Career Outlook

Manufacturing a Bright Future

The DCC Integrated Machining Technology (IMT), Precision Machining Technology (PMT) and Dimensional Inspection Programs prepare students for the demands of today’s advanced manufacturing industries. Due to economic growth and standard attrition, qualified workers are in high demand. By 2025, it is likely that 3.4M manufacturing jobs will be available. With comfortable working environments and high wages, advanced manufacturing careers are great for recent graduates, working adults and veterans.

DCC’s advanced manufacturing training programs prepare students for the following careers:

  • CNC Programmer
  • CNC Production Lead/Supervisor
  • Operations Supervisor
  • Engineering Technician
  • Dimensional Metrology Inspector
  • Machining Specialist
  • Quality Technician
  • Mold Makers
  • Tool and Die Maker
  • CNC Operators
  • Manual Machinist

An Affordable Path to a Technical Career

Now that some states are starting to track the incomes of their graduates, it is becoming clear that two-year degrees and occupational certificate programs often offer earnings as high as or higher than a typical four-year degree. What you study matters more than where you study, and data compiled by College Measures shows that a technical degree or certificate frequently carries a higher value in the labor market than a bachelor’s degree. In the state of Virginia, graduates with technical associate’s degrees earn more their first year than their counterparts with bachelor’s degrees (on average 5.5% more).

Students enrolling in a two-year school also graduate with less student debt. According to the College Board Annual Survey of Colleges, the average tuition and fees for a public two-year school for 2015-16 was $3435 as compared to $9410 for a public four-year school. The combination of low tuition costs and available financial aid and scholarships allows graduates to start their careers with only a small amount or even zero student loan debt.

Career Outlook in Advanced Manufacturing

Below is a sample of some popular advanced manufacturing careers and the projected rates of future employment growth and average salaries as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Machinists/Tool and Die Makers

According to the latest numbers, employment of machinists is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024. Despite improvements in the automation of technologies, machinists will still be required to set up, monitor, and maintain these systems. In addition, as manufacturers invest in new equipment, modify production techniques, and implement product design changes more rapidly, they will continue to rely heavily on experienced machinists.

Nationally, the median annual wage for machinists was $39,980 as of May 2014. The highest 10% earned more than $60,740 per year. Earnings were higher for tool and die makers, with a median annual wage of $48,890 and the highest 10% earning more than $72,120.

Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers and Millwrights

The outlook for industrial machinery mechanics, machinery maintenance workers and millwrights is also bright. The need to keep increasingly sophisticated machinery functioning and efficient will drive demand for skilled employees to fill these jobs. Growth of 16% from 2014 to 2024 is expected. The median pay as of May 2014 was $47,450 per year.

CNC Programmers

The median annual wage of a CNC programmer working with metals or plastics was $48,990 in May 2015. The career outlook is very good as CNC machine tool programmers for metal and plastics can expect to see job growth of 19% from 2014-2024, which is much better than the average for all occupations.

Danville Community College is committed to the effort to re-establish the U.S. as the global leader of manufacturing education. We provide quality comprehensive higher education and workforce programs and services to promote student success and to enhance business and community development.