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  1. #21
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    From an employees point of view, experience is the key...everything sounds good on paper but when it comes to brass tacks someone who has all kinds of certs and little experience will always be beat out by the guy with 5 years cold hard experience, certs or not.

    Realize this, you may go to school and get your certs, but anywhere you start you will be starting at the bottom...15/hour bottom. It's up to you to work up the ladder. My suggestion to you (from someone who up and quit a 10 year career at 29 to get in the trade) learn all you can, have thick skin, don't be afraid to take the jobs no one else wants, and make yourself valuable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbter View Post
    Talking UK here...
    Apprenticeship is always good in my books.
    Experience is also good, with a list of machines operated and set.
    Programming is different, as that's an Engineering/office job and not a "on machine" job IMO. Unless it's prototyping or short run type job but...
    Overall, aptitude and attitude. If you're willing to learn and will put the hours into evening learning (such as using the search and reading the 1000's of posts here, or youtube for example), you'll do fine.
    If you start at 8 and when you clock off at 4 you don't do anything until 8 tomorrow morning, you'll struggle.

    Serious question...Why do you not want to progress your career in finance?


    A couple of reasons. First, finance is intangible. I may move $500,000 in a day but it feels like I've accomplished nothing. I want to work with my hands and see what I've done.
    Second, tradesmen and blue collar folks are generally more friendly than bankers, who are often cut throat and self-interested.
    Third, I don't golf, and that's what they do at these 'conferences'.

    What education do you guys think is sufficient for CNC programmer and machinist apprentice?

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    I see a lot of responses on here stating that things like attitude, sobriety, aptitude, etc. are most important. These things are not easily described on a resume and more often than not a resume will be the first impression an employer gets of a candidate. Sure, you can spout off on your resume how you have a great attitude, you get along with everyone, you’ve never shown up to work hungover, but those are not quantitative descriptions. For someone new to the trade where experience just isn’t possible due to the time frame, I would think that seeking different certs/training opportunities would be beneficial and easily stated on a resume.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudy_33 View Post
    [/B]

    A couple of reasons. First, finance is intangible. I may move $500,000 in a day but it feels like I've accomplished nothing. I want to work with my hands and see what I've done.
    Second, tradesmen and blue collar folks are generally more friendly than bankers, who are often cut throat and self-interested.
    Third, I don't golf, and that's what they do at these 'conferences'.

    What education do you guys think is sufficient for CNC programmer and machinist apprentice?
    Why are you hung up on education, go out and apply at some places and see where it gets you.

    I can tell you right now you aren't going to get hired as a programmer out of the box. No one is going to let someone who has 0 experience but a class in programming go off and program their multi 100k machines.

    I think your vision of how getting to be a machinist works is skewed. Here's an example:

    You submit a resume for CNC programmer/machinist, shows work experience non machine related, shows schooling, bachelor's degree in non engineering discipline. Also shows classes for programming and basic machining. Maybe shows a few months job shop experience.

    Here's what the guy says at the end of the interview:
    1) we'll be in touch (they won't)
    2) I'm sorry but right now we are looking for more experience (biggest chance of getting this response)
    3) unfortunately you are a bit underqualified for the programmer position, but we do have an operator position that we are willing to start you at and see how you do).

    Don't put your eggs in the schooling basket. This is a blue collar trade, what you can do Trump's what you learned in school or books...believe it

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudy_33 View Post
    [/B]

    A couple of reasons. First, finance is intangible. I may move $500,000 in a day but it feels like I've accomplished nothing. I want to work with my hands and see what I've done.
    Second, tradesmen and blue collar folks are generally more friendly than bankers, who are often cut throat and self-interested.
    Third, I don't golf, and that's what they do at these 'conferences'.

    What education do you guys think is sufficient for CNC programmer and machinist apprentice?
    Haven't you asked that same question since the begining?

    I'm sure that there is something to be taken from a class.
    I worked for a skewl chum that took machine shop in HS.
    He started his own shop before he was out of HS.
    He must'a learned something.

    But more importantly - he worked in another shop for a while..... and cared about the subject.

    I worked for him a cpl years later.
    My first week was 98.5 hours. (didn't work Sunday)
    I tapered down to 60 after a few months.
    I wouldn't say that I had much time to take any classes on the subject, BUT - if you care and doo it enough, you can absorb a LOT!

