Hometown: Valley Springs | Age: 22 | Where I trained: North Arkansas College CNC program and on-the-job training | What I earned: Certificate of Proficiency in Engineering | Job title: CNC Technician | Employer: Pace Industries in Harrison
What does a CNC operator do?
CNC operators use computer-programmed machines to manufacture precision parts for a variety of different products. The machines drill, cut and shape the raw materials into metal and plastic parts.
► Tommy started out doing production for Pace Industries. After a few months, his boss asked him to take a CNC class so that he could be a CNC technician for the company.
"Some of my friends who are still in college are in a tremendous amount of debt right now and have no idea what they want to do. They’ve spent a ton of money and they’re thinking about changing their minds about it." – Tommy on student loan debt
• Set up, monitor and operate the machines.
• Calibrate the settings of the machines for temperature, speed and cycle times.
• Feed material into the machines and remove the finished products.
• Use gauges and measuring instruments to test finished products and ensure they meet specifications.
• Record production numbers.
expected growth from 2016 to 2026 in Arkansas.
• Grinding, Lapping, Polishing and Buffing Machine Tool Operator
• Rolling Machine Operator
• Multiple Machine Tool Operator
• Heating Treating Equipment Operator
High-end earners (top 10%) make
Median wages in Arkansas
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|ABB Motors & Mechanical Inc.|
|L'Oreal Maybelline Co.|
|Simmons Foods Inc. & Affiliates|
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics and CareerOneStop.org