SALARY AND GROWTH
Machinists set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. This includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. In Allegheny County annual mean salaries are $39,760. The estimated number of Machinists employed in Pennsylvania in 2008 was 20,660. It is projected that in 2018 there will be 19,400. This represents an annual average growth rate of -0.6 percent, slower than the 0.2 percent growth rate for all occupations in Pennsylvania (2).
National Level: Wages of machinists vary with their skill and with the industry and establishment in which they work. The median hourly wage of machinists was $18.52 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $11.59, and the top 10 percent earned more than $27.91. The pay of apprentices is tied to their skill level. As they gain more skills and reach specific levels of performance and experience, their pay increases. In 2010, about 17% of machinists and 26 percent of tool and die makers were members of a union. Machinists train in apprenticeship programs, vocational schools, and community or technical colleges, or informally on the job (1).
Employment Growth: National employment of machinists and tool and die makers are expected to grow 7% from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations but will vary by specialty. Employment is projected to decline slowly, but job opportunities are expected to be good (1).