    Add in today's ability to soak up on this site, and watch youtube, IMO the things that you might miss yet would be learning the differences in materials?
    But if the shop that you git a job in - the guys with more experience - if they talk much, or you ask, you can learn it.
    Even if you just notice a different material come through, you can pull that material up in the evening and find out what makes that grade different than the others that you already know.
    IMO it is much easier to learn as you go, as to be told a bunch of stuff to remember 'till the next test, only to forget later - since you can't actually use that info at the time. Too much too fast. Absorbing it as you go - or learning it as you can put it into practice - I find much better.

    You can take 12 years of skewl, but until you are actually on the floor, getting grease and coolant up to the elbows, and bleeding from rats nests, you will always be a newbie. So if you can land a job in a shop that will take you now, and absorb everything that you can, you will learn much quicker.

    Most any shop is looking for help. They will take a warm body, but if they actually find someone that WANTS to work in the field, they should snatch him right up.

    I had a guy that worked for me for 3-4 years that never absorbed much at all. I even printed out a G/M code list so that he could maybe follow along to understand what is going on, but no interest. After three years he is a little better help than when he started. At three years, I had had my own shop for a year and a half.

    It's all in how much you care about it.
    Is it your job, or your carreer?


    I would suggest finding a job and take night classes, and you would likely picj up LOTS more from the class when you can apply that info instantly as they are telling it to you.


    But that's just me, and I couldn't stand to go to one more class after HS. And I only had 1/2 days my senior year, so ... maybe I'm not the one to model after?




    -------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Thanks for the replies.

    What I'm hearing here is work experience is most important - which is generally the opposite of what people are told today. Perhaps it's because the schools are making tons of money off students, but we're always told to get more education and that's the only way to get ahead in a highly competitive global marketplace.

    I'll do my 9 month program, get the basics of machine operation and G-code then I'll find a shop where I can learn more and pick up more skills.

    In the financial or medical fields you can't move up without more education and licensing - where you start is where you stay. Smaller companies are more willing to invest in employees, but the big one's don't care at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Was he there for an offense of some kind?
    Pre-employment drug screen. He was sent for it belatedly after being on the job for a couple days

    Did he draw the un-lucky straw of random testing?
    Luck had damn well better not play a part. Our random testing is, they show up with both male and female surveyors, nobody leaves, everybody pees, including me. ALL samples go to the lab for further testing. Detection of a masking agent counts as a positive, as does tampering.

    Would you fire him other than company policy of no drug use?
    For me, drug use is enough by itself. On his application (two days earlier) he had answered "yes" to the question "Can you pass a drug test?" and had read and initialed every page of the Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy and signed that too.

    A proven longtime employee might be cut some slack depending on the circumstances, but filling the cup from a container visible in his pants I don't effing think so. In some states like the Peoples Republic of Maryland I'd probably have to pay him while he was in rehab, but not here.

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  11. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudy_33 View Post
    Thanks for the replies.

    What I'm hearing here is work experience is most important - which is generally the opposite of what people are told today. Perhaps it's because the schools are making tons of money off students, but we're always told to get more education and that's the only way to get ahead in a highly competitive global marketplace.

    I'll do my 9 month program, get the basics of machine operation and G-code then I'll find a shop where I can learn more and pick up more skills.

    In the financial or medical fields you can't move up without more education and licensing - where you start is where you stay. Smaller companies are more willing to invest in employees, but the big one's don't care at all.
    When I was in high school 7 years ago we had almost everything laid out for us like a map or manual for life - go to this college, get this degree and licence, get a job doing this, and pay off the student debt.
    A step-by-step process exists for everything these days, occupations included.

    Perhaps this structuring has reduced the ability of people to 'free-form' think. The younger generation - myself included - looks for a 'pre-planned road map' or 5-step process already laid out for us to accomplish any goal.

  12. #29
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    Here's a thread I started a few years ago
    OT: Breaking into the machining trade

    I'm actually at a different place now, long fucked up story, but it worked out for the better. I'm now a senior toolmaker at a really good place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudy_33 View Post
    When I was in high school 7 years ago we had almost everything laid out for us like a map or manual for life - go to this college, get this degree and licence, get a job doing this, and pay off the student debt.
    A step-by-step process exists for everything these days, occupations included.

