Best places in the country for a youngin to learn the trade?
Wonder if I could get some guidance from some older and wiser machinists I am currently living in Chicago and working as a CNC operator. Figured I could learn the trade here, but they have a tendency to teach you just enough to do your job, and that's it. Feeling like it's time for a change. I have age, a bit of savings, tools and mobilty to my advantage. I like working with my hands and doing actual skilled work as opposed to pushing buttons all day, although I wouldn't mind learning set up or programing down the road. I love bridgeports, leblonde lathes, surface grinders, and tool and die has always been the family trade. Any ideas on where to go from here? Country towns sound great to me, and much more appealing than cramped up cities. Wages aren't a big deal, but learning a skilled trade is very important to me. A cheap living location would be much more appealing even with lower wages. Any ideas on where I should go from here? Thought about looking into shops that do agricultural repair work. These hours I work leave very little time to search unfortunately.
Milwaukee has lots of shops, afew are willing to train, your not to far from me.
If ya want a list I can do that too.
Middle of nowhere = Middle of no jobs
Any help would be great, and very much appreciated. Quantity is not important though. Quality is huge! I wanna be one of them grumpy ol piss and vinegar machinists one day, not some pip squeak operator! Anywhere willing and able to teach something of value would be awesome.
Originally Posted by Myrmidon
Then you will always work for others; being your own boss is also being your own salesman, and grumpy salesmen starve to death.
wanna be one of them grumpy ol piss and vinegar machinists one day
Yes, but before you can become the boss, ya gotta pay your dues! That is, put in the actual time learning. There doesn't seem to be anyone out there willing to teach though. Just the bare minimum.
Originally Posted by S_W_Bausch
I suggest that Practical Machinist is one of the best places in the country for a youngin to learn the trade, actually.
It's better than a book, and since few of us are concerned about hurting your feelings, perhaps more accurate than asking a co-worker.
And few of us are worried you will steal our job.
You will make mistakes on tooling, fixturing, speeds, feeds, etc. however you are being trained.
There is a term that is falling into disuse, and that is "journeyman".
Journeyman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Go take a look at the Wikipedia entry, a lot to take in.
In parts of Europe, as in later medieval Germany, spending time as a journeyman (Geselle), moving from one town to another to gain experience of different workshops, was an important part of the training of an aspirant master. Carpenters in Germany have retained the tradition of traveling journeymen even today, although only a few still practice it.
With the internet, you don't have to leave the house.
If you don't mind the "can you fix this" aspect of a job shop/fab shop/welding shop, and you truly don't mind living in a less crowded situation, then you can start your search where your skills could fill a vacuum when/where a shop closes, but be careful about WHY the shop has closed.
I doubt anyone would feel bad about filling a void if the shop owner has retired. And I really don't want to say it, but people do die, and that may create a vacuum in an area's skilled shops
Check the auctions, check the obituaries, go for day-trips into the country and see what sort of shops are out there. Check craigslist for groups of ads that resemble a shop liquidation. Once you find a "Kurt Vise" ad, search on the phone number. You find a whole list of stuff? Call and ask why.
There are real estate brokers that special in rural properties, perhaps get their mailings on specific zip codes?
Make sure the shop has internet capability.
You've got the cockiness to become a great machinist, and the right idea about finding a small shop in the country doing agricultural/machine work. Get out of the city or you will never learn to think clearly, which is essential for the challenges of machining. It will take about 5 years to get your brain working right. How you stumbled onto the right path I don't know.
Originally Posted by andywire
Some operators get to do a little more than push a button.. hey there is a need for them too.
Originally Posted by andywire
My opinion is that it would be best bet to find a medium size shop with a range of equipment, some cnc, but most manual machines. And a shop that eveybody uses everything, with exception to CNCs. that would be your best chance to learn the trade. I know some may question why bother with manual machines these days, but it can only make you better. Feeling it can teach you alot. Just hope you can get in a shop that they are not stingy stuck up assess.
