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CNC Machining

Deepen your precision machining skills while using computers to manufacture and repair mechanical parts that keep industries running.

An NSCC grad sits at a workbench inspecting a manufactured metal part. They are looking down, wearing safety glasses and hold
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year

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Specialize your machining skills in this newly developed program designed to meet growing industry demand for Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machinists in Nova Scotia. 

Using computers to do highly precise work and automation, CNC machinists bring design ideas to life creating tools and parts from metal, plastic or other materials. 

In this one-year diploma program, you learn about: 
  • Using CNC machining lathes and mills
  • Programming, designing and solving mechanical issues using state-of-the-art technology
  • Understanding the latest technological advancements in manufacturing
  • Interpreting engineering drawings
  • Applying geometric dimensioning and computer aided design and manufacturing software
  • Using and analyzing documentation for quality assurance

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

  • Learn from expert faculty who apply their industry expertise to the classroom.
  • Experience hands-on learning while training with industry grade tools and equipment.
  • Learn and practise industry safety standards to prepare you for your career in CNC machining. 
  • Completion of the CNC Machining Diploma program is an additional step toward Red Seal Certification.

Other info

  • Many employers in this industry could 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.

2023-24 programs

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

September 2023

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

Admission requirements

  • Completion of one-year Precision Machining certificate or equivalent, or
  • Completion of Level 1 Machinist Apprenticeship, or
  • Completion of Marine Engineering Technician trade through the Canadian Armed Forces
    • International students – High School Diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details.

Program requirements

  • 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.


Tuition amounts are for the 2022-23 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional. 2023-24 tuition will be announced in the late Spring.

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

Qualified CNC machinists are in demand in Nova Scotia. Graduates are prepared to work in a range of industries, including but not limited to: 
  • Machine shops
  • Machinery
  • Equipment
  • Motor vehicle
  • Automotive parts
  • Aircraft
  • Metal products manufacturing

Future study options

  • Red Seal Certification - The CNC Machining Diploma program serves as an additional step toward certification as a Red Seal Machinist. Graduates who complete an apprenticeship program in this trade are eligible to write the provincial certification exam to receive their certification and Red Seal.
  • Graduates who register as an apprentice with Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) may transfer credits completed during the CNC Machining diploma program to their apprenticeship. 


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