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.
- Calculate dimensions and tolerances using knowledge of mathematics and instruments.
- Select, align, and secure holding fixtures, cutting tools, attachments, accessories, and materials on machines.
- Operate various types of machine tools to perform progressive machining.
- 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.
Common Career Paths for Machinist
Machinists' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Mechanical Engineer. The average Mechanical Engineer brings home $64K per year. A Machinist Set Up Operator or a Computer Numerically Controlled Operator and Programmer is a typical transition from a Machinist role.
Machinist Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Machinist
Precision Machine Inc, General Electric Co (GE), Caterpillar, Inc., Flowserve Corporation, and Parker Hannifin Corp are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Machinists. RMS Company offers the largest salaries in town — $56K on average. Soaring salaries can also be found at The Boeing Company, Lisi Aerospace, and Flowserve Corporation, where earnings of $52K, $49K, or $49K are standard for Machinists.
General Electric (GE) Oil & Gas, Parker Hannifin Corp, and National Oilwell Varco also scrape the bottom of the pay scale, with median earnings hovering around $38K, $39K, and $40K.
Popular Skills for Machinist
Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, facility with Quality Assurance / Quality Control, Machinist, and CNC are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 20 percent, 14 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Grinding Tools, Precision Measurement, and Metal Inert Gas Welding. Most people skilled in Machine Operation are similarly competent in CNC/NC and Blueprints.
Pay by Experience Level for Machinist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $34K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $42K on average — a distinctly larger sum. For Machinists, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $47K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $52K.
Pay Difference by Location
Seattle offers some of the highest pay in the country for Machinists, 37 percent above the national average. Machinists will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+21 percent), St. Louis (+13 percent), Chicago (+12 percent), and Minneapolis (+9 percent). Machinists in Dayton report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 21 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. Employers also pay below the national average in Wichita (10 percent lower) and Tulsa (7 percent lower).