CNC machinists program, run and monitor computer-numeric-controlled machines, which are used to make metal tools and parts. They ensure that the machines are operating correctly and that pieces are cut to perfection. They also perform maintenance on the machines and replace dull or aged parts as necessary.
There are multiple ways to become a qualified CNC machinist. Some people take courses at community colleges, while others take apprenticeship courses offered by manufacturers or by their employers. Because people sharpen their expertise over time through trial and error, your CNC machinist job description should specify how many years of CNC experience you are seeking from candidates.
CNC machinists should be problem-solvers because they frequently troubleshoot problems and perform repairs. To that end, they should also be mechanically skilled and comfortable using CNC software. Keep reading to learn more about the characteristics you should list in your CNC machinist job description.
CNC Machinist Job Summary
Precision Tooling Associates seeks a CNC machinist to aid our company in its mission to deliver custom metal parts of superior quality at incredible prices. As one of our CNC machine operators, you will interpret client specifications, enter them into the CNC machine, set up the machine and monitor it as it operates. You will make critical contributions to our company’s reputation, ensuring the excellence of our products by following inspection protocols and detecting errors before products are released. You will report to plant manager Peter Wolfe and undergo training on specialized machines, such as plasma cutters and EDMs. If you desire, you may also eventually take on a leadership role as a shift manager.
- Determine the fixtures, attachments and tools necessary to complete jobs according to specifications, and mount them to machine prior to beginning cutting
- Discuss project specifications with engineers and supervisors to guarantee consistency between plans and products, and collaborate to modify designs when existing ones are not feasible
- Modify machine speed, tooling and cutting style to ensure precision and accuracy of manufactured parts
- Oversee cutting process, make adjustments throughout each job, catch mistakes as they happen and take necessary measures to eliminate errors
- Supervise machine temperatures, ensure that machine has adequate warm-up and cool-down time between jobs and replace coolant periodically
- Review and interpret cutting plans, enter them into control outlets before jobs and alter them to correct mistakes when necessary
- Inspect all finished products for accuracy and uniformity to ensure product quality and uphold company reputation
- Perform daily, weekly and monthly maintenance tasks to ensure machine longevity, including lubrication, cleaning and tool replacement
Job Skills & Qualifications
- High school diploma or equivalent
- At least one year of experience operating CNC machines
- Comfortable using tools and maintaining machinery
- Familiarity with programming and interpreting CNC software
- Strong troubleshooting and problem-solving abilities
- Values precision and enforces quality standards
- Ability to understand G-code
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CNC Machinist Job Responsibilities
The list of responsibilities in a computer numerical control machinist position should include the most common activities this job involves. Try to provide potential applicants with a sense of the abilities they will need to succeed. Jobseekers review the job responsibilities section of a CNC machinist job description when deciding whether to apply for an open position. The way that you present the duties of this role can encourage the most qualified candidates to submit applications.
A well-written bulleted list of approximately 6-8 points should be sufficient to convey a clear sense of this position. Don’t worry about listing every single task that you expect a machinist to do. Instead, prioritize the most important aspects of this position. Qualified applicants should be able to refer to this list of responsibilities in a CNC machinist job description to tailor their cover letters and resumes for this role.
Consider including the following CNC machinist job responsibilities:
- Use CNC modules to design materials based on blueprints or programmed command sequences
- Modify machines with attachments, fixtures or specialized tooling to achieve different production capabilities
- Set up and maintain machine operations, lubricate workpieces and replace dull cutting tools
- Monitor and adjust machine controls manually if programming proves inaccurate or machine is malfunctioning
CNC Machinist Job Specifications
The job qualifications and skills section in a CNC machinist job description can help to reduce the number of underqualified applicants for an advertised position. Set firm baselines regarding the required level of education, experience and specific abilities or skills. If you are not sure which specifications are firm requirements for a CNC machinist and which are only preferred, collaborate with management or lead programmers and designers to establish a clear set of expectations for the employee who will fill this position.
Begin this section with the most fundamental requirements for which there is the least amount of wiggle room. Any mandatory education or experience should come first. You can then go on to include any skills that could make success in this role easier but are not imperative. You may want to group preferred qualifications in a separate list beneath the major specifications in your CNC machinist job description.
Here are several CNC machinist job specifications that can attract qualified candidates:
- High school diploma, equivalent or post-secondary certification required
- Minimum of 1–2 years of experience working with CNC modules and machines
- Expertise with CNC calculating, computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software
- Basic programming skills preferred