Machinists usually have a passion for creating useful things from scratch. Their talent resides in the ability to transform a simple piece of metal into a part that will play its role in the operation of an equipment unit. Machinists are like 'industrial sculptors' because they have the capacity to make unique parts according to specific requirements.

People who want to become machinists usually possess qualities such as attention to detail, knowledge of various technical processes, being skilled with a variety of electrically powered and hand-held tools, and patience. Machinists also need good communication skills to discuss their tasks with engineers, tool setters, and administrative workers. They must have in-depth knowledge of safety procedures because a lack of caution when operating machinery may result in injury and even disability. When a replacement part is needed urgently, machinists must be able to work quickly while maintaining high quality standards. Candidates must be good at basic math and have good computer skills.

People who want to become machinists require a high school diploma. They may then attend apprenticeship programs or get a degree at a technical or community college. However, the most essential part of becoming a machinist is on-the-job training, which is where candidates acquire the necessary skills and experience to operate machinery individually. The duration of training may be up to five years, and a continuous refining of skills and knowledge is further required on the job. Before they become proficient in their occupation, machinists may be supervised by a more experienced machinery expert.

What are Machinists like?


Based on our pool of users, Machinists tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Machinists by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 538 Sokanu users

Are Machinists happy?


Machinists rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 14th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Machinist Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Machinists

The most common degree held by Machinists is Mechanical Engineering. 2% of Machinists had a degree in Mechanical Engineering before becoming Machinists. That is over 1 times the average across all careers. Business Management And Administration graduates are the second most common among Machinists, representing 1% of Machinists in the Sokanu user base, which is 0.2 times the average.

Machinist Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Machinist, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of Machinists % of population Multiple
Mechanical Engineering 1.9% 1.6% 1.1×
Business Management And Administration 1.3% 6.5% 0.2×
Machining 1.1% 0.0% 77.6×

Machinist Education Levels

59% of Machinists have an associate's degree. 34% of Machinists have a high school diploma.

No education 2%
High school diploma 34%
Associate's degree 59%
Bachelor's degree 5%
Master's degree 0%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become a Machinist

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