How to Become a CNC Machinist in North Dakota

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How to Become a CNC Machinist in North Dakota

Becoming a CNC machinist in North Dakota offers numerous advantages.

Despite being a relatively newer profession, it is highly sought after in various industries.

In my article, you’ll delve into what it entails to be a CNC machinist and how to secure a job in North Dakota.

Discover the essential skills and requirements needed for this rewarding career path.

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CNC Machinist Job Description

CNC, which stands for Computer Numerical Control, is a term not widely known.

CNC machinists operate computer-controlled machines to achieve precise outcomes.

These machines adeptly cut various materials such as metals and plastics with accuracy.

Among them are lathes, mills, and grinders.

Tasks encompass setting up machines, crafting programs, and refining settings.

Machinists interpret blueprints to meet exact specifications.

They meticulously inspect completed parts to ensure they match the required standards.

CNC Machinist Job Requirements

Now that you comprehend the CNC machinist role, let’s outline the initial steps:

  • Complete high school education.
  • Maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Obtain a degree or certification in the field.
  • Gain practical experience through internships or apprenticeships.
  • Develop essential skills such as attention to detail, mathematical proficiency, and safety awareness.

Becoming a CNC Machinist in North Dakota

Certainly, before considering employment, several crucial steps must be completed.

Let’s outline them below.

First step – Education

Attending and completing high school to obtain a diploma is crucial.

Alternatively, if obtaining a high school diploma isn’t feasible, obtaining a GED serves as a viable alternative.

To acquire a degree, enrolling in a post-secondary school is necessary.

For a comprehensive list of schools offering training programs, continue reading below.

Step 2 – Experience

Experience plays a vital role in job performance.

Consider getting certified or earning a degree to gain practical experience.

Schools may facilitate securing apprenticeships, providing valuable hands-on learning opportunities.

During apprenticeships, you’ll delve deeper into CNC machining.

Many apprenticeships offer compensation, which can be beneficial if you require employment while training.

Step 3 – Earn The NIMS Certification

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

The certification remains valid indefinitely, as stated in the NIMS FAQ.

Additionally, there are no exam fees associated with it.

The exam is conveniently conducted online, and you can retake it at your convenience.

Obtaining this credential significantly enhances job prospects.

Step 4 – Apply for a Job

As your apprenticeship draws to a close, it’s time to embark on your job search.

You can seek assistance from your training school or initiate the search independently.

Given the demand for CNC machinists, opportunities abound across various companies, making the job search relatively straightforward.

CNC Machinist Training in North Dakota

It’s for you to find out where you can train for a machinist position in North Dakota.

North Dakota State College of Science

The Precision Machining Technology program offered here will train students in:

  •  Machining,
  • Toolmaking
  • Mold making

There are 3 types of credentials to earn at the end of the program:

  • Certificate
    • This course has 33 credits in total
  • Diploma,
    • This course has 65 credits in total
  • A.A.S. degree
    • There are 71 credits to earn here.

This institution partnered with HAAS Automation and as a result, students can practice on the newest CNC machines.

University of North Dakota

This university offers a CNC Machinist course for $2,245.

There are 195 hours in this course.

They can be completed in 12 months, at your own pace.

In total you’ll learn 9 main modules, each with a variety of subjects that are useful for a CNC machinist.

The best part is that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your house to attend the program, because it is offered online.

North Dakota State University

The program is part of the research facility of the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

Furthermore, the program is Welding & Machine Shop and takes place in the Manufacturing Lab- DOLVE 137.

Students will use the newest manual lathes and vertical milling machines to train.

This lab is intended to serve the community of NDSU by providing training, instruction, service, and consulting.

School Name Address
North Dakota State College of Science 800 6th St. N. Wahpeton, ND 58076
University of North Dakota O'Kelly Hall Room 300 221 Centennial Dr Stop 9021 Grand Forks, ND 58202
North Dakota State University 1315 Centennial Boulevard, Engineering Bldg Room 106, Fargo, ND 58102

CNC Machinist Salary in North Dakota

Naturally, the subsequent step involves securing employment.

Following that, it’s prudent to explore CNC machinist salaries in North Dakota.

As with any occupation, pay is contingent on factors like education and experience.

In North Dakota, CNC machinists typically earn an annual salary of approximately $48,650.

For further insights, refer to the table provided below.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Mandan $49,460
Bismarck $49,460
Alamo $48,700
Carpio $48,700
Granville $48,700
Keene $48,700
Hurdsfield $48,700
Westhope $48,700
Voltaire $48,700
Selfridge $48,700

Regional Salary in North Dakota

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bismarck, ND160$57,920$27.85$63,220$51,450
Fargo, ND-MN190$54,040$25.98$63,190$43,370
Grand Forks, ND-MN90$51,600$24.81$63,690$34,410
* 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

Do I have to continue my education as a CNC machinist in North Dakota?

In essence, yes.

Given the rapid evolution within the industry, machinists must stay abreast of the latest advancements and applications.

Are there any other careers for a machinist in North Dakota that can be pursued with this education?


Graduates of Precision Machining Technology programs are qualified for a range of rewarding positions, including:

  • Machine tool designers
  • CNC programmers
  • Field service representatives
  • Process quality control technicians
  • Quality control inspectors
  • Machine assemblers
  • CNC machinists
  • Tool and die makers

What are the most important skills for a CNC machinist working in North Dakota?

In the CNC machining field, several key skills are indispensable:

  • CNC programming and machining proficiency
  • Understanding geometric dimensioning and tolerances
  • Mastery of modeling and simulation techniques
  • Familiarity with additive manufacturing methods
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong work ethic
  • Technical writing and comprehension skills
  • Ability to interpret and follow written technical instructions
  • Proficiency in CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) software

USA CNC Machinist by State

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