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Machine Shop Assistant Major

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Machine Shop Assistant

222 Associates's Degrees Annually
#105 in Popularity (Associate's)
$40,890 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Machine Shop Assistant Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many machine shop technology/assistant graduations there were in 2020-2021 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 1,214
Undergraduate Certificate 485
Associate Degree 222

What Machine Shop Assistant Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to machine shop tech were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Machine Shop Tech Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in machine shop tech should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Skills for Machine Shop Tech Majors

When studying machine shop tech, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • 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.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Abilities for Machine Shop Tech Majors

A major in machine shop tech will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

What Can You Do With a Machine Shop Assistant Major?

People with a machine shop tech degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic 1.1% $40,070
Machinists 2.0% $43,630

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Machine Shop Assistant?

222 Associate's Degrees Annually
5% Percent Women
14% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major attracts more men than women. About 95% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of machine shop tech majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 4
Black or African American 4
Hispanic or Latino 14
White 184
International Students 1
Other Races/Ethnicities 15

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Machine Shop Tech. About 0.5% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Machine Shop Assistant Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Machine Shop Tech majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $38,140 to $41,960 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Machine Shop Assistant Major  ( 38140 to 41960 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with machine shop tech may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for machine shop tech careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 7.6%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 51.6%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 27.4%
Some College Courses 6.7%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 4.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 2.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.0%

Online Machine Shop Assistant Programs

In the 2020-2021 academic year, 152 schools offered some type of machine shop technology/assistant program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 104 3
Certificate (2-4 Years) 5 0
Associate’s Degree 58 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Machine Shop Assistant Worth It?

The median salary for a machine shop tech grad is $40,890 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 2% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $19,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to machine shop tech.

Major Number of Grads
Welding Technology/Welder 42,490
Machine Tool Technology/Machinist 3,285
Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Machinist Technology/CNC Machinist 2,689
Tool & Die Technology/Technician 584
Metal Fabricator 430
Ironworking/Ironworker 316
Other Precision Metal Working 314
Sheet Metal Technology/Sheetworking 279

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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