How to Be Production Machinist - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

The demand for production machinists has increased significantly in recent years due to the advancement of technology and the need for more efficient and cost-effective manufacturing processes. As a result, machinists are now expected to be highly skilled in computer numerical control (CNC) programming, tooling and machining operations, 3D printing, as well as other modern manufacturing processes. This increased demand has led to more available job opportunities with better wages and benefits, making it an attractive career choice for many. The role of production machinists is also essential to the overall success of the manufacturing industry, as they play a major role in ensuring quality assurance and productivity in the production process.

Steps How to Become

  1. Obtain a High School Diploma or GED. Most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent in order to become a production machinist.
  2. Complete a Vocational Education Program. Vocational schools and technical colleges offer programs for machinists. These programs typically last two years, and are designed to teach students how to safely operate the various machines used in production.
  3. Get On-the-Job Training. Many employers offer on-the-job training programs for machinists. These programs can last anywhere from a few weeks to a year, and will provide the student with invaluable hands-on experience.
  4. Obtain Certification. In some states, machinists must obtain certification in order to work in the field. Contact the state board of licensing to learn more about the requirements for becoming certified.
  5. Participate in Continuing Education. Machinists should stay current on new techniques and technologies in the field by participating in continuing education courses. This will help them remain competitive in the job market.

In order to stay ahead and capable as a production machinist, it is important to focus on continuing education and training. This can include attending classes and seminars, reading industry publications, and staying up-to-date on the latest advances in machinery and technology. Keeping a close eye on the competition and understanding the industry trends can also help production machinists stay one step ahead of the game.

staying organized and well-prepared for the tasks at hand is key to staying ahead in the field. Making sure that tools and materials are properly maintained and stored will help maintain productivity and efficiency, as well as minimizing costly errors. Finally, having a strong work ethic and dedication to safety protocols will help production machinists stay competitive in the industry.

You may want to check Quality Control Machinist, Laser Machinist, and Tool and Die Machinist for alternative.

Job Description

  1. Set up and operate a variety of machines to produce precision parts and instruments.
  2. Monitor the feed and speed of machines during the machining process.
  3. Inspect parts with precision measuring tools.
  4. Modify parts and materials to improve overall production.
  5. Troubleshoot problems with production equipment.
  6. Perform routine maintenance on machines.
  7. Calculate dimensions and tolerances using knowledge of mathematics and instruments such as micrometers and calipers.
  8. Maintain and keep records of approved and scrapped parts.
  9. Create a safe work environment by following all safety procedures.
  10. Work with supervisors and other personnel to ensure quality standards are met.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Knowledge of machine shop operations, including tooling and machining processes
  2. Ability to interpret blueprints and engineering drawings
  3. Proficiency in the operation and maintenance of a variety of machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, grinders and power saws
  4. Ability to select and use cutting tools and gauges for precision machining
  5. Knowledge of safety procedures and precautions related to machine shop operations
  6. Ability to accurately calculate the dimensions of finished parts
  7. Knowledge of the properties of various metals and other materials
  8. Proficiency in operating computers and software for programming, setting up and monitoring machines
  9. Knowledge of quality assurance procedures and standards
  10. Understanding of production scheduling and inventory management principles

Having a strong set of technical and mechanical skills is essential for any machinist. The ability to read and interpret blueprints, to understand the principles of operation of machines, and to troubleshoot problems is paramount. Without these skills, a machinist will not be able to effectively produce parts or components with the precision and accuracy required.

In addition, a machinist must have a firm grasp of mathematics, especially trigonometry and geometry, in order to calculate angles, distances, and lengths in order to accurately measure and shape materials. Finally, the ability to use a variety of tools and machines, such as lathes, drill presses, milling machines, saws, and grinders is important for creating parts and components with the highest quality. All of these skills are essential for a production machinist in order to efficiently and safely produce parts and components within established tolerances.

