Machinists and Machining and Tooling Inspectors

(NOC 7231)

in All Trades and Transportation

Machinists make unique instruments and components with precise dimensions using a variety of metal cutting and shaping machinery. Machining and tooling inspectors inspect machined parts and tooling to maintain quality control standards. They work for machinery, equipment, motor vehicle, automotive parts, aircraft, and other metal products manufacturing companies and by machine shops.

Job Outlook

Good

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  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 115 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Outlook for machinists: good, a better than average chance of a qualified individual finding work.

Size of the occupation in Nova Scotia: moderate, with some opportunities from turnover.

Employment: growth will create a moderate number of new positions. Several positions will become available due to retirements.

Unemployment: There are a moderate number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupations.

Work hours: full-time hours, normally. Jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions as both are common.

Steady employment growth and fewer applicants have resulted in a growing demand for this occupation. Opportunities are more abundant in the Halifax area, particularly in oceans-related industries.

Hourly Pay

$18.00

Minimum

$26.50

Median

$40.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$23,087

Minimum

$52,882

Median

$81,072

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$24.00

Median

$37.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Machinists make unique instruments and components with precise dimensions using a variety of metal cutting and shaping machinery. Machining and tooling inspectors inspect machined parts and tooling to maintain quality control standards. They work for machinery, equipment, motor vehicle, automotive parts, aircraft, and other metal products manufacturing companies and by machine shops.

Job duties

Machinists:

  • Read and interpret engineering drawings, blueprints, charts and tables or study sample parts to determine machining operation to be performed and plan best sequence of operations.
  • Compute dimensions and tolerances and measure and lay out work pieces.
  • Set up, operate and maintain a variety of machine tools including computer numerically controlled (CNC) tools to perform precision, non-repetitive machining operations like sawing, turning, milling, boring, planing, drilling, precision grinding and other operations.
  • Fit and assemble machined metal parts and subassemblies using hand and power tools.
  • Verify dimensions of products for accuracy and conformance to specifications using precision measuring instruments.
  • May set up and program machine tools for use by machining tool operators.

Machining and tooling inspectors:

  • Verify dimensions of machined parts or tooling using micrometers, verniers, calipers, height gauges, optical comparators, coordinate measuring machines (CMM) or other specialized measuring instruments.
  • Maintain, repair, and calibrate precision measuring instruments like dial indicators, fixed gauges, height gauges and other measuring devices.
  • Report deviations from specifications and tolerances to supervisor.
  • Complete and maintain inspection reports.

Sample job titles

  • computer numerical control (CNC) machinist
  • machine shop inspector
  • machining and tooling inspector
  • machinist
  • machinist apprentice
  • maintenance machinist
  • tool and die inspector
  • tooling inspector

Skills

  • Good hand-eye coordination and agility
  • Comfort working with tools
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to perform mathematical calculations
  • Ability to use computer equipment
  • Ability to use hands skillfully and quickly
  • Ability to estimate and measure sizes and distances accurately
  • Ability to work alone at tasks that require concentration and physical effort
  • Enjoy creative work with machinery that requires a high degree of skill and precision.

Job requirements

  • High school or equivalent (usually).
  • Training through a 7,200-hour apprenticeship program with four apprenticeship levels: to become an apprentice you first need to have a job - enter an apprenticeship agreement either directly through an employer or after graduating from a college-level pre-apprenticeship program; learn on the job, mentored by a certified journeyperson who signs off on skills in a logbook.
  • Trade Qualifier option, 10,800 hours and other criteria.
  • Certification for machinists is voluntary in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the Red Seal exam for machinists.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) allows for interprovincial mobility.
  • Several years of experience as a machinist, tool and die maker, or machining tool operator may be required for machining and tooling inspectors.

Other considerations

  • Setting: shops often have high noise level and can be dusty. The use of petroleum products and chemicals is common, so some cleaning of oily equipment is required.
  • Risks: risk of injury when working with high-speed machinery and sharp metals and tools.
  • Machinists often stand for long periods and may at times be rushed to complete a job.
  • Machinists typically work a 40-hour, 5-day work week with overtime required in emergencies.
  • Night or evening shifts are common in some shops.
  • Machinists work on CNC machines or sometimes older, conventional machines.
  • Machinists may need to lift and move heavy items.
  • Familiarity with exotic and composite materials may be required for machinists in aviation and other advanced manufacturing sectors.
  • Workers need to keep up with changing technology. Sophisticated computer-controlled equipment has transformed the work of machinists.
  • Apprentices usually earn a percentage of the journeyperson (fully qualified) rate. This percentage increases as each level of the apprenticeship program is completed.
  • Experienced machinists may advance to positions like inspector, foreman, superintendent, or CNC programmer. Some machinists start their own business.
  • Everyone has fair access to participate and succeed in the apprenticeship system. Everyone who develops the necessary skills and abilities should be able to succeed in the trades and trade qualification system. Work environments in the province support women and equity-seeking communities.

By the numbers

Quick look

685

employed in 2016

92.7%

employed full-time

8.8%

self employed

1.5%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
98.5%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
49.5

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

44.9%

Halifax

$58,071 median annual income
21.7%

North Shore

$46,350 median annual income
16.7%

Annapolis Valley

$54,283 median annual income
13.0%

Southern

$52,507 median annual income
3.6%

Cape Breton

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

76.6%

Manufacturing

5.6%

Other services (except public administration)

5.6%

Public administration

2.4%

Professional, scientific and technical services

1.6%

Arts, entertainment and recreation

What is the age of Employment?

32.0%

45-54

26.0%

55-64

17.0%

25-34

17.0%

35-44

4.0%

65+

4.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

46.7%

College Diploma

$47,112 median annual income
40.1%

Trade Certification

$65,590 median annual income
5.8%

High school

$52,604 median annual income
3.6%

Less than high school

N/A
1.5%

Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

Apprenticeship - Machinist

Apprenticeship Program

Apprenticeship is a structured training program leading to certification in the skilled trades. An apprenticeship combines supervised on-the-job training and experience with theoretical technical training. You find a job in your trade first and then enter into an apprenticeship agreement. You work 7,200 hours mentored by a certified journeyperson and gain the required skills and knowledge. You also take some technical courses. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency administers the trades training and certification system. A machinist apprenticeship prepares apprentices to plan, manufacture, assemble, test, and repair parts, mechanisms, machines, and structures in which materials are cast, formed, shaped, moulded, heat treated, cut, twisted, pressed, fused, stamped or worked.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Machine Tool Technology/Machinist - Pre-apprenticeship College Program

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to plan, manufacture, assemble, test, and repair parts, mechanisms, machines, and structures in which materials are cast, formed, shaped, moulded, heat treated, cut, twisted, pressed, fused, stamped or worked.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Trade Qualifier

Trades Program

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency also offers a path to trades certification outside of a formal apprenticeship agreement with a qualified journeyperson. This option includes a set amount of required hours of related experience in the trade, passing a certification exam, and other criteria. Contact the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency for more details.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Machinist

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, but a certificate is not needed to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Toronto, ON
Canadian Tooling and Machining Association
Cambridge, ON
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
Enfield, NS
Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium
Various, Canada
Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia
Halifax, NS