Machine Shop Technology Training and Degree Program Info

The primary goal of a 2-year Associate of Applied Science in Machine Shop Technology degree program is to provide students with the educational background and technical skills necessary to safely operate a variety of metal-cutting machine tools. Students learn to design and create the metal parts used in various types of machinery and equipment.

Essential Information

Depending on the AAS in machine shop technology program, some schools require students enrolled to have their own set of hand or power tools. Other programs may include these tools as part of the program's tuition. Educational prerequisites include a high school diploma or GED, as well as demonstrated English-language reading comprehension. Some schools may require students to have completed a pre-vocational workshop program before enrolling.

  • Program Levels: Associate of Applied Science
  • Prerequisites:High school diploma or equivalent, students may need their own tools and a pre-vocational workshop as well as proficiency in English
  • Program Length: 2 years

Associate of Applied Science in Machine Shop Technology

Students enrolled in machine shop technology degree programs learn to read blueprints, use measuring equipment, operate machine shop tools and follow workshop safety standards. They also receive hands-on training in the use of drill presses, grinders, milling machines and saws, among other tools and equipment commonly used in machine shops. Many courses in these programs emphasize technical and vocational skills, including:

  • Applied mathematics
  • Welding
  • Technical writing
  • Metallurgy
  • Power machinery
  • Precision layouts

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Machinists may work for manufacturers of aerospace parts, metalworks, motor vehicles and many other pieces of industrial equipment. Overall, machinists held nearly 400,000 jobs in the United States in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As of May 2014, they earned a mean annual salary of $41,540 ( and the field is projected to grow about 7% from 2012 to 2022.

Certification Options

Machinists are not required to have any certifications to work in their field; however, some professionals do choose to gain certification to prove to potential employers that they are qualified to work in a machine shop. Some state apprenticeship boards and professional organizations offer certification to machinists who complete apprenticeship programs. These apprenticeship programs may take as long as four years to complete and combine hands-on work experience and classroom study, much like an associate's degree program. Unlike an associate's degree program, however, those in an apprenticeship program may earn a salary rather than pay tuition.

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