Turner/Miller Careers

How to become Turner/Miller

What does a Turner/Miller do?

A turner/miller works with a variety of machine tools, ranging in size from small machines mounted on workbenches to large production machines. They produce precision-engineered products in the manufacturing and production engineering industries. Turners/millers work primarily with metals, producing anything from tiny screws to giant turbine rotors. Among the machine tools used in this work are:

  • turning machines (lathes and boring mills)
  • shapers and planers
  • drilling machines
  • milling machines
  • grinding machines.
The basic machine used is the lathe. Many of its features are incorporated into the design of the other machine tools. The turner sets up the material to be worked on then rotates it at speed whilst continually adjusting the lathe's cutting edge to strip away excess metal to precise specifications. Lathes can also be used to bore holes and create internal threading.

Millers work with milling machines to produce smooth flat surfaces, and also to cut and grind gear teeth.

A lot of work is now carried out on computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines designed to speed up production. These automatic machines are set up by skilled craftsmen/women and operated by machinists. See CNC Machinist.

What's the working environment like working as a Turner/Miller?

A normal working week is 39 hours. Shift-work including nights and weekends is common. Overtime may be available.

Larger factories are normally clean and well-lit; smaller workshops may be cramped. Safety equipment such as protective footwear, overalls and ear protectors would normally be required. Standing for long periods whilst working is a common feature of the job.

What does it take to become a Turner/Miller?

As a turner/miller you should:

  • have practical ability
  • have good eyesight
  • have good hand-to-eye coordination
  • be able to understand engineering drawings and instructions
  • be able to work with great accuracy
  • be able to calculate cutting speeds and times
  • have an understanding of the strengths and other characteristics of materials
  • have some keyboard and computer skills
  • be able to concentrate for long periods
  • be aware of health and safety issues.

Turner/Miller Career Opportunities

Most openings are in general engineering, but some are in the motor, aerospace and shipbuilding industries. Some turners and millers work on the maintenance side, for example for electricity generation companies in power stations. You can progress to supervisory positions within a section or workshop.

CNC machines are now used for mass production of machined parts, and most employers prefer to train multi-skilled employees rather than specialists.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Turner/Miller that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance)
14 Upton Road
WD18 0JT
Tel: 0808 100 3682

The Engineering Careers Information Service (ECIS)

Engineering Training Council (Northern Ireland)
20-24 York Street
BT15 1AQ
Tel: 028 9032 9878

Facts and Stats:

  • 4,076,000 people work in manufacturing in the UK, making it the nation''s top occupation
  • Brazil is the top coffee-producing country in the world, producing 1,653,020 tonnes a year
  • Chicago has more chocolate manufacturers within a small radius than any other place in the world

Similar careers