What is a CNC machine programmer

What does a CNC programmer do?

CNC programmers are responsible for the proper operation and programming of CNC lathes.

job profile

CNC stands for Computerized Numerical Control and describes programmable machines that are used for mechanical processes such as milling or drilling. CNC programmers program these devices and set them up.

tasks and activities

CNC lathes mill, drill or cut materials for the production of goods. They often require one complex programming with special software. The CNC programmer is responsible for the application improve and towards the device write. In his daily work, he also checks existing machines and their work processes and optimizes them if necessary. He takes over Briefing of workers who operate the equipment in question. In the course of the optimization process, they also check the use of materials and its wear and tear and monitor the repair and maintenance of the systems.

CNC programmers are typically skilled in the manufacturing industry employed, for example in vehicle construction and the processing of raw materials and materials such as wood and metal.

What tasks does a CNC programmer have?

  • Programming of CNC machines
  • Optimization of the operation of CNC machines
  • Instruction of specialists in the operation of the machines
  • Repair and maintenance supervision

Are you looking for a structured CNC programmer?

Hard skills and soft skills

CNC programmers have expertise in the field of Computer science and have know-how in the fields Mechanical engineering and plant engineering. Technical knowledge and talent in math and physics are beneficial. The soft skills include a structured and independent way of working and logical thinking skills.

What does a CNC programmer have to be able to do?

  • IT know-how
  • Expertise in the field of systems engineering
  • mathematics
  • Independent way of working


CNC programmer is a Apprenticeship. The training lasts 3 years and takes place partly at the vocational school and partly in the company itself. The vocational school conveys theoretical knowledge and is attended in the course of block lessons, the training section in the company conveys practical application. In addition, however, is also the way via a Education the Computer science or one Engineering degree possible.

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The starting salary for a CNC programmer is around 30,000 euros gross per year. The Average salary moves around 40,000 euros gross per annum. The senior salary is 50,000 euros. The remuneration can be higher in individual cases. The respective income is of numerous variables depending on the industry and the company, but also on professional experience.

How much does a CNC programmer earn?

The average Freelancer hourly rate a CNC programmer is 73 euros. Extrapolated to an 8-hour day, the daily rate is around 584 euros (freelancermap price index - as of December 2019).

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