What Do Machinists Do

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Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz



Machinists

Machinists 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.

Salary: $47800
Salary Rank: C
Education: Post-secondary certificate
Becoming One: Medium
Job Satisfaction: Average
Job Growth: High
Suitable Personality: The Builder

Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius


What they do

Machinists 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.

  • Calculate dimensions or tolerances, using instruments such as micrometers or vernier calipers.
  • Machine parts to specifications, using machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, shapers, or grinders.
  • Set up, adjust, or operate basic or specialized machine tools used to perform precision machining operations.
  • Align and secure holding fixtures, cutting tools, attachments, accessories, or materials onto machines.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Machinists machine parts to specifications, using machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, shapers, or grinders. They calculate dimensions or tolerances, using instruments such as micrometers or vernier calipers.

A typical day for a Machinist will also include:

  • Separate scrap waste and related materials for reuse, recycling, or disposal.
  • Maintain machine tools in proper operational condition.
  • Dispose of scrap or waste material in accordance with company policies and environmental regulations.
  • Check workpieces to ensure that they are properly lubricated or cooled.
  • Monitor the feed and speed of machines during the machining process.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Machinists also test experimental models under simulated operating conditions for purposes such as development, standardization, or feasibility of the design. They may also design fixtures, tooling, or experimental parts to meet special engineering needs.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Machinists confer with engineering, supervisory, or manufacturing personnel to exchange technical information. They might also install repaired parts into equipment or install new equipment.

In addition, they evaluate machining procedures and recommend changes or modifications for improved efficiency or adaptability.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them fit and assemble parts to make or repair machine tools.

To some Machinists, it is also their responsibility to prepare working sketches for the illustration of product appearance.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction
Average
Is this job meaningful
Average

65% said they were satisfied with their job and 47% said they found their job meaningful.


Hilary OHare
Source: Quora

Mike Schlueter
CFM
Source: Quora

Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Demand for this career is growing fast.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

Salary is below average.


Salary

Average salary
$47800 per year
Average hourly wage
$23 per hour

Entry-level Machinists with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $29,240 to $35,900 per year or $14 to $17 per hour.

Salary range Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $33 $69,050
Senior (Top 25%) $28 $57,930
Middle (Mid 50%) $22 $45,840
Junior (Bottom 25%) $17 $35,900
No experience (Bottom 10%) $14 $29,240

How to become one

Should you become one

Best personality for this career
The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.


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