Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Machinist job description involves working in the manufacturing industry to produce precise parts for machines using specialized tools and equipment. Machinists analyze blueprints, sketches, or computer-aided designs to determine the best approach to create a particular part. They then select the appropriate materials and tools and prepare the machines for the operation. Machinists perform precision work on lathes, grinders, drills, and milling machines to make specific cuts, shapes, or contours that match the specifications. They make adjustments and calibrations to maintain the quality of the finished product. Machinists ensure that the parts they produce meet the required dimensions, tolerances, and surface finishes. They also inspect and test the parts to ensure they function correctly. Machinists are vital to the manufacturing industry and play a key role in producing products that we use in our daily lives.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Operate machinery for manufacturing parts and products
  • Read and interpret blueprints, schematics, and technical drawings
  • Choose and set up appropriate tools for specific jobs
  • Inspect finished products to ensure they meet specifications
  • Maintain equipment and perform routine maintenance tasks
  • Perform basic math calculations to determine dimensions and tolerances
  • Troubleshoot and solve problems that arise during the manufacturing process
  • Adhere to safety regulations and guidelines
  • Collaborate with team members, including engineers and designers, to improve processes and products.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a machinist in the manufacturing industry, you'll usually need a mix of education and experience. Most employers prefer candidates to have a high school diploma or equivalent, along with vocational or technical training in machining. You may also need to get certified in specific areas of machining, like computer numerical control (CNC) programming or precision measurement. 

Experience is also important, and many machinists learn on the job. You can start as an apprentice and work your way up, or gain experience by working in a machine shop or similar setting. Machinists need good hand-eye coordination, solid math skills, and the ability to read and interpret technical drawings and blueprints. It's a challenging but rewarding career for people who love making things and working with their hands.

Salary Range

Machinist salary range in the United States varies based on several factors such as experience, location, and company size. According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a Machinist in the US is around $45,000 per year. However, a Machinist with more than 10 years of experience earns up to $62,000 per year. In other countries, such as Canada, the average salary for a Machinist is CAD 26 per hour, which translates to approximately $20 per hour in USD.

The range of salaries for Machinists depend on their specialization and skill level. For instance, CNC Machinists have a salary range of $35,000 to $80,000 per year, while Manual Machinists earn $30,000 to $60,000 per year. Machinists that work for larger companies tend to have better salaries due to the availability of benefits and other perks.

Overall, being a Machinist in the manufacturing industry can be a promising career choice for those interested in working with machinery and tools.


  1. Glassdoor -,9.htm
  2. Indeed -
  3. Payscale -

Career Outlook

The career outlook for a machinist in the manufacturing industry looks promising over the next 5 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of machinists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. This growth can be attributed to an increased demand for machined parts in various industries, such as aerospace, defense, and medical equipment.

Moreover, advancements in technology have made it possible for machinists to use advanced computer-controlled machines that are more efficient, resulting in increased productivity and lower costs. This also means machinists will need to have strong computer and technical skills to operate these machines.

Overall, it seems like a profitable career choice for individuals interested in manufacturing with the potential to grow alongside the industry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Machinist?

A: A Machinist is someone who uses various machines and tools to cut, shape, and fabricate metal and other materials to create different parts and products.

Q: What kind of machines do Machinists use?

A: Machinists use a variety of machines, such as lathes, mills, grinders, and cutting machines, to produce complex and precise parts for different industries.

Q: What type of materials do Machinists work with?

A: Machinists work with a range of materials, including metals like steel, aluminum, and brass, as well as plastics and composites.

Q: What skills do Machinists need?

A: Machinists need strong technical and math skills, the ability to read blueprints and schematics, and an attention to detail to ensure precision and accuracy in their work.

Q: What is the job outlook for Machinists?

A: The job outlook for Machinists is stable, with expected job growth in the future due to the demand for highly skilled workers in the manufacturing industry.

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