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Learn about the 60+ degrees and programs we offer. And discover the outstanding enrichment opportunities available to you.

Machining  Technology

student performing an aerospace weld

Machining Technology teaches students both the science and art of machining. The Highlands Machining Technology Certificate Program allows students to complete the required 41 credits in two semesters and enter the workforce with valuable college credential in the shortest time possible.

Students of the CAS in Machining Technology will learn the skills needed to earn the Mastercam Certification and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Certificate. These industry-specific certifications demonstrate to employers that students have a particular aptitude and breadth of knowledge in machining.

The CAS in Machining Technology can also be combined with the CAS in Welding Technology, giving students an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Metals Fabrication.


Curriculum

The machining curriculum includes the following courses in the order they are taken:

  • Interpersonal Communications (designed specifically for workplace needs)
  • Blueprint Reading and Interpretation for Machining
  • CNC I and II
  • Machine Quality and Controls
  • Precision Measurement
  • Metallurgy
  • Advanced Machining and Manufacturing
  • Related instruction in math and writing

Detailed program information and curriculum worksheets are available on the academic catalog machining page.


Program Outcomes

The Machine Technology program provides instruction in the theory and operation of mills and lathes, both manual and CNC, other tools related to the machinist trade, and associated programming.

Upon program completion, students will:

  • Apply quantitative skills in conjunction with trade handbook information to solve problems;
  • Effectively communicate during the problem solving process;
  • Use tools and equipment to form and machine various materials in a manufacturing laboratory environment;
  • Describe precision measurement and quality control procedures;
  • Use various precision measuring tools including a coordinate measuring machine;
  • Demonstrate advanced machining operations that are performed on CNC machines;
  • Produce advanced programs using Mastercam;
  • Demonstrate advanced techniques that are used on manual mills and lathes.

Careers

Machinists work in machinery and machine tool manufacturing, small arms manufacturing, and machine shops. Growth in the manufacturing industry and the need to replace an aging workforce is expected to provide opportunities for graduates.

In Montana, employment of CNC machinists is projected to increase by 44 percent between 2010 and 2020. Both state and national projected employment growth exceeds the rate of overall projected employment growth.

A machining technology certificate prepares graduates to work in:

  • Aerospace and computer companies;
  • Job shops;
  • Gun smiths;
  • Tool and die making companies;
  • CNC companies;
  • Automotive repair shops;
  • Mining companies.

Tuition & Gainful Employment

Please visit the Highlands College admissions page for current tuition information.

Federal law requires institutions to report information about students who enrolled in Title IV eligible educational programs that lead to gainful employment in recognized occupations (GE programs). All Montana Tech certificates are GE programs.

View gainful employment data for machining technology.