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Also called: Journeyman Machinist, Machine Operator, Machinist, Tool Room Machinist

Where in the military? In the military: see titles from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy.

What they do:
Set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. May also fabricate and modify parts to make or repair machine tools or maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, metal properties, layout, and machining procedures.
On the job, you would:
  • Calculate dimensions or tolerances, using instruments such as micrometers or vernier calipers.
  • Machine parts to specifications, using machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, shapers, or grinders.
  • Set up, adjust, or operate basic or specialized machine tools used to perform precision machining operations.


Math and Science
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical
  • design
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
  • manufacture and distribution of products
Arts and Humanities
  • English language


Basic Skills
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


Hand and Finger Use
  • hold or move items with your hands
  • keep your arm or hand steady
Controlled Movement
  • quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
  • use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependability
  • Independence
  • Initiative
  • Self Control
  • Adaptability/Flexibility


You might use software like this on the job:

Analytical or scientific software
  • Armchair Machinist software
  • CNC Consulting Machinists' Calculator
Computer aided manufacturing CAM software
  • CNC Mastercam
  • CNC TurboCAD/CAM
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel


Education: (rated 3 of 5)
certificate after high school or
high school diploma/GED
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Find Training Find Certifications Registered Apprenticeship

Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about machinists.