Choosing an Online School for CNC Programming
A computer numerically controlled (CNC) programmer programs manufacturing machines to cut, shape, and finish materials like metal, plastic, or wood, and convert them into usable components. Fully online education programs specifically in CNC programming are not commonly available due to the specialty equipment and hands-on training requirements. However, a few certificate programs offer general education courses online along with digital CNC simulation programs, while still requiring students to appear on-campus for CNC training. When considering a school, students should look into programs sponsored by the makers of CNC programming equipment. Students may also want to consider more generalized manufacturing or machining programs which incorporate CNC training.
Joint Training with Manufacturers
Some schools offer joint training programs with the manufacturers of CNC programming equipment. Education might be offered as a continuing education course or as part of a certificate or associate degree program.
Programs that cover CNC programming are often designed for those who plan on entering the field of manufacturing. While programs that only cover CNC programming are available, these programs are few and far between. More common are manufacturing or machining education programs that include courses on CNC programming as part of their studies. Prospective CNC programming students may wish to choose programs that include courses closely related to their career goals, such as those in manufacturing technology, machine tooling, mechanical drafting and industrial technology.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Machine Shop Technologies
- Tool and Die Technologies
- Welding Technology
Online CNC Associate Degree Program
While fully-online associate degree programs in CNC programming or precision machining are not available, some technical schools and community colleges offer hybrid programs that blend distance learning and on-campus machine labs where students get the opportunity to practice their skills every few weeks. Online courses include:
- Blueprint reading
- Precision measuring
- Windows applications for technicians
- Precision grinding
Online CNC Skills Training Courses
Individual online courses are the most common type of fully online CNC training. They are often created by a CNC programming equipment manufacturer and offered through a community college or vocational school. Entry-level and advanced training programs are available. Students learn about:
- CNC mechanics
- Turning and machining centers
- Lathes and mills
- Turning programs and calculations
Fully online programs for CNC programming are not commonly available, but there are hybrid programs with online courses focused on blueprint reading, precision measuring, and windows applications for technicians that are paired with hands-on training courses on campus.