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CNC Technologies A.A.S. Degree

Why Choose CNC Technologies A.A.S. Degree at CLC?

95-100% placement

New advanced CNC and EDM machines that are the same as used in the industry

Articulation to BSU

High demand, high wage employment

Remodeled and updated classroom and lab

Industry experienced instructors

Multiple pathways for specialization

About the Program

The Machine Tool Technology Program at Central Lakes College uses a curriculum of technical industrial standards set forth by a strong industrial advisory board made up of industry leaders in multiple manufacturing career areas. It prepares students in the areas of geometric tolerancing, advanced CAD/CAM, and advanced CNC milling, turning, and electrical discharge machine (EDM) operations.

Instruction takes place in a well-equipped shop for a hands-on, practical experience with lathes and mills, computer-aided-drafting and design software, precision machinery, computerized equipment and training using wire and sink EDMs. The demand for highly skilled machinists grows with the increased use of technology in the industry and the need to replace retired workers.

Manufacturing in the News: 

Program Information

Program Course Requirements

Fall Semester – 1st Year
CMAE 1528 or CMAE 1529  Career Success Skills (1 cr)
MATH 1500  Applied Mathematics (3 cr)
MTTS 1110  Principles of Machine Operations I (2 cr)
MTTS 1120  Machine Operations I (3 cr)
MTTS 1121  Machine Operations II (3 cr)
MTTS 1130  Print Reading (2 cr)
RAST 1109  Computers in Industry (2 cr)
Total – 16 credits

Spring Semester – 1st Year
MTTS 1111* Principles of Machine Operations II (2 cr)
MTTS 1122* Machine Operations III (3 cr)
MTTS 1124  Introduction to Engineering Graphics (2 cr)
MTTS 1131*  Print Applications (2 cr)
MTTS 1134*  CNC Operations (3 cr)
MTTS 1135  CNC Programming and Process Planning (2 cr)
MTTS 1140  CAD/CAM I (2 cr)
Total – 16 credits

Fall Semester – 2nd Year
MTTS 2110  Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (1 cr)
MTTS 2112  Metallurgy (1 cr)
MTTS 2116*  Introduction to EDM (2 cr)
MTTS 2118*  Jigs and Fixtures (1 cr)
MTTS 2130*  CNC Milling and Turning (4 cr)
MTTS 2134*  CNC Operations Theory (2 cr)
MTTS 2140*  CAD/CAM II (2 cr)
General Education (3 cr)
Total – 16 credits

Spring Semester – 2nd Year
MTTS 2155 Capstone Project (4 cr) or MTTS 2190 Internship (4-6 cr)
ENGL 1422  Practical Writing (3 cr)
PHYS 1407*  Principles of Physics (3 cr)
General Education (6 cr)
Total – 16 credits

*Denotes Prerequisite

Career Description: Computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tool programmers and operators develop and operate programs to control the machining or processing of metal or plastic parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems. Most jobs are in manufacturing settings in a variety of industries including machine shops, aerospace, medical, automotive, and metalworking machining. Math, computer, and engineering skills are important in this field, but machinists also use a creative side to solve problems and make new designs.

Program Information: In the Machine Tool Technology Program students learn how to use hand tools, laths and mills, computer-aided-drafting and design software, power machinery, and computerized equipment. The A.A.S. curriculum includes geometric tolerancing, advanced CAD/CAM, and advanced CNC milling and turning operations. Instruction takes place in a well-equipped shop for a hands-on, practical experience.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates will be able to:

  • Read and interpret a mechanical working drawing;
  • Perform precision measurement, layout, drilling, sawing, turning, milling, and precision grinding safely;
  • Perform shop calculations;
  • Program, setup, and operate a computer numerical control (CNC) turning center and machining center;
  • Anticipate, choose, and troubleshoot the proper tooling based on manufacturing requirements;
  • Manufacture assemblies to specification; and
  • Apply effective communication and interpersonal skills in the machining industry.

Career Opportunities: Employment of all machine occupations is projected to grow by 14% by 2020. One of the most important factors influencing employment growth is the use of labor saving machinery. Many companies are adopting new technologies, such as computer-controlled machines tools and robots, to improve quality, lower production costs, and remain competitive. Wages vary by size of the company, industry, and skill level and experience of the machinist.

Career Titles: Examples of career titles in this field include numerical control machine operator, CNC programmer, robotic machine operator, numerical control drill press operator, lathe operator, automated cutting machine operator, machinist tool and die, precision instrument maker, and tool maker.


ronnRonn Redemske
Ronn Redemske obtained his Machine Tool Technology Degree at Staples Technical College in 1986. He spent the next nine years gaining industry experience building molds for high precision plastic injection, die cast molds, rubber molds and metal stamping dies. He returned to Central Lakes College and has spent the last eighteen years sharing his knowledge and experience to prepare his students to be successful in today’s machine trades industry. He continually adapts and updates the program to meet the needs of industry employers. Email Ronn for more information

Student Testimonials


Former Student
I chose Central Lakes College because it was close to home and the Machine Tool Technology Program is known for their great instructors and educational opportunities. The Machine Trades field has a lot of jobs and career opportunities available and allows me to be creative and to work with my hands. After I graduated in 2013, I was hired by Diamond Tool & Engineering in Bertha, MN as a Wire EDM Operator and CNC Machinist. And after only a year, I am being training to be the EDM Department Lead. The degree I earned prepared me well for this position.


Pillager, MN – Current Student
I chose the Machine Tool Technology Program at Central Lakes College because it was close to home and I am able to get the diploma done in one year. It is a concentrated program and a lot of work in a short time, but it is giving me the basic foundation in all aspects of machine technology so I can go into any shop and pick up their processes quickly. When I complete this training, I will gain a promotion, a wage increase and increased responsibilities with my current employer.

Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below: