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Life As a Machinist

Example of Machinist Job 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?

  • Lay out, measure, and mark metal stock to display placement of cuts.
  • Measure, examine, or test completed units to check for defects and ensure conformance to specifications, using precision instruments, such as micrometers.
  • Establish work procedures for fabricating new structural products, using a variety of metalworking machines.
  • Monitor the feed and speed of machines during the machining process.
  • Separate scrap waste and related materials for reuse, recycling, or disposal.
  • Operate equipment to verify operational efficiency.

Qualities of a Machinist

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.

  • NC Machinist
  • Fitter
  • CNC Mill Machinist (Computer Numerically Controlled Mill Machinist)
  • Four-Slide Operator
  • Test Technician

Are There Job Opportunities for Machinists?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 396,200 jobs in the United States for Machinist. 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. The BLS estimates 40,700 yearly job openings in this field.

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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.

Machinist Average Salary

Machinists make between $27,050 and $65,360 a year.

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

How much do Machinists make in each U.S. state?

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

Tools & Technologies Used by Machinists

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?

What education is needed to be a Machinist?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Machinists Sector

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Machinists work in the following industries:

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Other Jobs You May be Interested In

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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