CNC Operator: Youth Info

Now Hiring & Training Youth As CNC Operators!

CNC Operators

CNC Operators play a key role in many Ontario advanced manufacturing businesses, responsible for ensuring that cutting, drilling, shaping and finishing metal products and components on CNC machines/workcells is done correctly and efficiently. Typically, the job involves properly loading the correct materials/workpieces into a CNC machine/workcell, monitoring the CNC machine/workcell operations, unloading the finished workpieces from the CNC machine/workcell and performing measurement/inspection procedures to ensure that finished items meet quality and technical standards.

BUT – many Ontario advanced manufacturing companies are reporting a shortage of capable, experienced CNC Operators. And that's where we come in. We are the OMLC - and we've brought together Ontario advanced manufacturing companies to solve this challenge. We've launched the CNC Operator Selection and Learning Program – a program that helps Youth aged 18-29 get hired by a participating Ontario advanced manufacturing company, complete the OMLC CNC Operator Learning Program (approx. 10-12 weeks of paid on-the-job training) and become Certified as an OMLC CNC Operator, leading usually to continuing full-time employment with the participating Ontario advanced manufacturing company and to future career opportunities at that company and at other Ontario advanced manufacturing companies.

Is This The Opportunity You've Been Looking For?

CNC Operator3
  1. Do you like making things?
  2. Are you good with details?
  3. Do you like working with your hands?
  4. Do you like using your brain and thinking?
  5. Are you ok with basic math - addition, subtraction, etc. ?
  6. Do you enjoy working relatively independently?
  7. Do you like having responsibility and being accountable for your work?
  8. Do you like physical activity at work?
  9. Do you prefer being busy all the time rather than having periods of inactivity?
  10. Do you prefer being on your feet, doing stuff, rather than sitting at a desk.

If you can answer YES to most of these questions, then being a CNC Operator could be a good job for you, and the start of a rewarding career in advanced manufacturing.

Apply to OMLC Today

What Exactly Is CNC?  And What Does A CNC Operator Do?

What Is CNC Machining? - CNC means Computer Numerical Control. This means a computer converts the design produced by Computer Aided Design software (CAD), into numbers. The numbers can be considered to be the coordinates of a graph and they control the movement of a CNC machine's cutter. In this way, the computer controls the cutting and shaping of the material into parts. Call it 3D manufacturing.

What Does A CNC Operator Do? - CNC Operators work with CNC machines such as drills, lathes, mills, presses and others that shape metals and plastics into finished parts or workpieces. Operators read work instructions, load the machine with materials or workpieces, start the machine and monitor its operations to ensure it is performing properly. They unload the finished part/workpiece from the machine and inspect the item to ensure it complies with all quality standards and technical specifications. Operators may deburr and/or polish completed parts/workpieces and maintain a clean, well-organized workstation.

What Will You Get Out Of This Job?

The job pays reasonably well. Starting wages are usually between $13.00 and $14.50 per hour. After two years of experience, CNC Operators are paid from $15 to $17.00 per hour and, depending on the firm they are working for, may be eligible to receive bonuses.

This can be a life-altering opportunity. Becoming a CNC Operator can be an excellent decision for you. The job is interesting and pays reasonably well. It is in demand and is unlikely to be eliminated as manufacturing processes change and evolve. Long-term employment and the stability it brings is a good thing to have in a job

Even better – it can provide a career for you in advanced manufacturing. By applying yourself, learning more about machining, asking to learn about more difficult machining assignments, you could be become a candidate for a CNC Machinist job or other more technical jobs. CNC Machinists make more money than CNC Operators. If you demonstrate other non-technical skills, you could become a quality specialist or a lead hand or a supervisor.

Check Out These Videos On CNC Machining / Operators

Millturn CNC Machine | EMCO Group

Cycle Start Show | Machining Process

Mazak Integrex Machine


Want To Guess What These Parts, Machines, & Tools Are?

These are some of the parts, machines, & tools that are part of the CNC machining process & output.  Answers are found by hovering over the photos.

