Engineering Machinist Kaiwhakamahi Pūrere

Engineering machinists use machines to cut and shape precision parts and equipment. They create, install, maintain and repair metal products, including machinery and equipment in factories.

Engineering machinists may do some or all of the following:

  • study and interpret engineering drawings and instructions
  • design tools and equipment using computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • decide on suitable materials and working methods
  • measure and mark out materials for cutting
  • set and operate machines to cut and shape the materials
  • check measurements and weld parts together
  • test finished products.

Engineering machinists working in maintenance may also:

  • carry out maintenance checks on machines and diagnose faults
  • clean and repair machines and their parts
  • manufacture and install new machinery.

Physical Requirements

Engineering machinists need:

  • to be reasonably fit, healthy and strong as they may do heavy lifting
  • good hand-eye co-ordination and steady hands
  • good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses)
  • to be comfortable working in confined spaces and at heights as they may need to climb ladders and crawl around machinery.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for engineering machinists includes work:

  • using hand tools
  • with plastics, wood or metals, and woodwork and metalwork machinery
  • in an industrial workshop
  • as a labourer
  • using welding and sheet metal.

Personal Qualities

Engineering machinists need to be:

  • very accurate and patient
  • able to follow instructions
  • responsible and safety-conscious
  • good communicators
  • able to make good judgements
  • able to work well independently, and as part of a team.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for engineering machinists includes work:

  • using hand tools
  • with plastics, wood or metals, and woodwork and metalwork machinery
  • in an industrial workshop
  • as a labourer
  • using welding and sheet metal.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but maths, physics, 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-$80K 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 a supervisor or manager role, or move into areas such as product design, management or technical sales.

Engineering machinists specialise in one of the following roles:

Fitter and machinist
Fitters and machinists make machine parts for factories.
Machinist
Machinists make precision parts.
General engineer
General engineers carry out a wide range of maintenance work including welding and fabrication.
Maintenance Engineer
Maintenance engineers maintain and fix machinery and production lines in factories.
Toolmaker
Toolmakers make specialised tools, and moulds and casts (shapes which are filled), and dies (used to press out shapes) that are used to produce metal or plastic products.
Metal Former
Metal formers make products from molten metal.
Engineering Machinist

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