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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomizingkid View Post
    You need to print this out on paper, put your phone away, walk away from your computer and just sit and think about this situation for a while. Bring a pencil and do some very very basic math.
    Lol hmm let's see here...

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    How many machines are you asking your operators to run? 2, possibly 3, programmers seems like a lot of overhead for a 4-5 man shop.

    Around here, $20/hour just to get a body in the door and no guarantees that someone will show up. I'm looking at bringing in 1 or 2 people in the next couple of months and I'm budgeting at $60,000/year for each. Personally, I think rates may need to be thrown out for a while and we need to start paying for, and rewarding, merit and ability. I've got no problems paying someone $100K a year, but said employee will have hard targets that must be met.

    @dalmatiangirl61, within 7 weeks I will have AC. Little late for this year, but will be a great perk going forward.

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  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talinthon View Post
    How many machines are you asking your operators to run? 2, possibly 3, programmers seems like a lot of overhead for a 4-5 man shop.

    Around here, $20/hour just to get a body in the door and no guarantees that someone will show up. I'm looking at bringing in 1 or 2 people in the next couple of months and I'm budgeting at $60,000/year for each. Personally, I think rates may need to be thrown out for a while and we need to start paying for, and rewarding, merit and ability. I've got no problems paying someone $100K a year, but said employee will have hard targets that must be met.

    @dalmatiangirl61, within 7 weeks I will have AC. Little late for this year, but will be a great perk going forward.
    I got 29/hour to keep 4 or 5 wire and sinkers going.

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    I have a small shop in Central Fl and a lot has to do with location. None of my guys have any interest in driving into Orlando every day to deal with that mess. I expect I will have to pay $25 per hour for my next hire. My operators start at $14-16 One thing I have done is really try to run lean so I can pay the guys I do have better. They a run two or three machines and do other tasks when they can. That means they have to hustle. They ones that don't want to do the extra work get left behind on the pay scale.

    My best advise is to offer something the big guys can't because it is hard to compete especially with the benefits.

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    Wally world here had a sign out for shelf stockers............$17/hr. Overnight $19. Trident Seafoods just down the way...................Something like $17.80/hr and over time after 32hrs. IIRC double time on weekends?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CITIZEN F16 View Post
    At $15 an hour working in a Walmart or Amazon distribution center is a physically demanding job. Most of them have very high turnover in entry level positions, they do have the benefit of being large with a name everyone recognizes. Considering that I would start the inexperienced at $16 an hour, but you obviously need to find a way to screen the applicants better, only hire people with an aptitude to learn. There are a lot of people who are not wired to progress in a machine shop. Not sure what area of Florida you are in or if prevailing wages vary greatly by location.
    I know a couple of guys that work at an Amazon warehouse. One of them posted his step count and he was over 30K steps every work day. I occasionally will do 20-25K a day for a short stretch and it isn't sustainable for me or probably most people. This guy is around 30 years old. The other one is in his mid 50's and left a job where he didn't feel appreciated and isn't having much fun at Amazon either.

    Sometimes you have to find a job that fits you, not just a good paying job.

    I've also noticed that of the many dozens of trades people that retired from my last employer, most of them are doing jobs like delivering cars for dealers or some other driving job. Much less money but you aren't cooped up in a building for 8+ hours a day. In our area I know of at least one place that is looking for tool and diemakers and can't find them in spite of paying over $35/hour. That's why when I decided to start a shop I made a decision to never have any employees in spite of how much it limits your income.

    Maybe shop owners need to do like farmers used to do and it appears that the people that run most of the convenience stores in our area do and that's breed your own help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    #1 question an employee wants to know, do you have AC?
    And you don't have to be in Florida or Arizona to need A/C. I have it in my small shop and it's almost as much to keep things from rusting as to keep me cool.

    I talked to a guy that has a 45,000 Sf. shop and it's all air conditioned. I asked him if it was financially feasible to pay to install and run a system that big and he said there was no doubt about it. He also said he gets pick of the employees in the because most of the diemakers know that his place is one of few air conditioned shops in his area.

    The OP should strongly consider air conditioning the entire shop if it isn't already.

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    I'm not a shop owner but I do lurk here often because I like to dream but anyway, maybe this info will be useful.

    I do swiss machining, 95% of it medical.

    I started in Feb 2016, never worked in a machine shop before but am mechanically inclined, knew how to use mics/calipers and measuring tools, had an electrical engineering degree (I was an EE in another life for some years) so they knew math wouldn't be an issue. $17/hr, in SoCal. Same shop, within 3 months I was at $19/hr and over the next 2.5 years went up to $25/hr as my skills went up.

    Decided SoCal was a terrible spot for many reasons and left, Swiss Setup (turned out to be more of a 'skilled operator' position than setup, I don't do well with straight production), $30/hr in Minneapolis metro area April '19.

    Left that shop as it was a terrible environment, new shop was also $30/hr but had better work, benefits and environment so a net gain. A year into the new shop I'm the swiss lead and at $35 and change.

