As a CNC machinist, you can be trained in a variety of different ways. You can attend a school, receive on the job training or work as an apprentice. The amount or the type of training that you will specifically need to perform adequately on the job will be determined by the type of CNC machining job that you are interested in.
There are different jobs that one could do that involve the CNC machining process. You can choose between programmers, entry level machinists, or a CNC set up operator. With each occupation comes a different set of educational basics and training basic that are needed to perform the job.
Entry level machinists may only require just a couple of weeks of training prior to beginning their career as an entry level CNC machine operator. Set up operators and programmers may require up to a couple of years of training before they can begin. The educational background for these two job positions need the requirements of algebra, trigonometry, blueprint reading, metalworking, computer programming, and drafting. These subjects are definitely recommended so that one can better their understanding and chances of becoming a CNC machine set up operator or CNC machine programmer.
The training for these positions will alternate between shop (hands-on) training and theory classes that include: safety, CAD software, blueprint reading, shop practices, physics, programming, etc. The students will actually start the training process on manual machines prior to learning on CNC machines.
Most people who train to become a CNC machinist do so through community colleges and vocational schools. There is a wide variety of training programs that are located throughout the world. You will learn the basics about CNC machining and how the computer software programming is directly related to the machine. Without one, the other will not work. The programmer has to right the program to the right specifications and coding so that the final product that is created by the machine is of the right specifications. One little mistake can throw the whole process off.
Operators should also learn how to make small adjustments to the programming just in case there is a small glitch in the system. This will help to save the company time and money. The program will only work with the machine if the set up operator performs the right steps that the job requires and gets the right tools into place and positions the material correctly. From here, the machine does the rest of the work.
Employers may also require that their employees receive additional training to update their skills as necessary. They also prefer to hire employees who have certifications, etc in fields that are directly related to the core knowledge of CNC machines. This means, computers, computer programming, etc. Now there is a national set of standards that is being developed to help to make sure that CNC machinists are qualified and have received proper training on these highly technological machines. By completely this curriculum, employers are more liable to hire you as an employee.