Machinists perform a vital role in creating precision parts from materials such as metal, wood, or plastic. These skilled tradesmen find themselves in high demand as “essential” workers. They contribute to several important industries.
The salaries earned by machinists vary widely, based upon an individual’s skill sets, education, and level of expertise in using computerized CNC programs. In the United States, most machinists receive between $14 and $28 per hour. The average worker in this field earns around $19.64 hourly. In some industries, machinists enjoy a great opportunity to earn bonuses and overtime.
Machinists today work in a wide variety of industries. Since these individuals create tools within specific dimensions, they benefit from possessing excellent math skills. During former eras, machinists needed to possess physical strength in order to shape and form some components. Machinists who obtain computerized drafting training and those who learn to operate CNC programs enjoy more career options. In some workplaces, employees engaging in this trade need to communicate frequently with clients.
Five Industries Requiring Machinists
While some machinists produce large quantities of identical parts, others work on a variety of different machine components. They sometimes adjust (and repair) CNC equipment in factory settings. These five industries rely upon talented machinists:
From large ocean cruise ships and freighters to yachts and motorized boats, maritime manufacturers depend extensively upon the skills of machinists. In some situations, these employees help mechanics fix damaged ship engines and automated equipment. If a ship’s propeller sustains damage, a machinist offers valuable assistance by producing a new replacement part, for example.
The Aircraft Industry
Airplane designers and airplane repair firms also frequently hire machinists. Since aviation relies upon aircraft utilizing precision engineered components, machinists obtain widespread employment in this field. For example, during 2017, the Boeing Company reportedly employed 66,000 machinists in the Seattle Area alone. The company doubled the bonuses of many of the firm’s in-house machinists, in fact. Human resources experts recommend machinists seeking advancement in the aviation industry consider obtaining important CNC skills.
Many machinists today also find employment as metalworkers engaging in the fabrication industry. They utilize a variety of tools to help create precisely engineered tools and components. Some skills that often assist machinists seeking fabrication careers include using a mill, a lathe, a vertical machining center, and welding. Fabricators aid their customers by creating customized tools and mechanical assemblies. They often perform valuable roles in helping customers develop prototypes, for example.
One of the industries requiring significant numbers of machinists potentially impacts a variety of economic sectors. Industrial machinists assist companies and manufacturing facilities by helping to keep manufacturing equipment in good working condition by replacing essential components. They may help craft precisely engineered components for use in molds or industrial stamping, for example. Quite a number of industrial machinists also find self-employment as the owners and operators of mechanical repair shops. They sometimes craft customized parts ordered by manufacturing firms.
The Energy Industry
Today, oil and gas companies, refineries, wind turbine manufacturers, and other enterprises within the energy industry also rely extensively upon the skills of machinists. These individuals help produce and calibrate precision components and tools. They offer valuable assistance in replacing heavily worn or damaged parts to help keep drilling rigs, oil refineries, and other facilities in operable condition.
An “In-Demand” Occupation
Trained machinists possess important skills necessary for producing and maintaining a variety of different mechanical assemblies and tools. In addition to the strong demand for machinists in maritime, aviation,, fabrication, heavy equipment manufacturing, and energy industries, machinists today often work in government, military, and institutional settings. Experienced machinists also teach shop classes, for example. In most places, machinists qualified as essential workers during the recent Novel Coronavirus Pandemic.