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Posted: 1/27/2014 1:10:27 PM EDT
I was just let go from my job of eleven years.  I was a researcher at a pharmaceutical company. I've been published in three journal papers and have had much personal success during my time with this company.  For me to get another job in the same industry would require me to relocate.  That is something I'm not willing to do at this point, so I'm looking to try something else.  For the past eleven years, I have been moonlighting at a local gun shop where I have learned to be very proficient with a manual lathe.  During that time, I have built 6-7 rifles and can do various other lathe operations you might ask a gunsmith to do.  While working at the pharmaceutical company, I was tasked with fabricating many different fixtures and apparatus necessary for my studies that can not be purchased on the open market simply because they don't exist.  The majority of these items were designed and machined on the shop's lathe or milling machine. (with the owner's blessing, of course)  I don't have any formal education on machine shop practice. Only what others have shown me and what I have learned on my own.

My questions are this:
What do I put on my resume to apply for a machinist position?

Do I bring pictures of some of the items I have built for the pharmaceutical job? How about a ten shot group from one of the rifles I built?

Will a machine shop even consider me without any education or serious experience?

Are shop owners willing to take on someone with my type of experience and train them?


Any input you could give would be appreciated.

DV
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 1:13:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2014 1:14:27 PM EDT by WilliamGray]
Manual lathe experience is a big plus.  
No one wants to be a machinist anymore.   Shops love guys that can learn quick and show an interest.   Most will train with no experience but the pay will be low until you can pull your weight.

I started with no experience doing shipping, sweeping floors, and sharpening Sykes cutters.    You can train a CNC operator in a week.    Try to stay with manual machining though.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 1:30:48 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By WilliamGray:
Manual lathe experience is a big plus.  
No one wants to be a machinist anymore.   Shops love guys that can learn quick and show an interest.   Most will train with no experience but the pay will be low until you can pull your weight.

I started with no experience doing shipping, sweeping floors, and sharpening Sykes cutters.    You can train a CNC operator in a week.    Try to stay with manual machining though.
View Quote


That's encouraging. Thanks!
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 2:18:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2014 2:19:55 PM EDT by FrankSymptoms]
What do I put on my resume to apply for a machinist position?
View Quote


Your resume won't get you a job. It WILL get you an interview; that's what it is for, nothing more. I recommend you save the pics for the interview. On your resume, put something like "Was responsible for fine machining in a gunmaker's shop [guns DO require VERY fine work], producing beautiful firearms with xx minute of accuracy."

At the bottom of this paragraph put "Product descriptions and photographs are available for your consideration" or some such.

Consider that most people who are hiring (meaning: the boss who is looking at resumes) will give each resume maybe 20 seconds consideration. For this reason, strongly highlight your experience with the machine shop and let the pharmacy work go to the bottom of the page.

If you know any other machinists, look at their resumes (if they have any) and go from there. Don't lie, but don't be afraid to embellish your experience.

Best of luck to you!

eta

Study the different types of resumes: Chronological, Functional, Combination, Targeted. Link.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 2:28:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2014 2:30:21 PM EDT by WilliamGray]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FrankSymptoms:


Your resume won't get you a job. It WILL get you an interview; that's what it is for, nothing more. I recommend you save the pics for the interview. On your resume, put something like "Was responsible for fine machining in a gunmaker's shop [guns DO require VERY fine work], producing beautiful firearms with xx minute of accuracy."

At the bottom of this paragraph put "Product descriptions and photographs are available for your consideration" or some such.

Consider that most people who are hiring (meaning: the boss who is looking at resumes) will give each resume maybe 20 seconds consideration. For this reason, strongly highlight your experience with the machine shop and let the pharmacy work go to the bottom of the page.

If you know any other machinists, look at their resumes (if they have any) and go from there. Don't lie, but don't be afraid to embellish your experience.

Best of luck to you!

eta

Study the different types of resumes: Chronological, Functional, Combination, Targeted. Link.
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Originally Posted By FrankSymptoms:
What do I put on my resume to apply for a machinist position?


Your resume won't get you a job. It WILL get you an interview; that's what it is for, nothing more. I recommend you save the pics for the interview. On your resume, put something like "Was responsible for fine machining in a gunmaker's shop [guns DO require VERY fine work], producing beautiful firearms with xx minute of accuracy."

At the bottom of this paragraph put "Product descriptions and photographs are available for your consideration" or some such.

Consider that most people who are hiring (meaning: the boss who is looking at resumes) will give each resume maybe 20 seconds consideration. For this reason, strongly highlight your experience with the machine shop and let the pharmacy work go to the bottom of the page.

If you know any other machinists, look at their resumes (if they have any) and go from there. Don't lie, but don't be afraid to embellish your experience.

Best of luck to you!

eta

Study the different types of resumes: Chronological, Functional, Combination, Targeted. Link.

I would also recommend showing up before work starts and everyone is drinking coffee and bullshitting.   Try to talk to the shop manager when you turn in your résumé.    Dot just leave it with the receptionist/secretary.   If they are hiring, you will most likely get an interview right then.

What part of Texas are you in?   If you are in South Texas I might be able to recommend a shop.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 2:32:20 PM EDT
I just left the medical field, and have very much the same experience as you do.  I applied at the local MS and was promptly hired.  I was put to work on a fellows shaper, and barber coleman hobbing machines.  I didn't have enough experience to work in the custom work area (milling experience), and in the production dept was all cnc lathes.  

I'm now a production monkey with mostly manual machines.  However I'm not too bummed, I make almost exactly what I used to in the medical field, and I'm off my fat arse physically working ten hours a day now.  It didn't take long to make a huge difference in the way I felt, and my attitude in "earning" a living.

Best of luck
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 2:34:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2014 2:35:49 PM EDT by California_Kid]
Taggage.  I've always wanted to be a machinist, or a lion tamer.

<--- loves his milling machine

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 2:38:19 PM EDT
OST.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 2:38:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2014 2:39:19 PM EDT by NwG]
A good employer should see you are creative and can teach yourself essential skills. If they don't have a problem with a training period to get you up to speed you shouldn't have a problem. It takes a while to get familiar with a new machine shop anyway as they all run their machines and production in different ways.. Some efficiently, most not so much!,
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 2:41:10 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FrankSymptoms:


Your resume won't get you a job. It WILL get you an interview; that's what it is for, nothing more. I recommend you save the pics for the interview. On your resume, put something like "Was responsible for fine machining in a gunmaker's shop [guns DO require VERY fine work], producing beautiful firearms with xx minute of accuracy."

At the bottom of this paragraph put "Product descriptions and photographs are available for your consideration" or some such.

Consider that most people who are hiring (meaning: the boss who is looking at resumes) will give each resume maybe 20 seconds consideration. For this reason, strongly highlight your experience with the machine shop and let the pharmacy work go to the bottom of the page.

If you know any other machinists, look at their resumes (if they have any) and go from there. Don't lie, but don't be afraid to embellish your experience.

Best of luck to you!

eta

Study the different types of resumes: Chronological, Functional, Combination, Targeted. Link.
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Originally Posted By FrankSymptoms:
What do I put on my resume to apply for a machinist position?


Your resume won't get you a job. It WILL get you an interview; that's what it is for, nothing more. I recommend you save the pics for the interview. On your resume, put something like "Was responsible for fine machining in a gunmaker's shop [guns DO require VERY fine work], producing beautiful firearms with xx minute of accuracy."

At the bottom of this paragraph put "Product descriptions and photographs are available for your consideration" or some such.

Consider that most people who are hiring (meaning: the boss who is looking at resumes) will give each resume maybe 20 seconds consideration. For this reason, strongly highlight your experience with the machine shop and let the pharmacy work go to the bottom of the page.

If you know any other machinists, look at their resumes (if they have any) and go from there. Don't lie, but don't be afraid to embellish your experience.

Best of luck to you!

eta

Study the different types of resumes: Chronological, Functional, Combination, Targeted. Link.


This is good advice. Not many people going into machining anymore. I have noticed some of the research people I work with now going the 3D printing route for they're plastic parts.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 2:45:45 PM EDT
work in IT,  would like to be a machinist as well.  This seems like good advice.

that first pay cut has to be a biaatch!


what's a good machinist with 5 years experience make range-wise?
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 2:46:15 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By elginrunner:
I just left the medical field, and have very much the same experience as you do.  I applied at the local MS and was promptly hired.  I was put to work on a fellows shaper, and barber coleman hobbing machines.  I didn't have enough experience to work in the custom work area (milling experience), and in the production dept was all cnc lathes.  

I'm now a production monkey with mostly manual machines.  However I'm not too bummed, I make almost exactly what I used to in the medical field, and I'm off my fat arse physically working ten hours a day now.  It didn't take long to make a huge difference in the way I felt, and my attitude in "earning" a living.

Best of luck
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Fellows shaper, change them gears, set that stroke.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 3:08:32 PM EDT
Find the right shop, and a.) they'll be concerned with your skill, not what's on paper, and b.) a lot of shops are hurting for new blood, so they're happy to take on someone who's a little wet behind the ears, so long as they can show some basic skill and a passion for learning. It's especially a bonus if you can bring them new customers with expertise in a certain area.

Good on you for taking on this pursuit, and best of luck to you!
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 4:12:17 PM EDT
If you can read, understand fractions and how to add and subtract them (understand least common denominator), can use micrometers, calipers and tape measures, show up on time for the interview, and are clean for the drug test, you will be automatically ahead of 98% of the morons pumped out of the public schools.  You should have an easy time getting a job in a decent machine shop, but don't expect to be running the mills or lathes right off.
And driving in yourself is a big plus.  Having your wife drop you off for the interview doesn't look so good.
I have seen and been told of all these things.  Most guys could not pass a clinical idiot test anymore, and that probably includes more than a few non- engineering college graduates.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 5:06:13 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:

that first pay cut has to be a biaatch!


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Pay cut?

It varies depending on where you live but starting pay for a manual machinist is in the $18-$25 range. This is with basic skills (school or 1-2 years experience). The real beauty of being a machinist is after your 8 hours at work you can come home, walk out to your garage and make $50 an hour on your own mill/lathe. Your earning potental is only limited by your self motivation and creativity. Two hours a day after work is an additional $30k a year. I could lose my job today and not go hungry or be forced to live off savings.

As far as what to put on your resume, list that you're proficent in reading calipers, micrometer, dial indicator, scale, working from blueprints, etc.. List the metals you have experience with, carbon steel(get specific if you want), stainless, aluminum, copper, nylon, etc. Talk about the fact you can hold concentric tolerances within .001 (or however low you aim for when chambering/crowning). List any related fabrication experience; use of taps/dies, welding, painting, using sanders, grinders, horozontal saws, heat treating, or other shop equipment you've used. If you've worked with metric measurements, list that too.

I would also highly recommend having some show and tell parts you can bring along to the interview since you don't have any formal school or full time experience to put on the resume (avoid gun related parts, you don't know the political ideals of the person hiring you). They don't need to be elaborate, just show some basic workmanship and abilities. This is one of my favorite and shows some abilities as well as creative thinking. It's a nut on a threaded rod, but the ends of the rod are larger then the nut ID. It confuses the hell out of even alot of machinists. It's called a captive nut, goggle will tell you how to make it.



