Metals Technology

Note: Students may begin their instruction in the two-year Metals Technology program depending upon the space available; in either the computer aided manufacturing or the welding area.

Metals Technology is designed to prepare students as entry-level technicians in many areas, including automotive machining, tool and die making, mold making, job shop machinist, gun smithing, lay-out and inspection welding, new construction welder, and fabrication.   Students will study machining processes and procedures, properties of metals, blueprint reading, and inspection techniques. Welding skills (including practical, theoretical, and technical training) are taught using oxyacetylene, manual stick electrode, semiautomatic Mig, Tig (Heliarc), dualshield Mig, and various additional processes.  Miller Electric has chosen Helena College University of Montana as one of its regional training centers.  Therefore, students will receive training on the latest state-of-the-art equipment in Mig, Tig (Heliarc), and Stick Electrode.  Students will work from blueprints, follow exact specifications, and apply practical shop math to accomplish the required tasks. Much of the lab time in both areas will be used for shop project work.

An educational background in mechanical drawing, shop math, welding, and mechanical welding is helpful.  Students are required to have a basic set of tools upon entrance to the program as outlined in the tool section of this catalog.

Tool lists can be found here

Employment Information

Metals Technology
Associate of Applied Science
Computer Aided Manufacturing Emphasis

Career Outlook:     According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics overall employment of machinists and tool and die makers is expected to grow 7 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will vary by specialty.

Employment of machinists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations.
Despite improvements in technologies such as CNC machine tools, autoloaders, high-speed machining, and lights-out manufacturing, machinists will still be required to set up, monitor, and maintain these automated systems.

In addition, employers are expected to continue needing machinists who have a wide range of skills and are capable of performing modern production techniques and almost any task in a machine shop. As manufacturers will continue to rely heavily on skilled machinists as they invest in new equipment, modify production techniques, and implement product design changes more rapidly.

Employment of tool and die makers is projected to experience little or no change from 2010 to 2020. Foreign competition in manufacturing and advances in automation, including CNC machine tools and computer-aided design, should improve worker productivity, requiring fewer workers.

Job opportunities for machinists and tool and die makers should be excellent as employers continue to value the wide-ranging skills of these workers. Also, many young people with the educational and personal qualifications needed to become machinists or tool and die makers prefer to attend college or may not wish to enter production occupations.

In fact, employers in certain parts of the country report difficulty attracting skilled workers and apprenticeship candidates with the abilities necessary to fill job openings.

Therefore, the number of workers learning to be machinists or tool and die makers is expected to be smaller than the number of job openings arising each year from the need to replace experienced machinists who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons.

Employment Opportunities with SOC Code:
First-Line Production Supervisor 51-1011.00
Prepress Technicians and Workers 51-5111.00
Machinist 51-4041.00

Salary Forecast:  MT CO
First-Line Production Supervisor 51-1011.00 52,530 61,610
Prepress Technicians and Workers 51-5111.00 28,400 36,910
Machinist 51-4041.00 38,030 41,950

For the most current salary information please refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Occupational Outlook Handbook found at

Program Cost:
Approximately $8,800

Metals Technology

Length of Program: 4 Semesters
Type of Program: Associate of Applied Science
Semester of Entry: Fall
Students in this program will take the first year of the Computer Aided Manufacturing and Welding Associate of Applied Science. It is not mandatory that the courses be completed in the order listed below. The years may be switched to better match course availibility.
Note: In order to take the first semester of Metals Technology courses, students must prove their skills in Mathematics, Reading Comprehension, and Writing with the following:
Placement into READ070 or higher
Placement into WRIT121 or higher
Placement into M111T or higher

For more information, please contact the Student Support Center


Fall Semester

MCH120  Blueprint Reading and Interpretation for Machining 2
MCH130  Machine Shop 3
MCH132  Introduction to Engine Lathes 5
MCH134  Introduction to Mills 5
M111T  Technical Mathematics 3
Total Semester Credits 18

Spring Semester

MCH136  Advanced Lathes 5
MCH137  Advanced Mills 5
MCH139  Grinding Applications 2
MCH240  Metallurgy  2
MCH245  Shop Practices  2
Total Semester Credits 16


Fall Semester

WLDG105  Shop Safety 1
WLDG112  Cutting Processes 1
WLDG117 Blueprint Reading and Weld Symbols 3
WLDG132  Estimating of Job Materials 2
WLDG180 Shielded Metal Arc Welding 4
WRIT121T Introduction to Technical Writing 3
Total Semester Credits 18

Spring Semester

WLDG131  Intro to Layout and Pattern Making 3
WLDG140  Intro GAS Tungsten ARC Welding (GTAW) - Integrated Lab 3
WLDG151  Shop Practices  4
WLDG155  Design and Fabrication  4
WLDG160  Rigging for Welders 1
HR110T Human Relations 2
Total Semester Credits 17