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Career and Education Opportunities for Machinists in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for machinists in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. About 5,350 people are currently employed as machinists in Iowa. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 3% to about 5,540 people employed. This is better than the national trend for machinists, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 4.6% over the next eight years. Machinists generally set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments.

Machinists earn about $16 hourly or $34,560 yearly on average in Iowa and about $17 hourly or $36,210 yearly on average nationally.

The Cedar Rapids area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree as a machinist. Machinists usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a machinist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Machinist

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 Cedar Rapids include:

  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Machinist Training

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood Community College has an associate's degree program in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist which graduated eight students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.