Over the last few months, our Manufacturing Spotlight series has highlighted professionals working in various roles throughout the manufacturing industry, and given readers a closer look at what careers in manufacturing really look like. The purpose of these conversations and articles is to give individuals who may be considering a career in manufacturing a realistic, no nonsense look at life in the industry.

In our previous installment, we spoke with Amanda LeBlanc, a CNC Machine Operator at Innovent Technologies, and graduate of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Expansion Program (AMTEP). For our latest installment, we spoke with another CNC Machine Operator at Innovent, Tim Larson.

Tim’s Career in Manufacturing

As a CNC Machine Operator at Innovent Technologies, Tim has a variety of responsibilities that he takes seriously. Being that Innovent is a company that manufactures parts for the semiconductor industry, an industry that reports revenues of over $450 billion annually, it’s fitting that Tim is serious about his work. But similarly to Amanda, what Tim enjoys most about the work is the fact that it is never too predictable.

“I do a lot of set up, first run work, machine operating and things like that,” Tim told us, “but it’s something different everyday. I’m always moving, always working on something different.”

A theme has emerged throughout all of our conversations with CNC Machine Operators; they love their jobs because the work isn’t boring. Rather than being trapped in a routine, a career as a CNC Machine Operator offers consistency without monotony. In addition to the work itself, there are a few other benefits that Tim expanded on.

“Making a liveable wage off a job you like to do is a great thing,” he said, “I was actually able to buy a house 3 or 4 months ago.”

For a married man with a child at home, the financial benefits of the industry, which include CNC Machine Operators making as much $36/hour in their third year on the job plus great benefits, are too good to pass up.

But how did Tim find his way into such a great position?

Tim’s Experience with the AMTEP Courses

Unlike some of the other manufacturing professionals we’ve spoken with for this series, Tim had a long-held interest in the industry.

“Coming out of school I heard manufacturing was a good sector to be in. Then when I heard about the (AMTEP) training program I knew it was a great opportunity.”

And a great opportunity it was. The Advanced Manufacturing Training Expansion Program (AMTEP) focuses on providing manufacturing training, at no cost, to unemployed, underemployed, and inexperienced career seekers in order to help those people move into fulfilling manufacturing careers. Since graduating almost five years ago, Tim credits much of his initial success and knowledge to the program. We asked Tim what it was about the program that helped him succeed.

“The manual training course is a really good introduction into machining. I graduated five years ago and I’ve been able to work my way up since.”

Throughout the conversations we’ve had with manufacturing professionals, most, if not all, have said they owe their success at least in part to the knowledge and skills they gained during the AMTEP courses. For Tim, a man in the midst of a successful manufacturing career, AMTEP is the perfect place to start, but hard work is just as important.

“You should absolutely enroll in the program, but then you need to be prepared to put in the work. It’s quite the commitment. But it’s worth it.”

Visit the AMTEP webpage to learn more about how you can enroll in the program and start your manufacturing career