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CNC Programming, or Machining

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posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 08:06 PM
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Hey all I'm choosing between CNC programming or machinist and I'd like experienced professionals to weigh in.

What is the pros and cons from your perspective?

Which one has more entrepreneurial potential?

Do they both make the same money?

Which one do you do and why and would you do it differently?




posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 08:41 PM
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CnC will do as programed. Machinists make it correct.
CAD is an unrealistic representation of a designer's vision. With out the human element design flaws work to fail a design.
Be it artistic (my field), or construction (my father's field) You need human over site or you get a failed product.

Neither makes great money. But nothing does unless you are in the upper percentile.



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 08:46 PM
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a reply to: randomtangentsrme

So what do you think about what you do?

What do you do?

Which aspect has more creativity involved?

I can be very happy with 50k+ a year and I've read that many programmers make more than 100k with more experience.
edit on 4/9/2016 by onequestion because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 09:16 PM
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a reply to: onequestion

You'll make a little more money as a programmer than you will as a machinist.

Think of it this way:

- A programmer can create, program, and setup the cnc machinery AND operate it (like a machinist does). As a programmer, you not only have to know how to program cnc equipment, you also have to know how to operate it.

- Whereas a machinist is basically just a blue collar grunt who knows how to operate cnc equipment, but may not necessarily know how to setup the machine template/programming or make any necessary fixes along the way.


It's always better to have both under your belt (machinist and programmer)... it'll put your skillset more in demand when it comes time to looking for work. An employer will offer you a bit of a higher payscale than someone who only knows how to use the cnc equipment.



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 09:21 PM
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a reply to: CranialSponge

What about education levels?

What am I looking at and what's the best path?



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 09:26 PM
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a reply to: onequestion




What about education levels?

What am I looking at and what's the best path?


I'm not sure what your asking ?



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 09:39 PM
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a reply to: CranialSponge

2-4 year degree what serves you better what does the industry look for?

Is 2 years of schooling better than 2 years of experience?

What's more competitive?
edit on 4/9/2016 by onequestion because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 10:02 PM
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a reply to: onequestion

I really don't think it matters whether you go for the 2 year program or the 4 year program... either way, you're going to leave school to start in the workforce at the bottom of the totem pole until you get some work experience under your belt.

To be honest, I think the 4 year program is overkill.

A 2 year education in cnc programming is all you really need to get your foot in the door jobwise afterword. You don't need to become a computer IT whiz... A 2 year education will still teach you everything you need to know in terms of basic computer skills, learning to use CAD programs, reading blueprints and schematics, setting up and operating the machinery, etc etc.

CNC programming or cnc machinery is basically like any other trade skill... you don't need a PhD to get the job, you just need to know what the hell you're doing.

Work experience is ALWAYS considered to be more of an asset than just education book knowledge... what you learn from a book is no where near to how much more you actually learn on the job. Employers know this.

But don't take my word for it, do your research. Make some phone calls to the colleges in your area. Look into both the 2-year and 4-year programs and see what the difference is between the two. Another way of looking at is that you can take the basic 2-year trade school program, and then you can always add to that education later down the road (ie: a more indepth 4-year type of college education in your selected field) if you so choose.

So in my opinion, you should just get the quickest education you can to gain the skills you need to actually get a job in the field. And then take it from there.



Also keep in mind that if you're wanting to eventually start up your own machine shop, you will absolutely need to have programming under your belt. As a startup shop, you need to be able to do everything yourself because you can't afford to be hiring a bunch of people to do the work for you (that part doesn't come until years later once your business becomes established with a larger customer base).

Starting up a machine shop with only knowing how to operate a piece of cnc machinery just won't cut it... you have to be the master of the whole shabang from start to finish.


edit on 9-4-2016 by CranialSponge because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 10:20 PM
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a reply to: CranialSponge

Thanks for the advice I really appreciate it.



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 10:31 PM
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a reply to: onequestion



Thanks for the advice I really appreciate it.


Your welcome.

But....

(not to throw a monkey wrench at you trying to decide what you want to do in life)

To be perfectly honest with you, in terms of making a career decision, I would advise anyone to get into a trade that's in higher demand such as electrician or millwright. Not only is the demand higher in those particular trades, but the payscale is higher too.

As an electrician or millwright, you can work in any industrial environment... machine shops, manufacturing plants, construction contractors, mining industry, oil industry, etc etc. You're not just limited to machine shops like what you would be as a CNC programmer/machinist. Every industrial/commercial industry needs both electricians and millwrights to work for them at some capacity.

In a nutshell, you open a hell of a lot more doors for job opportunities for yourself.



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 10:43 PM
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I worked in a machine shop for about 15 years. I ended up hating it.
I quit with no idea of what I was going to do.
I ended up doing swimming pool maintenence for a year, and making good money at it.
Now I distribute liquor to bars and restaurants and I am as happy as ever with my job.
Some people are cut out for being machinists and some are not.
I found myself to be the latter.