Each shop is differnt but some will even have you make a part for your interview. They usually have something basic and give you a time limit of 1-2 hours. So bring eye/ear protection, you can leave it in your car but have it just incase to show you plan ahead.

If you show up on time for work and are sober I can almost guarantee someone will hire you locally. It might be a lower pay rate and involve sweeping and cleaning up, but if they see potential they'll snatch you up. The push toward a 'service society' has created a huge vacuum in the machining/fabrication industry.

Turing scraps of metal into valuable objects is a reward unto itself. Some days you'll feel beat to shit but it's like the end of Office Space when he's shoveling and talks about being outside in the sun working like a man, you'll know what you've created and that you earned every penny of your pay.

Link Posted: 1/27/2014 5:17:46 PM EDT
I will agree with others- machining is so much about problem solving and common sense to get around issues/crisis that pop up...  And learning new techniques... with your brain, you should do fine somewhere.  The fact you don't have a chuck key dent in your forehead and won't piss hot is just another plus!  
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 5:18:19 PM EDT
I have one very important question you will be asked in your first interview.

Do you have all your own tools?

I hired a guy a few years ago, in the same situation as you, no education, some experience. When we interviewed him I showed him the list of tools we require "yep I have all that". He showed up 2 weeks later with a claw hammer, a tape measure, a plastic combination square,  2 files and a set of calipers from harbor freight.  I asked him where the rest of his tools were he said " this is all I need ".  He didn't last very long.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 5:25:31 PM EDT
Hit up the local trade school and get a cert.  It can help.

You'll need to get some CNC under your belt to make good money.  Also, production machining is a different ballgame than one offs.  Speed and efficiency trumps all in that case.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 5:46:49 PM EDT
FWIW the highest paid person in our shop, besides the owners, the other foreman and myself , is the 24 year old kid that does our drafting and programming.  He is as capable of a machinist as any of the other guys in the shop too.

If you have good computer skills, learning Solidworks, Mastercam, or Autocad can be very helpful in landing a great job.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 6:04:14 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
work in IT,  would like to be a machinist as well.  This seems like good advice.

that first pay cut has to be a biaatch!


what's a good machinist with 5 years experience make range-wise?
View Quote


I was getting around 18 at 5 years.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 6:50:16 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By cumminspower:
I have one very important question you will be asked in your first interview.

Do you have all your own tools?

I hired a guy a few years ago, in the same situation as you, no education, some experience. When we interviewed him I showed him the list of tools we require "yep I have all that". He showed up 2 weeks later with a claw hammer, a tape measure, a plastic combination square,  2 files and a set of calipers from harbor freight.  I asked him where the rest of his tools were he said " this is all I need ".  He didn't last very long.
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What is your tool list you require? and where / who makes the best files? I have been buying files at garage sales for years, mostly US, some german and a bit of japanese steel, but mostly US.

my collection is......eclectic.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 6:51:52 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By WilliamGray:


I was getting around 18 at 5 years.
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Originally Posted By WilliamGray:
Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
work in IT,  would like to be a machinist as well.  This seems like good advice.

that first pay cut has to be a biaatch!


what's a good machinist with 5 years experience make range-wise?


I was getting around 18 at 5 years.



18K/Year?  ok good data point. Full time and no after work extra work correct?

Link Posted: 1/27/2014 7:20:54 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:

what's a good machinist with 5 years experience make range-wise?
View Quote


Depends on region and company. For instance here in Libtard country Oregon (Eugene area) a person with 20 years experience will be offered a minimum for a life time of knowledge. $12.00-$15.00 and hour at most production based companies. There are 3-4 companies that will pay $18-$30.00 hourly but do a large amount of custom machining for specific needs and industry.  The more diversity among machines and tech you know, the more you can expect to earn for income.  If you drive 45 miles to the north in the Corvallis-Albany area Production employees make $18-$25 per hour, but require a 5+ year experience.

There are 600,000 production based machine manufacturing jobs in this nation that need to be filled. If you have the skills there are shops that will pay. If you are confident in your skill, DO NOT TAKE A JOB FOR MENIAL WAGES.

If you can acquire a machine. You can make exponentially more $$ working from home.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 7:34:28 PM EDT

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Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
18K/Year?  ok good data point. Full time and no after work extra work correct?



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Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:



Originally Posted By WilliamGray:


Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:

work in IT,  would like to be a machinist as well.  This seems like good advice.



that first pay cut has to be a biaatch!





what's a good machinist with 5 years experience make range-wise?




I was getting around 18 at 5 years.






18K/Year?  ok good data point. Full time and no after work extra work correct?



I'm fairly certain he meant $18/hour.



 
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 7:59:03 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By gman350:
I'm fairly certain he meant $18/hour.
 
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Originally Posted By gman350:
Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
Originally Posted By WilliamGray:
Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
work in IT,  would like to be a machinist as well.  This seems like good advice.

that first pay cut has to be a biaatch!


what's a good machinist with 5 years experience make range-wise?


I was getting around 18 at 5 years.



18K/Year?  ok good data point. Full time and no after work extra work correct?

I'm fairly certain he meant $18/hour.
 

I'm retarded. I mean /hr, with no averaging for extra work etc.  multitasking bit me
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 8:42:38 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By gman350:
I'm fairly certain he meant $18/hour.
 
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Originally Posted By gman350:
Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
Originally Posted By WilliamGray:
Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
work in IT,  would like to be a machinist as well.  This seems like good advice.

that first pay cut has to be a biaatch!


what's a good machinist with 5 years experience make range-wise?


I was getting around 18 at 5 years.



18K/Year?  ok good data point. Full time and no after work extra work correct?

I'm fairly certain he meant $18/hour.
 


I sure hope so..

speed

Link Posted: 1/27/2014 8:44:16 PM EDT
This is sounding somewhat promising, as I can manage to run a manual lathe or a mill without getting a chuck key to the face or wound up in the machine.

speed
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 8:52:01 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:



18K/Year?  ok good data point. Full time and no after work extra work correct?

