Precision Machining School, Jobs, and Advice
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default Precision Machining School, Jobs, and Advice

    Hi all,

    I'll be starting a 9 month machining program at the end of August. The course is taught by a friend and has a significant emphasis on CNC programming. We also get NIMS certified to graduate.

    I'm wondering what you folks think of this and what advice you would give. What certifications or training should I pursue after graduation?

    I'm a young (mid-twenties), fairly capable guy, with a varied work history - everything from laying carpet, to backpack guiding, to finance (my current occupation).
    Perhaps it's the nerves of making a big life change. I'm concerned about finding a job here in South Dakota where me and the lady can support a family.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Michigan
    Posts
    9,956
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3358
    Likes (Received)
    3566

    Default

    Any certificate you hold is a plus to getting the better shop job.
    Work hard and ace the class.
    You might get a job in a CNC shop while taking this course..to get a year or two in the trade.

    laying carpet, to backpack guiding, to finance (my current occupation). all can be a good/ok income...

    Backpack guiding sounds fun..any chance of you starting your own business in that?

    Work for an older guy's back pack service and buy him out?
    Recreational geology / gold prospecting / family back packing / learn to chord play that guitar and sing a few songs build a camp fire, own or lease a few horses...sounds good.

    I knew a fellow who gave away a highly successful business because he cut a deal to proved for his retirement. His friend and manager took ownership with a private deal ..Great deal for both, business is still a going concern (big money maker).
    My buddy and I would give the older owner, rabbits in trade for a pizza.. that is how i got to know about this secret deal. He was a German guy and only wanted fresh killed, properly cleaned wild rabbits in and out of season.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Idaho
    Posts
    653
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    132
    Likes (Received)
    708

    Default

    In answer to the question on guiding as a job... know the difference between a large pizza and a guides salary... a large pizza can feed a family of four.

    Going to school to learn machining is a good way to get your foot in the door. Unfortunately, most of the skills that you learn will not transition well to the actual job, it has to be way to general to accommodate the masses. Most everything that we all know is the result of experience on the job. I'm not saying this to discourage you, just letting you know so you don't have unrealistic expectations. Be prepared to take a $12 to $15 an hour job when you get out of school. Then do your best to learn as much as you can.

    Be prepared to change jobs frequently for the first ten years for better money, more opportunity, and better learning environments.

    Keep a notebook and write down everything that someone takes the time to teach you. You will forget and asking twice is considered an insult. I wish I would have written down every speed and feed I ever saw over the last 30 years

    Set aside 10-20% of your take home and buy tools, you'll need them. If you are buying new, talk to the shop owner and ask if it would be better to buy through them. They often times get better pricing due to volume and can deduct if from their taxes. Then you give the owner old fashioned cash that the wife and IRS don't know about

    From what I've seen SODAK and NODAK are not hotbeds of cnc machining. It gets better over towards MSP and west on the far side of Montucky.

    Learn CAD, CAM and Design... those are salary doublers (disregard DMF-TOM who will tell you to be a glorified button pusher and work 40 hours of OT per week).

  4. Likes michiganbuck, TeachMePlease liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    I'll be doing 'Work Study' as well. Machine maintenance and shop clean up. I'm also a part time EMT.

    Backpacking was great. Hardly felt like work. Two winters outside took it's toll however.

    What certifications do you guys recommend getting? Any certain jobs I should be looking for?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Michigan
    Posts
    9,956
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3358
    Likes (Received)
    3566

    Default

    qt:[Backpacking was great. Hardly felt like work.] that is why fun jobs don't pay big bucks..so many guys are looking for he enjoyable job..

    Like gooProto said: CAD, CAM and Design, so a year or two on job with those mentioned on your letter to get the next higher job.

    The program you mention / taken might have a photo certificate/card with hours in the study to give you more credit.

    Make a list of the top shops in Minnesota if you are tied to there.

