This is the first question most students ask! The truth is, both programs have appealing qualities, but it really depends on what you are looking for. Do you want college credits or would you prefer to not worry about grades going on your transcripts? Do you prefer a learning environment where topics are covered in-depth or do you thrive in a fast-paced environment where you can take what you are learning and apply it at work or at home?
Are you able to attend class Monday through Thursday and commit to daily homework or are you working during the day and prefer not to take school home?
These are all important things to consider, and if you answered "yes" to the first part of each question, the for-credit program
may be the right fit. If you identified more with the second half of each question, the non-credit program
may be best for you. You can also see a side-by-side comparison of the programs
There is a huge need for machinists in Colorado. In fact, this program exists because employers demanded a training program to fill the skills gap! For some very large companies such as Ball Aerospace, a bachelor’s degree is preferred, but we find that most companies hire equally from both our programs. If you have a particular employer in mind with whom you’d like to work, you should research their education preferences.
Absolutely! In fact, we encourage all of our students to find employment as soon as he/she is ready. Because learning is best paired with real-life applications, working in the industry and can really benefit you. Students in for-credit program will find that they are in class four days a week for four to six hours a day and non-credit students are in training two nights a week (plus a half-day on Saturday) for three hours.
Credits from the Precision Machining Technology program can be applied toward an Associates of General Studies
. Credits will also transfer to other Colorado community colleges that offer an AAS in Machining. Please see an Advisor to discuss the possibility of transferring these courses as elective credits.
You can switch from the Credit program to the Non-credit program, but not the other way around.
A College Certificate is one that is earned by an accredited college and might be used to transfer to another institution. A Certificate of Completion is a record of satisfactory completion of training and cannot be used toward a degree. Both can be listed on your resume!
Technically you don’t take all 17 credits at once! MAC 100 is a three-day course that is taken at the beginning of the semester and then it’s over. MAC 101 and 102 are taken the first 7.5 weeks of the semester and once completed, you pick up MAC 110 and 120 for the remainder of the semester. MAT 108 will run the full 15 weeks of the semester. At any given time, students will only be taking 10 credits.
While our program accepts many forms of payment, most lending services do NOT pay for non-credit training. Please see our non-credit page
for information about funding and scholarships available for this type of training.
Yes! Current students are encouraged to participate in Friday open labs to complete NIMS projects and exams. Contact us about upcoming NIMS labs.
NIMS stands for “National Institute for Metalworking Skills” and we are proud to offer the opportunity to become certified in several sets of machining skills. These certifications are nationally recognized and are an excellent addition to your resume to help you stand out.
On the NIMS website
, they write, “The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) was formed in 1994 by the metalworking trade associations to develop and maintain a globally competitive workforce. NIMS sets skills standards for the industry, certifies individual skills against the standards and accredits training programs that meet NIMS quality requirements. NIMS operates under rigorous and highly disciplined processes as the only developer of American National Standards for the nation’s metalworking industry accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).”
It depends. Front Range Community College is committed to providing college credit for prior learning and experiences. Contact us about applying for credit for prior learning. In the non-credit program, there tends to be a little more flexibility. If you are currently employed at a machine shop and feel you have enough experience to skip either the Introduction or Intermediate levels, please contact us.