How to Become a CNC Machinist – 2024 Guide

We can honestly state that the manufacturing industry would not be the same without CNC machines and those who operate them. It’s almost impossible to describe the importance of these machines, as they select, cut, and provide the end products out of raw materials. Of course, this also means that experienced CNC machinists are also highly admired and wanted, and if you are interested in becoming one, we must add that doing so is not easy, but it’s more than possible, especially if you follow this guide.

Find a mentor


One of the best ways to become a CNC machinist is to take an apprenticeship in some company that already has a worker in this position. The role of that employee is to teach future machinists, supervise their work and eventually help them fix the errors and learn how to become better in their job. Apprenticeship is not an easy way to become a CNC machinist since it is necessary to spend more than 1560 hours learning, which you cannot finish in less than four years.

Get the certification

There are various programs that can help us to get our CNC certification, but it is necessary to know that it is impossible to become an expert in this field without practical work and by learning theory only. These programs usually last for about three years, and in that time, you will be trained to work with CNC machines. They are a combination of theoretical learning and training to operate with the machine, and in most cases, you will be ready to find a job right after you finish the program.

Don’t forget to practice


Even though the training period is demanding and time-consuming, sometimes one doesn’t feel that confident when operating these machines. Now, the more you practice, the more you learn, and the more you improve your skills, which is why buying your own engraving equipment can also benefit you. Namely, you can do wonders with a proper CO2 laser machine, and they are also great for practicing and learning, meaning the only thing left here is to find a reliable place that has a CNC machine for sale.

Improve the knowledge constantly

CNC machines are powerful tools that can do various things, and their usage is wide since they can be used in many industries. Because of that, it is never possible to learn everything about CNC machines since their usage is becoming even wider, and the only way to keep in touch with the latest trends is to improve your knowledge. Practice makes it perfect, and by constantly informing yourself, you will always be one of the best and most knowledgeable employees.


Be collaborative

One can have all the knowledge on how to operate a CNC machine and still be terrible at its job, as what’s a must for every CNC machinist is to communicate with others constantly. Great communication is the key here, which is why you need to communicate with programmers, supervisors, project managers, and other people on the production floor. Everything must be clear before you start, as everyone involved in the process must be familiar with what’s going on because it is the only way to avoid any errors.