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What is a Machinist?

Example of a 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.

Machinist Responsibilities

  • Machine parts to specifications, using machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, shapers, or grinders.
  • Prepare working sketches for the illustration of product appearance.
  • Confer with engineering, supervisory, or manufacturing personnel to exchange technical information.
  • Set up, adjust, or operate basic or specialized machine tools used to perform precision machining operations.
  • Calculate dimensions or tolerances, using instruments such as micrometers or vernier calipers.
  • Advise clients about the materials being used for finished products.

What a Machinist Should Know

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.

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

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.

Types of Machinist Jobs

  • Auto Machinist
  • Tool Room Machinist
  • Printing Press Machinist
  • Maintenance Machinist
  • Carbide Operator

What Kind of Machinist Job Opportunities Are There?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 396,200 jobs in the United States for Machinists.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 2% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7,900 new jobs for Machinists by 2026. The BLS estimates 40,700 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Machinists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Machinists are Texas, Arizona, and Indiana.

Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Maine, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Machinist Make?

Machinists Make between $27,050 and $65,360 a year. A Machinist median salary is $43,630.

Salary Ranges for Machinists

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

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Hawaii

$66,840

Alaska

$64,220

District of Columbia

$62,950

Delaware

$55,210

New Mexico

$53,930

Maryland

$53,560

Massachusetts

$52,700

Washington

$52,190

Wyoming

$52,160

North Dakota

$52,070

Maine

$51,040

Connecticut

$50,540

New Jersey

$50,160

Minnesota

$49,880

Virginia

$49,640

Utah

$49,340

Louisiana

$49,160

New Hampshire

$49,060

Oregon

$48,930

Rhode Island

$48,330

Arizona

$48,300

Colorado

$48,210

California

$47,450

New York

$47,010

Texas

$46,850

Missouri

$46,130

Tennessee

$45,770

Montana

$45,590

Oklahoma

$44,700

Idaho

$44,610

Alabama

$44,550

Pennsylvania

$44,290

Vermont

$44,210

Indiana

$44,110

Georgia

$43,900

Nevada

$43,850

Kentucky

$43,810

Nebraska

$43,360

Wisconsin

$43,150

Ohio

$42,910

North Carolina

$42,870

Kansas

$42,370

Arkansas

$42,180

Florida

$42,060

Michigan

$41,880

Mississippi

$41,730

Illinois

$41,350

Iowa

$40,080

South Carolina

$38,610

South Dakota

$38,140

West Virginia

$37,680

What Tools & Technology do Machinists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Machinists:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • PTC Creo Parametric
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • 3D Printing software
  • Siemens NX
  • JobBOSS
  • SolidCAM
  • Kentech Kipware Studio

How to Become a Machinist

What education is needed to be a Machinist?

Machinist Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Machinist Work Experience

Where Machinists Work

Machinist Sectors

You May Also Be Interested In…

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

  • Mechanical Engineering Technicians

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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