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  1. #1
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    Default Considering relocating

    Hello all,

    Here's my situation:
    I've been a cnc machinist for 5 years, and I currently work for an aerospace manufacturer outside of Sacramento earning $21/hr.(about 52k per year with overtime).

    While I'm definitely not complaining about my wages, but the housing market here is too competitive to buy a home(starter homes are around 250k) and rents are getting steeper every year(around 1200-1300 for a 2br).

    I have relatives in the Charleston SC area, and I'm dumbfounded when I look at all the 3br/2ba homes with huge backyards selling for the 100-120k range. These homes would easily run 300-400k in my area.

    Yet when I tell my co-workers I'm considering leaving ca for SC they all scoff and say "yeah but you'll probably get paid 12/hr."

    I couldn't get a good sense from online job ads what the pay scale is.... Are wages for our trade really that low in the south eastern part of the US?

    Thanks!

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    Come to the Midwest. We do a little machining and home prices are very reasonable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lane_A View Post
    Hello all,

    Here's my situation:
    I've been a cnc machinist for 5 years, and I currently work for an aerospace manufacturer outside of Sacramento earning $21/hr.(about 52k per year with overtime).

    While I'm definitely not complaining about my wages, but the housing market here is too competitive to buy a home(starter homes are around 250k) and rents are getting steeper every year(around 1200-1300 for a 2br).

    I have relatives in the Charleston SC area, and I'm dumbfounded when I look at all the 3br/2ba homes with huge backyards selling for the 100-120k range. These homes would easily run 300-400k in my area.

    Yet when I tell my co-workers I'm considering leaving ca for SC they all scoff and say "yeah but you'll probably get paid 12/hr."

    I couldn't get a good sense from online job ads what the pay scale is.... Are wages for our trade really that low in the south eastern part of the US?

    Thanks!
    Profile doesn't give a klew to your age. Not the same path for a person whose '5 years' started right out of HS, isn't a parent, as for someone who re-training into CNC machining at 45 years of age and has 3 kids.

    Etc.

    Either way, there are precious few 'free lunch' situations in the US. If housing is cheaper, wages are either lower, or harder to even get a chance at earning at all. Statistics are PUBLISHED on all of that by Industry, State, and County/metro area.

    Bigger question on MY menu - or that of most folks married, planning to be, or with kids present or planned - would be where I WANTED to live. Then what I wanted to DO for a wage. Single person expecting to stay that way for a while might reverse those two priorities.

    Only once I had those answers would I see what I had to learn or do to get that job that made it all work.

    What am I saying? All 'past tense', long since. It is what I DID do. Worked for me and mine.

    Never met anyone actually in the 'workforce' that was BORN to be whatever job they are doing, possible exception of nipple-testers, of course.

    Downside to that sort of work is that one ordinarily has to pay for the privilege, spouse OR hired, not expect to take home a paycheck for it.

    Go figure. Life just ain't always fair, I guess..




    Bill

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    Ewlsey: I grew up in the Midwest actually, not ready to go back to those winters!

    Bill: Thanks for your reply. I'm 26, married with 1 child. My wife is a stay at home mom(we live on my income by choice). Not looking for a "free lunch", as you put it. Otherwise, I understand where you are coming from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lane_A View Post
    26, married with 1 child. My wife is a stay at home mom
    AKA 'full time Mother and home-maker'. I'm good with that. Or was for 18-odd years at one time anyway.

    Right there is what's more important than whatever the wages might be in SC this time of this year.

    What do you want five, ten, fifteen years out for your family?

    And what route gives you the better shot at actually getting there, and with your marriage still healthy?

    Being in your tenth or twentieth year as an 'employee' CNC operator do it all for you? Or not?

    Sorry if that sounds too much like '20 questions', but the cost of a 'starter' house ($20,500 for my first 3BR 1-car-garage one, several years younger than you are now, and still single..) is small potatoes in the grand scheme of life. It just SEEMS the most important.

    Oh.. and of course... life doesn't go according to even the best of plans... but if you HAVE a plan, at least you know what it is you are changing, why something used to matter, and whether it still should or not...



    Bill

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    Bill,
    I totally get where you are coming from.
    Chasing lower cost of living not the wisest course for long term career/life satisfaction, does that hit the nail on the head?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lane_A View Post
    Bill,
    I totally get where you are coming from.
    Chasing lower cost of living not the wisest course for long term career/life satisfaction, does that hit the nail on the head?
    It is not UNimportant. A rental or mortgage percent of gross you can manage counts for a lot.

    But there are other career, educational, and social factors, too.

    Job security as well as pay. Availability of other options if/as/when Day Job One goes pear-shaped. Alternative career paths as you learn and grow.

