Honeycomb collage of images of machine shop tools and activities

Machine Technology

Machine Technology

Stylized Milling Cutter with Text: Machine Technology Now Enrolling for Spring 2021!Check out our Machine Technology flyer!

Square of 9 photos showing students from Fall 2020 semester

*Note: Pictures above were taken during face-to-face labs in the machine technology department at Laney College during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Fall 2021 Update:

To ensure the health and safety of everyone as the State progressively lifts COVID-19 restrictions, the Peralta Community College District will be offering many of its lecture courses online for Fall 2021. But many courses, especially those with lab sections, have been given permission to run face-to-face (or “in-person”).

We know that face-to-face instruction works better than online instruction for many subjects and many students. We also know that online education has certain benefits, with flexible scheduling being the primary one. For these reasons, we are offering students the option of either face-to-face or online instruction for the Fall 2021 semester. Read through the list below for details.

How Does This Affect Machine Technology?

Students who enroll in the following lecture courses have the option of attending class either in-person in a classroom or remotely via Zoom.

MACH 20 – CAD with Solidworks

MACH 205 – Engineering Drawings

The following courses are being offered as “hybrid” courses with online lectures and face-to-face labs in the machine shop. Lectures and demonstrations are pre-recorded. However, students have the option of attending extended office hours offered multiple times per week if they wish to receive traditional face-to-face instruction.

MACH 30 – Intro to CNC and CAD/CAM Programming

MACH 207 – Mechanical Drives

MACH 210 – Machine Technology I

MACH 211 – Dimensional Metrology

MACH 220 – Machine Technology II

MACH 230 – Machine Technology III

*Note that MACH 200 – Special Projects Laboratory is a lab-only course and will be offered face-to-face only.

Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the information above is subject to change.

Health and Safety

In the machine technology department, we have been offering face-to-face labs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, we have served about 180 students in face-to-face lab classes. Because of the safety protocols we followed, we developed an excellent track record of COVID-19 safety in the shop. Only 5 students tested positive for COVID-19 or had close contact with someone who tested positive. And in every single case, the transmission was traced to someone outside of the department (a coworker, family member, etc.). This indicates that there were no cases of viral transmission in the machine shop. We will continue to follow safety protocols as directed by the Peralta Community College District, Alameda County Public Health Department and State of California. The health and safety of students, staff and faculty is our number one priority.


Feel free to contact the department chair: Adam Balogh at

What is a Machinist?

Basically, a machinist is a person who gets paid to make cool stuff with power tools. Machinists design and manufacture precision parts, from simple pieces such as nuts and bolts to complex, high-tech components. Jobs in the industry range from operating, maintaining, repairing or inspecting machines to designing and creating programs for computer-numerical-control machines. Machine technology extends into tool and die work, maintenance machining, and research and prototyping.

The following skills and qualities are helpful for a career in machine technology:

  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Manual dexterity
  • Interest in problem solving
  • Ability to work independently
  • Math proficiency
  • Computer proficiency
  • Effective Communication: listening, responding, presenting
  • Commitment to continuing skill development throughout career


Highly skilled machinists are currently in great demand. A fall 2005 report by the National Association of Manufacturers states that nearly 90 percent of American employers are unable to hire enough trained personnel. To stay in demand, machinists and machine operators must constantly stay current with technological developments in the field. Graduation from the program with an associate of science (AS) degree provides students with greater communication, critical thinking and self-management skills and improves their chances of finding rewarding, higher-paying positions in the field.

The Program

This program is designed both for entry-level students and experienced craftspeople wanting to upgrade their skills. The up-to-date curriculum provides the current theoretical, technological and practical experience necessary for employment and advancement in the industry, and features the following elements:

  • Theory and design of machine tools and machinery
  • Properties of materials, including heat-treating
  • Laboratory courses focused on hands-on operation of machine tools
  • Technical mathematics
  • Precision measurement and layout
  • Blueprint reading, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, and 3-D solid modeling
  • CNC setup, operation and programming, and CAD/CAM programming

The Laney College Machine Technology program’s commitment to currency in its curriculum ensures that students learn to use the industry’s latest technology, tools and equipment. This commitment is driven by constantly developing industry standards, the program’s industry-based faculty and technology partnerships with local industry.

Potential Employment

  • Machinist
  • Machine Tool Operator
  • CNC–CAD/CAM Programmer
  • Maintenance Machinist
  • Parts Inspector
  • Machine Technology


See What Our Students Are Working On!