How To Become A CNC Programmer: Degree and Education Requirements

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what degree do you need to become a Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmer, Metal and Plastic
majors for Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic

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
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Be A CNC Programmer: What You Really Need


In this requirements guide for Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic, you will find out what do you need to become a Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmer, Metal and Plastic and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be a Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmer, Metal and Plastic.



Degree required

Recommended degree level

Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)

Associates degree
35.53%

Certificate
30%

Bachelors degree
14.62%

Some college courses
10.01%

High School Diploma
5.62%

Generally, employers are looking for CNC Programmers who have a Associates degree. They also prefer someone who is good in Programming and Monitoring.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become A CNC Programmer or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other CNC Programmers what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Machinist Technology/CNC Machinist

A few months of on-the-job training is enough for most Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic to learn basic machine operations, but 1 year or more is required to become highly skilled. Although not always required, employers prefer to hire workers who have a high school diploma. Those interested in this occupation can improve their employment opportunities by completing high school courses in computer programming, shop and blueprint reading. Some community colleges and other schools offer courses and certificate programs in operating metal and plastics machines.



Schools

schools for CNC Programmers

Interested in becoming A CNC Programmer? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?

Click to start becoming a Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmer, Metal and Plastic




How long does it take

Difficulty
Medium

You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be A CNC Programmer.

For example: An electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

To become A CNC Programmer, you will usually need 1 to 2 years of training which includes both on-the-job experience and training with experienced workers.


How long does it take
1 to 2 years


Work experience
1 to 2 years

1 to 2 years
33.24%

2 to 4 years
18.8%

6 to 8 years
13.38%

8 to 10 years
12.48%

6 months to 1 year
10.92%

Job training
0 to 1 month

0 to 1 month
34.01%

6 months to 1 year
25.2%

1 to 2 years
15.38%

4 to 10 years
12.48%

3 to 6 months
5.65%

Most CNC Programmers have 1 to 2 years work experience and 0 to 1 month job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.



License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Recommended but not required


Although certification is not required, a growing number of employers prefer that Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic become certified. Certification can show competence and professionalism and can be helpful for advancement. The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) has developed skills standards in 24 operational areas.



Skills required

We asked other CNC Programmers if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Programming what does this mean
2.Monitoring what does this mean
3.Complex Problem Solving what does this mean
4.Operation Monitoring what does this mean
5.Critical Thinking what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful CNC Programmers have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Attention to Detail and Analytical Thinking.

1.Attention to Detail
2.Analytical Thinking
3.Stress Tolerance
4.Dependability
5.Persistence




Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful CNC Programmers you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. Mathematics what does this mean
2.Mechanical what does this mean
3.Design what does this mean
4.Engineering and Technology what does this mean
5.Production and Processing what does this mean

As A CNC Programmer, you may also be required to know how to use certain Computer aided manufacturing CAM software, Computer aided design CAD software and Computer aided manufacturing CAM software tools.

1CadCam Unigraphics (Computer aided manufacturing CAM software)
Autodesk AutoCAD software (Computer aided design CAD software)
BobCAD-CAM software (Computer aided manufacturing CAM software)
Celeritive Technologies VoluMill (Computer aided manufacturing CAM software)
CGTech VERICUT CNC (Computer aided manufacturing CAM software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for




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

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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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