CNC Machine Programmer


A CNC Machine Programmer’s entry level salary ranges from P15,000 - P20,000 per month and may even go up to P30,000 per month for those highly-trained and experienced. In the U.S. & Canada, the
annual average salary for an CNC Machine Programmer is $50,260 or $4,188 per month.

Basic Educational Requirement

A CNC Machine Programmer gets his education and training in various ways - in apprenticeship programs, informally on the job, and in technical/vocational training institutions. In general, the more skills needed for the job, the more education and training are needed to qualify. Many entrants to this type of occupation have previously worked as machinists or machine setters, operators, and tenders. For specialized types of programming, such as those needed to produce complex parts for the aerospace or shipbuilding industries, the employers may prefer individuals with a degree in engineering.

Cost of Education *

The training cost for a CNC machine programmer ranges approximately from P35,000 - P40,000 in private technical schools and about P7,000 to P15,000 in public institutions. However, in the Philippines, the knowledge and skills requirements of a prospective CNC machine programmer is acquired mainly thru in-house training and on-the-job training. Only a few training institutions have the capability of acquiring the training equipment because of its high cost.

Employment Opportunities

The manufacturing industry employs almost all of CNC machine programmers. Employment is concentrated in fabricated metal products manufacturing, plastic products manufacturing, and transportation equipment manufacturing producing mostly aerospace and automobile parts.

Prospects for Career Advancement

Career advancement is dependent on pursuing further studies or training along ones area of specialization. After gaining considerable working experience, CNC machine programmers can be promoted to supervisory or administrative positions in their firms. A few open their own shops.

Nature of Work

CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control, and refers specifically to a computer “controller” that reads G-code instructions and drives a machine tool, powered mechanical device typically used to fabricate components by the selective removal of material. A CNC Machine Programmer, also referred to as Numerical Tool and Process Control Programmer, develops the programs that run the machine tools.


  • Determines the operations to be performed on the CNC Machine, prepare detailed program outline and establishes tooling and gauging requirements to produce desired industrial parts on numerically controlled machines;
  • Checks and tests the programs developed to ensure that the machinery (CNC Machine) will function properly and that the output will meet the specifications; and
  • Reviews 3-D computer aided design/automated design (CAD) blueprints of the parts and determines the sequence of events that will be needed to make the parts.

Skills and Competencies

  • Must have a knowledge of the working properties of metals;
  • Good aptitude in mathematics, physics and chemistry;
  • Strong communication and analytical skills.

Physical Attributes and Characteristics

  • Physically fit;
  • Must be able to keep up with new technology and shop practices and procedures thru reading in specific subjects such as blue print reading, computer programming, properties of metals and drafting.

* Based on 2011 rates.