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Graduating from machinist school soon - looking for work

Mad Dad

Hot Rolled
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Location
Carlsbad (San Diego), CA
Hello all,

I've been attending the Machinist Program at MiraCosta College in Carlsbad (San Diego) California and will be looking for my first job in December. The program consists of 500 hour of in-class time on both manual and CNC machines, plus homework and the additional time I have been putting in on my own. I'm at the top of my class, and currently half way through the program I am where the last class ended. We are being taught Fusion 360 and I am getting good at using/programming with it. I have been a lifetime hobby machinist and want to make a career out of something I love doing. I hold degrees in Computer Science (Cal. State University) and Mechanical Engineering. At 55 years old I'm no spring chicken, but I'm exceptionally reliable, make excellent decisions and work very hard. In my previous career I was a CEO, CMO, COO, VP and Director for companies that did over 1 billion dollars a year in business. I am starting over and I am totally ok with the starting pay for a new machinist. I am following my heart and want to do something I love. I love machining! My email address is [email protected]. Advise, leads very much appreciated. Thank you! Regis.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Hello all,

I've been attending the Machinist Program at MiraCosta College in Carlsbad (San Diego) California and will be looking for my first job in December. The program consists of 500 hour of in-class time on both manual and CNC machines, plus homework and the additional time I have been putting in on my own. I'm at the top of my class, and currently half way through the program I am where the last class ended. We are being taught Fusion 360 and I am getting good at using/programming with it. I have been a lifetime hobby machinist and want to make a career out of something I love doing. I hold degrees in Computer Science (Cal. State University) and Mechanical Engineering. At 55 years old I'm no spring chicken, but I'm exceptionally reliable, make excellent decisions and work very hard. In my previous career I was a CEO, CMO, COO, VP and Director for companies that did over 1 billion dollars a year in business. I am starting over and I am totally ok with the starting pay for a new machinist. I am following my heart and want to do something I love. I love machining! My email address is [email protected]. Advise, leads very much appreciated. Thank you! Regis.

...But you are "Mad".....:D

who want's to bring that into a well running shop ?
 

cameraman

Diamond
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Hello all,

I've been attending the Machinist Program at MiraCosta College in Carlsbad (San Diego) California and will be looking for my first job in December. The program consists of 500 hour of in-class time on both manual and CNC machines, plus homework and the additional time I have been putting in on my own. I'm at the top of my class, and currently half way through the program I am where the last class ended. We are being taught Fusion 360 and I am getting good at using/programming with it. I have been a lifetime hobby machinist and want to make a career out of something I love doing. I hold degrees in Computer Science (Cal. State University) and Mechanical Engineering. At 55 years old I'm no spring chicken, but I'm exceptionally reliable, make excellent decisions and work very hard. In my previous career I was a CEO, CMO, COO, VP and Director for companies that did over 1 billion dollars a year in business. I am starting over and I am totally ok with the starting pay for a new machinist. I am following my heart and want to do something I love. I love machining! My email address is [email protected]. Advise, leads very much appreciated. Thank you! Regis.

Hey Regis, awesome backstory.

Maybe you'd fit in well at a startup / "Mature" incubated company that's starting to get off the ground with decent equipment and processes but also where you could wear different hats and maybe draw upon your previous experience. + have a more considered "learning path" that wraps very tightly to core product development. + possibly have a stake in such a company ? [In a good way not in a bad way.].

I almost set up / moved to San Diego but settled on Colorado and New Mexico. [I'm not formally a machinist but scientist / technologist / company owner.]. (Wife has weird "Vibe" we may move to the West Coast before too long 3-5 years.).

Would you be looking to stay in San Diego area or are you able to 'Up-sticks" and make a move somewhere else ?

@Mad Dad what's your "Math"/ mathematics like ?

Ta.

Eric,

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

** If looking for something "Bigger" / more corporate then maybe check out Curtis Wright see what they have to offer. They tend to foster the more 'Nerdy" end of engineering / machining hand in glove with modern management (maybe / maybe not your thing) but they doooo like relatively smart people that are forward thinking and offer some professional opportunities.

