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CNC Production Technician

Program Requirements: 

The CNC Production Technician technical diploma program at Gateway Technical College can take you from “zero to career, in less than a year.” Offered at the Racine Campus, graduates of the program will be prepared to enter careers as CNC machine operators and set-up persons. CNC production technicians run full-size CNC machining centers while performing production runs and job set-ups in a manufacturing environment. Graduates of the CNC Production Technician program are prepared to develop an inspection plan for machines and reports on the compliance of the parts to design, as well as determine common programming codes and program format.

Coursework covers a variety of relevant areas including; blueprint reading, math, safety, machining technology, tooling applications, work holding, offsets, CNC lathe and mill set-up, gauging and inspection. Through a partnership with Haas Automation, Inc., the Haas CNC Production Technician Lab was developed to give students the opportunity to learn how to work with state-of-the art CNC equipment.

There is a high demand for skilled CNC machinist workers in Southeastern Wisconsin. Gateway is geared up to help meet this demand by offering students a fast track to successful employment and a promising career -- full time students can complete the program in just two semesters.

Gainful Employment Information

What does a CNC Production Technician do?

Graduates of the program will be qualified to work as a CNC operator and CNC set-up person, as well as a tool crib attendant, quality control inspector and maintenance machinist.

CNC production technicians program machines, set-up machinery, operate the machine and inspect parts. They will also perform production runs and job set-ups.

Learning by doing

Program training includes basic CNC operator skills and CNC set-up processes. Students gain real-world experience using actual CNC machining centers to perform real production runs and job set-ups. Classes are conducted in an actual CNC machine shop environment at the Racine Campus, equipped with Haas CNC machines, including six virtual machining centers and six CNC lathes. The training lab, known as the Haas CNC Technical Education lab, also has eight manual mills and eight manual lathes.

In the lab, students will learn hands-on to read blueprints, to handle precision measurement tools, to operate state-of-the-art CNC machines and to handle inspection equipment. Students will also program, set-up, edit and operate CNC machining centers and lathes.

Job and salary outlook

Gateway's CNC Production Technician program has a great reputation in Wisconsin -- local employers know about our program and our students. Many of them even visit classes and conduct interviews prior to graduation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of metal and plastic machine workers is projected to grow six percent through 2020. The median hourly salary of computer numerically controlled machine programmers and metal and plastic machine workers was $22.84 in 2014.



Richard Buhnerkemper

Jeremy Dutton

Richard Shouse


Dwayne Windham

Program Administration

Ray Koukari, Interim Dean