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Career and Education Opportunities for Machinists in Charleston, West Virginia

If you want to be a machinist, the Charleston, West Virginia area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 2,200 jobs for machinists in West Virginia and this is projected to shrink by 2% to about 2,170 jobs 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 $16 hourly or $34,420 per year on average in West Virginia. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $36,210 per year.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can study to be a machinist, among seventeen schools of higher education total in the Charleston area. The most common level of education for machinists is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying 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 Charleston 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.


Ben Franklin Career Center - Dunbar, WV

Ben Franklin Career Center, 500 28th St, Dunbar, WV 25064. Ben Franklin Career Center is a small school located in Dunbar, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 390 students. Ben Franklin Career Center has a one to two year program in Machine Shop Technology/Assistant which graduated one student 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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.