• Precision Machining

    Innovation meets craftsmanship in our precision machining program. Students are immersed in specialized classroom and lab experiences tailored for the manufacturing and engineering technology field. From blueprint reading to computer numerical control (CNC) programming, our program covers a comprehensive range of skills essential for success. 

    Explore courses like milling and surface grinder, CNC operations, and computer-aided design and manufacturing, where hands-on work experiences are emphasized. Gain proficiency in the use of precision measuring tools and gauges, preparing you for the demands of the industry. Earn valuable credentials like OSHA 30 and NIMS Level 1 certifications, setting you on the path to a rewarding career in precision machining. Join SkillsUSA and become part of a community dedicated to excellence in craftsmanship and leadership development. 

    Program Overview

    This career pathway provides specialized classroom and laboratory experiences for students who are entering the field of manufacturing and engineering technology. Instruction is provided in the areas of blueprint reading, safety, bench work, lathe work, millwork, grinding, drill press, and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) programming. Emphasis is given to the use of precision measuring tools and gauges. Course content reflects the National Skills Standards of the National Institute for Metalworking Skills and provides hands-on work experiences.

    Courses Offered

    • Safety and Health Regulations
    • Milling and Surface Grinder I
    • Milling and Surface Grinder II
    • Computer Numerical Control I
    • Computer Numerical Control II
    • Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing I
    • Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing II
    • CTE Lab in Manufacturing
    • Career Pathway Project in Manufacturing

    Credentials Students Can Earn

    • OSHA 30
    • NIMS Level 1 Registration
    • NIMS Level 1 Measurement, Materials, and Safety
    • NIMS Level 1 Job Planning, Bench work, and Layout
    • NIMS Level 1 Manual Milling Skills I
    • NIMS Level 1 Turning Operations: Turning Between Centers
    • NIMS Level 1 Turning Operations: Turning Chucking Skills
    • NIMS Level 1 Grinding Skills I
    • NIMS Level 1 Drill Press Skills I
    • NIMS Level 1 CNC Turning: Programming Setup and Operations
    • NIMS Level 1 CNC Milling: Programming Setup and Operations
    • NIMS Level 1 CNC Turning: Operations
    • NIMS Level 1 CNC Milling: Operations

    Employment Outlook

    Our Precision Machining pathway provides a solid foundation for various entry-level positions in the manufacturing and engineering technology field, and further education can lead to more advanced career opportunities with greater responsibilities and higher earning potential. 

    For students graduating from a precision machining program without pursuing further education, there are several entry-level job opportunities available in the manufacturing and engineering technology field. These may include:

    • Machine Operator: Machine operators set up and operate various types of machinery, such as lathes, mills, grinders, and drill presses, to produce precision parts and components for manufacturing processes. They may interpret blueprints, adjust machine settings, and monitor production processes to ensure quality and efficiency.

    • CNC Operator: CNC operators specialize in operating computer numerical control (CNC) machines, which automate the manufacturing process by controlling machine tools and equipment through programmed instructions. They may load raw materials, set up CNC programs, and perform quality checks on machined parts.

    • Tool and Die Maker Apprentice: Tool and die maker apprentices learn to fabricate and repair precision tools, dies, and molds used in manufacturing processes. They may assist experienced toolmakers in tasks such as cutting, shaping, and finishing metal parts to exact specifications.

    • Quality Control Inspector: Quality control inspectors examine manufactured parts and products to ensure they meet specifications and quality standards. They may use precision measuring tools and gauges, perform visual inspections, and document inspection results to identify and address defects or non-conformities.

    • Manufacturing Technician: Manufacturing technicians provide technical support and assistance in manufacturing operations, such as assembly, testing, and troubleshooting of products and equipment. They may assist engineers and production managers in implementing process improvements and optimizing production workflows.

    For students interested in advancing their careers and taking on higher-level roles, pursuing further education, such as an associate’s degree or certification in precision machining, mechanical engineering technology or a related field, can open up additional opportunities. Jobs that may require further education include:

    • CNC Programmer: CNC programmers develop and optimize CNC programs for machining operations based on engineering drawings and specifications. They may use computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software to create tool paths and simulate machining processes. A strong understanding of machining principles and programming languages is essential for this role.

    • Tool and Die Maker: Tool and die makers design, build, and repair precision tools, dies, and fixtures used in manufacturing processes. They may use manual and CNC machine tools to fabricate complex components and perform advanced machining operations. Apprenticeship programs or formal education in tool and die making are typically required for this occupation.

    • Manufacturing Engineer: Manufacturing engineers design, develop, and improve manufacturing processes and systems to optimize production efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness. They may oversee production operations, conduct feasibility studies, and implement lean manufacturing principles and automation technologies. A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or a related field is typically required for these positions.

    Student Organization

    SkillsUSA empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders, and responsible American citizens. SkillsUSA improves the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce through the development of Framework skills that include personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Alabama SkillsUSA is committed to producing a generation of strong workers and exceptional leaders who will take America’s workforce into a new frontier of triumph and prosperity.