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The CNC Machining Program prepares students for a high-demand, entry-level position as a CNC machine operator, Machine setup technician, or Quality inspector. CNC operators work in a variety of manufacturing environments and are trained to program, set up, and operate a computer numerical control (CNC) machine, inspect parts, perform production runs, and set up jobs.

Students will gain knowledge and hands-on skills in:

  • Blueprint reading
  • Precision measurement and gauging
  • Turning and milling processes
  • Mill and lathe programming and operation


This certificate will help you gain the expertise needed to:

Perform basic preventive maintenance checks on Computer Numerical Control (CNC) equipment.

Safely start up, operate and power down Computer Numerical Control (CNC) equipment.

Use a fundamental understanding of technical documentation to safely monitor CNC equipment.

Appropriately use tool and work holding devices.

Demonstrate the ability to set a tool compensation including height, length, diameter, and wear.

Use appropriate devices to confirm a part’s compliance.

Use a fundamental understanding of program code to properly operate a CNC machine.

Precisely measure parts and perform layout work to ensure successful part manufacturing.

What does a CNC operator do?

When manufacturing is automated, machine shop tools such as lathes and mills need to be programmed to create parts to the right specifications. That’s where CNC operators and programmers come in. Anything from a part for a kitchen appliance to the engine block for your car was created by a machinist or a CNC operator. CNC machines are used to manufacture components for multiple industries, including:

  • Medical
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Defense
  • Oil and gas
  • Electronics

As a certified CNC operator, you can work for fabrication companies or in a manufacturing plant. Among other potential job duties, CNC operators need to be able to:

    • Read blueprints and enter instructions to program machinery
    • Observe and make necessary adjustments to maintain quality
    • Maintain equipment
    • Follow safety regulations

Who Should Enroll?

This program is for individuals who enjoy solving problems and can make decisions with the information provided, mechanical, and computer skills. Individuals should also be comfortable handling and moving objects and performing general physical activities such as standing, lifting, moving, and walking.

What will my courses be like?

In ESCC’s CNC training program, you’ll learn the basics of CNC programming and gain hands-on experience with CNC machines under the supervision of our experienced faculty. CNC courses cover all the skills you will need to start work in a manufacturing facility.

Topics include:

      • Blueprint reading and precision measuring tools
      • Basic working knowledge of vertical mills and machining lathes
      • Functionality of CNC machine components
      • CNC programming

What happens after I complete the program?

Once you successfully complete your coursework, you’ll be qualified for entry-level work as a CNC operator or programmer. CNC operators are enjoying a strong job market with full-time and part-time employment opportunities. Since high-volume manufacturers typically run their machining centers 24/7, varied working hours are available. Salaries range from $15-$22 per hour. You can also choose to further your education with an Associate’s Degree in Mechatronics.

For more information, please contact:

Aubri Hanson – Instructor
Phone: 334-347-2623 x3612
Email: ahanson@escc.edu

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1Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Enterprise State Community College

Your College, Your Future

Enterprise State Community College offers excellent academic, technical, and workforce training programs in order to prepare students for jobs that are in demand! Our faculty and staff are committed to the educational success of all ESCC students!