What Is a CNC Programmer or CNC Machinist?

A CNC programmer, also known as a CNC machinist, aids in fabrication, design, and quality control, making the role an invaluable one. Without a knowledgeable CNC programmer, there would be no one to give the CNC heavy machinery the specific instruction it requires to operate properly. They work with a wide variety of complex CNC machinery, including mills, grinders, lathes, and more. This CNC heavy machinery is used to grind, cut, and drill into raw materials, such as metals, with unerring accuracy. In addition, it is used in the manufacture of countless products in various industries. This means the need for well-trained CNC programmers or machinists is high, as CNC machinery requires an operator from setup and throughout operation. A CNC programmer is responsible for creating designs, reading blueprints, programming each piece of equipment prior to operation, monitoring its performance throughout operation, determining that it is operating with precision, and determining the finished product’s overall quality. They may work with a single piece of machinery, or they may be responsible for multiple pieces of CNC machinery. So, how do you become a CNC programmer?

How Do You Become a CNC Programmer?

Becoming a CNC programmer requires a vast amount of technical training. You will require, at the very least, a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. Some machinists go on to earn associate degrees, but this is not required. What is required is the acquisition of a number of CNC skills gained through specific programs or universities. While also not required, CNC certification is absolutely preferred and can help you advance your career.

How Long Does It Take To Become a CNC Programmer?

The most important factor determining how long it takes you to become a CNC programmer is the amount of experience you have amassed in your career and studies. This is why most individuals seeking a career in CNC machining opt to enter a program at a university or follow the certification path. Many programs at colleges and universities may require that you gain firsthand experience in the field of CNC machining via an internship, an externship, or an apprenticeship. So, how long does it take to become a CNC programmer? On average, it takes most individuals a combined total of four to five years of education from a university or training program, as well as firsthand experience gained on the job.

Some companies will offer training for their employees, as well. If your employer does not offer such training or if you are looking to earn the appropriate certifications on your own, camInstructor can help. Learn everything you need to know about CNC programming from the comfort of your own home with our online Mastercam training courses. Working with Mastercam, a leading CAD/CAM software, you will earn the knowledge needed to help you secure the CNC programming position you want. Contact us today to learn more.