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Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
Originally Posted By WilliamGray:
Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
work in IT,  would like to be a machinist as well.  This seems like good advice.

that first pay cut has to be a biaatch!


what's a good machinist with 5 years experience make range-wise?


I was getting around 18 at 5 years.



18K/Year?  ok good data point. Full time and no after work extra work correct?


Err, $18/hour.  
45-50 hours a week.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 9:01:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2014 9:03:09 PM EDT by Thumbnuts]
I own a fair sized machine shop. We have 13 cnc machines and about a dozen manual machines used for one offs and support duties.  I have had both young and old apply for jobs. I am willing to give anyone a shot a a job who i think will be an asset wih some training. Chances are even if you "know CNC" you are not going to be thrown on a machine without any training. EVERY shop does stuff different. How stuff is setup, programs written, machine languages etc.

I know the op has manual lathe experience, i would ask to see some of your work, photos of your rifles would be good. I would ask what someone else had said about you having your own tools. Details of your lathe experience? Single point threading? You probably did your barrels but can you do it in a reasonable amount of time? Most hobbiests look a setting up a barrel for threading and chambering as a weekend peoject. I need it done in about an hour...  Can you cut internal theads. How about mill experience? Mill work will get you farther with me than lathe work, most lathe parts are simple enough that my 10 yr old son an do them. Get on a bridgeport an show me your stuff.  My questions for prospects include setup, how are you going to hold a certain part. How are you going to avoid machining yourself into a corner? (Not being able to hold it or eleminating surfaces neccessary to get other features) These are the nuts and bolts questions i ask prospects.

If you dont know, say so. Don't bullshit me, I know how to make the parts i'm asking about.   Nobody knows everything and someone that is quick to learn and shows the mental ability to figure out how to do stuff is what I look for.

Hope this helps, please forgive the spelling and punctuation- typed on my ipad

Link Posted: 1/27/2014 9:11:44 PM EDT

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Originally Posted By BigPolska:


I will agree with others- machining is so much about problem solving and common sense to get around issues/crisis that pop up...  And learning new techniques... with your brain, you should do fine somewhere.  The fact you don't have a chuck key dent in your forehead and won't piss hot is just another plus!  
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thats one of the biggest things i learned being a hobby machinist.   there are 2000000 ways to skin a cat..  but some dude with some common sense will prove his way makes your method look like pre school level shit ..  all the while you thought you were king-ding-a-ling for figuring it out







but thats what makes it fun!  
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 9:27:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2014 9:29:17 PM EDT by ReconB4]
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Originally Posted By WilliamGray:
Manual lathe experience is a big plus.  
No one wants to be a machinist anymore.   Shops love guys that can learn quick and show an interest.   Most will train with no experience but the pay will be low until you can pull your weight.

I started with no experience doing shipping, sweeping floors, and sharpening Sykes cutters.    You can train a CNC operator in a week.    Try to stay with manual machining though.
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You are nuts to even consider doing that over your career. Like what William said, you are going to be doing the shit jobs and lucky to touch a machine. You know how expensive those things are. More like than not, most shops aren't going to be making gun parts, thats going to require you to know how to read code and get it right. Also you will have to choose tooling and other things. I don't see anyone seriously considering someone who moonlighted working on a lathe for a hobby. I've seen just the opposite of what was said as far as experience/education goes. If you haven't worked in a professional capacity, you may as well forget someone hiring you to use their very expensive machines and tooling to make a part you've never seen before because the client wants it and you will have to figure it out without breaking things.

If you can't show a lot of different parts you've made, not just gun parts, talking about different techniques and tooling on their level, I don't think I'd wast my time trying to get a job thats going to start you at $15 an hour.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 9:59:18 PM EDT
I started my working life as a machinist back in 1977.
Now I am a Millwright/Pipefitter/Business owner. There is good money to be made in the trades

if you get in with the right company. I can't complain about the money I make, not counting our business. If I wanted to put in the time

6 figures is within easy reach.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 10:25:44 PM EDT
First off what part of Texas are you in?  If you live in or close to one of the larger metroplex areas you will probably have a better chance of finding a job first off.  

This is my own experience.  I have certifications and experience in AutoCADD, CAD/CAM, PRO-E, and Solidworks.  Certifications and experience in manual lathe, vertical and horizontal milling machines, CNC turning and milling centers, and surface grinders.  

Learned how to use a lathe, milling machine, surface grinder, and some welding in high school at age 16.  I went to the local community college and earned an associate degree (2 years) in Drafting/AutoCADD design and Precision Machining both. This was 2004.  By this time about 60-70% of all our large industry had left, most had relocated overseas for cheaper labor.  Most of the smaller machine shops around our area started drying up and closing due to them losing most of their big clients in local industry.  I applied to every shop that had a Help Wanted sign or listing in the newspaper.  Every place I went to no one wanted to hire me because I did go to college and learned how to run manual machines and had a little time with CNC's.  The same response I got from every shop I applied to was "We prefer to train our own workers on the job".

I did end up finally getting a job at one place for a while because a guy I was in class with got me an interview at a place he worked.  He was moving out of state and I was going to take his position.  Now this job started out at $7.00 an hour, for my "no experience".  Keep in mind by this time I had been running manual machines for a good 2-3 years but had no paying work history to count for it only school time.  I worked there for a while and after I found out the only thing I was going to ever do there was sweep the floors and deliver parts I decided to move on.  My next job I stayed at for about 2 1/2 years until I got laid off due to the economy and contracts going overseas for cheap work.  The second job was more of a job shop but we did some production work to for places.  It was a good job, the environment was great, and you got treated like family.  There was about 15 guys that worked there and it was a good experience.  When I left I was making $10 an hour, pretty much the bottom of the barrel in my opinion but it was a check.  

