Career Profile:


Ocean Tracking Network, 2015
Ocean Tracking Network, 2015


Median Yearly





This unit group is for all machinist and machining and tooling inspectors: Machinists set up and operate a variety of machine tools to cut or grind metal, plastic or other materials to make or modify parts or products with precise dimensions.

Work type:


Most likely to work in:

Cape Breton, Halifax, Northern Region

Most employees have:

Non-university certificate or diploma


Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program

What you do

Machinists make very unique instruments and components with specific requirements for use in industrial machinery or products. 

In the oceans technology sector, machinists design and manufacture ocean technology instruments for a variety of initiatives such as remote sensing, data loggers for aquatic life migratory patterns, underwater sonar and detection systems, seabed imaging, offshore exploration for oil and gas, and subsea exploration.

A Machinist performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Read and interpret engineering drawings, blueprints, charts and tables or study sample parts to determine machining operation to be performed;
  • Compute dimensions and tolerances and measures, and lay out work pieces;
  • Set up, operate and maintain a variety of machine tools including tools to perform precision, non-repetitive machining operations such as sawing, turning, milling, boring, drilling, precision grinding and other operations; and
  • Fit and assemble machined metal parts and subassemblies using hand and power tools.

What you need

  • Good hand-eye coordination and agility are needed
  • You should be comfortable working with tools and able to read and analyze mechanical drawings
  • Possess the ability to work systematically, think analytically, and perform basic mathematical calculations
  • Be comfortable using computer equipment
  • Be precise in the fabrication, modification and repair of mechanical equipment.

Who might be hiring?

References and further reading

* The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is "good", which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is above average.

Your Career Pathway

Opportunities for Hands-on Experience

Secondary School
Co-op: Options and Opportunities (Science Streams)
Oceans 11

Post-Secondary Educational Programs

Certificates, Diplomas, Community College
Nova Scotia Community College: Machining
2 years, $3,130 / year
Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program

Allows qualified tradespersons to practice the trade in any province or territory in Canada where the trade is designated without having to write further examinations. This program is the first step towards Journeyperson Certification in the Machinist trade.