Skip to main content
Menu menu

Machinists are highly skilled individuals who use machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines and machining centers, to produce precision machined parts.

Precision Machinists produce small batches or one-of-a-kind items. They use their knowledge of the working properties of materials and their skill with machine tools to plan and carry out the operation needed to make a variety of products that meet precise specifications.

Working Conditions

Today, most machine shops are relatively clean, well lit and ventilated. Many computer-controlled machines are partially or totally enclosed, minimizing the exposure of workers to noise, debris and the lubricants used to cool work pieces during machining. Nevertheless, working around machine tools presents certain dangers and workers must follow safety precautions. Machinists wear protective equipment, such as safety glasses to shield against bits of flying metal and earplugs to dampen machinery noise. They also must exercise caution when handling hazardous coolants and lubricants, although many common water-based lubricants present little hazard. The job requires stamina, because Machinists stand most of the day and, at times, may need to lift moderately heavy work pieces. Modern factories extensively employ autoloaders and overhead cranes, reducing heavy lifting.


  • Entry requirements vary by employer
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Applicants apply directly to participating employers

Terms of Apprenticeship

  • 4-year training program
  • 7,888 hours on-the-job training
  • 432 hours paid related instruction
  • Additional hours of unpaid related instruction
  • Apprentice must complete the Transition-To-Trainer Course in final year of apprenticeship

Get Started

To become a machinist apprentice you need to find an employer who will sponsor you. Each company has its own requirements for entry into the apprenticeship program. Once you have a sponsor, your employer will contact the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards who will create an apprenticeship contract between you and your employer.


For questions about electrical and instrumentation apprenticeships or the application process, please contact Stephanie Haka at, or Job Center, 364 Grand Avenue, Wausau, WI, 54403.