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Compton College / Guided Pathway Divisions / Career Education / Machine Tool Technology

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Machine Tool Technology

Create Your Success Story in Machine Tool Technology

Turn your work into real-life impact with a career as a machinist! Machinists play an important part in building the items we use every day - cars, appliances, tools, and more. This hands-on, detail-oriented field is ripe with innovation and in demand as manufacturing continues to grow and evolve.

Compton College's Machine Tool Technology program prepares students with the industry know-how established in accordance with the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS). Students will learn several facets of machine tool work and the specialties they can master to enjoy a fulfilling and exciting career. Courses include Advanced Manufacturing Processes; General Metals; as well as multiple classes that teach you how to mill, lathe, and understand Computer Numerical Control (CNC) systems. Students who complete Compton College's Machine Tool Technology Program - whether you're immediately entering the job field or transitioning to a university - are trained with employment and skill excellence in mind.

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How can I apply?

Becoming a Compton College student starts by filling out a free online application. After that, there are a few simple steps to follow before it's time to enroll in classes. Click to get started today.

What are the steps to enrollment?

Click here for all the details you need to understand the process from application to graduation, but here's a brief summary of the steps to become a Compton College student.

  1. Apply for admission
  2. Explore your financial aid options
  3. Complete your online orientation
  4. Work with a counselor to create your educational plan
  5. Register for classes

Need more help? Click here for our virtual program guides.

What degrees and certificates are offered?

Associate of Science Degree

  • Compton College students can earn an Associate of Science Degree as a Machinist or Numerical Control Programmer. The Machinist option requires 28 units. The Numerical Control Programmer option requires 33 units.

Certificate of Achievement

  • Compton College offers three Certificates of Achievement for students in the Machine Tool Technology program:
    • CNC Machine Operator (16 units requirement)
    • Machinist (28 units requirement)
    • Numerical Control Programmer (33 units required)

View the Associate in Science (Machinist) and the Associate in Science (Numerical Control Programmer) program maps for more details on a pathway to completion.

How much does this program cost?

The program cost is $46 per unit for California residents, not including books, fees, and supplies. For example, unit fees for a 15-unit certificate would be $690, ranging up to the 60-unit associate degree, which would be $2,760. Most students qualify for financial aid or for the Compton College Promise Program.

How long is the program?

Program length varies depending on whether you are pursuing an associate degree or certificate and how many classes you are able to take each semester.

View the Associate in Science (Machinist) and the Associate in Science (Numerical Control Programmer) program maps for more details on a pathway to completion.

What types of jobs are available once I earn a degree or certificate?

  • CNC Milling Specialist
  • CNC Programmer
  • Cutting Tools Sales Engineer
  • Machine Tool Service Technician
  • Parts Inspector
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Tool and Die Maker
  • Boilermaker
  • Source 1; Source 2

What is the salary range for jobs in this field?

The median salary for someone with a machinist specialty in California is $46,578 and goes up based on the role and experience. For example, a machinist working in metalworking machinery manufacturing earns approximately $50,000/year and a machinist working in aerospace product and parts manufacturing earns approximately $70,000/year.

Are there internships and/or work experience available?

Cooperative Work Experience (CWEE) is designed to provide Compton College students with workplace experience and enhanced skills. We invite you to learn more about the work experience process with us by visiting the CWEE website.

Why choose Compton College?

Compton College is a great value for students looking to make a change or enhance their career and get experience for in-demand, high-paying jobs. Our diverse programs, affordable fees, and outstanding student services are here to support your career goals. The Machine Tool Technology Program is just one of many career paths we offer and trains students based on National Institute for Metalworking Skills standards to ensure industry success.

Can I transfer to a university after earning a degree?

Upon completing Compton College's Machine Tool Technology Program, students can use their certificate and/or degree to work immediately or complete additional general education and major preparation coursework for transfer to a university.

What else do I need to know?

At least 50% of the major requirements for the associate degree must be completed at Compton College.

Who are the program contacts?

Rosa Portillo Gonzalez
Student Services Advisor
Business and Industrial Studies
Office: Welcome Center D-27

Alicia Zambrano
Student Services Advisor
Business and Industrial Studies
Office: Vocational Technology Building, VT-150

"The instructors are amazing and they encouraged us to pursue our career paths. Compton College is made up of a community of people like me. Compton College is more accessible than a university and saves you lots of money while allowing you to complete your general education courses."
Zoe Hernandez, Compton College student


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