Machining Jobs May Be Good Choice for the Mechanically Inclined

There are various chances in the automotive manufacturing industry that might be ideal for you if you have a mechanical aptitude and are considering what kind of profession you’d like to follow. There are several jobs in the supply chain that carmakers use to manufacture the parts and components, particularly if you have experience with machining.

Continue reading to find out more about machining careers, including which positions pay the most.

Job outlook

machinesThe U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that some machining jobs will grow at a slower-than-average rate in the upcoming years, but those who pursue training beyond the requirements for entry-level positions should still be able to find well-paying employment.

Job growth for machinery mechanics and maintenance workers is expected to be 19 percent, which is about average for all occupations. And these jobs pay well — in 2010, machinery mechanics earned about $44,000 per year, or $21 per hour. Maintenance workers earned about $38,000 per year.

Required training

The majority of machinist positions require at least a high school diploma, and more lucrative positions might also call for post-secondary education, like technical school training. For motivated candidates, entry-level machining positions, similar to some manufacturing positions in metal and plastic, may offer on-the-job training.

There are many highly specialized jobs that require in-depth knowledge of machining components, and that’s one reason why becoming a machine school instructor is a wise career move. BLS records show instructors earned about $62,000 per year in 2010. You may need a master’s degree to teach at some schools, or at least a work record that shows mastery of machining skills.
sparks from a machine

Working conditions

Your health may be at risk if you work with machinery. You might be subjected to risky loud levels, unpleasant smells, and electrical shock threats. After years of heavy use, the vibration from some equipment can injure the fingers or hands. Entrapment, burns, and lacerations are some of the most common types of damage.

Safety is of utmost importance in machining environments. You may be required to wear ear protection, goggles or a face mask, flame-retardant clothing or a respirator.

Entry-level work may be for the second or third (evening) shift in machine shops that are open 24/7. Additionally, if you’re a mechanic, your employment may demand you to travel to other plants. You can even be expected to work weekends or overtime.

Automotive manufacturing growth

Despite hitting a few economic slumps in the past decade, automotive manufacturing should continue to grow in the coming years. During the recession, some small machine shops folded, but automakers still need parts suppliers, and with fewer suppliers to choose from, other machine shops may take up the slack, adding more jobs to meet demands.

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Matt Herndon

Matt Herndon is a dad and husband who loves to write about almost anything, especially leadership development and family. He won't write about cats or politics. Connect with Matt.

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  1. Robert Smith says

    I’m the HR Manager for large scale machining, welding & assemblies machine shop. Automotive machine shop are largely production oriented. A good friend works at one down the road. On a daily basis, production is measures in the thousands.

    A lot for my shop might be one, several or a dozen. Our components build the capital economy. Gas fired powered plants, paper mills, rockets & Navy destroyers.

    If you are mechanically oriented, good with math – think trigonometry, can calculate speeds,feeds & read a complex blueprint, then this might be the career for you. Just bring your head, heart & hands.


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