Machining and metalworking really turn your crank. Learn the basics, then go on for further education or on-the-job training.
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Machine Tool Operation
Program Number: 314201
Your Degree:
Technical Diploma
Area of Study:
Construction, Manufacturing and Maintenance
Delivery Method:
100% In Person
Estimated Time to Complete:
34 Credits | Finish diploma in 1 year
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Estimated Program Cost


Financial Aid

Applying for financial aid and scholarships help you pay for your education.
  • Program Overview

    As a Machine Tool Operations student, you will:

    • Be introduced to Computer Numerical Control (CNC), Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM).
    • Acquire skills in basic machining such as milling, manual lathes, and drill presses.
    • Learn blueprint reading, measurement, quality control, precision and repair machining. 
    • Gain knowledge and skills necessary to build and inspect machined parts. 
    • Get hands-on training in a high-tech work environment.
    • Problem solve, team work, math, communication, and computers.  
    • Prepares students for employment in the machining and metalworking industries. 
    • Build skills needed to become a skilled craftsman.  

    Program Details

    Students in the Machine Tool Operations program can attend full- or part-time.

    Machine Tool Operations classes are offered at our Madison Truax campus.


    Earning your One-Year Technical Diploma in Machine Tool Operations program at Madison Area Technical College prepares you for valuable work in:  

    • Machine Operator 
    • Repair/Precision Machinist
    • CNC Machinist
    • Machine Repair Specialist

    With additional education and/or work experience, graduates may find employment as:

    • Journey-level Tool and Die Maker 
    • Journey-level Mold Maker
    • Journey-level Millwright
    • Shop Owner
    • Shop Manager
    • Industrial Engineer
    • Manufacturing Engineer
    • Industrial Sales Engineer
    • Die and/or Mold Designer
    • Educator
    • Tool and Die Apprentice
    • Mold Making Apprentice
    • Millwright Apprentice
    • CNC Programmer

    Get training for high demand jobs, attractive pay and advancement opportunities.

    • Entry level metalworkers can average $30,000-$45,000 with a two-year diploma.
    • Precision machining can lead to an engineering or business degree.
    • Experienced precision metalworkers earn from $40,000 to $75,000 annually. 
    • Advancement Opportunities to Manager, Teacher, Shop Owner.
    • Ford Motor Co., Cadillac Motor Co., Brown & Sharpe, and Fairbanks Morse were all started by machinists.
    Overhead shot of students working in an automation lab.
    Machine Tool program student
    "Through the machine tool program, what you learn you can take it anywhere and take different career paths."
    Ketxia P.
    Machine Tooling Technics student


    Machine Tooling Technics Testimonials | Madison College
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    Hear from our students and instructors.

  • Curriculum and Experience

    Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2024-2025 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.

    Current and newly admitted program students, go directly to your Degree Progress Report to view:

    • Progress toward your specific requirements
    • Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements

    If you have questions after reviewing your degree progress report (advisement report), please see Advising Services.

    First Semester
    2 credits
    4 credits
    5 credits
    2 credits
    2 credits
    2 credits
    Second Semester
    4 credits
    5 credits
    2 credits
    2 credits

    Get hands-on learning from day one on high-tech equipment.

    Watch the video to learn more.

    Machine Tooling Technics | Madison College
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  • Admission

    To Apply

    Earning a degree is a great way to advance your career development opportunities, so apply today!

    International students who wish to apply for, maintain, or transfer their F-1 student visa status to Madison College are required to complete the International Admission Process.

    Application Dates

    Fall 2024

    • Application open
    • Application completion deadline is August 31, 2024

    Spring 2025

    • Application open
    • Application completion deadline is January 15, 2025

    Admission Requirements

    All materials must be submitted by the application deadline.

    1. Admission Application

    The online application allows you to save your work as you complete it and ensures fast, secure delivery to our office.

    2. Education Completion
    Official transcripts must be sent from the institutions you attended and indicate one of the following:

    • High school transcript (current high school seniors may submit an in-progress transcript)
    • GED/HSED transcript
    • College transcript(s) showing:
      • Completion of an associate degree or higher, or
      • At least 30 credits completed with a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4-point scale
        • The credits must be completed at a single college and cannot be combined with other transcripts
        • Any transfer credit listed on a transcript does not count toward the 30-credit minimum

    All high school and/or college transcripts are recommended to be submitted for Credit for Prior Learning evaluation.

