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What You Need to Know About Machinist

Machinist Job Description Set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. May also fabricate and modify parts to make or repair machine tools or maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, metal properties, layout, and machining procedures.

Life As a Machinist: What Do They Do?

  • Establish work procedures for fabricating new structural products, using a variety of metalworking machines.
  • Dispose of scrap or waste material in accordance with company policies and environmental regulations.
  • Machine parts to specifications, using machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, shapers, or grinders.
  • Design fixtures, tooling, or experimental parts to meet special engineering needs.
  • Test experimental models under simulated operating conditions for purposes such as development, standardization, or feasibility of design.
  • Monitor the feed and speed of machines during the machining process.

Machinist Skills

When polled, Machinists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Types of Machinist

  • Conventional Machinist
  • Machine Operator
  • Turret Lathe Machinist
  • Development Mechanic
  • Maintenance Specialist

Are There Job Opportunities for Machinists?

There were about 396,200 jobs for Machinist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 2% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7,900 new jobs for Machinist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 40,700 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Machinist are Wyoming, Utah, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Maine, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Machinist

The typical yearly salary for Machinists is somewhere between $27,050 and $65,360.

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Machinists who work in Alaska, Hawaii, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Machinists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $44,550
Alaska $64,220
Arizona $48,300
Arkansas $42,180
California $47,450
Colorado $48,210
Connecticut $50,540
Delaware $55,210
District of Columbia $62,950
Florida $42,060
Georgia $43,900
Hawaii $66,840
Idaho $44,610
Illinois $41,350
Indiana $44,110
Iowa $40,080
Kansas $42,370
Kentucky $43,810
Louisiana $49,160
Maine $51,040
Maryland $53,560
Massachusetts $52,700
Michigan $41,880
Minnesota $49,880
Mississippi $41,730
Missouri $46,130
Montana $45,590
Nebraska $43,360
Nevada $43,850
New Hampshire $49,060
New Jersey $50,160
New Mexico $53,930
New York $47,010
North Carolina $42,870
North Dakota $52,070
Ohio $42,910
Oklahoma $44,700
Oregon $48,930
Pennsylvania $44,290
Rhode Island $48,330
South Carolina $38,610
South Dakota $38,140
Tennessee $45,770
Texas $46,850
Utah $49,340
Vermont $44,210
Virginia $49,640
Washington $52,190
West Virginia $37,680
Wisconsin $43,150
Wyoming $52,160

What Tools & Technology do Machinists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Machinists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • SAP
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
  • PTC Creo Parametric
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software
  • CNC Mastercam
  • ERP software
  • Vero Software SURFCAM
  • EditCNC
  • Kentech Kipware Trig Kalculator
  • Mazak Mazatrol SMART CNC
  • Autodesk HSMWorks
  • CNC Consulting Machinists' Calculator

How do I Become a Machinist?

Individuals working as a Machinist have obtained the following education levels:

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What work experience do I need to become a Machinist?

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Where do Machinists Work?

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Machinist might also be interested in the following careers:

References:

Image Credit: US Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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