CNC Operator

$48,810 earning potential

CNC (Computer Numerical Control) operators use computer-programmed machines to manufacture precision parts for a variety of different products. The machines drill, cut and shape the raw materials into metal and plastic parts.

This option is for you if:

You pay attention to details

You want to learn something new every day

You're a good listener

You want to create useful things

You're patient

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TOMMY CREWS

CNC TECHNICIAN

Hometown: Valley Springs

Age: 22

Where I trained: North Arkansas College CNC program and on-the-job training

What I Earned: Certificate of Proficiency in Engineering

Employer: Pace Industries in Harrison

SALARY INFO:

HIGH-END EARNERS IN ARKANSAS (TOP 10%):

$ 0

AVAILABLE WAGES IN ARKANSAS:

$ 0

Median Annual Wages

$ 0 0

Median Hourly Wage

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics and CareerOneStop

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Set up, monitor and operate the machines
  • Calibrate the settings of the machines for temperature, speed and cycle times
  • Feed material into the machines and remove the finished products
  • Use gauges and measuring instruments to test finished products and ensure they meet specifications
  • Record production numbers

JOB OUTLOOK:

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Expected Growth from 2016 to 2026 in Arkansas

When you’re tearing into something like a problem and you figure it out, it’s a pretty good feeling. Writing programs, doing changeovers for different parts, it makes the time go by pretty fast. It’s pretty nice. I just like the variety of things."

INTERESTING FACT:

Tommy started out doing production for Pace Industries. After a few months, his boss asked him to take a CNC class so that he could be a CNC technician for the company.

HISTORY LESSON:

The first numerical control (NC) machines were built in the 1940s, and slightly more advanced machines were developed in the 1950s. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the computer numerical control (CNC) machines we now know came along, and they have been greatly improved over the past decades.

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