Nowadays the CNC machine operator is one of the most sought positions in the job market.  Modern machine operators are required to master old school machining techniques combined with an extensive knowledge of technical drawing and software programming.

The following list highlights the top 5 skills that a modern CNC machine operator should master to succeed at his job.

1. Attention to detail

A good operator has to be able to interpret 2D engineering drawings, visualize them in 3D and understand how to transform the drawing into a precise part by giving the right inputs to the machine.

To do so, the CNC machinist needs to have, or develop a good eye for detail and make sure that everything is set up correctly and accurately.

2. IT and math skills

In order to transform the drawing into a real object, the operator is required to use Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software. This requires a good level of IT and math skills.

3. Practical skills

A good CNC machinist is also a practical machinist. The make a CNC machine work, the operator is expected to have a good understating of how the machinery works.

4. Problem-solving

Working with computer and modern technology generally entails encountering technical issues from time to time. When these problems arise, the operator needs to have a can-do attitude and try to rectify the problem.

5. A desire to become an expert

As in any other technical position, a desire to become an expert in the positions is necessary to succeed. CNC machining is a highly technical craft, which requires a combination of skills and engineering knowledge. Good operators must be willing to constantly learn and update their knowledge, as the technology changes quickly.


The constant evolution of technology, in particular of automation and AI, is leading employees and employers to assume that future jobs will require fewer skills than before. This is not necessarily true. As the software and equipment become more technical, more sophisticated operators will be required, especially to rectify problems and perform maintenance tasks.

Original Source