++ (I just turned 50 this year lol. A lot of people that I knew that had higher up positions , VP of this and VP of that , kinda completely lost there jobs after the 2008 "thing" but most of them that I knew did not really figure out that to stay employed they would have to take a cut in pay and roll their sleeves up and perhaps for a while or a long while step down one or two levels. Some of them friends of mine were still looking for pre-2008 jobs - the kind of jobs where you put your feet up on the desk and tell a larger hierarchy of middle managers "What to do" ... Those guys pretty much ended up staying at home with their respective dogs etc. not understanding that the world IS different. @Mad Dad - good to see you seem to understand that and want to get stuck into stuff again - Not sure how much "Age discrimination" creeps in at 55 years going into things at the ground level ? For me experience / maturity / initiative counts for a lot. ).
 

BROTHERFRANK

Stainless
Joined
Dec 20, 2013
Location
SoCal
I am very familiar with San Diego and Riverside/San Bernardino counties. Sounds like you may be based in North County San Diego. What distance are you willing to commute? Just about every shop I have ever interacted with is always looking for good people. Attitude and reliability is probably 80% of what they are looking for out of a beginning machine operator. Don't know your skills or capabilities so not sure if you are a 'machinist'. No one in the shop is going to care if you were a vp or ceo or whatever, in fact it may be a liability. Here are some great shops you could check out:
Greene Group (Southwest Greene) in Oceanside
Western CNC in Vista
Alvarado Micro Precision in Vista
Advanced Global in San Marcos
Price Products in Escondido
C&H in Escondido
Meziere in Escondido
Optiforms in Temecula
Axxis in Perris

I think a lot of shops large or small would give you a chance if you can be a good listener, follow directions and ask intelligent questions when appropriate.
 

cameraman

Diamond
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
I am very familiar with San Diego and Riverside/San Bernardino counties. Sounds like you may be based in North County San Diego. What distance are you willing to commute? Just about every shop I have ever interacted with is always looking for good people. Attitude and reliability is probably 80% of what they are looking for out of a beginning machine operator. Don't know your skills or capabilities so not sure if you are a 'machinist'. No one in the shop is going to care if you were a vp or ceo or whatever, in fact it may be a liability. Here are some great shops you could check out:
Greene Group (Southwest Greene) in Oceanside
Western CNC in Vista
Alvarado Micro Precision in Vista
Advanced Global in San Marcos
Price Products in Escondido
C&H in Escondido
Meziere in Escondido
Optiforms in Temecula
Axxis in Perris

I think a lot of shops large or small would give you a chance if you can be a good listener, follow directions and ask intelligent questions when appropriate.

I think a lot of shops large or small would give you a chance if you can be a good listener, follow directions and ask intelligent questions when appropriate.

"Asks intelligent questions when appropriate "

^^^ That is a key factor for knowing you can leave or trust someone to get on with things and NOT have micro-manage people versus having a very high maintenance employee / trainee. I have to admit that makes a big difference for a smaller team. Obviously (on the job) training is a key aspect of what you will be doing @Mad Dad.

@BROTHERFRANK thanks for also throwing that list up there... (parasitically / vicariously I'll be checking those companies out also :-) .).
 

BROTHERFRANK

Stainless
Joined
Dec 20, 2013
Location
SoCal
Just thought of another one. BrakeTech in Lake Elsinore. Ex-Superbike racer turned super brake supplier for the motorcycle industry. Has his own line of rotors and carriers. Business is really growing. Just got his second mill. He needs someone that can run parts and be more than a button pusher in the future. He needs to spend his time on the business/sales and design aspects of his products. He would be willing to train someone on his current processes and set ups.
 

Mad Dad

Hot Rolled
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Location
Carlsbad (San Diego), CA
Hello Eric. Great input and thank you! I will check out Curtis Wright. I would not move to the West Coast if I was you. I moved here 30 years ago when it was cheap. My originally house (sold/upgraded a long time ago) cost me $250K. Same house would now cost you $1,200,000. Regular gas is $3.49/gallon. I pay $14K in property taxes alone. Just too expensive to live here unless you are rich or moved here a long time ago like I did. I am not looking to relocate. My wife is tenured into the school system (35 years) and both my daughters will be in college next year. I can walk to the beach. Best thing about San Diego is the weather, which is why I will probably live my remaining years here. 68 average in the winter, 72 degree in the summer and no humidity. A true paradise. As for my math background; 4 semesters of calculus, linear algebra, discrete math, engineering statistics and much more. Wouldn't take much for me to get another degree in math or physics, but that is not the direction I prefer to go. Thank you again for the feedback!! Very much appreciated.
 

