student working on a CNC machine.

CNC Programs

The CNC Operator certificate prepares students for entry-level positions in the machine tool area. The program addresses the need for trained workers in computer numerical control operations with skills in machine tooling and blueprint reading. 

The CNC Programmer certificate program provides students with an overview of essential machine shop practices including machine safety, blueprint reading and part inspection methods. CNC machine programming, set-up and operation will also be covered in-depth. Graduates of this program will have the skills necessary for entry-level employment in a machine shop setting. Special emphasis will be placed on learning the skills necessary to transform raw material into a finished part. Students will be able to apply the techniques learned in lectures within a machine shop setting. This program introduces students to many different aspects of a machine shop setting.

Admission requirements

The CNC programs are open-enrollment programs, meaning there are no criteria students must meet to be admitted. Students who are interested in enrolling in this program should complete our steps to enroll, which includes completing the free application for admission.

We encourage all prospective students to visit campus. We have several Explore Sandburg open houses throughout the year, or you can schedule a campus visit at your convenience.

Career and technical programs/courses are offered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or status in any group protected by applicable federal, state or local law. For more information, contact the Title IX coordinator at 309.341.5258 or the ADA/504 coordinator at 309.341.5262.

For additional information contact:
Welcome Center


The current employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate positive growth for the various machine tool operator’s positions in the state and our college district. Computer-controlled machine tool operator (51-4011) shows an annual growth of 1.87% for the state and 1.93% for the college district. These numbers are reflective through 2022 for the district and state.


Potential careers

CNC operator

CNC programmer



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Sample course schedules for the CNC programs

View the sample schedule for the CNC Operator certificate

View the sample schedule for the CNC Programmer certificate 

Program format

The program's courses are face-to-face with hands-on lab experiences. 

Class formats

Sandburg offers courses in a variety of formats to best fit the needs of our students. To determine the formats for specific courses, please refer to our course schedule.

Regardless of the course format, you should have access to a reliable computer with broadband (high-speed) internet. All courses use online resources and require students to access course information through mySandburg. Accessing courses through a phone is discouraged. Both campuses have open computer labs for student use.

View class formats.

Internship requirements

This program requires an internship as a graduation requirement in both the Operator and Programmer certificates. Internships are an excellent way to gain experience in your chosen career field and stand out as a competitive candidate in the job market after graduation. For more information about the process, please visit our internship page.


CNC Operator certificate cost sheet

CNC Programmer certificate cost sheet



To apply for financial aid, visit our financial aid page  for more information.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) helps job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Contact the local office to see if you qualify for financial support. 

  • Hancock County | 550 N. Madison St. | Carthage, IL | 217.357.6749      
  • Warren/Henderson County | 1025 S. 2 nd St | Monmouth, IL | 309.734.4745
  • Knox County Bondi Building | 311 E. Main, Suite 612 | Galesburg, IL | 309.343.9832               
  • McDonough County | 440 N. Lafayette | Macomb, IL | 309.837.1280


Thanks to our generous donors, the Carl Sandburg College Foundation is able to award more than $100,000 each year in scholarship dollars to Sandburg students. High school, adult learners and returning students — everyone is eligible to apply between October 1 and March 15 for the upcoming year.

Meet the instructors

Lonnie Miller
Adjunct & GAVC Dual Credit Instructor

Daryl Stropes
CNC & Industrial Process Professions Adjunct Instructor

Department of Career and Technical Education
2400 Tom L Wilson Blvd.
Galesburg, IL 61401

CNC Operator Certificate program goals

Please reference the Carl Sandburg College Academic Catalog for additional information.

CNC Programmer Certificate program goals

Please reference the Carl Sandburg College Academic Catalog for additional information.