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Industrial Machining

Career Outlook:

Earning Potential:

Median: $47,940/year

Job Growth:

1% (Steady)


  • Introduction to machining technology and principles
  • Safety practices and procedures in machining
  • Reading and interpreting engineering drawings and blueprints
  • Precision measurement techniques and tools
  • Machining tools and equipment operation and maintenance
  • Metal cutting and shaping techniques
  • CNC programming and operation
  • Heat treatment and surface finishing of metals
  • Quality control and inspection techniques
  • Career exploration and job readiness
  • And more!

Program Overview

The Machining program at Collins Career Technical Center's Technology Academy is designed to provide high school students with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in machining. Students will learn how to use precision tools, such as lathes and milling machines, to shape metal and other materials into various forms, such as engine parts and machine components. The program covers a wide range of topics, including blueprint reading, measurement techniques, and computer-aided design (CAD) software. By the end of the program, students will have developed the technical skills and hands-on experience needed to succeed in the machining industry.

What do Machinists Do?

Machinists typically do the following:

  • Read detailed drawings or files, such as blueprints, sketches, and those for computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)
  • Set up, operate, and disassemble manual, automatic, and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools
  • Align, secure, and adjust cutting tools and workpieces
  • Monitor the feed and speed of machines
  • Turn, mill, drill, shape, and grind machine parts to specifications
  • Verify that completed products meet requirements

Machinists use lathes, milling machines, grinders, and other machine tools to produce precision metal parts. Many machinists must be able to use both manual and CNC machinery. CNC machines control the cutting tool speed and do all necessary cuts to create a part. The machinist programs instructions into the CNC machine to determine the cutting path, cutting speed, and feed rate.

Although workers may produce large quantities of one part, precision machinists often produce small batches or single items. The parts that machinists make include steel bolts, titanium bone screws, and automobile pistons.

Some machinists repair broken parts or make new parts that an industrial machinery mechanic discovers in a machine. The machinist refers to engineering drawings to create the replacement.

Some manufacturing processes use lasers, water jets, and electrified wires to cut the workpiece. As engineers design and build new types of machine tools, machinists must learn new machining properties and techniques.

Careers in this Field

Immediate Careers:

  • Machinist
  • CNC operator/programmer
  • Tool and die maker
  • Quality control inspector
  • Production technician
  • Manufacturing assembler
  • Maintenance technician
  • Mold maker
  • Aerospace technician
  • Prototype technician

Careers with an Associate's Degree:

  • Mechanical engineering technology
  • Industrial technology
  • Manufacturing technology
  • Computer-aided design (CAD) technician
  • Manufacturing management
  • Quality assurance specialist
  • Materials engineering technician
  • CNC programming and operations
  • Technical sales representative
  • Process engineering technician

Careers with a Bachelor's Degree or Beyond:

  • Mechanical engineering
  • Industrial engineering
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Aerospace engineering
  • Materials engineering
  • Product design and development
  • Technical writing and communication
  • Research and development engineer
  • Operations management
  • Technical consulting


Sam Nelson

Industrial Machining Teacher
High School

Bryan Ward

Construction and T&I Academies Supervisor
High School

The Details

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