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Engineering craft machinist

Alternative titles for this job include

Engineering craft machinists make parts for the manufacturing and engineering industries using equipment like 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 Engineering craft machinist

You can get into this job through:

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


You could 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 could do an Engineering Operative Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship or a Machining Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information


You could start as a general engineering operative at a company and train on the job to become a craft machinist.

More 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

As an engineering craft machinist, you could:

  • follow engineering drawings
  • choose the correct tools for a particular job
  • set tolerance levels on machinery, choose cutting speeds and programme machines
  • operate cutters, grinders, lathes and milling machines
  • monitor progress, check quality and carry out safety checks

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 workshop. With further training, you might 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. You might be able to specialise in one area or move between areas.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Wiring Harness Technician

  • Wage: £12,480 to £22,308 a year Annually
  • Location: NI Park, Newport

Engineering Apprentice

  • Wage: £12,313.60 a year Annually
  • Location: Armstrong, Washington

Courses In England

Certificate in Engineering

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Halifax

Certificate in Engineering

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: DAVENTRY

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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