CNC Machinist Job Description, Duties and Responsibilities

Updated on: December 1, 2019

Position Overview

Computer numerical control machines (CNC) are all the rage in the production/manufacturing arena, particularly in companies that manufacture metallic and non-metallic parts.

Of course, someone is needed to expertly run and maintain these machines so that they work optimally. CNC machinists are specially hired to do this as they are trained in operating CNC machines – for both conventional and special purpose fabrications.



Eligibility criteria to work as a CNC machinist is usually an associate’s degree from a college or a technical school – many CNC machinists are also hired if they have a high school diploma and some related experience.


A couple of years of experience working with CNC machines will make it possible for you to obtain an immediate position, owing to the skills you may have developed during this time.

Skills and Abilities

Physical ability is essential for people working as CNC machinists as they are often required to stand for long periods of time and work with their hands. Since one is exposed to moving mechanical parts, while at work, it is important for CNC machinists to be aware of what is happening around them constantly.

Reasoning ability, mathematical skills and ability to read and interpret sketches, blueprints and manuals is a prerequisite for this position.

If you are interested in working as a CNC machinist, you might find the following job duties interesting:

CNC Machinist Duties & Responsibilities

• Study work orders, sketches, drawings and blueprints to determine dimensions and tolerances that need to be programmed into CNC machines

• Program CNC machines according to data derived from sketches and drawings

• Plan efficient order cycles for each job fed into the CNC machine

• Ensure that the correct set of tools are chosen for each cycle and stage

• Load parts, operate controls, set offsets and handle simple edits to ensure that conformance standards are met

• Measure and mark dimensions and reference points on workpieces and materials

• Detect equipment/machine malfunction and handle adjustments

• Fabricate parts properly so that they meet quality control standards

• Plan stock inventory by ensuring that available stock is sufficient and order additional materials for subsequent projects

• Set up mills and lathes and load feed mechanism by lifting stock into position

• Maintain end product specifications by ensuring that drilling, grooving, and cutting activities are handled according to set standards

• Detect malfunctions, troubleshoot processes and adjust and reprogram controls to meet the varying needs of the fabrication process

• Perform preventative and regular maintenance work on CNC machines and related tools