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  1. #21
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    My time is worth more than money, I'm strange like that. Watched my father in law work himself to death and end up with nothing as a divorec, nursing home costs at the end, single parent, etc....
    I understand the time thing, It was hard for me for years. But my kids and my mom were that driving force. I burned through three wives (Including a mail order bride) in no time because my usual field time was 300+ days a year. My problem was I loved that double time on weekends and triple time holidays, and since we worked internationally I would look at what countries were scheduled and if there was a holiday in that country. [/QUOTE]

    I checked Monster and CL for that area, nothing stellar turns up (at least advertising pay).


    CFS, IPM, K-Machine, Coastal Precision usually don't advertise. The only reason I found out about them is a member here, Ray Mckinney contacted me after reading one of my post on large parts and flew me up for a tour. Thats where I met Milacron/Don. To even get a chance at a position there you sit in a group of machinist getting grilled, then if you manage not to crack under that you get a Kennedy carpenter box with some HSS blanks and HSS end mills with Vernier calipers and some mics and are handed a extremely difficult print that gets made on a wore out lathe and mill requiring tapered tool post grinding and dividing head work. Oh,,, and the lathe and mill have the gibbs removed so you have to replace and adjust them as well as finish the project in 8 hours.

    Seems a bit overkill right? I thought so while I was doing the test. I can remember making my last pass with the tool post grinder (#4 Morse Taper, had to be 100% blue fit) watching the Dykem getting ground away thinking "This shit better be worth it". Yeah,,,,, I still have a copy of the first paycheck because I nearly passed out and was thinking I had been put on monthly salary.


    I didn't say (nor do I think so) manual is out, we have two manual guys at work, each manning a BP and lathe making various bits and pieces. But I also think for every awesome job paying 6 figures for machining, there are 100 paying 40-50k/year (including overtime ).


    Agreed again, those high paying manual jobs are few and far between, landing them is even harder. With the manual machinist leaving the field, the salaries are getting higher so I see them in the future making a comeback provided they have a good mentor and grasp of concept.

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    With the manual machinist leaving the field, the salaries are getting higher so I see them in the future making a comeback provided they have a good mentor and grasp of concept.
    Trouble is, that chicken and egg thing. You only get to be a good manual machinist with a lot of practice but if you aren't a good manual machinist already where do you get the practice ?

    No, a Smithy in the garage doesn't cut it

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  5. #23
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    If you don’t have the patience or time for college.

    Do what I’ve done , eBay is your friend, and other used book stores....purchase books that compliment the trade or engineering books.

    And read them, do the sample problems..

    Keep reading and practicing until it sticks...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I think the whole six sigma and kaizan and all the other BS only "buys" you a job in a mega corp. I can't imagine any smaller places would give 2 shits about those certs and "degrees".
    My own degree from the University of Maryland is framed on the wall of my private executive washroom where it can be viewed in a setting relective of its worth, namely, while seated on the porcelain convenience. I show it to applicants who want to brandish papers rather than answer practical questions. I once had a kid with BME after his name apply who didn't know the word "chamfer." But he sure could talk about manufacturing. In very, very broad terms and lots of them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails exec-washroom-1.jpg   exec-washroom-2.jpg  

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  9. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldwrench View Post
    My own degree from the University of Maryland is framed on the wall of my private executive washroom where it can be viewed in a setting relective of its worth, namely, while seated on the porcelain convenience. I show it to applicants who want to brandish papers rather than answer practical questions. I once had a kid with BME after his name apply who didn't know the word "chamfer." But he sure could talk about manufacturing. In very, very broad terms and lots of them.

    I have my own names for degrees:

    BS = Bull Sh*t
    MS = More Sh*t
    PhD = Piled High and Deep
    PhD (alt.) = Professional Hair Dresser

    [SERIOUS MODE]

    Certified welders are another misconception. I've seen CW welds that would make a flock of turkeys boastful (well....... maybe not quite ).

    [/SERIOUS MODE]

  10. #26
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    The way I see it there are 4 real reasons to get a Mechanical Engineering degree. In general order of usefulness:

    1. To get a piece of paper that you can show to prospective employer to show that you have the combination of intelligence and work ethic required to complete the engineering program at that school. Also useful as many companies will only hire degreed engineers. Whether you agree or disagree with this hiring filter, keep in mind that it is a very easy and reasonably accurate way to weed down a pile of hundreds of resumes. Sure you might miss the one guy who taught himself but you need some quick way to get that pile to a manageable size.

    2. To get an introduction to the wide variety of mechanical engineering topics. Folks that complain about how new grads don't know how to do machining forget that there is a whole lot more to mechanical engineering than just manufacturing let alone machining. Aerodynamics, Engines, Thermodynamics, Mechatronics, Heat Transfer, Fluid Dynamics, Mechanics, Statics, Dynamics, Machine design are all individual subjects. You can't expect someone to become an expert in 4 years in all of these subjects. This is mostly useful for the typical 20 year old to learn what he wants to do with the rest of his life. Not so useful for someone who already knows what they want to do.

