How to Become a CNC Programmer South Africa

CNC programmers write instructions for CNC machines, where a computer is connected to the mill, along with electrical drives and sensors for a complete system.

Below are the Prerequisites to Become a CNC Programmer in South Africa

In terms of education, most colleges that teach CNC machining will expect you to have a high school diploma or GED. Sometimes they’ll offer evening courses that directly teach CNC programming, but unless you have a good knowledge of machining, you’ll probably be totally lost.

The best way to approach CNC programming is to learn the basics of machining first.

For many people, this means starting with manual machining for a time. This isn’t a mandatory prerequisite, but it can give you a great foundation.

Whether you’re learning the basics of machining with a manual machine or a CNC, make sure that you understand principles like machining forces, feeds and speeds, tool load, chip thinning, blueprint reading, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T), fixture design and precision measuring to name a few.

If you don’t learn these fundamentals first, you’re going to have a tough time keeping your head above water once you’re on the job.

Where Can I Learn CNC Programming?

There are several routes to becoming a CNC programmer. You could take a precision machining course at a community college or at a vocational high school. There are also some apprenticeship programs out there.

I learned to program on the job. I was hired on with an aerospace manufacturer after learning manual machining at high school.

We were using some older CNC machines to make featuring for production machining. I had a total blast

The most straightforward way to learn CNC program is with a college course that will teach you after at least a year of learning manual machining. This will let you get a great grasp of the basics before moving on to what interests you.

How long does it take to become a CNC programmer?

So, how long does it take to become a CNC programmer? On average, it takes most individuals a combined total of four to five years of education from a university or training program, as well as firsthand experience gained on the job. Some companies will offer training for their employees, as well.

What degree do you need to be a CNC programmer?

CNC programmers do not need to have a degree, but some employers prefer candidates who’ve completed certificate, associate degree or apprenticeship programs in CNC machine operations, precision machining, machine technology or a related field. Voluntary certification is available.

How much does a certified CNC programmer make in South Africa?

The salaries of CNC Programmers in the US range from R 458516.98 to R 1074742.24 , with a median salary of R 694795.75. The middle 60% of CNC Programmers makes between R 694795.75 and R 808396.77, with the top 80% making R1074742.24.

Is a CNC programmer a good career?

Life as a CNC programmer can be an exciting and rewarding path for those who love to create and have an eye for detail. This is a growing field filled with opportunities for those trained to work on complex CNC machines.

Is CNC hard to learn?

Very basic CNC programming is easy to learn, provided that you understand basic math and have a grasp of how machining works. Intermediate programming skills can be learned within a year and advanced CNC programming can take several years to learn.

Are CNC programmers in demand?

One part operational, another part creative problem solver, the CNC programmer is crucial to today’s manufacturing and will be for the foreseeable future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects demand for this role to expand by 16 percent through 2026.

Is a CNC programmer an engineer?

CNC Programming / Process Engineer

To develop, implement, monitor and maintain efficient manufacturing processes and workflow.