How to Become a CMM Programmer: Education and Career Roadmap

Aug 07, 2018

Explore the requirements to become a CMM programmer. Learn about the job description, and review the step-by-step process that can help you start a career in CMM programming. View article »

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  • 0:03 CMM Programmers
  • 0:30 Career Skills & Salary
  • 0:56 Step 1: Certificate or Degree
  • 1:18 Step 2: Proficiency in…
  • 1:40 Step 3: Experience
  • 1:59 Step 4: Bachelor's Degree

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Video Transcript

CMM Programmers

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. CMM programmers interpret object blueprints and program the CMM to take accurate measurements. Travel to work sites may be involved, and overtime hours might be required.

Career Skills and Salary

CMM programmers need strong math and problem-solving skills and experience with computer-aided design (CAD) or other industry software. The ability to listen and work in a team setting can also help them excel in this field. In November 2016, they earned a median annual salary of $55,360, according to

Career Requirements at a Glance

Degree Level Certificate or associate's degree; bachelor's for advancement
Degree Field Manufacturing technology or a related field
Experience 3-5 years' experience in manufacturing or related field
Key Skills Listening, problem-solving, and mathematics skills; knowledge of CAD and/or other industry software; ability to use calibration tools; ability to work in a team setting
Median Salary (2016)* $55,360


Step 1: Certificate or Degree

Educational options for CMM programmers include certificate programs in quality technology or associate's degree programs in manufacturing technology available at community colleges and technical schools. Course topics can include blueprint reading, the use of dimensional measurement tools, and production processes.

Step 2: Proficiency in PC-DMIS OS

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 acquired through education programs or individual training courses offered by quality control organizations.

Step 3: Gain Work Experience

CMM programmer positions fall under the category of quality assurance or quality inspection. Many employers require candidates for these positions to have 3-5 years of experience in the manufacturing field, which new programmers can start acquiring through entry-level technical positions.

Step 4: Bachelor's Degree

CMM programmers who earn bachelor's degrees may increase their career prospects. Depending on their field of interest, relevant programs might include mechanical engineering, quality assurance, or operations management, among other fields.

Let's quickly go over what we've just discussed. Qualifications for CMM programmers include a certificate in quality technology or an associate's degree in manufacturing technology and three to five years of experience in the manufacturing field, after which, they may earn a median yearly salary of $55,360.

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