The job of machinist is an entry-level position in the oil and gas industry that does not require a college education, and it is an ideal choice for people who enjoy working with their hands as well as their brains. However, it can require certification or completion of a technical school or college program, and/or the completion of an apprenticeship. The machinist works with lathes, drills, and/or presses to create special or custom parts for oil and gas equipment. This can equipment that cuts metal, plastic, or other special materials. In recent years, lathes have joined the digital revolution – they are programmed using a computer. For this reason, the machinist job has become more technical and require more training than in the past. The machinist’s job is an important part of oil and gas production, and machinists are often in demand.
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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of machinist jobs in the United States will grow at the slow rate of 7% between now and 2020, but this number includes machinists in all industries, not just the oil and gas field. The demand for machinists in the oil and gas industry may exceed that of other industries, due to the recent boom in extraction and excavation due to fracturing.
Machinists can work for large domestic oil and gas companies such as Conoco Phillips and Exxon, as well as small oil and gas producers and those outside the United States. Often, employers use temporary hiring agencies to fill these positions to make sure they fit the company and the position before hiring them as permanent employees. The need for machinists is all over the United States, including areas of high growth such as Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Alaska.
Did You Know? You should have excellent math skills or hone your skills to become a machinist. Even with today’s computer technology, there will be some calculations you will need to perform to measure and cut appropriate pieces. All apprenticeships and training programs include a focus on math skills.