Engineering craft machinist

Engineering
Produce

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would make metal parts and components for engines, appliances and medical equipment.

You’d follow engineering drawings and instructions. You’d use tools like grinders, millers, cutters, lathes, drills and presses to make the parts.

You would:

  • Choose and fit the correct machine tool for the job
  • Plan the different stages of the job following engineering instructions
  • Set the tolerance levels on the machine
  • Work out the cutting speeds
  • Place a pre-formed 'blank' part in the machine
  • Check the progress of the job
  • Check the quality of finished items

You’d use your maths skills to work out the cutting speeds taking into account the different strengths and properties of metals. Your work would need to be very accurate.

Increasingly, you are likely to use computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) machines for jobs. This involves programming instructions into a panel to control the cutting process.

Working conditions

Hours

You would usually work 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You might work on a shift system to cover 24-hour production, and overtime may be available.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Following instructions
  • Accuracy
  • Working with your hands
  • Using computers
  • Being physically fit
  • Working with numbers
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

You would do a Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering, Engineering and Manufacturing or Preforming Engineering Operations (SCQF level 5/6). 

Employers usually ask for National 4 or 5 qualifications. You usually need to pass an aptitude test to enter this apprenticeship. 

Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by many courses and employers) 
  • Science subjects, in particular physics (required by many courses and employers) 
  • English
  • Technologies subjects, such as engineering science

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show understanding and experience of the industry such as Skills for Work Engineering Skills (SCQF level 4).