Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for machinists was $44,420 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,940, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $66,610. The top paying industry were transportation equipment manufacturing, where the median annual salary is $47,470. This is followed by machinery manufacturing ($44,970), machine shops ($43,300) and employment services ($33,550).
Like most trade industries, the pay of a machinist is tied to their skill level. For example, apprentices will earn less than qualified machinists who have complete certification programs. As they reach specific levels of performance and experience, their pay increases.
Autonomy and Flexibility
The level of autonomy and flexibility for a machinist will vary depending on the amount of experience they have. For instance, a machinist who has just began their apprenticeship will have less autonomy and flexibility than those who have 10 years experience and additional training.
Locations and commute
According to Zippia, the best states to be a machinist, based on average annual salary and number of jobs available, are:
- Wisconsin, where the average annual salary is $47,540
- Indiana, where the average annual salary is $47,718
- Wyoming, where the average annual salary is $46,406
- New Hampshire, where the average annual salary is $46,239
- Connecticut, where the average annual salary is $47,790
The worst states to become a machinist, according to Zippia are Massachusetts, Colorado, Maryland, Hawaii and Illinois.
The largest employers of machinists in the United States were machine shops, which employe 22% of all machinists in the U.S. Machinery manufacturing employ 19%, transportation equipment manufacturing employ 12% and employment services employ 6%.
Machinist tend to work indoors, in better working condition that other trades. However, they may still face hazardous conditions and must wear protective equipment, such as safety glasses, earplugs and masks to limit their exposure to fumes.