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Engineering craft machinist

Alternative titles for this job include

Engineering craft machinists make parts for manufacturing and engineering industries, using lathes, cutters and grinders.

Average salary (a year)

£19,000 Starter


£33,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this job, you'll:

  • plan work steps following engineering drawings
  • choose the correct tools for a particular job
  • set tolerance levels on machinery
  • work out cutting speeds
  • programme computer-controlled machines
  • operate lathes, cutters, grinders and milling machines
  • monitor a job's progress
  • check the quality of products
  • carry out safety checks on machinery and equipment

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Engineering Apprentice - Surface Mount Technology

  • Wage: £14,976.00 Annually
  • Location: Colmworth Business Park, Eaton Socon

Apprenticeship Workshop Technician

  • Wage: £18,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Consett, Durham

Courses In England


  • Start date: 06 September 2023
  • Location: Alton

Certificate in Engineering

  • Start date: 04 September 2023
  • Location: Colchester

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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