    3. To gain general knowledge. One of the biggest things you learn in college is how to teach yourself stuff. Professors don't hold your hand, alot of the learning is up to you. Engineers also learn alot of general problem solving skills. Not particular problems like how to calculate a feedrate or something, but how to get that answer when you don't know how to calculate it. You also learn alot of the higher level math required to understand some of the fields of study. Also keep in mind that a significant portion of time in college is spent "making you a well rounded individual" as my mom used to say. That is taking classes in economics, philosophy, English, history and so on. Might not sound super useful, but they probably matter more than you think.


    4. To actually learn stuff useful to your job. Of all the classes I took in school, only maybe 3 of them are directly applicable to my job. And only a portion of those. I easily could have learned all of that in a few weeks on the job or watching some Youtube videos.


    So if you are interested in all of those, its certainly worthwhile. If you just want more information to do your job better, there are alot better and cheaper ways to go about it.

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    So relating back to the original post addressing further education; what are the different tiers of mechanical engineering-like credentials? (Example: in nursing there are CNAs, LPNs and RNs)

    Other than obtaining an BS in Engineering, how would you rate other obtainable certifications yielding the most impact/effect in production work? in repair/rebuild work?
    (obviously someone already voted for Six Sigma)

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    There are a pile of certificates out there (Solidworks, NIMS, CMfgE, GD&T, all the lean stuff, etc.) It all depends on what direction you want to go and if any potential employers give a rats ass. I have a bunch of that kind of stuff plus lots of experience and I'm a couple courses shy from finishing my AS degree. However anytime I've applied to a big nose in the air shop it's a flat out no because I don't have a BS.

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    There are two types of mechanical engineering degrees, and someone can correct me as to what they are called. Both are BS degrees. Or at least when I was attending Akron University they did. One was “high level” and most math based. I took the stupid people version that was supposed to be applicable.

    My opinion is that you should find out what direction you are going before committing to a 5 year degree. It will open a lot of doors for you, but frankly, if you don’t know what doors you want to open you are wasting your time.

    I found that engineering was not for me. Even the stupid people version was so theoretical that I still have not found how most of it would be useful. I took several basic electric engineering classes, the professor that taught it was brilliant, and I really liked him. While taking one of his classes I asked him about wiring 3 single phase transformers to a 3-phase machine and he had no clue. He could make computer circuit boards and tell me how molecules act but he couldn’t wire a light switch.

    The engineers that I have worked with, most are pretty skilled at their jobs, and you have to have that piece of paper to get the job. But most of what they DO does not require a degree. So you may want to try and figure out what you want to do first.

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    Not nearly as common, but a coworker of mine actually got a degree in manufacturing engineering. That may be more relevant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
    Not nearly as common, but a coworker of mine actually got a degree in manufacturing engineering. That may be more relevant.
    Our local college awards a two-year Associate degree in Manufacturing Technology which entails a ton of lab work. If you hire one of their graduates, he or she can almost always write a program from a drawing (either via CAM or longhand), establish the work offsets and touch off the tools—no small achievement for a student. OK, maybe they can't do the calcs for a structural engineering problem, but that's not a skill set I need here. "Technology" to me implies a certain amount of hands-on practical learning as opposed to purely theoretical classroom exercises, and is as relevant as it gets. I think of that diploma as a level beyond a good vocational school, and one hell of a lot more applicable than my own deconstructional-basketweaving-French-Literature major.

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    Go for the fun.

    Let everything else support the fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    Never stop pushing yourself in further education. I started out with machine tool tech at athens vocational in Athens TN. Then went on with other things as time allowed, Fluid/Pneumatic technologies, Occupational Safety and Health management, Toyota Production Systems at Cleveland State, Then on to U.T. for Business Management, Tennessee Tech for Mechanical engineering. I just finished up my MBB in Six Sigma from Villanova last year at 48, on top of several language courses (Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Tagalog, Visayan, Cebuano) Working on German now.

    With the advent of online schooling and learn at your own pace these are simple task if you can stay semi focused. However, in the end I have really never had to have any of this for a machinist position. A true "Machinist" not a button jockey, should clear well over 100K a year, given the right location and application. When I say a true machinist I mean someone who I can hand a box full of twisted spline shafts, gears with no teeth, worn out lead screws and then not only walk over to a war surplus group of machines and reproduce, but then re assemble the parts they reverse engineered and make to make a working product.

    Of my wall of sheep skins pretty much none of them have proved to have gained me a better position in employment or contracts. In fact the only benefit I can recall is when I went to work in China. They require a college degree for a work visa but even then its not job specific.

    Since getting my MBB in Six Sigma that has been a whole new ballgame. My Linkedin, Monster, Indeed, Simply hired have been beating my door down with offers from shops wanting a machinist with Six Sigma degree. Had I known when I was 25 or 30 what I know now I would have kicked all the other certs to the curb and focussed on William Deming's teachings of the Toyota Production System and Six Sigma and retired at 40 or 45. $150K to lay out a process that already has a template and then dictate whos to do what....Yeah, that beats bending over a steam filled machining center any day.


