Precision Machinists


Overview

Precision Machinists

Introduction

Precision machinists use machine tools, such as drill presses, lathes, and milling machines, to produce metal parts that meet precise specifications. They combine their knowledge of metals with skillful handling of machine tools to make precision-machined products. There are approximately 383,470 precision machinists employed in the United States.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$44,420

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Employment Prospects

Excellent

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Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma


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Experience

Apprenticeship or on-the-job training


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Skills

Math


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Personality Traits

Hands On

Earnings

The median hourly wage for precision machinists was $21.35 (or $44,420 annually) in May 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The lowest 10 percent made $13.43 an hour (or $27,940 annually), and the highest 10 percent earned $32.02 per hour (or $66,610 annually). Salaries vary by industry. For example, machinists working in the natural gas distribution industry earned an average $94,...

Work Environment

Precision machinists generally work 40 hours a week; however, working night and weekend shifts as well as overtime has become more common in the industry as employers increase their hours of production.

Machinists work indoors in shops that are fairly clean, with proper lighting and ventilation. Noise levels are often quite high because of the nature of power-driven machinery. In additio...

Outlook

Employment of machinists is expected to grow slower than the average for all careers through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The increased use of computer-controlled machine tools improves efficiency, but machinists will still be needed to set up, monitor, and maintain these automated systems. 

Many openings will arise from the need to replace machinists who retire...

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