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Ranking the Highest Paying CNC Machinist Salaries

Feb 3, 2021 ·
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  • Ranking the Highest Paying CNC Machinist Salaries

Ever wonder if there were a way to program a computer to make just about any part or product you wanted? With computer numerical control (CNC) machines, this is possible.

CNC machinists work with CNC machinery to produce parts and tools from metal, plastic and other materials. They adjust the machines to control speed, material and path of the cut, while ensuring the machines are set up correctly, running smoothly and creating parts that meet the required specifications.

Today’s machinists support a variety of industries, including transportation, aerospace, electronics and medical, just to name a few. They create everything from medical device implants for human bodies to tiny, intricately designed parts that power machines.

How Much Do CNC Machinists Make?

In the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the 2019 median pay for computer numerically controlled tool operators was $41,200 per year.34 However, it’s important to keep in mind that a variety of factors can affect earning potential, including employer, industry and, of course, location.

If you’re wondering how much CNC machinists earn, you’ve come to the right place. Here's a look at machinist salary rankings of median wages reported in May 2019 according to the BLS, which has data for all but Alaska, Hawaii and the District of Columbia.

Top 10 Annual Salaries for CNC Machinists


1. Vermont: $70,860

While Vermont may be the sixth-smallest state in the U.S., it offers great opportunities for CNC machinists. Some of the top industries in Vermont include agriculture, manufacturing and mining, which all rely on the skills of machinists. Vermont has a long history as a precision manufacturing hub, dating to the Industrial Revolution. In fact, the town of Springfield was once part of an area known as “Precision Valley.” Today, Vermont uses some of the most modern techniques and equipment to create parts for precision machining, medical device segments and more.

2. Washington: $62,530

Aerospace, agriculture, food manufacturing, defense, maritime, life science, global health, information and communications technology, and forestry are all industries in the state of Washington that need CNC machinists. One of Washington leadership’s top priorities is to drive clean technology innovation. For CNC machinists interested in making a positive environmental impact with their work, Washington state is a great option to consider.

3. Massachusetts: $51,060

According to U.S. News & World Report, prominent industries in Massachusetts are education, health services, manufacturing and technology. Massachusetts has become a significant manufacturer of electronic and computer products, which CNC machinists may create. There is also a great concentration of technology businesses, which rely on machinists to create core components for products and machinery.

4. North Dakota: $50,220

North Dakota’s main industry is agriculture, but there are an increasing number of jobs in energy, technology, advanced manufacturing, tourism and aviation industries. Nearly a quarter of jobs are in the agricultural sector, while oil, coal and renewable energy are also dominant industries in the state. CNC machinists create parts that power machines related to these industries.

A CNC machine is used to make a precision cut.

5. Maryland: $46,230

Maryland’s state government promotes a business-friendly culture supporting top industries like IT and cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, defense and federal, life sciences, aerospace and defense, bio-health, energy and sustainability, and agribusiness. All these industries rely on perfectly working machinery to operate. CNC machinists may create small parts for machines powering these industries or products they sell.

6. West Virginia: $45,690

West Virginia has a diverse economy featuring manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, health care, and metals and steel, just to name a few. Each of these sectors presents opportunities for CNC machinists, whether it’s manufacturing gear blanks and shafts for use in mining or creating detailed prototype parts for the aerospace industry.

7. Connecticut: $45,510

Connecticut offers a wide variety of opportunities for trained CNC machinists. Among the state’s top industries is large-scale manufacturing, as those companies benefit from the state’s central location in the Northeast. This allows manufacturers to easily reach suppliers and customers throughout the U.S. and east coast of Canada. CNC machinists here may create anything from medical devices to parts for submarines.

8. Wisconsin: $45,250

Manufacturing is the leading industry in Wisconsin, contributing to 18.79% of the total output of the state. Top products manufactured by Wisconsin include food, beverage and tobacco, machinery, and fabricated metal. The state also manufactures parts for computer and electronic products, transportation, and the aerospace industries. If you’re looking for a state where you can explore a variety of different avenues as a machinist, this may be the perfect place.

9. South Carolina: $45,120

South Carolina is home to some of the most innovative and successful companies in the manufacturing, automotive, aerospace and technology industries. This means demand is high for machinists who can create quality, precise parts. If you’re passionate about the automotive industry in particular, look no further than South Carolina. The state ranks first in the production and export of tires, accounting for nearly one-third of U.S. market share.

10. Wyoming: $44,290

Mineral extraction and tourism are Wyoming’s biggest industries, according to Forbes. Oil, gas, coal, real estate, logistics and manufacturing are all economic drivers in the state. CNC machinists here work on parts that power machines and other products supporting these industries.

Ranking All 50 States and the District of Columbia

RankStateAnnual Median Wage
1Vermont$70,860
2Washington$62,530
3Massachusetts$51,060
4North Dakota$50,220
5Maryland$46,230
6West Virginia$45,690
7Connecticut$45,510
8Wisconsin$45,250
9South Carolina$45,120
10Wyoming$44,290
11New Hampshire$44,220
12Minnesota$43,980
13Colorado$43,950
14Nebraska$43,840
15Montana$43,700
16California$43,220
17Oregon$42,890
18Louisiana$42,750
19Rhode Island$42,740
20New Jersey$42,420
21Maine$42,340
22Pennsylvania$41,660
23Kansas$41,550
24Nevada$41,090
25Tennessee$40,890
26Iowa$40,240
27Arizona$40,210
28Missouri$40,150
29Ohio$39,880
30Oklahoma$39,750
31Indiana$39,690
32Michigan$39,520
33New York$39,300
34Virginia$39,180
35Alabama$39,140
35Texas$39,140
37North Carolina$38,520
38Georgia$38,210
39Kentucky$38,110
40South Dakota$38,090
41Florida$38,000
42Idaho$37,810
43Illinois$37,720
44Arkansas$36,980
45Delaware$36,950
46Utah$34,720
47Mississippi$34,310
48New Mexico$32,720
49AlaskaN/A
50HawaiiN/A
51District of ColumbiaN/A

Train to Become a CNC Machinist at UTI

If you aspire to work in a competitive field with job opportunities around the country, CNC machining may be for you. In this industry, you can combine a love of computers and technology with hands-on work that is always producing something new.

A CNC machinist training program, like the one offered at NASCAR Technical Institute, can help you forge a career as a machinist. To learn more about this 36-week program, visit our program page and request information to get in touch with one of our Admissions Representatives.

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