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Day in the life of a CNC machinist in Finland

Picture of Barona employee Maria Duca.
Maria Duca Palarie Barona
Picture of Jaroslav enjoying his free time in Finland.

Jaroslav Slíž from Slovakia is working as a CNC machinist in Finland through Barona. What is a day at work like for a CNC machinist in Finland? Read more in our interview.

Where are you currently employed? How did you end up working in Finland?
Currently, I am working in a company that manufactures various types of chains, sprockets, and attachments for a diverse range of industries. I learned about working in Finland through a friend who recommended working there and your Barona agency. I chose Finland mainly because I’d never been to the Nordic countries, and I like being outdoors a lot.

How did you get the CNC job? Have you worked in a similar position before?
I had worked as a CNC machinist for 6 years before getting this job in Finland. It was the highest-paying job in the town where I lived.

Did you need to have any special training before you started the job? Or an apprenticeship?
Actually no. I was lucky that they taught me everything on the job. I worked with the foremen, with the lathe, milling machines, and so on.

Day of a CNC machinist

What is your day like as a CNC machinist in Finland?
Right after arriving (on time!) to work, I first check all the machines to ensure they have all the fluids they need, like lubricating oil. I carefully check if they’re in order, turn them on, and wait a while until they’re up and running and the first piece is produced. I have to measure the piece. If it’s ok, we can start production.

Then, basically, I check if the pieces are being manufactured as they should be. If everything runs accurately, I also have time for a coffee, maybe a chat with my colleagues. It brings a bit of fun to work. The work is quite challenging because everything has to be followed and set up properly. Even a small mistake can ruin very expensive parts, and this is probably the only stressful thing about this job. I have to be very consistent and 100% correct when setting up the CNC machines and processes.

What was it like at the beginning when you started the CNC job in Finland?
I was with a Slovak colleague in the first week at work, and for the second week, I was with a Finnish colleague, and they both trained me and explained the basic operations and how the machines they use work. After training, I was on my own, but it wasn’t a problem for me, as I had done this kind of work before.

Work arrangements

Do you work in shifts? How long are your breaks?
We are working in a rotation system – morning and evening shifts. The morning shift is from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm, and the afternoon shift is from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm. But we can also do some extra hours, for example, stay longer for the afternoon shift and then take a day off or leave earlier. You can always make arrangements and agree on your time off with the foremen – as long as all the orders are kept up and everyone is happy, there is no problem at all.

How would you describe your work – do you use the same machine all the time, or do you take turns with your colleagues?
We work on two machines – we always work on both and work on the orders gradually. We don’t change machines unless I get promoted to a higher position. Some are larger, and some smaller. It’s not a series production.

Are there differences between the machines you use in Finland compared to Slovakia?
Yes, there are differences for sure. For example, the programming is more advanced, macros are used here, and given sentences are entered for machining surfaces, metals, and cast iron. I hadn’t encountered that in Slovakia, so it was a novelty for me. But I know how macros work now. So, it’s no longer an obstacle for me.

What was the biggest challenge in this CNC job in Finland?
The macros I mentioned and the fact that if something goes wrong with the machine, I have to figure it out myself and fix it. Something could go wrong any day. If a problem happens, I have to diagnose the problem and then fix it. It’s not always possible, but if I can fix it myself, I have to order the part in question, or a specialist will be called in for the specific machine.

But even if something goes wrong, I can manage it together with my colleagues.

Working in Finland

What motivates you to work in Finland? What do you like the most?
My colleagues. We have super friendly relationships, and I love coming to work because of them. In addition, I’m learning new things every day. I have to learn to move forward to do my job to the best of my ability. I enjoy figuring out why something isn’t working and fixing it so that everything works the way it should.

What do you think of the work culture in Finland?
In the beginning, the Finns were a bit distant, but I am very friendly, and over time they opened up, and I can say now that we’re friends. I don’t feel any stress at work, and my supervisors are really fair to me.

Did you have any expectations or ideas of what is like to work in Finland before you actually moved? What do you like most about FInland?
Sure, I did have. I would say that maybe it’s even better than I expected. The Finnish people are thing I most like about Finland. I like their mentality and how they behave

Are you satisfied with your salary?
I earn 15 euros per hour gross, I am satisfied even though everything is quite expensive here, but I believe that my salary will also increase gradually as I improve. But as I said, I am very satisfied and happy at work.

What language do you use at work?
I use English at work, but I’ve started learning Finnish as well.

Jobs in Finland

Check out our open jobs or fill out an open application to get started on your way to Finland.

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