Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 27,100 people employed as computer numerically controlled tool programmers in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $57,700.
Entry level employees earn approximately $37,730 per year and senior employees earn approximately $88,860
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Write programs in the language of a machine's controller and store programs on media, such as punch tapes, magnetic tapes, or disks.
- Enter coordinates of hole locations into program memories by depressing pedals or buttons of programmers.
- Align and secure pattern film on reference tables of optical programmers, and observe enlarger scope views of printed circuit boards.
- Determine the sequence of machine operations, and select the proper cutting tools needed to machine workpieces into the desired shapes.
- Revise programs or tapes to eliminate errors, and retest programs to check that problems have been solved.
- Analyze job orders, drawings, blueprints, specifications, printed circuit board pattern films, and design data to calculate dimensions, tool selection, machine speeds, and feed rates.
- Write instruction sheets and cutter lists for a machine's controller to guide setup and encode numerical control tapes.
- Observe machines on trial runs or conduct computer simulations to ensure that programs and machinery will function properly and produce items that meet specifications.
- Enter computer commands to store or retrieve parts patterns, graphic displays, or programs that transfer data to other media.
- Modify existing programs to enhance efficiency.
- Determine reference points, machine cutting paths, or hole locations, and compute angular and linear dimensions, radii, and curvatures.
- Sort shop orders into groups to maximize materials utilization and minimize machine setup time.
- Compare encoded tapes or computer printouts with original part specifications and blueprints to verify accuracy of instructions.
- Perform preventative maintenance or minor repairs on machines.
- Prepare geometric layouts from graphic displays, using computer-assisted drafting software or drafting instruments and graph paper.
- Draw machine tool paths on pattern film according to guidelines for tool speed and efficiency, using colored markers.