CNC Swiss Machinist

Program laser-cutting machines with new designs.
picture of CNC Swiss Machinist

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$23,000 – $51,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do CNC Swiss Machinists do?

As gadgets like cell phones, surgical devices, and audio players get smaller and smaller, the metal pieces that go into them get smaller and more intricate as well. Companies wishing to save money look for ways to bend, drill, and scrape metal in one step, rather than farming each step out to a different piece of equipment. CNC Swiss Machinists run specialized equipment that can tackle this difficult work.

On a typical workday as a CNC Swiss Machinist, you’re given a set of drawings that detail the pieces you need to produce. You study those drawings carefully, and use your advanced knowledge to program and install the proper pieces in your machine so it can do its work. This is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, it often takes a CNC Swiss Machinist several working days to program his or her machine properly.

The next step is to load metal into it. You can load many pieces at once, which keeps you from stopping the run to get more raw materials. You then turn the machine on and run several test pieces. You examine these pieces closely, and if they aren’t quite up to snuff, you adjust the commands in your machine.

When the machine has been programmed properly and your test pieces have passed muster, you start the machine once more and allow it to run to completion. In some cases, you may start the run and leave for the night. When you return in the morning, your pieces will be complete and you can begin the next job. You may not be able to sleep well on these nights, though, as you worry that your machine will malfunction.


Should I be a CNC Swiss Machinist?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.

  • How to become a CNC Swiss Machinist

    Most CNC Swiss Machinists have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9fcaaa&chl=no+college+%2864%25%29|certificate+%2832%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|bachelor%27s+%281%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,64,64
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