Machining Engineer

Machinists produce precision components from scratch using both traditional methods and high-tech equipment.

Careers information

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What do they do?

Machinists make metal parts using a range of traditional methods and high-tech equipment. Machinists are able to manufacture precision componentry by engineering various materials using a wide range of machining and hand processes; in both large and small volumes.


A typical day

Normally an eight-hour day; sometimes working longer may be required.

Each day can be quite different; machining work is varied and can include making and assembling metal parts.

Using Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machines, you could be making componentry in bulk or making small quantities of unique or special parts.


     Sound like you?

Study areas
Helpful experience
Preferred work environments
  • English or Media or History
  • Maths or Accounting or Economics 
  • Sciences or Workshop Technologies
  • Computing/ICT/Information Management
  • Strong eye for detail
  • Good literacy and numeracy
  • Good organisational skills
  • Good work habits/time management
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery
  • Working with computers
  • Inside (workshop or plant)
  • Different places from time to time


Career pathway

SchoolEntry level jobsAdvancing jobsSenior jobs

Ideally, NCEA Level 2 in:


  • Maths
  • Science (physics)
  • Technology (metal work)
  • English


  • Machining Engineer
  • Fitting and Assembly Work
  • Machine Shop
  • Fitter and Turner
  • CNC Programmer/Operator
  • Manufacturing Engineer


  • Specialist Engineer
  • Engineering Supervisor
  • Leading Hand
  • Workshop Supervisor
  • Welding Supervisor


  • Foreman
  • Site Supervisor
  • Business Manager
  • Business Owner
Unit/Achievement standards in schoolsApprenticeshipHigher learningHigher learning
Gateway programmes avaliable