What They Do

Set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. May also fabricate and modify parts to make or repair machine tools or maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, metal properties, layout, and machining procedures.

Calculate dimensions or tolerances, using instruments such as micrometers or vernier calipers.

Machine parts to specifications, using machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, shapers, or grinders.

Set up, adjust, or operate basic or specialized machine tools used to perform precision machining operations.


Certificate after high school or high school diploma/GED usually needed

Median Income


Skills Needed

Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem

Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements

Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it

Abilities Needed

Hold or move items with your hands

Keep your arm or hand steady

Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat

Use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down

Communicate by speaking

Listen and understand what people say notice when problems happen

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