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Vaccination requirement

We require all students and employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Learn more and read the latest COVID-19 update from NSCC.

Precision Machining

Develop skills to produce one-of-a-kind and manufactured components using conventional hand-controlled methods.

A man bends over to take a closer look at the machinery he's working with.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year

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Machinists produce precise parts based on technical engineered drawings. You learn how to do this by operating conventional hand-controlled methods, including:

  • Lathes
  • Milling machines
  • Drill presses
  • Precision measurement tools 

Part of your training also involves how to diagnose mechanical malfunctions. 

While this program focuses on hand-controlled methods, you do learn the fundamentals of computer numerical control (CNC). With CNC, a computerized machine is programmed to do detailed work and automation. 

Machining is a critical part of industrial production. Many businesses rely on machinists to maximize overall performance and output.

Work experience

  • Work placement is a mandatory credit course, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
    • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Choose NSCC

  • This program gives you the skills and knowledge to succeed in the machining industries. Your CNC training will build on the machine shop skills developed earlier in the program.
  • You study the theory and then put that theory into action with a lot of practical, hands-on experience, plus a work term opportunity.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. To prepare for employment, you participate in safety awareness courses.

Other info

  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official criminal record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

2022-23 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2022

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Kingstec Campus Kentville Full time In-class In-classDelivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Seats available
Pictou Campus Stellarton Full time In-class In-classDelivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


2022-23 tuition will be announced in the late Spring once approved by the government of Nova Scotia. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional. Amounts below were for the 2021-22 academic year.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates have careers in manufacturing and processing plants, refineries, pulp and paper mills, mines, shipyards and in private machine shops.
  • Learn more about labour market information – visit Career Options.

Future study options

  • This program is a first step towards certification in the Machinist trade. To become certified, you must register as an apprentice with Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA). Once registered, you can transfer credit from this program towards your apprenticeship.
  • Certification with a Red Seal – Machinist is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Graduates who complete an apprenticeship program in this trade are eligible to write the provincial certification exam, receive their certification and Red Seal. The Red Seal allows certified tradespersons to practise the trade in any province or territory in Canada – where the trade is designated – without having to write further examinations.
  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

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