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Make tools, fittings, and small metal pieces used in other products.

Salary Range

$42,600 - $63,790

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

What does a Machinist do?

As a Machinist you create and repair the metal parts used in different tools, toys, and appliances. Pretty much every metal part, from the crank that makes a jack-in-the-box pop to a connector on a car battery, was created by a Machinist.

Your job starts before production. You get the part’s specifications from your boss or an outside company, and then you figure out how you’ll create it. To do this, you decide what type of material to use for the part, and what shape it will have. Usually, the parts you make are made of metal, like aluminum or iron, but you can also work with wood. Often a design plan will be provided for you. But again, sometimes, you’ll need to make your own design as a Machinist.

After you’ve decided on a shape, you pick the right tools for the job, and then you begin creating the part. Drills, milling machines, and lathes are all tools of your trade, and each of them is meant for a specific task. It’s necessary to really understand each tool’s limits, and the way different materials react with it. Also, it’s important that you plan out how many cuts need to be made and in what order. If too much pressure or material is removed from any one piece, you’ll end up with a weak and worthless product. And as production is underway, you keep an eye on things to make sure the parts you’re creating are in good working order and can be sold by your company.

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