Numerical Control Machine Operator

Set up and operate numerical control machines to cut metal workpieces.
picture of Numerical Control Machine Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$23,000 – $51,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Numerical Control Machine Operators do?

Sets up and operates numerical control machine to cut, shape, or form metal workpieces to specifications: Reviews setup sheet and specifications to determine setup procedure, machining sequence, and dimensions of finished workpiece. Attaches fixture to machine bed and positions and secures workpiece in fixture according to setup instructions, using clamps, bolts, handtools, power tools, and measuring instruments, such as rule and calipers. Assembles cutting tools in toolholders and positions toolholders in machine spindles as specified, using handtools, or inserts cutting tools in specified machine magazines. Loads control media, such as disk, tape, or punch card, in machine control console or enters commands to retrieve preprogrammed machine instructions from data base. Manipulates controls and enters commands to index cutting tool to specified set point and to start machine. Observes and listens to machine operation to detect malfunctions, such as worn or damaged cutting tools. Changes cutting tools and location of workpiece during machining process as specified in setup instructions. Measures workpiece for conformance to specifications, using measuring instruments, such as micrometers, dial indicators, and gauges. Notifies supervisor of discrepancies. May adjust machine feed and speed and change cutters to machine parts according to specifications when automatic programming is faulty or machine malfunctions. May machine materials other than metal, such as composites, plastic, and rubber.

Should I be a Numerical Control Machine Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Computer Numerical Control Machine Operator, Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Operator See More

    How to Become a
    Numerical Control Machine Operator

    Most Numerical Control Machine Operators 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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