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Different career paths

How to Become a

CNC Machine Operator

Also Known as:
Machine Set-Up Operator, Machinist, Computer Numerical Control Operator (CNC Operator), Computer Numerical Control Set-Up and Operator (CNC Set-Up and Operator), Computer Numerical Control Machinist (CNC Machinist), Machine Operator, Computer Numerical Control Mill Operator (CNC Mill Operator), Computer Numerical Control Machine Operator (CNC Machine Operator), Computer Numerical Control Lathe Operator (CNC Lathe Operator), Brake Press Operator

What is a

CNC Machine Operator

CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machine Operators are a pivital part of setting up, running, and reviewing CNC machine operations. After recieveing a blueprint from a CNC Programmer, a Machine Setter prepares the machine and runs a couple of test runs, the operator takes over. They may load the machine with metal or plastic and adjust the machine during production. During production, Machine Operators will periodically inspect the parts that are being created and adjust the machine's controls as needed. With the emergence of automation robots, Machine Operators may be running multiple machines at the same time. Requiring multitasking and attention to detail at the same time. Manufacturing companies typically have many CNC Machine Operators, working full time. To make production most efficient, the shifts may include nights, weekends, and frequent overtime.
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CNC Machine Operator
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Why Become

CNC Machine Operator

U.S. Employment Demand Metrics
2018:
151,600
2028:
138,800
Percent Change:
-8%
Projected Annual Job Openings:
13,600

Skills Needed

General Skills:
Operation Monitoring Critical Thinking Quality Control Analysis Operation and Control
Technical Skills:
Analytical or scientific software Computer aided design CAD software Computer aided manufacturing CAM software Project management software Spreadsheet software

What Will You Do as a

CNC Machine Operator

Measure dimensions of finished workpieces to ensure conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments, templates, and fixtures. Mount, install, align, and secure tools, attachments, fixtures, and workpieces on machines, using hand tools and precision measuring instruments. Stop machines to remove finished workpieces or to change tooling, setup, or workpiece placement, according to required machining sequences. Transfer commands from servers to computer numerical control (CNC) modules, using computer network links. Check to ensure that workpieces are properly lubricated and cooled during machine operation.
U.S. Employment Demand Metrics
2018:
151,600
professionals
2028:
138,800
professionals
Percent Change:
-8%
Projected Annual Job Openings:
13,600

How Much Can You Earn?

Average Yearly Salary
$41,200
Salary graph visually displaying average yearly salary.
$33,540
$41,200
$61,980

What Education Do You need?

People starting in this career usually have
Less than High School Diploma
8
%
High School Diploma or Equivalent
42
%
Some College, but No Degree
32
%
Associate's Degree
12
%
Bachelor's Degree
5
%
Masters Degree
1
%
Doctorate or Professional Degree
0
%

Common Past Positions

General Laborer Material Handler Machine Operator Warehouse Associate Production Worker

Common Next Positions

CNC Machinist CNC Programmer
Data provided by
(www.careeronestop.org)

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