Job type

CNC machinist

£20k - £30k

Typical salary

42 – 44

Hours per week

Computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinists make precision parts for the engineering and manufacturing industries.

More info

  • Make precision parts for the engineering and manufacturing industries
  • Option to move into quality inspection or become an engineering technician
  • Most jobs will require you to wear protective overalls, boots, goggles and ear defenders

CNC machinists make precision parts for the automotive, power, aerospace and manufacturing industries. You'll work with metals, wood, composites and plastics, and CNC tools like lathes, cutting machines, drills and presses.

DAY-TO-DAY DUTIES

  • Programming the CNC machine tool with data taken from technical drawings
  • Working out the most efficient order to carry out machining tasks
  • Choosing the right tools for each stage
  • Setting the cutting speeds and tolerance levels
  • Operating the machine
  • Checking the work meets quality and technical standards
  • Maintaining equipment

DAY-TO-DAY ENVIRONMENT

You'll spend most of your time in a factory or workshop, operating and monitoring the machines. For most jobs, you'll wear protective overalls, boots, goggles and ear defenders. Your working environment may be noisy.

You'll need

This role is ideal for someone with the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools, and the ability to work on your own.

A common way to get into this career is through an intermediate apprenticeship as an engineering operative or advanced apprenticeship in engineering manufacturing.

You could also do a college course to learn some of the practical engineering skills that employers want. Relevant courses include level 1 Certificate in Performing Engineering Operations, level 1 Certificate in Engineering and Manufacturing and level 2 Certificate in Mechanical Engineering.

CAREER PROSPECTS

With experience and further training, you could move into a supervisory role. You could also move into quality inspection or become an engineering technician.