Numerical Control Tool Programmers

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the employment of metal and plastic machine workers, which includes numerical control tool programmers, is expected to decline through 2022. Initially, employment of CNC programmers was made possible by the introduction of new automation, but recent technological advancements, such as computer-aided design software, are reducing the demand for such workers. Newer, user-friendly technology now allows some programming and minor adjustments to be made on the shop floor by machinists and machine operators rather than by skilled CNC programmers. Fewer programmers are needed to translate designs into CNC machine tool instructions, as new software is able to do this automatically. Employment is also influenced by economic cycles. As the demand for machined goods falls, programmers involved in this production may be laid off or forced to work fewer hours.

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