How to become a Machinist
Machinists play an integral role in the manufacturing industry, as they are responsible for operating and maintaining machinery used to shape and create components. If you have technical skills or have experience with machines, then this could be a fantastic business for you to start. Read on to learn more about how to get your machinist business off the ground.
Step 1: Learn about engineering and metalwork
Depending on your experience level, you may want to consider enrolling in a trade school program or apprenticeship where you can learn the necessary skills required to become a machinist. Operating machinery can be risky, so it’s important you get familiar with different types of machinery, and the safety protocols you should follow when using them. The more experience you have under your belt, the more confident you will feel, and the more likely clients will be comfortable hiring your business to do the job.
Step 2: Build your knowledge on materials
Having knowledge of common materials used in manufacturing processes such as metals, plastics, rubber and composites can also be beneficial when trying to find clients as a machinist. It’s also important to keep up to speed with new technology and developments in the field of engineering and metalworking. This will ensure that you are able to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. New technology can not only improve the efficiency of your operations, but also make your workplace safer.
Step 3: Join an industry group
Joining a professional body or union such as the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), Engineers Australia (EA) or the Australian Institute of Metalwork (AIM) will give you access to resources and networking opportunities that can help foster your business. Through these groups you can meet other machinists, build knowledge, and find work through the connections that you make. Often the first few clients that you pick up will be generated from relationships you create through these industry bodies.
Step 4: Find your suppliers
As a machinist, you’ll need to have access to a range of different materials and tools. There are several ways you can research potential suppliers, including online directories, industry trade shows, and referrals from other machinists or industry professionals. Once you have a list of potential suppliers, it's important to carefully evaluate them, taking into account factors such as the quality of the materials or tools they provide, their delivery times, and their prices. Once you have all the information you need, you can then make the right selection based on your requirements.
Step 5: Invoice your clients
Once you have experience of working with machinery, the right materials and suppliers, plus connections in the industry, you can start sourcing clients. When you pitch for work with clients, you’ll often need to provide a quote first. Thriday makes it easy to send quotes, and then convert them to invoices once approved. When your invoice is paid, Thriday provides automated income reconciliation. This means you don’t have to remember to check if someone has paid you, it’s done in the background. Thriday is a great tool for machinist who love their craft, but hate wasting time on financial admin.
Working in the manufacturing or trade industries as a machinist in Australia represents an exciting and financially rewarding business opportunity. With the right training, certifications, experience, and knowledge of industry trends, anyone with an aptitude for machine work has the potential to become successful in this field. If this sounds like something that interests you then why not take some time today to start finalising your plans to set up a machinist business.