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Skills Needed to Become a CNC Machine Operator

A CNC machine operator is responsible for programming and running industrial hardware. More specifically, most operate computer numerical control (CNC) machines to support the ongoing production of goods. In addition to their primary duties, CNC machine operators perform maintenance and repairs, uphold standards in both quality and safety, and ensure the availability of necessary supplies.

It’s a fast-paced, hands-on job that requires strong multitasking skills, keen attention to detail and the ability to interpret technical documents on a regular basis. Although the exact job description varies from company to company, most require a basic set of competencies. This includes:

  • Experience with a variety of machinery. Familiarity with a standard CNC machine is a requirement (unless they’re willing to train), but experience with other hardware is helpful, too. Mills, lathes, routers, and grinders are all relevant.
  • Mechanical know-how. Since you’ll be working with machinery that is prone to failure, it’s important that you’re able to troubleshoot and diagnose problems, repair faulty equipment and replace defunct parts, as needed. This also requires the ability to interpret today’s diagnostic utilities and familiarity with a wide variety of tools.
  • Excellent skills in mathematics. Modern computers have negated mathematics in many fields, but it’s a study that is still used in the typical CNC shop. Even if most of your work is done on a computer or calculator, you still need to know how to use and interpret concepts like decimals, fractions and similar equations.
  • Basic computer skills. Because much of the job utilizes modern computer systems, employers want CNC machine operators who already possess a basic knowledge of computers. Although some of these skills can be trained, companies who are looking for experienced employees will expect a certain level of familiarity with modern computers right off the bat.
  • Knowledge of production planning. This is something that is usually learned over the course of time. Entry-level machinists won’t have much knowledge of this discipline, but experienced operators are almost always expected to participate in production planning or, at the very least, understand how the process works.
  • The ability to work with variables. The role of the modern CNC machine operator is anything but consistent. Plans and standards can vary greatly between projects and, as a result, from day-to-day and even shift-to-shift. CNC workshops typically want workers who are able to make decisions on-the-fly and adapt to evolving expectations on a regular basis.

Finding a Job as a CNC Machine Operator with Mega Force

Here at Mega Force, we regularly have job openings for CNC machine operators. Depending on your level of experience, availability and location, we can get you started as early as today. Contact a top staffing agency in North Carolina immediately for more information on this job or details on similar listings in your area.


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