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Career and Education Opportunities for Numerical Control Tool Programmers in Wichita, Kansas

There are many career and education opportunities for numerical control tool programmers in the Wichita, Kansas area. The national trend for numerical control tool programmers sees this job pool shrinking by about 15.4% over the next eight years. In general, numerical control tool programmers develop programs to control machining or processing of parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems.

The income of a numerical control tool programmer is about $22 per hour or $47,260 yearly on average in Kansas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 hourly or $44,310 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Computer Controls, people working as numerical control tool programmers in Kansas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Computer Controls nationally.

The Wichita area is home to nineteen schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Wichita where you can get a degree as a numerical control tool programmer. Numerical control tool programmers usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years training to become a numerical control tool programmer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Numerical Control Tool Programmer

Numerical Control Tool Programmer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, numerical control tool programmers develop programs to control machining or processing of parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems.

Numerical control tool programmers analyze job orders, drawings, blueprints, specifications, printed circuit board pattern films, and layout data so as to calculate dimensions and feed rates. They also decide on the sequence of machine operations, and decide on the proper cutting tools needed to machine workpieces into the desired shapes. Equally important, numerical control tool programmers have to modify existing programs to enhance efficiency. They are often called upon to decide on reference points, machine cutting paths, or hole locations, and compute angular and linear dimensions, radii, and curvatures. They are expected to observe machines on trial runs or conduct computer simulations to insure that programs and machinery will function properly and produce items that meet specifications. Finally, numerical control tool programmers revise programs and/or tapes to remove errors, and retest programs to check that problems have been solved.

Every day, numerical control tool programmers are expected to be able to visualize how things come together and can be organized. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they imediately see the relationships between collections of numbers, images, and patterns.

It is important for numerical control tool programmers to enter computer commands to store or retrieve components patterns or programs that transfer data to other media. They are often called upon to ready geometric layouts from graphic displays, using computer-assisted drafting software or drafting instruments and graph paper. They also compare encoded tapes or computer printouts with original part specifications and blueprints to confirm precision of instructions. They are sometimes expected to enter coordinates of hole locations into program memories by depressing pedals or buttons of programmers. Somewhat less frequently, numerical control tool programmers are also expected to write instruction sheets and cutter lists for a machine's controller so as to guide setup and encode numerical control tapes.

Numerical control tool programmers sometimes are asked to draw machine tool paths on pattern film, using colored markers and following guidelines for tool speed and efficiency. and revise programs and/or tapes to remove errors, and retest programs to check that problems have been solved. And finally, they sometimes have to observe machines on trial runs or conduct computer simulations to insure that programs and machinery will function properly and produce items that meet specifications.

Like many other jobs, numerical control tool programmers must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Numerical Control Tool Programmer Training

Butler Community College - El Dorado, KS

Butler Community College, 901 S Haverhill Rd, El Dorado, KS 67042-3280. Butler Community College is a medium sized college located in El Dorado, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,190 students. Butler Community College has an associate's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated two students in 2008.

Friends University - Wichita, KS

Friends University, 2100 W. University Ave., Wichita, KS 67213. Friends University is a small university located in Wichita, Kansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,801 students and an admission rate of 70%. Friends University has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated three students in 2008.

Vatterott College-Wichita - Wichita, KS

Vatterott College-Wichita, 8853 E. 37th Street N., Wichita, KS 67226. Vatterott College-Wichita is a small college located in Wichita, Kansas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 163 students. Vatterott College-Wichita has a one to two year program in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Southwestern College - Winfield, KS

Southwestern College, 100 College St, Winfield, KS 67156-6224. Southwestern College is a small college located in Winfield, Kansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,800 students and an admission rate of 90%. Southwestern College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas photo by Pacoperez6

Wichita is located in Sedgwick County, Kansas. It has a population of over 366,046, which has grown by 6.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Wichita, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Wichita cost $106,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,012 new homes were constructed in Wichita, down from 1,248 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Wichita are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 25.3% of Wichita residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Wichita is 8.8%, which is greater than Kansas's average of 6.3%.

The percentage of Wichita residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Mizpah Baptist Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church and Christ the King Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Wichita. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Wichita is home to the Pleasant Valley and the Wichita Plaza as well as Hyde Park and Watson Park. Shopping centers in the area include Central Heights Shopping Mall, Airpark Shopping Center and Sweetbriar Shopping Center. Visitors to Wichita can choose from Afton Motel, Hampton Inn Wichita-East and Corral Motel for temporary stays in the area.