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Machinist Salary (United States)

Machinists in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $17.94 per hour. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $2K and $5K, respectively — total cash payment to Machinists can bottom out near $27K or peak near $63K depending on individual performance. This group's pay is mainly influenced by career length, followed by the company and location. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Some workers in this field — close to a fifth — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a fair number and dental plans are enjoyed by the greater part. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Machinist Salary (?
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.
)
$26,316 - $78,571
(Median)
26K
33K
47K
60K
79K
MEDIAN: $47,111
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Machinist Salary (?
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.
)
$12.02 - $25.93
(Median)
12
15
18
22
26
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$26,316 - $78,571  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,319  
Profit Sharing
$300.00 - $4,578  
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).
)
$26,636 - $63,468  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 351
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
$12.02 - $25.93  
   
Overtime
$17.05 - $38.23  
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 - $2,319  
   
Profit Sharing
$300.00 - $4,578  
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).
)
$26,636 - $63,468  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 2,998
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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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As Machinists transition into upper-level roles such as Mechanical Engineer, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Mechanical Engineers on average earn $62K per year. It is not uncommon for a Machinist to continue on to become 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 pays the most with a median salary of $55K, though with a large amount of variation, going from a low of $27K to a high of $102K.
The pay scale is far from balanced at Caterpillar, Inc.. While salaries on one end can reach $72K, the company's median pay sits at $38K, the lowest in the field.

Popular Skills for Machinist

Machinists report using a wide range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Tungsten Inert Gas Welding, CAD/CAM, and Precision Machining are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 50 percent, 14 percent, and 7 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Precision Measurement. Those who learned Precision Machining also tend to know CNC/NC and Blueprints. Those educated in Machine Operation tend to be well versed in Blueprints and CNC/NC.

Pay by Experience Level for Machinist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Machinists generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $32K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $40K. Machinists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $46K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $51K.

Pay Difference By Location

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National Average
$42,000
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Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
With a pay rate for Machinists that is 25 percent greater than the national average, Seattle offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Machinists will also find cushy salaries in Chicago (+20 percent), Houston (+19 percent), Minneapolis (+15 percent), and Milwaukee (+15 percent). Rochester is the lowest-paying area, 12 percent south of the national average. Employers pay around 11 percent less in San Diego and 9 percent less in Pittsburgh, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Machinist Reviews

What is it like working as a Machinist?
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.

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Experience Affects Machinist Salaries

National Average
$42,000

Skills That Affect Machinist Salaries

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding
up arrow 50%
up arrow 14%
Welding
up arrow 5%
CNC/NC
up arrow 4%
Blueprints
up arrow 4%
National Average
$42,000
Machine Operation
up arrow 1%
Precision Measurement
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 624 votes.

Gender

Female
2%
female alumni
 
Male
98%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
26%
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: 40% employee benefits None: 20%