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A CNC Machinist shows a skilled manufacturing professional the CNC machine.

CNC Machinist Salary: How Much Does a CNC Machinist Make?

Want to know how much an average CNC Machinist makes? We break down salaries by location, earning potential & more!

The average CNC Machinist salary can range based on experience level, location, and the sophistication of industry output. Above all, a job as a CNC Machinist can be as fulfilling as it is well-compensated. 

In this article we’ll cover the average CNC Machinist salary nationally and regionally, so you can chart your expected career path accordingly, no matter where you are in the journey.

What Does a CNC Machinist Do? 

A CNC Machinist's day-to-day responsibilities involve setting up, running, and reviewing CNC Machine operations to produce parts and tools from metal, plastic, and other materials. CNC Machinists get to work in a wide variety of industries, like ​​transportation, aerospace, electronics, and medical. Since the average CNC Machinist salary varies based on location and experience, it pays to know the average salary in your region. 

A CNC Machinist position offers rewarding, stable employment without needing a four-year college degree. CNC Machinists also get the chance to directly contribute to the production of a variety of products, including medical device implants for human bodies and tiny, intricately designed parts that power machines. 

Let’s review the data on a CNC Machinist salary in today’s manufacturing labor market. 

How Much Does a CNC Machinist Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average CNC Machinist salary in 2020 was $44,300 per year. Since that salary can vary depending on experience, employer, employee demand, and geographic location, we’ll dig into the specifics. 

States with the highest average salaries, which include Washington, California, Texas, and Wisconsin, tend to line up with the average salaries for CNC Machinists. 

To get a sense of how CNC Machinist pay rate varies from state to state, we’ve included a sample of CNC Machinist salaries across the United States*:

Scientific and research development industries, motor vehicle manufacturing, aerospace products, parts manufacturing, and specialized design industries are the top-paying industries for CNC Machinists. 

To cite an example, the state of Washington is one of the leaders in driving clean technology innovation in aerospace, agriculture, and military defense. This inherently drives up the cost for production, and by extension, the average CNC Machinist salary and preferred experience. 

If your goal as either an entry-level or mid-level Machinist is to put yourself in the position to maximize your value, then committing to one of these industries in a higher-paying state is the right combination for you. 

What is the earning potential of a CNC Machinist? 

Five years ago, $38,720 was the national average of a CNC Machinist salary. According to Payscale, an entry-level average CNC Machinist salary can pay a little more than $15 per hour, or roughly an annual salary of $31,185. A mid-level salary is $20 an hour on average, or $41,580 per year. For a senior position, the pay is $27 an hour on average, or $56,133 per year. 

The next step up in a Machinist’s career is to get promoted to a CNC Programmer, which boasts an average annual salary of $61,010.  

We hope this helps you find the right CNC Machinist position, or determine if a career as a CNC Machinist is right for you. According to ZipRecruiter, CNC Machinists who are well into their career can seek “economic advancement by changing locations.” The same rule applies if you’re just starting out, and not tied to a specific location in your personal life. Since experience as a CNC Machinist is such a transferable skill, you can go where the market is in demand of your unique capabilities. This can allow a CNC Machinist to align their personal and professional goals, which is always the desired outcome. 

If you’re exploring your options, or looking to take the next step in CNC Machinist journey, check out our Career Paths hub. This resource can help you understand which manufacturing job fits your skills and interests. After that, head over to our job board to find exciting job opportunities in your area. If you’ve already applied and received an offer, make sure you’re being paid fairly based on skills and experience with the average pay information above and our blog post on negotiating your salary

*Source: ZipRecruiter