Programmer

Job Description

    In an age of efficiency and growing customer demands, computer controlled equipment and the software that drives it provide businesses with the means to produce high tolerance designs in the most efficient manner. To be able to fully utilize the capabilities of current manufacturing technologies, companies need individuals who both understand the manufacturing processes and can program the equipment used to add value to raw materials.  Computers are used in almost every facet of modern manufacturing and virtually every production process uses computer controls in some fashion.  The skills needed to be able to program this equipment are very valuable to manufacturers and programming production equipment is a very lucrative career.

Primary Responsibilities

The job of a programmer is to:

  • Create software that drives production equipment to add value to raw materials
  • Improve and enhance existing computer software
  • Monitor production processes and making and documenting changes or improvements as necessary
  • Interpret blueprints (GD&T) Perform required job functions in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices as defined by the company’s Quality Management System

Educational Requirements

  • Understanding of manufacturing processes and how the computer controls are utilized 
  • Associate’s degree in some cases
  • Coursework to understand and develop a solid understanding of CAD/CAM software and the specific codes required by CNC equipment, Programmable Logic Controllers, and operating systems of automated systems.

Qualities Needed in this Career

  • Analytical skills
  • Concentration
  • Detail oriented
  • Troubleshooting skill

Salary

  • $58,000-$78,000 per year

More Career Information

Educational Opportunities

Machinist

Job Description

    Once a medical device product has gone through the design process and all the specifications have been defined, a prototype is created and inspected to ensure it is dimensionally correct and that it represents the intentions of the designer.  Often these prototypes are tested to ensure the product will meet the functional requirements desired in the finished product.  Once the design is confirmed, it is the role of the machinist to turn the design, as represented by a 3D CAD model and a 2D blueprint, into a finished product.  Individuals in these jobs are hands-on skilled employees who enjoy creating and building things. 

Primary Responsibilities

A machinist must be able to:

  • Read blueprints (GD&T), sketches, or CAD/CAM files
  • Understand the fundamentals of machining different metals
  • Operate and monitor manual equipment and CNC machinery
  • Shape metal into machined parts that match product specifications
  • Perform required job functions in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices as defined by the company’s Quality Management System

Educational Requirements

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Fundamentals of Metal Working
  • NIMS certification preferred

Qualities Needed in this Career

  • Analytical skills
  • Manual dexterity
  • Math and computer skills
  • Mechanical skills
  • Technical skills for measuring and evaluating machined devices

Salary

  • Entry level  $35,000 to $47,000 per year
  • Skilled  $46,000 to $62,000 per year

More Career Information

Educational Opportunities

Quality Inspector

Job Description

 During the process of taking a medical device from the drawing board to the market place, the product needs to meet quality standards and requirements. The role of the quality inspector is to ensure that the manufacturing processes has created a device that meets the design specifications as represented by 3D computer models and 2D blueprints.  To accomplish this, inspectors will use a variety of devices and inspection equipment to confirm the dimensional and surface integrity of products.  These would include but not be limited to: micrometers, calipers, gage pins, optical comparators, video vision inspection equipment, coordinate measuring machines, etc.   

Primary Responsibilities

A quality inspector will be responsible for:

  • Evaluating production process documentation
  • Performing inspections based on procedures developed by Quality Engineers
  • Inspecting products using defined inspection tools and equipment
  • Passing or failing a product or lot based on results obtained through required inspections
  • Recording data and preparing formal reports
  • Reading blueprints (GD&T)
  • Perform required job functions in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices as defined by the company’s Quality Management System

Educational Requirements

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Quality Inspector Certification (CQI)

Qualities Needed in this Career

  • Dexterity
  • Math skills
  • Mechanical skills
  • Good documentation practices and personal organization

Salary

  • $42,000-$57,000 per year

More Career Information

Educational Opportunities

 

Finisher

Job Description

    After devices are machined, the next stage in the process of making a medical device is finishing. The role of the finisher is to apply surface treatments to the product as required to meet the product specifications. This may include polishing, specific chemical treatments, coatings, etc. People in this job are hands-on craftsman who understand the importance of meeting strict specifications and guidelines.  

 

Primary Responsibilities

A finisher turns a product into its final product by:

  • Grinding, filing, or polishing metal surfaces using a variety of processes and equipment
  • Removing visual imperfections
  • Smoothing surfaces
  • Using a variety of surface treatment processes to achieve desired specifications
  • Reading blueprints (GD&T)
  • Laser marking
  • Cleaning and passivation of devices
  • Performing required job functions in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices as defined by the company’s Quality Management System

Educational Requirements

  • High School Diploma or GED

Qualities Needed in this Career

  • Excellent hand/eye coordination
  • Able to read and follow process specifications and blueprints
  • Good documentation practices and attention to detail
  • Able to work safely around various types of equipment and to follow good safety practices

Salary

  • $26,000-$34,000 per year

More Career Information

O*NET website at www.onetonline.org

Search under “Grinding and Polishing Workers, Hand.”

Educational Opportunities

Packager

Job Description

Once a product has been passed through final inspection, it must be prepared for shipment and delivery to the customer.  The role of a packager is to make sure that the product is protected in a manner, as defined by specifications, that it can be safely shipped to the customer and protected all the way to the end user.

Primary Responsibilities

A packager aids in the packaging process by:

  • Packing goods with protective materials as defined by a Packaging Engineer
  • Ensuring that all processes used to package and protect the product are functioning correctly 
  • Maintaining records related the products packaged and the condition of the processes used to package the product
  • Cleaning of work areas and maintaining an orderly work environment
  • Perform required job functions in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices as defined by the company’s Quality Management System

Educational Requirements

  • High school diploma or GED recommended

Qualities Needed in this Career

  • Ability to read and follow directions and specifications
  • Good documentation practices and attention to detail
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Listening skills

Salary

  • $20,000-$26,000 per year

More Career Information

  • “Occupational Outlook Handbook” at www.bls.gov/ooh/
    • Search under “Hand Laborers and Material Movers.”
  • O*NET website at www.onetonline.org 
    • Search under “Packers and Packagers, Hand.”