How to Become a CNC Machinist in Pennsylvania

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How to Become a CNC Machinist in Pennsylvania

Looking to embark on a career in a thriving industry?

Consider becoming a CNC machinist in Pennsylvania.

This article outlines the rules and requirements for pursuing this profession in the state.

Read on for a comprehensive guide to the steps and qualifications necessary to work as a CNC machinist in Pennsylvania.

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CNC Machinist Job Description

CNC, short for Computer Numerical Control, is the technology that drives computer-controlled machines, a domain where CNC machinists excel.

Utilizing tools such as lathes, mills, and grinders, these professionals craft precise cuts in materials like glass and metal.

Their routine involves setting up machines, programming intricate operations, and refining settings for optimal performance.

Guided by blueprints, machinists meticulously meet specified requirements, ensuring the quality of finished parts.

CNC Machinist Job Requirements

Once you grasp the responsibilities of a CNC machinist, it’s vital to understand the prerequisites for the role.

Here are the requirements:

  • Graduate from high school.
  • Maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Obtain a degree or certification.
  • Accumulate practical experience.
  • Develop essential skills crucial for the job.

Becoming a CNC Machinist in Pennsylvania

Let’s outline the steps necessary to secure employment as a CNC machinist below.

Step 1 – Education

Completing high school or obtaining a GED is essential for pursuing a career as a CNC machinist.

If obtaining a high school diploma seems challenging, obtaining a General Educational Development (GED) certificate is a viable alternative.

After high school, pursuing a degree or certification from a post-secondary institution is necessary to gain the requisite skills and knowledge.

To find suitable training programs and institutions, continue reading for more information.

Step 2 – Experience

To excel in the CNC machining industry, acquiring practical experience is essential.

Obtaining a license or degree through educational programs facilitates skill development and increases job prospects.

Additionally, educational institutions often assist in securing apprenticeships, which provide valuable hands-on training.

Most apprenticeships in this field offer compensation, making it a viable option for gaining experience while earning.

Step 3 – Earn The NIMS Certification

Your initial step should be obtaining certification from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS), which remains valid indefinitely according to the NIMS FAQ.

Candidates for the exam should know that this is free and can be taken online as well.

Those who fail the test can retake it until they pass.

This certification significantly enhances your job opportunities within the industry.

Step 4 – Apply for a Job

Upon completing your apprenticeship, you’ll be primed to embark on your job search journey.

Your options include seeking assistance from your training institution or conducting an independent job search.

Fortunately, Pennsylvania boasts numerous companies in need of machinists, indicating favorable job prospects in the field.

CNC Machinist Training in Pennsylvania

It’s important to note that education alone won’t suffice; training is essential for honing your skills.

Fortunately, Pennsylvania offers several schools with CNC machinist programs that can provide the necessary training.

Take a look at the list of programs provided below to find one that suits your needs.

Pennsylvania College of Technology 

Automated Manufacturing and Machining is the name of the program offered by this college.

It is part of the School of Engineering Technologies.

You’ll learn about: 

  • CNC operations
  • Blueprint reading
  • Programming machines
  • Setup the machines

You can start learning for a certificate but you can seamlessly transfer to an associate’s degree.

Students are recommended to buy their own tools, and then at the end of the semester take them back home.

Protective gear is also highly recommended.

Erie Institute of Technology

This institute offers a training program for CNC / Machinist Technicians.

The duration of the program is 9 months.

The program has been split into 3 terms.

Upon completion, you’ll earn a diploma.

New Castle School of Trades

At this school, students will attend both in-classes as well as lab hands-on practice.

During the first part of the program, you’ll learn how to work with old-school machines.

The second part will focus on new machines.

School Name Address
Pennsylvania College of Technology One College Avenue Williamsport, PA 17701
Erie Institute of Technology 940 Millcreek Mall Erie, Pennsylvania 16565
New Castle School of Trades 4117 Pulaski Rd, New Castle, PA, 16101
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CNC Machinist Salary in Pennsylvania

Now that your education and training are complete, your focus should shift towards securing a job in the field.

If you’re curious about CNC machinist salaries in Pennsylvania, you’ll find that pay rates vary based on factors such as education level, location, and experience.

Typically, CNC machinists in Pennsylvania earn an annual salary of around $50,560.

For a more comprehensive understanding, refer to the table below, which highlights the median high salaries for CNC machinists in Pennsylvania.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Southampton $55,210
Warminster $55,160
Ardmore $53,770
Wyncote $53,770
Abington $53,720
Willow Grove $53,700
West Point $53,580
Arcola $52,670
Stroudsburg $51,980
Allentown $51,060

Regional Salary in Pennsylvania

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ670$53,260$25.61$69,230$37,010
Altoona, PA70$45,170$21.72$60,290$31,730
Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA70$41,760$20.08$57,940$31,160
Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA210$52,710$25.34$66,050$37,610
East Stroudsburg, PA50$51,180$24.61$64,360$38,210
Erie, PA620$46,660$22.43$60,900$33,070
Gettysburg, PA120$42,890$20.62$54,770$32,680
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA280$50,360$24.21$67,760$33,080
Johnstown, PA130$48,440$23.29$60,980$35,360
Lancaster, PA660$47,210$22.7$62,590$32,690
Lebanon, PA150$45,960$22.1$65,130$31,730
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD3,540$55,410$26.64$75,430$38,190
Pittsburgh, PA2,330$49,180$23.65$63,980$35,590
Reading, PA380$50,030$24.05$63,060$37,060
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA350$50,150$24.11$66,000$31,890
State College, PA160$49,610$23.85$66,830$36,190
Williamsport, PA190$49,070$23.59$65,460$36,810
York-Hanover, PA440$51,930$24.96$66,930$36,920
* 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 Pennsylvania?

Yes, indeed.

According to data from, there are multiple levels of CNC machinists, each offering higher pay than the preceding level.

Even at the entry-level, the pay is competitive, with subsequent levels offering incrementally higher salaries.

Do I earn credits if I continue my education as a CNC machinist in Pennsylvania?

Only formal education allows you to accumulate credits.

Continuing education is for those who already obtained credentials in CNC or other fields.

Where can I find work as a CNC machinist in Pennsylvania?

This is a very good question to ask.

Here are some of the places waiting to hire you:

  • Modern Industries, Erie, PA
  • PHB Industries, Fairview, PA
  • General Electric Transportation, Pittsburgh, PA
  • H&H Aero, Erie, PA
  • Allegheny Bradford Corp., Lewis Run, PA
  • Power Drives, Erie, PA
  • Machining Concepts, Erie, PA

USA CNC Machinist by State

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