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Career and Education Opportunities for Numerical Control Tool Programmers in Plano, Texas

Plano, Texas provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for numerical control tool programmers. Currently, 1,030 people work as numerical control tool programmers in Texas. This is expected to grow 18% to 1,220 people by 2016. 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 $20 hourly or $42,700 annually on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $21 per hour or $44,310 yearly. Earnings for numerical control tool programmers are better than earnings in the general category of Computer Controls in Texas and better than general Computer Controls category earnings nationally.

There are seventy-nine schools of higher education in the Plano area, including nine within twenty-five miles of Plano where you can get a degree to start your career as a numerical control tool programmer. Numerical control tool programmers usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so 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

Brookhaven College - Farmers Branch, TX

Brookhaven College, 3939 Valley View Ln, Farmers Branch, TX 75244-4997. Brookhaven College is a large college located in Farmers Branch, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,173 students. Brookhaven College has 2 areas of study related to Numerical Control Tool Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Programming/Programmer, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated one and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated six and one students respectively in 2008.

El Centro College - Dallas, TX

El Centro College, 801 Main, Dallas, TX 75202-3604. El Centro College is a medium sized college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,114 students. El Centro College has 2 areas of study related to Numerical Control Tool Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Programming/Programmer, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated five and one students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-Dallas - Dallas, TX

Westwood College-Dallas, 8390 LBJ Frwy, Exec Center 1-Ste 100, Dallas, TX 75243. Westwood College-Dallas is a small college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 504 students and an admission rate of 48%. Westwood College-Dallas has an associate's degree program in Computer Programming/Programmer.

Interactive Learning Systems - Dallas, TX

Interactive Learning Systems, 8585 No. Stemmons Fwy . Suite C-15, Dallas, TX 75247. Interactive Learning Systems is a small school located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 27 students. Interactive Learning Systems has a one to two year program in Computer Programming/Programmer.

Mountain View College - Dallas, TX

Mountain View College, 4849 W Illinois, Dallas, TX 75211-6599. Mountain View College is a medium sized college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,126 students. Mountain View College has 2 areas of study related to Numerical Control Tool Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Programming/Programmer, one to two year and associate's degree.
  • Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.

Richland College - Dallas, TX

Richland College, 12800 Abrams Rd, Dallas, TX 75243-2199. Richland College is a large college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,917 students. Richland College has 2 areas of study related to Numerical Control Tool Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Programming/Programmer, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated five and six students respectively in 2008.
  • Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated eight and two students respectively in 2008.

North Lake College - Irving, TX

North Lake College, 5001 N MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75038-3899. North Lake College is a large college located in Irving, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,174 students. North Lake College has 2 areas of study related to Numerical Control Tool Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Programming/Programmer, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated three and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated thirteen and one students respectively in 2008.

Collin County Community College District - Plano, TX

Collin County Community College District, 4800 Preston Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093. Collin County Community College District is a large college located in Plano, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,000 students. Collin County Community College District has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Computer Programming/Programmer.

Eastfield College - Mesquite, TX

Eastfield College, 3737 Motley Dr, Mesquite, TX 75150-2099. Eastfield College is a large college located in Mesquite, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,501 students. Eastfield College has 2 areas of study related to Numerical Control Tool Programmer. They are:

  • Computer Programming/Programmer, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated two and nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated five and four students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Plano, Texas

Plano, Texas
Plano, Texas photo by Jmcstrav

Plano is situated in Collin County, Texas. It has a population of over 267,480, which has grown by 20.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Plano, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Plano are valued at $229,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-eight new homes were constructed in Plano, down from five hundred forty-six the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Plano are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, computer and electronic products, and finance and insurance. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 53.3% of Plano residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Plano is 7.4%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Plano residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Potters House Assembly of God Church, Central Baptist Church and Preston Meadow Lutheran Church are among the churches located in Plano. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Plano is home to the Heritage Farmstead Museum and the The Shops at Willow Bend as well as Enfield Park and Buckhorn Park. Shopping malls in the area include Preston Shepard Place Shopping Center, Preston Towne Crossing Shopping Center and Collin Creek Shopping Center. Visitors to Plano can choose from Amerisuites Dallas Plano North, Best Western Park Suites Hotel and AmeriSuites Plano for temporary stays in the area.