Featured Career of the Week: Machinist!

This week’s featured career is not one that is often talked about in today’s job market, or even promoted in trades schools. But we’re here to let you know about another high paying, in demand career: Machinist!


The job of a Machinist has changed drastically over the past decade, but ultimately a Machinist takes large pieces of metal and makes precise parts by using a handful of tools.

Being a Machinist is truly about precision, and these days Machinists predominantly use computers in order to maintain accuracy in fabrication. However, the tools used can include, but aren’t limited too: lathes, grinders, lasers, millers, drill presses, and planers outfitted with sharp diamonds, borazon, tungsten carbide, and high speed steel to cut with proficiency and accuracy. These tools are some of the most state of the art expensive tools available, and Machinist operate them everyday!

All of the smaller parts of a metal fabricated system are made by technology controlled and operated by Machinists. Think airplanes, trains, cars and other metal systems like turbines and other metal spare parts.


Machinists must also understand the effects of heat treatment on metals and be skilled in the performance of various heat treatment processes.

The working conditions of a Machinist may not be what you think: it is largely clean and — like the skill — precise, as you are surrounded by very expensive, state of the art technology.

As was mentioned before, a Machinist relies largely on automated and computer controlled systems to produce an exact product. If the piece or part does not fit the exact specifications, then it can’t be used. We want our Machinists to be precise. I don’t know about you, but I want the next plane I fly in to be crafted by a precise Machinist!


Pay scale:

The job of a Machinist is well paid and highly skilled — which means they will always be in demand. Like any skilled trade, the salary of a Machinist varies depending on experience, but it typically falls between C$15.41 — C$33.95. With the overtime pay of a Machinist going C$21.79 — C$53.03 per hour.

Like most careers in the skilled trades, the level of experience matters a great deal to the salary of a Machinist, although the national average for a Machinist is C$51,000 annually.


The process of apprenticeship for a Machinist is typically 4 years long and requires a certain amount of hours. In Alberta it is 1560 hours to attain journeyman status.

Here is a great resource for those of you in Alberta looking to become a Machinist:


Other trades schools offering Machinist programs:


College of Trades





As always: Check out workintrades.ca to find new Machinist careers!