A student works on a machine tool machine

CNC Machinist - 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
Home » Academics and Training » CNC Machinist
Area of Study: Manufacturing

Program Costs & Financial Aid

See costs of tuition, books, and supplies.

This program is partially eligible for financial aid.

Estimates based on in-state residency. Learn more about tuition and fees.

Explore Locations

Offered At:


  • Day
  • Full-time
  • Part-time

How do I get started in this program?

Requirements for Program Entry

  • Apply at www.nwtc.edu/apply.
  • Submit the following to transcripts@nwtc.edu: 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 start@nwtc.edu or 920-498-5444.

What are my courses?


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 100% in field

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.

Learn more about upcoming study abroad opportunities.

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Classes wherever you have an internet connection. 

  • An in-person career experience, such as an internship, practicum, or credit for prior learning, may be required.
  • Some online courses may be held at specific dates/times.
Classes between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Classes between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
A combination of online classes and Saturday and/or Sunday classes.
12 or more credits per term.
Fewer than 12 credits per term.