Machine Tool

“If I make a part that can help save someone’s life, that’s a good thing.”

— Dan Eason, Wells Technology

Discover how Dan made good

machinist setting up equipment

What do machinists or machine-tool specialists do?

  • Make accurate parts by cutting away materials from a block, sheet, or an existing part.
  • Produce parts for diverse products, from computers to medical devices.
  • Use computer software and technology to tell the machine how to cut parts.
  • Using tools like lathes, gauges, and calipers, as well as emerging technologies such as Swiss machining and 3D printing.

Career Facts

High Demand

Companies are seeking trained machinists.

A good living

Machinists in Minnesota make a mean salary of $46,120 a year.

Strong Placement

96% of machine tool students are hired within 6 months of graduation.

A Growing Field

380 students graduate each year from machine tool programs in Minnesota.

Repetitive Tasks

You might be assigned to work on the same product and machine over multiple days.

Pressure to Perform

You’ll need to meet deadlines to achieve productivity goals.

Machine Tool Careers

  • Machine operator
  • CNC programmer
  • CNC toolmaker
  • CNC operations technician
  • Tool & die maker
  • Moldmaker

You may complete your education in:

  • Less than 1 year
  • 1 year
  • 2 years

College Programs

St. Cloud Technical and Community College, St. Cloud

Pine Technical and community college, Pine City


“I had a hard time in school. Having this job gave me skills that I’m really grateful for. If I make a part that can help save someone’s life, that’s a good thing. That’s a good feeling.”

— Dan Eason, Wells Technology


Research and information are taken from:

  • Career OneStop
  • Career Manufacturing
  • CAREERWise Education (formerly iSeek)
  • Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic
  • Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Workforce Assessment Initiative
  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • O*NET
  • The Manufacturing Institute
  • U.S. Department of Labor and Wanted Analytics.

Information is subject to change without notice.