What Does a Machinist Do?

Machinists are a pivotal part of manufacturing, engineering, and assembly lines. With the growing emphasis on manufacturing and production, understanding a machinist's role can help you decide if this position could be the right fit for you.

What is a Machinist?

A machinist is a skilled professional who operates and maintains various machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. These parts range from simple bolts to complex components used in advanced machinery. Machinists work with metals, plastics, and more, transforming them into final products through cutting, shaping, drilling, and grinding processes. 

Machinist work is about more than just operating machinery; it also requires an understanding of the intricate details of the blueprints and designs they are working from. The machinist role combines technical know-how, manual dexterity, and creativity.

Read More: How to Write a Resume for Machinist Jobs

Primary Responsibilities

Interpreting Blueprints

The machinist’s role begins with understanding the plans for the piece they’re making. They must read and interpret technical drawings, schematics, and blueprints to determine the specifications of the final product.

Setting Up Machinery

Machinists must set up machinery according to the specifications of the project at hand. This might involve choosing the appropriate tools, setting the speed of the machine, and ensuring all safety measures are in place.

Operating Tools

A machinist crafts parts to the precise specifications outlined in the blueprints using machine tools like lathes, milling machines, and grinders. This requires a steady hand and a deep understanding of the materials they are working with.

Quality Control

After producing a part, machinists will often inspect their work using precision measuring tools. They'll check for accuracy, ensuring the piece meets design specifications and quality standards.


Regular maintenance of the machinery is crucial. Machinists will frequently clean, oil, and inspect their tools and equipment to ensure they remain in top working condition.


If a machine malfunctions or a piece doesn't meet specifications, it's up to the machinist to identify the problem and find a solution. This often requires creativity, technical knowledge, and experience.

Finding a Machinist Role

For those interested in pursuing a career as a machinist, opportunities abound. Manufacturers, engineering firms, and other industries continually search for skilled machinists to contribute to their operations. Vocational schools often offer training programs to equip students with the necessary foundational skills.

Machinists play a crucial role in the world of manufacturing and engineering. Their blend of technical expertise, manual skill, and problem-solving prowess makes them invaluable assets in the production process. If you've ever marveled at a precisely crafted component or tool, you have a machinist to thank.

Read More: How to Find Machinist Jobs Online

If you're a candidate looking to enter the field, consider partnering with a staffing and recruitment agency specializing in manufacturing and trade positions. They often have access to many opportunities and can match your skills with the right employer.

You can contact a recruiter like Strom Engineering for a more specialized approach. If you want to make things easier on yourself, reaching out to a recruiter is the best route. A recruiter will lay out your options based on what you want with your job. They’ll then connect you with a company that correlates with your wants and needs, creating a smooth and easy job-searching process.

Need more help looking for a Machinist position? Check out what Strom Engineering has to offer, with all sorts of jobs at the tip of your fingers!

Strom hires seasonal, temporary, and long-term employees for top companies in manufacturing. Browse our open jobs by industry to get started.

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Strom Engineering is a national staffing and recruitment agency, with a particular focus on manufacturing, engineering, assembly, and other trade positions. We match skilled candidates to temporary or project staffing positions. Learn more about how it works and check out our case studies for more information.