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    Des Moines Area Community College
  Sep 26, 2017
2017-2018 Course Catalog

CNC Operator

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CNC Operators are entry-level jobs that require someone to interact with CNC machining equipment, loading and unloading parts with minor modifications to the machine settings. The CNC Operator certificate provides students with the knowledge and skills needed for an entry-level CNC machine operator position.

For more information about the CNC Operator certificate, and for advising documentation, please visit our website at

The classes listed below are for students interested only in the CNC Operator certificate. These classes are held in the evening. Each group of classes listed below is offered every other semester. Therefore, the order in which the classes are taken will be dependent on the semester the student begins. Please visit with an academic advisor to determine specific scheduling options.

Program Details

Location: Ankeny

Students start Fall or Spring or Summer semester

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Satisfy the assessment requirement.
  3. Attend any required informatioin/registration session.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a CNC Operator certificate, a student must complete all required coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grad point average.


*Students may start with either Semester 1 or Semester 2 courses depending on class rotation and availablity. Please visit with an academic advisor to determine your class schedule.

Semester 1*

Visit with an academic advisor to determine if you will begin with Semester 1 or Semester 2 courses.

Semester 2*

Visit with an academic advisor to determine if you will begin with Semester 1 or Semester 2 courses.

Total Credits Required to Complete this Certificate - 18

Classes are not required to be semester-by-semester, but students must comply with corequisite requirements.

These credits are applicable toward the Machinist Technology diploma  and the AAS degree in Tool & Diemaking  or Advanced Manufacturing  programs.

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$151.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

Costs for books, supplies, etc., will be determined by course.  Some approximate expenses:

Tooling/Supplies  90
Books  250 new (used may be available)

Approximate total for program: $3,058**

**Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

Nondiscrimination Statement

DMACC offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:

Agriculture, National & Environmental Services /Architecture, Engineering, and Construction/Arts, Design, and Visual communications/Business, Management, and Marketing/Education, Public, and Human Services/Health Science/Hospitality and Culinary/Information Technology/Manufacturing/Transportation & Logistics

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in nor allow discrimination covered by law against any person, group or organization. This includes in its programs, activities, employment practices, hiring practices or the provision of services, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, age (in employment), disability, genetic information (in employment) and actual or potential parental, family or marital status of a person. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law.

Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Campus Provost’s office, the Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. ADA questions and concerns may be directed to the Section 504/ADA Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 6, Ankeny, IA  50023, phone 515/964-6857,  Title IX questions and concerns may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 6, Ankeny, IA  50023, phone 515/964-6574,  Question or complaints about this policy may be directed to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Citigroup Center, 500 W. Madison, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 60661, phone 312/730-1560, tax 312/730-1576..

Legal references: Iowa Code §§ 216.6 and 216.9, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S. C. §§ 2000d and 2000e), the Equal Pay Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 206, et seq.), Title IX (Educational Amendments, 20 U.S. C. §§ 1681-1688), Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S. C. § 794), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.).(2017)

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • Operate CNC Machines and support equipment as it relates to production manufacturing
  • Inspect machined parts for quality related dimensions and tolerances
  • Read and Interpret Industrial Blueprints
  • Apply an entry level understanding of CNC programing
  • Perform basic set up on a CNC machine
  • Perform basic diagnostics and trouble shoot setups for tooling problems
  • Communicate with management and the other shifts about the day’s work

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • Apply math skills in specific machine setups and operations.
  • Organize your work, planning each step of the job from beginning to end.
  • Maintain a steady hand for precise movements and use your eyes for close work for long periods of time.
  • Be able to lift 25 to 50 pounds.
  • Demonstrate imagination and creativity on the various machine setups and operations.
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude and work closely with others.
  • Basic computer management skills.
  • Must be able to follow industry standard safety guidelines.
  • A quick reaction time is critical in this career field.  The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light picture) when it appears is necessary to avoid injury.

What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?

  • There is danger of accidents due to the high-powered, fast-moving machine parts.
  • Most of the work will be done in a standing position.
  • Students planning to transfer to a four-year institution should discuss options with a DMACC advisor regarding requirements for credit transfer. 

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