“I received this comment from a young machinist as a response to my blog from last week, “Is the Skills Gap Just a Pay Problem?” at 1:37 AM Sunday morning. What do you want to say to “a_young_guy”. –Lloyd
“I am just turned 24 years old in September of 2012. I program, setup and run 3X HAAS ST 10 Live Tool C-Axis Lathes, (with no Y=axis). The turret is huge, the tool holders are huge, and the space is very limited, but it does not stop me. I know the haas control like the back of my hand, I program in both metric and inch so fast that the control can not refresh fast enough for me, I have to wait for the control to refresh some times. Im the guy running upstairs and explain to the engineers why holding a cross hole at 1.98mm +.01mm -.00mm (.00039 inch total tolerance ) is not going to happen and not very practical on a production run of 500 – 1000 small parts. I drive solidworks 2012, solidcam 2012, mastercam x6 on the side. I understand GD&T and I can hold a pair calipers. I get a priory list from my boss, I order tools, manage work flow, plan the job, program it, set it up, prove it out, fine tune it, back it up, make tools lists, work instructions, inspections sheets, first articles, you name it, i do it, i make it idiot proof, train the idiot button jockeys, track the paperwork, first article and traceability, mat certs, po’s, w/o’s…
I have never crashed a machine, not once! I rubbed a live tool holder once, and stopped it before it even got damaged. I am on a salary of $1700 every two weeks, $1400 after taxes.
I take home $2800 after taxes every month. I work 6 days a week, 12 hours minimum, this comes out to 288 hours a month. $2800 clean cash per month / 288 hours per month =3D $9.7 per hour…
I have many 21 hour days under my belt. I dont drink, I dont smoke. I work, study, sleep and repeat every day. I have zero social life and no commitments outside of work. After 12 hours of work I come home to my room and bathroom that I rent for $650 a month, and I crack open Machining and CNC Technology by Michael Fitz patrick, and CNC Programming Handbook by Peter Smid.
Im looking forward to that day when my brand new screw machine paid for in cash comes in, and I will be able to work for myself, at a very easy and comfortable pase, making an insane amount of money, and no stupid operators or the stupid waste that comes with every big company to deal with. One screw machine, in my hands, running one medical part, could make me a few million a year. All i have to do is prepare my self. One screw machine, one temperature controlled room, one part, and I will make more money then most job shops dream off. I dont think I will have to wait a long time to retire if I start making that type of money.
Until that day I will work as hard as I can, learn as much as I can, take on any machining challenge, just for my experiences sake.”