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Comments (19)

Host

What do you enjoy most about cnc machinist work? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?

What keeps you at your job?

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Bruce Goodban in Ashtabula, OH

104 months ago

very little Iwould rather operate the conventional manual machine it takes more hands on skill

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Brandon Waynick, Jr. in Columbia, Tennessee

100 months ago

Host said: What do you enjoy most about cnc machinist work? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?
What keeps you at your job?

To challenge my mind and skills.The CNC trade brings more of a challenge for quick turn arounds then long production runs for me. I've been in machining for 30+ yrs and appox 35 companies to learn all that I can.

Small to large machine tools - VMC,HMC,HBM,VTL, 3-4-5-6 axis. 8 axis mill and drill multitask - 5 sided bridge VMC at x 324.25" travel.

Like any skilled person we want to get the best pay and benefits. We have to use alot of skills to get it out the door with quality and precision on time.

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Curtis Gress in Sarasota, Florida

99 months ago

I started out running manual machines right out of Highschool. I actually was training to be a welder, but when I got a taste of this trade it made me change career paths. I enjoyed running the manual machines, but as soon as I got a taste of the CNC end of things, I ran with it. I think having a background in the manual side really helped in the CNC side. I love the technology end of things, I have gotten into CAD/CAM Programming to further my knowledge base. I have been doing this now for 28 years, and I really enjoy my trade and make desent money at it. I have noticed over the years that if the person I am trying to train isn't very PC literate, they seem to struggle with the CNC side of the trade. I think the diffrence alot of people dislike about CNC is the production side. But if you get into a tooling shop, you never make the same part twice it seems. I enjoyed working in a tooling shop better than I do the production shops.

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Dead end in Phoenix, Arizona

77 months ago

Thanks O. T.
I love machinning soooo much its just so unfortunate
That(like always corporate america)has turned my
love for something into toiletpaper.
There will come a time when ,we,the toolmakers
the mathmaticians the creaters are going to turn our backs
on society as a whole and say stuff it.
The corporate greed and ignorance is unacceptable but it will
continue now that the immigrants are being tought by the unsuspecting
and helpfull machinist or typicall employee.
This is the beginning of the best days in corporate America, because they dont have to pay an old guy that knows things.And their
corporate paychecks keep getting better.
I produce things that are solid and tangible and at the end of the day I made this for this amount of money.
MR.pencil pusher has done nothing at all and makes double what I make lieing and flapping his or her gums at the water cooler.
I worked for the FAA ,and the guy that owned the repair station was an Indian from India and there were nothing but women running the company.
We dont even own our own defense companies anymore?
When I have a problem on the shop floor I cant talk to the engineer cuz they have all been layed off,or the ones left will blame you for the problem.
I cant talk to H.R. about a raise because they dont know anything about my job to even communicate with them as to why I should get a raise.

I was once a proud machinist in America.
Now I`m looking for a country that will respect what I can do
and not beat me up for the things that I agree with them on and try to desperately escape in this day and age.

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Martin in Saint Clair Shores, Michigan

50 months ago

dragon in Kingston, Tennessee said: A CNC Man is no machinst, and never will be, I've done both. The cnc is new/old technology, and is great if you have a bunch of new parts to make, but if you work in a shop like I do for a steel mill where they can sometimes bring in a rusty piece of crap, and ask you to chase pipe threads on it with a taper attachment at 3/4 taper per foot, with no real good way to chuck on it, and no real good way to indicate it, And you can do it, and make it work, then you have a small piece of what it takes to be a real machininst. don't forget where the real trade came from. If you don't have roots you are blind. I apologize in advance for my opinion, and to all the people I offend

I am curious about not being able to hold something or indicate something on centerline to do machining.
You had to comeup with some kind of setup to hold the part and and chase the thread.

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Ole Timer in Birmingham, Alabama

50 months ago

romcad in Montreal, Quebec said: When you say that the occupational outlook for machinist is declining, do you mean the conventional machinist or cnc machinist?
Thanks for the input......

All machinist occupations.

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jay in Van Nuys, California

45 months ago

I starting school at NTMA on the 29th. I have a felony on my record. How hard will it be for me to find a job? Please help. I need some answers.

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deadnd in Norwalk, Connecticut

44 months ago

lie to them about your record!
most companies dont go into your background they just want a drug test.

If your looking into aerospace you may have a problem though depending on your felony.

The good companies want a clean record if ya wanna make bank

If your talking about finding work in general and you have a felony
it may be hard,I left California because there was no work ,good luck man!

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deadnd in Norwalk, Connecticut

44 months ago

Oh yea on the upside of things.
I just left Arizona and I`m glad I did too.
What a waste of life if your a machinist.

The semiconductor and aerospace contracts are good in NY and CT
all starting pay for a resonably good machinist is 20/hr.

I`m doing excellent and I have great benefits too!
SUre beats running CNC`s in Arizona for 13 bucks an hour w/ no benefits and no future.

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bigm1710 in Wichita, Kansas

38 months ago

jusst seeing if anyone has commented back.

