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03-precision-machiningPrecision Machinists use many machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, grinders, and drill presses, to produce precision metal / non-metal parts. These parts must be made to exacting standards, and the machinist uses precision measuring instruments to ensure accuracy and that the parts meet quality guidelines. A machinist reads and interprets specifications and blueprints, calculates dimensions and tolerances, lays out their work and marks pieces for machining. Precision machinists often produce small batches or one-of-a-kind items. They use their knowledge of the working properties of metals and their skill with machine tools to plan and carry out the operations needed.

The job of the precision machinist combines mental ability with manual skills – to develop a project from a blueprint requires careful thought and an understanding of mathematics and design of work holding devices in conjunction with the engineering department, as well as good mechanical ability. You will be making one of kind items for research and development, tooling, fixtures and small run batches. You may be required to fit and assemble the machined metal parts and subassemblies, and verify their dimensions, strength and hardness.

Traits & Talents

If you like working with your hands and machinery, are able to follow instructions precisely and enjoy building things, you might be suited to a career in this field. As a machinist, you need good mechanical aptitude, ability to estimate and measure accurately, and you must be able to work independently at tasks where mental concentration is essential. You will work on many different types of machines. You should have good eyesight and hand-eye coordination, as well as the strength and endurance to lift heavy objects and stand for long periods. A basic understanding of the fundamentals of mathematics, metallurgy and mechanical drawing would be an asset.

The Workplace

The bulk of machinists are employed in the manufacturing industry, but many are also found in transport and trade, generally in maintenance or service capacities. They work mainly in tool rooms at metal fabrication and metal products manufacturing companies and machine shops. You will work with many different machines, use processes including welding, heat treating, grinding and be required to have a good working knowledge of mechanics, how things are put together and what makes them work. The work takes place indoors, in areas that can be noisy and dirty. The job requires a lot of standing and workers must be in good physical condition to lift and carry some heavy objects. The work schedule is generally set at conventional hours, although there is an increase in rotating shifts with occasional overtime to meet production schedules.

Related Occupations

  • Tool and Die Maker
  • Machining and Tooling Inspector
  • Machine Tool Set-Up Operator
  • CNC Machinist

Our Mission

To promote and engage Saskatchewan youth in skilled trades and technologies