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All About Machinists

Machinist Example 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

  • Set up or operate metalworking, brazing, heat-treating, welding, or cutting equipment.
  • Diagnose machine tool malfunctions to determine need for adjustments or repairs.
  • Calculate dimensions or tolerances, using instruments such as micrometers or vernier calipers.
  • Install repaired parts into equipment or install new equipment.
  • Machine parts to specifications, using machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, shapers, or grinders.
  • Evaluate machining procedures and recommend changes or modifications for improved efficiency or adaptability.

Skills Needed to be 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.

  • Development Mechanic
  • Utility Operator
  • Secondary Set-Up Man
  • Outside Machinist
  • Machine Setter

Machinist Employment Estimates

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.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Machinists in U.S.

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

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

Salary Ranges for Machinists

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 to Become a Machinist

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

Machinist Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Machinist Work Experience

Where Machinists Are Employed

Machinist Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Machinists work:

Machinist Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

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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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