Those seeking machinist training typically learn via apprenticeships or on-the-job experience, though post-secondary programs exist that provide these professionals with certification in the field. Post-secondary training generally consists of two-year programs at local colleges and technical schools, because hands-on education works best in this highly skilled field.
Those wishing to become machinists after high school generally focus their high school classes on topics that prepare them for work in the field, including geometry, metalworking, drawing, trigonometry and computer science. Familiarity with cutting and measuring technology, along with various tools and their uses, prepare potential machinists whether they choose an apprenticeship or a post-secondary program.
Those seeking machinist apprenticeship programs may find them through local schools or businesses that focus on metalworking. These programs not only prepare potential machinists with the skills needed for expertise, they do so with a full-time wage and hands-on experience under the tutelage of skilled workers. Some of these programs combine classroom training in drafting, math and safety with use of basic equipment before moving up to more advanced machinery.
Post-secondary education at technical and vocational schools and community colleges typically provides those seeking machinist training with two-year programs that focus on the skills needed to excel on the job. These courses teach blueprint reading, how to take precise measurements, use of computer-aided machinery and operation of milling and lathe equipment. After graduation, however, those with associates degrees typically continue training on the job, with some seeking certification from various organizations to make themselves more attractive in the job market.