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Engineering craft machinist

Alternative titles for this job include

Engineering craft machinists use lathes, cutters and grinders to make parts used in manufacturing and engineering.

Average salary (a year)

£13,500 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm on shifts

How to become an engineering craft machinist

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You can do a college course, which will teach you some of the skills you'll need in this job. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Engineering Operations
  • Level 2 Diploma in Engineering
  • Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Technology

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information


You can start on an engineering operative intermediate apprenticeship and become a craft machinist once you get more experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information


You can join a company as a general engineering operative and train on the job to become a craft machinist.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about engineering careers from Tomorrow's Engineers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • knowledge of maths
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • observation and recording skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • choosing the correct machine tool for a particular job
  • planning the work steps following engineering instructions
  • setting tolerance levels on machines
  • working out cutting speeds
  • placing pre-formed parts in a lathe, or on the bed of a mill or grinder
  • monitoring a job's progress
  • checking the quality of finished items

Working environment

You could work in a factory or in a workshop.

Your working environment may be noisy.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

You could become a shift supervisor of a production section or whole workshop. With further training, you may be able to work as an engineering technician.

Your engineering craft skills will be useful in lots of different industries from aerospace to car manufacturing, so you may be able to specialise in one area or move between them, as your experience grows.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Fabrication Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £156.00 Weekly
  • Location: Nuneaton

Apprentice Maintenance Engineer (GTA)

  • Wage: £156.00 Weekly
  • Location: Stoke-on-Trent

Courses In England


  • Provider: DOWNEND SCHOOL
  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: Bristol


  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: Dartford

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