How to Become a CNC Machinist in Alabama

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How to Become a CNC Machinist in Alabama

The job of a CNC Machinist is a relatively new one, and I’ll tell you later on what CNC stands for.

Not only that, but I’ll also explain what such a professional is supposed to do along with the training he or she must undergo.

So, if I picked your interest, take a moment to read this presentation I wrote!

CNC Machinist Job Description

I promised I’d explain what CNC stands for – Computer Numerical Control.

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Such a machinist operates and programs a series of computer-controlled machines used to cut with high-precision metal or plastic.

The most common machines using this technology are:

  • Lathes,
  • Mills,
  • Grinders

For the best results, the machinist must:

  • Set up machines
  • Write and test programs
  • Make adjustments as needed
  • Interpret blueprints and designs to understand the specifications of the needed piece
  • Verify the completed parts meet the specifications

CNC Machinist Job Requirements

The most important requirements of this job are:

  • Finishing high school
  • Having a 2.5 GPA
  • Obtaining a degree or a certification in the field
  • Accumulate experience
  • Having the necessary skills

The skills are listed below, in the FAQ section of this article.

Becoming a CNC Machinist in Alabama

There are a few steps you must follow when considering a career as a CNC Machinist.

First step – Education

This step refers to completing high school.

Obtaining a GED instead is also acceptable.

However, it doesn’t end there, because you must enroll in a post-secondary school as well.

Here, you must obtain at least a certification or a degree in the field.

I’ll show you a few institutions you can consider enrolling at.

Step 2 – Experience

This step might be more important than the first, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to gain experience without a certification or degree.

The programs offering such credentials can also help you find an apprenticeship.

As an apprentice, you can learn from a veteran in the field how to properly work with the machines.

Keep in mind that usually an apprenticeship is paid.

Step 3 – Earn The NIMS Certification

This credential is offered by the National Institute of Metalworking Skills.

The good news is that this credential doesn’t have an expiry date, according to the NIMS FAQ page.

Furthermore, the official site mentions there’s no fee associated with taking the test online, and that it can be taken numerous times.

This credential can help you earn more.

Step 4 – Apply for a Job

Once your apprenticeship ends, you can start applying for a job.

You’ll have to search for job opportunities in your area on your own.

It’s possible that the institution you trained at and helped you find an apprenticeship opportunity will help you find a position too.

ASU is one of these institutions, according to its official page.

CNC Machinist Training in Alabama

Since a CNC machinist needs a certain set of skills and knowledge, the best way to obtain them is through training.

Let’s see where can you undergo appropriate training for this purpose.

Alabama State University

ASU offers an online training program meant to develop a person’s skills needed for the job as a CNC machinist.

This program costs $2,245 and has a duration of 12 months.

The tuition covers the materials you need for each subject the program covers.

Enrollment is open at all times of the year as the program is self-paced.

This means you have a year to complete 195 course hours.

Some of the areas of study are:

  • Production Floor Safety
  • CNC Controls and Programming
  • Metallurgy
  • Machining and Grinding Processes
  • Inspection Methods
  • Six Sigma, 5S, Lean, and TPM
  • Workholding Principles

Those who graduate receive the Certificate of Completion.

Bevill State Community College

This community college has the following offer for those who enroll to become CNC machinists:

  • Associate in Applied Science Degree
  • Long-term Certificate
  • Short-term Certificate

The program is called Machine Tool Technology and is meant for several types of machinists, including CNC.

It is offered on 2 campuses, in Hamilton and Jasper.

School Name Address
Alabama State University 32 Commerce Street Montgomery, AL 36104 US
Bevill State Community College 3512 Industrial Drive - Jasper, AL 35501
Bevill State Community College 1333 Military St S, Hamilton, AL 35570,
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CNC Machinist Salary in Alabama

At this point, it’s time to also learn how much a CNC machinist earns.

The earnings are influenced mostly by experience and location.

In this state, CNC machinists earn around $46,550 per year, on average.

Keep in mind that these numbers can change from year to year, based on a variety of factors.

Below, you can see the cities with the higher median salary a CNC machinist can earn.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Spring Garden $49,410
Birmingham $47,820
Watson $47,760
Trussville $47,680
Westover $47,660
Alabaster $47,550
Wilton $47,310
Abernant $47,260
York $47,100
Tanner $47,050

Regional Salary in Alabama

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL360$48,250$23.2$60,630$25,620
Auburn-Opelika, AL**$44,260$21.28$61,240$27,720
Birmingham-Hoover, AL960$49,310$23.71$64,530$32,970
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL110$53,290$25.62$71,030$31,680
Decatur, AL270$55,320$26.59$79,060$35,400
Dothan, AL70$47,920$23.04$63,380$29,660
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL190$54,630$26.27$91,370$23,520
Gadsden, AL90$42,060$20.22$57,490$30,160
Huntsville, AL590$55,080$26.48$79,230$36,330
Mobile, AL430$51,660$24.84$63,040$35,500
Montgomery, AL300$48,980$23.55$61,170$30,460
Tuscaloosa, AL120$48,810$23.47$72,430$31,960
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Machinists, OCC Code 51-4041, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a possibility of getting a higher paying position in this field in Alabama?

Yes, there are more levels of CNC machinists.

Each level pays more than the previous, even at the minimum salary.

This is according to the website.

Do I have to train as a CNC Machinist in Alabama?

The short answer is “yes.”

The longer answer is that with no training it will be difficult to find a job.

Through training, you have the option to become an apprentice and gain the minimum experience that will allow you to operate a CNC machine.

What are the essential skills for working as a CNC machinist in Alabama?

Every CNC machinist must develop the following skills:

  • Work holding,
  • Math knowledge
  • Inspection,
  • Safety,
  • Metal cutting,
  • Knowledge of various materials,
  • Maintaining the quality of work
  • Grinding

USA CNC Machinist by State

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