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Top 10 Manual Machinist Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the top certifications for manual machinists, including the requirements, benefits, and cost.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are important for manual machinists because they demonstrate that the individual has a certain level of knowledge and experience in the field. They also show potential employers that the individual is committed to staying up to date on best practices and safety standards. Certifications can help manual machinists stand out from other job applicants, as they demonstrate a higher level of competency and expertise. In addition, certifications can lead to higher salaries, promotions, and job security.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Manual Machinists and explains how they can help enhance a manual machinist's career.

What are Manual Machinist Certifications?

Manual machinist certification is a type of certification that recognizes the expertise and proficiency of manual machinists in the field. Manual machinists are highly trained professionals who are responsible for operating and maintaining manual machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, and grinders. This type of certification is usually offered by trade associations, professional organizations, or educational institutions.

Having a manual machinist certification can be beneficial to both employers and employees. For employers, it provides assurance that the person they hire is qualified for the job and has received formal training in their field. For employees, it gives them an edge over other applicants when applying for jobs in the industry. Additionally, it can provide access to higher pay grades and better job prospects. It also serves as a form of recognition for those who have achieved a level of proficiency in their craft. Furthermore, having a certified machinist on staff can help businesses gain customers’ trust since they will know that the technicians working on their machinery are knowledgeable and experienced in their craft.

Pro Tip: Make sure to keep up with the latest certifications available for manual machinists. Many employers now require machinists to have certain certifications in order to be considered for a job. Stay informed about what certifications are needed for each position you apply for, and make sure to update your qualifications as needed.

Related: What does a Manual Machinist do?

Top 10 Manual Machinist Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Manual Machinists today.

1. Certified Production Technician (CPT)

Certified Production Technician (CPT) is a professional certification program designed to validate the knowledge and skills of those working in production and manufacturing environments. It is offered by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting excellence in the manufacturing industry. The CPT certification program is divided into four levels: Core, Advanced, Maintenance, and Quality.

The Core level focuses on basic safety and quality principles as well as problem solving and communication skills. The Advanced level covers more complex topics such as Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, and Automation/Robotics. The Maintenance level covers preventive maintenance and troubleshooting techniques. Finally, the Quality level covers inspection methods, statistical process control, and quality management systems.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete all four levels of the CPT certification program depending on your prior knowledge and experience. To get certified you must first register with MSSC online or through a local training provider who offers MSSC courses. After registering you will need to pass an online assessment for each of the four levels before taking a proctored exam for each one at an approved testing center.

The cost of the CPT certification program varies depending on how many levels you are taking and where you are taking it from but generally ranges from $500-$1000 USD per level plus any additional fees associated with proctoring exams or other services provided by MSSC or its authorized partners.

2. National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Machinist Certification

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Machinist Certification is a nationally recognized credential that verifies the knowledge and skills of machinists. It is designed to assess the competency of machinists in areas such as safety, quality control, mathematics, materials, and machine operations.

To get the certification, applicants must pass a NIMS-administered exam. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics related to machining processes and safety. The exam typically takes about two hours to complete.

In order to be eligible for the certification, applicants must have at least three years of documented experience in metalworking or a related field. They must also have completed an approved training program or apprenticeship program in metalworking or a related field.

The cost of taking the NIMS Machinist Certification Exam varies depending on where you take it and whether you are eligible for any discounts. Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $200-$400 per attempt.

3. Journeyman Machinist Certification

Journeyman Machinist Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates a machinist’s knowledge and experience in the field. It is typically awarded by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) or other similar organizations. To become certified, a machinist must pass both a written and practical exam.

The amount of time it takes to get Journeyman Machinist Certification depends on the individual's experience and ability to study for the exams. Generally, it can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to complete all of the requirements necessary for certification.

To get Journeyman Machinist Certification, an individual must first become an apprentice machinist and gain at least two years of experience in the trade. During this time, they must also complete NIMS-approved courses in areas such as safety, blueprint reading, and machine operation. After completing these courses, they can then take the written and practical exams required for certification.

The cost of Journeyman Machinist Certification varies depending on which organization is offering it and what type of materials are needed for studying for the exams. Generally, it can cost anywhere from $200-$500 to become certified.

