School of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology

Truax A2105
1701 Wright Street
Madison WI 53704

CALL: (608) 246-6800
or (800) 322-6282 ext. 6800

2125 Commercial Avenue
Madison WI 53704

CALL: (608) 243-4169
or (800) 322-6282 ext. 4169


Se habla Español.

Machinist Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship Completion

Program number: 504202


Work Description

Machinist MillwrightMachinists are skilled workers who can transform a block of metal into an intricate part, such as a gear or piston, that meets precise specification. They set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Many machines are computer numerically controlled (CNC), which means the machinist uses computers to direct the machine’s operation.

Working Conditions

Most machine shops are well lighted and ventilated. Machinists wear protective equipment, such as safety glasses to shield against bits of flying metal and earplugs to protect against machinery noise. They may stand most of the day and may lift moderately heavy work pieces.


  • 4-year training program
  • 7,888 hours of on-the-job training
  • 432 hours of paid related instruction
  • Additional hours of unpaid related instruction
  • Apprentice must complete the Transition-To-Trainer Course in final year of apprenticeship

Apprentices will learn the theory and skills to operate all the basic machinery found in a well-equipped machine shop, including lathes, drilling machines, metal cutting saws, vertical and horizontal milling machines, and surface and cylindrical grinders.

Learn more from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

Program Details

Machinist Apprenticeship classes may be offered at these Madison College campuses:

  • Madison - Commercial Avenue
  • Madison - Truax
  • Portage  

Explore financial aid eligibility for Machinist Apprenticeship.  

All courses for this program are offered only in person.


How to Apply

Machinist apprenticeships applicants must find an apprenticeship with a sponsoring employer on his or her own (similar to looking for a job). Once the applicant has found a position, the employer starts the apprenticeship registration process by contacting a Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards (BAS) Representative for their county. If your employer is in another county in the Madison College District, contact Debbie Schanke at (608) 246-3887.

Application Requirements

  • Entry requirements vary by employer
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Applicants apply directly to participating employers

Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2018-2019 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.

Current program students (including newly admitted), go directly to your Degree Progress Report (also referred to as an Advising Report or Academic Requirements) to view:

  • Progress toward your specific requirements
  • Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements

If you have questions after reviewing your report, please see Advising Services.

First Semester

Alternate First Semester Courses to Satisfy Machinist 1 (complete all)

Second Semester

Alternate Second Semester Courses to Satisfy Machinist 2 (complete all)

Third Semester

Alternate Third Semester Courses to Satisfy Machinist 3 (complete all)

Fourth Semester

Alternate Fourth Semester Courses to Satisfy Machinist 4 (complete all)

Fifth Semester

Alternate Fifth Semester Courses to Satisfy Machinist 5 (complete all)

Sixth Semester

Alternate Sixth Semester Courses to Satisfy Machinist 6 (complete all)


Madison College Machinist Apprenticeship graduates are prepared to do the following:  

  • Blueprint Reading – Understand and interpret the types of lines used on shop drawings and part prints; apply tolerances and symbols; identify threads, tapers, and machined surfaces; and develop good sketching techniques.
  • Bench Work – Identify mechanical hardware and hand tools, precision measuring instruments, part layout, threading with taps and dies, files, and hand and power saws, and practice general shop safety
  • Engine Lathe Operation – Basic lathe construction; single point tool geometry; high-speed and carbide tool applications; lathe operations, including, turning, facing, grooving, boring, drilling, reaming, threading, taper turning, knurling and cut-off; and safety
  • Tool-Room Milling Machine Operation – Vertical mill construction and operation, end milling, side milling, key ways, boring and counter-boring, drilling and reaming, and safety
  • Surface and Cylindrical Grinding – Basic construction and operation, wheel selection, work-holding methods and grinder safety
  • Metallurgy – Properties and applications of both ferrous and non-ferrous metals
  • Mathematics – Fractions, decimals, ratio and proportion, cutting speeds and feeds, basic algebra, geometry and trigonometry
  • Jig and Fixture Design – Describe the basic functions of jigs and fixtures, explain the difference between locators and supports, select appropriate clamping mechanisms
  • Computer Assisted Manufacturing (CAM) – Utilize CAM programs such as Feature-Cam to produce tool-paths for Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) lathes and milling machines.
  • Computer Numerical Control (CNC) – Set up and operate CNC lathes and milling machines using Computer Assisted Manufacturing tool-paths.
  • Electrical Discharge Machines (EDM) – Describe the principles of EDM operation, compare electrode materials, discuss electrode machining methods, determine flushing requirements, and relate spark frequency to surface finish and metal removal rates.