Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic

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About the Job

Develop programs to control machining or processing of metal or plastic parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems.

It is also Called

  • Sheet Metal Computer Numerically Controlled Programmer
  • Sheet Metal Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Programmer
  • Programmer
  • Process Engineer
  • Process Control Programmer
  • Plastic Numerical Tool and Process Control Programmer
  • Numerical Tool Programmer
  • Numerical Control Tool Programmer (NC Tool Programmer)
  • Numerical Control Programmer (NC Programmer)
  • Numerical Control Nesting Operator (NC Nesting Operator)
View All

What They Do

  • Align and secure pattern film on reference tables of optical programmers, and observe enlarger scope views of printed circuit boards.
  • Enter coordinates of hole locations into program memories by depressing pedals or buttons of programmers.
  • Draw machine tool paths on pattern film, using colored markers and following guidelines for tool speed and efficiency.
  • Prepare geometric layouts from graphic displays, using computer-assisted drafting software or drafting instruments and graph paper.
  • Perform preventative maintenance or minor repairs on machines.
  • Compare encoded tapes or computer printouts with original part specifications and blueprints to verify accuracy of instructions.
  • Sort shop orders into groups to maximize materials utilization and minimize machine setup time.
  • Determine reference points, machine cutting paths, or hole locations, and compute angular and linear dimensions, radii, and curvatures.
  • Modify existing programs to enhance efficiency.
  • Enter computer commands to store or retrieve parts patterns, graphic displays, or programs that transfer data to other media.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: ICR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Conventional and Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Relationships and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Programming - Writing computer programs for various purposes.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Additional Resources


Preparation Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $62,500 with most people making between $33,770 and $97,860

Outlook

3.20%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 2,500 people in California. It is projected that there will be 3,300 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 80 openings due to growth and about 70 replacement openings for approximately 150 total annual openings.