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Operation Next can prepare you for some of the most in-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing.

Computer numeric control (CNC)

CNC operators perform on computer-controlled machines or robots to produce or modify machined parts.

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  • 13,600 CNC job openings projected annually nationwide through 2028.

  • 146,000 People working as CNC Operators in the US.

  • CNC Operators can make up to $60,000 a year.

Job Description

  • Work with computer numeric controlled (CNC) heavy machinery from setup to operation to produce parts and tools from metal, plastic or other materials.
  • Translate the requirements of detailed part drawings into measurements for production.
  • Perform proper set-up and calibration procedures for all equipment and make sure machines are well-maintained.
  • Adjust the machine to control speed, material feed and path of the cut, as well as make sure the machines are set up properly, working well, and producing quality product.
  • Inspect the finished product to ensure it is both manufactured to defined design geometry and tolerances and is defect-free and ready for the next step in production.
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Industrial Technology Maintenance

Industrial technology maintenance mechanics keep machines in working order by detecting and correcting errors before the machine or its products are damaged.

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  • 37,800 ITM job openings projected annually nationwide through 2028.

  • 381,500 People working as Industrial Maintenance Mechanics in the US.

  • Industrial Maintenance Mechanics can make up to $78,000 a year.

Job Description

  • Read technical manuals to understand equipment and controls.
  • Disassemble machinery and equipment when there is a problem.
  • Repair or replace broken or malfunctioning components.
  • Perform tests and run initial batches to make sure that the machine is running smoothly.
  • Move machinery and equipment.
  • Detect minor problems by performing basic diagnostic tests.
  • Test malfunctioning machinery to determine whether major repairs are needed.
  • Adjust and calibrate equipment and machinery to optimal specifications.
  • Clean and lubricate equipment or machinery.
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Robotics Technician

Robotics Technicians build, install, test, or maintain robotic equipment or related automated production systems.

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  • 1,300 job openings projected annually nationwide through 2029.

  • 14,290 people working as Robotics technicians in the US.

  • Robotics technicians can make up to $93,000 a year

Job Description

  • Inspect installation sites.
  • Install new robotic systems in stationary positions or on tracks.
  • Modify computer-controlled robot movements.
  • Make repairs to robots or peripheral equipment.
  • Build or assemble robotic devices or systems.
  • Maintain inventories of production supplies such as sensors and cables.
  • Develop robotic path motions to maximize efficiency, safety, and quality.
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Welders use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.

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  • 48,800 welding job openings are projected annually nationwide through 2028.

  • 424,700 People working as welders across the country in 2018.

  • Welders can make up to $63,000 a year.

Job Description

  • Use hand-held metal joining tools to permanently join parts, as well as fill holes, seams, and indentations.
  • Understand blueprints and calculate dimensions.
  • Inspect materials and structures for quality of welds.
  • Keep their machinery and welding equipment in excellent working condition.
  • Understand metallurgy, some specialized math like trigonometry and some basic engineering.
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