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Never thought I'd end up as a college graduate.


Pat

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Hey guys. I got some good news to report - I'm officially a college graduate as of yesterday.

 

I took my leave from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Athens yesterday, with my Machinist I diploma in hand. After 20 months of turning handles within the walls of Machine Tool Technology, I am now certified.

 

It's a pretty proud moment for everyone around me, and myself as well. When I started the course in January 2013, I never thought I would even make it this far; but I have, in what seems like a few days' time in retrospect, 20 months has cruised on by.

 

But it paid off. I graduated with honors (my grade average has never been below 97; for the past year it has been 100 across the board) and perfect attendance for all 20 months.

 

It was a pretty emotional event, in a way, last night. The yearly ceremony was held at Athens Middle School. It was tough to go through, knowing that I had to move on from several very close friends and co-students, as well as my instructor; but through the magic of email and transportation, it is not good-bye so much as, until next time.

 

Now I await my next move - getting into a good job. I already have a good lead; I hope it leads to something great. I want to become a top-class machinist, and a hard-working American's American like the great folks here on TGO.

 

Anyway, hey, thanks for hearing my spiel, fellas.

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Skilled trades seem like a dying art sometimes, especially with automation being the order of the day.

 

Good on you, OP, for carrying the torch a little longer and congrats for making it!

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Congrats!

 

Here's a question that will enter your mind once you start working...   Are all machine shop owners assholes, or are all assholes machine shop owners?    :lol:  

 

Stay diligent to keep your skills fresh.  Modern CNC equipment can quickly turn a machinist into a machine operator. 

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Thanks guys. This is a great community - they lift you up when you're down, but not down when you're up! Hah! :usa:

 

Congrats!

 

Here's a question that will enter your mind once you start working...   Are all machine shop owners assholes, or are all assholes machine shop owners?    :lol:  

 

Stay diligent to keep your skills fresh.  Modern CNC equipment can quickly turn a machinist into a machine operator. 

 

Heh, it can be hard to tell. I've taken a couple of tours of some places, and it is slightly dubious! Oh well.

 

Excellent point, as well. I had an offer from one place - but I didn't act on it because I didn't go to school for 20 months to be a $10-per-hour automaton. I love watching CNC machines run new parts, but not 100. More than anything, I love programming them with CAM.

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Hey guys. I got some good news to report - I'm officially a college graduate as of yesterday.

 

I took my leave from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Athens yesterday, with my Machinist I diploma in hand. After 20 months of turning handles within the walls of Machine Tool Technology, I am now certified.

 

It's a pretty proud moment for everyone around me, and myself as well. When I started the course in January 2013, I never thought I would even make it this far; but I have, in what seems like a few days' time in retrospect, 20 months has cruised on by.

 

But it paid off. I graduated with honors (my grade average has never been below 97; for the past year it has been 100 across the board) and perfect attendance for all 20 months.

 

It was a pretty emotional event, in a way, last night. The yearly ceremony was held at Athens Middle School. It was tough to go through, knowing that I had to move on from several very close friends and co-students, as well as my instructor; but through the magic of email and transportation, it is not good-bye so much as, until next time.

 

Now I await my next move - getting into a good job. I already have a good lead; I hope it leads to something great. I want to become a top-class machinist, and a hard-working American's American like the great folks here on TGO.

 

Anyway, hey, thanks for hearing my spiel, fellas.

Y12 has an opening posted for machinist right now.

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Y12 has an opening posted for machinist right now.

 

Thanks for the tip! But Oak Ridge is way too far for me, sadly. Most of the "good" opportunities in terms of pay are too distant - either Chattanooga or Knoxville... but I have an interview tomorrow at a place in Cleveland!

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Skilled trades seem like a dying art sometimes, especially with automation being the order of the day.

Good on you, OP, for carrying the torch a little longer and congrats for making it!


Right on point
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Congratulations. The term “machinist” is thrown around pretty fast and loose; it is a dying trade and those that are good at it can make a good living.

We hire a lot of trainees from the trade schools. I have been in the business since 1971 and will give you this piece of advice: take what you can get and learn. Listen to those around you and listen to what makes sense.

Programming is a good goal, but I’ve never seen a good programmer that wasn’t a good machinist first.

Don’t take this in a negative way; it isn’t meant to be. Your diploma will get you in the door, but it doesn’t really mean anything to anyone. You are entering a field where your performance and ability to make parts correctly will determine your pay. You have been given the tools to start that; now it’s up to you.

If you don’t want to run production you will need to find a job shop or Tool Shop. But don’t pass up a production job while you are looking. As most will tell you; it’s much easier to get a job when you have one than when you don’t. Plus you will get experience on what you want to program for.
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sage advice from the son of a master machinist (44 years at the crank & CNCs at Y12 - when he retired, he was #1 slot in seniority for over 10 years):

 

You won't read about a lot of details in the news (most of it is classified there), but I will also point out that Y12 *is* the most advanced tool machining facility in the world.

 

You might want to consider an apartment for an opportunity up here.

 

5 years in that place, especially volunteering for time in all the major shops, and you could write your ticket almost anywhere.

 

BTW, before now, I have not seen them ever advertise a machinist post through a recruiter.

Edited by R_Bert
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Thanks for the tip! But Oak Ridge is way too far for me, sadly. Most of the "good" opportunities in terms of pay are too distant - either Chattanooga or Knoxville... but I have an interview tomorrow at a place in Cleveland!

Your school should be able to help, register and file a resume with your local job service, Private Head Hunters are a good resource, but companies won’t generally pay their fees unless you have experience. I’m getting calls all the time, they always ask if I know anyone that is looking; there is no shortage of jobs for qualified machinists.
You may have to move where the work is.
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Thanks for the tip! But Oak Ridge is way too far for me, sadly. Most of the "good" opportunities in terms of pay are too distant - either Chattanooga or Knoxville... but I have an interview tomorrow at a place in Cleveland!

While it is competitive there, I would highly suggest giving it a shot. There are a lot of people that drive hours a day to work there, it is that great.
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I can certainly see that happening. If the job is that good, and it being Oak Ridge, I can imagine. I met one shop owner who worked there for years, and everyone around him says he's one of the most talented machinists they've ever met. He doesn't say that, which is also a good sign.

 

Thanks to you all for the advice, guys. I just had a successful interview at a small shop in Cleveland. Nothing concrete or anything, but it was very enjoyable. If nothing else, I'm on their radar. In the meantime, I'll keep looking around.

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I can certainly see that happening. If the job is that good, and it being Oak Ridge, I can imagine. I met one shop owner who worked there for years, and everyone around him says he's one of the most talented machinists they've ever met. He doesn't say that, which is also a good sign.

 

Thanks to you all for the advice, guys. I just had a successful interview at a small shop in Cleveland. Nothing concrete or anything, but it was very enjoyable. If nothing else, I'm on their radar. In the meantime, I'll keep looking around.

Try for the interview at OR.

 

You can't turn down what is not offered.......

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I can certainly see that happening. If the job is that good, and it being Oak Ridge, I can imagine. I met one shop owner who worked there for years, and everyone around him says he's one of the most talented machinists they've ever met. He doesn't say that, which is also a good sign.

Thanks to you all for the advice, guys. I just had a successful interview at a small shop in Cleveland. Nothing concrete or anything, but it was very enjoyable. If nothing else, I'm on their radar. In the meantime, I'll keep looking around.

Let me ask you this: what is the pay? While I do not know any welders, machinist, or fabricators at Y12 I would be willing to bet they are making pretty close to $100k with benefits like you would not believe.
I say this because I know they make that at TVA and they normally pay the same or a little less. Edited by Patton
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