4. American Machine Tool Distributors Association (AMTDA) Certified Machinist

The American Machine Tool Distributors Association (AMTDA) Certified Machinist is a certification program that recognizes the skill and knowledge of machinists in the United States. The certification is designed to ensure that machinists have a certain level of proficiency in their work, as well as an understanding of safety practices and regulations.

To become an AMTDA Certified Machinist, applicants must first complete a formal training program at an accredited institution. This program typically takes between two and four years to complete, depending on the type of program chosen. Once the training is completed, applicants must pass a written exam administered by the AMTDA.

In order to take the exam, applicants must submit proof of their training completion and pay a fee of $100. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as machine tool operation, safety practices, and other related topics. Applicants must score 70% or higher on the exam in order to be certified by the AMTDA.

Once certified, machinists are eligible for various job opportunities within the industry as well as discounts on tools and supplies from AMTDA-affiliated vendors. They also receive recognition from employers for their commitment to professional development and expertise in their field.

5. Master Machinist Certification

Master Machinist Certification is a professional certification program offered by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS). It is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary to perform advanced machining operations. The certification requires passing an exam that tests knowledge and skill in areas such as CNC programming, machine set-up, tooling selection, and fabrication processes.

The certification process typically takes about six months to complete. To get certified, applicants must first complete an application form and submit it along with their resume and any relevant education or work experience documentation. Once accepted into the program, applicants must pass a written exam covering topics such as safety protocols, machining principles, and quality control measures. After passing the written exam, applicants must then take a hands-on practical exam that tests their ability to set up machines correctly and operate them safely.

The cost of Master Machinist Certification varies depending on the applicant's location and other factors. Generally speaking, it can range from $200-$600 USD for the application fee plus additional fees for taking exams or purchasing study materials.

6. Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) Certification

Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) Certification is a professional certification program offered by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS). It is designed to recognize and validate the skills of technicians who work in advanced manufacturing fields. The AMT Certification Program is based on industry-developed standards that demonstrate a technician’s knowledge and proficiency in areas such as safety, quality control, production processes, and maintenance.

The AMT certification process includes an assessment of a technician's knowledge and skills through a combination of written tests, hands-on performance evaluations, and portfolio reviews. The certification process typically takes between three to six months to complete depending on the individual’s experience level.

To get AMT certified, individuals must first register with NIMS and pay a fee that covers the cost of testing materials and administrative costs associated with the program. Once registered, individuals will receive access to training materials and resources that are designed to help them prepare for the written tests and performance evaluations required for certification.

The cost of getting AMT certified varies depending on the number of certifications sought. However, most individuals can expect to pay anywhere from $500-$1,000 USD for the entire certification process.

7. Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Certification

Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Certification is a certification program offered by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). This certification is designed to provide industrial maintenance mechanics with the necessary skills and knowledge to maintain and repair industrial machinery.

The Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Certification program consists of four core modules: Electrical Systems, Mechanical Systems, Fluid Power Systems, and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). Each module consists of three levels of instruction: Core, Advanced, and Master. To become certified as an Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, individuals must complete all four modules at the Core level or higher.

It typically takes 4-6 months to complete all four modules at the Core level. However, it may take longer depending on how much time an individual has available to dedicate to their studies.

To get certified as an Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, individuals must register with NCCER and then purchase the training materials which are available online or in print form from NCCER's website. Individuals must then complete the required modules within a certain amount of time in order to receive their certification.

The cost for the Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Certification program varies depending on which materials are purchased and whether they are purchased online or in print form. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere between $500-$1,000 for all four modules at the Core level.

8. Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Operator/Programmer Certification

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Operator/Programmer Certification is a certification that demonstrates proficiency in the operation and programming of CNC machines. It is designed to prove that an individual has the necessary knowledge and skills to safely operate, program, maintain, and troubleshoot CNC machinery.

It typically takes between 6 months to 1 year to become certified as a CNC Operator/Programmer. To get certified, applicants must complete an approved CNC training program which includes both classroom instruction and hands-on experience with CNC machines. Upon completion of the program, applicants must pass a written exam administered by a professional organization such as the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS).

