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  1. #61
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    I have lots of funny hiring stories

    but my favorite and on point:

    I interviewed 2 guys one day.

    First guy worked at a local shop, lots of experience could run my heidenhains. Described himself as 'kind of a job hopper'

    Thanks but no thanks

    Second guy had never been in a machine shop, sent by unemployment because he had run 'machines' like a forklift.
    his history involved delinquency, incarceration, serious drug use and low level violence.

    HE walked through my shop and asked 'how does this work' and 'what does this do' several times

    that was 12 years ago he is married now with two young kids

    I am getting ready to write his annual review in the next few weeks and it will no doubt include the words

    "I cannot imagine running my shop without him"

    It has not always been entirely smooth, but I have enjoyed the process



    IF you want a machinist, make one

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnctoolcat View Post

    Most of these restaurant, bar, and retail service jobs are not actually careers, even though the younger generation seems to think they have a good career on their hands. Oh, the reality slap they will be getting down the road...
    I think a lot of individuals need to get in touch with how shitty this industry has become.

    Smart, talented bartenders, waiters, etc... can easily make 80k a year a couple years into the business. How's that stack up against machinist wages? Sure, they probably won't get medical or a 401k -but what's the benefit package worth at the average job shop? 5k/yr?

    No wonder all the kids who chose to become machinists suck at math.

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  4. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by boosted View Post
    No wonder all the kids who chose to become machinists suck at math.
    No kidding

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbflyer View Post
    China. Acquaintance of mine is a welder on the slope. Has a Chinese bride who is an administrator at a high school in Beijing. They begin vocational training at 14 years old in a modern machine shop as part of their high school. Not only do they learn the coding but they also learn to operate the machinery. They build parts in school for sale to various manufacturers to finance the program. The school has a standing order from the European car and aerospace manufacturers for their graduates.

    Here in the US we would be much too worried about Johnny getting his ear buds wound up in the lathe to ever consider this.
    Here in posh Switzerland it's common to start an apprenticeship at 16. Still do school, it's 2-3 days work 2-3 days school. Companies have employees whose whole job is looking after those youngins, it wouldn't be uncommon for a full time employee with 2 apprentices under them. Switzerland still manufactures a bunch of stuff.

    It's a kind of cold system- they separate the kids on university or apprenticeship path at 12-13 here. My daughter just passed her exams to make it to Uni at 12. But one can switch later, it's not set in stone, if you prove you have it you can go Uni path. Cold as it is it's still better than sending everyone off to for-profit colleges with many of them coming out as dumb as they went in and no job prospects and a ton of debt.

    I've worked with young people who did apprenticeship and others who did 4 year schooling (trade school, watchmaking), it's a pretty even split on the dud count. But to go to Uni here you have to be up to snuff. The schooling is essentially free, but you gotta have the goods.

    Btw I'm a Yank and worked with a number of college grads in the 90s making pizza or other service jobs who thought Europe was a country (or whatever other idiotic lack of knowledge fill in the blank). Thank god I found my trade and work with smart people now!

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  8. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by boosted View Post
    I think a lot of individuals need to get in touch with how shitty this industry has become.

    Smart, talented bartenders, waiters, etc... can easily make 80k a year a couple years into the business. How's that stack up against machinist wages? Sure, they probably won't get medical or a 401k -but what's the benefit package worth at the average job shop? 5k/yr?

    No wonder all the kids who chose to become machinists suck at math.
    Non union wages are pretty much the same now as they were over 20 years ago when I last worked for the man. 40 years ago a person that passed an aptitude test could get in a training program for a skilled trade that started out paying almost double the minimum wage of the era. Now a lot of places start trainees in the skilled trades at minimum. A lot of shops now a days have no room for advancement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    Non union wages are pretty much the same now as they were over 20 years ago when I last worked for the man. 40 years ago a person that passed an aptitude test could get in a training program for a skilled trade that started out paying almost double the minimum wage of the era. Now a lot of places start trainees in the skilled trades at minimum. A lot of shops now a days have no room for advancement.
    That is a major problem for this trade. I am (was in) the same boat until I moved and had some bargaining power. I was making $20/hr in 2007ish, health insurance paid by my employer (for me, not family) moderate deductible, $10 or so copays for Dr visit, etc. Now a "good" wage is still $20-22, BUT health insurance is $250/week*, high deductible, $40 copays, etc. Not to mention the cost of living has gone up exponentially!