    Send your updated resume every 6 months to the top shops..The will get so used to seeing your name they may give you a try.
    Last edited by michiganbuck; 08-01-2019 at 03:27 PM.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Idaho
    Posts
    653
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    132
    Likes (Received)
    708

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudy_33 View Post
    I'll be doing 'Work Study' as well. Machine maintenance and shop clean up. I'm also a part time EMT.

    Backpacking was great. Hardly felt like work. Two winters outside took it's toll however.

    What certifications do you guys recommend getting? Any certain jobs I should be looking for?
    First thing first. Walk through the parking lot. If it is a bunch of old beat up POS cars and trucks, you might be wise to keep on walking.

    Take a shop tour. If it looks and smells like a dungeon, it probably is. Outdated equipment, old computers, lack of pride of ownership. Probably a cheap ass owner, and not much chance of advancement.

    Look at their turn-over. Some places are just meat grinders. Could be a bad owner, could be low pay, could be a supervisor named Greg that is a complete douche bag and drives everyone off so he can look like the king shit of the dung pile. Fuck you Greg... 20 years later

    Try and find positions in shops that use advanced technology, doing difficult work with up to date equipment. It will be more difficult, but the skills you learn are exponentially more valuable than doing easy work that any monkey could do. If you want to make a career, doing shitty walk in job shop work is probably a dead end. Personally, I would look for jobs that want Swiss, Mill-Turn, 5-Axis, Mastercam (or Gibbs, Delcam, or NX, or Catia), Solidworks etc. You might need to come in as a janitor, or a button pusher, but the skills will set you way ahead.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    64
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    51
    Likes (Received)
    48

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudy_33 View Post
    I'll be doing 'Work Study' as well. Machine maintenance and shop clean up. I'm also a part time EMT.

    Backpacking was great. Hardly felt like work. Two winters outside took it's toll however.

    What certifications do you guys recommend getting? Any certain jobs I should be looking for?

    Are you still in MN but moving to SD? If so, what part of MN are you? If in southeastern MN, there are lots of shops right now that are hiring, or I should say, trying to hire, as the employee pickins are slim.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    A lot of what I've been hearing is guys will be retiring within the next 5-10 years.
    Rapid city has lots of mining so there's more jobs out there. We've got family East river we want to stay near. I'm sure there's enough stuff in SF, Yankton, and other small cities - probably not the best but it's something.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    Southwest MN, planning on moving to Sioux Falls after graduation since the lady goes to school there. After she's done we'll be more flexible. But those SD taxes are so low!

  11. Likes jeffm8622 liked this post
  12. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Michigan
    Posts
    346
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    65
    Likes (Received)
    101

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by G00 Proto View Post
    First thing first. Walk through the parking lot. If it is a bunch of old beat up POS cars and trucks, you might be wise to keep on walking.

    Take a shop tour. If it looks and smells like a dungeon, it probably is. Outdated equipment, old computers, lack of pride of ownership. Probably a cheap ass owner, and not much chance of advancement.

    Look at their turn-over. Some places are just meat grinders. Could be a bad owner, could be low pay, could be a supervisor named Greg that is a complete douche bag and drives everyone off so he can look like the king shit of the dung pile. Fuck you Greg... 20 years later

    Try and find positions in shops that use advanced technology, doing difficult work with up to date equipment. It will be more difficult, but the skills you learn are exponentially more valuable than doing easy work that any monkey could do. If you want to make a career, doing shitty walk in job shop work is probably a dead end. Personally, I would look for jobs that want Swiss, Mill-Turn, 5-Axis, Mastercam (or Gibbs, Delcam, or NX, or Catia), Solidworks etc. You might need to come in as a janitor, or a button pusher, but the skills will set you way ahead.
    I worked in one of these shitholes for a while and the place was full of hacks. I'm not sure if the work environment bred that, or if they were all hacks out of ignorance, but either way...

