dcsimg

Computer Control Programmer

Job Duties

Computer-control programmers cut and shape precision products, such as auto parts, compressors, and machine parts, using computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines. CNC machines are machining tools, such as lathes, multiaxis spindles, milling machines, and electrical discharge machines (EDM) that perform functions with the aid of a computer-control module. CNC machines cut away metal, plastic, or glass from a workpiece to form a finished product. Computer-control programmers typically produce large quantities of one part, but may also produce small batches of unique items. Their knowledge of the properties of metals and their skill with CNC programming enables them to design and produce precise machined products.

Computer Programming Software Development

CNC programmers first plan and prepare an operation, reviewing three-dimensional computer-aided/automated design (CAD) blueprints, calculating the placement of the bore into the workpiece, determining the speed of the machine, and deciding how much metal to remove. After this phase, CNC programmers convert the plan into a set of instructions, which are translated into a computer-aided/automated manufacturing (CAM) program. This program has a set of commands for the machine to follow in order to complete the operation. Computer-control programmers check new programs to ensure that the machinery will function properly and that the output will meet specifications.

Job Skills

Computer-control programmers should have a basic knowledge of computers and electronics. Experience with machine tools can be very advantageous. They should have the ability to learn new programming languages because numerous languages are constantly in use within the manufacturing industry.

Income

In 2002, computer-control programmers earned a median hourly wage of $13.97. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $9.14, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $21.27. The following shows the median hourly wages for the industries employing the highest numbers of computer-control programmers:

  • Metalworking machinery manufacturing -- $15.97
  • Other fabricated metal product manufacturing -- $15.14
  • Machine shops -- $13.82
  • Motor vehicle parts manufacturing -- $13.08
  • Plastics product manufacturing -- $11.00

Training and Education

Computer-control programmers receive training in a number of different ways. Some train in apprenticeship programs, while others train informally on the job. Others receive training from a secondary, vocational, or postsecondary school. A shortage of qualified applicants has lead many employers to teach introductory courses in metalworking, machines, safety, and blueprint reading. Experience with machine tools can be very advantageous, and many computer-control programmers have previous work experience as machinists. High school or vocational courses in mathematics (trigonometry and algebra), blueprint reading, computer programming, metalworking, and drafting are valued by employers. A growing number of computer-control programmers get their training from community or technical colleges.

Many training facilities have started using curricula that is standardized by the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS). Trainees must pass a performance requirement and written test. Once they pass, they receive a NIMS credential that recognizes their metalworking competency and can add to career opportunities. Computer-control programmers update their skills with additional training even after they are hired. Representatives from equipment manufacturers usually provide this training.

Employment

In 2002, computer-control programmers held about 151,000 jobs. Most worked in machine shops, plastics products manufacturing, or machinery manufacturing.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, employment of engineering technicians is expected to increase more slowly than the average, due to the increased use of CNC machines. However, job prospects should be excellent due to the low number of people entering training programs, which will create a shortage of and demand for trained workers.

For more information as a Computer Control Programmer, please see our directory of schools offering CNC Training


Computer Control Programmer Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Computer Programming - Associate
            • Average class size is 25, allowing for more one-on-one time with instructors.
            • Has a 97% employment rate among available graduates.
            • All  graduates receive Lifetime Employment  Assistance—free and forever.
            • Michigan's largest independent college.
            • Most instructors are working professionals in the fields they teach.
            • Programs are continuously updated to ensure classes are career-relevant and in sync with what's needed in the industry
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Software Development for Creative Technologies (Bachelor of Science)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Software Development Coding
            Platt College , Anaheim
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
            • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Programming
            ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
            • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
            • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
            • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
            • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
            • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Military friendly school.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            Full Stack Web Development
            CodingDojo , Online
            • Only Coding Dojo teaches five full stacks of the industry’s most in-demand web and mobile development technologies and languages with its onsite flex bootcamp.
            • FULL IMMERSION - Dive into a fast-paced, innovative learning environment that fosters collaboration, not competition. And expect to start coding from day one on campus!
            • FLEXIBLE PROGRAM TRACKS - Shape the curriculum to meet your career goals either before you begin or as you’re progressing through the bootcamp.
            • HANDS-ON SUPPORT - Receive hands-on mentorship from your instruction team during the day and live remote support at night.
            • 24/7 ACCESS - The Dojo is always open for you to work on projects, hang-out, and ultimately get the most out of your 14 weeks.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Certificate - Information Technology (Web Development)
            • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
            • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
            • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            Mobile Gaming
            • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Undergraduate Certificate in Web Development
            • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
            • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
            • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Web Design and Development (BS)
            • Students are issued a new laptop at the beginning of their programs.
            • All online services and study materials are available 24/7, with faculty available five days a week.
            • All programs available online, with the MBA program offered on campus in Salt Lake City.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), with programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2010.

            Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            B.S. in Computer Information Systems / Computer Networking
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
            • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
            • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits