How to Become a CNC Machinist in North Carolina

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How to Become a CNC Machinist in North Carolina

Are you considering a career change as a CNC machinist?

First, familiarize yourself with the rules and prerequisites.

Next, let’s explore the pathway to becoming one in North Carolina.

CNC Machinist Job Description

A CNC machinist operates a machine equipped with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology.

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This technology enables the creation of numerous items with exceptional precision.

Each item serves a specific purpose within a larger project.

Here are the daily responsibilities of a CNC machinist:

  • Adhering to safety regulations.
  • Maintaining CNC machines.
  • Precisely cutting various materials.
  • Writing and adjusting programs as necessary.
  • Ensuring product quality.
  • Meeting project deadlines.
  • Reading and interpreting blueprints.

Additionally, a machinist may undertake various other tasks, so boredom is not a word associated with this profession.

CNC Machinist Job Requirements

For the CNC machinist role, the requirements include:

  • Completion of high school.
  • Maintaining a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Obtaining a degree or certification relevant to CNC machining.
  • Accumulating practical experience in the field.
  • Developing essential skills necessary for the role.

Becoming a CNC Machinist in North Carolina

Before being hired as a machinist, you typically need to complete several steps detailed next.

First step – Education

To become a machinist, you should:

  • Finish high school and obtain a diploma OR
  • Obtain a General Educational Development (GED) certificate as an alternative, then
  • Enroll in a post-secondary school to pursue a degree or certification in machining.

Here’s a list of schools we’ve gathered:

Step 2 – Experience

Accumulating ample experience is crucial for excelling in your role.

You can gain experience by obtaining certifications or degrees.

Schools offering these programs often facilitate apprenticeships, providing valuable hands-on experience in CNC machining.

Apprenticeships are typically paid, offering financial support while you learn.

This information can be beneficial if you require employment while undergoing training.

Step 3 – Earn The NIMS Certification

Next, pursue certification from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS).

This certification is perpetual, according to the NIMS FAQ.

Fortunately, there are no exam fees associated with it.

The exam is conducted online, and you can retake it as necessary.

Obtaining this credential significantly enhances your job opportunities.

Step 4 – Apply for a Job

Now you’re ready to search for a job.

There are several ways of getting hired.

For instance, your school can help in this situation.

You could find an apprentice position that can turn into a full-time job.

CNC Machinist Training in North Carolina

I mentioned you’ll have to find some training programs for future CNC machinists in North Carolina.

Let’s have a look!

North Carolina Central University

As the manufacturing industry undergoes automation advancements, many machinists are enhancing their skills by mastering CNC machines.

If you’re looking to propel your manufacturing career forward, this fully online course offers comprehensive training in operating state-of-the-art CNC machines.

The program has several areas of study:

  • Workholding
  • Math
  • Inspection
  • Safety
  • Machining and Stamping
  • Materials
  • Metal Cutting
  • Grinding
  • Quality and Manufacturing Management

This course can be started at any time.

It is part of the continuing education programs.

Tyson Family Center for Technology

This center is part of the South Piedmont Community College.

The program it offers is called Machining Technology for levels 1, 2, and 3.

For level I, you must complete 128 hours.

The tuition is $768.85 and there are no prerequisites to enroll.

You’ll have to get 2 books, though:

  • Precision Machining Technology
  • Precision Machining Technology (workbook)

Usually, this course takes place between 8 am and 12 pm.

For the second level, students must attend only 96 hours.

The tuition for this module is $481.40 and it includes the books as well.

These are the same books as for the first level.

For the third level, you must pay $481.40, a sum that includes all books and supplies that you need to complete the course.

Students who are residents of South Carolina can have access to a grant of up to $750 per person and per course.

School Name Address
North Carolina Central University 1801 Fayetteville St. Durham, NC 27707
South Piedmont Community College - Tyson Family Center for Technology 3509 Old Charlotte Highway Monroe, NC 28110

CNC Machinist Salary in North Carolina

So, you’ve completed your education, apprenticeship, and training.

Now, the final step is to secure your first job.

If you’re curious about CNC machinist salaries in North Carolina, they can vary due to several factors.

On average, a machinist in the state earns around $48,640 annually.

For more detailed information, refer to the list below.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Belmont $49,700
Waco $49,560
Valdese $49,340
Wake Forest $49,270
Bahama $49,030
Bethel $49,030
Timberlake $48,880
Advance $48,450
Alamance $48,250
White Plains $48,250

Regional Salary in North Carolina

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Asheville, NC840$44,320$21.31$58,640$28,540
Burlington, NC200$45,910$22.07$61,410$34,590
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC3,050$49,210$23.66$65,240$31,350
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC220$49,660$23.88$65,510$31,730
Fayetteville, NC100$47,330$22.75$60,440$34,770
Goldsboro, NC40$43,920$21.12$64,460$29,190
Greensboro-High Point, NC720$47,310$22.75$65,200$29,390
Greenville, NC110$57,120$27.46$76,870$37,740
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC440$44,730$21.51$61,010$29,790
New Bern, NC150$58,620$28.18$74,090$38,280
Raleigh, NC560$55,810$26.83$83,580$36,690
Rocky Mount, NC190$47,230$22.71$60,650$35,490
Wilmington, NC160$47,370$22.77$61,900$29,710
Winston-Salem, NC960$48,830$23.47$68,130$32,430
* 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

Which are the main skills for working as a CNC machinist in North Carolina?

Every CNC machinist should develop the following skills:

  • Attention to detail
  • Mathematical proficiency
  • Inspection skills
  • Safety awareness and adherence
  • Expertise in metal and plastic cutting
  • Knowledge of various materials
  • Commitment to maintaining work quality
  • Proficiency in grinding

Are there advance possibilities for a CNC machinist in North Carolina?

Of course, there are!

You start as a CNC machinist at level 1, then you advance to level 2, and then finally to level 3.

What career options do I have as a CNC machinist in North Carolina?

CNC machinists have diverse career avenues to explore, such as:

  • Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool
  • Drilling and Boring Machine Tool
  • Lathe and Turning Machine Tool

They can be:

  • Setters
  • Operators
  • Tenders

These roles encompass working with both metal and plastic materials, offering a wide range of opportunities within the machining industry.

USA CNC Machinist by State

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