What to expect from a career working with CNC, CAD and CAM

The skilled trades, technology and engineering industries need people who are skilled in the field of computer numerical control (CNC), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and computer-aided design (CAD). Ontario college programs with CNC, CAM and CAD courses give students the training and technical knowledge to understand and use these specialized software.

If you like understanding how things work and are interested in CNC, CAM and CAD software, here’s what you need to know.

CNC, CAD and CAM Courses

CNC, CAM and CAD programs at Ontario colleges aren’t specific to one industry, so it’s difficult to generalize course subjects. However, we can group the types of courses based on how CAD software is used:

  • On one side, there are CAD courses that focus on teaching students how to create part geometry in both 2D and 3D. These skills are used more in manufacturing and machining programs. CAM courses in these programs then focus on using CAD specifications for software development. And finally, CNC courses teach students how to program that software.
  • On the other side, there are CAD courses that are used in architecture, design, and mechanical and electrical engineering programs. Once again, drafting can be done in 2D and 3D, and students will create drawings of anything from floor plans and concepts, to structural plans and automotive designs.

Many programs offer field placements and co-op work terms where students can apply their skills and see firsthand how CNC programs and CAD and CAM software are used in their industry.

General CNC, CAD and CAM Program Requirements

In general, Ontario college CNC, CAD and CAM related programs will require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Since CNC, CAD and CAM courses aren’t in just one type of career category, there may be other admission requirements specific to the program. (For example, a drafting program may require an OSSD and a grade 12 math.) Be sure to check program requirements carefully.

CNC, CAD and CAM Jobs and Salaries

There are countless job opportunities in which to use these specialized skills. CNC operators are just one position that is currently in high demand, but graduates with CNC, CAD and CAM skills could also end up in a wide range of jobs, including:

Because CNC, CAD and CAM skills span so many industries, graduates could find a job in such fields as aerospace, manufacturing, agriculture, automotive, engineering, design and technology.

Wages will vary depending on the industry, job responsibilities and experience level. Average wages could be anywhere from roughly $15 to $40 an hour.

Ontario Colleges Offering CNC, CAD and CAM Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of CNC, CAD and CAM programs at Ontario colleges.

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