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Author Topic: Salaries  (Read 16848 times)

Offline Smokey

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Re: Calibration jobs in Northwest IL
« Reply #15 on: 05-22-2008 -- 12:00:57 »
Well I am an old man too I guess, I have been doing this for 12 1/2 yrs and I am 35.   I have worked both commercially and for Military Labs.   I think what Ryan was aiming for in a not so eloquent manner was no matter the field whether commercial or Military is the pay is simply too low.   Our entire career field has always been a little lackluster on the payscale when it comes to the knowledge needed to be a Metrologist.   Simply stating that "Civilian companies need to make money to survive and we have to do things in the most effective and efficient way possible with minimal funds.  " is a cop out! Everyone should be looking at how to be more efficient, more productive, make more profit for the company so the company can remain in business and be competitive yada yada yada.    I get it, I support it, I just will not be raped in the name of it!

Let's also not forget the email says LabTemps. com which means it is probably a recruiter such as Volt which means they are getting paid per hour as well, the lab itslef is paying higher than the $15. 50 but that extra will go to the middle man, at least it looks that way!

I understand completely, the field is plum full of small time labs trying to compete with larger labs driving the price per piece down a bit(there are some big labs doing this too don't get me wrong, and we all no how lowest bids on contracts and how tight money is these days with the military how some of these contracts can be)) and what happens is the profit goes down so they counter this with lower pay for the techs to keep a low over head for higher profits as well as not having the money to buy all the new test equipment that is coming out daily and constantly changing all in the name of staying competitive and remaing profitable yet the profit even when good never seems to filter to those who work so hard to achieve that goal.   And some of these postions for a first term guy coming out can be a suitable tempory fix to the problem of needing a job and some income , however, in the long term we all should be working toward increasing our wages and forcing these companies who like to low ball to raise the standard wage thus increasing quality of life for the techs and decreasing the amount of turnover we have in our field. 

I am pretty sick and tired of always looking for the better job so to speak when if we had a standard wage or even just a little more respect and understanding for what we do our Labs would keep personnel longer thus making them more profitable by decreasing turnover which will maintain all that knowledge in a lab that is built up with experience.   When you have a lab that has a lot of experince those techs will know the most efficient ways to do things thus decreasing time and increasing production sending profits higher, yet, in order to do this you must pay a higher wage as incentive to stay and help the company compete.    

Well I have babbled long enough, basically I am saying all of you are right in many ways just saying it differently and all make good points.   It is these types of discussions and dialogue that we can all understand not only the differences in the career field but also how we all can do things to change the enviroments in which we work.   Hopefully anyway!

« Last Edit: 05-22-2008 -- 12:20:16 by Smokey »

Offline ck454ss

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Re: Calibration jobs in Northwest IL
« Reply #16 on: 05-22-2008 -- 13:22:06 »
Well Said Smokey you crusty old dog:)

I do think part of the pay problem for alot of PMEL Techs is that they work for a 3rd party Cal Lab.  Unfortunately those people working in that environment have just become "Production" personel.  Those people are making the money/profit for the company and will usually have lower pay than someone who works for a company calibrating that companies equipment.  I work for a company and strictly calibrate there equipment.  Im considered "overhead" so I dont have to put up with the weak pay and bull that even our own production people have to put up with.  Thats probably why many of our floor personel go to school and want to join our (Engineering) Department. 

I think its much easier for me to show "value added" calibration because I can relate it directly to production via DPPM/Gage R&R/MSA results showing management how important calibration is and how important it is to have compitent qualified cal techs around to do it and what can occur if it is not done correctly(ie COSTS MONEY).

Ive done the whole gambit of jobs just like everyone else out there.  Started Navy, worked at Sypris(5yrs) and then to Metrocal(5yrs) and finally where Im at now.  I must say my recomendation to anyone is to get hired by a company to calibrate there equipment.  The stress level is next to nothing and the pay is more than enough to support the 2.1 kids, 3.2 dogs and house payment.  By no means will we get rich but we all can live a pretty nice life.  Of course Im always looking to increase the pay for our field but I do think, we in our field, need to sit back and see how easy we actually got it once in a while.


surfed in

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Re: Calibration jobs in Northwest IL
« Reply #17 on: 05-22-2008 -- 17:18:39 »
Assuming by the "Good Mechanical Background" statement this person will be working mostly on Mechanical Equipment $15. 50 /Hr is a good starting wage for a Mechanical Tech with no Electronic Experience.   I started in the Chicago area as a Senior Tech With Electrical/Electronic/RF experience for $15 an hour in 1998.   Mechanical Techs were making about $10/hour.   Junior Techs out of the military with no civilian experience, in my opinion, dont deserve the "Big" money.   Need to put your time in to learn what real life is like in the Civilian Calibration world.

