Let me tell you about a high-paying job that many companies are desperate to fill: Skilled machinist. That’s a specialist who works in a factory to produce precision metal parts. Machinists also make the tools that are used to manufacture everything from cell phone cases to satellites.
Rob Akers is the vice president of the National Tooling and Machining Association. And he says that a lot of people don’t consider learning the trade because they think most manufacturing jobs have moved overseas. But factories across North America say that business is booming - especially in the defense and aerospace industries, and machinists are in high demand.
Of course, you can’t just walk in off the street and get hired as a machinist. It takes about a year of trade school, and a few years of apprenticeship to become highly-skilled. It also requires good math skills, as well as an eye for detail, because some machinists work to a tolerances of one ten-thousandth of an inch, which means, you’d need a microscope to see the difference in size between one piece and the next.
If you have that type of talent, pursuing a career as a machinist is worth the time and effort. People just out of school start at about $40,000 a year. And the most-skilled operators can easily command 6 figures.
If you’re in high school, or considering changing careers, check out your local community college or trade school.