CNC Operator


Online CNC Operator Training

CNC operators play a vital role in the manufacturing industry! This is an entry-level role that is responsible for setting up and operating CNC machines to create products that meet design specifications. As a CNC operator, you’ll be responsible for programming, setting up, and operating a CNC machine, maintaining equipment, adhering to quality and safety standards, and keeping detailed records. Through our self-paced, online CNC operator training, you can build the skills that can help you be successful on the job from day one – all around your schedule, from home!

  • Learn industrial safety procedures, basic machining skills, CNC technology and programming, and more.
  • Designed to prepare learners for a job as a CNC operator.
  • This is a non-credit issuing course that focuses on career-specific training to prepare learners to gain the job-relevant skills employers in the industry are looking for. 
  • Our online professional training programs are flexible enough for you to finish them at a pace that works for you, based on how much time you can dedicate to your coursework each week.
Self Paced

Save up to $200 Ends 4/30/2024

Cost of Program


$1,399 Save $200


$59/month, Start for as low as $20

1-800-275-4410 (9AM - 9PM ET)

man in white hardhat operating CNC machine.

What You Will Learn

  1. Industrial and manufacturing workplace safety procedures, including how to identify common hazards and understanding what safety measures you can take on the job.
  2. Common hand and power tools, their uses, and how to choose the right tool for the job you’re working on.
  3. Basic math relevant to the job and basic machining skills. You’ll also learn more about the various types of machine tools used for metal cutting.
  4. Computer numerical control (CNC) technology and programming, including building a foundational knowledge of basic word address programming, CAD/CAM, and machining and turning centers.
Full Program Goal & Outcomes

CNC Operator Career Outcomes

CNC Operator





State Licensing Requirements

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this program.  See the State Licensing page for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information. This is particularly important for residents of California and Florida.

Online CNC Operator Curriculum Details

  • 5 Courses
  • 30 exams

Designed with job-readiness in mind, our online CNC Operator Training covers the essential skills that can help you prepare for on-the-job success. Your self-paced courses include:

  • Industrial Safety and Quality Concepts
  • Hand and Power Tools
  • Basic Machining
  • CNC Technology and Programming

Show Full Curriculum

CNC Operator Student Stories

Penn Foster’s CNC Operator Professional Training courses can help prepare you for the first step in your new career. Our programs have helped recent graduates learn at their own pace, find new jobs, and advance in their current roles. Learn more about Penn Foster graduates' experiences and how Penn Foster worked for them.
View Student Success Stories
quote icon

Kawar B.

Residential Electrician, 2023

“It taught me the basic skill set I needed to jumpstart my career.”

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Penn Foster currently works with hundreds of leading employers to meet their unique organizational needs.
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CNC Operator Online Training Tuition

Take the first steps toward a new career with our online CNC Operator Professional Training Program. Simply choose from one of our low-cost customized payment plans below and get started today!

Option 1: Pay in full

Save up to $200 Ends 4/30/2024

Cost of Program


$1,399 Save $200

  • Best price. Best value.
  • Pay the full cost today
  • No monthly payments
Enroll Now

Option 2: Monthly Auto Pay Plan

Cost of Program


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $20 down
  • All major credit and debit cards accepted
Enroll Now

Option 3: Monthly Mail Pay Plan

cost of program


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $39 down
  • Mail your payments
Enroll Now

California residents please click here for Required California Disclosures.

Need more info or ready to enroll?

Looking for more information on transfer credits, military savings, or our refund policy? Find this information and more about tuition and enrollment here.

Tuition & Payment Options

We're here to help. Call 1-800-275-4410 (9AM - 9PM ET)

Request Info

Our Proven CNC Operator Learning Model

Empowering students to reach their professional goals


  • Start anytime
  • No exam due dates
  • Self-paced


  • Digital study guides
  • Presentations and animations
  • Simulations and videos


  • 24/7 access to online resources
  • Online student community
  • Dedicated Learner Center


  • Expert faculty
  • Dedicated student services
  • Robust learning resources

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Online CNC Operator Training Course FAQs

What does a CNC operator do?

A CNC operator sets up and operates CNC machines to produce products and metal parts. In this role, you’ll perform maintenance on machinery, inspect finished products, calibrate equipment, program equipment to create the finished product, and pay strict attention to safety measures.

Where do CNC operators work?

Most CNC operators work in factories and manufacturing facilities. These workplaces can often be loud and may not be air-conditioned, depending on the kind of manufacturing the company does. CNC operators will, generally, work a full-time schedule of at least 40 hours per week, and may need to work nights or weekends.

What is the average CNC operator salary?

The average CNC operator's salary is $47,940 per year, or $23 per hour*. How much you make can vary, however, based on factors like your training and work experience, your employer, the state you live in, and your credentials.

Do CNC operators need to be certified?

No, CNC operators don’t need to be certified to get a job.

How do you become a CNC operator?

To become a CNC operator, you need at least a high school diploma or equivalent. While it’s also not always required to have education after high school, having additional training or certification may be preferred by employers and help you stand out when applying for jobs.

What makes our professional training programs unique?

Penn Foster's Professional Training Programs provide career-relevant training and typically take less than 12 months to complete. Focused on providing industry- and career-specific skills, these programs offer the opportunity for you to take the next steps toward job readiness on the timeline that works best for your career. Unlike our degree and diploma programs, these programs are not accredited by the DEAC (Distance Education Accrediting Commission), but instead can serve as a valuable credential that shows prospective employers that you've gained the relevant skills needed to work as an entry-level facilities maintenance technician.

Will completing an unaccredited program affect my ability to get a job in the field?

It should not. Today, more and more employers emphasize demonstrable skills when searching for qualified employees and not all career paths require you to have a degree. Our professional training programs are designed for those learners who want a quick, focused path toward potentially qualifying for entry-level positions in a new industry.