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Technical Diploma

Machine Tool Operator

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Machine Tool Operator Overview

CVTC’s Machine Tool Operator is an embedded one-year technical diploma that can lead directly into the Machine Tooling Technics two-year technical diploma program. The Machine Tool Operator program provides training for entry-level employment in a machining environment. Students will be exposed to manual lathes & mills, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines, Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) workstations, and Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM). Students will gain the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to operate a variety of machine tools, along with other support equipment, to be able to produce parts to meet print specifications.

This program offers hands-on training from highly skilled and experienced instructors for employment in CNC programming, CNC machining, CNC operation, mold making, and quality-control inspection. If you wish to join the workforce quicker and you have strong mechanical skills and enjoy building or crafting things, this could be the program for you!

The Machine Tool Operator program is an affordable option that allows you to earn your diploma in less time, so you can join the workforce quicker and begin earning a competitive salary. Plus, graduates from this program often have several job offers when they graduate!

Throughout this one-year program you’ll learn about:

  • G & M code programming
  • Cutter compensation techniques
  • Casting molding, welding & gluing
  • Classification of materials
  • Machine tooling technics terminology
  • Engineering language used on blueprints
  • Interpretation of blueprints

  $1,000 Scholarships Available!

$1,000 scholarships are available for new first semester, full time students enrolled in CVTC’s Advanced Machine Tool Technology program! All you need to do is successfully complete your first semester with 90% attendance and a 3.0 GPA. This scholarship is funded by Gene Haas Foundation for CVTC Advanced Machine Tool Technology Students.

To learn more, call 715-833-6300.

Earn credit for prior learning! Do you have previous educational or work experience in the field? You could be eligible to receive credit for prior learning.

Explore This Program

Just the Facts

Machine Tool Operator
31 Credit Technical Diploma

Program Length
One Year

Delivery Method

Program Location
Eau Claire

Start Months
August, October, January, March, June


Financial Aid Eligible


Non-Traditional Occupation

Estimated Program Cost 

Learn more about the cost of attendance.

Term 1



Term 2






 What are estimated program costs? Estimated Total: $7,905

Program Courses Admission Information I'm Ready to Apply

Career Opportunities

CNC Machine Operator

CNC Machinist

CNC Programmer


Graduate Employers

Advanced Laser Machine

Menomonie Machine Tool Inc

Riverside Machine & Engineering

Schmit Prototypes

Vincent Tool

Wissota Tool & Machine

Program Outcomes

CVTC graduates are ready for the workforce. Each year, we send our graduates the Graduate Follow-Up Survey asking several questions related to employment. Here are the program outcomes and job data.

// Program Scorecard

Yearly Salary

Our recent Machine Tool Operator graduates reported an average starting salary of $43,129.



100% of our recent Machine Tool Operator graduates got a job in the industry.


Regional Jobs

There are 278 job openings in the CVTC district for the Machine Tool Operator industry.


Credits to Other Institutions

Should you choose to continue your education after you leave CVTC, we have agreements in place with several institutions to ensure an easy transfer.

View Transfer Options

Program Courses

These are a few of the courses you will take in this program. Courses and the recommended sequence change from year to year; once you are enrolled in a program at CVTC you will be given a recommended course sequence that outlines what courses you should take and the order in which to take them.

You may search for available courses. If you are ever unsure of what courses to take, talk to your academic advisor. If you are looking for course information for previous years, check out our past catalogs.

Here are a few of the courses you can take in the Machine Tool Operator program.

Sample Courses

Materials for Machinists
During this course individuals will learn the terminology relating to the mechanical, physical, and chemical properties of materials used for Machine Tool Technics. Materials covered will be the classification of steel, cast iron, aluminum, copper, and polymers. Lab activities include hardening, annealing, case hardening, destructive test, non-destructive test, casting molding, welding, and gluing of materials.

MT Blueprint Reading and GD&T
Introduction of engineering language used on blueprints; interpretation of blueprints; blueprints and understanding manufacturing processes and communication between product design and machinist - manufacturer.

CNC Mill Programming Theory
In this course students will acquire knowledge and skills in CNC Mill programming concepts. Students will develop and apply manual G & M code programming skills in linear and circular interpolation, canned cycles, cutter compensation techniques, and applications using sub-program and sub-routines. Math concepts will be applied to find Cartesian coordinates for part geometry.

View Full Course List

Request More Information

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Earn Credentials Along the Way

Career Pathways  What is a career pathway?

Career Pathways are a clear, manageable way to access education that provides employer-recognized, stackable credentials tied to specific jobs, education, and career progression. Career Pathways are beneficial to high school students and teachers, parents, adult students, and employers.

One-Year Technical Diploma

Machine Tool Operator

Two-Year Technical Diploma

Machine Tooling Technics

Your future is waiting…Are you ready to get started?

Apply Now
Travis, Machine Tooling Technics Student

My shop teacher back in high school told me about the program and I tried it out, but because of certain circumstances, it didn’t work out. I joined the army, stayed 20 years, and came back here.


Machine Tooling Technics Student

Related Programs & Certificates

Whether you're looking to continue your learning to another program or to gain continuing education credit, CVTC offers a variety of learning opportunities for students.

Degrees & Diplomas

Automotive Maintenance Technician, Technical Diploma

Machine Tooling Technics, Technical Diploma

Mechatronics Specialist, Associate Degree


Production Technician

Continue Your Learning

CVTC can help you achieve your learning goals whether you are looking to advance your career or enrich your personal life.

// Explore Continuing Ed Opportunities

  Unsure of which program you'd like to go into? Learn more about our Career Assessment to help narrow down your options.

Additional Admissions Resources

Admission Requirements

Each program requires specific requirements a student must meet to be considered for admissions to this program.

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Advising Tips

We have compiled helpful tips and general information for students in this program.

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