How to Become a CNC Machinist in Washington

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How to Become a CNC Machinist in Washington

Exploring new career opportunities?

Ponder the path of a CNC machinist in Washington.

This field has emerged recently, gaining notable traction.

Undoubtedly, acquiring the necessary training and education is imperative before embarking on this vocational journey.

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Let’s delve into the essential steps required to pursue a career as a machinist in Washington.

CNC Machinist Job Description

Firstly, let’s demystify CNC – an acronym denoting Computer Numerical Control.

Within this realm, machinists operate computer-guided machinery tailored for precise metal or plastic cutting.

Typically, these encompass lathes, mills, and grinders.

To fulfill their daily duties, machinists undertake a spectrum of tasks including:

  • Machine setup,
  • Programming,
  • Calibration,
  • Blueprint interpretation,
  • Quality assurance checks to ensure parts meet exact specifications.

CNC Machinist Job Requirements

To excel in this role, candidates must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Attainment of a high school diploma
  • Sustaining a GPA of at least 2.5
  • Attaining a relevant degree or certification
  • Accumulating practical experience
  • Demonstrating proficiency in essential competencies

For detailed insights into the requisite skills, please refer to the FAQ section below.

Becoming a CNC Machinist in Washington

You should take some steps so that you achieve your dream of becoming a CNC Machinist.

Step 1 – Education

Firstly, your educational journey begins with completing high school.

However, obtaining a GED is also a viable alternative if a traditional diploma isn’t attainable.

Yet, it’s important to recognize that your educational pursuits don’t conclude there.

You’ll need to transition to post-secondary education, where acquiring a certification or degree becomes imperative.

Stay tuned as we unveil a selection of schools that may pique your interest later on.

Step 2 – Experience

Though frequently underestimated, this phase bears considerable weight, as acquiring experience sans certification or degree can prove daunting.

Enrollment in programs offering such credentials frequently opens doors to apprenticeship opportunities.

Within these apprenticeships, you’ll glean priceless insights from seasoned veterans in machine operations.

Moreover, it’s noteworthy that apprenticeships often come accompanied by financial compensation.

Step 3 – Earn The NIMS Certification

This credential is granted by the National Institute of Metalworking Skills.

Encouragingly, this certification doesn’t have a finite expiration date, as clarified on the NIMS FAQ page.

Moreover, the official website emphasizes that there’s no fee associated with taking the online exam, and you’re allowed multiple attempts.

Securing this accreditation could potentially pave the way for enhanced earning opportunities.

Step 4 – Apply for a Job

Once you’ve successfully completed your apprenticeship, you can embark on your quest for employment.

You’ll need to proactively seek out job opportunities within your local area.

There’s also a possibility that the institution where you underwent training and secured your apprenticeship may offer assistance in locating suitable positions.

CNC Machinist Training in Washington

Given the specialized skill set and knowledge required for a CNC machinist, the optimal route to acquire them is through dedicated training.

Let’s explore the avenues where you can access suitable training for this endeavor.

Shoreline Community College

This college offers a machinist course that will help you develop your skills and get a license.

The CNC Machining program provides classes on Fridays from 4 – 8 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 am – 5 pm.

It spans 60 college credits and extends over nine months.

The CNC Machining program is conducted at the college’s Georgetown Campus in Building A.

Suppose you haven’t secured funding before commencing the CNC program.

In that case, we encourage you to participate in a Start Next Quarter (SNQ) funding workshop to ensure that funding is arranged, or at least initiated, before the program begins.

This workshop is designed to assist students in maximizing tuition coverage.

Machinists Institute

This institute is for those who prefer to learn by doing.

As such, it offers 5 apprenticeship programs to choose from, all being registered.

The institute has 3 locations across the state:

  • Tokwilla
  • Spokane
  • Vancouver

Through the apprenticeship, those participating will:

  • Receive a living wage
  • Gain experience
  • Have the possibility of advancement

Apprentices will complete 2,000 hours of on-the-job training as well as 144 hours of theory classes.

School Name Address
Shoreline Community College Georgetown Campus 6737 Corson Ave South Building A, Room 122 Seattle, WA 9810
Machinists Institute 10838 E Marginal Way S, Tukwila, WA 98168
Machinists Institute 8304 N Regal St. Spokane, WA 99217
Machinists Institute 5700 E 18th St, Vancouver, WA 98661

CNC Machinist Salary in Washington

So, you will now learn how much you can get paid in Washington.

On average, CNC machinists earn around $54,360 per year.

Keep in mind that your salary will vary based on where you live and how much education you have.

You can check out the table below for additional info on salaries in this state.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Kirkland $55,900
Seattle $55,900
Seahurst $55,880
Kenmore $55,879
Renton $55,850
Sammamish $55,770
Issaquah $55,710
Edmonds $55,329
Kingston $55,130
Duvall $55,100

Regional Salary in Washington

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bellingham, WA170$53,110$25.54$73,010$38,310
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA340$66,070$31.76$80,870$47,260
Kennewick-Richland, WA120$62,960$30.27$95,870$40,240
Longview, WA120$57,830$27.8$72,340$40,190
Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA230$59,560$28.63$76,460$40,560
Olympia-Tumwater, WA70$53,460$25.7$64,750$38,310
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA4,080$66,050$31.76$87,970$45,050
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA590$53,060$25.51$70,250$37,400
Wenatchee, WA160$48,420$23.28$63,590$35,960
Yakima, WA180$48,040$23.1$63,830$34,900
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Machinists, OCC Code 51-4041, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to continue my education as a CNC machinist in Washington?

Precision machining is an evolving field, with new methods of doing this being added all the time.

If you want to keep up with the times, it’s best to continue your education.

Can I get a higher paying position in this field in Washington?

Of course!

This occupation is stable but also allows climbing the career ladder.

What’s more, machinists can get hired for many different positions related to their training.

Which type of training is better for a CNC machinist in Washington?

It depends and it only comes down to your preferences and how you learn better.

If you learn faster by doing, then you should consider an apprenticeship.

If you learn better through a structured program and in a classroom, then choose that route.

USA CNC Machinist by State

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