What Do CNC Programmers Do: Job Description, Responsibilities and Duties

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daily life of a Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmer, Metal and Plastic
are Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic happy with their job

Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic

Other names for this job might include CAD CAM Programmer (Computer-Aided Design Computer-Aided Manufacturing Programmer), CNC Process Control Programmer, Computer Numerical Control Programmer (CNC Programmer), Machinist, Manufacturing Engineer, Metal Numerical Control Programmer, Metal Numerical Tool Programmer, Mold Maker, Numerical Control Nesting Operator, Numerical Control Programmer (NC Programmer)


  • $51630
    Salary
  • 61%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

C+



Being A CNC Programmer: What You Really Do


In this job description guide, you will find out what do Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmer, Metal and Plastic or not.



Job summary

CNC Programmers develop programs to control machining or processing of metal or plastic parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems.

We asked CNC Programmers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

61%

How meaningful is this job

46%


61% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 46% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



Become one

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Typical day

On a daily basis, CNC Programmers Determine the sequence of machine operations, and select the proper cutting tools needed to machine workpieces into the desired shapes. They Revise programs or tapes to eliminate errors, and retest programs to check that problems have been solved.

1 of the main responsibilities as A CNC Programmer is to Analyze job orders, drawings, blueprints, specifications, printed circuit board pattern films, and design data to calculate dimensions, tool selection, machine speeds, and feed rates.

Some may also Determine reference points, machine cutting paths, or hole locations, and compute angular and linear dimensions, radii, and curvatures.

In a normal work day, another thing that CNC Programmers do is they Observe machines on trial runs or conduct computer simulations to ensure that programs and machinery will function properly and produce items that meet specifications.

In addition to that, they Compare encoded tapes or computer printouts with original part specifications and blueprints to verify accuracy of instructions..

A typical day for A CNC Programmer look like this:

Determine production equipment settings.
Select production equipment according to product specifications.
Program equipment to perform production tasks.
Study blueprints or other instructions to determine equipment setup requirements.

We asked some CNC Programmers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?47% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?45% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?49% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?95% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?51% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?20% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?13% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?31% said yes



Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that CNC Programmers do, they Prepare geometric layouts from graphic displays, using computer-assisted drafting software or drafting instruments and graph paper. They might also Write instruction sheets and cutter lists for a machine’s controller to guide setup and encode numerical control tapes.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Create diagrams or blueprints for workpieces or products.
Program equipment to perform production tasks.



Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)


In a typical work week as A CNC Programmer, you can expect to work More than 40 hours per week.

Do CNC Programmers work in an office-style work environment?

Everyday
65.41%

Once a week
0%

Once a month
0%

Once a year
7%

Never
27.58%

Do CNC Programmers work in a warehouse-style work environment?

Everyday
38.45%

Once a week
0%

Once a month
0%

Once a year
28.98%

Never
32.57%

Do CNC Programmers work outdoors?

Everyday
0%

Once a week
0%

Once a month
5.45%

Once a year
37.96%

Never
56.59%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Thinkers and The Organizers


You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

You also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.



How we can help

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Rank: B
Salary: $63140

They set up, test, and adjust manufacturing machinery or equipment, using any combination of electrical, electronic, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, or computer technologies.
Rank: C
Salary: $41540

They set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. May also fabricate and modify parts to make or repair machine tools or maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, metal properties, layout, and machining procedures.
Rank: D
Salary: $41670

They lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.
Rank: C+
Salary: $55470

They apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, test, or calibrate machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
Rank: D
Salary: $50090

They analyze specifications, lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts to make and repair dies, cutting tools, jigs, fixtures, gauges, and machinists’ hand tools.






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Career type

Production
Computer Science
Information Support and Services, Programming and Software Development
Production

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Related to Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/production/metal-and-plastic-machine-workers.htm
http://www.ntma.org/
http://www.pmpa.org/
http://www.pmaef.org/

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Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic
Written by: Stanley Tan
CNC Programmers develop programs to control machining or processing of metal or plastic parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems.
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