The Design and Manufacturing Technology fields provide a variety of employment opportunities for trained individuals. For every manufactured object, from a rubber shoe sole to the gears in a car, there are technical drawings or computer models that describe the physical shape of the object. Designers and engineers research, develop, design, manufacture, and test tools, engines, machines, and other mechanical devices, including computer hardware. CAD systems are used to create and store the component and assembly 3D models and generate 2D drawings and plans. 

The 2D and 3D drawings produced in CAD systems are then converted into models and prototypes by production engineers or others working in manufacturing including computer numerical control (CNC) machinists and machine operators, CNC programmers, research & development machinists, and mold makers. Manufacturing professionals use the computer models for guidance in configuring and operating the machinery used to produce the final object. Many of these final processes are completed by using sophisticated computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines or 3D printers.

Employment Outlook

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) collects data about the state’s workforce. These data include information about the number of people employed in the field, job outlook, and wage information. The California EDD predicts for the period 2008-2018 the number of openings for computer-controlled machine tool operators to increase by nearly 6% and industrial engineering technicians to increase by 12%. In addition opens due to growth, there are predicted to many replacement openings as the result of an upcoming wave of retirements. For more detailed information about positions in the manufacturing and CNC technology fields, check the California Occupational Guide for the occupations listed below:

  • Mechanical Engineering Technicians (SOC 17-3027)
  • Industrial Engineering Technicians (SOC 17-3026)
  • Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators (SOC 51-4011)
  • Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers (SOC 51-4012)
  • Machinists (SOC 51-4041)

Necessary Education and Skills for Career Success

A student operates a computer numerically controlled machine.

Design and Manufacturing work requires knowledge in mechanical design and experience in using computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software, computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines, conventional machine tools, and 3D printing technology. These are all taught at De Anza College.

General Info About the Program

The Design and Manufacturing Program at De Anza is accredited by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS). It is also designated Haas Technical Education Center and authorized Mastercam Training Center. The program offers a number of degrees and certificates for both entry-level individuals and those currently employed in the field. In each degree or certificate option, students are provided with a broad curriculum that provides a strong foundation for employment in local industries or transfer to a four-year college. The program's curriculum includes state-of-the-art theories, procedures, and computer programs utilized in Silicon Valley and provides a strong foundation for employment in local industries or transfer to a four-year college.

Design and Manufacturing Technology Certificate and Degree Programs

Certificates of Achievement

Certificates of Achievement-Advanced

Associate Degrees

For more information contact the Design and Manufacturing Technology Department:
Business, Computer Science, and Applied Technologies Division
De Anza, E-2 Building
(408) 864-8283

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