Which Programs Will Prepare ME for Machine Operator Jobs?

Formal apprenticeships, certificates or associate degrees in machining could prepare you for jobs as a machine operator. Read on for the typical education requirements for machine operating technicians and some of the options you have for becoming a machine operator. Schools offering Machining & Manufacturing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Education Requirements for Becoming a Machine Operator

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that for many machine operator jobs, a high school diploma or its equivalent is all you need (www.bls.gov). However, increasing automation in manufacturing means that lower-skilled jobs are feeling the downsizing crunch more than those held by people with some education or training. You may have better job security if you complete a machining apprenticeship, earn a machine operator technical certificate or earn an associate's degree in machining.

Important Facts about This Field of Study

Common Course Topics Machine operators levels 1 & 2, CNC, system parts, machine shop measurements, fundamental coding, tolerances, blueprint reading
Programs Apprenticeships, certificates, associate's degrees
Online Availability Not readily available
Possible Careers Machine operator, material moving machinist, metal and plastic machine workers, manufacturer, aircraft mechanic, ship repairman, logger, new product designer

Machine Operator Apprenticeship Programs

Some of the best education you can get to prepare for a job as a machine operator is through job training or an apprenticeship. The BLS particularly points to this for more specialized machine operators, like machine workers who run grinding or pressing machines. Apprentice programs, which may be offered either directly from a company or through partnership with a school, blend 300-600 hours of formal classroom training with 2,000-4,000 hours of on-the-job training.

Machine Operator College Programs

Sometimes, particularly with computer-controlled CNC machines, machine operators may need more intensive formal education. CNC machine operators can receive a CNC operator technical certificate or an associate's degree in precision machining. An AAS in Machine Tool Technology program can also prepare you for a career as a machine operator. Programs offering training in computer-aided design (CAD), computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine operation and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) could give you the best preparation for long-term employment.

Machine Operator Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that the market for material moving machine operators would stay relatively the same over the 2012-2022 decade, and many machine operators are heading toward retirement. Therefore, jobs will likely remain open, particularly for skilled machine operators.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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