Mad Dad

Hot Rolled
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Location
Carlsbad (San Diego), CA
Thank you Brotherfrank! I will check out all those places. I think my previous background could hurt me, but I am hoping a bright business owner would understand they are getting a someone that is smart, eager to learn, respectful and a team player. Not your usual newbie, but I am only making this change because I love machining. Extremely rewarding to make something and take pride in the quality of your work. I can't wait to start. Thank you again!
 

Mad Dad

Hot Rolled
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Location
Carlsbad (San Diego), CA
Thank you for the reply Cameraman! On the job training/mentoring is by far the most important thing I will look for in a new employer. I want to learn to be the best - top money is at the bottom of my list. Thank you again!!
 

Mad Dad

Hot Rolled
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Location
Carlsbad (San Diego), CA
Just a quick follow up: I was hired 4 days after I graduated - at my very first interview. Super excited to be working on jet engines! I also had another 4 companies that wanted to interview me within the first week of graduating. So happy I made this career change!
 

BROTHERFRANK

Stainless
Joined
Dec 20, 2013
Location
SoCal
Congratulations! There is always room for someone willing to work hard and keep pushing their skillset. I mentioned this thread to Jeff Davis and he said you were one of the top students they had.
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
With a background in computers, you might research what items a computer company might send out to be made at a machine shop. Computer case prototypes are the first thing I think of, and custom heat sinks. . One Stop Systems is in Escondido , only 10 miles away, and they make a variety of special computers.
Once you have a registered company name and a decent CNC mill you might knock on their door.

QT:[Super excited to be working on jet engines! ]
Sometimes it is hard to beat a good job.
 
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toolsteel

Titanium
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Location
NW Wisconsin (BFE)
Couple thoughts...
You mentioned programming. Its a good gig....I enjoy it. I am also glad I spent 20 years in the shop prior to getting into programming. Years as a manual machinist then a CNC machinist, then a set up troubleshooting position are valuable to a programmer. I have seen a few guys who were real good with CAM software fail because they had little machining experience. My point is.....get the ground work done before getting into a programming gig is a good long term plan.
Secondly.....as your career progresses dont shy away from new tech. You will not succeed by trying to be in the group that thinks they can hold back the tide of new tech by hugging their Bridgeport twice a day.......instead get continuous training (easier said than done) and be the guy understanding the new tech. Current new tech = additive, robotics etc.
 

Old Alchemy

Plastic
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Location
Greensboro
In something of the same boat as you are on with making a career. However, I would interested in knowing more about what your course work was like and how it helped with making the change.

All the best with making the switch!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Toolmaker51

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Location
Central West Missouri
Couple thoughts...
You mentioned programming. Its a good gig....I enjoy it. I am also glad I spent 20 years in the shop prior to getting into programming. Years as a manual machinist then a CNC machinist, then a set up troubleshooting position are valuable to a programmer. I have seen a few guys who were real good with CAM software fail because they had little machining experience. <snipped> Secondly.....as your career progresses dont shy away from new tech. You will not succeed by trying to be in the group that thinks they can hold back the tide of new tech by hugging their Bridgeport twice a day.......instead get continuous training (easier said than done) and be the guy understanding the new tech. Current new tech = additive, robotics etc.

Unless you are much older, hugging twice a day is therapeutic; but only a K&T 2D, Cincinnati Monoset, Pacemaker-Monarch or Axelson, any DeVlieg, G&L something, you get the idea. Appreciation for tech is best founded understanding how it came to be. Don't let a professor clone you or vise-versa, think independently + creatively.

Last evening channel surfing, came across the old "how'd they build the pyramids" thing, (as if Shatner has a clue, LOL). Because there is little visual or written description, and modernity doesn't equal creativity; it's always credited to aliens.
Right-O.
All those pictograms and not one thing a clue to how? Could it be that knowledge was so common nobody BOTHERED depict it? All them aliens, yet not one taught a thing? Worked in the middle of the night? Just hauled off all the sand from carving?

We've ALL seen cases where a solution comes off the wall, some 'untrained' soul who can visualize beyond what they remember.
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
Just a quick follow up: I was hired 4 days after I graduated - at my very first interview. Super excited to be working on jet engines! I also had another 4 companies that wanted to interview me within the first week of graduating. So happy I made this career change!

A couple of months on that job now, so how is it going for you. What surprises did you find?
is there a mentor there to help you with starting ropes?
 








 
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