CNC Machinist

CNC Machinist

About the Career

CNC machinists (also called CNC operators) work with computer numeric control (CNC) heavy machinery to produce parts and tools from metal, plastic or other materials. Computer numeric controlled equipment is precision machinery that cuts, grinds or drills into the material based on plans created by a CNC programmer.

Career Outlook

The Gulf Coast Workforce Development Board projects that by 2022 opportunities for CNC machinist will increase 49.7 percent. The average hourly wage is $19.18, with entry-level positions starting below that rate (Source: Workforce Solutions, 2016).

Completers of the Manual Machinist Program may find entry-level employment in:

  • Petrochemical Plants and Refineries
  • Manufacturing and Production Facilities
  • Machine and Fabrication Shops

The Gulf Coast industries are investing billions of dollars in capital improvements throughout the Texas coast area. With our proximity to the Gulf Coast, home to over 200 chemical plants and to the largest petrochemical complex in the world, COM provides training that supports these industry demands.

About the COM Program

From the titanium screws used in orthopedic implants to steel hardware, machinists craft the building blocks of our world. COM’s CNC Machinist Program prepares students for employment using machine tools to produce precision metal parts.

College of the Mainland’s Manual Machinist program prepares students for employment in one of the fastest growing occupations. Each course combines classroom instruction and hands-on work that is taught by instructors with years of field experience. Classes meet two nights per week to accommodate work schedules. Students must complete the MMT Basic Occupational Skills Award and the Manual Machinist Occupational Skills Award prior to enrollment in this program. Those with two years of work experience as a manual machinist can enroll with approval from the director of CE industrial workforce programs prior to enrollment. Students completing this program will receive the CNC Machinist Occupational Skills Award.

How to Begin

New students must register at COM’s Continuing Education Office in the Technical-Vocational Building Suite 1475. Returning students may register in person, by calling 409-933-8586 or online at Textbooks are not included in the tuition. Requirement: Students must be 18 years or older or have a high school diploma or GED.

Financial Assistance

  • Texas Public Education Grants (TPEG) – this is a grant based on financial need and is available through COM’s Financial Aid Office.
  • Hazlewood Act – this assistance is available to veterans, their spouses and eligible children and is available through COM’s Financial Aid Office
  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act – this assistance is based on financial need and is available through Workforce Solutions.


Certificate – CNC Machinist

Course # Title Hrs Cost

CNC Programming

This course is a study of the programming and operation of computer numeric control (CNC) machine shop equipment. Students will demonstrate operations of CNC machine controls and compare and contrast the differences between conventional and CNC machines. Prerequisites: Mechanical Maintenance Technician Basic Occupational Skills Award, Manual Machinist Occupational Skills Award or approval from the director of CE industrial workforce programs with two years of manual machinist experience.


$720 / $725

MCHN 1026

CAD/CAM Mastercam

This course is a study of Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software, which is used to develop applications for manufacturing. Students will use Mastercam software to create part programs and transfer programs to the machine control unit. Prerequisites: MCHN-2003


$485 / $490


CAD/CAM 3-D Solid Model Design and Manufacture

This course is a study of the computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software Mastercam to create multi-axis part programs, transfer programs to the machine control units and machine parts. Prerequisites: MCHN-2003, MCHN-1026

64 $485 / $490
Total 252


“It’s really neat to be able to take a raw piece of material and change it to suit your needs.”

Troy Gibbs

- Troy Gibbs, COM student and a manager at Accurate Machine Shop

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