Profession lathe and turning machine operator

Lathe and turning machine operators set up, program and tend lathe and turning machines designed to cut excess metal from a metal workpiece using a hardened cutting tool moved by computer-controlled motors. They read lathe and turning machine blueprints and tooling instructions, perform regular machine maintenance, and make adjustments to the lathe controls, such as the depth of cuts and the rotation speed.

Would you like to know what kind of career and professions suit you best? Take our free Holland code career test and find out.

Personality Type

  • Realistic / Conventional
  • Realistic / Investigative


  • Statistical process control

    Method of quality control that uses statistics to monitor processes.

  • Trigonometry

    The subdiscipline of mathematics which explores relationships among angles and lengths of triangles.

  • Geometry

    Branch of mathematics related to questions of shape, size, relative position of figures and the properties of space.

  • CAE software

    The software to perform computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis tasks such as Finite Element Analysis and Computional Fluid Dynamics.

  • CADD software

    The computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) is the use of computer technology for design and design documentation. CAD software replaces manual drafting with an automated process.

  • CAD software

    The computer-aided design (CAD) software for creating, modifying, analysing or optimising a design.

  • CAM software

    Different tools for computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) to control machinery and machine tools in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation as part of the manufacturing processes of workpieces.


  • Interpret geometric dimensions and tolerances

    Understand and assess the models and symbolic language of the GD&T system indicating engineering tolerances.

  • Apply control process statistical methods

    Applies statistical methods from Design of Experiments (DOE) and Statistical Process Control (SPC) in order to control manufacturing processes.

  • Dispose of cutting waste material

    Dispose of possibly hazardous waste material created in the cutting process, such as swarf, scrap and slugs, sort according to regulations, and clean up workplace.

  • Use CAD software

    Use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation of a design.

  • Read standard blueprints

    Read and comprehend standard blueprints, machine, and process drawings.

  • Use automatic programming

    Utilise specialised software tools to generate computer code from specifications, such as diagrams, structured informations or other means of describing functionality.

  • Operate precision measuring equipment

    Measure the size of a processed part when checking and marking it to check if it is up to standard by use of two and three dimensional precision measuring equipment such as a caliper, a micrometer, and a measuring gauge.

  • Use CAM software

    Use computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programmes to control machinery and machine tools in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation as part of the manufacturing processes of workpieces.

Optional knowledge and skills

manufacturing of metal assembly products electrical engineering non-ferrous metal processing manufacturing of doors from metal types of metal maintain mechanical equipment inspect quality of products manufacturing of steel drums and similar containers manufacturing of weapons and ammunition monitor stock level types of metal manufacturing processes supply machine with appropriate tools cutting technologies procure mechanical machinery manufacturing of metal structures tend computer numerical control lathe machine ferrous metal processing provide advice to technicians manufacturing of metal household articles mark processed workpiece manufacturing of tools manufacturing of light metal packaging manufacturing of heating equipment keep records of work progress manufacturing of metal containers program a cnc controller work ergonomically manufacturing of steam generators record production data for quality control liaise with managers mechanics manufacturing of door furniture from metal manufacturing of cutlery