In order for me to make any money I would have to drive one way 70+ miles if I was going to stay in the field.  Or I could move. Personally, driving 140-150 miles a day for a job that would pay $30K a year to me was not worth it.  This would have put me anywhere in the Dallas metroplex area.  

From my experiences with working in a machine shop every employer wants someone with 10+ years of experience that is willing to work for beginners wages.  If you have some school experience behind you and don't live in a large metropolitan area you're almost shit out of luck because most want someone with no experience and no bad habits they won't have to fix.  If you can get on at a small shop work there a few years and learn as much as you can then get into some industry where they will pay you for your experience.  I still keep up with some of the guys I worked with and know what my area is willing to pay if your a machinist.  

Starting out your looking at $8-10/hr for most small shops, if you have 5-10 years experience about $12-15/hr is pretty average, if you got 20 years under your belt about $18-23/hr an hour is what your looking at.  Our local industry that is left starts machinist out around $12-14/hr and then goes up to $25-26/hr for the top paying jobs where guys are tool and die makers.  There are only a handful of industries still open locally within an hours drive that you can make this kind of money at as a machinist too.  Other options are if you're looking to make the big bucks is drive over an hour to work one way (70+ miles average) for $12-25 an hour.

I'm glad for all the experience I learned and the people I got to work with.  I wish I was still able to work in the shops locally and make a decent living but I saw that unless I was willing to move it would never happen.
After I got laid off in 2008 I went to Nursing school, and started out making $17/hr as an LVN and the jobs came to me.  I didn't have to chase after work anymore.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 4:03:03 AM EDT
Make or break hiring question - Interapid or Starrett Last Word?

If they say Starrett Last Word, rudely escort them from the building.  

Link Posted: 1/28/2014 4:06:15 AM EDT
There up drug companies up in New York  Relocate up here!  According to our fuhrer NY is "open for business".
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 4:09:50 AM EDT
Also, FWIW, the guys that are doing prototype machining for companies out at RTP make DAMN good money.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 4:18:26 AM EDT
Send me your resume in a PM, also what part of Texas are you at now?

AKASL

LIVE FREE OR DIE
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 4:45:08 AM EDT
OP,

 I was a manfacturing engineer who got laid off in November.
That week I luckilly recieved an insurance settlement as well as my severance package...

Took the settlement, my 401K $$$, and went "all in"

Bought Solidworks, Autocad, a 4-axis Tormach 1100 CNC mill with tooling and put it in my otherwise unused dining room

I've been so busy I haven't been to ARFCOM since!  

Motorcycle shops wanting custom parts, product developers with their own ideas, drilling companies
aircraft companies, and others are sending me prints and sketches and cheques!  

DO IT!!!!

But not in Arlington, or I'll send fat Tony to a breaka your kneecaps!
(That's a joke -there is PLENTY to do)

I had a small Clausing mill, and prior machining and CAD  experience which no doubt is a big help

But if you are smart, motivated, and have good friends YOU CAN MAKE IT!


Good luck OP.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 4:48:10 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By USPcompact:
Make or break hiring question - Interapid or Starrett Last Word?

If they say Starrett Last Word, rudely escort them from the building.  

View Quote



Starrett/Interapid is like asking Harley or Ducati

I'll take modern performance with built in quality over an antique with a reputation any day!
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:03:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2014 5:07:08 AM EDT by Shooter62]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By wild_Texas:
First off what part of Texas are you in?  If you live in or close to one of the larger metroplex areas you will probably have a better chance of finding a job first off.  

This is my own experience.  I have certifications and experience in AutoCADD, CAD/CAM, PRO-E, and Solidworks.  Certifications and experience in manual lathe, vertical and horizontal milling machines, CNC turning and milling centers, and surface grinders.  

Learned how to use a lathe, milling machine, surface grinder, and some welding in high school at age 16.  I went to the local community college and earned an associate degree (2 years) in Drafting/AutoCADD design and Precision Machining both. This was 2004.  By this time about 60-70% of all our large industry had left, most had relocated overseas for cheaper labor.  Most of the smaller machine shops around our area started drying up and closing due to them losing most of their big clients in local industry.  I applied to every shop that had a Help Wanted sign or listing in the newspaper.  Every place I went to no one wanted to hire me because I did go to college and learned how to run manual machines and had a little time with CNC's.  The same response I got from every shop I applied to was "We prefer to train our own workers on the job".

I did end up finally getting a job at one place for a while because a guy I was in class with got me an interview at a place he worked.  He was moving out of state and I was going to take his position.  Now this job started out at $7.00 an hour, for my "no experience".  Keep in mind by this time I had been running manual machines for a good 2-3 years but had no paying work history to count for it only school time.  I worked there for a while and after I found out the only thing I was going to ever do there was sweep the floors and deliver parts I decided to move on.  My next job I stayed at for about 2 1/2 years until I got laid off due to the economy and contracts going overseas for cheap work.  The second job was more of a job shop but we did some production work to for places.  It was a good job, the environment was great, and you got treated like family.  There was about 15 guys that worked there and it was a good experience.  When I left I was making $10 an hour, pretty much the bottom of the barrel in my opinion but it was a check.  

In order for me to make any money I would have to drive one way 70+ miles if I was going to stay in the field.  Or I could move. Personally, driving 140-150 miles a day for a job that would pay $30K a year to me was not worth it.  This would have put me anywhere in the Dallas metroplex area.  

