How to Become a CNC Machinist in Alaska

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How to Become a CNC Machinist in Alaska

The invention of computers changed all industries, including the ones using machines.

We now have CNC machines that are less noisy than regular machines.

The creation of these types of machines led to the need for CNC machinists to operate them.

This presentation will explain what CNC means and more!

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CNC Machinist Job Description

“Computer Numerical Control” is the full name of CNC.

A CNC machine cuts with high accuracy various types of metals and plastics, to make specific pieces.

The most common machines using the CNC technology are:

  • Lathes
  • Mills
  • Grinders

A CNC machinist must perform the following tasks for perfect results:

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

Of course, other duties will also be performed, even if they haven’t been listed here.

CNC Machinist Job Requirements

Just like any job, there are requirements to be met before getting hired.

Here are the most important prerequisites:

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

For those wondering about the needed skills, these are mentioned in the FAQ lower at the end of the article.

Becoming a CNC Machinist in Alaska

Future CNC Machinists must complete a series of steps before applying for a job.

The steps are laid out below.

First Step is Education

As already has been said, you must complete high school or get a GED.

Your education doesn’t end there.

You’re expected to enroll in a post-secondary school as well.

The type of credential you must earn is a degree, such as an Associate’s diploma.

In some instances, a certification in the field is enough.

I will present you with some options you have at your disposal in Alaska.

Step 2 – Experience

Most CNC machinists will tell you just how important experience is for this position.

Unfortunately, without the proper education and credentials, you might not be able to get hired as a CNC machinist.

These programs offer the possibility of earning some experience through an apprenticeship.

They either recommend you for one or help you find one.

In most cases, apprenticeships are paid, and you can earn a salary while also learning.

Step 3 – Earn The NIMS Certification

The National Institute of Metalworking Skills offers this credential.

The NIMS certification is valid for the rest of your life, as the NIMS FAQ page says.

The NIMS official site mentions you don’t have to pay a dime to take or retake the test through which you become certified.

One good reason you’ll want this certification is the possibility of earning more from the start.

Step 4 – Apply for a Job

Your apprenticeship can turn into a full-time job.

Should this not be the case, maybe your school can help you find a suitable position.

If this is not the case either, you’ll have to check the job market on your own.

CNC Machinist Training in Alaska

Let’s discover which institutions offer training programs for CNC machinists!

University of Alaska Anchorage

This university has the Prototyping Lab, a facility where students can see or assist a full-time employed machinist in creating various unique parts.

To be accepted into the engineering program, you’ll need a GPA of at least 3.42.

The tuition for a year for the undergraduate program, for in-state students is $6,500.

School Name Address
University of Alaska Anchorage 3211 Providence Dr, Anchorage, AK 99508,
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Remember that a training program for future CNC machinists cannot be attended online.

This is a hands-on type of learning, so going to a proper location is important.

If the program presented above is not enough for you, you can search for schools in other states.

CNC Machinist Salary in Alaska

You might want to know how much a CNC machinist earns.

Experience and location usually influence a person’s salary.

In Alaska, CNC machinists earn a median salary of around $55,280 per year.

Keep in mind that a series of factors influence the number.

CNC machinists can earn more in the cities listed below.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
North Pole $56,120
Big Lake $55,940
Two Rivers $55,710
Palmer $55,590
Tatitlek $55,590
Quinhagak $55,590
Whittier $55,590
Savoonga $55,470
Nome $55,470
Allakaket $55,360

Regional Salary in Alaska

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Anchorage, AK70$65,630$31.55$92,980$44,470
* 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

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

Every CNC machinist must develop the following skills:

  • Attention to details
  • Math knowledge
  • Inspection skills
  • Ensuring safety
  • Metal and plastic cutting skills
  • Knowledge of various materials,
  • Maintaining the quality of work
  • Grinding

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

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.

Do CNC machinists get promoted in Alaska?

Yes, because there are about 4 levels of CNC machinists.

This article presented the lowest level of this occupation.

You can’t be hired for the upper levels unless you passed through the lowest of them and gained experience.

USA CNC Machinist by State

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