Computer numerical control operators work with precision machinery from setup to operation to produce parts and tools from metal, plastic or other materials. CNC operators make adjustments to the machine to control speed, material feed and path of the cut, as well as make sure the machines are set up properly, working well and producing quality products.
The two-semester, 22-credit CNC operator certificate will prepare students to operate computer numerical controlled machines in shipyards, factories and advanced manufacturing settings. Upon completion, students will be equipped to obtain the National Institute for Metalworking Skills industry certification.
“This certificate is the next step in the process to deliver a precision, high-speed machining associate degree,” said Thomas Stout, interim dean and mechatronics program head at Chesapeake Campus. “We are very excited about this offering because it will help us meet urgent industry needs.”
Class offerings include numerical controls, machine shop practices, orientation to engineering and technologies and introduction to computer-aided manufacturing. In addition, the program includes a three-credit cooperative education internship within the industry.
Recent data from Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. shows an increase of 14.8 percent in CNC operator jobs in Hampton Roads between 2014 and 2019. Graduates can expect to earn $58,440 annually.