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Machine Tool Operation - Technical Diploma

In the one-year CNC Machinist program, you learn to operate machine tools such as engine lathes, milling machines, drill presses, and computer numerical controlled machines. Upon graduation, you have the skills needed to become a CNC operator, machine set-up operator, machine tool operator, machinist, and maintenance mechanic. You may also choose to further your career options by continuing with the second-year of the CNC Technician program.

Program Code: 314201
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Area of Study:

Program Costs & Financial Aid

Tuition: $5,875, Books: $597, Supplies: $850

Total Approximate Costs

This program is fully eligible for financial aid.

Explore Locations

Offered At:

Delivery Methods

8 Week Advantage: This is an 8 Week Advantage program.

How do I get started in this program?

Requirements for Program Entry

  • Apply at
  • Submit the following to High school transcript (or GED/HSED transcript) College transcript
  • If your cumulative GPA is below 2.6, complete or submit a placement evaluation.
  • Tip! Our admission advisors will assist you through every step. Have questions? Connect with NWTC Admissions at or 920-498-5444.

What will I learn?


Students following the study plan below will complete the CNC Machinist technical diploma in the number of semesters shown.

Total Credits 32
  • Curriculum Note: Students must earn a "C" or better in 10-804-301, Vocational Math A to enroll in 10-804-302, Vocational Math B.

Program Outcomes

  • Apply basic safety practices in the machine shop.
  • Interpret industrial/engineering drawings.
  • Apply precision measuring methods to part inspection.
  • Perform basic machine tool equipment set-up and operation.
  • Perform programming, set-up and operation of CNC machine tools.

What careers are in my future?


Graduate Employment

with 91% in field


Median Starting Salary

Source: NWTC 2019 Grad Outcome Survey

Employment Potential

A graduate of the program will have the potential for employment in the following areas:

  • CNC Operator: sets up and operates computer numerical controlled machine tools working from blueprints and set-up sheets, sets up fixturing and tooling, produces and inspects parts, and edits CNC programs on lathes and machine centers.
  • Machine Set-Up Operator: sets up and operates a variety of machine tools such as radial drill presses, lathes, milling machines, and grinders; machines metal work pieces, tool, or die parts; analyzes specifications; and determines tooling.
  • Machine Tool Operator: shapes metal to precise dimensions by using machine tools and operates machines such as lathes, milling machines, drill presses, and computer numerical controlled (CNC) machine equipment.
  • Machinist: analyzes specifications; lays out metal stock; sets up and operates machine tools; and operates a variety of machine tools such as radial drill presses, lathes, milling machines, and grinders to machine a variety of metal work pieces.
  • Maintenance Machinist: sets up and operates a variety of machine tools and fits and assembles parts to fabricate or repair machine tools and to maintain industrial machines.

Employment opportunities with additional education

  • All-Around Machinist
  • Journeylevel Machinist
  • Pattern Maker
  • Set-Up Machinist
  • Shop Supervisor
  • Tool and Die Maker

What else do I need to know about the program?

Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Programs staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses. To find out more about which of your program courses may offer an opportunity during this academic year, contact your academic advisor or visit

Defy expectations and follow your passion

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Training On the Go!

The CIM mobile lab travels throughout the Midwest, bringing Computer Integrated manufacturing instruction to high schools, job centers and more!
For more information, call 920-498-5461, or email