Students can find machining and machine tool technology programs at 2-year colleges throughout the country that prepare them for entry-level employment in various industries. These programs provide classroom instruction and hands-on learning opportunities in tuning, milling, drilling, blueprint reading, computer-aided design and even some computer programming.
10 Schools with Machine Operator Programs
Programs for aspiring machine operators are offered by these colleges.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition* (2015-2016)|
|Front Range Community College||Westminster, CO||2-year, Public||Certificate||$211.90** In-state Undergraduate per credit hour; $561.65 Out-of-state Undergraduate per credit hour**|
|Southeast Community College||Whiteville, NC||2-year, Public||Associate's||$2,457 In-state Undergraduate; $8,601 Out-of-state Undergraduate|
|Everett Community College||Everett, WA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$3,643 In-state Undergraduate; $8,981 Out-of-state Undergraduate|
|Monroe Community College||Rochester, NY||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$4,554 In-state Undergraduate; $8,354 Out-of-state Undergraduate|
|Pima Community College||Tucson, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,974 In-state Undergraduate; $8,610 Out-of-state Undergraduate|
|Hawkeye Community College||Waterloo, OH||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$4,466 In-state Undergraduate; $5,166 Out-of-state Undergraduate|
|Community College of Denver||Denver, CO||2-year, Public||Certificate||Not Available**|
|Mesa Community College||Mesa, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,046 In-state Undergraduate; $7,830 Out-of-state Undergraduate|
|Portland Community College||Portland, OR||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$3,766 In-state Undergraduate; $8,374 Out-of-state Undergraduate|
|John Tyler Community College||Chester, VA||2-year, Public||Certificate||$146.75 In-state Undergraduate per credit hour; $343.35 Out-of-state Undergraduate|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) ; **School websites (2016-2017)
School Selection Criteria
There are several things to think about when choosing a program in this field.
- Obtaining a certificate of completion is sufficient for a career as a machine operator but a 2-year associate degree is highly marketable in the machining industry.
- Some schools offer students opportunities to get involved with groups or associations, such as the SkillsUSA/Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA).
- Options for specialization can be another important school selection factor for prospective students in machining and machine tool technology.
- Review the employment rates of graduates in the programs to ensure that you pick a program that produces marketable graduates.
Certificate in Machining or Machine Tool Technology
This year long vocational program is designed to provide all the necessary training for an apprenticeship in the machining industry. Some schools offer specific concentrations, such as machine tool operations, lathe work and CNC setup and operations. Most of these courses are taught in a lab setting in order to give students the hands-on training they'll need to be successful working in a variety of settings, including manufacturing plants, machine shops and inspection organizations.
Associate of Applied Science in Machining or Machine Tool Technology
An associate degree includes all of the same training as the certificate program with additional courses. This degree program also includes general education courses such as general psychology, English composition and consumer economics and finance. The curriculum is designed to give students the option of continuing their education to receive a bachelor's degree.
A certificate or associate's degree in machining or machine tool technology is needed to pursue a career in this field. Many two-year colleges offer certificate and associate's degree programs, and the location of the schools and tuition costs may be key factors when choosing a program.