Machining, Certificate of Applied Science Highlands College
Machining - Trades and Technology - Montana Tech

Highlands College

Trades and Technical

Precision Machining Technology

Certificate of Applied Science (C.A.S.)

Precision Machining Technology teaches students both the science and art of machining. The Highlands Precision Machining Technology Certificate Program weldingallows students to complete the required 41 credits in two semesters and enter the workforce with valuable college credential in the shortest time possible.

Students of the CAS in Precision Machining Technology will learn the skills needed to earn the Mastercam Certification and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Certificate. These industry-specific certifications demonstrate to employers that students have a particular aptitude and breadth of knowledge in machining.

The CAS in Precision Machining Technology can also be combined with the CAS in Welding Technology, giving students an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Metals Fabrication.

Program Outcomes

The Precision Machine Technology program provides instruction in the theory and operation of mills and lathes, both manual and CNC, other tools related to the machinist trade, and associated programming.

Upon program completion, students will:

  • Apply quantitative skills in conjunction with trade handbook information to solve problems;
  • Effectively communicate during the problem solving process;
  • Use tools and equipment to form and machine various materials in a manufacturing laboratory environment;
  • Describe precision measurement and quality control procedures;
  • Use various precision measuring tools including a coordinate measuring machine;
  • Demonstrate advanced machining operations that are performed on CNC machines;
  • Produce advanced programs using Mastercam;
  • Demonstrate advanced techniques that are used on manual mills and lathes.


Machinists work in machinery and machine tool manufacturing, small arms manufacturing, and machine shops. Growth in the manufacturing industry and the need to replace an aging workforce is expected to provide opportunities for graduates.

In Montana, employment of CNC machinists is projected to increase by 44 percent between 2010 and 2020. Both state and national projected employment growth exceeds the rate of overall projected employment growth.

A precision machining technology certificate prepares graduates to work in:

  • Aerospace and computer companies
  • Job shops
  • Gun smiths
  • Tool and die making companies
  • CNC companies
  • Automotive repair shops
  • Mining companies


Please visit the Highlands College admissions page for current tuition information.