    *No BS last job my health ins would have been (didn't stay long enough to get it) $510-$520 every 2 weeks, making $25/hr. I pay about $70/wk where I'm at now, but that is just me, my wife covers her and our kid, and honestly it's not great, but at least it is 'affordable'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boosted View Post
    I think a lot of individuals need to get in touch with how shitty this industry has become.

    Smart, talented bartenders, waiters, etc... can easily make 80k a year a couple years into the business. How's that stack up against machinist wages? Sure, they probably won't get medical or a 401k -but what's the benefit package worth at the average job shop? 5k/yr?

    No wonder all the kids who chose to become machinists suck at math.
    I'd like to see some stats on that. I don't think there are too many jobs at 80k year period, let alone a bartender or waiter. That is $40/hr on a 40 hour week, or almost $30/hr with ten hours of overtime per week. Now if they are working 60 hours/week... ?? but who wants to work that many damn hours EVERY WEEK?? Maybe when you are young with no kids and such and you are banking a few hundred dollars every week in savings, probably with a goal of NOT working so damn much eventually, but then your income drops off soo...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I don't think there are too many jobs at 80k year period, let alone a bartender or waiter.
    That depends entirely on region. The stats I pulled showed about 42% of the workforce in the Portland metro area making 75k or more. Portland, Oregon Economy

    We aren't going to be able to dig up good stats on servers specifically, for two reasons. First, they are making a lot of it in cash. And second, I was making this declaration about the smart and talented ones. 80k is definitely not average for a server.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boosted View Post
    I think a lot of individuals need to get in touch with how shitty this industry has become.

    Smart, talented bartenders, waiters, etc... can easily make 80k a year a couple years into the business. How's that stack up against machinist wages? Sure, they probably won't get medical or a 401k -but what's the benefit package worth at the average job shop? 5k/yr?

    No wonder all the kids who chose to become machinists suck at math.
    When I read posts like yours and others similar I can certainly understand if manufacturing in the US is going downhill. Being a machinist is not only a good job in other countries but well paid and respected.

    I's about time some of you stopped trying to compete with China and India re wages.

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  14. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by boosted View Post
    That depends entirely on region. The stats I pulled showed about 42% of the workforce in the Portland metro area making 75k or more. Portland, Oregon Economy

    We aren't going to be able to dig up good stats on servers specifically, for two reasons. First, they are making a lot of it in cash. And second, I was making this declaration about the smart and talented ones. 80k is definitely not average for a server.
    Ok, well that would have been useful upfront. That is not much different than someone saying "machinist make good money at $40/hr" when it is referring to LA or somewhere else that is a very high cost of living.

    Portland, Oregon Cost of Living

    I pulled that ^ from the first couple hits with a google search so take it "as is".

    By comparison, this is the area I live in
    Tampa, Florida Cost of Living
    and referring to the bulk of machinist jobs being $20/hr or below. Once in a while you will see something advertised at $25/hr plus, but usually you need to have been machining for 100 years to acquire all the skills they want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    That is a major problem for this trade. I am (was in) the same boat until I moved and had some bargaining power. I was making $20/hr in 2007ish, health insurance paid by my employer (for me, not family) moderate deductible, $10 or so copays for Dr visit, etc. Now a "good" wage is still $20-22, BUT health insurance is $250/week*, high deductible, $40 copays, etc. Not to mention the cost of living has gone up exponentially!

    *No BS last job my health ins would have been (didn't stay long enough to get it) $510-$520 every 2 weeks, making $25/hr. I pay about $70/wk where I'm at now, but that is just me, my wife covers her and our kid, and honestly it's not great, but at least it is 'affordable'.
    Strange you would have to wait for health insurance at that price as it looks like the company wasn't kicking in a red cent. My last job before self employment paid $28.12 an hour in 1996. That was in Southern California where the cost of living is pretty high.

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    Mike, the scale is different for your part of the country, but it doesn't change my point.