    Relative stress levels, wife & kid(s) as well as your own, family proximity/not, quality of schools for the kid(s), availability and type of leisure activities.

    Charleston ain't bad. But neither is Sacramento. Nor are either the only option.

    Housing cost is a 'big one', often the largest single spend, but still - only one element of many as to 'happy with life'.

    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lane_A View Post
    Hello all,

    Here's my situation:
    I've been a cnc machinist for 5 years, and I currently work for an aerospace manufacturer outside of Sacramento earning $21/hr.(about 52k per year with overtime).

    While I'm definitely not complaining about my wages, but the housing market here is too competitive to buy a home(starter homes are around 250k) and rents are getting steeper every year(around 1200-1300 for a 2br).

    I have relatives in the Charleston SC area, and I'm dumbfounded when I look at all the 3br/2ba homes with huge backyards selling for the 100-120k range. These homes would easily run 300-400k in my area.

    Yet when I tell my co-workers I'm considering leaving ca for SC they all scoff and say "yeah but you'll probably get paid 12/hr."

    I couldn't get a good sense from online job ads what the pay scale is.... Are wages for our trade really that low in the south eastern part of the US?

    Thanks!
    If you can, wait six months or more after the Presential Elections, the economy may or my guess go South, and consider where you move to that the area supports multiple Industries, a one Industry area, tends to have bigger hits if that Industry is impacted.

    Always a issue of supply & demand, theres a reason homes are high in your area: demand. If the economy tanks 12 hour jobs as a CNC operator may be rare if available at all...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve's Hobby View Post
    If you can, wait six months or more after the Presential ^^^^^ Pestilential ^^^^ Elections,
    Fixed that fer yah...

    If that sort of security matters, come to Metro DC.

    - Economy is in average health, Gummint spends more messing with it.

    - Economy is in magically good condition, Gummint spends more messing with it.

    - Economy is in disastrous shape, Gummint spends more messing with it.

    About 80% of your tax dollars pass through hands or HQ within 200 miles of DC on their way to wherever else they'll eventually be wasted.

    Gummint dasn't spend less within that zone, even when cutting elsewhere.

    That ain't RIGHT, but it is reliable.

    Bill

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    Visited California a couple of times. Thought it was beautiful. Loved the ocean. My sister in law is from California. She and my bro tried to make a go of it in California. They couldnt do it. Like many others they fled for economic reasons. In my opinion....California is one of those places where the cost of living vs. wages is way out of line with the majority of the country. You are definitely paying a high premium for the weather and the ocean. I dont know your specific skills, but it is not uncommon in the area I live for CNC operators to make $15-$20+ / hour.....average machinist $20-$25 /hr.....good machinist, moderate programmer $25-$30 /hr.....good programmer/production engineer $35ish /hr

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    Quote Originally Posted by toolsteel View Post
    Visited California a couple of times. Thought it was beautiful. Loved the ocean. My sister in law is from California. She and my bro tried to make a go of it in California. They couldnt do it. Like many others they fled for economic reasons. In my opinion....California is one of those places where the cost of living vs. wages is way out of line with the majority of the country. You are definitely paying a high premium for the weather and the ocean. I dont know your specific skills, but it is not uncommon in the area I live for CNC operators to make $15-$20+ / hour.....average machinist $20-$25 /hr.....good machinist, moderate programmer $25-$30 /hr.....good programmer/production engineer $35ish /hr
    Where to start... One could probably carve-out TEN different environments, all within California's borders. REALLY different, and not 'micro' climates, either. LARGE areas. About four very different coastal areas alone. Inland valleys. Desertification t'other side of 'rain shadow'. Colder summers than parts of Canada, up North.

    If there are things that approach 'universal' they might include over-regulation, high taxes, low benefit from taxes, fire and erosion in the South and chronic water-distribution issues, North-South and 'imported', everywhere BUT the North.

    Downsides or no, California is also a larger economy than all but a handful of entire Sovereign nations. So is Texas, which may yet surpass it.

    I'm serious. Putin's entire Russian Federation has a Hellacious large land-mass and scary nukes, but an economy around the same size as Florida or Pennsylvania.

    Bill

    PS: The OP's figures for 'starter' homes? Stick a one at the left, or a zero at the right for San Jose and surrounds. 'Starters', not average.

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    Think I would put HOW I want to live and what lifestyle I want to live at the top of my list. You want MaMa to stay at home with the kids and the kids to grow up with a back yard......sounds to me like thats not gonna happen where you are. People tend to get narrow vision about where they live and think they could never find somewhere else they would be happy. I could live North, South, East or West and find something about each one that would be unique and enjoyable. I have lived inner-city, suburb and rural......each had benefits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monarchist View Post
    Where to start... One could probably carve-out TEN different environments, all within California's borders. REALLY different, and not 'micro' climates, either. LARGE areas. About four very different coastal areas alone. Inland valleys. Desertification t'other side of 'rain shadow'. Colder summers than parts of Canada, up North.

