NOTE: The following description is a GENERAL Overview of this career and not a description of a particular job posting.
A shipyard Inside Machinist uses various machine tools (including lathes, milling machines, drill presses, and spindles) to produce precision metal parts in large quantities. Inside Machinists must carefully plan and prepare using blueprints or written specifications to calculate operations such as where to cut or bore into work pieces, how fast to feed metal into machines, how much metal to remove from work pieces, etc.. Many Inside Machinists use Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) cutting machines and precision measuring tools (such as inside/outside micrometers, venier calipers, dial indicators, depth micrometers, inside/outside calipers and thread gauges).
Some machining practices include:
- General turning and boring of parts on a lathe
- Thread cutting and tapping
- Taper turning
- Keyway cutting
- Laying out bolt circles to drill holes.
National Median Wages (2010): $18.52 hourly, $38,520 annual
VSRA Median Wage Report: $19.78 hourly
VSRA Machinist Trade Helper/Apprentice: $13.76 hourly
Most inside machinist careers require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, and/or an associate's degree.
Inside machinists usually need one or two years of on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be available.
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is typically required. Inside Machinists frequently work with computer-control programs, and therefore must have the ability to determine how automated equipment will cut a part. All Inside Machinists and will need a thorough knowledge of math, including trigonometry.