Machine Tool Technology

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CWI Machine Tool Technology Program

Prior to entering the CWI Machine Tool Technology course, I had no technical or street training for a trade that I would enjoy doing for an extended period of time. Joshua Tyler, former CWI Machine Tool Technology student
The Machine Tool Technology program at CWI has had a deep impact in my career and life. Jeff Wilhite, former CWI Machine Tool Technology student and current CWI instructor
CWI's Machine Tool Technology program gave me a lot of skills I will carry my entire life and memories I will never forget. They have a professional staff and a premier CNC machining school. Josh McDevitt, former CWI Machine Tool Technology student

Program Exploration Event

Interested in a career in Machine Tool Technology?  Join us on Nov. 15, from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. at the Nampa Campus Micron Education Center in room 135 to:

  • Learn more about this program, and meet the faculty.
  • Meet industry leaders, and hear about career opportunities.
  • Understand how education in this career field benefits you.
  • Get tips on how to prepare for a successful start.
  • Take a tour of the lab space and technology.



Put yourself on the fast track to a career in Machine Tool Technology at College of Western Idaho (CWI). Manufacturing operations of all sizes need skilled machinists to keep their production lines running smoothly. In the Machine Tool Technology you will explore what it takes to play a vital role in this field. Through hands-on training in state-of-the-art labs, taking away an advanced skill set that allows you to troubleshoot, strategize, and work with high-tech equipment in machine shops and manufacturing industries as diverse as your interests.

This two-year program has top-quality training and long-standing support from local employers thanks in part to our accomplished graduates who have won top state and national awards. 


Complete the following steps to get started in the Machine Tool Technology program:

  • Apply to CWI selecting Machine Tool Technology as your planned major. 
  • Attend a Program Exploration event to learn about the program, register for classes, and prepare for success.

Program Highlights

Through a combination of classroom study and assigned lab activities, students acquire essential background information, develop trade skills, and become familiar with production methods and standards common to the industry. Within the lab setting, emphasis is on the practical application of skills. Students will learn to operate a variety of conventional machine tools and computer numerical control (CNC) machines, interpret industrial drawings/blueprints, and use precision measuring and inspection instruments.

  • Shop safety and safe machine operation
  • Training on manual and CNC mills
  • Training on manual and CNC lathes
  • Advanced interpretation of machine shop drawings and prints
  • Instruction on writing and debugging programs for CNC mills and lathes
  • Training on setups, fixturing, tool selection and offset calculations on CNC mills and lathes

Skills & Techniques

After completion of this program, students will have comprehensive knowledge of the following:

  • Manual mill setup and operation
  • Manual lathe setup and operation
  • CNC mill programming, setup and operation
  • CNC lathe programming, setup and operation
  • Write CNC machine tool programs
  • Use and application of GD&T (Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing) methods
  • Metallurgy for machining
  • Heat treating
  • Related Machine Tool math


If you like troubleshooting, strategy, and working with high-tech equipment, College of Western Idaho (CWI) can offer you a start to an exceptional career as a machinist. This two-year program has top-quality training and long-standing support from local employers thanks in part to our accomplished graduates who have won top national and international awards. At CWI, you will learn basic skills and quickly advance into areas such as interpretation of drawings, proper measurement, design adaptation, computer numerical programming, and much more.

Why This Program

Over the years, this trade has been consistent in offering employment opportunities to employees trained with basic machining skills and a desire to work in an industrial environment. The skills taught in the Machine Tool program offer opportunities in a diverse field of specialized occupations such as; Machine Operator, Tool and Die work, Automotive Machinist, Field Work, Machine Maintenance Mechanic, CNC Programmer, Quality Control and others.

What You Will Learn to Do

  • Set up and operate manual machines including engine lathes, milling
  • Program, set up, and operate computer-numerically controlled (CNC) milling machines and lathes
  • Operate precision measurement and test equipment used by metals-manufacturing industries
  • Properly heat-treat various metals
  • Understand and identify the many different materials, processes, and techniques used by the machining industry
  • Utilize Virtual GIBBS programming software and SolidWorks modeling software


Graphic of tool with purple and gold flare like symbol

College of Western Idaho is proud to compete in SkillsUSA, a nationwide organization seeking to improve the quality of our nation's future skilled workforce through personal, workplace, and technical skills training. Students join thousands from...

Additional Opportunities

There are also extra-curricular activities that students can participate in such as SkillsUSA and the Machinists Club. These organizations provide opportunities for the student to enhance their educational experience while interacting with other classmates.

Respectful Community

College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

Wade Kindberg stands in his Mechatronics classroom

In his fourth year at College of Western Idaho, Machine Tool Technology student, Wade Kindberg, continues to learn new skills and trades for a future career.

Nathaniel Dando poses with a motorcycle

New scholarship honors late CWI Machine Tool Technology graduate, Nathaniel Stewart Dando.

John F. Nagel Foundation check presentation to CWI Foundation

The Nagel Foundation scholarship empowers second-year career and technical education students to complete their education.

Bradley Dougal, a 2019-2020 Nagel Foundation scholarship recipient.

Congratulations to Bradley Dougal, a 2019-2020 Nagel Foundation scholarship recipient.

Bee on a flowering tree

Biology instructor, Dusty Perkins, Biology Club, and Machine Tool Technology Program to host a native bee habitat building during Connections Project.

STEM Out! attendees

Annual STEM Out! event introduces students to STEM careers through hands-on workshops presented by CWI faculty and students.