Machinists and tool and die makers set up and operate a variety of computer-controlled and mechanically controlled machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments, and tools.
Machinists and tool and die makers work in machine shops, toolrooms, and factories. Although many work full time during regular business hours, overtime may be common, as is evening and weekend work.
How to Become a Machinist or Tool and Die Maker
Machinists train in apprenticeship programs, vocational schools, community and technical colleges, or on the job. Tool and die makers receive several years of technical instruction and on-the-job training. A high school diploma is necessary.
Employment of machinists and tool and die makers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Workers familiar with computer software applications and who can perform multiple tasks in a machine shop will have the best job opportunities.
This occupation supported 476,100 jobs in 2012 and 477,500 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 0.3%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 7.1% in 2022 to 509,900 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 482,800, compared with an observed value of 477,500, 1.1% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 6.1% in 2024 to 506,599 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 516,600 jobs for 2024, 2.0% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation.