According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for the number of machinists needed across all sectors of U.S. industry is up 7% in the decade to 2030. Translating to approximately 47,500 job openings for machinists and tool and die makers each year, the bureau reports that this increase is about average for all occupations. Many of the openings will occur due to retirement or because workers have changed occupations. In other words, this vocation is on track for healthy growth relative to other industrial occupations.
Machinists are skilled in the use of tools that produce precision parts and instruments, usually made of metal. In addition to creating tools and parts using milling and drilling machines, grinders and lathes, they may also repair or maintain industrial machinery, drawing on their knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, properties of metals and other areas of expertise. A particular subset of machinists use computer numerical control equipment, or CNC equipment, which is extremely precise. Machinists generally need a high school diploma to find employment in the profession. And while some are trained on the job, others receive their training through apprenticeships or vocational courses.
In May 2020, the average median salary for a machinist across all industries was $45,840, and when that figure is broken down by industry, it points to some exciting opportunities. Revelation Machinery has compiled the annual median wages for machinists across all industries by analyzing the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent occupational employment and wage data. While the manufacturing sector employs the most machinists nationwide at over 295,000, this industry had a median annual salary of $45,610 – less than the overall average – and therefore did not make this top 10 list. . Several key economic industries, however, have done so.