    We're hiring on operators at $25ish, the experienced setup guys are $29-32, and we take chances with people from agencies on 3-month contracts from time to time. The agencies cost a bit more but being able to call them up and say "Yeah, it isn't working out" and have that be that is worth the premium I think. We've had a first shift position and 2-3 second shift positions open for months, even getting applicants these days has been rough.

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    I kind of agree with the pay crappy, get crappy results. Personally myself, I do like my small shops, especially because I get left alone and am trusted to do my job. I know a small shop can't compete on wages with a big shop, but employees do need to be able to afford housing, food, and still enjoy life. I probably could be making more at a bigger company, but be completely miserable. Why work miserable? Life sucks as it is. But I think AC will help more with tolerances. Inspection and machining should be done at 68* F, just saying... lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by SWYooper View Post
    I'm not a shop owner but I do lurk here often because I like to dream but anyway, maybe this info will be useful.

    I do swiss machining, 95% of it medical.

    I started in Feb 2016, never worked in a machine shop before but am mechanically inclined, knew how to use mics/calipers and measuring tools, had an electrical engineering degree (I was an EE in another life for some years) so they knew math wouldn't be an issue. $17/hr, in SoCal. Same shop, within 3 months I was at $19/hr and over the next 2.5 years went up to $25/hr as my skills went up.

    Decided SoCal was a terrible spot for many reasons and left, Swiss Setup (turned out to be more of a 'skilled operator' position than setup, I don't do well with straight production), $30/hr in Minneapolis metro area April '19.

    Left that shop as it was a terrible environment, new shop was also $30/hr but had better work, benefits and environment so a net gain. A year into the new shop I'm the swiss lead and at $35 and change.

    We're hiring on operators at $25ish, the experienced setup guys are $29-32, and we take chances with people from agencies on 3-month contracts from time to time. The agencies cost a bit more but being able to call them up and say "Yeah, it isn't working out" and have that be that is worth the premium I think. We've had a first shift position and 2-3 second shift positions open for months, even getting applicants these days has been rough.
    Swiss medical work pays very well, pretty much nothing pays more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talinthon View Post
    How many machines are you asking your operators to run? 2, possibly 3, programmers seems like a lot of overhead for a 4-5 man shop.
    We have 3 Integrex (lathes) and 4 vertical mills. I don't think they are capable of running more than one machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big B View Post

    The OP should strongly consider air conditioning the entire shop if it isn't already.
    We have AC and it gets up to maybe 80 at the heat of the day of summer. Could use a bigger or second unit.

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    Default Pay Rates for employees. New to Expert.

    Until all the extra money for unemployment dries up, itís hard just getting anybody to just APPLY for a job!

    Iíve said it before, and will say it again: weíve reached a point in our country where millions of younger folks donít really have to work!

    Whether it be inheritance, trust fund, disability, wealthy spouse, sympathetic grandparents, etc., thereís just too many working-age people who simply are not working.

    Contrary to popular belief, todays times ARE different from yesteryear, as far as jobs and employment goes.

    It hasnít been that many decades ago when lazy people were thought of as low-lifeís, with no value to society. Now, nobody gives a second thought about it, even the lazy-entitled-trust fund babies donít seem to care they are wasting their life away not working.

    I know in my little town, there is a metric shitload of people who live mighty fine thanks to previous family generations and their hand-me-down wealth. The ridiculous part is these folks have no shame, they strut around in life having a big time with no job, or maybe some bullshit-pretend job like selling real estate for mommy and daddyís company.

    So, generational wealth is removing millions of younger workers from the work force, and when combined with government handouts, itís no wonder us business owners canít find decent help!

    And make no mistake, all those decent-paying Amazon and Wal-Mart jobs suck donkey balls.

    As small shops, we have to provide a better job environment, flexible hours, profit sharing, air conditioning, etc. to compete for labor with these juggernauts.

    $15/ hour with some bennies (paid holidays and vacation days, profit sharing, assistance for health insurance) is a pretty decent starting wage for an unskilled operator in most parts of the country.

    We have to offer them a path to $20, even $25, as time and experience are gained. This is just for machine operators that can load/unload parts, correctly inspect, change tools, and maintain their work area.

    Skilled machinists...seems like there is no limit as to how much money they can make in this whacko economy. Good for them! (Iíve found a truly skilled machinist with a good work ethic, and a good attitude to go with it, is rare as henís teeth. Seems like with experience comes lazinessÖ)

    ToolCat

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    I got $20/hr fresh out of tech school in '96. That's $34 today by the calculators, but that's not even counting the true inflation rate. Remember when a loaf of bread was 89 cents? Yeah, it's more like $5 now. Used to be able to get a house for $80k and I thought that was a lot, now they start at $350K around here. I pay $30/hr for part time inspection help. My kid get's $20/hr for chores.

