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Career and Education Opportunities for Machinists in Columbia, South Carolina

Machinists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, South Carolina area. Currently, 7,370 people work as machinists in South Carolina. This is expected to grow 15% to about 8,470 people by 2016. 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 approximately $15 hourly or $32,690 yearly on average in South Carolina. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $36,210 annually.

There are twenty schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including two within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a machinist. Machinists usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be 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 Columbia 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.


Midlands Technical College - West Columbia, SC

Midlands Technical College, 1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170-2176. Midlands Technical College is a large college located in West Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,157 students. Midlands Technical College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist which graduated eighteen, five, and eight students respectively in 2008.

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College - Orangeburg, SC

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College, 3250 Saint Matthews Rd, Orangeburg, SC 29118-8299. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College is a small college located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,605 students. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College has an associate's degree program in Machine Tool Technology/Machinist which graduated six students 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina photo by Akhenaton06

Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.