Job Descriptions

CNC Programmer

A CNC Programmer plays a critical role in the manufacturing industry, bridging the gap between the design and manufacturing phases of production. They are responsible for writing the code that guides CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines to perform precise tasks, such as cutting, milling, and drilling, according to engineering specifications. This position is pivotal as it directly influences the efficiency, quality, and safety of manufacturing operations.

Key Responsibilities

CNC Programmers are primarily tasked with creating and revising programs for CNC machinery. They must understand and interpret complex technical drawings and translate them into executable CNC programs. The role demands a high level of precision and attention to detail to ensure that machine outputs meet exact specifications and quality standards.


The daily duties of a CNC Programmer include:

  • Writing and optimizing CNC programs to create complex parts and components.
  • Selecting the appropriate tools, machines, and materials for each job.
  • Testing programs and making adjustments to ensure efficiency and quality.
  • Collaborating with engineers and machinists to evaluate project requirements and resolve issues related to machine setup and program performance.
  • Maintaining records and documentation for machine specifications and programming notes.
  • Staying updated with the latest software and training on new equipment.
  • Ensuring compliance with safety rules and regulations in the workplace.

Education and Certification Requirements

Candidates aspiring to become CNC Programmers typically need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, although an Associate's degree in CNC programming, machine tool technology, or a related field is highly preferred. Moreover, certifications specifically in CNC programming or operations can enhance a candidate's prospects in this field. Proficiency in computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software and a solid understanding of blueprints and technical drawings are essential.

Experience with specific types of CNC machines like mills or lathes may also be required, depending on the employer's machinery and industry focus. Continuous education and willingness to learn are crucial as technology evolves.

Overall, CNC Programmers must combine their technical skills with meticulous planning and problem-solving capabilities to excel in their role, contributing significantly to the technological advancement and productivity of manufacturing processes.

CNC Programmer salaries in 2024

How much can CNC Programmer make? It depends on their location and experience. Below you can find an average salary in the US and UK to have an idea.

🇺🇸 $61,745

In the United States, CNC Programmers make $61,745 per year on average.
The range is $48,500-$74,986 based on seniority and location of the individual.


In the United Kingdom, CNC Programmers make per year on average.
The range is based on seniority and location of the individual.

Salary information for CNC Programmer is not available.

The information above has been collected in 2024 from various online sources.
The information above has been collected in 2024 from various online sources.
The information above has been collected in 2024 from various online sources.

Free Job Description Template

Create Your Own

Welcome to [COMPANY NAME]

At [COMPANY NAME], we are at the forefront of the manufacturing industry, committed to delivering precision-engineered solutions to our clients. Located in [LOCATION], our state-of-the-art facilities produce some of the most technically advanced products. We believe in innovation, efficiency, and the continuous enhancement of our processes through cutting-edge technologies. Joining our team means being part of a supportive and dynamic company that values each individual’s contribution towards our collective success.

Job Description

We are looking for a skilled CNC Programmer to join our growing team. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in programming CNC machinery, creating detailed machine instructions, and optimizing manufacturing processes. Your role is crucial in turning designs into high-quality finished products by setting up, maintaining, and operating our CNC equipment with precision. If you have a passion for manufacturing excellence and a commitment to quality, we would love to hear from you.


  • Analyze job orders, drawings, blueprints, and specifications to set up CNC machines according to the required production specifications.
  • Develop and optimize CNC programs using CAM software to improve production efficiency and product quality.
  • Perform tests runs and make adjustments to ensure the programs produce parts meeting specifications and quality standards.
  • Maintain clear and accurate records of CNC operations and program modifications.
  • Communicate effectively with the production team and supervisors to ensure smooth workflow and timely completion of projects.
  • Collaborate with design and production staff to solve machining or assembly issues.
  • Train and guide machine operators in proper handling and troubleshooting of CNC equipment.


  • Proven experience as a CNC Programmer in the manufacturing industry.
  • Proficiency with CAD/CAM software ([SPECIFY SOFTWARE] preferred).
  • In-depth understanding of metal properties and machinery.
  • Strong problem-solving skills and attention to detail.
  • Excellent communication and teamwork abilities.
  • Diploma or certification in CNC programming/machining or related field is required.

Perks and Salary

At [COMPANY NAME], we offer an engaging and supportive work environment, where innovation and initiative are encouraged. For this position, we provide:

  • Competitive salary ranging from [MINIMUM SALARY] to [MAXIMUM SALARY] depending on experience.
  • Comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, and vision coverage.
  • 401(k) plan with company match.
  • Paid time off and holidays.
  • Opportunities for professional development and training.

How to Apply

If you meet the requirements above and are interested in joining our team at [COMPANY NAME], please submit your resume and a cover letter to [YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS]. We are excited to review your application and hopefully welcome you to our team!

Interview Questions for CNC Programmers

Create Your Own

1. Can you describe your experience with CNC programming and the types of machines you have operated?

This question aims to gather details about the candidate's hands-on experience with CNC programming and the diversity of their machine operation skills. Understanding their familiarity with different machinery helps in assessing how they might integrate with the existing equipment and technologies used in your company.

