I donno man. I'm probably about your age, and have about the same background. I went to nursing school, but dropped out cause nursing grads can't find jobs. I went to U of M for awhile, but didn't think I was getting my hard earned moneys worth. Aside from that, a lot of my friends with degrees are working crappy entry level jobs that don't require education. I'm currently working as a machinist. More like an apprentice. Up here, the right place will pay you around $15/hr to square off blocks on a bridgeport or something, and maybe make some simple parts. You'd be surprised how many can't get the hang of it, so I think shops are starting to get worried.
The vocational programs in many places have been dismantled years ago, and there has not been much entry of new blood, while older guys have been steadily retiring. This is starting to worry shop owners about a skilled labor shortage. Many owners claim it is already here, and they are ill prepared for it. I'd say give it a try if you enjoy it. You won't get rich, but right now, jobs are hard to come by in many professions. For as long as it takes to train a good machinist, I think they are going to be in demand for the foreseeable future... That is to say, GOOD machinists. This is not the easiest skilled trade to learn.
If things don't work out, you can always go back to college. I have about two years to go on my degree if I choose to go back. I got burned out on college long ago though. Maybe had I found something I liked, it would be different. I like making stuff though
I'd go back and finish were I you. The system I work at presently has 8 openings for new grad nurses. The other major system in the area is probably the same. The skillset is more portable than the building trades.
Originally Posted by andywire
While there is much to be said for the machine trades, the trend is down even if all offshored/outsourced stuff comes back. Computerization and automation is the reason. There is simply no need for the numbers of people who used to work the trade. I'm not saying give up on machining, just that it's better to have a few more arrows in the job quiver. If you've got multiple skillsets, you can work in whatever field is hot; you're not locked into one path.
I would say get your degree, too.
BUT "The master electrician could arrange the jobs and do the oversight, while apprentices or journeymen could do the wiring (and maybe earn a bonus for being the ones that get dirty? )
NO SIR, you do not DO that. YOU have become an Electrician, you do not have a "Master" to tell you what to do, and pay you 10 bucks an hour to crawl through hundred year old attics. YOU are the MASTER!
I would not have crawled those attics, were I being paid, in those days, 6 bucks an hour. BUT, a new construction was good for MAYBE a thou, including new entrance and panel. I live in a place that has LOTS of 100 year plus houses, knob and tube.
Many of those houses are up for sale, the people are getting old. Before you can sell that house, you have to upgrade the electrical system. Most do not have 3 wire systems, grounded outlets.
Dirt, especially sooty dirt from attics, washes off easily. You would PROBABLY double your income, did you not feel as most electricians do, "We don't DO that." Somebody sucks shit out of septic tanks. YOU can't get DIRTY, while you make very decent money? AND, you ain't NEVER going to send THAT work offshore.
I kind of wish I had stayed with that. I walked in 4 inches of grease and graphite on my cranes, every day. I had to wash my hands before I took a piss. Genuine greaseball.
Manufacturing will NEVER get back to where it was. Too many CNC machines, one man can load and unload, as well as program half a dozen machines.
Machining, buy all the machines you want, you will be disappointed as to your return. IF you have a large fortune to spend on it,you will shortly have a small fortune.
More than half of the people on here are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Barely making the cost of the power they need to run the machines, and partly because their clients are so slow pay.
I could NEVER take a Weedeater to you for repair, and tell you "I am 30 days net. Expect a check about then." They would tell you to come back when you have the money.
Bidnessmen have BIG problems, many of them because of that, the Landlord does not put you on "30 days net". Rent's due, pay me or get out.
Back to school, or wire old houses, IF you understand electricity. If you don't, find something else.
"I like making stuff though."
With that attitude, why in the hell are you talking about "squaring blocks"?
Hey, IF you can look at a line drawing, a "print" and see that what YOU are doing is removing ALL the stuff that does not fit the print, you could BE a Machinist.
If you have a cubic foot of steel, and a print that says that Micheal Angelo's Pietta is hidden in there, you, AS a GOOD Machinist COULD carve it out of there. If you could not take a print for a flat washer and make it with a CNC, go for Nursing.
IF you can make simple stuff, without instruction, a whistle out of a Willow twig (I am old) forget it, you have no imagination.
I have never seen a piece on my machine that I could not make to the exact spec of the print. I may START with 500 pounds of steel, and I may end up with 32 pounds of steel, but the part was good.
I have also started with 50 tons of steel, and ended up with 48 tons, but the part was good.
What was/is your major? You reference engineering and science, but what specifically was your major?
Originally Posted by gearspin24
If it's engineering or comp science then stay in school if your 3 quarters or even half done. Most guys coming out with BS eng degrees are making ~60k to start. Not too bad.
Get the degree and buy some old machines and play around for a few grand... that's what I'm attempting to do. If you decide you don't really like it sell the machines and move on... or get a part time job at a machine shop to pay your way through school.
It's sort of disheartening to read the current state of manufacturing and wages in the US. I would have guessed $20 to start was around the norm.. but to hear $12 for an operator job kid of sucks.