A turner builds parts for mass production as well as individual components for maintenance and repair. These are often complex components that are processed in computer-controlled machines. The work mainly involves metals and alloys but also plastic, nylon and wood. Turning is a certified trade.

Turners often work in collaboration with other metal and mechanical technicians, motor engineers, electrical machine engineers and designers. As a turner, you could work in a machine shop, a turning workshop or in another type of metal industry company.

Main tasks

• evaluating professional drawings
• preparing project descriptions
• selecting materials and their handling
• designing, shaping and moulding various metal objects
• build machines or machine components, for example for food processing
• programming computer-controlled machines such as lathes and milling machines
• supervising testing and quality control

Competence requirements

A turner must have a solid knowledge of computers and be familiar with the types of metals and the machines and tools that are used. Turners work with manual and computer-controlled industrial machines, especially chip machines such as lathes and milling machines, but also various hand tools such as sliders, micrometers, grinding machines and hand drills. A turner needs to be able to consider different procedures depending on whether the work involves piece production, repair work or mass production.


Studies in turning have been taught at Borgarholtsskóli and Tækniskólinn, in addition to which basic studies in metal work can be found elsewhere. Turning studies take about three years in addition to 60 weeks of internship.

Validation of prior learning has taken place and/or may be available.

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