Men make up the majority of Computer Numerically Controlled Operators in the United States, and the nationwide average salary in this area lies in the neighborhood of $14.30 per hour. Cash earnings for Computer Numerically Controlled Operators — which occasionally include more than $5K from bonuses and more than $6K from profit sharing — stretch from around $23K to approximately $44K. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. While some workers in this profession — just under a third — do not have any health coverage, a strong majority do receive medical benefits and over one-half have dental insurance. Job satisfaction for Computer Numerically Controlled Operators is high. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$24,052 - $69,766
$24K
$37K
$70K
MEDIAN: $37,391
10%
50%
90%

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$10.82 - $19.18
$11
$14
$19
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$24,052 - $69,766  
   
Bonus
$200.80 - $4,848  
Profit Sharing
$100.00 - $5,500  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$23,286 - $43,601  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 55
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$10$20$30
Hourly Rate
$10.82 - $19.18  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00  
Overtime
$15.64 - $27.11  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$20K$40K$60K
Bonus
$200.80 - $4,848  
   
Profit Sharing
$100.00 - $5,500  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$23,286 - $43,601  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 1,173

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Job Description for Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator

CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) operators work in machinist positions in production facilities. CNC operators work with various shop machines to fabricate parts for assembly, usually from various metal compounds. They also set up their assigned machines for parts assembly runs, and then test the machines to ensure proper execution of the run. CNC operators also make adjustments as necessary to ensure the piece being fabricated or cut conforms to listed specifications. As each production run concludes, they physically inspect and measure each part created as well. It is vitally important at this point in the manufacturing process that parts are one hundred percent compliant with even the most minute details of an assembly specification. Part of CNC operators' jobs also involves monitoring machinery to verify it is operating properly and at peak efficiency.

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Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator Tasks

  • Operate a jib crane to manipulate parts.
  • Perform basic quality checks at the point of production using scales, micrometers, calipers and gages.
  • Notify and involve the supervisor of any problems or issues that arise during production.
  • Interpret sketches in order to provide a quality finished product.
  • Operate and set up CNC machine.

Common Career Paths for Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator


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There are some Computer Numerically Controlled Operators — though it's uncommon — that transition into Computer Numerically Controlled Programmers, where earnings are an average $51K annually. It is quite typical for Computer Numerically Controlled Operators to transition into roles as Computer Numerically Controlled Operator and Programmers or Machinist Set Up Operators, where reported median earnings are $10K and $7K higher per year.

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator


Computer Numerically Controlled Operators report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Machine Programming, Manufacturing, Quality Assurance / Quality Control, Blueprints, and Equipment Maintenance are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 11 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Precision Measurement. Those educated in CNC/NC tend to be well versed in Blueprints.

Pay by Experience Level for Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Computer Numerically Controlled Operators with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $31K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $35K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $39K. Computer Numerically Controlled Operators with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $41K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $32,093

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For those looking to make money, Computer Numerically Controlled Operators in Cincinnati enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 36 percent above the national average. Computer Numerically Controlled Operators will also find cushy salaries in New York (+17 percent) and Phoenix (+9 percent). The lowest-paying market is Fort Worth, which sits 16 percent below the national average. Rochester and Dallas are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 14 percent lower and 13 percent lower, respectively.

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator?

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator in Niles:
"Decent work."
Pros: It's fairly simple once you learn how to run and use the machines. Can get a bit technical but personally a challenge can be fun.
Cons: Dishonest upper management and lack of a future in the company. Ie. Dead end job. Bad atmosphere for the factory workers, treated like lower class people.

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator in Ashland:
"Sometimes its a mind twister use of x;y;z programs but more."
Pros: Changing programs and computer input data is the fun part.
Cons: Machine jams and crashes.

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator in Ohio:
"Great Job!"
Pros: That you have to think and complete jobs based on criteria and check for any issues that may arise.
Cons: The pay at my current cnc job isn't what it should be.

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator in Indio:
"The knowledge."
Pros: Taking on responsibility and meeting deadlines, In this field ,It's what you put into it, that makes you a good operator.
Cons: The lack of communication, and assistance when I need it most.

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator in Menomonee Falls:
"Helping Each Other."
Pros: We help each other out a lot and make sure the job is finished correctly.
Cons: The company doesn't see what we have improved in the last year and thinks we just slack off.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 186 votes.
Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
62%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
5%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator Salaries




National Average
$32,000


Skills That Affect Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator Salaries

Machine Programming, Manufacturing
up arrow 11%



Equipment Maintenance
up arrow 4%

up arrow 2%


National Average
$32,000

Precision Measurement
up arrow 6%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 186 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
62%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
5%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 70%
dental benefits
Dental: 55%
vision benefits
Vision: 42%
dental benefits
None: 28%
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