CNC Mill Operator

Program computer-controlled drilling machines for specific tasks.
picture of CNC Mill Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$23,000 – $55,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do CNC Mill Operators do?

CNC Mill Operators build individual parts of larger items, or molds for larger items. CNC stands for computer numerical control, and it simply means that a CNC Mill Operator uses computers to control a machine to guarantee precision in manufacturing.

Milling machines are tools that create plastic or metal products by drilling and making precise cuts. These machines fall into two categories: horizontal and vertical. As a CNC Mill Operator, you’re qualified to operate both types.

In this position, you use computer programs to tell the machine where to cut, turn, drill, or otherwise shape materials to fit specific dimensions. For example, if you operate a milling machine to produce brake parts for automobiles, you program it to cut the materials at the appropriate angles. If not cut correctly, the brake part will not fit with the other parts, making your work virtually useless at best, or functionally dangerous at worst.

Advanced computer skills and analytical thinking are necessary for this position. You use these skills to identify when adjustments on the machine are necessary, and to make those adjustments. Precision is key in this role, and so are attention to detail and concentration. The excitement of creating products that people need in their daily lives—and doing it well—is sure to keep you on your toes.


Should I be a CNC Mill Operator?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: CNC Mill Set Up Operator, Computerized Numerical Control Mill Operator, Slab-Miller Operator

    How to become a CNC Mill Operator

    Most CNC Mill Operators have a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:79aaaa&chl=no+college+%2849%25%29|certificate+%2851%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,49,51
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