Numerical Control Tool Programmer

Operate equipment to generate numerical control tape programs.
picture of Numerical Control Tool Programmer

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$30,000 – $72,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Numerical Control Tool Programmers do?

Operates optical programming equipment to generate numerical control tape program used to control NC machine tools that drill, mill, rout, or notch printed circuit boards: Analyzes drawings, specifications, and phototool to determine program input data, such as hole sizes, tool sizes, reference points, and direction of machine cutting paths, and calculates data, such as starting point coordinates, size of panels or boards, and number of boards per panel. Draws machine tool paths on phototool, using colored markers and following guidelines for tool speed and efficiency, to prepare phototool for use as tool programming aid. Aligns and secures phototool on reference table of optical programmer. Observes enlarger scope of programmer that projects image of circuit board pattern from phototool. Moves reference table, following previously marked paths, to align phototool circuit pattern holes with reference marks on enlarger scope. Depresses pedal or pushes button of programmer to enter coordinates of hole locations into program memory. Repeats process for each hole location on phototool to enter NC machine instructions, such as hole locations, machine paths, and reference points. Keys in additional instructions, such as tool size, machine feed and speed rates, and starting point coordinates, basing entries on specifications, calculations, and knowledge of machine capabilities and programming techniques. Types commands on keyboard to generate NC tape. Observes trial run of NC machine to verify tape program accuracy. Revises NC tape program to eliminate instruction errors. May operate NC machine tools on production basis.

Should I be a Numerical Control Tool Programmer?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.

  • Also known as: Metal Numerical Tool Programmer, Numerical Tool Programmer, Soft Tooling Technician See More

    How to Become a
    Numerical Control Tool Programmer

    Most Numerical Control Tool Programmers have a Bachelor's degree or an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:p93xaa&chl=no+college+%2810%25%29|certificate+%2840%25%29|associate%27s+%2836%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2815%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,10,40
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