|Program Levels||Courses, certificate, and apprenticeship programs|
|Field(s) of Study||Welding, machining, or related fields|
|Prerequisites||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Program Length||1-2 years for most training programs; apprenticeships may vary|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Machine shop courses and training programs prepare students for work in machine shops that create precision parts for a variety of manufacturing applications. Students will gain familiarity with the tools and procedures needed to produce die cuts, small precision pieces, and stamped material.
Machinists generally do not need formal educational training beyond high school, though additional schooling may be beneficial as machining can be a highly competitive field. Most machinists complete a 1- or 2-year training program at a technical college or trade school. Some machinists may learn through apprenticeship programs or through informal on-the-job training.
Here are a few common concepts found in machine shop courses:
- Technical math
- Blueprint reading
- Elementary metallurgy
- Tool and die making
- Safe working habits
List of Machine Shop Courses
Machine Shop and Basic Tools is an introductory course that provides students with an understanding of the fundamentals of the duties of machinists. Students learn the use of basic hand tools, measuring tools and machine cutting tools. Many courses in basic machine shop cover the use of the five most commonly used machine tools: precision grinders, milling machines, lathes, shapers and drilling machines.
In the Materials for Machine Shop class, students learn about the molecular make-up of common materials used in machining. Specific materials studied may include polymers, ceramics and a wide variety of metals. Students will learn the effects that each machining technique has on particular material types. Specific topics covered may include smelting, refining metals, hardening techniques and material properties.
Welding courses taken as part of machine shop programs, may cover all aspects of welding or may be split into courses specific to different welding types. Students may study areas of oxy-acetylene welding, arc welding, brazing or flame cutting. This is a practical learning class where students complete welding projects in order to learn the different techniques and their applications. Additional topics covered may include burning patterns, creating plasma arcs and welding safety.
CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines are used to produce materials programmed from blueprints. In a CNC machine programming course, students learn how to operate CNC machines and how to program them to read blueprints. Students study operation techniques of the software and computer-aided tools designed to work with CNC machines. Students will most likely be tested on different machine codes, terminology, operations parts and operating techniques.
While machinists do not generally require formal training, aspiring machinists in school will take courses about materials used in the machine shop, the various types of welding, and CNC machine programming.