How to Become a CMM Programmer: Education and Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a CMM Programmer. Learn about the job description and read the step-by-step process to start a career in CMM programming.

Should I Become A CMM Programmer?

A coordinate measuring machine (CMM) measures the surface area of three-dimensional objects. These machines are often used during the inspection phase in the manufacturing process. A CMM programmer interprets object blueprints and programs the CMM to take accurate measurements. Travel to worksites may be involved, and overtime hours might be required.

Career Requirements

Degree Level None required, though postsecondary education is helpful
Degree Field Mechanical engineering or a related field
Experience Many employers require experience in manufacturing or related field
Training Associate's degrees and certificates issued by community colleges, technical training by private schools and companies
Key Skills Listening, problem-solving, mathematics, CAD and/or other industry software, use of calibration tools, Ability to work in a team setting
Salary $47,475 per year (Median salary for CMM Programmers in 2015)


Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

Individuals wishing to pursue a career in CMM programming generally attend 2-year colleges, and complete a technical associate's degree program in a field such as manufacturing technology or a certificate program in quality technology. Certificate and associate degree programs can prepare students for careers in CMM programming through courses in topics such as blueprint reading, dimensional measurement tools and production processes.

Step 2: Achieve Proficiency Using PC-DMIS Operating Systems

PC-DMIS is a commonly used measurement software program that coordinates measuring machines and eliminates the need for information to be translated into multiple program languages. Proficiency in PC-DMIS can be gained as part of an education program or through individual training courses. Technical and quality control organizations offer individual courses.

Step 3: Gain Work Experience

CMM programmer positions fall under the category of quality assurance or quality inspection, and many employers require candidates for these positions to possess 3-5 years of experience in the manufacturing field. Candidates can gain valuable experience by starting careers in entry-level technical positions.

Step 4: Advance Your Career

CMM programmers might consider earning a bachelor's degree in order to increase their career prospects. Depending on their field of interest, relevant programs might include mechanical engineering, quality assurance or operations management, among others.

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