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    I'm coming from a family shop and accepted what I made because of that. On a usual day, I would run our two CNC mills 9 to 10 hours a day. Finding myself soon to be in the job market now is a eye opening. I was offered $17.50 an hour at a machine shop and would have to pay a portion of health insurance for my 30+ years of experience. On the other hand, I have other opportunities in other fields for well over $20 an hour. I'll probably take some time off and contemplate my future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhajicek View Post
    I got $20/hr fresh out of tech school in '96. That's $34 today by the calculators, but that's not even counting the true inflation rate. Remember when a loaf of bread was 89 cents? Yeah, it's more like $5 now. Used to be able to get a house for $80k and I thought that was a lot, now they start at $350K around here. I pay $30/hr for part time inspection help. My kid get's $20/hr for chores.
    No doubt there are many areas where the cost of housing has blow past the rate of inflation like it is sitting still. I always check a website for some apartments my grandma lived in when I was in High School. I remember the rent she paid 45 years ago. Today you can put a zero on the end of what they went for back then, using an inflation calculator it only comes to 4.5x what it was back then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post

    So, generational wealth is removing millions of younger workers from the work force, and when combined with government handouts, it’s no wonder us business owners can’t find decent help!



    ToolCat
    I'm ok with less competition. I paid for my education and spent time developing the skills I have now. As a mere peon, I should be more worried about my bottom line too, like a business owner does. One of the short term guys who blew through the shop told the bossman "gotta go where the money is." If the money from machining isn't there...

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    Well we are down to a 2 man shop now. My dad and I. We realized 2 people at $16 an hour would get less done between the both of them than one guy running 2 machines at $25-30 an hour. I am sitting here looking at this post while the 2 machines they were running, are running perfect parts. I think a GREAT office manager is more important right now.

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    Ya man, you can either figure out how to train and manage people or you bought your job. If you like being a machinist buying your job aint all bad.

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    I once posted for entry level machinist/grinder hands in the newspaper for $6.25 per hour.
    Six to be hired. Had cars lining the street and did over 120 quick interviews in 2 days.
    I was not prepared for this response. As most would guess this quite a while back.

    Now in lower cost places to live it seems 15-16 sort of the base starting wage.
    This base did get bumped up by the covid thing and once up it never goes back.

    The deal in any shop is what can you afford to pay?
    Everyone different in this. All the bills need to be paid with the prices charged or you go red.
    I'd so love to pay 60 per hour average rate but the math does not work out.

    In Michigan it was once impossible to compete in wages and bennies with the UAW automakers or the tier ones.
    Now it is different. The above 15-16 is the start at these places.
    Never thought I'd see the day when Taco-Bell at the starting wages of GM but here we are.

    Bob

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    Oh we're back to wages again. I feel like I should write a treatise on the subject but I basically already did in another thread a couple weeks ago.

    It is really simple. If you want quality work, you will need to pay for that quality. Your region may differ from my region on what the $$ is at the end of the day, but the principle applies. And I look at your numbers and your geographic area, and your numbers are TOO LOW. That is the simple fact.

    With inflation and rising-ish wages, all metal working shops need to compete with the Amazons of the world. Amazon giving you $17.50 + bennies to load and unload boxes? Lotta guys are gonna choose that over working in a dingy machine shop running machines with tight tolerances and high stress. There needs to be an incentive. Maybe that incentive is a nice clean facility with windows, white walls and AC. That is a more important factor - overall working conditions. No one wants to work in a place that is old and dingy and dangerous. To be fair, I have worked in places like that and I would prefer the white walls and AC.

    Anywhere you are in the country, $15/hr for a brand new operator with zero experience is the absolute minimum moving forward. If you can go to McDonald's and get a job flipping burgers and make $15/hr then asking for a CNC operator to take the same wage is moronic.

    Chick-Fil-A near my house is hiring people off the street for $17-18/hr with zero experience. Then you got a machine shop down the road seeking a "5 axis guy" paying $20/hr. Now call me crazy, but that shit just doesn't compute.

    I'm gonna quote that guy Titan that everyone here loves to hate - We need to lift our trade up. Seriously. You want to attract quality talent? You're just gonna pay for that man. And $15/hr ain't gonna cut it anymore. I pay my student assistants $15/hr and they have ZERO machining experience. We need to pay them that because it's the min wage but we'd also pay it anyways because we need to keep them on board, otherwise they'll go find better pay.

    A CNC programmer/machinist who can machine complex parts from cradle to grave should be demanding more than a pittance. I don't care what region you're in, it's likely that you're underpaid. More than a pittance = at least $35/hour. I wouldn't even look at a post that was offering anything less than that. Especially not when they're asking for a lot more than just being a machinist. Those jobs should be paying at least $100K but alas, not many do. Yea there are machinists and programmers making that money but it is the exception not the rule.

    Pay your employees more. Pay them what they're worth. Make their life so good that they cannot envision ever wanting to jump ship. That will help weed out the losers and help you find the really good guys.


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