Machine Shop Technology Training and Degree Program Info

As part of an Associate of Applied Science in Machine Shop Technology degree program, students learn to design and create the metal parts used in equipment and acquire the technical skills needed to safely operate metal-cutting machine tools.

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 for these two-year programs 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.

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 399,040 jobs in the United States in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As of May 2015, they earned a mean annual salary of $42,120 (

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.

Through hands-on training with tools, blueprints and common machine shop equipment like drills, presses and grinders, students in an associate's degree program in machine shop technology prepare to become professional machinists. Although certifications are not required to work professionally, many machinists earn voluntary certifications that prove they are qualified to work.

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