CNC Machine Operators

Develop programs to control machining or processing of metal or plastic parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems.

Skills Required

Holland Code: Realistic - for practical people who like hands-on activities and building

Realistic - for practical people who like hands-on activities and building

Tasks

  • Determine the sequence of machine operations, and select the proper cutting tools needed to machine workpieces into the desired shapes.
  • Revise programs or tapes to eliminate errors, and retest programs to check that problems have been solved.
  • Analyze job orders, drawings, blueprints, specifications, printed circuit board pattern films, and design data to calculate dimensions, tool selection, machine speeds, and feed rates.
  • Observe machines on trial runs or conduct computer simulations to ensure that programs and machinery will function properly and produce items that meet specifications.
  • Compare encoded tapes or computer printouts with original part specifications and blueprints to verify accuracy of instructions.
  • Enter coordinates of hole locations into program memories by depressing pedals or buttons of programmers.
  • Write programs in the language of a machine's controller and store programs on media such as punch tapes, magnetic tapes, or disks.
  • Modify existing programs to enhance efficiency.
  • Prepare geometric layouts from graphic displays, using computer-assisted drafting software or drafting instruments and graph paper.

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Minimum Level of Education Required

High School + Training

There are multiple education and training pathways to prepare for this career. In addition to credentials, employer sponsored training, on-the-job training, and other types of experience can help you get the skills and knowledge you need to be successful.