Assembly Machinist, Prototype Machinist, and Welding Machinist are related jobs you may like.

Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have working with production machinery?
  • How would you troubleshoot a problem with a machine?
  • Describe a time you had to work quickly and efficiently to meet a deadline.
  • What safety protocols do you follow when working with machines?
  • What experience do you have reading blueprints and other technical documents?
  • How do you keep up with the latest advancements in technology related to production machinery?
  • What methods do you use to ensure high quality and accuracy when working with a machine?
  • How have you handled difficult customer requests in the past?
  • Describe a time you had to make an important decision while working with a machine.
  • How would you enure the safe operation of machinery?

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Lathe. A machine used to shape metal and wood by cutting, drilling, and grinding. (e. g. CNC lathe)
  2. Milling Machine. A machine used to cut and shape materials like wood, metal, and plastic. (e. g. CNC milling machine)
  3. Drill Press. A machine used to create holes in materials like wood, metal, and plastic. (e. g. radial drill press)
  4. Grinder. A machine used to sharpen, smooth, and shape materials like metal and plastic. (e. g. belt grinder)
  5. Saw. A machine used to cut through materials like wood and plastic. (e. g. table saw)
  6. Welder. A machine used to join two pieces of metal together using a welding process. (e. g. MIG welder)
  7. Press. A machine used to press two pieces of material together using high pressure. (e. g. hydraulic press)
  8. Punch Press. A machine used to punch holes in materials like metal and plastic. (e. g. turret punch press)
  9. Bender. A machine used to bend metal and other materials into various shapes and sizes. (e. g. tube bender)
  10. Router. A machine used to cut grooves, slots, and other shapes in materials like wood and plastic. (e. g. CNC router)

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA)
  2. Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)
  3. Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT)
  4. International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)
  5. The Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International (FMA)
  6. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  7. Metalworking & Manufacturing Association (MMA)
  8. National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS)
  9. International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS)
  10. Machine Tool Technologies Association (MTTA)

We also have Machine Operator (Machinist), Lathe Machinist, and Manual Machinist jobs reports.

Common Important Terms

  1. CNC Machining. A subtractive manufacturing process that uses computer-controlled cutting tools to remove material from a pre-programmed block of metal or plastic to create a part or product.
  2. Tooling. A variety of cutting and forming tools used to shape and machine metal or plastic parts.
  3. Fixture. A device used to secure a part or tooling to a machine bed for repeatable cutting and machining operations.
  4. Lathe. A machine tool used to shape metal or plastic parts by rotating the part against a cutting tool.
  5. Drill Press. A machine tool used to drill holes into metal or plastic parts with a rotating drill bit.
  6. Milling Machine. A machine tool used to shape metal or plastic parts by cutting away material with a rotating cutter head.
  7. CAD/CAM. Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software used to design and manufacture parts and products.
  8. Part Program. A set of instructions used to program a CNC machine to produce a specific part or product.
  9. Quality Control. A process of inspecting parts and products for defects and ensuring they meet quality standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Production Machinist?

A Production Machinist is a skilled tradesperson who operates machine tools to produce precision metal parts and components.

What tools do Production Machinists use?

Production Machinists typically use a variety of tools such as lathes, milling machines, drill presses, grinders, and CNC machines.

What is the typical job outlook for a Production Machinist?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Production Machinists is projected to grow 6% from 2019 to 2029.

What qualifications are required for a Production Machinist?

Production Machinists typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and may require technical certificates or certifications in machine tool operation and maintenance.

What are some common tasks of a Production Machinist?

Common tasks of a Production Machinist include reading drawings or instructions to determine job specifications, setting up and operating machine tools to produce parts or components to specification, and measuring, inspecting, and testing the accuracy of finished parts.

Web Resources

  • Production Machinist 10542 - Piedmont Technical College
  • Production Machinist (Full Time & Part Time) 10965 | Expires: …
  • Machinist | Ogden-Weber Technical College
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