5 Steps to Becoming a CNC Machine Operator

Are you curious about starting a career in machinery? Do you love to work with your hands and like to create things all day? 

If so, then you should consider becoming a CNC machine operator. The job market looks good in this field and it can be quite rewarding.

Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start or what your next step is. Because we’re going to cover the five steps you need to follow if you want to pursue a career as a machine operator.

So, keep reading to learn more today.

1. Research CNC Machine Operators

If you’re unsure what’s a CNC machine and what an operator does, then this is your first step.

First, a CNC machine is a computer numerically controlled machine tool that cuts and makes precision parts for machines. Machine operators work with metal, plastic, and other materials to make precision components and other machined plastic parts.

2. Take Career Preparatory Courses in High School

If you’re still in high school or completing your GED, then consider taking some CTE courses that will familiarize you with this potential career. You will also need some math and computer classes as you will use both as a CNC machinist.

3. Get Your Degree or Vocational Certificate

Most community colleges offer machinery degrees.

You can also consider earning a certificate from a vocational school. Here you will learn how to operate the machines, how to take accurate measurements, and how to work with the computers you will be using on the job. While a degree might not be required, it will make you more competitive in a tight job market.

4. Specialize With a National Certificate

The National Institute for Metalworking Skills offers a NIMS Certified CNC Setup Programmer credential that will show you have the necessary competencies to work with a CNC machine. This will help you as you move on to the final step.

5. Get Experience as a CNC Machine Operator

Working with CNC machines is a technical and detailed job. You need real-world experience before you can get a job. Most people choose to get an apprenticeship or internship position so they can learn while they earn on their first job.

These positions won’t pay well and require many hours of continued learning. However, at the end of your apprenticeship, you will have built up the experience and connections you need to become a successful CNS operator.

Take These Steps to a Great New Career

If you’re curious about working with precision tools and creating new products, then becoming a CNC machine operator is a great career decision for you. You will find yourself working with your hands and continually learning how to hone your craft. 

This career can be rewarding and pays well. If you follow these five steps listed above you will find yourself in a great career in no time.

For more great articles on this and other topics, check out the rest of our blog.