CNC Programming Certification: Program Outline
Learn about certification in computer numerical control programming. Get information on certificate and associate degree programs, courses, program requirements and career prospects to make an informed decision about your education.
Computer numerically controlled (CNC) programmers write computer programs which control the motion of machines and tools used to cut and shape precision products, such as machine and automobile parts. Training may be found through certificate and associate degree programs often available in community colleges and trade schools. Related professional certifications are available through the National Institute of Metalworking Skills.
Computer Numerical Control Certificate
CNC programming certificate programs provide the skills needed to review computer-aided design (CAD) blueprints for a new item, calculate what cuts or borings must be made to produce the item from a solid block of material, select the appropriate tools for the job, and plan out the sequence of operations needed to complete the job. Some certificate programs offer specialized training for a specific application, such as machining or press braking. To enter a certificate program, students must have a high school diploma or a GED.
CNC programming certificates programs include courses that explain what CNC is and how it works. Most individuals seeking a certificate in CNC programming already have basic knowledge of computers, electronics, and machine tools, and many have previously worked in machine shops. Required program courses may include:
- Fundamentals of CNC technology
- CNC programming and machine operation
- CNC coordinates and offsets
- CNC controlled lathes
- CNC controlled milling machines
- Intro to CAD/CAM
- Industrial print reading
- Project management
Popular Career Options
Individuals with a certificate in computer numerical control programming can sometimes find entry-level jobs in metal-working shops. Common careers for graduates of certificate programs include:
- Computer control operators
- Machine setters
Associate of Applied Science in Computer Numerical Control Technology
These degree programs often include computer-aided design as a component of CNC technology. Students learn about computer engineering in relation to manufacturing, tool design and quality control. Students may find apprenticeships during their studies, although some programs require that students have a specific amount of experience in machining prior to enrollment into associate degree programs. All must have a high school diploma or GED to enter an associate degree program.
In associate degree programs, CNC courses give students an opportunity to strengthen their skills for entry-level positions. Students may take courses in applied mathematics, manufacturing and measurement. Common courses include:
- Print reading
- CNC basics
- CNC programming
- Jig and tool design
Popular Career Options
Careers involving computer numerical control skills can include management positions for individuals with experience and training. Popular careers include:
- Industrial production manager
- CNC machine programmers
- Tool and die maker
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects job opportunities for CNC machine tool programmers (metal and plastic) to decline by 6% over the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that the median earnings for these programmers were $45,920 in May 2012.
Individuals can earn professional certification through the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS); the organization offers a variety of certifications, including basic and advanced machining and levels 2 and 3 press braking (www.nims-skills.org). All five of these certifications include CNC skills. To earn each credential, individuals must register and gain approval of a sponsor or NIMS employee, complete an exam and a performance affidavit.
Some apprenticeship programs are available to students who have a certain level of experience (typically four years). Other apprenticeships are available through associate degree programs at community colleges and trade schools. For individuals seeking further education, a bachelor's degree in manufacturing engineering technology is one possibility. These programs are accredited through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), and some include classes offered on an evening schedule.
Related to CNC Programming Certification: Program Outline
- Recently Updated
By providing programming that targets the many areas of a girl's life, Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver is increasing their...
Web content coordinators manage website content. Their main responsibilities are producing content on Web pages and ensuring...
A radio station manager oversees the administrative and business functions of a radio station or group of stations. While some...
See our list of the top free online programming courses. Learn about what courses are available and what topics they cover to...
- Online CNC Programming Classes and Courses Overview
- Learn Linux Programming for Free Online: List of Free Learning Options
- Online Game Programming Schools: How to Choose
- Associate of Information Technology in Network Administration Degree
- Online Executive Masters Degree: Info by Specialization
- Job Description of a Drilling Supervisor
- Associate of Medical Office Administration: Degree Overview
- Marine Maintenance Technician Job Information and Requirements for a Career in Marine Maintenance and Marine Repair
- Online College Degree in Geriatric Care Management
- Correspondence Clerk Job Duties and Requirements for Becoming a Correspondence Clerk
- General Doctors Office Secretary Job Outlook and Info About Starting a Career As a Doctors Office Secretary