Anyone a CNC Machinist?

I was thinking about going to the local CC for a two year associate degree in CNC Machine Tool Technology. I've worked for a long time in an office and I have a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. Honestly I am tired of waking up early as shit, putting on a monkey suit and doing the whole Office Space thing.

I'm interested in a CNC career because the pay is decent. Also the hours are better for me, I'm a night owl, I always have been. I would rather start at 3pm or midnight than have to wake up at 6:30am. I also would like a focused and specialized career. The place I work now has me doing lots of varied tasks that anyone could do with a small amount of training. I feel that my bachelors degree was just a sampling of many different career types. I took classes in Finance, Accounting, Logistics, Human Resources etc. etc. The problem is that I didn't have a focus and I regret that now.

Anyways none of that matters I guess. Just wanted to let you all know that I am 31 and not sure what to do with myself. Am I too old to get into manufacturing? The area I am in (Twin Cities) seems to have a good amount of CNC job listings.

I guess I am just looking for advice. Any OGers with CNC experience? What is the work like?

I've been a cnc machinist for 10 years. It's a cool job with alot of good things to say about it. I enjoy ending my day with a stack of parts to show what I've accomplished. There is seemingly no limit to how much you can learn which keeps it interesting long term. The pay is decent. You'll find that you often have plety of time to og on the clock.

On the other side there is the fact that everything is sharp in a achine shop.
You'll be going home with tiny obnoxious cuts on your hands most days. You'll discover the joy of cleaning out sump tanks. Filthy becomes a normal state of affairs. And in the end the pay is never wonderful, just good. Phone Post 3.0

I am a CNC swiss lathe guy. I'm 37 and started a little over 3 years ago after working in the corporate world. Pretty much did it for the same reasons. I would suggest taking a part-time job first in a shop to see if you really like it.

I did that and worked at a smaller shop for a year and then made the move to a larger shop. I really enjoy it, most days. Some days the machine wins and others you win. Keep in mind that pay is always determined by both skill and experience, something you have neither of. I don't have a lot of experience, but for the short time I have been doing it I have a fair amount of skill to set up most jobs we run so I make pretty good money. You are likely going to make shit pay right off the bat and it will be a hit for you most likely.

I think at this point in my life I would be happy with pay that is just good. I've barely made more then 36k a year.

Quin what type of training do you have and what is the schedule you work like? Do you get overtime? Also have you seen anyone else that is early 30s start in a CNC career?

Thanks for the reply Cotton. Any advice landing a part-time job in a shop? Also did you go to school to learn the trade or did you just pick it up while on the job?

Krispy - I think at this point in my life I would be happy with pay that is just good. I've barely made more then 36k a year.

Quin what type of training do you have and what is the schedule you work like? Do you get overtime? Also have you seen anyone else that is early 30s start in a CNC career?
Well you should be able to beat 36k a year if you have any kind of aptitude for the work. I started at 7 an hour and now I make above 30. The key is to show up to work every day hungry to learn. There is so very much to learn and the more you know the more you're worth. Its just that simple.

I do not have the option of overtime right now, but that's a sign of bigger things going on. I produce oilfield equipment and ain't nobody buying oilfield equipment this year. When things were good I worked enough overtime to double my current salary. I do miss those bigger checks. I also miss coming to work feeling confident that I'll have a job at the end of the day. This is the downside of working in my area and shouldn't be considered indicative of how the industry as a whole operates. The nice thing is that as you mentioned there are many places thay are hiring machinists right now. I consider the fact that I can do the same job anywhere in the country a huge advantage to this skill set.

My training has all been on the job. I don't recommend trade school. You pay to be there and learn the same things that someone else will pay you to learn. Phone Post 3.0

"I don't recommend trade school. You pay to be there and learn the same things that someone else will pay you to learn."

Actually now that I have said this I want to back off of that statement. Most of my career has been spent working during a boom. In a more competitive market you might need the trade school to get your foot in the door. I would contactachinists in you area and ask what they think on the subject. Phone Post 3.0

I work with a bunch of operators who call themselves CNC machinists. Phone Post 3.0

SMOKING MANHOLE - I work with a bunch of operators who call themselves CNC machinists. Phone Post 3.0
Lol, spoken like true old manual hand. Sorry you have to work so hard while the rest of us nap. Phone Post 3.0

Move to Oregon / Washington

Get on at Boeing

Profit.

