CNC specialists or NC application specialists program machine tools and production systems for automated (program-controlled) machining, e.g. of turning and milling parts. In doing so, they convert specifications from technical drawings into functional sequences of the machine tool adapted to the material and production. They often work at special workstations equipped with the necessary simulation software to test the programs. They assist in setting up machines and commissioning production facilities. They monitor production steps and correct defects. They also participate in work preparation. In doing so, they determine the execution times and check whether workflows can be executed more efficiently by using CNC programs. They also ensure that the required programs are always available in production. CNC specialists and NC application specialists are also active in purchasing and sales and in employee training.
Places of learning
The preparatory courses for the advanced training examination to become a CNC specialist or NC application specialist are usually held in the training rooms of the respective educational institution.
Participants attend courses on a part-time or full-time basis. Preparation and follow-up of the course content is usually done at home.
In addition to the theoretical courses, practical exercises are carried out in reception rooms with screen workstations and CNC machines.
Courses are not always offered close to home. In the case of full-time courses, external accommodation may also be required.
Duration of training
The preparatory courses for the advanced competition to become a CNC specialist last at least 3 weeks on a full-time basis and up to 1 year on a part-time basis.
The preparatory courses for the retraining examination to become a NC applications specialist are full-time and usually last 2 years.
Entry requirements for training
The admission requirements for the chambers are different. The prerequisite is usually the journeyman examination or the final examination in a recognised and relevant training profession.
For admission to the advanced training examination, the following is usually required
a successful completion of a journeyman or final examination in a relevant recognized training occupation
To retrain to become an NC Application Specialist, the following is required
an apprenticeship in a commercial-technical trade or relevant work activity of at least 3 years and
Participation in a relevant full-time retraining measure that lasts at least 21 months and includes basic manual and mechanical metalworking skills in accordance with the examination requirements.
Anyone who demonstrates that they have the necessary knowledge and experience by submitting certificates or in some other way may also be admitted.
CNC Specialist - skills and requirements
The skills most frequently requested in job advertisements for CNC professionals are
- Knowledge of CNC machine technology
- Professional experience in the CNC field
- Basic knowledge of CNC programming
- Tax knowledge (Siemens, Heidenhain, Fanuc, Sinumerik...)
- Ability to read technical drawings
- Knowledge of the most important measuring equipment
- Skilled craftsmanship
- Good knowledge of space
- Methodical working method
- Reliability and attention to detail
- Ability to work in a team
- Physical strength and stamina
- Shift readiness
Career as a CNC specialist
A CNC career can go in many different directions. One option is to become a CNC programmer and deepen your skills in creating and integrating CNC programs according to specifications using CAD-CNC coupling.
An experienced CNC operator can also specialise in a certain manufacturing process, e.g. as a CNC miller / CNC lathe operator / CNC punch press or in wood cutting technology (as a CNC wood specialist).
Or you can take on more responsibility in production and become a team leader, department manager or even CNC department manager or production manager.
And finally, you can specialise in the maintenance of CNC machine tools and become a CNC service technician and then a maintenance and repair manager.
Good reasons for a job as a CNC specialist
A job as a CNC specialist offers excellent career opportunities in the metal sector, but not only: CNC machine operators are also in demand in the plastics and wood industries. CNC machines are found everywhere in modern production facilities and workshops, as they are at the heart of industrial automation.
There are many job opportunities for CNC specialists and managers throughout the country. Therefore, it is relatively easy to find a job, also due to the shortage of qualified workers. As a CNC machine operator, you earn well - and shift premiums are added to the basic salary for shift work.