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Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operator, Metal and Plastic

Minimum Education Required for this Career

Basic Certificate
Advanced Certificate
Associate's Degree
4+ year Degree
Basic Certificate
$23,094

City Colleges Program Options

Computer Numeric Control Machining

CNC Operations

Nature of the Work

Computer-controlled machine tool operators typically:
  • Measure dimensions of finished workpieces to ensure conformance to specifications, using precision measuring instruments, templates, and fixtures.
  • Mount, install, align, and secure tools, attachments, fixtures, and workpieces on machines, using hand tools and precision measuring instruments.
  • Stop machines to remove finished workpieces or to change tooling, setup, or workpiece placement, according to required machining sequences.
  • Transfer commands from servers to computer numerical control (CNC) modules, using computer network links.
  • Check to ensure that workpieces are properly lubricated and cooled during machine operation.
  • Set up and operate computer-controlled machines or robots to perform one or more machine functions on metal or plastic workpieces.
  • Insert control instructions into machine control units to start operation.
  • Review program specifications or blueprints to determine and set machine operations and sequencing, finished workpiece dimensions, or numerical control sequences.
  • Listen to machines during operation to detect sounds such as those made by dull cutting tools or excessive vibration and adjust machines to compensate for problems.
  • Remove and replace dull cutting tools.

Click here to learn more about 51-4011 Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Future Trends

Career Pathways

Success at City Colleges

Career Disclaimer

Wage estimates are based on Occupational Employment Statistics and the American Community Survey. Wage estimates are also affected by county-level Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) earnings by industry. The Nature of the Work description is from O*Net Online, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.