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Manufacturing Technology

Job Outlook

Significant Points

  • Machinists learn in apprenticeship programs, informally on the job, and in vocational schools or community or technical colleges.
  • Many entrants previously have worked as machine setters, operators, or tenders.
  • Job opportunities are expected to be good.

Median hourly earnings of machinists were $16.33 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $12.84 and $20.33. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $10.08, while the top 10 percent earned more than $24.34. Median hourly earnings in the manufacturing industries employing the largest number of machinists in May 2004 were:

Aerospace product and parts manufacturing $17.78
Motor vehicle parts manufacturing 17.46
Metalworking machinery manufacturing 17.06
Machine shops; turned product; and screw, nut, and bolt manufacturing 15.87
Employment services 11.09

Apprentices earn much less than machinists, but earnings increase quickly as they improve their skills. Also most employers pay for apprentices’ training classes.

Suggested citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Machinists, on the Internet at

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