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Career and Education Opportunities for Numerical Control Tool Programmers in St. Paul, Minnesota

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for numerical control tool programmers in the St. Paul, Minnesota area. About 570 people are currently employed as numerical control tool programmers in Minnesota. By 2016, this is expected to shrink 6% to about 530 people employed. This is better than the national trend for numerical control tool programmers, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 15.4% over the next eight years. 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 yearly 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 St. Paul area is home to seventy-seven schools of higher education, including eleven within twenty-five miles of St. Paul where you can get a degree as a numerical control tool programmer. Given that the most common education level for numerical control tool programmers is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, it will take about two years to learn 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: St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota photo by Gridge

St. Paul is located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 279,590, which has shrunk by 2.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in St. Paul, 99, is near the national average. New single-family homes in St. Paul are valued at $213,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were built in St. Paul, down from seventy-four the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in St. Paul are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 32.0% of St. Paul residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Paul is 7.4%, which is greater than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of St. Paul residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Zion Church, Convent of the Visitation and Saint Paul Cathedral are some of the churches located in St. Paul. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Baptist General Conference.

St. Paul is home to the Saint Paul Orphange and the Wilder Center as well as Terrace Park and East View Playground.