    Perhaps this structuring has reduced the ability of people to 'free-form' think. The younger generation - myself included - looks for a 'pre-planned road map' or 5-step process already laid out for us to accomplish any goal.
    When I decided to become a machinist, no "pre-planned" road map existed. That wasn't too long ago...

    The short of it is this. You have your terminology mixed up. You have completed some schooling, and now you are looking to get an education. That education can only be learned by experience. It is BEST learned by experience.

    I can tell you first hand that degrees and certificates mean little when getting a job in manufacturing.

    When I started my apprenticeship I already had a bachelors degree and an associates degree. The associates degree included documented time in machine shop, welding, heat treat, etc. I was given 0 credit for any of it. Including previous machine shop work experience.

    If you want to go the apprenticeship route, I wouldn't waste your time with earning any degrees or certifications prior. Let them pay for it and let them send you to what they want you to take.

    If you are looking to straight into employment, the associates degree may look better to a big shop.

    If I were you, I would find a shop, do some research about them, try to find some guys that work there and see what it is like, get hired on at the bottom, with the understanding that you want to be a machinist.

    Oh, and as a side note, I have met some of the worst backstabbing, vile, and cut throat people anywhere in machine shops. I think it is a human trait not exclusive to banking.

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    I have been hiring 2 year AA graduates since about 1986.
    Now, granted, I hire welding program grads, not machinists. But I actually went to most of a 2 year program in machining myself, in the 80s, although I never got the degree.
    Where I went- LA Trade Tech- the machinist program and the welding program worked the same way.
    They taught basic skills, machine familiarity, measuring, cutting, setup of manual machines, and in general, prepared you to become an apprentice.
    The grads I hire, and I have hired probably 25 over the years, are ready to work.
    They have spent two years of their own time and money learning to work with metal.
    This is a commitment, even if you have loans or grants- its time you are not working and earning money, but learning.

    Certainly not every 2 year AA grad is a good hire- there are always a range.

    When I hire, I call the instructors at my local schools, most of whom I know thru the industry, and ask who their best students are for my shop. I have gotten a lot of good employees that way, and continue to do it.
    I have actually found that "work experience" is not always a good thing- I have hired some old timers over the years who learned on the job, and most of em have been full of it- they know how to do a few things well, but dont take direction well- and if I dont want it done the way they have always done it, they rebel- and get fired. They are often pretty crummy learners. Which means they might be fine for a production job, but in my shop, where we are constantly doing new things, inventing processes, building custom tooling, and doing the jobs other shops cant do, I want people who want to keep learning, not ones who know it all.

    So- my answer is- get the 2 year AA degree, and network like crazy with your instructors.
    Go to trade shows, join local organizations, intern, and, in general go out in your community and find work.

    It used to be you could buy a newspaper and answer a want ad- neither really exist any more.

    My area is full of high tech machine shops and manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus subcontractors, carbon fiber shops, and all of em want computer savvy young employees that can learn and adapt.

    Cant think of a single shop around here that hires 20 year experienced mold makers- but a bunch who hire people who may be running the worlds largest 5 axis mills, or making seismic testing tables, rolling wind generator towers from 1 1/2" plate, building $10,000 pizza ovens, cnc dairy milking machines, quarter million dollar landing craft style boats, oil spill recovery tugs, or building a half billion dollar plastics cracking addition at the refinery, or being civilian employees at a naval air station, working on 30 million dollar planes. All of which happens within 20 miles or so of me.

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    With a BA/BS in finance, have you considered engineering technology with a heavy hand on the manufacturing technology side?

    As for sobriety...I generally found that it was when they WEREN'T drinking that they were a problem.

    Had shops that I avoided when he was on the wagon because he made too many mistakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    ..Most any shop is looking for help. They will take a warm body, but if they actually find someone that WANTS to work in the field, they should snatch him right up...
    This phrase struck a chord with me. Around here pretty much all the trades are looking for good help. There just
    aren't enough "hands-on" people around to fill the need. We're a small shop--just me, my brother and my son. We're
    not looking to hire anyone else but I do get calls from people looking for jobs. Most of the callers are people with
    "paper" qualifications--they've taken various courses and have certificates or diplomas but no real world experience.
    I never--or rarely--get calls from people who are "ready to work". They're either working or, if they become available
    on the job market, get snapped up by the first place they call...