 

PS, learn everything Audodesk you can.

^ with a student email address you can get free 3 year licenses for any Autodesk software. May revisit this thread after I get off work.

QuinTheEskimo - 
SMOKING MANHOLE - I work with a bunch of operators who call themselves CNC machinists. Phone Post 3.0
Lol, spoken like true old manual hand. Sorry you have to work so hard while the rest of us nap. Phone Post 3.0

As a programmer I recognize the difference between CNC operator and CNC machinist. The difference is huge, and most times the ones that are operators that think they are machinists also seem to know everything about programming as well.

12SixElbow - 


Move to Oregon / Washington



Get on at Boeing



Profit.



 



PS, learn everything Audodesk you can.


Boeing isnt using any autodesk I bet. Catia, unigraphics, and Solid works would be good to know. But a new CNC operator will not be doing any modeling or programming either.

JonnyW - 
12SixElbow - 


Move to Oregon / Washington



Get on at Boeing



Profit.



 



PS, learn everything Audodesk you can.


Boeing isnt using any autodesk I bet. Catia, unigraphics, and Solid works would be good to know. But a new CNC operator will not be doing any modeling or programming either.


Just good stuff to know. 



I work with two pretty large machine shops in Portland and most of the guys making anything worth getting excited about do small changes in inventor / CAD.



 



 

^Boeing uses Solidworks here. Im Solidworks certified but every company I've worked at has used Autodesk stuff so far

dan47 - ^Boeing uses Solidworks here. Im Solidworks certified but every company I've worked at has used Autodesk stuff so far


nice! Which plant are you at?



I've never used Solidworks, how different is it from Audodesk? tougher?



 

12SixElbow - 
JonnyW - 
12SixElbow - 


Move to Oregon / Washington



Get on at Boeing



Profit.



 



PS, learn everything Audodesk you can.


Boeing isnt using any autodesk I bet. Catia, unigraphics, and Solid works would be good to know. But a new CNC operator will not be doing any modeling or programming either.


Just good stuff to know. 



I work with two pretty large machine shops in Portland and most of the guys making anything worth getting excited about do small changes in inventor / CAD.



 



 


I work in a small shop that is a first tier supplier for GE and Pratt and Whitney as an engineer. We do our design work in Unigraphics and do all our programming in Mastercam. I love my job now. Was in Hamilton Sundstrand for 10 years just doing drafting and design work. Now I get to run machines, program CNC, and do tool design work as well.

I'm not at Boeing, I've just seen their job postings. Never going to a big company if I don't have to lol

My dad was a tool and die maker, and machinist. Union. Made close to 100k at time of retirement. Worked a far amount of double shifts though. I dont think you are too old to get into it at all. 

Krispy - I was thinking about going to the local CC for a two year associate degree in CNC Machine Tool Technology. I've worked for a long time in an office and I have a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. Honestly I am tired of waking up early as shit, putting on a monkey suit and doing the whole Office Space thing.

I'm interested in a CNC career because the pay is decent. Also the hours are better for me, I'm a night owl, I always have been. I would rather start at 3pm or midnight than have to wake up at 6:30am. I also would like a focused and specialized career. The place I work now has me doing lots of varied tasks that anyone could do with a small amount of training. I feel that my bachelors degree was just a sampling of many different career types. I took classes in Finance, Accounting, Logistics, Human Resources etc. etc. The problem is that I didn't have a focus and I regret that now.

Anyways none of that matters I guess. Just wanted to let you all know that I am 31 and not sure what to do with myself. Am I too old to get into manufacturing? The area I am in (Twin Cities) seems to have a good amount of CNC job listings.

I guess I am just looking for advice. Any OGers with CNC experience? What is the work like?


If you want to really make some better money, learn to program and operate CNC equipment for a few years.



Then, get a job selling CNC machines, tooling and equipment.



You stay clean and you'll make a lot more money.



I know some guys that rep machine tools and they make a killing.



Mark