    It's good that the teacher is also your friend. You might need him and other resources (like PM here) when you're starting out to separate what's hacker material and what's on the level. It's an unforgiving trade for the most part, but if you make an effort to learn the right way from the beginning you'll be so much better off years down the road.

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    3,429
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1474
    Likes (Received)
    1620

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by G00 Proto View Post
    First thing first. Walk through the parking lot. If it is a bunch of old beat up POS cars and trucks, you might be wise to keep on walking.

    Take a shop tour. If it looks and smells like a dungeon, it probably is. Outdated equipment, old computers, lack of pride of ownership. Probably a cheap ass owner, and not much chance of advancement.

    Look at their turn-over. Some places are just meat grinders. Could be a bad owner, could be low pay, could be a supervisor named Greg that is a complete douche bag and drives everyone off so he can look like the king shit of the dung pile. Fuck you Greg... 20 years later

    Try and find positions in shops that use advanced technology, doing difficult work with up to date equipment. It will be more difficult, but the skills you learn are exponentially more valuable than doing easy work that any monkey could do. If you want to make a career, doing shitty walk in job shop work is probably a dead end. Personally, I would look for jobs that want Swiss, Mill-Turn, 5-Axis, Mastercam (or Gibbs, Delcam, or NX, or Catia), Solidworks etc. You might need to come in as a janitor, or a button pusher, but the skills will set you way ahead.
    I personally find this amusing, but I have seen it expressed this way a few different times on PM. The quality of the vehicles don't mean much to me.* There are lots of people that drive caddys and live in trailer parks. There are people who drive 15 year old rust buckets that live in $300k houses too, it is all about priorities....

    * 2 stories from personal exp - I used to work at a place (2 jobs ago) that was full of higher end cars, and 'nicer' vehicles... A funny saying me and my co-worker had was I had the worst car in the lot! I drove a 2002 'beater' a bit of rust, gas cap lid/cover hung open, dash lights didn't work, etc. Now I can't say what the pay range in general at the place was, but comments from my higher ups 'implied' I was well paid, and since I was salary I did not have the ups and downs of 50 hours for a month, then 32 for a month, etc. I can only assume/presume a few things -

    1) the nice cars were their (in general) priority, maybe over a house, maybe over having any disposable income, etc?
    2) they had a spouse making very good money and the car was well within "the budget" ?
    3) younger ones lived at home so even a 'meager' income was plenty to drive that new camaro/mustang etc?
    4) who knows, small lottery winning, inheritance...??

    I interviewed at a place between jobs where it was the same scenario, lots of nice cars & trucks in the lot. I remember seeing a newer 'vette, 2 porsche's and a new BMW sporty car (I am not really a car guy LoL so I don't know what it was). Inside was indeed nice, all newer Haas and some y axis sub spindle lathes (not Haas) and a giant (to me) Toyodo(?) pallet line 120+ pallets I think, anyways... Everyone looked completely miserable. I think they routinely worked 50+ hours a week under a dick head boss (heard about him being a dick thru other people but I needed a job so I applied). Now if money is your primary motive, knock yourself out, for me it is not, I want/need a life that isn't work...
    Last edited by Mike1974; 08-01-2019 at 01:58 PM. Reason: herp derp some spelling/grammar

  14. Likes 5 axis Fidia guy liked this post
  15. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    I've heard that about every job. The night shift at the local factory has a bunch of nice Subaru WRX's but these people live in crummy homes. That's how they spend their money. I spend my money on other stupid stuff

    Any certifications or particular skills that will get up the pay scale faster?

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Idaho
    Posts
    653
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    132
    Likes (Received)
    708

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I personally find this amusing, but I have seen it expressed this way a few different times on PM. The quality of the vehicles don't mean much to me.* There are lots of people that drive caddys and live in trailer parks. There are people who drive 15 year old rust buckets that live in $300k houses too, it is all about priorities....

