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What a Day Looks Like for a CNC Machining Grad From NASCAR Tech

Feb 22, 2023 ·

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Students in the CNC Machining Technology program offered at NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina, receive hands-on training that helps them develop the skills necessary for entry-level roles as computer numerical control (CNC) machinists — all in just 36 weeks!

But for those who have already completed their technical school training at NASCAR Tech, what does a typical workday look like?

Plenty of graduates of the CNC program agree that their work is far from routine.

Some of these grads have gone on to work at Roush Yates, a leading manufacturer UTI collaborates with to develop industry-standard training and whose manufacturing facilities are also located in Mooresville.1 Roush Yates is also a major creator of racing engine parts — including those used in NASCAR vehicles.

Keep reading to learn about what a typical workday looks like for these CNC program grads! You’ll also learn more about how they got to Roush Yates and their personal insights into their professional journeys.

CNC Machining Career Opportunities

Most of our grads start out working as entry-level technicians or in other entry-level roles. As with any industry, over time, you may be able to advance in your career with hard work.77

Some entry-level CNC careers could include:

  • CNC machinist
  • Apprentice machinist
  • CNC operator
  • Machined parts inspector

As you gain experience and skill, some more advanced CNC careers might include:

  • CNC programmer
  • Quality control inspector
  • Brake press operator
  • CNC lathe operator
  • CNC mill operator
  • Mechanical assembler
  • Design engineer
  • Shop manager
  • Shop owner

Read more: Everything You Want to Know About CNC Machining Training and Careers

A Typical Day for 4 CNC Machining Grads

There's always something to do, according to some of our CNC program graduates now working at Roush Yates.

Michael Phelps, a CNC machinist, says, “I run a lot of different parts, actually. Lately, I’ve been throwing around a couple different things, been running rocker shafts, and recently I’ve been running uprights.”

Fellow CNC machinist Chandler Fine says he manages many different projects and creates custom parts. “I take raw material and turn it into a finished product, measure it, move it on and we ship it out to the customer,” he says.

Plenty of work goes into creating a custom part. To create even one, all hands must be on deck.

CNC programmer Ryan Tabor says, “We receive the model from the customer. Then, we have to put it into Mastercam and find ways to create tool paths to be able to machine the actual part.” Students at NASCAR Tech can learn how to use Mastercam software, as well as software from Mitee-Bite and Mistubishi Materials.

Cylinder and production lead Blaine Hall says, “Usually, I’m just handling the base machine of our FR9 heads and Ford Performance Z-heads, and also doing the CNC pouring of our FR9 heads as well.”

Read more: Safety Tips for CNC Machinists

Realizing a Passion for CNC

Michael Phelps

Michael previously worked in CNC machining. After gaining some experience, he discovered that he loved the possibilities of CNC machining and CNC parts.

He also always wanted to move to North Carolina. So, when he learned about NASCAR Tech, he took it as a sign. Soon, he was packing his bags and heading out to expand his CNC knowledge.

Blaine Hall

Blaine spent six years in the Army. He was also a diesel mechanic with engine servicing experience, which spurred his interest in how engine parts are made. That interest led him to perform a Google search for a CNC program at a trade school. Eventually, that landed him at NASCAR Tech.

While enrolled, Blaine studied under skilled instructors and completed an internship. Seizing these learning opportunities helped him enhance the skill set needed for his post-graduate CNC machining career.

Read more: Answering 9 Common Questions About Our CNC Machining Program

Discovering Industry Opportunities

Ryan Tabor

Ryan is from Mooresville and previously worked for a company selling racing products. This experience brought him close to CNC machines. He then realized that he wanted to work for a larger company that could support full-scale CNC machining and get him involved in these advanced manufacturing practices.

He enrolled in the CNC program at NASCAR Tech, hoping it would provide him with the credibility and skills needed to kick-start his CNC journey. The program also provided hands-on training and real-world knowledge to help him pursue a career with a manufacturer like Roush Yates.

After a tour of the local Roush Yates facility, Ryan applied for and obtained an internship there. He ran CNC machines for a while before pursuing his long-held interest in Mastercam software. Since then, he’s successfully transitioned from being a machinist to a programmer, becoming the first to do so at Roush Yates!

Chandler Fine

Chandler developed his skills and expertise from the ground up while taking the CNC Machining Technology program offered at NASCAR Tech. He also got an internship at Roush Yates after learning about the opportunity from instructors.

After graduation, Chandler was hired full time. Since then, he's enjoyed working as a machinist at Roush Yates, where he gets to do something new every day — all for the perpetually exciting mission of creating brand-new, innovatively manufactured custom parts.

Read more: How to Create Your CNC Machinist Resume: Examples & Tips

Imparting Words of Wisdom

“Between going to school at NASCAR Technical Institute and coming (to Roush Yates), I’ve learned a lot about this trade,” Michael says. He believes a technical trade school like NASCAR Tech is a vital step to pursuing a career path you can be excited about.

For anyone unsure if they’re capable of completing the CNC Machining Technology program, Chandler says, “You can do it. I did it, with no prior experience. NASCAR Tech will give you everything you need. Just have a shot at it.”6

Blaine says technicians pursuing a career in his industry must be continually ready to expand their CNC machining knowledge, both during and after their education.

“Be ready to learn and want to learn every single day,” he advises. “There is no end to learning.”

CNC careers are best suited for those enthralled by the prospect of being in a field that is never repetitive or redundant. For that reason, constant curiosity is required.

Ryan highlights the importance of hands-on learning and developing software knowledge for those specifically interested in CNC programming.

Learn as much as you can about the machines,” Ryan says. “Learn the machine controls. Know all your drawings and blueprints. Look deeper into the software. Learn about Mastercam.”

Read more: 8 Signs You Might Enjoy Working as a CNC Machinist

Pursue a CNC Career at NASCAR Tech!

UTI’s 36-week CNC machining curriculum offered at NASCAR Tech was created in collaboration with Roush Yates to provide students with state-of-the-industry CNC training. Since we provide a comprehensive machining education from the ground up, you don’t need to be a machining expert to learn here.

Once you’re ready to take that crucial next step in your CNC machining journey, apply to our CNC machining school!

With classes starting every 3-6 weeks, no need to wait to start your career.
Hands-on training. Get hands on experience with the industry's leading brands.
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1) NASCAR Technical Institute is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

6) UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

77) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI prepares graduates for entry-level careers using the provided training. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than those listed.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


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