturers are investing in people like you, offering jobs where you can really make it, with the right training.
And how much can you make as a CNC machinist? Median pay for this job is close to $40,000 a year. That's over $19 an hour, with overtime offered by employers depending on production schedules. The job outlook for this career is around 7% in the years to come or, you could make it as a CAM machinist. This stands for "computer aided manufacturing". In this job, machinist operators work with design engineers to get equipment up and running properly. Computer software is written to do one or a series of jobs, over and over, to produce identical parts. The machinist is responsible for making sure that everything goes according to specifications for that special operation, doing quality control checks and making adjustments when necessary. CAM machinists traditionally need more extensive training, and are compensated in their paychecks.
You can really be sure of having a life time career by training in a wide range of skills. CNC machines are used in almost every type of manufacturing today, from metal fabrication to woodworking. High quality, mass production of parts is critical to the success of businesses, especially those involved in making products for the energy industry. Getting in on the ground floor can help you make it in a field where jobs are available for workers with the right training and a big desire to make it BIG as a CNC or CAM machinist!