    Additional Notes

    • Class capacity is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis.
    • Course prerequisites differ from admission requirements; admission into a program does not guarantee eligibility to enroll in courses or success in the program. Refer to program curriculum for details.

    After Acceptance

    Once you are admitted into your program, review the Start of Semester Checklist to prepare for your first day of classes at Madison College. 


    Contact the Enrollment Center at or 608.246.6210.

    apply for admission

    Get Started!

    Apply to Madison College and take the first step towards your Machine Tool Operation career.

    It's Free to Apply

  • Career Outcomes

    Madison College Machine Tool Operations program graduates are prepared to:  

    • Apply basic safety practices in the machine shop
    • Interpret industrial/engineering drawings
    • Apply precision measuring methods to part inspection
    • Perform basic machine tool equipment set-up and operation
    • Perform programming, set-up and operation of CNC Machine Tools 
    • Graduate Summary

      Graduate Report Summary Overview

      Number of Program Graduates1367
      Number of Surveys Sent1267
      Number of Surveys Returned057
      Percent of Surveys Returned
      Available for Employment021
      Percent Available for Employment66.70%100.00%
      Not in Labor Market
      Percent Not in Labor Market100.00%600.00%
      Available for Employment

      Graduates Employed021
      Percent of Graduates Employed100.00%100.00%
      Employed in Related Occupation021
      Percent Employed in Related Occupation100.00%100.00%
      Employed in Unrelated Occupation000
      Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation0.00%0.00%
      Employed - No Response000
      Percent Employed - No Response0.00%0.00%
      Seeking Employment000
      Percent Seeking Employment0.00%0.00%
      Reaction To Training at Madison College

      Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4)034
      Number of Satisfaction Responses031
      Very Satisfied (4)001
      Percent Very Satisfied0.00%100.00%
      Satisfied (3)030
      Percent Satisfied100.00%0.00%
      Unsatisfied (2)000
      Percent Unsatisfied0.00%0.00%
      Very Unsatisfed (1)000
      Percent Very Unsatisfied0.00%0.00%
      Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

      Number of Primary Reason Responses057
      Preparation for Getting a Job020
      Percent Preparation for Getting a Job40.00%0.00%
      Career Change011
      Percent Career Change20.00%14.30%
      Improvement of Existing Skills000
      Percent Improvement of Existing Skills0.00%0.00%
      Preparation for Further Education026
      Percent Preparation for Further Education40.00%85.70%
      Personal Interest000
      Percent Personal Interest0.00%0.00%
      Percent Other0.00%0.00%
      When Employment was Obtained

      Number of When Employment Obtained Responses021
      Before Enrollment011
      Percent Before Enrollment50.00%100.00%
      While Attending the College010
      Percent While Attending the College50.00%0.00%
      After Training at the College000
      Percent After Training at the College0.00%0.00%
      Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

      Number of Employment Location Responses021
      In College District021
      Percent In College District100.00%100.00%
      In Wisconsin, Not in District000
      Percent of In Wisconsin0.00%0.00%
      Outside of Wisconsin000
      Percent Outside Wisconsin0.00%0.00%
      Employer Location Unknown000
      Percent Location Unknown0.00%0.00%
      Salary Trend
      Salary Trend202020212022
      Full Time Employment (Related Job)Full Time Salary Count11
      Average Monthly Wage$3,910$3,268
      Average Hourly Wage$22.73$19.00
      Average Work Hours per Week4540
      Part Time Employment (Related Job)Part Time Salary Count1
      Average Hourly Wage$20.00
      Average Work Hours per Week32
    • Graduate Employers

      Graduate Employers for academic year: 2022
      Employer(s)Job TitleCity*State**Positions
      Springs Window FashionsProgressive Die OperatorMiddleton

      * - Only cities outside of Madison will display.

      ** - Only states outside of Wisconsin will display.

      *** - If you have a position to post, please contact Career and Employment Services at

Ready to get started?
Your first step is to apply to Madison College. It's easy and free to apply, so get started today!
Contact the School of Technologies and Trades

Madison Truax Campus
Main Building, A2105

1701 Wright Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53704


Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm (phone or email only)