What to expect from a career as a Machinist

Jobs in the machining industry are in high demand, which makes the skills learned in machinist programs at Ontario colleges extremely valuable. Machinists work hand-in-hand with engineers, constructing or modifying parts, tools or pieces of equipment (primarily metal) to reflect engineering drawings or blueprints.

If you want to put your technical, self-motivating and detail-oriented skills to work in the rapidly growing machining industry, here’s what you need to know.

Machinist Courses

Two-year Ontario college machinist programs give students hands-on training with machinist tools, including lathes, grinders, milling machines and more. Students will also learn blueprint reading, technical mathematics and workshop technology to prepare them for work in a machinist shop.

Skills in related fields, such as tool and die, CNC machining and programming, may also be part of the curriculum. Business management training will be a valuable focus area for students considering independent work.

Machinist programs are also available as one-year certificate programs or apprenticeship programs. To qualify for an apprenticeship program, you must be registered with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. Those who have completed a two-year diploma program may choose to continue their education in these programs.

General Machinist Program Requirements

Ontario college machinist program requirements generally include an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including a grade 12 English credit. A grade 12 mathematics credit may also be required or recommended, and a senior physics course may be seen as an asset.

Machinist Jobs and Salaries

Machinist careers encompass a number of areas and specializations in the field. Positions you could pursue include (but are not limited to):

  • Practical Machinist
  • CNC Machinist
  • CNC Programmer
  • Mould Maker
  • Machine Tool Builder

Completing an apprenticeship is a strong asset in the field, and could help you determine which area of specialty is right for you.

The average starting salaries for entry-level machinist positions are between $30,000 and $35,000 a year, but with experience an average salary of $45,000 is considered competitive. Depending on your specialty and years in the field, salaries can go as high as (or higher than) $60,000 a year.

Ontario Colleges Offering Machinist Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of machinist programs at Ontario colleges.

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