    * 2 stories from personal exp - I used to work at a place (2 jobs ago) that was full of higher end cars, and 'nicer' vehicles... A funny saying me and my co-worker had was I had the worst car in the lot! I drove a 2002 'beater' a bit of rust, gas cap lid/cover hung open, dash lights didn't work, etc. Now I can't say what the pay range in general at the place was, but comments from my higher ups 'implied' I was well paid, and since I was salary I did not have the ups and downs of 50 hours for a month, then 32 for a month, etc. I can only assume/presume a few things -

    1) the nice cars were their (in general) priority, maybe over a house, maybe over having any disposable income, etc?
    2) they had a spouse making very good money and the car was well within "the budget" ?
    3) younger ones lived at home so even a 'meager' income was plenty to drive that new camaro/mustang etc?
    4) who knows, small lottery winning, inheritance...??

    I interviewed at a place between jobs where it was the same scenario, lots of nice cars & trucks in the lot. I remember seeing a newer 'vette, 2 porsche's and a new BMW sporty car (I am not really a car guy LoL so I don't know what it was). Inside was indeed nice, all newer Haas and some y axis sub spindle lathes (not Haas) and a giant (to me) Toyodo(?) pallet line 120+ pallets I think, anyways... Everyone looked completely miserable. I think they routinely worked 50+ hours a week under a dick head boss (heard about him being a dick thru other people but I needed a job so I applied). Now if money is your primary motive, knock yourself out, for me it is not, I want/need a life that isn't work...
    I can't argue your point. More just going for a general rule of thumb. If it makes you feel better, I also have needed to assist on the purchasing side of things for about $30M of machined parts per year. One of the things we do when we are evaluating a new potential vendor is do a drive by on the shop (either real or with google street view). We count the number of cars, evaluate the general condition of the vehicles and the up-keep of the facility. On vehicles, we look for newer, practical vehicles. We shy away from parking lots full of old beaters, and also shy away from a bunch of flashy pimped out cars. Looking for a parking lot full of Toyota Tacomas and Subaru Foresters Don't want to see a bunch of people hanging out at a smoke shack in a field of weeds, surrounded by old pallets, 55 gallon drums, and a dead hooker. It's a dog eat dog world.

  17. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    eugene,or
    Posts
    833
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    80
    Likes (Received)
    345

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudy_33 View Post
    Any certifications or particular skills that will get up the pay scale faster?
    Programming.

    You'll still need a few years of machining under your belt but programming CNC's and being able to do design work when necessary will up your salary.

    See if the school your going to has a Mastercam class you can take. As a student you can get educational versions of Mastercam and Solidworks that are good for two years. Once you have them there are a ton of online resources to help you learn if you are motivated.

    Fusion 360 is free to students as well and that is the full version. It's not used much in professional shops but it could be useful to learn and may be useful in smaller shops.

    Teryk


    Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk

  18. Likes mhajicek liked this post
  19. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Texas
    Posts
    191
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    52
    Likes (Received)
    164

    Default

    Problem getting in to programming is you pretty much have to wait for someone to die/retire to get into it. It's a position that a large majority want to get into with few openings and most places actively looking tend to want at least 2 years experience. Took me 12 years before I finally got off the floor.

    Just learn what ever CAD/CAM software you can, you never know where you'll eventually end up. I started off learning Esprit/Solid Edge at TSTC, then I learned that the majority of shops use MasterCam so I learned that, now I'm learning NX in my new position.

  20. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Beaverdam, Virginia
    Posts
    7,246
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    603
    Likes (Received)
    3396

    Default

    As for the car comments, had a guy on my last job working for the man who was an operator in the mill department, might have made $8-$10 an hour, no overtime in Orange County Ca, not a cheap place to live. Him an his friends crammed excessive amounts of people in the house to keep the rent cheap. The guy was driving a brand new Honda Accord luxury model with all the bells and whistles. His personal space to sleep and keep his clothes were in a closet as he paid the least rent.

  21. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    Thanks guys. I'll be getting out of my 'corporate cubicle' and into the school shop in 3 weeks. Feels pretty good to be going into a trade.

