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Need Some Lifes Advice On finding a New Machining Job


Feb 9, 2017
Chambersburg PA USA
What part of PA are you in?

We're hiring, only in operation 2 years with 16 employees at the moment but growing. The guy that's programming our lathes now was working in a butcher shop 18 months ago and had never seen a CNC before. We'll train anyone that's keen to learn. We're in the Chambersburg area.


Mar 8, 2015
If you have access to use a machine for personal use I would take advantage of that. Learn how G-codes work so you know what you're looking at when you read a program and learn how to use a cad/cam program of some sort. One of the more experienced guys in your shop might be willing to teach you all he knows, take advantage of that. Here in California the machining industry sucks. The one shop I would like to work at is 1.5hrs away and he can't afford to pay me a decent wage. Small shops are disappearing and the big shops (corporations) are being run by people that have no experience. I can set up and edit programs on CNC mills and lathes and turn handles on mills and lathes. Companies here in CA just want a lathe or mill set up and not someone that can do both. Programmers don't even touch a machine and never have. The average pay for a set up operator is $15. hour and management doesn't look at experience they look at who's getting paid what. I'm 51 and can't find a job because I can't work for $15hr. I enjoy machining and I'm frustrated at how the industry has gone in my area. At your age learning how the machine works and knowing cad/cam programming will make you more valuable down the road. Remember that it cost your employer money to power up a machine so you can do your own thing, doesn't happen here. As allready stated remain humble. Only you know if staying at your current job is worth it. I would talk to the boss and try to work something out so you both benefit. Guys like you just might be the ones that save this industry. Best of luck with your carrier.


Jun 28, 2012
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
Just got back from fishing trip .. New guy to our fishing group is a fellow who has tool and die,machinist back ground and is a few years from retiring... He says most all the new guys loading and tweaking CNC parts are quick to get the machine up ...then spend all between time checking emails and playing games on their cell phones...
just a few weeks or months studying G goad or other programming would/could/might put one in the line for next better job..
Go figure you have two years and have not learned G code..

OT: fishing was slow but still we had to eat some fish for breakfast to cleat out limit so to go fishing the next day...

Yes we had to come back to the states so he could get back to his job...Ice looks like good to mid April or so.

D Dubeau

Hot Rolled
Jan 29, 2007
Ontario, Canada
You're young and have an opportunity to learn. Use this time to learn as much as you can about as much as you can. Think of it as an investment in yourself. I was in the same boat once, and was continually told "ya, we'll get you a raise in a couple months, etc...." It never happened, or it was $0.25/hr (like tipping a penny IMO....). But the opportunities to learn new things and work in different departments were always there so I took them, and didn't complain about "doing more work for less money" I looked at it as an investment in myself, that since moving companies a couple times (due to bankruptcies...) has really paid dividends many times over. NEVER turn down an opportunity to learn something, or step outside your comfort zone to learn something. Be as versatile as you can, and eventually it will pay off either with an employer who values and utilizes all of your skills, or with the opportunity of successful self employment.

We've had a couple kids come through here lately and all they want to do is click a couple buttons on a computer and push the big green button on the machine. When I ask if they want to learn how to run the CNC lathe they're response is "that's not what I get paid for, pay me more money and I'll do it". Funny. Nice work ethic....

As for learning G code. Pick up this book CNC Programming Handbook, Third Edition: Peter Smid: 978831133474: Amazon.com: Books


Sep 4, 2006
Sacramento County, California, USA California
Or you could move to SW Washington state - send me your resume. AMS-Jobs (at) appliedmotionsystems (d0t) c0m

This is some excellent advice. I was laid off from my last aerospace job in the late 1970's when Jimmie ""peanuts" Carter cancelled the first B-1 bomber. I collected unemployment for a short time and then took a lesser paying job just to keep the lights on.

While I was collecting unemployment, I attended a seminar about finding a good job. The instructor at one point focused on the possibility of relocation. Bingo!

I started searching in other parts of California and even the US. I got an excellent job that lasted some 12 years in Northern California until I left after finishing law school.

I can't thank that instructor enough. I had never thought of relocation. If I were the OP here, I'd jump on your offer with both feet!