Are you thinking of boosting your machining career? Do you even know your options and where to start? Luckily, the manufacturing industry faces an ongoing workforce problem, and 4.6 million jobs will need to be filled by 2030.
This allows young individuals to improve their careers and find better-paying jobs. But before reaching this point, you must go through the necessary steps to ensure your professional success.
We have prepared some tips young professionals and students can apply to improve their machining careers, along with a better understanding of the manufacturing industry.
Go to a local machine shop
If you want to start a career in precision manufacturing, the best way to accomplish this goal is to go to a local machine shop. Don’t limit yourself to only one possibility. If there is a shop nearby, call them, send them an email, or pay them a visit.
Your goal here is to take full advantage and embrace all learning opportunities. Also, by visiting a local machine shop, you can establish professional relationships, see operational processes, and figure out the next steps that will further boost your career.
Spend some time learning GD&T
Do you know what this abbreviation stands for? Geometric dimension and tolerancing have been around since CNC machines appeared on the market, and it’s basically the main component of manufacturing.
Perfecting GD&T is a crucial step in your career, especially if you want to enter the production and programming side of precision manufacturing. Considering parts and relationships between features keep getting more complex, there isn’t much room for tolerance as engineers push the limits of what they can make.
Knowing this makes GD&T an important part of your career, especially if you start learning it early.
Whether you want to become a machinist, programmer, or engineer, there is a common piece of advice that combines all their experiences: never stop learning. Once you figure out how you want to explore the manufacturing industry, it’s important to become a student of the industry.
Anything from programming, automation, and material science, to methods and supply chain, it’s crucial to develop learning habits early on and always stick to them as your career keeps evolving.
Also, you could find relevant industry resources or develop a relationship with an expert who can teach you nuts and bolts.
Try manual machining
As technological advancement keeps impacting the manufacturing industry and with a diverse use of CNC machines in shops across the United States, people seem to be forgetting about manual machining, which wasn’t the case back in the 70s and 80s.
Nowadays, some people are skilled enough to work with manual machines and hold tighter tolerance than many graduate students who worked with CNC machines only.
Keep in mind that you can learn plenty of things, like material properties, feeds, speed, and improve overall level of expertise, that can boost your CNC turning service.
Learn machine tooling
If you want to become a design engineer, it’s important to turn your ideas into reality and start thinking from the machine side of things, like knowing all the tooling technology. The gap between materials and CNC machines is the tooling, and, in some cases, this could be the crucial aspect of solving an issue.
There are a lot of resources available that can help you perfect recent machine tool technology. In fact, you can get educational content from machine tool manufacturers directly to your mailbox.
Use social media
Don’t underestimate the power of social media. While many people spend their time on social media browsing through different pages and chatting with friends, this can be one of the greatest learning resources.
In fact, social media can provide you with plenty of information. For instance, if you are looking for machining and going through different videos on YouTube, you will be hit with ads about tooling. So, when you scroll through your Facebook or Instagram account a week or two later, instead of focusing on meaningless things, you can target specific pages to broaden your knowledge.
It doesn’t matter if you are discussing this topic on forums, watching videos on YouTube, or reading articles on LinkedIn; you get the picture that social media is a free, valuable resource that can help you advance your career.
Find a mentor
Even though there are many great resources online and across social media platforms, hardly anyone can replace a mentor. They will shorten your learning curve, teach you new techniques and ways of things, and show how you can progress in your machining career.
As you think about your machining career, consider which of these tips would be most useful to you. We hope some of them will guide you through your machining careers and show you how to speed up this process towards success.
About the Author:
Keith Coppersmith is a business and marketing expert who has experienced both the rise and fall of many businesses. As a regular contributor at BizzmarkBlog, he enjoys writing and providing insight of the industry based on both practice and theory.