A Day in the Life of a CNC Operator
What You Can Expect From a Career in CNC Operaton
Breaking it down hour by hour gives those considering a career in CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining a better idea of what to expect once they jump into the field. While each day will undoubtedly be unique, and each job, person and company will contribute to that individuality, there are a few commonalities across many operator and machinist jobs. If you are interested in pursuing a career in CNC machining, you can get your professional future kickstarted with Lincoln Tech’s CNC Machining and Manufacturing Technology program.
Take a look at a day in the life of a CNC operator/machinist:
8:00 a.m. - Arrive at work after having a nice breakfast, energized for the day ahead. To start the day, you may conduct a pre-operations inspection to ensure that each machine is ready to be operated in a safe and efficient manner.
9:00 a.m. - After studying work orders and planning what needs to be done for the day, get started on your very first project. Get outfitted in all the necessary safety gear, then program the mills and lathes by entering instructions into the computers that run the precision machines. Set up the cutting tools correctly in the machine and establish tool offsets.
10:00 a.m. - Double check for accuracy and then run a test batch. Once the machine is set and ready to go, load raw materials into the machine. Maintain specifications by observing drilling, grooving and cutting tasks.
11:00 a.m. - Inspect the finished piece for accuracy and quality. Smooth edges and make any modifications. Complete production and quality logs.
12:00 p.m. - Head out for lunch with the crew. Possibly stop by a deli or sit down in the break room and enjoy your lunch while talking with co-workers.
1:00 p.m. - Start the afternoon with project number two. Change the settings for this specific project.
2:00 p.m. - Double check for accuracy once again, and then run a test batch. Load raw materials into the machine and watch the process to maintain specifications.
3:00 p.m. - Inspect the piece for accuracy and quality. Smooth out the edges and make any modifications. Complete production and quality logs.
4:00 p.m. - Meet with management to discuss customer feedback and expectations.
5:00 p.m. - After checking stock inventory and placing any required orders, head home after a day's work. Get a good night's rest so you are ready to tackle the next day.