Faces of CNM: Teresa Kamradt

A machinist who owns her own shop, Teresa has big plans for business expansion after she graduates
January 24, 2020

Most days you can find Teresa Kamradt in her West Side garage, which she’s converted into a small-job shop that houses her business called “I Am Machining.” Inside, she and her husband build everything from one-off products for local customers to manufactured parts for businesses like Sandia Labs. Whatever the project, she loves being able to deliver a high-quality, finished product.

“It’s amazing to be able to make something out of nothing,” she says. “I have a lot of freedom. I can literally step into my garage and make nearly anything I want.”

Teresa, who’s 44, wasn’t always a machinist. In fact, she’s only been in the field for about two years. Previously, she spent 17 years as a dental assistant. But after nearly two decades in the dental profession, she decided she was ready for a change.

Teresa Kamradt

It was her husband who helped her find machining. He got his certificate in Machine Tool Technology from CNM, which motivated her to do the same. Currently going through the program, she says the switch has been easier than she thought because dentistry is fairly similar, believe it or not.

“When we’re drilling teeth we’re rebuilding someone’s mouth, just like you might rebuild a mechanical part,” she says. “There’s a before, and there’s an after.”

Even though it was Teresa’s husband who introduced her to the field, she’s quick to point out that she owns the business and her husband works for her.

“I’m serious about my shop, and about it being woman-owned,” she says. “I’m not just sitting back in the office.”

Teresa says the machinist world can be macho, which is why she’s pursuing her certificate from CNM.

“The certificate proves that I’m an actual machinist and not just some woman,” she says.

After completing her certificate this summer, Teresa hopes to get certified as a quality inspector for other jobs. Then the plan is to move out of her garage, look for a bigger space, and open a larger manufacturing business.

 “I want to grow my own business and create new jobs in Albuquerque,” she says. “And, I want to have more capacity to take people’s visions and find ways to turn them into reality.”