We have been asked this question over and over again starting from a young age, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Answers like a doctor, police officer or engineer usually rise to the surface, but what about mechanical pursuits? In a world full of endless advertisements for top name universities or programs offered at technical schools, has the idea of becoming a machinist been pushed to the periphery? How can we as educators do a better job of relaying the benefits that come from a machinist education?
Stress the Income and Ditch the Debt
Money can be a powerful incentive for anyone, especially when an individual has the power to make a high salary without attending college. The average income for a machinist is $60k a year, ranging from $35k to $78k. With just a high school diploma and a training program or apprenticeship, a student has the ability to avoid college debt, or attend college while earning a steady income. With most in-state colleges charging $10k a year, a machinist can easily pursue an additional degree and pay in full, making a machinist education highly valuable.
An Increase in Jobs
With a surging economy, we have a high need for production which translates into more available jobs and opportunities for machinists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increase in machinist positions is expected to continue throughout 2018, making a machinist education worthwhile in the short-term, as well as the future.
A Business to Call Your Own
With the proper training and a few years of hands-on experience, opening a small business can be easier and cheaper than expected. With used tools readily available on sites like eBay Inc. and Amazon.com, starting your own business has become simple and profitable. Just think, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Google, Amazon and more all started in a garage.
Enlighten Your Students
Students crave real-world experiences and are eager to learn the business through hands-on applications. In order to give students a taste of the industry, schedule tours with local machine shops and manufacturing businesses so they can glimpse their future workplace atmosphere. Tours are an excellent way to demonstrate what lectures and books can not show. In addition to touring manufacturing facilities, provide firsthand experiences by working with machinery and creating products. Working up close and personal with different machines can provide students with an in-depth view of the knowledge and skills necessary to become a machinist. If available within your program, try to provide a certificate of the skills acquired so that the student can become more marketable to future employers. A certificate also provides students with another incentive to pursue a machinist education.
The Possibilities are Endless
From working with different materials like titanium and steel to creating unique products like engine parts or prototypes, machinists run the gamut with their creativity and resourcefulness. In our ever-changing, fast-paced world, machinists are relied upon to provide us with tools and products to keep evolving and pushing the envelope. By stressing the high salary, freedom from debt and the future job market, students will be drawn to the creative and progressive qualities that a career as a machinist can provide.