Actuator Assembly

Actuator Assembly

a number of machined components made from forgings or plate and bar stock, springs, bushings, fasteners, and seals
Aircraft Engine Mount

Aircraft Engine Mount

light and strong machined component - part of the structure that mounts a jet engine to a large commercial transport aircraft
Aircraft Landing GearAxle

Aircraft Landing GearAxle

critical component that carries the wheels for the nose landing gear on a jet aircraft
Automotive Front Grill Mold

Automotive Front Grill Mold

mold for automotive front grill
Gear Cluster

Gear Cluster

in drive unit
Hurco 3 Axis

Hurco 3 Axis

3 axis CNC machining center
Mould Shoe

Mould Shoe

at early stage of machining
Punch And Die Shoes

Punch And Die Shoes

used for making parts


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CNC Operator Selection & Learning Program

THE CNC Operator Selection & Learning Program is a great opportunity to learn in-demand skills and get a good stable job.  The program works like this:

1. Read The CNC Operator Program Overview & Job Description

1. Read The CNC Operator Program Overview & Job Description

We have a Program / Job Overview document that will provide you with all the detail you need.

It's a good idea to read this document carefully to make sure you understand the program and understand what the job entails day to day. If you think you have the personality, aptitude, attitude, and ambition required - and you're interested in applying to join the program, then move on to Step 2.

2. Apply To The CNC Operator Learning Program

2. Apply To The CNC Operator Learning Program

To apply to OMLC and complete the OMLC Online Assessment, please click on the Apply to OMLC buttons on this page.

The OMLC Online Assessment will help you to understand your current aptitude, attitude, and skills.  For some people, their natural abilities and talents fit perfectly with the CNC Machinist job.  Hopefully that's you! 

You will be able to choose which available OMLC Programs interest you and your most preferred work locations.

When OMLC has reviewed your completed Online Assessment indicating which job(s) fit you best, Manpower or one of our other Employment Service Partners will contact you if you have been selected to proceed to the OMCL Interview process.  

3. Go Through The OMLC Interview Process

3. Go Through The OMLC Interview Process

Manpower or one of our other Employment Service Partners will contact you by phone to arrange for an in-person interview to confirm your eligibility for this program and to understand more about your aptitude, attitude, and personal characteristics.

This is an important interview.

They will also speak to you about your availability to travel outside your preferred location for opportunities.

If you pass the OMLC Online Assessment and this OMLC Interview, you are now a Candidate for hiring by an Ontario advanced manufacturing company who is participating in this OMLC Selection and Learning program.

4. Get Hired By A Canadian Manufacturing Company

4. Get Hired By A Canadian Manufacturing Company

Participating companies who are interested in hiring you will invite you for an interview and a tour of the company.

This is a very important interview, so you should prepare yourself well and make every effort to present yourself positively.

If they extend an offer of employment and if you choose to accept – you will now become an employee of the hiring company and a Trainee in the OMLC CNC Operator Learning Program. That means you will receive a pay cheque as you proceed through the next steps.

5. Attend CNC Operator Learning Program Orientation And Classroom Training

5. Attend CNC Operator Learning Program Orientation And Classroom Training

This initial phase of the OMLC learning program takes 3 weeks and is delivered by the Institute of Machine Tool Technology, an accredited Training Organization, either at their location in Mississauga, ON or at a company location (large companies hiring many trainees).

During this initial phase of the program, you will learn – and be tested on – the following areas of knowledge:

  • Manufacturing Terminology
  • Types of CNC Machines
  • CNC Machine Operations
  • Machine Maintenance Practices
  • Blueprint Reading
  • Applied Math
  • Materials
  • Tools
  • Measurement
  • Cutting Fluids
  • Workplace Safety

6. Get CNC Machine Operator On-The Job Training

6. Get CNC Machine Operator On-The Job Training

This part of the program is about 7-9 weeks. There are very clear industry developed OMLC Technical Learning Outcomes defined for the entire training period.

During the training, you will not be on your own to learn the job. There will be a Trainer helping you – providing instruction, assistance and direction. Your Trainer will review the OMLC Technical Learning Outcomes with you and be responsible for making sure you are progressing towards completing them by the end of the on-the-job training period.

Further details on this important phase are in the CNC Operator Job Overview pdf (from Step 1)

7. Get Certified By OMLC

7. Get Certified By OMLC

At the end of the on-the-job part of the learning program, you have the opportunity to be certified by OMLC as a CNC Operator. Certification is a public statement that you have passed and are highly qualified to perform specified duties. The certification process consists of the following components:

  • Your successful passing of tests administered during the orientation and classroom training
  • Demonstrating to our OMLC Assessor that you can operate CNC machines/workcells and produce parts/items as per work orders
  • Demonstrating your knowledge of general manufacturing technical practices and procedures and knowledge of CNC-specific technical work practices by completing an on-line examination.

Your certificate will be issued by the Ontario Manufacturing Learning Consortium and over time will be accepted by Ontario advanced manufacturing employers as evidence of your capability and expertise.

Ready To Get Started?

Apply to OMLC Today