What Does an Aerospace Machinist Do?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2019
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An aerospace machinist is a person who fabricates components for aircraft engines. He or she will also assemble and repair such engines, depending on his or her specific job descriptions. A person who works as an aerospace machinist will need to complete a high school education and then either earn a college degree or certificate, or obtain an apprenticeship in order to get the job training necessary to perform this job. Some people choose to enter the military in order to get this job training, though this requires a significant commitment.

In order to be successful as an aerospace machinist, a candidate will need to develop math and science skills, as well as adequate communication skills. Manual dexterity is important as well, as the aerospace machinist will work with complex machines, bulky machine parts, and other materials necessary for engine construction and maintenance. A background in auto maintenance is helpful, as is an education in engineering. This job can be somewhat dangerous at times, as the aerospace machinist may work with large engines and have to lift heavy objects, stand on tall ladders, and reach into tight spaces.


Most candidates who pursue a career as an aerospace machinist will need to complete a college degree program or certificate program that teaches them the skills and techniques necessary to work on aerospace engines. Fluid mechanics, hydraulics, and machining skills will be taught during the program, as well as basic math and science skills. Once the candidate graduates from such a program, he or she is likely to take part in an apprenticeship program, which means working under the supervision and guidance of a more experienced machinist. This apprenticeship can last anywhere from one to five years, depending on the setting and specific job requirements.

Joining the military is another way to become an aerospace machinist. A new soldier can try to enter the field after basic training, at which point he or she will undergo classroom and on the job training to learn the skills required to work on helicopters, airplanes, and other aircraft. The soldier should be prepared to commit to the military for several years, and he or she should understand that a trip to a hostile area may be required. The job can be dangerous and stressful, but the right candidate can receive valuable job training with no tuition.


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