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: skunkape23

I agree.

Being a machinist is basically equivalent to being an assembly line worker... boring same old same old, day in and day out.

Put in a piece of raw metal, push the start button, stare through the little window to watch the cnc machine do its magic, push the stop button, remove your finished piece of metal, put in another piece of raw metal.

Repeat.



The only exciting thing that might happen during the day is when the cnc machine breaks down... then you get the frustrating joy of trying to fix the damn thing, or wait for 'the other guy' to come and fix it for you.




posted on Apr, 10 2016 @ 12:24 AM
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originally posted by: CranialSponge
a reply to: skunkape23

I agree.

Being a machinist is basically equivalent to being an assembly line worker... boring same old same old, day in and day out.

Put in a piece of raw metal, push the start button, stare through the little window to watch the cnc machine do its magic, push the stop button, remove your finished piece of metal, put in another piece of raw metal.

Repeat.



The only exciting thing that might happen during the day is when the cnc machine breaks down... then you get the frustrating joy of trying to fix the damn thing, or wait for 'the other guy' to come and fix it for you.



What inventing?

Can it be used to designing and inventing new engine parts or for inventing new aerospace parts for patents and business opportunities?

The machinist in the factory I work out also work on the machines fixing them when something happens.

I'd rather work myself into an aerospace manufacturer and get involved in the design process.

It appeals to me creatively.
edit on 4/10/2016 by onequestion because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2016 @ 12:42 AM
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originally posted by: onequestion
a reply to: randomtangentsrme

So what do you think about what you do?

What do you do?

Which aspect has more creativity involved?

I can be very happy with 50k+ a year and I've read that many programmers make more than 100k with more experience.


The over all is you will get more money by being talented in what you do.
In my opinion your 50k is not realistic, and your 100k is pipe dreams.



posted on Apr, 10 2016 @ 12:46 AM
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a reply to: randomtangentsrme

Why?

I know machinist right now making 50k a year.

All the jobs online are posting st 19-28$ an hour for regular programming positions and 30+ depending on experience and all kinds of supervisors.

That's with a quick check on Craigslist around the country.

They seem to be in pretty high demand and apparently there's a lot of potential to create your own company by engineering original parts and getting patents on them.

I see a lot of potential in starting manufacturing companies especially in aerospace.



posted on Apr, 10 2016 @ 12:46 AM
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originally posted by: CranialSponge
a reply to: onequestion

You'll make a little more money as a programmer than you will as a machinist.

Think of it this way:

- A programmer can create, program, and setup the cnc machinery AND operate it (like a machinist does). As a programmer, you not only have to know how to program cnc equipment, you also have to know how to operate it.

- Whereas a machinist is basically just a blue collar grunt who knows how to operate cnc equipment, but may not necessarily know how to setup the machine template/programming or make any necessary fixes along the way.


It's always better to have both under your belt (machinist and programmer)... it'll put your skillset more in demand when it comes time to looking for work. An employer will offer you a bit of a higher payscale than someone who only knows how to use the cnc equipment.



You got it backwards. The machinist can do it without the Cnc machine. The programmer only knows how to talk to computers.



posted on Apr, 10 2016 @ 12:51 AM
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a reply to: randomtangentsrme

Yeah you know I just read a thread on Reddit about older machinist not being able to find jobs because they don't know CNC but they can make parts the old school way.

They said they can't find jobs.

Seems to me the programmers will continue to take over more of the process as 3D printing technology comes into the pictures. I read something about laser wooden blocks they do now too.

I also read that the industry will grow 28% by 2022.



posted on Apr, 10 2016 @ 12:55 AM
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originally posted by: onequestion
a reply to: randomtangentsrme

Why?

I know machinist right now making 50k a year.

All the jobs online are posting st 19-28$ an hour for regular programming positions and 30+ depending on experience and all kinds of supervisors.

That's with a quick check on Craigslist around the country.

They seem to be in pretty high demand and apparently there's a lot of potential to create your own company by engineering original parts and getting patents on them.

I see a lot of potential in starting manufacturing companies especially in aerospace.


You ask me why, but you site all these jobs. If it was such an easy and valuable job would so many positions be available?

I will point out you say you know machinists making 50k a year. Not programmers. How long have they been working at their trade?



posted on Apr, 10 2016 @ 12:57 AM
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a reply to: randomtangentsrme

Fresh out of college.

Start at 20$ an hour. Uses the lathe and fixes the machines in the production areas.

I'm talking about higher end manufacturing and shops that are machine shops not just factories, or getting into aerospace.

But don't take my word for it go look on google at how many they are hiring anywhere in the Us.

Get Texas, SoCal, Pennsylvania, Washington, wherever.
edit on 4/10/2016 by onequestion because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2016 @ 01:03 AM
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I just read on a thread on Indeed.com that this company owner can't expand his company because he can't any operators because the next generation just doesn't want to do it.

Sounds like a great business for me to get into.



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