Stecker Machine Blog

CNC Machinist: Perfect Career for High School Students and Recent Grads

02/25/2022 | Rob Schmitt

Here’s a quick quiz for sharp, young minds: How many jobs can you name that fully train you, encourage career advancement, fit the busy lifestyle of a high-school-age person, and pay you a great wage from the day you start?

We can’t think of too many.

One that we know quite well is a CNC machinist, which may sound highly technical (and it is). Yet, it’s a traditional skilled trade that uses cutting edge technology to produce machined parts that are highly precise — cutting to 0.001” or about 1/4 the width of a human hair.

Entering a skilled trade during or after high school has never been more attractive. Have you seen the average yearly college tuition for a 4-year college in Wisconsin? It’s $8,697 per year (in-state tuition and fees; out-of-state jumps to over $25,000).1 It’s no surprise that the average student who borrows requires 20 years to pay off their student loan debt.2

In a previous article, we explained how A Career in CNC Machining Might Be Perfect For You (rewarding work, environment, variety, workflow, etc.). Today, we’ll explore how a job as a CNC machinist can evolve into a rewarding career for people in and after high school.


What is a CNC Operator?

09/21/2021 | Rob Schmitt

The metalworking industry needs more CNC operators. This rewarding career appeals to people who have a broad skill set: a good eye for detail, math, mechanical design, and the ability to read technical drawings. CNC operators use a combination of brains and hands-on work to properly transform a metal casting into a valuable working machined part.


What is a CNC Milling Machine? What Are Its Benefits for Customers and Machinists?

05/11/2021 | Rob Schmitt

The goal of modern CNC milling is to transform materials such as metal castings into finished, usable parts. That goal is only achievable by using incredibly precise CNC milling machines.

Computer software is the brains of a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling machine, controlling the machine and automating production to increase throughput with consistent quality. It’s this repeatability that makes CNC machining so efficient and so valuable to both customers and the machinists themselves (see “The Machinist’s Perspective” throughout this article.)