How to Become a CNC Machinist in Virginia

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How to Become a CNC Machinist in Virginia

Perhaps a CNC machinist is a new concept for you when it comes to a stable job.

Let’s delve deeper into this occupation.

Before stepping into the role of a machinist, it’s essential to grasp its nuances.

Read the article below for comprehensive information on CNC machinists in Virginia!

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CNC Machinist Job Description

CNC, short for Computer Numerical Control, involves using computer-operated machinery.

CNC machinists use such equipment to precisely cut through materials such as glass, plastic, or metal.

They operate lathes, mills, or grinders for this purpose.

Daily responsibilities include machine setup, program development, and adjusting settings.

Machinists interpret blueprints and adhere to guidelines.

Ensuring the produced parts meet standards is paramount.

CNC Machinist Job Requirements

Curious about becoming a machinist in Virginia?

Here are the prerequisites:

  • A high school diploma is required.
  • Maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Obtain a degree or certification.
  • Acquire practical experience.
  • Develop essential skills.

For more information, explore the FAQ section.

Becoming a CNC Machinist in Virginia

Keep in mind, that there are preliminary steps before securing a job.

These steps will be outlined below.

First step – Education

To begin with, prioritize earning a high school diploma.

If obtaining one isn’t feasible at the moment, consider pursuing a GED.

For a degree, start by attending a post-secondary school.

Continue reading to discover schools that offer relevant training programs.

Step 2 – Experience

Before diving into employment, accumulate experience.

Obtain a license to bolster your credentials.

Enroll in an institution offering apprenticeship opportunities.

Enhance your CNC machining skills through this avenue.

Apprenticeships frequently offer compensation and the chance to learn from seasoned CNC machinists.

This pathway ensures swifter job placement.

Step 3 – Earn The NIMS Certification

Securing an NIMS certification increases your career prospects.

According to the NIMS FAQ, it never expires, providing long-term benefits.

The test being free is advantageous for candidates.

Accessible online, participants can take it multiple times to ensure success.

This license significantly enhances career opportunities.

Step 4 – Apply for a Job

Curious about landing a job post-apprenticeship?

Your training institution might assist in this regard.

Alternatively, you can pursue independent job searches.

CNC machinists are in high demand in Virginia.

This means you’ll land a job rather quickly.

CNC Machinist Training in Virginia

To undergo training, enrollment in a program is essential.

In Virginia, you have the option to attend one of the institutions listed below.

Central Virginia Community College

This college offers a diploma program with a duration of 2 years.

To be accepted, you’ll need to meet these requirements:

  • High school diploma
  • Age over 18
  • Pass the assessment in reading, writing, and mathematics

The program has 60 credits in total.

Virginia Peninsula Community College

The Career Studies Certificate you can obtain here, is for Precision Machining Computer Numerical Controls (CNC) Technology.

This college partnered with a manufacturing company from the area.

Thus students can now train as CNC machinists.

Students have access to many scholarships if they need help paying the tuition.

Here are some of the scholarships:

  • Mark Daniel Wyatt Memorial Scholarship
  • Marge Funk Memorial Scholarship
  • Wythe Women’s Club Millie Brown Scholarship
  • SunTrust Bank Scholarship
  • Loraine & Louis Drucker Scholarship
  • Gayle K. Blankenship Memorial Scholarship
  • Linda Moroz Scholarship

Tidewater Community College

The program here is aimed at anyone, students who seek a good career opportunity, as well as experienced adults seeking to improve their skills.

The Computer Numerical Control Operator program lasts for 2 semesters and has a total of 22 credits.

There’s also the Basic Machining program with a duration of just one semester.

This program has only 16 credits.

Both of these certifications are offered at the Chesapeake campus.

The bonus point is that upon completion, you’ll be ready to take the NIMS exam.

Southwest Virginia Community College

SVCC received a national accreditation from NIMS.

This ensures that you’ll be studying with the best teachers.

There are 3 programs to choose from:

  • CNC and Machine Operations
    • Teaches the basics of CNC
  • Precision Machining Career Studies Certificate
    • Prepares for an entry-level position
  • Advanced Precision Machining Career Studies Certificate

The first program has a duration of 1 semester, there are 18 credits to earn at minimum, and it issues a certificate.

The second program lasts for a year, or 2 semesters and you must earn at least 26 credits.

The last program also lasts for 2 semesters or 1 year, and it has a minimum of 24 credits to earn.

School Name Address
Central Virginia Community College 3506 Wards Road, Lynchburg , VA 24502
Virginia Peninsula Community College 99 Thomas Nelson Drive Hampton, VA 23666
Tidewater Community College 1428 Cedar Road Chesapeake, VA 23322
Southwest Virginia Community College 724 Community College Rd. Cedar Bluff, VA 24609

CNC Machinist Salary in Virginia

Salary significantly impacts job decisions.

In Virginia, CNC machinists earn a median annual salary of $50,360.

Earnings are influenced by factors such as location, education, and experience.

Refer to the table for more detailed state-specific salary information!

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Arlington $56,400
Alexandria $56,400
Greenway $56,400
McLean $56,400
Chantilly $56,250
Winchester $56,150
Leesburg $56,150
Gainesville $56,150
Hartwood $56,150
Bentonville $56,150

Regional Salary in Virginia

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA290$51,780$24.89$61,760$36,870
Charlottesville, VA80$54,010$25.96$73,820$37,140
Harrisonburg, VA60$47,990$23.07$60,490$32,090
Lynchburg, VA700$57,350$27.57$76,380$37,550
Richmond, VA680$51,810$24.91$65,270$35,710
Roanoke, VA330$46,900$22.55$59,600$32,490
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA710- NA -- NA -- NA -- NA -
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC3,670$55,090$26.49$62,020$40,440
Winchester, VA-WV90$51,420$24.72$61,660$36,210
* 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

For what kind of people is the CNC machinist job for in Virginia?

The answer is not only for Virginia, but the whole nation.

People with the following abilities and not only will make good machinists:

  • Are a team player
  • Likes to use their hand for projects
  • Has a need to stand
  • Likes to know how machines work

Which area of study should I focus on to become a CNC machinist in Virginia?

Mathematics holds immense importance in the technical field.

Proficiency in fundamental mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division is essential.

Additionally, CNC machinists often utilize fractions, percentages, and decimals in their work.

Are CNC machinists in high demand in Virginia?


This occupation is on the rise compared to other industries.

In addition, CNC machinists can take on many different roles.

USA CNC Machinist by State

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