Fundamentals of Computer Numerical Control (CNC)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CNC Machine?

You can turn raw materials into final products like tools, parts, circuits, decorative elements, and more with a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machine.

You control a CNC machine via programming languages to perform a wide variety of tasks with great accuracy, replacing old-school manual manufacturing machines.

What can you Make with a CNC Machine?

You can make pretty much anything with a CNC machine:

  • mechanical parts
  • wooden chairs
  • plastic pieces
  • and so much more!

Are There Jobs in CNC Machining?


The average salary for a CNC Machine Operator is $39,972$44,969 per year in Sacramento, CA. Salaries estimates from SimplyHired and Glassdoor.

View jobs in Sacramento

Regional Companies who hire CNC machinists

  • Tri Tool Inc. – Sacramento, California
  • Carlisle Construction Materials – Dixon, CA
  • Kratos Defense – Sacramento, CA
  • DMG MORI Manufacturing – Davis, California
  • LINQM, Inc. – Rocklin,
  • California Precision Manufacturing Company – Rancho Cordova, California

About the Course

Sac City College’s ET 299 Fundamentals of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) course will give you a broad overview of the CNC process, enabling you to take products from the conceptual stage all the way through to the final design.

Using metal, wood, plastic and a number of other raw materials, you will be able to construct almost anything from scratch by programming a computer and having a basic understanding of geometric design.

ET 299 will prepare you with the introductory skills to operate a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine. Students will learn to set up, program, and operate CNC machinery. Instruction includes an overview of the machining process, metrology, inspection, and blueprint reading.

The CNC Machines you will learn to operate in this course are the PCNC 440 and the MDX-50 (shown below).

After successfully completing this course, you will be prepared to apply for an entry-level position as a CNC Machine Operator. The final day of this course will include an in-class CNC job fair. Employers from Sacramento Valley Manufacturing Initiative will visit the campus to interview graduating students for open positions in their organization.

CNC machine body

PCNC 440 Machine

CNC machine Modela MDX-50

MDX-50 Machine

Finding the ET 299 course code/description

On the main “Search Class Schedules” webpage,

  1. On the left side in the “Filters” column – Make sure Sacramento City College is checked under “College or Center
  2. Within the “Filters” column – Click on “Subject” and a drop-down menus will appear
  3. Find “Electronics Technology (ET)”, click on Electronics Technology (ET)
  4. Scroll down on the page and click on the “SEARCH” button.

From here, you should be able to see ET 299 Experimental Offering in Electronics Technology (CNC) along with information about the course.

Course code and description for ET 299

(August 24 to December 19. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00pm – 8:50pm, Room LUC 11A)

Neal Richman, CNC Instructor

Neal Richman is the instructor for the ET 299 Fundamentals of CNC course. Mr. Richman began his machinist career in 1974 and has a wealth of real would tips, examples and experiences to share with students. He is proficient in the set-up and operation of many types of metal-working machines, including CNC machines.

During his 45 years of work, Mr. Richman traveled to American and international companies to train employees to operate many types of machinery. For the past 20 years, as Senior Research and Development Technician for Tri Tool, Mr. Richman trained employees to operate a variety of equipment. The instructor’s extensive industry experience enriches the course and provides valuable context for the skill sets students will learn.

Neal Richman operating a Tormach PCNC 440 CNC Machine. These are the machines students will learn to operate in the ET 299 class.

Neal Richman operating a Tormach PCNC 440 CNC Machine. These are the machines students will learn to operate in the ET 299 class.


When not instructing and or operating a CNC machine, Mr. Richman can often be found building and sailing his model yachts at the Elk Grove Model Yacht Club.

This a Neal enjoying a model yacht he personally built, sailing at an Elk Grove Model Yacht Club event.

This a Neal enjoying a model yacht he personally built, sailing at an Elk Grove Model Yacht Club event.

Learn More About CNC Machining

Sacramento City College is fortunate to have the support of and collaboration with the SVMI organization and Sacramento manufacturers. Organized by and for Sacramento’s manufacturers. SVMI works with educators and industry partners to proactively develop vocational, educational and workforce initiatives and programs leading to fulfilling manufacturing career paths for our region’s students and workforce.

SVMI sees a high demand for machinists in the Sacramento region. Employers have open positions now and anticipate an ongoing need for qualified CNC machinists. Journeymen machinists earn high wages and have an excellent career outlook.