The basic job of a CNC programmer is to produce machine parts by setting up and operating CNC (computer numerical control) machines. These people are especially trained in studying work orders, blue prints and engineering drawings, and developing plans in accordance with these. An individual working as a CNC programmer needs to possess a high degree of mechanical aptitude, along with knowledge of maintenance and repair of related equipment.
Typically, a high school diploma or a GED is considered sufficient to work as a CNC programmer. However, it will be a considered a virtue if you have had some experience working with CNC machines in the past, and can replicate your experiences in your new workplace.
Since the work of a CNC programmer is considered first-line, one has to possess great insight into interacting with engineering and production staff members. Solid knowledge of working with sheet metal and tooling and tool maintenance, and proven measurement and mathematical prowess is required for this job.
Most people working as CNC programmers do so on a shift basis, which is why it is important to possess a flexible schedule. So, if you are experienced in handling CNC machines and are interested in a job opening that has come up, you might want to consider going through the following list of duties that you will be performing when hired:
• Study work order, blueprints and engineering designs to effectively plan machining work
• Plan stock inventory to ensure that all supplies and equipment is available for handling CNC machining work
• Develop and implement CNC programs using systems such as MasterCAM, based on engineering drawings and models
• Configure tools and calibrate equipment to ensure that all quality standards are met effectively
• Set up and operate CNC machines, and monitor output and proper operational of mechanical equipment
• Use precision measuring instruments much as calipers and micrometers, and gauges to check the quality and flow of work processes
• Transfer product design criteria into machine requirements and design assembly cells and processes
• Manage metal sheet fabrication by providing assembly instructions and routes
• Write programs or modify existing ones to meet work order specifications
• Run program simulations to ensure that machines and programs operate in an accurate manner
• Assist and supervise machine operators and oversee their work to ensure that they are following orders properly
• Ascertain that workplaces are properly equipped with safety gear, and that all workers utilize them effectively