CNC Machinist Requirements & Qualifications in Connecticut

CNC machinists are highly skilled workers. They know how to read blueprints and computer-aided files and programs. They understand the complexities of feeding, controlling, and disassembling advanced machinery. They can turn, mill, drill, shape, and grind machine parts using very precise specifications. And of course, they are detail-oriented, to the point in which they can take a piece of metal and turn it into an essential part of an automobile or jet plane. CNC machinists are more than operators – they are also creators.

It is no wonder, then, why employers across Connecticut place so much value on CNC machinists. It’s also easy to see why manufacturers are looking for the best of the best when it comes to hiring CNC machinists and operators today.

So, what do you need to do to get started? Which CNC machinist requirements do you need to fulfill to land a job in Connecticut? And which qualifications do you need to meet, in order to stand out against other aspiring CNC machinists? Let’s take a look.

Connecticut CNC Requirements

Currently, there are no state-wide, set-in-stone requirements for CNC machinists in Connecticut, as requirements will vary depending on the employer and place of work. Typically, however, manufacturers require that machinists hold a high school diploma at minimum. Most employers today will also encourage or require aspiring machinists to pursue:

  1. A postsecondary CNC machining program; and/or
  2. Several years of hands-on training in the field

It is this active practice – whether through a college-level program, an apprenticeship-like experience, or both – that deepens a person’s understanding of the Computer Numerical Control field. This hands-on CNC machinist training is also key to advancing your skillset in machine operation, and therefore key to more job opportunities and higher earning potential in CNC.

According to a recent survey from the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, manufacturers prefer to hire CNC machinists who have experience and relevant, technical training. As the CBIA states, “For the most part, manufacturers expect new employees to arrive already trained.”

In fact, Connecticut manufacturers express higher levels of satisfaction with graduates who have attained higher levels of education and training. Graduates of private colleges and private occupational schools in Connecticut are viewed as very qualified job candidates, according to the survey.

CNC certification is also a resume-builder that can help when applying for CNC operator careers. One of the most prominent, voluntary credentials that you can pursue within the CNC machining field is the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) credential of a CNC Operator. Though this is not an official CNC machinist requirement, having this credential can make you stand out against other applicants. At Goodwin College, students prepare to apply for this credential through our flexible, affordable, associate and certificate-level CNC machining programs.

CNC Machinist Qualifications & Skills

If you’ve searched through CNC job postings from prospective employers previously, you may already know the value placed on training and education. You may know that to truly make it in CNC, you must also have a fundamental understanding of CNC machining and basic, working skills of CNC operation.

According to a recent survey, 34 percent of Connecticut manufacturers report that CNC machinists are the most difficult positions to fill. This is primarily because they require a very-specific skillset and preliminary knowledge of CNC – both of which many up-and-coming machinists don’t have right away. These must be gained through specific CNC operator training.

At Goodwin College, CNC machining students learn by doing. We promote hands-on, job-like experiences using state-of-the-art machinery. In addition to cutting-edge technologies, students also have access to the Mastercam CAD/CAM software that machinists use on a daily basis. Through these experiences, students foster the CNC machinist skills that employers are looking for, such as:

  • Mathematical skills
  • Knowledge of CAD/CAM software
  • The ability to set-up, program, and operate CNC lathes and mills to produce parts
  • Job planning and bench layout
  • Manual grinding, drilling, and milling
  • Equipment testing
  • Ability to interpret technical drawings and specs
  • Ability to characterize material machinability, tool holding, tool cutter presentation and select of appropriate coolants for CNC manufacturing
  • Other, non-technical skills such as team-building, problem-solving, and written and oral communication skills

Almost 9 out of 10 Connecticut manufacturers report that, for their next rounds of hiring, they will look for candidates who have developed specific CNC machining skills, along with skills in geometric dimensioning and tolerance. Currently, only about a third of Connecticut manufacturing companies offer training in technical skills – and only 18 percent offer training in technical writing and comprehension. This means that CNC machinists need to come equipped with the right qualifications.

Interested in learning more about the CNC machinist qualifications in CT, or how to become a CNC machinist in the state? Visit us online or contact Goodwin College at 800-889-3282 to learn more.