Precision Machining

Precision Machining Instructor

Skills USA Advisor

Precision Machining offers the hands on skills you need to become a machinist.  The two main machines you learn to use are a Mill and a Lathe.  Skills USA offers opportunities to compete with others while learning the machinist trade at the same time.  

Machinists work on machine tools to make precision parts and instruments. They may maintain industrial machinery, using knowledge of mechanics, math, and metal properties.

Physical Demands   

This career requires time standing, walking, or running. 

Typical Work Tasks

People who work in this career often:

  • Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
  • Operate cutting equipment.
  • Operate grinding equipment.
  • Operate metal or plastic forming equipment.
  • Diagnose equipment malfunctions.
  • Exchange information with colleagues.
  • Assemble electromechanical or hydraulic systems.
  • Assemble machine tools, parts, or fixtures.
  • Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
  • Draw guide lines or markings on materials or workpieces using patterns or other references.


Typical Working Conditions

  • Wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, hard hats, or life jackets.
  • Having face-to-face discussions.
  • The importance of being accurate or exact.
  • Exposure to hazardous equipment.
  • Using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools, or controls.
  • Exposure to sounds or noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable.
  • Meeting strict deadlines.
  • Freedom to make decisions without supervision.
  • Working with a group or team.


Skills & Knowledge

 Most Important Skills for Machinists

  • Monitoring Equipment—Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.
  • Monitoring Performance—Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Operating Equipment—Using equipment or systems.
  • Thinking Critically—Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Controlling Quality—Testing how well a product or service works.
  • Coordinating with Others—Changing what is done based on other people's actions.
  • Reading—Reading work-related information.
  • Solving Complex Problems—Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Speaking—Talking to others.
  • Learning New Things—Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.


Most Important Knowledge Areas for Machinists

  • Mechanical—Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics—Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Production and Processing—Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Engineering and Technology—Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Design—Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • English Language—Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics—Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Education and Training—Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Building and Construction—Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Physics—Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.



Different careers may be a good fit for your personality or interests. This career is:

  • Realistic—Realistic careers involve working with practical, hands-on problems and solutions. People in these careers often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many realistic careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional—Conventional careers involve following set instructions and routines. People in these careers are often good with data and details. They have good organizational skills and like working in structured routines. There is usually a clear line of authority to follow.


Describe Your Skills

People who have worked in this career typically perform the following tasks. These statements can help a prospective employer understand what you can do, on a resume or during an interview.

  • Collecting information from different sources.
  • Controlling machines and processes.
  • Making decisions or solving problems.
  • Communicating with supervisors, co-workers, or people that work under you.
  • Handling and moving objects.
  • Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to find or fix problems.
  • Keeping up-to-date with new knowledge.
  • Compiling, calculating, tabulating, or otherwise processing information.