If you’ve ever worked in manufacturing industries, you’ve likely met, or worked with, CNC Operators in your day-to-day work. Due to the nature of the job, “CNC Operator” is an umbrella term that can apply to many different kinds of machines. Are you curious as to what is a CNC operator and what they do? Would you like to become one at some point? We’re here to help you understand it a bit more.


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What is a CNC Operator?

First of all, what is a CNC Operator? What does the job title mean? The letters “CNC” stand for computer numeric control. Computer numeric control is a way of making a machine perform a specific task automatically without directly controlling the machine itself. Machines used in this way are controlled by specialized software that lets the operator control it at a distance. Using CNC with machines means more complex things can be done with them accurately. It also means dangerous machines can be operated with greatly reduced risk to the operator.

CNC machines may include tools such as drills, lathes, plasma cutters, laser cutters, and grinders. All of these may be operated using a panel of buttons and levers or a computer.


What does a CNC Operator do?

CNC Operators are in charge of multiple aspects of the CNC machine. In general, the operator must load materials onto/into the machine for refining or shaping. Most often, this material is metal but could also be wood or plastic as well.

CNC Operators are also responsible for maintaining their machines. This may involve cleaning, tuning, and fixing parts. A machine that hasn’t been properly calibrated may result in faulty products, so keeping them in line is key. If something breaks or isn’t working correctly, it is their responsibility to make sure everything is in working order.

A CNC Operator may also be in charge of general operations. This may include supervisory duties, ensuring that all products meet company standards, and ensuring safety.


How much do CNC Operators make?

The median salary of a CNC Operator in the United States is $47,000/yr. However, CNC contains a wide range of machine types in various industries, so the salary for this job can vary widely. On the lower end, CNC Operator salary is $34,600/yr, while on the higher end, CNC Operator salary is $61,200/yr.

For CNC Operators, there are various career paths they can take after becoming proficient. They can move up to CNC Machinist, which has a median salary of $52,000/yr. They may also be able to move into CNC programming, which has an even higher median salary. CNC Operators may also be eligible for management positions within their department.


Now that you’ve heard a bit more about them, do you want a CNC operator job? We can help! Contact us today to learn about all of our open CNC positions!