Earnings by College Major Compared to Precision Machining

September 11, 2013

Many people think that the choice of where they  went to school is an important factor in their post graduation earnings.

A new report from Georgetown University shows that the choice of major has a much greater influence on those earnings.

We thought that we would show how the average wage of a skilled machinist compares to those earnings- without the  4+ years of college and the debt most graduates build up while at school.

Our figures for the skilled machinist were taken from our latest Shop Hourly Employee Wage Report and represent the annual straight time hourly earnings for a setup qualified multiple spindle, rotary transfer, Swiss type, or multi axis CNC turning/machining center operators.

The machinist earnings are a low estimate, frankly, because many machinists are scheduled overtime.

The college major earnings data was posted by Planet Money on the NPR site. It was originally prepared by the authors of the Georgetown study.

Average earnings of setup qualified precision machinists exceed those of lowest earning college majors- with out the college loans to repay

Average earnings of setup qualified precision machinists exceed those of lowest earning college majors- with out the college loans to repay

We were well served by our college degree, eventually. The problem was, when we graduated, we were making more in manufacturing than our degree would earn us in an entry level position in our field.

If you have the passion for academics and a 4+ year university program, that’s great.

But if you know that you really aren’t “scholarship’ material, and you’d rather be doing exciting work than writing papers and piling up student debt, we think it will be worth your time to investigate a career in precision machining- or any other craft like electrician, mechatronics, welding, tool and die making,  robotics…

Successful completion of high school math algebra, geometry, trig is all that is needed to be able to do the math for precision machining.

We’d love to help you start your well paying career.

More information:

Career overview

Career benefits

Career training

P.S.  I interviewed a member CEO today: Their machinists averaged $50,000  last year, plus top of the line medical, vacation, holidays, personal days,uniforms, plus company paid training and more… You should really give serious thought to gaining a skill rather than a degree.


Update Unemployment, Manufacturing, and Jobs

June 21, 2013

Find A Job Friday.

We live in a world filled with mixed messages.

The FED says “…economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace.  Labor market conditions have shown further improvement in recent months, on balance, but the unemployment rate remains elevated. “

This is what the FED calls Labor Market Improvement.

This is what the FED calls Labor Market Improvement.

Parents and guidance counselors tell us that college is THE WAY to  well paid career, and yet recent college graduates have almost double the unemployment rate of the general population.

These rates are nothing to brag about.

These rates are nothing to brag about.

And student loans to repay.

This can't possibly end well...

This can’t possibly end well…

Nobody wants to work in a skilled trade any more

1000 High School students surveyed revealed their impressions of jobs in the skilled trades

  • 54 percent of young people believe there is a better future working in computers than working in skilled trades.
  • 37 percent of young people believe working in an office is more respected than working with your hands.
  • 25 percent of young people believe skilled trades jobs are old-fashioned.

Here are 4 reasons to find a job and a career in Precision Machining

  1. Executives at most PMPA member shops tell me their number 1 concern is finding skilled people to hire.
  2. If they found a candidate with the right skills, they would hire today, even if they didn’t have a current opening.
  3. Most Students at local community colleges’ machining programs have found jobs by the end of their first term, and by the time they graduate, all will have found a permanent placement according to students and instructors I have spoken with. This short video post shows the extent of jobs available and posted at Cleveland’s Tri- C Machining Class.
  4. Ninety-two percent of the respondents to PMPA’s monthly business trends survey for May 2013 are expecting prospects for employment to remain the same or improve.

We understand that there are a lot of confusing messages out there.

We know that the news makes it easy to  remain in the ranks of the hopelessly unemployed. After all , there are almost 3.1 unemployed workers for every job opening currently.

But we also know this, despite the graphs, and charts and opinions in the press, our industry is still looking for people with skills.

If you would like to get a job, start a career, and discover the joy of making safety critical parts that improve the safety and quality of life for everyone, you ought to consider a position in Precision Machining.

This link will help you find  training programs in your area that will give you what you need to start your career in advanced manufacturing.

Oh- and if you don’t believe me, how about the Chicago Sun-Times or Forbes

Unemployment Graph

Recent College Grads Graph

Crazy Student Loan Graph

Poll link