From my experiences with working in a machine shop every employer wants someone with 10+ years of experience that is willing to work for beginners wages.  If you have some school experience behind you and don't live in a large metropolitan area you're almost shit out of luck because most want someone with no experience and no bad habits they won't have to fix.  If you can get on at a small shop work there a few years and learn as much as you can then get into some industry where they will pay you for your experience.  I still keep up with some of the guys I worked with and know what my area is willing to pay if your a machinist.  

Starting out your looking at $8-10/hr for most small shops, if you have 5-10 years experience about $12-15/hr is pretty average, if you got 20 years under your belt about $18-23/hr an hour is what your looking at.  Our local industry that is left starts machinist out around $12-14/hr and then goes up to $25-26/hr for the top paying jobs where guys are tool and die makers.  There are only a handful of industries still open locally within an hours drive that you can make this kind of money at as a machinist too.  Other options are if you're looking to make the big bucks is drive over an hour to work one way (70+ miles average) for $12-25 an hour.

I'm glad for all the experience I learned and the people I got to work with.  I wish I was still able to work in the shops locally and make a decent living but I saw that unless I was willing to move it would never happen.
After I got laid off in 2008 I went to Nursing school, and started out making $17/hr as an LVN and the jobs came to me.  I didn't have to chase after work anymore.
View Quote


This is closer to my experience as far as pay goes. I've got over 30 years experience now, and have worked in the Denver area, Northern MN., and most recently in and around Nashville , TN. Moved to a tiny little town and am trying to help a guy start a shop. I am THE MACHINIST, and make $14/an hour 2 miles from my house with total freedom. The most I've ever made was $25/hr with a 2 1/2 hour commute.
I've done mostly manual work, some CNC, and have a bad back, knees and nerve damage in my hands now.
I've always said anyone can do this trade, but to be good enough (fast, quality) to make money at it is the trick.
 Good luck to you what ever you decide.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:08:53 AM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By USPcompact:


Make or break hiring question - Interapid or Starrett Last Word?



If they say Starrett Last Word, rudely escort them from the building.  



View Quote




 



The correct answer is Mitutoyo large dial.







OP, the first thing you need to do is walk into the shop on your first day and blow the wheel on the surface grinder. If you can do this without shitting yourself it will show your Moxie.




And to make sure the part flies across the room, its best to leave the magnet off.







Srsly, safety first. There is a metric shit tonne of sharp and dangerous things in a shop, plus things that will crush your foot if you cause them to fall and or drop them.




If you have an adverse reaction to sudden loud noises this trade may not be for you. We have one guy who likes to stick his hand into bad places anytime something goes bang.




I have no idea why he is still employed here.



Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:52:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2014 5:53:16 AM EDT by USPcompact]
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Originally Posted By RaisedByWolves:

 
The correct answer is Mitutoyo large dial.

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Originally Posted By RaisedByWolves:
Originally Posted By USPcompact:
Make or break hiring question - Interapid or Starrett Last Word?

If they say Starrett Last Word, rudely escort them from the building.  


 
The correct answer is Mitutoyo large dial.





I do like their digital calipers and especially like their digi mic's.  Makes my oooooolllllllldddddd Fowler (the REAL Fowler, not the new Chiwanese Fowler) seem like a dinosaur.

And surface grinders legitimately scare me.  Like wood-shaper-with-no-power-feed-spinning-4"-cutters scary.  
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 1:16:58 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By wil-N-VA:


Pay cut?

It varies depending on where you live but starting pay for a manual machinist is in the $18-$25 range. This is with basic skills (school or 1-2 years experience). The real beauty of being a machinist is after your 8 hours at work you can come home, walk out to your garage and make $50 an hour on your own mill/lathe. Your earning potental is only limited by your self motivation and creativity. Two hours a day after work is an additional $30k a year. I could lose my job today and not go hungry or be forced to live off savings.

As far as what to put on your resume, list that you're proficent in reading calipers, micrometer, dial indicator, scale, working from blueprints, etc.. List the metals you have experience with, carbon steel(get specific if you want), stainless, aluminum, copper, nylon, etc. Talk about the fact you can hold concentric tolerances within .001 (or however low you aim for when chambering/crowning). List any related fabrication experience; use of taps/dies, welding, painting, using sanders, grinders, horozontal saws, heat treating, or other shop equipment you've used. If you've worked with metric measurements, list that too.

I would also highly recommend having some show and tell parts you can bring along to the interview since you don't have any formal school or full time experience to put on the resume (avoid gun related parts, you don't know the political ideals of the person hiring you). They don't need to be elaborate, just show some basic workmanship and abilities. This is one of my favorite and shows some abilities as well as creative thinking. It's a nut on a threaded rod, but the ends of the rod are larger then the nut ID. It confuses the hell out of even alot of machinists. It's called a captive nut, goggle will tell you how to make it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v630/spope14/DSC05127.jpg

Each shop is differnt but some will even have you make a part for your interview. They usually have something basic and give you a time limit of 1-2 hours. So bring eye/ear protection, you can leave it in your car but have it just incase to show you plan ahead.

If you show up on time for work and are sober I can almost guarantee someone will hire you locally. It might be a lower pay rate and involve sweeping and cleaning up, but if they see potential they'll snatch you up. The push toward a 'service society' has created a huge vacuum in the machining/fabrication industry.

Turing scraps of metal into valuable objects is a reward unto itself. Some days you'll feel beat to shit but it's like the end of Office Space when he's shoveling and talks about being outside in the sun working like a man, you'll know what you've created and that you earned every penny of your pay.

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Originally Posted By wil-N-VA:
Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:

that first pay cut has to be a biaatch!




Pay cut?

It varies depending on where you live but starting pay for a manual machinist is in the $18-$25 range. This is with basic skills (school or 1-2 years experience). The real beauty of being a machinist is after your 8 hours at work you can come home, walk out to your garage and make $50 an hour on your own mill/lathe. Your earning potental is only limited by your self motivation and creativity. Two hours a day after work is an additional $30k a year. I could lose my job today and not go hungry or be forced to live off savings.

