Machine Tool Technology

“Our students achieve high skill levels, in part because of the expectations of the program. We know what kind of performance this industry demands.”

-- David Sperry, Program Head

Program Overview

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.

What will you learn to do?

  • Set up and operate manual machines including engine lathes, milling machines, grinders, and surface grinders
  • 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

What kind of degree(s) can you earn?

* PTC not eligible for federal financial aid due to program length.

What else should you know?

Students must attend a mandatory orientation session prior to registering for classes.


A typical day includes seven hours of classroom and lab work.

All students accepted into this program must submit to a drug or alcohol test at the beginning of the program and at their own expense.

Previous training or experience may be substituted for coursework if competence is demonstrated through testing, with permission of the instructor.


Degree Plan

* PTC not eligible for federal financial aid due to program length.

Note: Students must attend a mandatory orientation session prior to registering for classes. View schedule below for upcoming sessions.


Instructor info

Program Head:
Dave Sperry

Bill Starky

Career Info

What kind of career can you expect?

Machinists are highly skilled operators of machine tools that fabricate parts from a wide variety of materials. Working from blueprints, sketches, or their own designs, these technicians produce precision parts with extremely close tolerances.

What skills, traits, or prep classes would be helpful?

  • Sound math and spatial skills
  • Solid reading skills
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Manual dexterity
  • Solid reading skills
  • Ability to evaluate and make decisions
  • Ability to attend class seven hours per day
  • Enjoyment of working with others
  • Ability to work to precise specifications

Need more info?

Program Chair
Phone: 208.562.2346