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Career and Education Opportunities for Numerical Control Tool Programmers in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for numerical control tool programmers in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area. About fifty people are currently employed as numerical control tool programmers in South Dakota. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 31% to about seventy people employed. 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.

The income of a numerical control tool programmer is about $15 per hour or $32,620 yearly on average in South Dakota. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 hourly or $44,310 annually on average. Incomes for numerical control tool programmers are better than in the overall category of Computer Controls in South Dakota, and better than the overall Computer Controls category nationally.

There are ten schools of higher education in the Sioux Falls area, including one within twenty-five miles of Sioux Falls where you can get a degree to start your career as a numerical control tool programmer. The most common level of education 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

Southeast Technical Institute - Sioux Falls, SD

Southeast Technical Institute, 2320 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57107-1301. Southeast Technical Institute is a small school located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,138 students. Southeast Technical Institute has an associate's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls, South Dakota photo by AlexiusHoratius

Sioux Falls is located in Minnehaha County, South Dakota. It has a population of over 154,997, which has grown by 25.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Sioux Falls, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Sioux Falls cost $149,700 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, five hundred eighty-six new homes were built in Sioux Falls, down from 1,000 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Sioux Falls are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 16 minutes. More than 27.8% of Sioux Falls residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Sioux Falls is 5.1%, which is greater than South Dakota's average of 4.5%.

The percentage of Sioux Falls residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 66.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Messiah Church, Sunnycrest Church and First Convenant Church are some of the churches located in Sioux Falls. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Sioux Falls is home to the Elmwood Golf Course and the Cactus Hills Country Club as well as Pioneers of Minnehaha County Monument and Picasso Park. Visitors to Sioux Falls can choose from Kelly Inn, Fairfield Inn Sioux Falls and Albert House for temporary stays in the area.