CNC Machinist Schools in Virginia

Since every CNC machine is only as good as the expert who powers it, CNC machinists are one of the most important professionals in modern manufacturing. Thanks to them, companies can properly install, maintain, operate, and upgrade their CNC machines to ensure optimal productivity and efficiency.

Candidates looking to kick-start a CNC machining career in Virginia will be glad to know that we have highlighted everything they need to start their careers.

We have explored crucial topics ranging from the basic educational requirements to the possible training options and certification alternatives. We have also discussed the city’s career salary projection and top training programs to consider applying to.

How to Become a CNC Machinist in Virginia

The following steps are needed to start a career as a CNC machinist in Virginia.

Basic Educational Requirements

Future CNC machinists in Virginia must have a high-school diploma or GED. They are also expected to be familiar with the career duties of a machinist and some of the specialty areas involved in the profession.

Typically, CNC machinists are divided into three categories: operating machinists, setup machinists, and programming machinists.

Preparatory Courses

Aspiring CNC machinists in Virginia are also expected to prepare by refreshing their knowledge of relevant topics such as algebra and trigonometry. They may also take preparatory courses in technical drafting and blueprint reading.

Academic Training

Community colleges and trade schools around the area offer top-quality CNC machining training programs. Candidates can earn a certificate or a diploma depending on how comprehensive they want their training to be.

Acquiring a bachelor’s degree through programs focusing on more comprehensive manufacturing topics is also possible. Candidates may spend 10 months and 4 years passing through an academic program in CNC machining.

The best programs incorporate both classroom training and real-world experience.

Hands-On Training

Acquiring hands-on experience working with CNC machines is critical for an aspiring CNC machinist. While most quality college programs have laboratories where candidates can work on such machines, some tend to prefer enrolling in an apprenticeship program for even more comprehensive hands-on training.

Individuals who want the best of both worlds (having the degree and classroom training that comes with academic programs while also enjoying the real-world experience offered by apprenticeship programs) can choose to combine both training avenues.

Apprenticeship programs typically last for four years.

Consider exploring trades with similar paths:

Licensure & Certification Requirements

Fresh CNC machinists in Virginia are only legally mandated to secure a license after they can start working professionally. The state does not expect them to obtain certification either.

It is worth mentioning, however, that those who wish to become certified anyway may choose to do so of their own accord. They can apply for the NIMS Machining Level 1 and Machining Level II certifications offered by the National Institute of Metalworking Skills.

Candidates specializing in Mastercam may also enroll for the Certified Professional credential.

Top CNC Machinist Schools in Virginia

Aspiring CNC machinists in Virginia may consider some of the following options for their education.


Central Virginia Community College

Lynchburg, VA Online + Campus

Central Virginia Community College offers various CNC programs, including a machine tools diploma, a certificate, and a career studies certificate in computer numerical control, machine technology fundamentals, and machine technology.


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$4,853 - $10,856
  • (434) 832-7600

  • Email in Bio


Richmond Community College

Richmond, VA Online + Campus

Richmond Community College offers a CNC machining/operation certificate program. Students learn key topics such as computer-aided manufacturing, computer-aided design, advanced machine operation, and engineering design.

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$2,432 - $8,576
  • (910) 410-1701



Southwest Virginia Community College

Cedar Bluff, VA Online + Campus

At Southwest Virginia Community College, candidates can start their careers through various programs accredited by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills. Possible options include a CNC machine operator program, a Precision Machining career studies certificate, and an Advanced Precision Machining career studies certificate.

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$4,620 - $9,918
  • (276) 964-2555


Explore CNC Machinist Schools by City:

Salary & Career Outlook

The annual average salary for CNC machinists in Virginia is $73,655. This figure is the same as the national average, but it can get even higher for the top 10% of earners in the field. Those who fall into this category earn an annual average salary of $100,807, while those who fall into the bottom 10% earn an annual average salary of $73,655.

Factors influencing the annual average salary for a CNC machinist in Virginia include experience and location. Concerning the latter, the highest paying cities to be a CNC machinist in Virginia include Arlington, with an annual average salary of $99,024; Norfolk, with an annual average salary of $87,739; and Hampton, with an annual average salary of $83,319.

CNC machinists in Virginia Beach earn an annual average salary of $75,360.