NIMS Announces First-Ever Industry Standard for the 21st Century CAM Manufacturing Workforce

Today, the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) released the first-ever industry Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) standards. With guidance from Autodesk Inc., the leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, these standards will enhance education and training programs to meet 21st century demands for skilled CAM programmers, designers and engineers. Developed over the course of a yearlong intensive nationwide validation process, with more than 125 subject matter experts from companies who use a variety of CAM software, the standards define the competencies and skills expected by industry for entry-level CAM positions. 

To stay competitive, manufacturers must maintain high standards of production. CAM allows manufacturers to efficiently adjust their processes to identify optimal production paths that decrease cycle times, reduce scrapped parts and materials and improve the quality of finished parts. Skilled CAM programmers, designers, and engineers with extensive education and training are in high demand.

“Companies in technologically-advanced industries are incorporating information technology and automation through CAM software to develop products and materials. In the next decade, over one million jobs will require the technical skills needed to operate CAM software,” said NIMS Executive Director, James Wall. “By publishing these standards, we have successfully defined the industry expectation for an entry-level candidate with CAM skills.”

NIMS and Autodesk will continue to support the advancement of CAM training programs by developing industry credentials for educating and training CAM programmers. To develop these credentials, industry leaders will participate in work groups and provide their expertise. NIMS will conduct a rigorous development and pilot process before releasing the credentials to the public.

“Developing skills in next-generation CAM tools used by professionals makes students more attractive and hirable,” said Randy Swearer, vice president, Autodesk Education Experiences. “By working with NIMS to define the standards needed to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace, we’re helping grow the manufacturing workforce by giving future designers and engineers guidance on the competencies needed to secure employment upon graduation.”

Click here to download the CAM standards.

For more information on the CAM standards and credential development, contact NIMS Director of Strategic Initiatives, Melanie Stover at or (703) 352-4971.

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