CMM Programmer

Digitally inspect machined tools to make sure they match the blueprint.
picture of CMM Programmer

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$23,000 – $51,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do CMM Programmers do?

Ah, the coordinate-measuring machine. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone. This less-than-well-known piece of equipment is the reason appliances and machines exist. This particular machine, known as a CMM for short, examines and maps out 3D objects to check that they match certain design specifications.

If you undertake the role of a CMM Programmer, you’ll read blueprints and input their measurements into the CMM so it can determine whether a part was made accurately or not.

The process for a CMM Programmer starts when a new part arrives. Using the blueprints and computer information that came with it, you determine the dimensions of the part, such as height, width, depth, and angle measurements, and put these into the CMM. Once you’ve entered all the dimensions, you fire up the machine and let it do its thing.

After the CMM has examined the entire object, it spits out the results based on the CMM Programmer’s specifications. You examine these to determine if the part was made accurately or if it contains a flaw, such as a wrong angle. Then you accept or reject the part, and move on to the next.

Your work requires knowledge of math and Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerance (GD&T), the ability to read blueprints, and an eye for detail. It also takes creative thinking to understand how a 2D blueprint translates into a 3D object. Your imagination combined with your mathematical and computer skills helps you check each part for perfection.


Should I be a CMM Programmer?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.

  • Also known as: Coordinate Measuring Machine Programmer, Coordinate-Measuring Machine Programmer, NC Programmer

    How to become a CMM Programmer

    Most CMM Programmers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9fcaaa&chl=no+college+%2864%25%29|certificate+%2832%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|bachelor%27s+%281%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,64,64
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