Computer Numerical Control (CNC) is an advanced process in manufacturing, in which production equipment is automated and controlled using pre-programmed software. CNC is a high-tech, cutting-edge development in the manufacturing industry, and has driven a large demand for technical, innovative, and hands-on workers as a result. In fact, knowledge and training in CNC is a hiring must-have for many employers today.
If you are looking to enter into the field of CNC machining or programming, know that there are abundant (and promising) job opportunities out there for you. According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, employment of CNC machinists is expected to grow 23 percent by the year 2024. On average in Connecticut, approximately 141 CNC machinist careers will become available each year.
Not to mention, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently ranked Connecticut the #1 top-paying state for CNC programmers. The Greater Hartford area – where Goodwin College is located – was also ranked among the top ten metropolitan areas for CNC programmer employment, due to the high concentration of jobs.
There are, of course, steps you must take to become a CNC machinist in today’s modern manufacturing era. And not every step will be the same for every person. Some employers require that aspiring machinists only have a high school diploma and some years of hands-on training in CNC. Others might require CNC operator certification and postsecondary education in the field. Some companies will look for hires with an associate CNC degree, which often represents more in-depth knowledge, skills, and training.
All that said, what is the benefit of earning an associate degree in CNC machining?
Better Job Outcomes –
A college education, without a doubt, says a lot to prospective employers. They will see that you’ve committed great time towards learning about the field, and that you have the experience and skills needed to get the job done each day. With a CNC degree, you will likely need much less on-the-job training once you land a position, because of the extensive training you’ve already received in your college program – a plus for your employer!
Because many manufacturers are looking for CNC machinists and programmers who are already trained and qualified, a CNC degree can immediately position you for more job prospects. Your bucket of potential employers will be greater than other candidates without postsecondary education under their tool belts. CNC machinists with a college education may also have higher earning potential right off the bat, even in an entry-level position.
Comprehensive Knowledge of CNC Machining –
In a CNC degree program, you will gain a comprehensive, working knowledge of the field. You will come to understand the ins and outs of manufacturing processes, gain greater familiarity with various materials, and develop stronger comprehension of manufacturing mathematics. You can also expect to grow competence in specific skillsets such as technical drawing, blueprint reading, specifications, and computer-aided machining.
Hands-on Experience with CNC Technology –
Combined with classroom learnings, a CNC degree program will also equip you with experiential learning activities. In Goodwin’s CNC machinist training programs, for example, students can expect to work directly with industry-level equipment. CNC students receive hands-on training on our new CNC 3-axis milling and turning machines, as well as practical experience with Mastercam, CAD, and other CNC software.
A Paved Path Towards CNC Credentials –
When you successfully complete Goodwin’s CNC degree program, or even our 30-credit certificate program, you will be well-prepared to pursue professional credentials as a CNC Operator, offered by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS). CNC grads holding an associate degree will also be eligible to pursue the nationally-recognized Certified Production Technician (CPT) credential from the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council.
An Opportunity for Continued Learning –
One of the greatest benefits of an associate degree in CNC machining is the fact that you can choose to advance your education even further after graduation. A person with an associate degree can easily be transitioned into a bachelor’s degree program. At Goodwin College, for example, the credits earned in our CNC degree program can be applied towards a bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing Management – which will poise you for managerial and supervisory careers in the manufacturing and CNC fields.
Lifelong learning, according to one successful CNC machinist, is necessary in “today’s economic reality.” With technology constantly evolving – especially in the manufacturing industry – it is essential for CNC machinists, operators, and programmers to stay in-the-know and up-to-date, through trainings, classes, workshops, and more.
The Demand for Educated CNC Operators
According to a recent survey, 89 percent of Connecticut manufacturing companies desired new employees with CNC machining skills. 86 percent sought out new hires with CNC programming skills, too. Unfortunately, their challenge was finding skilled candidates for the jobs. CNC machinists and programmers, they said, were some of the toughest positions to fill, along with CAD technicians (another feat learned in a CNC degree program).
Ready to kick start a successful career in Computer Numerical Control? Visit us online at www.goodwin.edu/cnc or call 800-889-3282 to learn more.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.