    If there are things that approach 'universal' they might include over-regulation, high taxes, low benefit from taxes, fire and erosion in the South and chronic water-distribution issues, North-South and 'imported', everywhere BUT the North.

    Downsides or no, California is also a larger economy than all but a handful of entire Sovereign nations. So is Texas, which may yet surpass it.

    I'm serious. Putin's entire Russian Federation has a Hellacious large land-mass and scary nukes, but an economy around the same size as Florida or Pennsylvania.

    Bill

    PS: The OP's figures for 'starter' homes? Stick a one at the left, or a zero at the right for San Jose and surrounds. 'Starters', not average.
    Thats all spot on Bill. Many people from the Bay area are shocked to find out how "cheap" Sacramento is, when they are used to seeing condos sell for 800k and up. HUGE variety of places/lifestyles from cow towns in the central valley, to Silicon Valley executive utopias like Atherton.

    As you all have said, they are many factors that play into a decision like this, not the least of which is "Where do I ACTUALLY want to live?". I guess I'm not well traveled enough to say I know for sure .

    Anyone from the southeastern US care to chime in with some insight?

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    If you are pretty good you can make what you are making now in Alabama. But it might take awhile to find a job that pays that. But you can be right near $20 an hour in a bunch of shops here. The cost of living is cheap. Look around Huntsville Alabama. Plenty going on around here. And the companies just keep coming.

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    Tucson is pretty cheap. Twenty one dollars an hour is not that tough of a wage to get at a good shop here in town. Houses are around 150,000 for something nice. Its hot as hell so that part sucks. You wont have traffic jams and there is no winter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kpotter View Post
    Tucson is pretty cheap. Twenty one dollars an hour is not that tough of a wage to get at a good shop here in town. Houses are around 150,000 for something nice. Its hot as hell so that part sucks. You wont have traffic jams and there is no winter.
    I lived in Arizona for a year in 1980's, I loved it, and would like to live there anytime, but...Real Estate is low and will not appreciate anytime, anyway like the metro areas of CA. For the average guy like me to buy a house or a building for my business and end up half a mill to a full mill ahead, while the business just pays the bills, the advantage to buy something and leverage your money is also a factor, the mixed economy another, Arizona does not have the mixed economy which can bad outcomes if you are depending on one or two major Industries, traffic, headaches,crowds yes, but there is a reason that the folks from China are buying lots of houses in the Million buck range here, if you just want to get by ok, but stay West young Man, invest, leverage, learn grow, the demand for you skills is here, like no where else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve's Hobby View Post
    For the average guy like me to buy a house or a building for my business and end up half a mill to a full mill ahead, while the business just pays the bills, the advantage to buy something and leverage your money is also a factor, the mixed economy another, Arizona does not have the mixed economy which can bad outcomes if you are depending on one or two major Industries, traffic, headaches,crowds yes, but there is a reason that the folks from China are buying lots of houses in the Million buck range here, if you just want to get by ok, but stay West young Man, invest, leverage, learn grow, the demand for you skills is here, like no where else.
    IF the silicon valley bubble never bursts, and IF the Chinese never discover the interior of the country... Lots of people were certain they could buy a house or three and make a million in easy money no matter what they paid back in 2006 too. Houses are terrible investments and if you're that sold on leverage, why not lever something more liquid, higher returning, not taxed every year just to own it, without the maintenance bill and/or with lower transaction costs?

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    I think 21 is doable depending on how sharp you are. I would pay that for a good machinist.

    My expectations would be you could take a print code and material and get me parts with little to no bother. I would also expect you to have good troubleshooting skills and other mechanical/controls aptitude and be able to learn to program etc.

    I would also expect feedback on how to make things run smoother.

    I am located in texas, and pay guys around this number +/-.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bamatj View Post
    If you are pretty good you can make what you are making now in Alabama. But it might take awhile to find a job that pays that. But you can be right near $20 an hour in a bunch of shops here. The cost of living is cheap. Look around Huntsville Alabama. Plenty going on around here. And the companies just keep coming.
    Huntsville for many years was a hidden gem in the South. An old quip about it was the only thing wrong with Huntsville is it's last name. The media and TV sitcoms have always taken every cheap shot at Alabama but I lived there for years and found it quite nice. But then again I loved it in Alaska so I am probably nuts.

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    Are you a cnc machinist or a cnc machine operator? People tend to mix the two but the wages are different.
    Bob

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