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Career and Education Opportunities for Numerical Control Tool Programmers in Minneapolis, Minnesota

For those living in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, there are many career and education opportunities for numerical control tool programmers. There are currently 570 working numerical control tool programmers in Minnesota; this should shrink by 6% to 530 working numerical control tool programmers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for numerical control tool programmers are expected to shrink by about 15.4%. Numerical control tool programmers generally develop programs to control machining or processing of parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems.

Income for numerical control tool programmers is about $22 hourly or $47,210 annually on average in Minnesota. Nationally, their income is about $21 hourly or $44,310 yearly. Numerical control tool programmers earn more than people working in the category of Computer Controls generally in Minnesota and more than people in the Computer Controls category nationally.

The Minneapolis area is home to eighty schools of higher education, including eleven within twenty-five miles of Minneapolis 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 studying to be 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

Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College - Saint Paul, MN

Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College, 235 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102-9808. Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,388 students. Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated one student in 2008.

Academy College - Minneapolis, MN

Academy College, 1101 E. 78th Street, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55420-1554. Academy College is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 186 students and an admission rate of 100%. Academy College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician.

Minneapolis Business College - Roseville, MN

Minneapolis Business College, 1711 W County Rd B, Roseville, MN 55113-0000. Minneapolis Business College is a small college located in Roseville, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 408 students. Minneapolis Business College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated twelve and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Inver Hills Community College - Inver Grove Heights, MN

Inver Hills Community College, 2500 80th St E, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076-3224. Inver Hills Community College is a medium sized college located in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,608 students. Inver Hills Community College has an associate's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated one student in 2008.

Minnesota School of Business - Richfield, MN

Minnesota School of Business, 1401 W 76 St, Richfield, MN 55423. Minnesota School of Business is a small school located in Richfield, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,479 students and an admission rate of 87%. Minnesota School of Business has an associate's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated five students in 2008.

National American University-Roseville - Roseville, MN

National American University-Roseville, 1550 West Highway 36, Roseville, MN 55113-4035. National American University-Roseville is a small university located in Roseville, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 325 students. National American University-Roseville has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer.

Minnesota School of Business - Plymouth, MN

Minnesota School of Business, 1455 County Rd 101 North, Plymouth, MN 55447. Minnesota School of Business is a small school located in Plymouth, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 520 students. Minnesota School of Business has an associate's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated five students in 2008.

Century Community and Technical College - White Bear Lake, MN

Century Community and Technical College, 3300 Century Ave N, White Bear Lake, MN 55110. Century Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,384 students. Century Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center - Brooklyn Center, MN

Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center, 5910 Shingle Creek Pky, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430. Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center is a small school located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 700 students and an admission rate of 98%. Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center has an associate's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated one student in 2008.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College - Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403-1779. Minneapolis Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,539 students. Minneapolis Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated three students in 2008.

Brown College - Mendota Heights, MN

Brown College, 1440 Northland Dr, Mendota Heights, MN 55120-1004. Brown College is a small college located in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,231 students. Brown College has an associate's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota photo by BenFranske

Minneapolis is situated in Hennepin County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 382,605. The cost of living index in Minneapolis, 101, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Minneapolis are priced at $451,300 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, forty-five new homes were constructed in Minneapolis, down from one hundred fifteen the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Minneapolis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 37.4% of Minneapolis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Minneapolis is 7.0%, which is the same as Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of Minneapolis residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Minneapolis is home to the Saint Josephs Orphanage and the Hiawatha Municipal Golf Course as well as Beards Plaisance and Mississippi Park. Visitors to Minneapolis can choose from COE Mansion Carriage House, Radisson Hotel Metrodome and Best Western Kelly Inn for temporary stays in the area.