Student using machining equipment

Machinists use computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software to control, manipulate, and manage precision computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines. Machine manufacturing and tool dies have become increasingly valuable, especially in the production of precision tools for high-tech manufacturing and large industrial construction.

The Oregon Employment Department forecasts that machinist employment in the Portland area will grow 10.9% through 2027.

Why choose Machine Manufacturing at PCC?


The Oregon Employment Department reports that Portland-area machinists earn from $18.77 to $38.14 per hour. The average annual salary is $56,877.

Portland Community College provides an opportunity to learn with self-paced, modular courses that provide you with necessary fundamental skills, helping you keep pace with the industry and advance your career.

The modular format allows you to attend courses on a schedule you choose:

  • Self-paced: You can take one or more modules to learn at your own speed.
  • Flexible: Select your own attendance schedule: days or evenings.
  • Individual: Your course of study can be tailor-made to fit your specific needs.

For more information, see our program overview, required tools, and our work schedule.

Degrees and certificates

Degrees and certificates by number of terms to complete
Award Length Financial aid eligible Currently accepting students?
Associate Degree: Machine Manufacturing Technology2 yearsLimited entry, see how to get into this program
Certificate: CNC Milling1 year
Certificate: CNC Turning1 year
Certificate: Manual Machining1 year
Career Pathway Certificate: Manufacturing TechnicianLess than 1 year

What will you learn?

As a Machine Manufacturing Technology student, you can learn important skills in:

  • Basic metallurgy
  • Blueprint reading
  • CNC machine programming and operation
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Precision layout and measurement
  • Shop mathematics
  • Teamwork
  • Technical documentation reading

What will you do?

As a machinist, you shape the tools and objects that make up our life, from hammers to housewares. You will operate equipment such as:

  • Lathes
  • Drill presses
  • Milling machines
  • Grinders

Many of these machines are computer numerically controlled (CNC). You will translate blueprints into machine settings to achieve high-quality production. Machinists may specialize in the operation of one type of machine, or you may work on a variety of different kinds of equipment, depending on who hires you. Your work will often be creative, and give you a sense of satisfaction from making things combining your eyes, hands, and modern tools.

Who will hire me?

Graduates will be prepared for entry-level employment as:

  • CNC machinists
  • Computer-assisted machining programmers
  • Machine operators
  • Maintenance machinists
  • Manual machinists
  • Mechanical Inspectors

Graduates have found work with:

  • Boeing
  • Freightliner
  • Leatherman Group
  • Leupold & Stevens
  • Oregon Tool
  • Turk Manufacturing

Next steps

See how to get into this program.Get started now

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