As far as what to put on your resume, list that you're proficent in reading calipers, micrometer, dial indicator, scale, working from blueprints, etc.. List the metals you have experience with, carbon steel(get specific if you want), stainless, aluminum, copper, nylon, etc. Talk about the fact you can hold concentric tolerances within .001 (or however low you aim for when chambering/crowning). List any related fabrication experience; use of taps/dies, welding, painting, using sanders, grinders, horozontal saws, heat treating, or other shop equipment you've used. If you've worked with metric measurements, list that too.

I would also highly recommend having some show and tell parts you can bring along to the interview since you don't have any formal school or full time experience to put on the resume (avoid gun related parts, you don't know the political ideals of the person hiring you). They don't need to be elaborate, just show some basic workmanship and abilities. This is one of my favorite and shows some abilities as well as creative thinking. It's a nut on a threaded rod, but the ends of the rod are larger then the nut ID. It confuses the hell out of even alot of machinists. It's called a captive nut, goggle will tell you how to make it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v630/spope14/DSC05127.jpg

Each shop is differnt but some will even have you make a part for your interview. They usually have something basic and give you a time limit of 1-2 hours. So bring eye/ear protection, you can leave it in your car but have it just incase to show you plan ahead.

If you show up on time for work and are sober I can almost guarantee someone will hire you locally. It might be a lower pay rate and involve sweeping and cleaning up, but if they see potential they'll snatch you up. The push toward a 'service society' has created a huge vacuum in the machining/fabrication industry.

Turing scraps of metal into valuable objects is a reward unto itself. Some days you'll feel beat to shit but it's like the end of Office Space when he's shoveling and talks about being outside in the sun working like a man, you'll know what you've created and that you earned every penny of your pay.



This was very helpful. Thank you!

BTW, I am North of Houston in the Conroe area.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 1:18:23 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:



What is your tool list you require? and where / who makes the best files? I have been buying files at garage sales for years, mostly US, some german and a bit of japanese steel, but mostly US.

my collection is......eclectic.
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Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
Originally Posted By cumminspower:
I have one very important question you will be asked in your first interview.

Do you have all your own tools?

I hired a guy a few years ago, in the same situation as you, no education, some experience. When we interviewed him I showed him the list of tools we require "yep I have all that". He showed up 2 weeks later with a claw hammer, a tape measure, a plastic combination square,  2 files and a set of calipers from harbor freight.  I asked him where the rest of his tools were he said " this is all I need ".  He didn't last very long.



What is your tool list you require? and where / who makes the best files? I have been buying files at garage sales for years, mostly US, some german and a bit of japanese steel, but mostly US.

my collection is......eclectic.


I have been using some that are Swiss made. Grobet? maybe is the name. Our tool list is pretty basic, calipers, mics, indicators,square, a few hand tools. All cutting tools are company supplied.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 1:19:23 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Thumbnuts:
I own a fair sized machine shop. We have 13 cnc machines and about a dozen manual machines used for one offs and support duties.  I have had both young and old apply for jobs. I am willing to give anyone a shot a a job who i think will be an asset wih some training. Chances are even if you "know CNC" you are not going to be thrown on a machine without any training. EVERY shop does stuff different. How stuff is setup, programs written, machine languages etc.

I know the op has manual lathe experience, i would ask to see some of your work, photos of your rifles would be good. I would ask what someone else had said about you having your own tools. Details of your lathe experience? Single point threading? You probably did your barrels but can you do it in a reasonable amount of time? Most hobbiests look a setting up a barrel for threading and chambering as a weekend peoject. I need it done in about an hour...  Can you cut internal theads. How about mill experience? Mill work will get you farther with me than lathe work, most lathe parts are simple enough that my 10 yr old son an do them. Get on a bridgeport an show me your stuff.  My questions for prospects include setup, how are you going to hold a certain part. How are you going to avoid machining yourself into a corner? (Not being able to hold it or eleminating surfaces neccessary to get other features) These are the nuts and bolts questions i ask prospects.

If you dont know, say so. Don't bullshit me, I know how to make the parts i'm asking about.   Nobody knows everything and someone that is quick to learn and shows the mental ability to figure out how to do stuff is what I look for.

Hope this helps, please forgive the spelling and punctuation- typed on my ipad

View Quote


This is also helpful. I appreciate it.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 1:24:43 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By wil-N-VA:


Pay cut?

It varies depending on where you live but starting pay for a manual machinist is in the $18-$25 range. This is with basic skills (school or 1-2 years experience). The real beauty of being a machinist is after your 8 hours at work you can come home, walk out to your garage and make $50 an hour on your own mill/lathe. Your earning potental is only limited by your self motivation and creativity. Two hours a day after work is an additional $30k a year. I could lose my job today and not go hungry or be forced to live off savings.

As far as what to put on your resume, list that you're proficent in reading calipers, micrometer, dial indicator, scale, working from blueprints, etc.. List the metals you have experience with, carbon steel(get specific if you want), stainless, aluminum, copper, nylon, etc. Talk about the fact you can hold concentric tolerances within .001 (or however low you aim for when chambering/crowning). List any related fabrication experience; use of taps/dies, welding, painting, using sanders, grinders, horozontal saws, heat treating, or other shop equipment you've used. If you've worked with metric measurements, list that too.

