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Career and Education Opportunities for Machinists in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Machinists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. About 21,300 people are currently employed as machinists in Pennsylvania. By 2016, this is expected to grow 10% to 23,400 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. 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 hourly or $36,520 per year on average in Pennsylvania and about $17 per hour or $36,210 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including two within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh 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.


Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has 2 areas of study related to Machinist. They are:

  • Machine Tool Technology/Machinist, less than one year and associate's degree.
  • Machine Shop Technology/Assistant, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has an associate's degree program in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist.


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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.