A job in CNC Programming includes programming and preparing computer files to operate CNC equipment and converting production methods and procedures designed for machining products to CNC computer language.

The average salary for this role in the UK is £27,000 but can range from £20,000 to £35,000.

What does a CNC Programmer do?

  • plan the most efficient sequence of operations for the job

  • select the appropriate tools for each cut

  • select the right cutting speeds

  • set tolerances

  • position the section for each cut

  • convert instructions into a numerically-based program for the computer to follow

  • check that work meets quality and technical standards

  • routine maintenance of machine tools.

The CNC machines are designed and set to produce large quantities of components to exactly the same specifications. Hand-operated machine tools may be used if small quantities of a product are needed.

A common route for a CNC Programmer is to train as an apprentice in engineering. CNC programmers will generally need four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3), such as maths, english, science, engineering, design and technology or appropriate equivalents. Check with training providers for exact entry requirements.

The main job opportunities for someone working in CNC programming occur in mechanical engineering, motor vehicle, aerospace and shipbuilding industries. There are also openings in engineering maintenance, for example, rail transport and power generation.

Contact the Technical Division Team

Email the Technical Division at technical@stafffinders.co.uk.

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