MAchine Tool Student

Machine Tool Operation

35-credit Technical Diploma

Watch a video about our Machine Tool Operation program.

In the Machine Tool Operation program, gain hands-on practice and develop skills for the safe, efficient operation of the engine lathe, vertical milling machine and surface grinder. The program stresses the importance of proper machine shop practices including the selection and application of hand tools, the use of precision measuring instruments and layout procedures. Learn to operate computer numerical control (CNC) machines, interpret engineering drawings and use applied mathematics.

  • Prepare for jobs such as CNC operator, tool room machinist or machine tool operator.
  • The curriculum for the 35-credit Machine Tool Operation program is the first year of studies in the more comprehensive 67-credit Tool and Die program. Students who complete the Machine Tool Operation programs will require just one additional year of studies to earn the additional credits needed for the Tool and Die program.
  • Wages of recent graduates per Graduate Follow-up Report
    • Three-year Avg. Salary for Full-time Related Employment: $30,284

Review gainful employment information.

Program Code 31-420-1

Required Courses

First Semester
 Course NumCourse NameCredits
 420-316 CNC Machining Center Operation2  
 420-320 Machine Tool Operation I4  
 420-321 Machine Tool Operation II4  
 420-326 Machine Tool Theory I1  
 420-386 CNC Machining Center2  
 420-330 Industrial Blueprint Reading I2 *
 804-304 Industrial Math I2+ 
 809-345 Basic Workplace Psychology1  
Total Semester Credits
Second Semester
 Course NumCourse NameCredits
 420-323 Machine Tool Operation III4  
 420-324 Machine Tool Operation IV4  
 420-328 Machine Tool Theory II1  
 420-317 CNC Turning Center Operation2  
 420-387 CNC Turning Center2  
 439-181 SolidWorks for Tool Design 12 *
 804-305 Industrial Math II2+ 
Total Semester Credits
+ (Proficiency Exam Available)
* (Prerequisites or substitutes may apply to this class.)

View available courses for this term

View course descriptions of all required courses

Credit Transfer Opportunities

WCTC has agreements with local high schools and various four-year colleges and universities that enable students to transition more seamlessly from high school to WCTC to four-year colleges. Transcripted credit agreements provide high school students the opportunity to take WCTC courses at their high schools. Agreements with four-year colleges enable WCTC graduates in selected programs to transfer credits, often at junior-level standing. Agreements currently in place for this program are listed below.

High School Transfer Opportunities

WCTC Course

WCTC Credits Awarded

420-320 Machine Tool Operation I 4
420-326 Machine Tool Theory I 1
420-330 Industrial Blueprint Reading I 2
804-304 Industrial Math I 2

Four Year College Transfer Opportunities

There are currently no college credit agreements for Machine Tool Operation. For more information, contact your academic advisor.

UW-System Credit Transfer

If you are interested in attending a UW-campus, you should contact a transfer representative at the campus you plan to attend. You may also check credit transfer agreements between WCTC and the UW System to tell you which specific courses and general education classes may be accepted.

Important Cautionary Note:
This information is intended as a general description. Please verify the availability and details of the program that interests you with the transfer coordinator at the receiving institution.

Meet your Instructor

Program instructor, Michael Biro

Michael Biro

Phone: 262.691.5422


  • BS – Career and Technical Education, University of Wisconsin – Stout
  • MS – Career and Technical Education, University of Wisconsin – Stout


  • Journeyman Model Maker: State of Wisconsin accredited
  • Journeyman Tool & Die Maker: State of Wisconsin accredited

Teaching Philosophy

"Learning activities integrated with progressively higher degrees of required problem solving provide the student with the most meaningful type of learning experience."

Program instructor, Peter M. Chirafisi

Peter M. Chirafisi

Phone: 262.691.5365


  • AAS – Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • Journeyworker – Tool and Die


  • Certified Solid Works Instructor

Teaching Philosophy

"My philosophy is to not only teach the student to be successful in school but to be successful in industry and to pass knowledge on to new apprentices."

Program instructor, William Hayes

William Hayes

Phone: 262.691.5452


  • WCTC, Tool and Die Apprenticeship Program


  • Journeyworker

Required Tools

Material Required:

  • 1-8 1/2 x11 spiral bound subject notebook
  • 1-2 1/2 -3 inch 3 ring binder
  • 1-Calculator with "trig" function capabilities
  • Several pencils and pens
  • 1-yellow highlighter
  • Leather safety toe shoes
  • Safety glasses with side shields

MTO I 420-320 Tools

  • Tool Box (locking) (examples are: Kennedy, Matco, Craftsman, etc.)
  • 1-6 inch scale (steel)
  • 1- "Jacobs" drill chuck key model K3 5/16 diameter
  • 3-60 degree center drills , a #3, #4, and #5
  • 1-Flat mille file (example 10 inch "flat smooth")
  • 1-Plunge type dial indicator (example: Mitutoyo #2456 7045)

MTO II 420-321 Tools

  • 1-Soft body hammer (dead-blow)
  • 1-Outside micrometer, 0-1 inch range
  • 1-Dial (or digital) calipers 0-6 inch
  • 1-Dial indicator (example: Brown & Sharpe Best Test Model 2188 3040 .001 increments)
  • 1-Indicol universal indicator holder (for use with dial indicator above (example: 2186 8610)
  • 1-82 degree countersink 1 inch body diameter, 3 or 4 flute preferred

MTO III 420-322 Tools

  • 1-Outside micrometer, 1-2 inch range
  • 4-Carbide inserts (to fit tool crib face mills) Style: NP-45L by Madill Carbide Inc.
  • 1-Slip joint pliers
  • 1- 1/4 inch diameter, 118 degree spot drill
  • 1-4 Piece (minimum) screwdriver set, flathead and Phillips
  • 1-Medium grit honing stone

MTO IV 420-323 Tools

  • 1-Drill bit set, 1/32 thru 1/2 inch set by 1/32 inch increments
  • 1-118 degree drill sharpening gage
  • 1-60 degree center gage
  • 1-Hexagon (Allen) wrench set, 12 pc. From 3/32-3/8 inch (in 1/32 inch increments)
  • 1-Hexagon (Allen) wrench set metric, 9 pc. From 1.5-10mm
  • 1-Center punch