The machines that computer-control programmers and operators work with may be controlled by computers, but it's the humans who really run the show -- by controlling the computers.
CNC programmers plot out, step-by-step, the way a machine will do its job of making auto, machine, or other parts that need to meet extremely exact standards. Once the programming is done, CNC operators step in to keep an eye on the machine all the way through the manufacturing process.
Computer-control programmers and operators work with CNC (computer numerically controlled) machines, which cut and shape metal, plastic, or glass to form a finished part.
Lots of CNC programmers start out as machinists or tool and die makers.
A problem solver who's good with machines and tools. CNC programmers also need a good eye for detail.
The dirtier work is done by the CNC operators, who may handle dangerous liquids and listen to noisy machinery. But most CNC programmers work on desktop computers in clean, quiet offices.