2. How do you approach writing a new CNC program from scratch? Walk us through your process.

Creating CNC programs requires precision and careful planning. This question tests the candidate's knowledge of the programming process and their ability to effectively plan and execute a program. It also provides insight into their methodological approach to tasks, highlighting their problem-solving skills and attention to detail.

3. What strategies do you use to optimize machine efficiency and ensure high-quality outputs?

Efficiency and quality are critical in manufacturing. This question seeks to understand the candidate’s ability to enhance productivity and maintain quality standards through their programming and operational decisions, reflecting their technical competency and impact on operational costs.

4. Describe a time when you encountered a significant challenge while programming a CNC machine. How did you resolve it?

The ability to handle challenges and implement effective solutions is crucial in a manufacturing setting. This question not only explores the candidate’s problem-solving skills but also how they handle stress and unexpected issues, which are common in production environments.

5. How do you stay updated with the latest advancements in CNC technology and programming techniques?

This question investigates the candidate’s commitment to continuous learning and professional development. Staying current with technological advancements is essential in the ever-evolving field of manufacturing to ensure efficiency and competitive edge.

6. Have you ever worked as part of a team to complete a large manufacturing project? If so, describe your role and the outcome of the project.

Teamwork is essential in the manufacturing industry, where collaborative projects are the norm. This question allows candidates to demonstrate their ability to work cohesively with others and elucidate their role within a team, underscoring their interpersonal skills and ability to contribute to group success.

7. What do you consider the most innovative change you've implemented in your CNC programming career? Why did you choose to implement it and what was the impact?

Innovation leads to improvements in processes, products, and systems. This question evaluates the candidate’s ability to think creatively and apply innovative solutions that significantly impact production and efficiency.

8. How do you ensure your CNC programs align with safety standards and regulations?

Safety is paramount in the manufacturing industry. This question is critical to confirm the candidate's awareness and practical knowledge of industry safety standards and how they incorporate these into their programming and operational practices.

9. What attracts you to our company, and how do you see yourself fitting into our culture?

This question helps assess the candidate’s motives and their preliminary understanding of the company's values and culture. It's important to ensure alignment in expectations, which facilitates smoother integration and long-term engagement with the company.

10. Where do you see your career in CNC programming in the next five years?

Understanding the candidate’s career aspirations can help in assessing whether their professional growth aligns with the company’s long-term opportunities and needs. This alignment is often crucial for employee satisfaction and retention.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CNC Programmer?

A CNC Programmer, or Computer Numerical Control Programmer, creates program instructions for machines to produce parts and tools from metal, plastic, or other materials. CNC programmers write the code that automates power-driven machines that cut and finish materials into usable components.

What are the primary responsibilities of a CNC Programmer?

CNC Programmers are responsible for interpreting project blueprints, designing programs and setting up machines to produce the component in the most efficient manner. They also perform tests and make adjustments to ensure the machine produces high-quality parts. Additionally, they maintain the equipment, troubleshoot issues, and ensure adherence to safety standards.

What qualifications are required to become a CNC Programmer?

Typically, CNC Programmers need to have a high school diploma along with professional certification or a degree in a technical field such as computer-aided design (CAD) or mechanical engineering. Experience in machining along with strong computer and mathematics skills are also crucial. Knowledge of specific CNC machinery, software, and programming languages like G-code and M-code is often required.

What skills are important for a CNC Programmer?

Key skills for a CNC Programmer include strong analytical skills, attention to detail, proficiency in CAD/CAM software, strong mathematical skills, and problem-solving abilities. Communication skills are also important as CNC Programmers often work with a team of machinists and other engineers.

How does a typical day for a CNC Programmer look like?

A typical day for a CNC Programmer involves reading and interpreting technical blueprints, programming CNC machines, running simulations to ensure error-free operations, adjusting machine settings, checking the quality of produced parts, and performing maintenance on machines. They also might attend meetings with production teams to plan manufacturing processes or discuss project progress.

What are the career prospects for a CNC Programmer?

The demand for CNC Programmers is expected to remain steady due to the ongoing need for skilled professionals in the manufacturing industry. Career advancement can include roles such as CNC Supervisor, Production Manager, or even positions in engineering. Continuous learning about new technologies and techniques can also lead to opportunities in specialized fields or advanced manufacturing technologies.

What type of industries employ CNC Programmers?

CNC Programmers are employed in various industries including automotive, aerospace, electronics, defense, and medical manufacturing. Any industry that involves precision manufacturing of components may require the expertise of CNC Programmers.

Is certification necessary for a career as a CNC Programmer?

While not always mandatory, certification can validate a CNC Programmer's expertise and proficiency in specific programming languages, software, or machining techniques. Certifications from recognized institutions or from machine or software vendors can enhance a programmer's job prospects and potentially lead to higher earnings.

Are there opportunities for continuous learning as a CNC Programmer?

Yes, continuous learning is important and widely available for CNC Programmers. Many companies offer on-the-job training, plus there are opportunities to attend workshops, training sessions, or courses offered by software companies, machinery manufacturers, or industry associations to keep skills up-to-date and stay informed about the latest technology advancements.

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