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    Here's the program I'm taking. Look it over and let me know what you guys think.

    Precision Machining, Diploma

    MACH 1400 Metallurgy & Machining Calculations 1
    MACH 1405 Machining Fundamentals & Processes I 4
    MACH 1410 Interpreting Engineering Prints I 2
    MACH 1420 CNC Milling Programming and Operation I 3
    MACH 1430 CNC Lathe Programming and Operation I 3
    FLPW 1115 Auto CAD 2
    Total Credits Fall - Year 1 16
    Spring Year 1
    MACH 1415 Machining Fundamentals & Processes II 4
    MACH 1425 CNC Milling Programming and Operation II 4
    MACH 1435 CNC Lathe Programming and Operation II 4
    MACH 1460 Interpreting Engineering Prints II 2
    MACH 1465 Swiss Lathe Programming & Operation 2
    MATH 1107 Concepts in Math 3

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    i dont give a rat's ass about certifications/education. knowing the basics of machining, how the process works is #1. #2 is character - willingness to learn and improve yourself, constant drive to succeed and make yourself more valuable.
    a lot of jobs will have many different aspects that you'll need to learn anyway. i can teach all that, but only if you're willing to learn and use your head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by empwoer View Post
    i dont give a rat's ass about certifications/education. knowing the basics of machining, how the process works is #1. #2 is character - willingness to learn and improve yourself, constant drive to succeed and make yourself more valuable.
    a lot of jobs will have many different aspects that you'll need to learn anyway. i can teach all that, but only if you're willing to learn and use your head.

    Not singling out this ^ poster, but just the general statement/attitude.

    Degree's and cert's won't get you far in a "working shop" (job shop, smaller aero, etc) IMO, but they will certainly help you along the way, depending on accreditation/type of degree, when/if you want to move to a larger place. I worked at a place where degree holders were given FAR SUPERIOR treatment to non-degree, even if it was un-related to the job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I worked at a place where degree holders were given FAR SUPERIOR treatment to non-degree, even if it was un-related to the job.
    Same here. I worked at an OEM aerospace instrumentation place and this was identical attitude.
    It's where I learnt the saying "beware of people educated beyond their intelligence"...

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    Some formal training is always better than no formal training.

    With some formal training, a person at least touches on the basics of what's possible and maybe a little bit of what's standard practice.

    With no formal training, you can go decades or even a whole career doing things inefficiently, just because you never happened across the right tool or procedure or technique.

    "It'll take me a week to get this dialed in..." "You know, you can just calculate that deflection in three minutes, or zero minutes with this handy program" This is the conversation that you want to have six weeks into a career, not twenty years into a career.

    Self taught is great, but self taught tends to have big gaps in knowledge, sometimes in unexpected places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Comatose View Post
    Self taught is great, but self taught tends to have big gaps in knowledge, sometimes in unexpected places.
    A good word, but it may cut both ways. I would say a key issue is having both the desire and the means to become aware of what you don't know. Unfortunately, not knowing what / that you don't know can afflict both self-taught and formally trained persons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    A good word, but it may cut both ways. I would say a key issue is having both the desire and the means to become aware of what you don't know. Unfortunately, not knowing what / that you don't know can afflict both self-taught and formally trained persons.

    But where does skewling come into this?

    I'm not sure what apps you would be refering to, but let's just take a keyway for example.

    What is "the right way"?

    A) The skewls way
    B) Bill's way?
    C) George's way?

    Of course it is gunna matter if you are in a BP, a VMC, your part is 24" long, or 24' long, or ....

    Picking schtuff up as you go from mentors should yield way more better results than anything that you are gunna find in text somewhere, or a controlled environment like a skewl.


    ???


    An example that I like to refer to is lash.
    You could address it for a classroom period or three, and the stoodent could understand it, but not think about it 2 months later ....
    Now - give the person a worn out 1/2" mill and a block of steel to put in a BP, and within a few minutes, they will understand completely.

    It's like the hypothermia scene in The Guardian.



    edit:

    Just look at this website. (PM)

    Most of us here have been dooing this for several years.
    Many of us have been dooing this for decades.
    Some of us yet for several decades.

    Yet here we are, still discussing how best to attack different scenarios.






    ---------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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