    I've got 9 months to learn as much as I can - Manuel operations, machine maintenance, G-code, etc. I have a few personal projects I'll do along the way to prove my skills - rings and motorcycle parts.

    What do you guys think of the NIMS certification? Anything else I should get?

  22. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    10,032
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2609

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudy_33 View Post
    Hi all,

    I'll be starting a 9 month machining program at the end of August. The course is taught by a friend and has a significant emphasis on CNC programming. We also get NIMS certified to graduate.

    I'm wondering what you folks think of this and what advice you would give. What certifications or training should I pursue after graduation?

    I'm a young (mid-twenties), fairly capable guy, with a varied work history - everything from laying carpet, to backpack guiding, to finance (my current occupation).
    Perhaps it's the nerves of making a big life change. I'm concerned about finding a job here in South Dakota where me and the lady can support a family.
    .
    only problem with school training is even if you learn mastercam and buy personal tools you can easily end up in a shop where nobody uses mastercam and no personal tools are allowed. shop supplies all tools
    .
    i prefer bigger shops. that is often if you start out as a low paided help but often there are more opportunities for advancement.
    .
    got to watch pay differences. you can work in a shop for $30/hr with no overtime or other benefits and find the guy making $25/hr with 1.5x pay overtime and lots of overtime available plus 6% 401k match can easily be making $20,000 to $30,000 more per year....
    point is some shop offers what looks like higher pay but no extras and its no where near what you can make at other shops that appear to offer low pay but have a lot of extra benefits
    .
    plus some shops start at higher pay but you rarely get raises where other shops you start at lower pay but get fairly regular yearly pay raises and after a few years end up making more money. plus some shops you stay on same machine like 40 years and other shops you can later transfer to other machines and eventually make far more money.

  23. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    3,429
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1474
    Likes (Received)
    1620

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    .
    only problem with school training is even if you learn mastercam and buy personal tools you can easily end up in a shop where nobody uses mastercam and no personal tools are allowed. shop supplies all tools
    .
    i prefer bigger shops. that is often if you start out as a low paided help but often there are more opportunities for advancement.
    .
    got to watch pay differences. you can work in a shop for $30/hr with no overtime or other benefits and find the guy making $25/hr with 1.5x pay overtime and lots of overtime available plus 6% 401k match can easily be making $20,000 to $30,000 more per year....
    point is some shop offers what looks like higher pay but no extras and its no where near what you can make at other shops that appear to offer low pay but have a lot of extra benefits
    .
    plus some shops start at higher pay but you rarely get raises where other shops you start at lower pay but get fairly regular yearly pay raises and after a few years end up making more money. plus some shops you stay on same machine like 40 years and other shops you can later transfer to other machines and eventually make far more money.
    Good god man!

    Put this in your excel sheet for me -

    "some shops start at higher pay but you rarely get raises where other shops you start at lower pay but get fairly regular yearly pay raises and after a few years end up making more money"

    How does this figure out for you? OK, I will work for lets say 5 years making 18-19-20-21-22$/hr OR I could get into a shop at 22-24$/hr right away, Which one are you going to pick???

    Also, you've been drinking the koolaid too long if you consider overtime a "benefit"

  24. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Good god man!

    Put this in your excel sheet for me -

    "some shops start at higher pay but you rarely get raises where other shops you start at lower pay but get fairly regular yearly pay raises and after a few years end up making more money"

    How does this figure out for you? OK, I will work for lets say 5 years making 18-19-20-21-22$/hr OR I could get into a shop at 22-24$/hr right away, Which one are you going to pick???

    Also, you've been drinking the koolaid too long if you consider overtime a "benefit"
    I get what he's saying. I've seen this structure at a few places. A local place doesn't pay that well but has VERY handsome retirement benefits. It makes sense if you're a 'lifer' at the shop. Not so much if you'll only be there for a few years then move to another town.

    These are pretty standard things to look for in any job. Gotta weight your options.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •