A machinist operates computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools, such as lathes and milling machines, to cut and produce precision parts for machines, instruments and tools. Machinists repair or produce parts using both manual and automated equipment with precise measurements. Essentially, a machinist’s goal is to ensure effective production operations and optimize procedures. A machinist typically works in manufacturing plants.

Jack Parton, Morrison CHS

Job Duties

  • Review samples, drawings or instructions to understand specifications of output
  • Take measurements and mark material for cutting or shaping
  • Plan the sequence of necessary actions for the completion of a job
  • Select appropriate machines (e.g. lathes) and position or load material for a job
  • Monitor machine while working to adjust the feed, maintain temperature and identify issues
  • Determine and program size of batches and speed of machine
  • Monitor output to ensure consistency with specifications and discard defects
  • Perform routine machine maintenance and repair minor damages




High School Diploma



Trade Certification


  • Vocational school or apprenticeship preferred
  • Great verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience in using and/or programming manual, semi-automated or automated tools and machines (lathes, grinders, etc.)
  • Ability to use precision tools (e.g. calipers) to take accurate measurements
  • Ability to read blueprints, schematics and manuals
  • Outstanding mathematical skills and analytical abilities


  • Mathematical skills
  • Technical expertise
  • Manual dexterity
  • Physical stamina
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time