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Is CNC Machining a Good Career?

So you're trying to be strategic on choosing a career path. Do you want to go the university route and obtain theoretical knowledge and maybe continue on to medical or law school? Perhaps you want to go to college and get a practical education where you learn on the job skills. Or, maybe you attend a technical school and go straight into the trades.

No matter the route, many individuals want their careers to provide enough money not only for them to live but to live well! So, the question becomes, does CNC machining provide enough money for an individual to live comfortably or in other words, is CNC machining a good career?

The average wage of a CNC machinist varies depending on the number of years an individual has in the trade and, of course, the location of the job. Due to this variance, for the purposes of this article we'll focus on what you can expect to see in the Canadian market.

According to Jobillico, the average salary in Canada is $54k whereas the average salary for CNC machinists is $49k. At first glance this would suggest that CNC machining is not a lucrative career. However, when you look at the average salary in several Canadian cities where CNC machining is in demand, the salaries shoot up significantly. For example, Windsor, Ontario is a hub for tooling and CNC machining because of it's proximity to Detroit and it's history providing the big three automakers (Ford, Gm & Chrysler) with plastic injection molded car parts.

The average salary for a CNC machinists at our Windsor based shop, DC Automotive Tooling, ranges from $57k - $84k; that's $3,000 - $30,000 over the national average! The wide range of salary is due in part to the wages that are paid when one is doing overtime. Due to the hustle and bustle nature of the machining industry, there are usually many opportunities to do overtime and maximize your earnings. This higher rate of pay is also seen in cities such as Langley, British Columbia; Delta, British Columbia; Edmonton, Alberta and Lindsay, Ontario among others.

Though the salaries for CNC machining can be significantly higher than the national average within in-demand cities, a decent wage is not the only thing that constitutes a good career. There are several other factors you will want to consider such as personal interst, industry trends and benefits.

Personal Interest

If you were afraid of animals would you become a veterinarian? Hopefully your answer was no. For a career to be a good one, it should align with your personal interests. The same holds true for CNC machining. If you aren't interested in math, computing, working with your hands or using technology, then a career in CNC is not going to be fulfilling for you. CNC machining incorporates all of those things plus some on a daily basis. Our article on CNC machining delves into more of the specifics of the role if you want to assess whether or not it would be a good career choice for you!

Industry Trends

If you were told that by going to school and spending your hard earned money, or taking out loans to pay for tuition would enable you to triple your income earning potential, what would you say? Our guess is that you'd say yes!

This is how higher education is supposed to work. In reality though, many degrees and diplomas don't have this kind of return because the industries themselves are over saturated, or on the decline. Luckily, CNC machining is NOT one of those industries.

According to the Canadian government's Job Bank, the prospect for finding work as a machinist is good. Meaning that the number of positions that open up over the next few years will be more than the number of available workers. So, if you go through school and apprentice as a CNC machinist there will be a job for you! The job prospects for CNC machinist rise even higher in provinces such as British Columbia, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island Ontario and New Brunswick.


Since the machining industry tends to be one that attracts people for many years, if not a lifetime career, those who are machinists tend to get great perks and benefits attached to their job. In Ontario, it is not a requirement that companies offer benefits other than offering Workplace Insurance Coverage, contributing to Employment Insurance as well as the Canadian Pension Plan, and providing the mandated number of days for bereavement & vacation. However, most companies do offer additional benefits so that they can remain competitive in the market and attract and retain quality talent.

Competitive employers will offer some or all of the following benefits:

  • Health insurance

  • Dental insurance

  • Life insurance

  • Long term disability insurance

  • Vision care

  • Additional short term disability coverage

  • Additional vacation time

  • Paid sick days

  • Paid bonuses

  • Group RRSP or pension plans

  • Employee assistance programs

  • Flexible work arrangements

  • Education & training

As a competitive employer, DC Tooling Automotive is proud to offer many of the listed benefits and is constantly working to make improvements where they can!

So is CNC machining a good career? It definitely can be. But like every career, it's got its pros and cons. If you're interested in apprenticing or want to work as a CNC machinist, send us an email with your resume here at or visit our opportunities page to see our open positions.


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