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CNC Training Programs

The CNC Programmer technical diploma and a CNC Production Technician technical diploma can take you from “zero to career, in less than a year.” Graduates of the CNC Programmer program will have the skills necessary for entry-level employment in a machine shop setting. 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. Machinists already employed will find a great way to improve their skill set in both programs.

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.

CNC Programmer

Technical Diploma Program Requirements: 31-444-3 CNC Programmer Curriculum Sheet 2015-2016.pdf

The CNC Programmer technical diploma program gives an overview of essential machine shop practices including machine safety, blueprint reading and part inspection methods. CNC machine programming, set-up and operation will also be covered in-depth. Graduates of this program will have the skills necessary for entry-level employment in a machine shop setting. Special emphasis will be placed on learning the skills necessary to transform raw material into a finished part. Students will be able to apply the techniques learned in lectures within a machine shop setting. Overall, this program is intended to introduce students to many different aspects within a machine shop setting.

CNC Production Technician

Technical Diploma Program Requirements: 31-444-2 CNC Production Technician Curriculum Sheet 2015-2016_1.pdf

CNC production technicians run full-size CNC machining centers while performing production runs and job set-ups in a manufacturing environment. 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., students learn, hands-on, in the Haas CNC Production Technician Lab, which was developed to give students the opportunity to learn how to work with state-of-the art CNC equipment.

What does a CNC Production Technician/Programmer 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