What Do Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Programmers Do?

Many machine shops, large or small, have upgraded with CNC machinery, including motor vehicle parts manufacturers, machinery and equipment manufacturers, aircraft and parts manufacturers, and primary steel producers. CNC machinery is the type of equipment used in a variety of manufacturing environments where it is necessary to produce complicated identical parts. This type of equipment is also used in the manufacturing of tooling such as dies and moulds that are used to mass-produce metal and plastic parts. Have a look at what each one does:

CNC Programmer

CNC programmers (670C) are required to have an extensive knowledge of machining.

They must possess:

  • good organizational and planning skills
  • good blueprint reading
  • an in-depth knowledge of NC codes
  • the ability to produce efficient and cost effective NC programs
  • an understanding of fixture design
  • strong math skills and good communication and problem-solving skills.

Employment is usually full-time, perhaps including shift work, and the working environment may be in an office or on the shop floor, using a computer and computer aided software to create and troubleshoot NC programs used in the production of piece parts. you should preferably have a secondary school diploma this is usually required by employers and unions today, but grade 10 is currently the legal minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades. Completion of a 2,000 hour apprenticeship will include a combination of on-the-job and in-school training, before successfully writing an examination to obtain your Certificate of Qualification. General  skills can be transferable to other trades as well.

CNC Programmer

People who program CNC equipment are usually skilled trade people such as Tool & Die Makers, Mould Makers and General Machinists. They use this equipment to assist them to build high quality production tools. In addition to CNC programming skills, they would have served a three to four year apprenticeship and have extensive machining and planning skills.

For more information on entry requirements for an apprenticeship in this or other related areas (such as Tool & Die Maker etc.), see the descriptions in the apprenticesearch.com database, or visit the Ministry of Education and Training site at www.edu.gov.on.ca.

Additional information on training standards for these particular trade in the Industrial sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/industrial



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