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Career and Education Opportunities for Machinists in Tucson, Arizona

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for machinists in the Tucson, Arizona area. There are currently 3,760 working machinists in Arizona; this should grow by 10% to about 4,130 working machinists in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for machinists are expected to shrink by about 4.6%. In general, machinists set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments.

A person working as a machinist can expect to earn about $17 per hour or $35,480 per year on average in Arizona and about $17 per hour or $36,210 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole.

There are twenty-one schools of higher education in the Tucson area, including one within twenty-five miles of Tucson where you can get a degree to start your career as a machinist. Machinists usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a machinist if you already have a high school diploma.


Machinist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, machinists set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. They also includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments.

Machinists decide on the appropriate tools and materials to be used in preparation of machinery work. They also calculate dimensions and tolerances using knowledge of mathematics and instruments such as micrometers and vernier calipers. Equally important, machinists have to align and secure holding fixtures and materials onto machines. They are often called upon to prepare and operate all of the basic machine tools and many specialized or advanced variation tools to perform precision machining operations. They are expected to clean and lubricate machines, tools, and apparatus to remove grease and foreign matter. Finally, machinists talk with engineering and manufacturing personnel to exchange technical data.

Every day, machinists are expected to be able to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they control and manipulate objects at a fine level of detail.

It is important for machinists to operate apparatus to verify operational efficiency. They are often called upon to lay out and mark metal stock to display placement of cuts. They also program computers and electronic instruments such as numerically controlled machine tools. They are sometimes expected to maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics and machining procedures. Somewhat less frequently, machinists are also expected to check work pieces to insure that they are properly lubricated and cooled.

They also have to be able to ready working sketches for the illustration of product appearance And finally, they sometimes have to align and secure holding fixtures and materials onto machines.

Like many other jobs, machinists must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Tucson include:

  • Aircraft Parts Assembler. Assemble, fit, and install parts of airplanes, space vehicles, or missiles, such as tails, wings, fuselage, bulkheads, stabilizers, landing gear, rigging and control equipment, or heating and ventilating systems.
  • Welder. Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.


Pima Community College - Tucson, AZ

Pima Community College, 401 North Bonita Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85709-5000. Pima Community College is a large college located in Tucson, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,529 students. Pima Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Machine Shop Technology/Assistant which graduated nine and ten students respectively in 2008.


Certified Metalworking Fluids Specialist: Certified Metalworking Fluids Specialists are those individuals who have met minimum standards of experience, knowledge and written examination requirements as established by the STLE Metalworking Fluids Certification Committee to provide technical consultation in the field of metalworking fluids management.

For more information, see the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers website.


Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona photo by Howcheng

Tucson is situated in Pima County, Arizona. It has a population of over 541,811, which has grown by 11.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Tucson, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Tucson are priced at $179,100 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Tucson, down from 1,131 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tucson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 22.9% of Tucson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tucson is 9.2%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Tucson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Tucson is home to the Arizona Correctional Training Facility and the Silverbell Golf Course as well as Vista del Pueblo Park and Verde Meadows Park. Shopping centers in the area include Gaslight Square Shopping Center, Grant Park Shopping Center and Grant Plaza South Shopping Center. Visitors to Tucson can choose from LA Quinta, Casa Tierra Adobe B & B Inn and Best Western Executive Inn for temporary stays in the area.