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cncgirl in Central Point, Oregon

37 months ago

Just about to start school , first for CNC cert, then finish up the manu/eng AAS. My job in the Air Force was in NDI (Non-destructive inspections) and I know that some cnc jobs want that kind of knowledge. I have already taken welding, electrical, PLC and machine shop. I love it! How cool would it be to be able to design anything for somebody. My other interests in the field is a design/drafting tech, technical illustrator, and help companies switch back and forth from Autocad to Solidworks. (Saw several jobs like that)

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Eddie in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom

36 months ago

I`ve got 20yrs experience CNC.
Made redundant when BAE SYSTEMS closed factory after 10yrs. Out of work 6 wks now.
Money employers want to pay in my area is insulting.
I could get more money being a bus driver.
Biggest mistake going into CNC.

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Tom Joad in Seattle, Washington

33 months ago

Every week there's another story in the Seattle papers about Boeing and companies like them having a hard time finding machinists. Local colleges with CNC training programs advertise a high demand for that skillset. Is this all bullsh-t? Seems like these companies could easily find experienced and desperate-for-work people to fill those positions. Before they outsource them all, I mean. I'm thinking of going into one of these training programs, but I'm discouraged by what I've read here.

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cncgirl in Medford, Oregon

33 months ago

Tom Joad in Seattle, Washington said: Every week there's another story in the Seattle papers about Boeing and companies like them having a hard time finding machinists. Local colleges with CNC training programs advertise a high demand for that skillset. Is this all bullsh-t? Seems like these companies could easily find experienced and desperate-for-work people to fill those positions. Before they outsource them all, I mean. I'm thinking of going into one of these training programs, but I'm discouraged by what I've read here.

I was only in CNC for one semester before we had recruiters come up from California, trying to persuade us to apply and that they would pay for our continuing education. Problem is, the pay was not going to cover commute costs, even though they were willing to hire after only one semester.

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owatcgrad in Honolulu, Hawaii

10 months ago

Tom Joad in Seattle, Washington said: Every week there's another story in the Seattle papers about Boeing and companies like them having a hard time finding machinists. Local colleges with CNC training programs advertise a high demand for that skillset. Is this all bullsh-t? Seems like these companies could easily find experienced and desperate-for-work people to fill those positions. Before they outsource them all, I mean. I'm thinking of going into one of these training programs, but I'm discouraged by what I've read here.

yes, I think its a little bit deceptive when employers cry about a "skills gap".
I think what they really want is people they don't have to invest any training in at all, and who will work for low pay.

and with todays job market, they are often able to get what they want. Employers help set up the tech colleges that crank out young, cheap machinists.

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Devon White in Bolivar, Tennessee

10 months ago

Host said: What do you enjoy most about cnc machinist work? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?

What keeps you at your job?

I love the work because it's so challenging, I've been a CNC machinist for over 10 years and there is always a better way to program, setup, and or machine parts, and I learn something new every time I step in the shop, what I hate the most is that it's so racist here in Tennessee, there are still shops here that think black people could only mop floors in there shops, and not just small shops some are large medical shops, I am the very best at what I do and that is hands down and some places I've worked at would treat me like a greenhorn just because I am black by reading prints to me before every job, lower pay than the white employees with less experience, vandalize my personal property, and would harass me daily, and I tell anybody trying to start out in this field, "Why?", why would anybody want to be in such a childish field?

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C. Hennessey in Atco, New Jersey

3 months ago

I am a CNC set-up machinist making medical components in the Philadelphia area. Where I work, I get a lot of oppurtunity to learn, there are constantly new parts coming through our shop that force me to challenge myself. I would say that the most challenging part of my job is tuning in a part after set-up based off a program I did not write, using tools that may or may not be perfect for the job. What I like though is that when you finally understand everything there is to make a good part, you gain valuable useful knowledge that cannot be learned any other way. However I came to this forum in hope that I can get insight on what I need to do next to further my career? I do not want to be a machinist forever, so what path after machining would lead to a successful career as an engineer? Full disclosure, I graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology and am taking my Fundamentals of Engineering exam soon.

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mtkldtm in Pearland, Texas

2 days ago

Drug testing for marijuana has ruined the American economy. Capitulating to insurance companies seems to be
running rampant. There are so many well qualified workers unemployed because of this. We ran a machine shop
from 1961 to 2009 dealing with a variety of high-tech products, from avionics (back up horizon gyros that are required by the FAA in all small aircraft including Piper, Cessna, Mooney,Beechcraft.) helicopters, vintage aircraft, NASA space shuttle,(flight certified 1995 ) fiber optics, medical instruments, sole producer of internal heart defibulator,diesel engine emission controls,Formula one racing car modifications, patent holder for remote control vehicles product,
including unmanned air vehicles, military and civilian, this product never has had a failure.
No drug test was ever required by our company, and was never a problem.Employees had no stress worrying about loosing their job for activities outside the workplace.No supervisors riding around in golf- carts,3-wheeled bicycles, looking for company rule infractions( this is also why night-shift workers usually out produce day shift workers,no supervisors to slow production.All for now,return comments welcome.

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