Precision Machining and Manufacturing

Nature of Work

Machinists use lathes, milling machines, grinders, and other types of machine tools to produce precision metal parts. Although they may produce large quantities of one part, precision machinists often produce small batches of one-of-a-kind items. They use their knowledge of the working properties of metals and their skill with machine tools to plan and carry out the operations needed to make machined products that meet precise specifications. The parts that machinists make range from bolts to automobile pistons.

Machinists first review electronic or written blueprints or specifications for a job before they machine a part. Next, they calculate where to cut or bore into a piece of steel, aluminum, titanium, plastic, silicon, or any other material that they are shaping into a product or tool. They determine how fast to feed the work piece into the machine and how much material to remove. They then select tools and materials for the job, plan the sequence of cutting and finishing operations, and mark the work piece to show where they are to make cuts.

After this layout work is completed, machinists perform the necessary machining operations. They position the work piece on drill presses, lathes, milling machines, or other types of machines; set controls; and make the cuts. During the machining process, they must constantly monitor the feed rate and speed of the machine. Machinists also ensure that the work piece is lubricated and cooled properly because the machining of metal products generates a significant amount of heat.

Many modern machine tools are computer numerically controlled (CNC). Frequently, machinists work with computer control programmers to determine how the automated equipment will cut a part. The machinist determines the cutting path, speed of the cut, and the feed rate, while the programmer converts path, speed, and feed information into a set of instructions for the CNC machine tool.

Career Outlook

Machinists held about 476,200 jobs nationally in 2012. Employment is projected to increase by 9 percent from 2012 through 2022.

Learn more about our Precision Machining and Manufacturing program College Catalog

Credentials You Can Earn

Associate Degree
Precision Machining and Manufacturing

Precision Machining and Manufacturing

Basic Grinder Operations

Basic Machining Operator

CNC Specialist

Lathe Operator

Mill Operator

Program Expenses

The Higher Education Act requires all colleges and universities to notify students and prospective students of all program costs for which they will be responsible. Students will be responsible for the following expenses:

Admissions Fees

  • Nonrefundable application fee ($25)

Outside Vendor Fees Prior To Beginning ACMA and MCHT Courses

  • Tools (Approximately $675)

Semester Fees

  • Tuition ($89 per credit hour)
  • Accident Insurance Fee ($4 per term)
  • Campus Supply Fee ($40 per term)
  • Instruction Fee ($55 per term)
  • Parking Fee ($20 per term)
  • Campus Safety Fee ($25 per term)
  • Registration Fee ($50 per term)
  • Student Activity Fee ($30 per term)
  • Technology Fee ($105 per term)

Throughout the Program

  • Textbooks (Approximately $1,500 for the associate degree program, $900 for the diploma program, $160 for the CNC Specialist program, $255 for the Lathe Operator program, and $250 for the Mill Operator program)
  • Supply Fees (Varies — See course descriptions for exact amount)


These expenses are based on costs in effect at the time this catalog was published. Prices are subject to change.

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Edward Kiszka, Program Chair
Office Location: Walton
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