Top-Paying Skilled Trades Jobs: CNC Machinist

Love working with your hands?

Want to earn a great living – without earning a 4-year college degree?

Working as a CNC machinist could be a great option! Here’s why:

  • There are few barriers to entry in the field. If you have a high school diploma and a willingness to learn, many employers provide on-the-job training to help you acquire the skills and experience you need.
  • CNC machinists are one of the top-paying skilled trades jobs, with 2017 median annual wage of $42,600.

What does a computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinist do?

CNC machine tool programmers develop programs to control machining, or processing of metal or plastic parts, by automatic machine tools like lathes, milling machines and grinders. Using blueprints, sketches, computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) files, CNC machinists set up, operate and disassemble CNC machine tools. They use these tools to turn, mill, drill, shape and grind machine parts to specifications, monitoring parts for quality.

Most CNC machinists work in machine shops, machinery manufacturing or transportation equipment manufacturing environments. The tools they work with may present hazards, so it’s important these workers follow precautions and wear required protective equipment (e.g., safety glasses, masks) to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses.

How can you become a CNC machinist?

If you’re interested in becoming a CNC machinist, high school courses in math, blueprint reading, metalworking and drafting are useful. While a 2-year community college or technical school program is helpful, you typically just need a high school diploma to begin training on the job. Many manufacturers offer apprenticeship programs to help you gain paid training and receive the technical instruction you need to work as a CNC machinist. Certification programs, such as those offered by the Manufacturing Institute, can improve your job prospects and earning potential.

Looking for CNC machinist jobs?

When you’re searching online, make sure to conduct related searches for terms like machine shop jobs, metalworking machinery jobs, aerospace parts manufacturing jobs and metal and plastic machine worker jobs.

Then contact PrideStaff. With offices across the nation, we’re the ideal career partner to help you find flexible and direct roles with leading manufacturing employers. Search skilled trades jobs here.