    If you're looking to improve your employee opportunity then read up on Deming. Use some of his techniques on the shop floor you're at now and see the work flow increase, add a few more and see the salary increase.
    Did you go to Bradley? If so, did you have Mr. Bain?

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    Did you go to Bradley? If so, did you have Mr. Bain?
    Actually went to CHS but I owned Ledford Machine & Industrial Supply right across the street from Bradley. I knew Garry Bain very well, He used to come hang out at the shop after school a lot and bring me the pick of the better Co-Op students as well as Mark Cress (Welding Teacher). I actually volunteered for a few months and taught the afternoon machine shop class when Garry had the stroke.

    Bradley had one serious machine shop program and I was always impressed at the amount of funding they managed to get. I guess when a vocational arts class is running 30+ students per class with three classes per day with 80 something percent course completion rate the board likes to keep it running so it looks like they are doing their jobs.

    I always liked the fact the machine, welding, and autobody shops were open after school and all summer for the students to work on personal projects. Many a 60's Camaros and Mustangs rolled out of that school at the end of summer. I'd walk over and check on em and was amazed at the interest all three classes took in each other. The machine shop popping out window cranks and door handles on that Tree CNC mill, the welding shop fabing up custom exhaust and the auto shop building motors and painting.

    I know this thread is "Continued education for a seasoned machinist", but America needs to get basic shop class back before it's too late.

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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    Actually went to CHS but I owned Ledford Machine & Industrial Supply right across the street from Bradley. I knew Garry Bain very well, He used to come hang out at the shop after school a lot and bring me the pick of the better Co-Op students as well as Mark Cress (Welding Teacher). I actually volunteered for a few months and taught the afternoon machine shop class when Garry had the stroke.

    Bradley had one serious machine shop program and I was always impressed at the amount of funding they managed to get. I guess when a vocational arts class is running 30+ students per class with three classes per day with 80 something percent course completion rate the board likes to keep it running so it looks like they are doing their jobs.

    I always liked the fact the machine, welding, and autobody shops were open after school and all summer for the students to work on personal projects. Many a 60's Camaros and Mustangs rolled out of that school at the end of summer. I'd walk over and check on em and was amazed at the interest all three classes took in each other. The machine shop popping out window cranks and door handles on that Tree CNC mill, the welding shop fabing up custom exhaust and the auto shop building motors and painting.

    I know this thread is "Continued education for a seasoned machinist", but America needs to get basic shop class back before it's too late.
    I made some punches for Mark when I was co-opping at Duracell. He said they were for Jewelry making.... I ran into Mark at the hospital last year when I was having a surgery. I hope he is doing ok, he was a great guy, as well as Gary. I haven't talked to Gary since he was looking for a replacement for himself. I wonder if he is still around.

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    Do it quick because Biden says he's going to cancel student loan debt..........FREE STUFF FOR ALL!!!

    On the other hand. I would do technical school certificates. Hydraulic systems, Electronics, PLCs, Computer science / programming. Physics. Statics. Stuff like that you can actually use in your daily routine. You don't need to get a BS or MS degree unless you really like math. If you want to got the degree route you will have to start at the bottom as an entry level engineer and work your way back up, which will take years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrozenNorth View Post
    I am a journeyman level machinist wishing to do some continuing education. I started out of high school by obtaining an Associates degree in machining/diemaking. Since then I have had lots of job experience, working up to journeyman level, as well as being a department foreman.

    I don't think that pursuing a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering is feasible for me, however I would like to pursue a study course or some certification to expand my knowledge and open doors to grow in other areas of manufacturing - as well as gain some credentials.

    I live and work in an area that doesn't offer much in this field so it would have to be online.
    What have you all seen out there that fits in with this?
    The best education for this trade is on the job. You have to run a machine/setup for a few years and then you'd become very good. College\Courses aren't going to teach you half of what really happens on the job when a issue comes

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackwolf4278 View Post
    The best education for this trade is on the job. You have to run a machine/setup for a few years and then you'd become very good. College\Courses aren't going to teach you half of what really happens on the job when a issue comes
    ??? He's not new. He wants outside influence to improve his skills. In what way is more of the same going to help him do that?

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    What i heard was....you are interested in "other" areas of manufacturing. Technical classes are great...CAD....CAM...etc. If your career path includes anything outside of the shop and or management or production engineering (pretty broad term there). I recommend Microsoft classes. Technical writing classes, take some credits at the community college (maybe online???) in excell, Word, Power point etc if you arent already fluent with those. Nothing I hate more than being given direction on a new project (medium size company) from an engineer that cant express himself in the "language" in such a way that it can be understood easily.
    If you are more inclined to stay in the shop....get some training in machine maintenance...electronics, HVAC, hydraulics.

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    He wants outside influence to improve his skills. In what way is more of the same going to help him do that?
    38 years in the shop and I still learn things all the time. Maybe just watching some new kid in the shop with a creative imagination on fixtures. Yep, just save that in the aging file system for the net time around. Any machinist that thinks they know it all just because they've done it before is a machinist you don't want.




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