    Servers (even here) can make wages that are very comparable to, and in many instances exceeding those of people in manufacturing trades. For that reason, I don't see why ours is a more valid "career" occupation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    Strange you would have to wait for health insurance at that price as it looks like the company wasn't kicking in a red cent. My last job before self employment paid $28.12 an hour in 1996. That was in Southern California where the cost of living is pretty high.
    I think they were just CHEAP. They used Kronos for time management/payroll, but you weren't allowed to use company time OR computers to check your time punches.

    This might be a small gripe, but they didn't even have 2 monitors setup for all the programmers. I was fortunate I had 2 same sized monitors, but the guy across from me had 2 different size monitors and had one stacked onto a couple books... I know it may be petty, but a dang you can get 24-25" monitors for $130-150...

  18. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by boosted View Post
    Mike, the scale is different for your part of the country, but it doesn't change my point.

    Servers (even here) can make wages that are very comparable to, and in many instances exceeding those of people in manufacturing trades. For that reason, I don't see why ours is a more valid "career" occupation.
    Ya I get your point...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I'd like to see some stats on that. I don't think there are too many jobs at 80k year period, let alone a bartender or waiter. That is $40/hr on a 40 hour week, or almost $30/hr with ten hours of overtime per week. Now if they are working 60 hours/week... ?? but who wants to work that many damn hours EVERY WEEK?? Maybe when you are young with no kids and such and you are banking a few hundred dollars every week in savings, probably with a goal of NOT working so damn much eventually, but then your income drops off soo...
    GO to a bar

    watch the bartender

    how many drinks does he serve?

    What do they cost?

    A busy place, how many drinks a minute peak?

    Go to a restaurant, how much was your dinner for 2? Better part of 100 bucks?

    How many tables was your server running?

    The employee I mentioned? His wife can sometimes out earn him 20 hours a week waitressing. Not often, but it can be done

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    I agree that a lot of Machinists are retiring. Really I have not seen a whole lot of young people want to enter the trade. I do see some and they will learn well. The pay issue is important. They want fair pay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pariel View Post
    I actually think that the environmental for technical, hands on learning in middle/high school is probably ten times better than it was 15-20 years ago (when I was in school). I coach two robotics teams, and FIRST robotics has opened up mechanical learning and programming in a way that literally was not available when I was in school -- well into the period where schools had gotten rid of shop classes. The teams I teach are getting familiar with all sorts of mechanical and electric components; learning CAD, programming fundamentals, and a few are even learning CAM and machining (mostly those who compete on FRC teams). I know engineers who left college with less hands on experience than some of these kids are leaving high school with.

    I strongly agree with you about four year degrees, but schools are just responding to demand. The ease of getting student loans and the requirements for entering the work force need to be dealt with, and that's partially the government and partially employers. A degree is a portable certification of value that most employer training is not, and I think if we all get realistic there needs to be more trustworthy and valuable certifications out there. I only see a as an engineer, mostly ASQ Lean Six Sigma and PMP certs. Other than that, it's masters degrees (on top of bachelors degrees), which are expensive and often far broader than any employer wants or any engineer will really use.
    Mentor for 1089 in Hightstown, NJ. You?

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    A couple of other problems. Who is left to TEACH machining? You need a teaching certificate to do that. How many machinists have one? My grandson is in a STEP program. They bought a brand new Haas MiniMill, a CNC lathe, a CNC knee mill and the teacher has ZERO machining experience!

    Second you think it is hard finding qualified machinist candidates. We build shit processing plants. No one EVER said "I'm going to be the best shit plant operator anyone has ever seen!"

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    I've been at this for over 20 yrs now.

    Coming from the school of hard knocks, I say fuck it.

    The tradesmen have been getting put over a barrel for years, soon you'll be able to name your own price.

    A trade should be able to let you earn enough , to enjoy life within your means, not work 2 or 3 jobs to scrape by.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, after thinking about it, I'll add something else.

    Only hire and train those who truly have a passion to learn, anything less is detrimental to the trade as a whole.

    Respect them enough to train them, so they can leave to go anywhere, but pay and treat them well, so they stay for the benefit of the shop.

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    The only trades people I know living well are all union... real union with real union wages and benefits. I'm fixin to join the fitters, starting pay is 1.5x what I make now, and it goes up to 3x what I make now. That math aint hard to do.

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