Community colleges and vocational schools often offer certificate programs in Mastercam technology. Associate degree programs in manufacturing technology and machine tool technology are also available and include coursework in Mastercam. Experienced Mastercam users may pursue certification, which involves passing exams.
Certificate in Mastercam Technology
Certificate programs in Mastercam technology are typically short, 2- to 3-course programs that prepare students for Mastercam certification as well as jobs that require the use of this software. The courses focus entirely on the use and applications of Mastercam computer-assisted machining (CAM) software.
A high school diploma is required for admission into this certificate program. Curriculum takes students through a series of programming courses. Specific topics might include:
- Mastercam manipulation
- Computer-aided design (CAD) for machining
- Toolpath creation
- Numerical control programming for mills
Associate Degree in Manufacturing Technology
Associate degree programs in manufacturing technology provide students with a solid foundation in machining. Students learn about computer-numerical control (CNC) programming and computer assisted machining using Mastercam software. Programs typically require two years to complete, and a high school diploma or equivalent is necessary for admission.
Students learn the skills necessary to program and operate equipment used in making precision metal parts or other material processing equipment. Courses might include:
- Blueprint reading
- Computer-assisted machining with Mastercam
- Machining and tooling
Associate Degree in Machine Tool Technology
Students in machine tool technology programs learn to use basic machines, such as lathes, milling machines, and drill presses, in addition to the skills needed to program and operate CNC tools. A high school diploma is required for admission, and the program typically takes two years to complete. Students learn about the properties of metals, the building and operation of various industry tools, and the use of standard industry technologies like Mastercam. Topics include the following:
- Mill and lathe programming
- Machine operation
- CNC machining technology
Popular Career Options
Mastercam software products are used by a variety of industries, including tool and die making businesses, medical and dental manufacturers, aerospace manufacturers, and defense manufacturers. Jobs that might require the use of Mastercam include the following:
- Production machinists
- Computer control programmer
- Computer control operator
- Numerical control programmer
- Computer-numerical control programmer
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Employment of CNC machine tool programmers was expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 19% during the 2014-2024 period, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs prospects are expected to be best for workers who are able to operate multiple CNC machine types (www.bls.gov). The median annual wage for CNC machine tool programmers was $48,990 as of May 2015, reported the BLS.
Certification and Continuing Education
CNC Software, Inc. offers certification in Mastercam software at various levels to individuals who pass competency tests. Tests are offered and administered by Mastercam resellers. CNC also provides continuing education training courses that cover their product line. Those who have completed certificate programs in Mastercam technology might consider a degree program to further enhance their skills.
In addition to certification in Mastercam, graduates of associate degree programs may be eligible for additional industry certifications, such as those offered by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills. Graduates are qualified to transfer to 4-year degree programs in manufacturing.
Individuals interested in learning how to use Mastercam software can enroll in a Mastercam certificate program or an associate's degree program in machine tool or manufacturing technology.