The work of a machinist is very precise, requiring a great deal of attention, knowledge and skill. Machinist schools in Connecticut can help students rise to the next level of this detail-oriented profession. As one of the oldest states in the U.S., Connecticut has a rich history in manufacturing, supplying and moving goods, earning it the nickname "The Provisions State."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Connecticut ranked fourth in the nation for the highest concentration of machinist jobs in 2013, behind only Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. The Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford metropolitan area was tenth in the nation for highest employment levels for machinists in 2013. This is great news for students interested in furthering their education through machinist schools in Connecticut.
Specializations for Machinists in Connecticut
Machinists work with a wide variety of tools to produce very precise metal parts. The work is highly detailed, and since the parts are often included in large assemblies, there is very little room for error. Machinists might choose to specialize in other areas of the industry, using their skills and knowledge to move into work as toolmakers, die makers and more.
- Toolmakers create the very specialized tools that are used to cut, shape and form metal. They might also create the devices that hold the metal as it is shaped, as well as measuring devices, such as gauges.
- Die makers create the forms that are used to shape metal. They might also make molds for other materials, such as plastic, composite materials or ceramics.
In addition to these two particular career paths, machinist schools in Connecticut might prepare students to move into a variety of related positions, including the following:
- Metal and plastic machine worker
- Industrial machinery mechanic
- Maintenance worker
Each of these positions requires a minimum of a high school diploma, but postsecondary education could possibly enhance job prospects and potential pay.
Machinists typically have a high school diploma or equivalent to start in the field, but like any skilled trade, it usually takes many years to master the craft. Students can even get a head start by loading up on math courses and other related classes in high school. Some apprenticeships may even require some of the following courses:
- Blueprint reading
Courses in computer-aided drafting and design might also be beneficial when it's time to look for a machinist school.
There are many postsecondary options for students interested in machinist schools in Connecticut. Those who choose to enter a training program will typically face two years of work, including advanced courses in mathematics and physics, as well as several courses in the programming and function of computer-numerically controlled machines. Students can expect to learn how to read blueprints, design machines for a particular use, and gain significant experience with using a variety of tools. Currently, all the machinist schools listed by the Connecticut Department of Labor offer programs that culminate in a certificate.
Apprenticeships are also a great option for those who wish to enter the workforce sooner. These programs are often sponsored by a manufacturer, and consist of hands-on work(usually up to 40 hours per week) with technical instruction and classroom time in addition to that. Connecticut's Office of Apprenticeship Training helps partner students with the right business or manufacturer to help them gain apprenticeship experience.
Career outlook for machinists in Connecticut
Work for machinists has become much more specialized in recent years, as machines have become more complex and churn out parts at a faster rate. According to the Hartford Courant, many employers are looking for candidates who have training and experience on five-axis to eight-axis machines -- that is, machines that have as many as eight directions of movement for the part being made. Those who have this advanced experience might see better job prospects in the state.
The BLS reported a median annual wage of $39,570 nationwide for the occupation in 2013, but Connecticut workers saw higher pay, at $43,970. Salary.com also found that all machinist jobs in Connecticut were reported as having above-average pay.
Work opportunities could be very good for those who graduate from machinist schools in Connecticut. According to BLS data, work for machinists is expected to grow by 9 percent from 2012 to 2022; Projections Central reports 9.7 percent growth for machinists in Connecticut during that same time period. This is a great time to start up your career as a machinist, so be sure check out some of the schools below to get started.
- Connecticut Machinist I Salaries, Salary.com, http://www1.salary.com/CT/Machinist-I-salary.html
- Long Term Occupational Projections, State of Connecticut, Projections Central, https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
- "Machinist Scarcity: More Training Not the Answer," Hartford Courant, October 10, 2011, Mara Lee, http://articles.courant.com/2011-10-10/business/hc-cnc-machinist-shortage-20111010_1_cnc-machinists-aerospace-subcontractors-supply-and-demand
- Machinists and Tool and Die Makers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/machinists-and-tool-and-die-makers.htm#tab-1
- Machinists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes514041.htm
- Occupational Program List, Connecticut Department of Labor, http://www1.ctdol.state.ct.us/etc/program_list.asp?intProgCurrentPage=1
- Office of Apprenticeship Training, Connecticut Department of Labor, http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/progsupt/appren/appren.htm
- Right Skills Now for Manufacturing, The Manufacturing Institute, http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/Skills-Certification/Right-Skills-Now/Right-Skills-Now.aspx
- Business and Industry, Connecticut History, http://connecticuthistory.org/topics-page/business-and-industry/