Is It Time to Validate Your Skills?
The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) is offering two national certifications for CNC Machine Operators beginning in 2009. The certifications will supply portable skill recommendations for CNC Machine Operators. For the first time, employers will have a reliable, easy way to determine if a candidate meets the qualifications for CNC Machine Operator.
"CNC machine operation is a pretty sophisticated job. There are well over a hundred skills that these operators must be able to perform in order to handle the work of CNC operation," stated Greg Chambers, President of the NIMS Board of Directors. "Even in a shrinking economy, a large number of good paying jobs go unfilled every day for CNC machine operators because consistent training targeted for the operator job hasn't been available. Additionally, no method has existed for employers to reliably and consistently validate that an applicant actually has the skills needed for CNC operation."
"Many experienced CNC machine operators are retiring," says Steve Mandes, Executive Director of NIMS. "Our stakeholder organizations have highlighted this as being a serious problem. As people retire, finding qualified applicants is very difficult. Evaluating a person's ability in this area is difficult without some common standard that is industry validated. It costs manufacturers a lot of time in evaluation, they have mixed success with their applicants at best, and ultimately can potentially have product issues when skills are not consistently applied."
Making the Grade
The new certifications from NIMS in CNC Milling Operations and CNC Lathe Operations provide a solution for what has been an increasingly expensive issue. As with all NIMS certifications, these are built on standards validated by industry and contain both skills demonstration and knowledge exam components. Job applicants will be able to clearly demonstrate that they are qualified with the certification. Additionally, manufacturers can require current employees to obtain certification so that the skills applied across all of their CNC machine operators are consistent.
Amatrol, Inc. has been endorsed by NIMS as the preferred training program to prepare for the CNC machine operator certifications. Amatrol has developed a focused, self-paced training program that is computer based. It emphasizes hands-on skills that students can learn on realistic simulators. Since the program can be delivered in a classroom or via the web, manufacturers can use the same training in all of their locations. The CNC Machine Operator Program contains pre-tests and post-tests to help students target their study.