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Machinist Salary

A sizeable majority of Machinists in the United States are men. In this role, average pay is around $18.12 per hour. In the world of Machinists, overall income ranges from $27K near the bottom to $64K at the top; this can include more than $2K from bonuses and more than $5K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Geography is the main element affecting pay for this group — career length and the specific company are driving factors as well. Job satisfaction for Machinists is high. A fair number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a majority collect dental insurance. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$27,076 - $77,773
(Median)
$27K
$48K
$78K
MEDIAN: $47,600
10%
50%
90%

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$12.14 - $26.16
(Median)
$12
$18
$26
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$27,076 - $77,773  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,433  
Profit Sharing
$300.00 - $4,899  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$27,091 - $63,788  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 388
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$12.14 - $26.16  
   
Overtime
$17.42 - $38.73  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,433  
   
Profit Sharing
$300.00 - $4,899  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$27,091 - $63,788  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,396

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United States (change)


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Job Description for Machinist

Machinists make parts and sometimes their own tools in order to build or create larger things. Machinists are often in a factory or manufacturing setting, but not always. Manufacturing experience is important. The Machinist must be capable of working with a variety of tools in sometimes inhospitable conditions. Tools of the trade may include hand tools, cutting tools, measuring tools and machine tools. Machinists must be capable of making their own tools and parts. They also need to be experienced in working with different types of materials including plastics and metals. Welding experience is usually helpful. Machinists need to be able to read and interpret blueprints and drawings. They must communicate effectively orally and in writing. They must also be able to use math to perform calculations and be able to use measuring tools. Positions often require machinists to be able stand for long hours in sometimes cramped conditions. Most of the time, machinists will work on machines in factories. They are responsible for inspecting machinery for any needed repairs, documenting them and making any necessary minor repairs. Machinists must maintain standards of safety in the work environment including wearing any necessary safety gear including harnesses, hard hats and eye protection. Quality assurance is also important in maintaining standards of the company. Machinists must work with other people in their area to maintain safety and productivity. High school graduation and some related job experience are often required.


Machinist Tasks

  • Measure, examine, and test completed units to detect defects and ensure conformance to specifications.
  • Detect malfunctions or out-of-tolerance machining and adjust machine controls as necessary.
  • Operate various types of machine tools to perform progressive machining.
  • Calculate dimensions and tolerances using knowledge of mathematics and instruments.
  • Select, align, and secure holding fixtures, cutting tools, attachments, accessories, and materials on machines.

Common Career Paths for Machinist


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At the upper end, Machinists who move into a Mechanical Engineer role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Mechanical Engineers is a much higher $63K per year. A Machinist may also move into a role as a Machinist Set Up Operator or a Computer Numerically Controlled Operator and Programmer.

Machinist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Machinist


The Boeing Company, Precision Machine Inc, Caterpillar, Inc., Parker Hannifin Corp, and General Electric (GE) Oil & Gas are all popular places to work. Machinists seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at The Boeing Company, where the median salary comes to $54K, though the large pay difference between employees at the top ($28K) and those starting out ($101K) creates a rather diverse pay scale.

Caterpillar, Inc. reports the lowest median salary in the area (it's only $38K) but some workers make up to $72K, indicating a rather large gap in employee earnings.

Popular Skills for Machinist


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, facility with Tungsten Inert Gas Welding, Machine Programming, Manufacturing, and Machinist are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 49 percent, 16 percent, and 14 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Precision Measurement. It is often found that people who know Precision Machining are also skilled in CNC/NC and Blueprints. Those proficient in Machine Operation are, more often than not, also skilled in Blueprints and CNC/NC.

Pay by Experience Level for Machinist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $33K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $41K. Machinists see a median salary of $47K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Machinists with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $51K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Machinists, working in the bustling city of Seattle has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Machinists will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+19 percent), Chicago (+17 percent), Minneapolis (+11 percent), and Cincinnati (+9 percent). Rochester is the lowest-paying area, 15 percent south of the national average. Employers pay around 9 percent less in San Diego and 7 percent less in Pittsburgh, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Machinist Reviews

What is it like working as a Machinist?

Machinist in St. Louis:
"Tedious work."
Pros: I get to have good set hours. Also I enjoy setting up a new job and seeing the end result.
Cons: Sometimes the repetitiveness gets old. And at my current job the parts we make can be very small.

Machinist in Scottdale:
"Harder Than It Looks."
Pros: The great people I work with daily.
Cons: The heat, lack of recognition, rate of pay, style of paying vacation, childlike way management treats you, lack of reward, lack of safety standards, stress level.

Machinist in Mukilteo:
"Working As A Machinist Is Awesome! I Love It."
Pros: It keeps you on your toes! Its a very challenging job and requires your focus, even after you've done it for years.
Cons: I hate sample plans, and always getting cut up from metal chips and burrs.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Machinist Salaries



National Average
$42,000



Skills That Affect Machinist Salaries

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding
up arrow 49%

Machine Programming, Manufacturing
up arrow 16%

Machinist
up arrow 14%

up arrow 11%

Setup
up arrow 7%


Welding
up arrow 5%

CNC/NC
up arrow 3%

Blueprints
up arrow 3%

Computer Aided Drafting & Design (CADD)
0%

National Average
$42,000

Machine Operation
up arrow 1%

Precision Measurement
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 689 votes.

Gender

Female
2 %
Male
98 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
31%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 78% dental benefits Dental: 57%
vision benefits Vision: 41% employee benefits None: 20%
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