Average Hourly Rate for CNC Mill Programming
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    Cool Average Hourly Rate for CNC Mill Programming

    Hello there!

    I'm curious to all the programmers out there what does your shop bill programming time at?

    Does $100 an hour seem to high or low? I've been hearing mixed thoughts.

    This is programming for job shop work, three axis, in the United States.


    Let me know,

    Thanks!

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    Are you talking about sub-contract programmers? Or Programming time in the shop?

    Contract guys are all over the map depending on complexity, reputation, etc. I've seen guys charge from 30 to 250 an hour.
    For shop based programming time, 100 sounds about right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrickTactical View Post
    Hello there!

    I'm curious to all the programmers out there what does your shop bill programming time at?

    Does $100 an hour seem to high or low? I've been hearing mixed thoughts.

    Let me know,

    Thanks!
    Do you really expect to get a good answer from a shitty question like that? So many variables...programming what? What part of the country?...to name just a few.

    Your question is the same as asking how much it costs to go out for diner at a restaurant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goooose View Post
    Do you really expect to get a good answer from a shitty question like that? So many variables...programming what? What part of the country?...to name just a few.

    Your question is the same as asking how much it costs to go out for diner at a restaurant.
    Updated the post. Thanks for the kind words!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Dickman View Post
    Are you talking about sub-contract programmers? Or Programming time in the shop?

    Contract guys are all over the map depending on complexity, reputation, etc. I've seen guys charge from 30 to 250 an hour.
    For shop based programming time, 100 sounds about right.
    I appreciate the feedback!

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    A professional sitting at a $30k seat of Catia making shit for Boeing happen? Or John Saunders playing in Fusion?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    A professional sitting at a $30k seat of Catia making shit for Boeing happen? Or John Saunders playing in Fusion?
    How about a professional with a seat of MCAM for contract work? Let me know!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    A professional sitting at a $30k seat of Catia making shit for Boeing happen? Or John Saunders playing in Fusion?
    Hahahaha

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrickTactical View Post
    How about a professional with a seat of MCAM for contract work? Let me know!

    I made $45/hr contract for manual machining at an engineering place.... I would guess close to Larry's est at about $100/hr for programming... Why are you asking???

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrickTactical View Post
    How about a professional with a seat of MCAM for contract work? Let me know!
    So you travel with a laptop? Are you an actual machinist?
    Like, you can program a part, and hand a set-up guy a thumb-drive, print, and a set-up sheet, and he will produce a good part.
    With solid part holding strategies. And good feeds/speeds to be efficient without tearing shit up?

    And, now you want to venture out with an add on craigslist? Because either you think your boss is fucking you, or the grass is obviously greener?

    How do we know? Lots of shops in Washington. Maybe there is a demand for somebody like that. Only one way to find out.
    But, I can't see it paying more than $50/hr unless you are an absolute wizard.

    Is your seat of MCAM legit, and current? Or did it come from a torrent site?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    So you travel with a laptop? Are you an actual machinist?
    Like, you can program a part, and hand a set-up guy a thumb-drive, print, and a set-up sheet, and he will produce a good part.
    With solid part holding strategies. And good feeds/speeds to be efficient without tearing shit up?

    And, now you want to venture out with an add on craigslist? Because either you think your boss is fucking you, or the grass is obviously greener?

    How do we know? Lots of shops in Washington. Maybe there is a demand for somebody like that. Only one way to find out.
    But, I can't see it paying more than $50/hr unless you are an absolute wizard.

    Is your seat of MCAM legit, and current? Or did it come from a torrent site?

    damn dude!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrickTactical View Post
    Hello there!

    This is programming for job shop work, three axis, in the United States.


    Let me know,

    Thanks!
    Seriously? The United States? Job shop work? If you're that vague with the place you're having quote your work I can see why they just threw out the $100 number.

    Let me help you out since you don't seem to get it. Places where it costs more to live, typically they will charge a higher rate. If you are asking for programming of simple drilled/tapped features, probably on the cheaper side. Complex 3D forms will be on the more expensive side. Somebody who has pirated a copy of Mastercam or is using Fusion out of their basement, probably on the cheaper side. A true professional organisation that has reputation, and insurance, will be on the higher side.

    So...for simple parts and a guy using Fusion from his basement in Detroit, maybe $20/hr. An engineering firm in San Francisco programming large 3D forms, maybe closer to $200/hr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goooose View Post
    Seriously? The United States? Job shop work? If you're that vague with the place you're having quote your work I can see why they just threw out the $100 number.

    Let me help you out since you don't seem to get it. Places where it costs more to live, typically they will charge a higher rate. If you are asking for programming of simple drilled/tapped features, probably on the cheaper side. Complex 3D forms will be on the more expensive side. Somebody who has pirated a copy of Mastercam or is using Fusion out of their basement, probably on the cheaper side. A true professional organisation that has reputation, and insurance, will be on the higher side.

    So...for simple parts and a guy using Fusion from his basement in Detroit, maybe $20/hr. An engineering firm in San Francisco programming large 3D forms, maybe closer to $200/hr.


    and the guys at the top likely have a paper to prove worth.

    Doctoral Degree | Mechanical Engineering

    and likely a $20 guy in Detroit can write a program just as fast..Agree not all but some.

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    The amount you bill has to be directly proportional to the amount of skin you have in the game.

    For example, look at auto mechanics. You have the professional guy with a nice shop, waiting area, loaner car, alignment rack, tire machines, scan tools, etc. If it's broken, he can fix it. He likely charges from $65 to $125 per hour, depending mostly on where you live. Cheaper out here in BFE. Much more expensive somewhere like Manhattan.

    On the flip side, you have the "mobile mechanic" guy who has a rusty Chevy Astro van and some Pittsburgh tools. He can do oil changes, brake jobs, maybe wheel bearings and basic electrical stuff. He may not have insurance. He may want to be paid in cash. He will likely vanish like a fart in the wind if you have any issues with the work he has done. This guy charges anywhere from $15 to $40 per hour, depending on how rusty the Astro is and a few other factors filed under the heading "shady".

    Now, the world needs both. They exist mostly in parallel, with each serving a different clientele. But, they both claim to be mechanics.


    Same for programming. Are you doing fixture design, cycle time guarantees, tool specs, tool life estimates, 3D tool paths, 4 or 5 axis programming, exotic materials, micro machining, etc? Do you have liability insurance? Do you offer any guarantee of your work?

    Or, are you writing 2.5D programs from your easy chair with a free seat of Fusion and a can of Pringles?


    Personally, I think it's a long shot business model unless you have a slug of known clients who need your skills and know what you can do. I've been programming a while now, and I still almost always have to post a program more than once due to simple errors or miss matches in my tooling. I can't imagine trying to sort that out over the internet from some remote location.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    A professional sitting at a $30k seat of Catia making shit for Boeing happen? Or John Saunders playing in Fusion?
    or better yet just ask Jon Banquer

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    Quote Originally Posted by solidworkscadman View Post
    or better yet just ask Jon Banquer
    Well theres a name I haven't heard in a while

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    Quote Originally Posted by goooose View Post
    Well theres a name I haven't heard in a while
    I hurd if you call his name three times he'll appear.

    Hahahaha beatlejuice ref.

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    OP asked what do you bill programming time at, not what does a programmer earn.

    Range is normally $60/hr for simple stuff up $200/hr for complex 5 axis of high end turn-mill stuff. You've got to charge at least what it costs you, plus a bit in my opinion.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

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