What Does a Machine Builder Do?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 May 2017
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A machine builder, sometimes known as a machinist, is a person who assembles, repairs, and maintains machinery built for a variety of purposes. This person is usually employed in manufacturing or industrial settings, and he or she may create parts from scratch for a particular machine. The machine builder does not always need a high school diploma, but most employers prefer a builder who has completed at least a high school education. Other qualifications, such as an associate's degree or professional certificate, may be required as well, though many builders take part in an apprenticeship program instead.

The skills to use complex machinery to cut, shape, extrude, or otherwise manipulate materials are necessary to become a machine builder. Moderate math skills are also very important to the machine builder, as he or she will need to build parts to very specific criteria in order to create functional machines. Once the parts are made, the builder will need to assemble the machine and test its functionality. Over the course of the machine's life, the builder may need to perform routine maintenance as well as complex repairs to ensure the longevity of the machine.


A machine builder will spend a significant portion of his or her day standing, bending, or otherwise moving. The builder will need to be in good physical shape, and he or she must be capable of doing some heavy lifting, as many of the parts in a machine can be exceptionally heavy. Safety training will also be necessary, as working on machines can be dangerous. First aid and CPR training are often required for machine builders, and safety equipment such as goggles, hard hats, and ear plugs must be worn whenever a machine is running or whenever the builder is in the vicinity of a functioning workspace.


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