Machine Tool Technology/CNC
AWARD OFFERED Certificate (MTT – 4 Semesters), Certificate (CNC – 2 Semesters), Associate in Applied Science Degree (5 Semesters)
About the Program
Machinists use machine tools such as lathes, milling machines, and machining centers to produce precision metal parts. Although they may produce large quantities of one part, precision machinists often produce small batches or one-of-a-kind items. They use their knowledge of the working properties of metals and their skill with machine tools to plan and carry out the operations needed to make machined products that meet precise specifications.
The Precision Machining program trains students to carry through to completion the construction and repair of all kinds of metallic and non-metallic parts, tools and machines. It also teaches students to understand blueprints and specifications. Students will learn to use all machinists’ hand tools and machine tools such as lathes, drill presses, milling machines, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines, computer-assisted programming equipment and graphics programming.
Because the technology of machining is changing rapidly, machinists must learn to operate a wide range of machines. Along with operating machines that use metal cutting tools to shape work pieces, machinists may operate machines that cut with lasers, water jets, or electrified wires. While some of the computer controls may be similar, machinists must understand the unique cutting properties of these different machines. As engineers create new types of machine tools and new materials to machine, machinists must constantly learn new machining properties and techniques.
The work environment is also changing. Today, most machine shops are relatively clean, well lit, and ventilated. Many computer controlled machines are partially or totally enclosed, minimizing the exposure of workers to noise, debris, and the lubricants used to cool work pieces during machining.
Excellent job opportunities are expected. Employers in certain parts of the country report difficulty attracting qualified applicants. Median hourly earnings of machinists were $18.99 in May 2012, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $28.75 an hour. Experienced machinists may be promoted to supervisory or administrative positions in their firms, increasing their earning power. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics)