Training Tips from PMI
For those that are interested in a career as a CNC machinist it is important to know that training doesn’t end after you have completed your CNC degree program. The CNC machinist role is one in which learning will continue throughout your career with new advancements in technology and new techniques being used.
How can a CNC machinist be successful?
There are several tips that a CNC machinist can follow to be successful. These tips will help current student not only in finding a job as a CNC machinist after completing their degree program, but also after they are employed as a CNC machinist.
CNC Training Tips – Learn the Basics
Of course with any vocation you must first learn the basics of the trade. Enrolling in and completing a degree program will allow you to learn the basics. You will learn not only hands-on skill from experienced CNC machinists, but you will also learn the fundamentals of the craft in a classroom-like setting. While it may be tempting to zone out when it comes to reading and writing, especially those that are more adept to focusing on hands-on learning, it is crucial that all aspects of the trade are studied and mastered for greater success.
CNC Training Tips – Research Companies
Research: Before completing your formal training it is recommended that you research companies that you may be interested in working for. Doing this serves multiple advantages. You can begin your research online and find out what they company produces and how they produce the product. You can also find out how successful the company is. In addition, you may be able to get a sense of the company’s culture to see if it would be a place where you would fit in. You can also look up job postings for the company and see what skills they are looking for. You may also get an idea of rates of pay for certain positions. Keep in mind that entry level positions for those with little or no real world experience are lower, so take a look at positions at mid-level or above to get an idea on growth potential within the company.
Tours: Once you have researched companies that you are interested in, find out if you are able to tour the facilities. This may require you to call and inquire with the company. This could be a challenging step in the process, but with persistence you may be able to get your foot in the door. This will also show potential employers that you are serious about your career path. When speaking to potential employers and/or exploring their facilities you do want to advise that you are a current student that is exploring different companies in the area, but do not bring up possible employment at this time. Doing so may deter the potential employer from being open to your visit. But do introduce yourself and if you like the company, then let them know you will inquire about opportunities with the appropriate sources when the time comes. Adding the fact that you toured the facility to your cover letter when applying for a job once you graduate will be a huge benefit to you as a potential recruit. You will also get to know some of the people working for the company who may remember you. Dress professionally during your tour (business attire, no jeans unless instructed to do so) and listen intently.
CNC Training Tips – Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor will not only help you in the process of becoming a CNC machinist, it can also help you for years to come. For any profession it is invaluable to find a more experience mentor to guide you during your career. A mentor can answer questions, teach you new skills, advise you on best practices, and help you decide what career path to take. You may find that your instructors may make great mentors, but keep in mind that there may be more students than instructors, so they may not have the time or resources to mentor every student. The mentor/mentee relationship should be formally established as well. You will want to inquire with a potential mentor in a straightforward manner advising the person that you admire their work and career and are interested to see if they would take you on as a mentee. Typical mentor/mentee relationships involve formal conversations at least once a month, since most people can squeeze in an hour or two once a month. You may have to do some work finding a mentor, but it is worth the effort once you do find one because they can provide you with needed guidance that can help you be more successful.
CNC Training Tips – Discover Your Specialty
CNC machinists learn a variety of skills such as:
- Basic blueprint reading
- Use of special measuring tools, such as calipers and micrometers
- Set-up, maintenance and operation of CNC machines
- Making impromptu tooling decisions
While all of these skills are important and must be learned, find one skill that you can master and then take a little bit further by learning more. Take for instance blueprint reading, while you will learn the basics of blueprint reading in school and even on the job, why not spend some of your off time learning to read complex blueprints? This skill will help you to be more valuable to your current or potential employers and also shows you are committed to your job. It is best to expand your learning on one of the skills that most interests you so that you don’t get bored or discouraged. As you learn more about a specific skill you may find that you get excited by the new information and want to continue to learn more. Mentors can also help facilitate your learning of or enhancing your current skills.
CNC Training Tips – Market Yourself
As with any career it is important to market yourself, but many don’t know where to start. First, you can market yourself by being dependable and ready to learn. While this may sound simple, it is the first step in showing others that you are a serious and committed individual. You can also market yourself by dressing the part, speaking the language of your trade and by helping others, whether in the classroom or in your day to day life. Later on you may want to market yourself to potential employers in other ways, but start with these easy and approachable ways to do so that can put you on the path to meeting new people in the industry and opening doors to your future.