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Precision Machining Technology

Precision Machining Technology is an 11-month diploma program that uses classroom theory, hands-on machining skills training, practical application lab work, and industry internships to allow students to obtain the skills for entry-level machining positions.

It’s the perfect choice for someone who wants to bring ideas to reality, employing ingenuity and hands-on skill in the print to part process.

Degree Description

Machinists are the ultimate “makers”. This program is designed to equip students as entry-level technicians with a broad range of foundational skills in the machining trade.

Graduates will be able to set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments, and tools. They will acquire training in the use of conventional and CNC controlled machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines, and surface grinders to produce precision metal parts for manufactured products or repair of industrial equipment.

Although machinists might produce large quantities of one part in a manufacturing environment, they will often work with small batches or one-of-a-kind items. The types of parts that machinists make range from simple steel bolts to titanium bone screws for orthopedic implants. Hydraulic parts, anti-lock brake components, and automobile pistons are other widely known products that machinists make.

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Application Process

1. Complete Western Dakota Tech Admissions Application
2. Complete the ACCUPLACER test ($15 fee)
3. Schedule your Admissions Advising Session
4. Provide an official copy of a High School transcript or GED scores. If you graduated from an international high school, you must submit your transcript to Educational Credential Evaluators to determine U.S. equivalence.
5. Submit Immunization Records verifying two doses of MMR vaccinations
6. Once you receive your acceptance letter, schedule a time to register for classes

(The ACCUPLACER test will be waived if you have an ACT sub-score of 18 or better in English, Math, and Reading, or a SAT sub-score of at least 440 in Verbal and Math.  The scores must be within the last five years.)

Please call 605-718-2565 to make an appointment.

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Career Description

There are many private companies in a variety of industry sectors, such as manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and construction that employ machinists to make the products and keep their equipment working. Program graduates will have the skills to fill a variety of entry-level positions in their machine shops.

Precision Machining is a crucial field in our society that can provide many opportunities for career development and life-long learning, as well as the personal reward of knowing that you are one of those that makes the parts that make our modern world work.

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General Education EMT

After Earning Your Degree

Labor market information shows the demand for workers in the machining field is strong now and in the future. Through 2020, the number of machinists is expected to grow by 13.8 percent. And they earn an excellent living. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2019 mean annual wage is $27,870 - $43,110.

Meet Your Faculty

Western Dakota Tech has a low student-to-faculty ratio, meaning more one-on-one learning. Individual attention from your professor can make your college experience more fulfilling.


  • Bill Urban

Financial Aid

Continuing your education is crucial and Western Dakota Tech wants to make sure that any student who wants to attend school, has the opportunity to do so. For this reason, WDT is dedicated to administering the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IV Financial Assistance Program fair and consistently to anyone who needs it.

Build Dakota Scholarships

The Build Dakota Scholarship at Western Dakota Tech will pay all your tuition and fees and prepare you for a career that is in-demand and growing in South Dakota. Build Dakota Scholarships will be awarded to students entering high-need workforce programs at South Dakota’s technical institutes to fill the state’s technical careers with skilled professionals.


Student Housing

While Western Dakota Tech does not offer on-campus housing, we understand that finding a place to live within town while you go to school can be difficult. We have a few resources to help prospective students find affordable housing.

Child Care

Finding child care during school is a challenge for many students. Western Dakota Tech currently does not offer on-campus child care, but here are some resources that may help you in your search.

Youth & Family Services is an organization dedicated to helping children in Western South Dakota. They offer a variety of services, including child care at multiple locations.

The Y of Rapid City offers child care and other services.

Disclaimer: Western Dakota Tech provides these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply affiliation, endorsement or adoption by Western Dakota Tech of any site or any information contained therein. When you leave wdt.edu, you should be aware that our terms and policies no longer govern. Western Dakota Tech makes no claim or representation regarding, and accepts no responsibility for, the quality, content, nature or reliability of third-party websites or vendors.

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