CNC Programmers Salary 2018: How Much Money Do They Make

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hourly pay for Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic
do Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic make a lot of money

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)

  • $53560
  • 61%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


How Much Do CNC Programmers Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmer, Metal and Plastic will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$53560 per year

Hourly wage
$25.750 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do CNC Programmers make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of CNC Programmers is $53560. Their salary can also be as low as $32860 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $78760 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $25.750 and can range from $15.800 to $37.860 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A CNC Programmer will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A CNC Programmer to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do CNC Programmers make with other careers, they have a salary rank of C.

Become one

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$37.860$78760
Senior (Top 25%)$30.140$62690
Middle (Mid 50%)$24.320$50580
Junior (Bottom 25%)$19.490$40540
No experience (Bottom 10%)$15.800$32860

Entry-level CNC Programmers who starts out at $40540 can expect to make $50580 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $15.800 per hour while the top 10% makes over $37.860 per hour.

While the median wage is $50580 per annum or $24.320 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing33.2869220
Engineering Services31.2564990
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services30.7563960
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services30.4363300
Computer Systems Design and Related Services29.3561050
Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors28.7559800
Dairy Product Manufacturing28.7159710
Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing28.5859440
Building Equipment Contractors28.3358940
Transportation Equipment Manufacturing28.2858830
Miscellaneous Manufacturing26.6555440
Specialty Trade Contractors26.4755050
Resin, Synthetic Rubber, and Artificial Synthetic Fibers and Filaments Manufacturing26.4755050
Steel Product Manufacturing from Purchased Steel25.4752990
Food Manufacturing25.3952810
Industrial Machinery Manufacturing25.2652530
Machine Shops25.0552100
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services24.8751740
Administrative and Support Services24.8751740
Machine Shops; Turned Product; and Screw, Nut, and Bolt Manufacturing24.8751730
Employment Services24.8551680
Other General Purpose Machinery Manufacturing24.3550640
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing24.2950530
All industries24.1350200
All industries, private ownership only24.1350190
Primary Metal Manufacturing24.1150160
Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing24.0450010
Turned Product and Screw, Nut, and Bolt Manufacturing24.0450000
Wholesale Trade23.7749440
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing23.7549400
Machinery Manufacturing23.7549400
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods23.6949280
Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing23.6149100
Metalworking Machinery Manufacturing23.548880
Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing23.448680
Cutlery and Handtool Manufacturing23.3548570
Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing23.2748400
Engine, Turbine, and Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing23.2348320
Boiler, Tank, and Shipping Container Manufacturing23.148060
Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing22.8947620
Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing22.8347480
Communications Equipment Manufacturing22.8247470
Forging and Stamping22.7347270
Spring and Wire Product Manufacturing22.6447090
Ventilation, Heating, Air-Conditioning, and Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturing22.3346440
Hardware Manufacturing22.346370
Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing22.2246230
Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing22.1846140
Plastics Product Manufacturing22.1145990
Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing22.145980
Coating, Engraving, Heat Treating, and Allied Activities22.145970
Chemical Manufacturing21.9545660
Wood Product Manufacturing21.8145370
Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing21.7945310
Metal and Mineral (except Petroleum) Merchant Wholesalers21.7745280
Electrical Equipment Manufacturing21.4544620
Other Electrical Equipment and Component Manufacturing21.4244550
Wood Kitchen Cabinet and Countertop Manufacturing21.3844470
Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing21.3344370
Office Furniture (including Fixtures) Manufacturing21.0243720
Glass and Glass Product Manufacturing2143690
Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing20.0241630
Other Wood Product Manufacturing19.9141410
Other Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing19.540560
Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing19.1339790
Other Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing18.8139130
Household and Institutional Furniture and Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturing18.4438360
Motor Vehicle Body and Trailer Manufacturing18.137660
Household and Institutional Furniture Manufacturing17.7436910

Not all industries pay the same for Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A CNC Programmer is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like WA doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at WA may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful CNC Programmers are in the states of WA, NJ, CA, NH and TX. The average salary in WA is $80700.

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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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