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CNC Operator

Vocational Qualified

A CNC Operator is a highly skilled, creative thinker with exceptional computer skills and the ability to visualise three-dimensional problems.

In a modern manufacturing workspace, a CNC Operators will use computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) systems for programming multi-axis milling and turning machines for creating parts from engineering raw materials, such as metals, plastics and composites.

A CNC Operators will be expected to have strong computer skills and practical problem-solving skills to work with engineers and designers to create a wide variety of technical parts.

A CNC Operators will have a significant contribution to the community with the parts they are able to create using modern manufacturing technology.

“CNC Operating allows me to be hands-on whilst still learning a lot through computer-based technical drawing” – Grace, Mitchell Plastic Welding

Average age
1 %
1 %
full time
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Tasks for this role

  • Studying drawings and specifications to determine suitable material, method and sequence of operations, and machine settings

  • Fitting fabricated metal parts into products and assembling metal parts and subassemblies to produce machines and equipment

  • Checking fabricated and assembled metal parts for accuracy, clearance and fit using precision measuring instruments

  • Setting guides, stops and other controls on machining tools, setting up prescribed cutting and shaping tools and dies in machines and presses, and setting controls for textile machines

  • Forming metal stock and castings to fine tolerances using machining tools to press, cut, grind, plane, bore and drill metal

  • Cutting, threading, bending and installing hydraulic and pneumatic pipes and lines

  • Preparing pattern mechanisms to control the operation of textile machines used to spin, weave, knit, sew and tuft fabric

  • Diagnosing faults and performing operational maintenance of machines, and overhauling and repairing mechanical parts and fluid power equipment

  • May erect machines and equipment on-site


  • Medium skill level
  • Below Average Unemployment
  • Practical and Administrative
  • Medium/Heavy/Very Heavy physical demand

Education Pathways

  • To become a CNC machinist you usually need to gain an apprenticeship in the engineering trade and complete the relevant VET qualifications. Employers usually require a junior secondary school certificate or equivalent. You would receive on-the-job training once you start work.

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