When the success of a manufacturing operation requires a part that doesn’t exist, machinists create the solution. Working with raw materials like metal and plastic, they operate a variety of machines to produce precision parts and instruments.

Job Outlook 2016–2026*

+4% expected growth

Education/Training Required

Minimum = High school diploma or equivalent
Preferred = Apprenticeship during or after high school


  • Understand blueprints and computer-aided design (CAD) files
  • Operate different types of machine tools
  • Monitor the various machines
  • Examine completed products to make sure they meet standards
  • Communicate with customers to adjust products as needed
  • Understand various cutting and measuring tools for a variety of materials

Wages in Arkansas**

Top 10% Annual = $60,390*

Average Annual = $38,350**
Average Hourly = $18.44**

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