I would also highly recommend having some show and tell parts you can bring along to the interview since you don't have any formal school or full time experience to put on the resume (avoid gun related parts, you don't know the political ideals of the person hiring you). They don't need to be elaborate, just show some basic workmanship and abilities. This is one of my favorite and shows some abilities as well as creative thinking. It's a nut on a threaded rod, but the ends of the rod are larger then the nut ID. It confuses the hell out of even alot of machinists. It's called a captive nut, goggle will tell you how to make it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v630/spope14/DSC05127.jpg

Each shop is differnt but some will even have you make a part for your interview. They usually have something basic and give you a time limit of 1-2 hours. So bring eye/ear protection, you can leave it in your car but have it just incase to show you plan ahead.

If you show up on time for work and are sober I can almost guarantee someone will hire you locally. It might be a lower pay rate and involve sweeping and cleaning up, but if they see potential they'll snatch you up. The push toward a 'service society' has created a huge vacuum in the machining/fabrication industry.

Turing scraps of metal into valuable objects is a reward unto itself. Some days you'll feel beat to shit but it's like the end of Office Space when he's shoveling and talks about being outside in the sun working like a man, you'll know what you've created and that you earned every penny of your pay.

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Originally Posted By wil-N-VA:
Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:

that first pay cut has to be a biaatch!




Pay cut?

It varies depending on where you live but starting pay for a manual machinist is in the $18-$25 range. This is with basic skills (school or 1-2 years experience). The real beauty of being a machinist is after your 8 hours at work you can come home, walk out to your garage and make $50 an hour on your own mill/lathe. Your earning potental is only limited by your self motivation and creativity. Two hours a day after work is an additional $30k a year. I could lose my job today and not go hungry or be forced to live off savings.

As far as what to put on your resume, list that you're proficent in reading calipers, micrometer, dial indicator, scale, working from blueprints, etc.. List the metals you have experience with, carbon steel(get specific if you want), stainless, aluminum, copper, nylon, etc. Talk about the fact you can hold concentric tolerances within .001 (or however low you aim for when chambering/crowning). List any related fabrication experience; use of taps/dies, welding, painting, using sanders, grinders, horozontal saws, heat treating, or other shop equipment you've used. If you've worked with metric measurements, list that too.

I would also highly recommend having some show and tell parts you can bring along to the interview since you don't have any formal school or full time experience to put on the resume (avoid gun related parts, you don't know the political ideals of the person hiring you). They don't need to be elaborate, just show some basic workmanship and abilities. This is one of my favorite and shows some abilities as well as creative thinking. It's a nut on a threaded rod, but the ends of the rod are larger then the nut ID. It confuses the hell out of even alot of machinists. It's called a captive nut, goggle will tell you how to make it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v630/spope14/DSC05127.jpg

Each shop is differnt but some will even have you make a part for your interview. They usually have something basic and give you a time limit of 1-2 hours. So bring eye/ear protection, you can leave it in your car but have it just incase to show you plan ahead.

If you show up on time for work and are sober I can almost guarantee someone will hire you locally. It might be a lower pay rate and involve sweeping and cleaning up, but if they see potential they'll snatch you up. The push toward a 'service society' has created a huge vacuum in the machining/fabrication industry.

Turing scraps of metal into valuable objects is a reward unto itself. Some days you'll feel beat to shit but it's like the end of Office Space when he's shoveling and talks about being outside in the sun working like a man, you'll know what you've created and that you earned every penny of your pay.





I see you are in VA. Im also a machinist in Va. Im kinda new to the whole machine shop scene as I started in gunsmithing. Ive been "operating" CNC for 2 years and im pretty good with manual. ive also got a secret clearance. Wherre might a guy send a resume in this town if he wanted some benefits and better pay?
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 1:33:24 PM EDT
Go to school and learn a programming system like mastercam unigraphics or catia. Learn to program with both the software and line by line. Line by line programming is tough when you start but if you learn it well, you can read code in your sleep. Then when you work with software you have a big advantage . Mastercam is very popular but simple. They need to really make some strides with their design side of the software. Catia is the top of the line as far as design and cam, and is used in almost all major aerospace company's. I switched from mastercam to catia and I feel like I have light years of catching up to do.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 1:33:58 PM EDT
I personally use Mitutoyo and Browne&Sharpe. There is a lot of good info in this thread and don't have too much to add. All I can say is I hope you are a patient person. Patience and attention to detail are a must for a machinist.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 2:24:33 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By bikerman9967:
Go to school and learn a programming system like mastercam unigraphics or catia. Learn to program with both the software and line by line. Line by line programming is tough when you start but if you learn it well, you can read code in your sleep. Then when you work with software you have a big advantage . Mastercam is very popular but simple. They need to really make some strides with their design side of the software. Catia is the top of the line as far as design and cam, and is used in almost all major aerospace company's. I switched from mastercam to catia and I feel like I have light years of catching up to do.
View Quote


I don't have time to go to school, I'm afraid. I need employment soon.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 2:34:44 PM EDT
Do you know electronics and how to repair stuff, turn a wrench? (Motor control / AC/ DC controls)

I worked on the CNC repair side for awhile under the wing of a brilliant leadman who taught me in one week what HAAS school teaches in a month..

Something to look into if its something you are capable of. And more useful to the shop to have someone who can run and fix a machine..
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 2:35:49 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Deanventure:


I don't have time to go to school, I'm afraid. I need employment soon.
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Originally Posted By Deanventure:
Originally Posted By bikerman9967:
Go to school and learn a programming system like mastercam unigraphics or catia. Learn to program with both the software and line by line. Line by line programming is tough when you start but if you learn it well, you can read code in your sleep. Then when you work with software you have a big advantage . Mastercam is very popular but simple. They need to really make some strides with their design side of the software. Catia is the top of the line as far as design and cam, and is used in almost all major aerospace company's. I switched from mastercam to catia and I feel like I have light years of catching up to do.


I don't have time to go to school, I'm afraid. I need employment soon.

This. Not a good answer. What if a prospective employer wants you to take a couple classes on your own time/dime?
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