Engineering Machinist Kaiwhakamahi Pūrere

Engineering machinists create, assemble and repair metal products by interpreting designs, measuring metals, and operating machines to cut and shape them.

Engineering machinists may do some or all of the following:

  • interpret engineering drawings and instructions
  • measure and mark up materials for cutting
  • operate machines to cut and shape the materials
  • weld parts together
  • test finished products
  • design tools and equipment using computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • clean, maintain and repair machinery.

Physical Requirements

Engineering machinists need to:

  • be reasonably fit and strong 
  • have good hand-eye co-ordination and steady hands
  • have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses)
  • be comfortable working in confined spaces or at heights.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for engineering machinists includes:

  • work using tools or machines
  • manual labour
  • welding.

Personal Qualities

Engineering machinists need to be:

  • accurate, efficient and organised
  • safety-conscious
  • able to work well in a team
  • good at communicating
  • reliable and hardworking.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for engineering machinists includes:

  • work using tools or machines
  • manual labour
  • welding.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required to become an engineering machinist but maths, physics, English and construction and mechanical technologies to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.

For Year 11 to 13 learners, trades academies and the STAR and Gateway programmes are good ways to gain relevant experience and skills.

These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.

Engineering Machinists can earn around $39K-$44K per year per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Engineering Machinist are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Engineering machinists may progress to work:

  • as supervisors or managers
  • in product design or technical sales.

Engineering machinists usually specialise in one of the following roles:

CNC Operator
CNC operators program computers to make metal parts at a very fine level of detail.
Fitter and Turner
Fitters and turners make parts for factory machines and equipment.
Fabricator
Fabricators cut, bend and weld together sheets of metal to make metal products.
General Engineer
General engineers do a wide range of maintenance work, including welding and fabrication.
Machining Engineer
Machining engineers make parts that require a high level of precision. They use a mix of computer, machine and manual skills.
Metal Casting Engineer
Metal casting engineers produce parts from molten metal.
Maintenance Engineer
Maintenance engineers maintain machinery and production lines in factories.
Toolmaker
Toolmakers make dies (which press shapes out of metal) and moulds (which can be filled with liquid metal). These are used to make everyday items.
Engineering Machinist

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