Rising Demand for CNC Machinists

For more than a 100 years machines have been helping us make and create things faster than humanly possible. Even though technology has drastically changed how we use them, they’re still important and need skilled employees to operate them.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the U.S. manufacturing industry employed more than 19 million people during the 1980’s when manufacturing labor was at its peak. Since then it has dropped to as low as 11 million people, but in March 2017 it began to slowly rise to more than 12.4 million. The need for machinists is still present, but the skills have changed some since the 80’s.

Ever heard of CNC machines, lathes or millers? These are common terms to a machinist; a position which is becoming harder and harder to fill. Companies that make aerospace, medical device and automotive components, as well as many other parts, need machinists more than ever with the candidate pool shrinking for these careers.

Jobs such as CNC programmers, machine grinders/operators, welders and milling/lathe machinists are some of the positions companies are constantly searching to fill. In the past it took many people to make parts manually, but with technology advancements computers can do most of the work now.

A machinist’s job involves using hand and machine tools to design and fabricate metal materials to create parts. Although computers are great, only a human can design parts and operate the machines. In the past individual machinists made every machined part by hand on a manual lathe or mill. Now most machines are programmed by computerized numerical control or CNC machines and can make parts much faster.

A high school diploma is a must to obtain one of these roles, but experience is better than a degree in most cases. Companies are looking for candidates who can write and modify programs for CNC machines while troubleshooting problems.

Math and computer skills are a definite need in this industry, as well as the ability to read blueprints, pay attention to detail and accuracy. Familiarity or experience with horizontal lathes and millers utilizing CAD/CAM software is a necessity for most CNC programmer roles.

To get started on this career path it’s a good idea to take some courses and partake in an apprenticeship where you can get real experience. Once in with a company they will also give on-the-job training to enhance your skills and stay ahead of new technology.

The pay for these types of positions start anywhere from $20-$35 per hour depending on the role and experience level. Some positions are contract-to-hire, while some companies are looking for direct hires. If you like to design things and are a stickler for details, this could be the career for you.

Manufacturing employers are looking for top CNC Programmers who can program machines, set up and operate CNC lathes and millers while utilizing CAD/CAM software, as well as manual programming. You must be able to read blueprints and work to extremely close tolerances and fits. The pay for this position ranges from $28-35 per hour. Employers are looking for someone with three plus years of experience.

These are some of the top positions in the manufacturing industry Micro Tech Staffing Group is looking to fill as soon as possible. If you feel you or someone you know could be interested or qualified, please share or get in contact with Micro Tech Staffing Group today.


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