Job Family: Mechanic and Repair Technologists and Technicians Machinists
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | Marine Corps  | Coast Guard  | National Guard

Supplemental Information
Profile  |  Career Path
Photo 1: Machinists take apart engine. Photo 2:
Machinist uses a milling machine.

Nancy Tita
Occupation: Machinist

I have enjoyed my 10 years on active duty. My Army career has provided me the opportunity to travel, meet different people, learn the latest techno…

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Short Description
Sometimes when engines or machines break down, the parts needed to repair them are not available. In these cases, the broken parts must be repaired or new ones made. Machinists make and repair metal parts for engines and all types of machines. They operate lathes, drill presses, grinders, and other machine shop equipment.


What They Do
Machinists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Study blueprints or written plans of the parts to be made
  • Use Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines, and Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) to fabricate, repair and modify metallic and nonmetallic parts
  • Cut metal stock using power hacksaws and bandsaws
  • Bore holes using drill presses
  • Shape and smooth parts using grinders
  • Measure work using micrometers, calipers, and depth gauges

Helpful Attributes
Helpful school subjects include math, general science, metal working, and mechanical drawing. Helpful attributes include:
  • Ability to apply mathematical formulas
  • Interest in making things and finding solutions to mechanical problems
  • Preference for working with the hands

Training Provided
Job training consists of classroom instruction, including practice in machine operation. Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses. Course content typically includes:
  • Machine types and uses
  • Machine setup and operation
  • Uses of different metals
  • Safety procedures
  • Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines, Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)

Work Environment
Machinists work in machine shops, which are often noisy.


Civilian Counterparts
Civilian machinists work for factories and repair shops in many industries, including the electrical product, automotive, and heavy machinery industries. They perform duties similar to military machinists.

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