First shop I worked 6 years. In that shop, everyone used everything with exception to the wire EDMs. Did a lot of dies, fixtures and gages and some repair parts for local factories. Was a good chance to get all around experience. I said not stingy stuck up assess, cause if you are any good, open minded, technical minded hands on kind, some of the older guys find you as a threat and try to keep you down. be hard to find a good shop without them. Do your best to pick up the ways, and find ways to make it better. when it gets repetitive and boring, move on. If you want to get the most you can, got to keep the interest there. i was good after 2 years, so spent a few years bored. Move on to a more CNC oriented shop. Take what you know and now learn to tell a computer how to do it. keep it going up and learning more
That's just my 1.125 cents
Originally Posted by andywire
'Best place in the country..' if one is young and flexible may no longer BE in THIS country. You might research Germany, Nederlands, Schweiz, or Scandihooliga.
I 'spect some among those are looking askance at the Turkish and 'Balkanese' Gastarbeiter these days...
+1 for the Milwaukee area, or slightly on the north side in the Menonomee Falls, Germantown area. Plenty of shops looking for guys, and the Falls is sort of out in the "boonies" from a guy from Chicago.
Anywhere theres a good machine shop with good people who are eager to share what they know and help others. Now how do you define good. Top of my list are those who never stop learning.
Look for an oilfield machinist needing help. They do threading the likes of which you will find no place else, you will learn some welding skills also. Plus they are about as crusty as the come.
Last edited by ronf; 02-20-2012 at 07:55 PM.
I would focus on cnc. I only know manual machining and if I actually had to get a job no one would hire me. I could get a job at a mine maintenance shop but the pay is bad maybe 12-15 no benefits. A good cnc guy makes more and works in AC and heated shops. Big companies hire highly skilled cnc machinists they dont usually hire someone who only knows conventional.
Excuse me,but Im intrigued why you want to emulate some"piss & vinegar"machinist you may have happened upon? I happened upon a few in my early days and thought "I dont want to be like that,even thought of like that!" I studiously avoided such guys;there are plenty who will help you without making a big deal of it. Im working part-time at my old firm as a "fitter-turner"-a peculiar British term covering all the disciplines.Im there because the company cant find trades people any more..!So theres a job for you but its in King's Lynn,Norfolk,England! Ted
You might be right but I think you'd be surprised at how difficult it is to get into any of these countries at present unless you come from an EU country or have very high qualifications. Of course you could try mumbling "Asylum" at the border as this seems to work for a surprising number.
Originally Posted by thermite
PM Sent. One of the few places apprenticeships offered.
Progressive Tool @ MFG. INC. Greensboro, NC
Where's GaryE? He'll tell you to get a hot dog cart.
Get a job in a mostly manual shop, you'll learn faster. Go to school nights for cnc programming and cad/cam. With all that, you'll do fine, especially if there's some grinding experience in there.
Be advised that the pool of talent isn't shrinking as fast as the number of available jobs.
Last edited by machinistrrt; 03-16-2012 at 01:25 AM.
If I was young and out to take over the world (ohh wait, I am!) I would be spending my time learning cnc, not onesie towsie manual stuff... But I like high tech, cutting edge, and making really complicated and challenging things. I would want to be in the line of work Tony and phsycomill (can't remember if that is his screen name) are in, fast paced, cutting edge, high volume manufacturing. For my hobby stuff give me an old worn out lathe, mill, and some dull tools and I will cobble together stuff for fun, but at work I want to play with everything I can't afford.
In Utah there are quite a few Job shops hiring, but they want to pay Minimum or slightly above for people just starting out or want 5+ years experience to journeyman levels for better pay, The one I work in has 1 ?journeyman?/35+ years, who runs the shop and does all the cam programming. The owner also has 35+ years and those two help all the newbies like me, niether is threatened considering their respective positions so you can learn from them. Got to be thick skinned though when you make the mistakes you will make. Other than those two the owners one son and me are the only ones who've completed schooling and have worked at it for a couple of years. If you want to make a wage you can live on it seems production machining in bigger companies is where the money is out here. Still lots of small job shops. Pretty far from IL though. Check out jobs.utah.gov for what's available out here. I've been checking surrounding states workforce listings and Utah seems to have more than most states surrounding us. ND looks good sometimes when I check their site as well.