The cost of obtaining certification varies depending on the specific program chosen but can range from $200 - $1,000 USD.

9. Automated Manufacturing Technician (AMT) Certification

Automated Manufacturing Technician (AMT) Certification is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to work in the automated manufacturing industry. The certification is administered by the Association for Advanced Automation and Robotics (AAAR), an international organization dedicated to promoting and advancing automation technology.

The AMT Certification is a two-tier program, with each tier requiring different levels of experience and knowledge. The first tier is the Basic Level, which requires applicants to have at least three years of experience in the field of automated manufacturing. The second tier is the Advanced Level, which requires applicants to have at least five years of experience in the field of automated manufacturing.

To obtain either level of certification, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as safety procedures, troubleshooting techniques, programming concepts, and system design principles. The exam can be taken online or in person at AAAR-approved testing centers. It typically takes about two hours to complete the exam.

The cost of obtaining AMT Certification varies depending on which level you are seeking certification for. For Basic Level certification, it typically costs around $200 USD; for Advanced Level certification, it typically costs around $400 USD.

10. Precision Machining Technology Certificate

The Precision Machining Technology Certificate is a program designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to work in the precision machining industry. This certificate program typically takes one year to complete and consists of courses that cover topics such as metallurgy, machining processes, computer-aided design (CAD), and quality control. Students will also learn about safety practices and regulations in the machining industry.

To get this certificate, you need to enroll in a college or university that offers it. The cost of the program varies depending on the school you attend and whether you are taking classes online or on campus. Generally speaking, tuition for a one-year precision machining technology certificate is around $3,000-$5,000.

In addition to tuition fees, students may also be required to purchase textbooks, tools, and other materials related to the coursework. It is important to check with your school for exact costs associated with the program before enrolling.

Do You Really Need a Manual Machinist Certificate?

When it comes to manual machining, a certificate may not be necessary in order to get a job. However, having one can certainly help you stand out from the competition and make you more attractive to potential employers. A certificate shows that you have taken the time to learn the skills and techniques needed to become an effective manual machinist. It also demonstrates that you are committed to mastering your craft and improving your skillset.

Having a certificate can also give employers confidence that you are capable of handling their projects with precision and accuracy. It is important for employers to know that they can trust their employees with complex machinery, as mistakes can be costly. A certificate will show them that you have been trained properly and are up-to-date on industry standards for safety and quality assurance.

Finally, having a manual machinist certificate may give you access to higher paying positions in the field or even open doors into management roles within a company. A certification demonstrates that you are knowledgeable about the industry and have achieved an advanced level of skill in a specialized area of manufacturing. This could prove invaluable when it comes time for promotions or pay increases within the organization.

In conclusion, while a manual machinist certificate is not absolutely necessary for getting a job in this field, it can certainly give you an edge over other applicants who do not possess such credentials. Employers look favorably upon individuals who have taken the initiative to learn new skills and further their knowledge base in this area of work; having a certificate could make all the difference in securing your dream job!

Related: Manual Machinist Resume Examples

FAQs About Manual Machinist Certifications

1. What certifications are available for manual machinists?

Answer: The most common certifications available for manual machinists include the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Machining Level I certification, American Machine and Tooling Association (AMTA) Certified Machinist certification, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Certified Manufacturing Technologist certification.

2. How long does it take to become certified as a manual machinist?

Answer: It typically takes between 6 months and 1 year to complete the necessary training and testing required for a manual machinist certification.

3. How much does it cost to become certified as a manual machinist?

Answer: The cost of becoming certified as a manual machinist varies depending on the specific certification program you choose, but generally ranges from $500-$2000.

4. What are the benefits of being certified as a manual machinist?

Answer: Being certified as a manual machinist can lead to better job opportunities, higher wages, increased job security, and improved skills in operating machine tools and troubleshooting manufacturing processes.

5. Are there any online courses or resources available to help prepare me for my manual machinist certification exam?

Answer: Yes! There are several online courses and resources available to help you prepare for your manual machinist certification exam, such as NIMS Online Academy and SME’s Certification Preparation Course.