Trenholm State Community College

Precision Machining


Precision Machining

Almost every product made by American industries contain metal parts or is manufactured by machines made with metal parts. With high demand for this type of equipment, Trenholm State Community College offers a highly specialized program to prepare students to become general machinists.

The first step to be accepted into this program is to complete the college application. Apply Now!

Machinists and Tool & Die Makers set up and operate a variety of computer-controlled and mechanically controlled machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments, and tools.

Machinist typically do the following:

  • Read blueprints, sketches, or computer-aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) files
  • Set up, operate, and disassemble manual, automatic, and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools
  • Align, secure, and adjust cutting tools and workpieces
  • Monitor the feed and speed of machines
  • Turn, mill, drill, shape, and grind machine parts to specifications
  • Measure, examine, and test completed products for defects
  • Smooth the surfaces of parts or products
  • Present finished workpieces to customers and make modifications if needed

Tool and Die Makers typically do the following:

  • Read blueprints, sketches, specifications, or CAD and CAM files for making tools and dies
  • Compute and verify dimensions, sizes, shapes, and tolerances of workpieces
  • Set up, operate, and disassemble conventional, manual, and CNC machine tools
  • File, grind, and adjust parts so that they fit together properly
  • Test completed tools and dies to ensure that they meet specifications
  • Smooth and polish the surfaces of tools and dies

Machinists use machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, and grinders, to produce precision metal parts. Many machinists must be able to use both manual and CNC machinery. CNC machines control the cutting tool speed and do all necessary cuts to create a part. The machinist determines the cutting path, the speed of the cut, and the feed rate by programming instructions into the CNC machine. Although workers may produce large quantities of one part, precision machinists often produce small batches or one-of-a-kind items.

The parts that machinists make range from simple steel bolts to titanium bone screws for orthopedic implants. Hydraulic parts, antilock brakes, and automobile pistons are other widely known products that machinists make. Some machinists repair or make new parts for existing machinery. After an industrial machinery mechanic discovers a broken part in a machine, a machinist remanufactures the part. The machinist refers to blueprints and performs the same machining operations that were used to create the original part in order to create the replacement.

The mission of the Precision Machining program at Trenholm State Community College is to provide academic and skill courses in order for students to gain the skills and knowledge to become proficient in the Precision Machining discipline with intensive concentration on how to safely set-up and operate metalworking equipment such as engine lathes, milling machines, CNC turning and milling centers as well as other basic shop equipment including but not limited to drilling and grinding machines.

Trenholm State offers several options in Precision Machining that are designed to equip a student with the skills and technical knowledge needed to be a success in this interesting field. Students are assigned specific lab projects which must be completed while studying the theory directly related to the projects.

Additionally, each student is taught to read blueprints, determine sequence of operations, make set-ups, and select the correct machines for the job.

Awards Available

Associates Degree

  • Associate of Applied Science - Automotive/Advanced Manufacturing – Precision Machining (68 Semester Hours)


  • Automotive/Advanced Manufacturing – Precision Machining (52 Semester Hours)

Short Term Certificate

  • Automotive/Advanced Manufacturing – Precision Machining – CNC Concentration (25 Semester Hours)
  • Automotive/Advanced Manufacturing – Precision Machining – Engine Lathe Concentration (19 Semester Hours)
  • Automotive/Advanced Manufacturing – Precision Machining – Milling Concentration (19 Semester Hours)

Curriculum Requirements For Associate Degree

General Education Core Requirements
Area Course Hours Required Recommended Course(s)
I Written Composition 3 ENG 101
II Humanities and Fine Arts 3 MUS 101
III Natural Sciences and Mathematics 6-7 MTH 116 & PHS 112
IV History, Social, and Behavioral Sciences 3 PSY 200
Area V
Course Hours
Ori 101 Orientation to College 1
INT 102 Industrial Maintenance Cutting/Welding 2
ADM 291 MSSC Safety 3
ADM 292 MSSC Quality Practices & Measurement 3
MTT 286 Co-op 1
MTT 111 Introduction to Injection Molding Lab 3
MTT 113 Injection Mold Design Lab 3
MTT 121 Basic Print Reading for Machinists 3
MTT 129 Lathe Operations OR MTT 134 Lathe Operations I AND MTT 135 Lathe Operations I Lab 6
MTT 136 Milling Operations OR MTT 137 Milling I AND MTT 138 Milling I Lab 6
MTT 140 Basic CNC Turning 3
MTT 141 Basic CNC Milling 3
MTT 147 Introduction to Machine Shop I 3
MTT 148 Introduction to Machine Shop I Lab 3
MTT 221 Advanced Blueprint Reading for Machinists 3
MTT 241 CNC Milling Lab I 3
MTT 243 CNC Turning Lab I 3
MCIS 146 Microcomputer Applications 3

Sample Degree Pathway

 Program Details: View more information in the catalog.

Program Brochure

Scan or click the QR code to view.

Precision Machining Brochure


Potential Salary Range

The average full-time wage is variable dependent upon the size of the company offering employment. The current average full time wage is $43,630 for machinists/tool and die makers.Source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018 Survey


Program Contact

Danny Carden
Program Coordinator/Instructor


Patterson Site
3920 Troy Hwy,
Montgomery, AL 36116
Detailed Directions

History of

For half a century, thousands of students have charted their path to success at Trenholm State Community College. From the 1960s to today, we have been part of the fabric of Montgomery and the River Region, growing to include diverse programs of study, multiple campuses, and online learning. Now, we celebrate the present and move forward with a renewed dedication to our community and the success of our students. We invite you to join us.

Contact Trenholm State

1-866-753-4544 334-420-4200

Trenholm Campus:
1225 Air Base Blvd
Montgomery, Alabama 36108
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Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 10048
Montgomery, Alabama 36108