Industrial employment opportunities are expanding. During the last 8 months of 2020, more than 820,000 new manufacturing positions became available. That’s leading many individuals to think about pursuing an industrial career.
If you’re interested in doing this, then consider becoming a machinist. Machinists make good money and are always needed. But there’s a larger demand for machinists in some markets than others.
Below, you’ll learn exactly which parts of the country are hiring the most machinists. You’ll also find more information on who machinists are and what they do.
Machinists spend their time working with machines. It’s their responsibility to operate them, maintain them, and repair them when something goes wrong. But the specific machines that someone in this role works with will vary based on the sector that employs them.
For example, a machinist might work with production equipment in a manufacturing facility. They might also work with mining equipment, such as drills if they’re employed by a mine.
Machinists mill, grind, bore, drill, and cut many different types of material. They work with steel, plastic, titanium, and virtually any other type of material that you can think of.
In addition to this, a machinist needs to be able to read blueprints and interpret them. They have to be capable of making basic calculations to ensure that they’re using the machines that they operate correctly.
To accomplish all of this, a machinist needs to have a high level of mechanical skill. They also need to have enough physical stamina to remain working on their feet for the majority of their shift.
Machinists are always going to be needed. That’s because the work that they do is essential to the modern industrial sector. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a large demand for machinists in the job market.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks this kind of data. According to their projections, the demand for machinists is projected to grow by about 3% between 2019 and 2029. That’s about as fast as average. So machinists certainly aren’t going anywhere. But the position isn’t growing at an ultra-fast rate.
It’s worth mentioning that the stats above are national averages. The demand for machinists can be higher or lower than this in any given area. That’s why we’ve included the top areas hiring for machinists in a later section.
When deciding whether a career path is right for you, your earnings potential is probably one of the first things that you consider. That’s exactly what you should be doing. So how much does a machinist make?
The average annual salary for a machinist is roughly $43,000. That translates to an hourly wage of just over $21. But the exact amount that you’ll make can vary pretty considerably based on several key factors.
One of these is where you’re located. Machinists who work in areas with high costs of living tend to make more than those who don’t.
Another factor that will influence your pay is which type of machinist work you go into. Certain specialties (like mining and construction machinist work) are more demanding than others. If you choose one of these, then you’ll likely have an increased salary to reflect that.
You can compare this information to the average salary for the general U.S. population to get a better sense of how well machinists are paid. The average weekly earnings for people with no college degree is about $774. That’s an annual income of $40,248. So machinists make a bit more than the average for folks with this level of education.
It’s very unlikely that you’ll simply be able to walk into a position as a machinist. Instead, you’ll need to spend some time developing the skills that employers want to see before hiring someone for this role. You can gain that experience in two different ways.
Some machinists choose to prioritize one over the other. But you’ll have the best results with your employment search if you utilize both of the following training strategies.
You need a college degree or the equivalent of one if you want to become a machinist. Beyond that, there are no set-in-stone academic requirements for the job. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study to become a machinist.
It can be very beneficial to pursue a certification program or even a two-year machinist degree at a community college or technical school. These programs help learners develop the theoretical knowledge and hands-on abilities they need to become excellent machinists.
Most academic programs for machinists include courses on:
Employers also look favorably on applicants who have spent some time developing their machinist skills in the real world. You can get this experience by working in a position that’s similar to the role of the machinist. Doing so will show future employers that you’re someone who has what it takes to excel in the position.
Another popular way of training in the real world is completing a machinist apprenticeship program. These give aspiring machinists the opportunity to work alongside someone who’s very experienced in the role. Having that kind of access to an expert machinist can do wonders for the apprentice’s skillset.
If you’re serious about becoming a machinist, then you’ll want to know where you have the best chances of getting hired as one. To figure that out, it’s best to use a ratio called a location quotient.
A location quotient is a measurement of how many workers in a particular area are employed in a specific industry or position. So if a job has a high location quotient in a certain area, it means that there’s a high demand for workers who can fulfill that role in that area.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top five areas for aspiring machinists.
Indiana tops the list as the state that’s hiring the most machinists. About 6.39 workers out of every 1,000 in the state are machinists. That’s good for a location quotient of 2.45, the highest in the nation.
Michigan actually employs more machinists than even Indiana does. A total of about 26,600 of them work in the state. Its location quotient is 2.35, however, which puts it just a touch below Indiana in our rankings.
South Carolina is another excellent place to look for work as a machinist. About 5.4 out of every 1,000 workers in the state is a machinist. That’s good for a location quotient of 2.07.
It’s worth mentioning that the average salary for machinists in South Carolina is a bit lower than the national average. Machinists here make about $39,860 on average.
But you should also keep in mind that the cost of living in South Carolina is also lower than the national average. So your purchasing power in the state won’t be greatly diminished, if at all.
Illinois is home to the most machinists on our list. There are more than 30,000 of them working in the state. That comes out to a location quotient of 1.91.
Ohio rounds out our list as the fifth-best state for aspiring machinists. It has a location quotient of 1.85. Or, put differently, 4.83 out of every 1,000 workers in Ohio is a machinist. Those who are employed in the position make an average of $44,370 annually.
If you don’t live in one of these areas, you may be concerned about whether or not you’ll be able to find employment as a machinist. But don’t fret too much. Machinists are needed across the country. Some other states that have a high demand for machinists include:
Even if you don’t live in one of these states, you can still get hired as a machinist. You may just need some help to speed up the hiring process.
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