ck45422. . . you seem to have a bias against military or AF PMEL techs.  I'll put any of my Airmen up against your civilian cal techs any day.  You obviously know nothing about USAF PMEL.  We have twice the workload with 40% less technicians than we did 10 years ago.  Add in all the extra duties they have to pull on top of full workdays, they have far more on their plates than 'Joe civilian cal tech'.  We typically have a far more diverse work environment and workload than any civilian cal lab I've seen.  Nothing against civilian cal techs since quite a few are prior PMEL.  I have a he11 of a time keeping my Airmen on active duty due to the amount of job offers (all over $20 p/h).  So if most employers felt the way you do, they wouldn't be offering $20+ p/h for young PMEL techs straight out the the AF after 4-6 years.  Just remember, military techs are pretty much turn-key.  If you get someone out of ITT/Devry, you have 6-9 months of training to get him/her up to speed before he or she is productive.  To say the least, your theory is asinine

Offline ck454ss

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Re: Calibration jobs in Northwest IL
« Reply #18 on: 05-22-2008 -- 19:37:46 »
Does anyone not read anymore.  Alright Im trying this one more time so pay attention.

Surfin In-Am I biased against military techs of course not I was once one myself.  I am biased against the military way of "thinking and doing".  I say this because I have had to deal with military PMEL techs as a tech rep for my company.  Ive gone to airforce bases to train your PMEL techs on equipment we sold to them only to waste 3 days as they try to figure out how to load the equipment into your system.  I do believe you have a hard time keeping techs in the military.  I wouldnt always say it was for the money more than the Bull**** and politics you have to put up with in the military.  I loved the job hated the military thats why I left. Yes as a civilian you have the power to QUIT. 

To all you whining Techs out there who want sit and piss and moan about how much you make...DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.  Thats what Im saying.  All the crying in the world doesnt solve the problem.  We all say we dont make enough money but what are we doing to show are value.  Id like to know how many techs out there own stock in the company you work at.  If you do you are part of the problem because commercial business is about making the shareholder happy period!!

Im sure to be flamed some more and look forward to it.

surfed in

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Re: Calibration jobs in Northwest IL
« Reply #19 on: 05-22-2008 -- 20:22:04 »
ck45ss. . . looks like you're doing all the whining here.  We are a highly skilled work force trained in the military (far better than college grads).  Saying that, salary should be commensurate with our skills and knowledge.  That's not whining, that's being confident of our abilities.  If we aren't paid accordingly, we won't be signing on. . . simple as that! I tell all of my troops getting out not to take a penny less than $20 per hour.  As far as your 'love' of the military, most of us hated it during our first enlistment because we didn't like being told what to do and how to do it.  How many years did you do? Unfortunately there are those out there that have the same bias against career military PMEL techs.  The bias is based mostly on how much you hated your boss, commander or working O/T without pay. 

Offline Smokey

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Re: Calibration jobs in Northwest IL
« Reply #20 on: 05-22-2008 -- 20:23:26 »
ck454ss
Quote
To all you whining Techs out there who want sit and piss and moan about how much you make. . . DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.   Thats what Im saying.   All the crying in the world doesnt solve the problem.   We all say we dont make enough money but what are we doing to show are value.

Now wait a minute, I am not whining about my wage but rather the general wages out there! I make a very good salary and would just about gurrantee I make in the upward 95 percentile.  Sure we all want more money, the thing is too many companies like to low ball and I was simply saying as a valuable tech we should not allow this by not accepting those type of offers when possible so as to push the wages up across the board!!

I myself am civilian contractor in an AF PMEL which I guess makes me 'Joe civilian cal tech' but make no bones about it 'surfed in' when I say we have an excellant Lab [Audit Team said so :)] and we support our mission with the utmost quality and same fervor as I did when I was still a blue suit!

As for what you had to say about the AF PMEL ck454ss
Quote
I say this because I have had to deal with military PMEL techs as a tech rep for my company.   Ive gone to airforce bases to train your PMEL techs on equipment we sold to them only to waste 3 days as they try to figure out how to load the equipment into your system.
maybe you did find a bad Lab, but it is surely unfair to generalize a whole field as I have seen quite a few civilian labs and I mean COMMERCIAL Labs who only care about production and the almighty dollar who are basically in a nutshell simply 'hotstamping', and for the other gentleman there are blue suit Labs that have failed audits, so there our bad labs on both sides BUT I will favor on the side of a Military/Contract lab whether it be worked by Airmen/Soldiers/Marines/Sailors/Civilians simply because they are only pressured to put out a Quality product in a timely and an efficient manner and do not have the same pressures of making profits which can drive quality down.

Too many people in our career fields get the big head b/c they simply think they know too much! All this we are better than you crap is stupid! I am prior Military(doesn't make me better), now I am a civilian(doesn't make me worse), what I think makes me a good tech is that I work hard everyday trying to improve upon the knowledge I have already learned as well as gaining new knowledge with new equipment and measurement techniques and education to better myself.  Get off your high horses!

I thought this was a discussion about salaries! :)

Offline RichieRich

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Re: Calibration jobs in Northwest IL
« Reply #21 on: 05-22-2008 -- 20:59:34 »
Surfedin - Military training is great.  We pretty much all started there.  That being said, a guy with four years in is the minimum starting experience at a civilian lab unless they are scraping the bottom of the bucket for super cheap labor. 

So while that four year guy has a good start, he is not nearly the techinician he will be in ten or twenty years.  If you take a military tech with 20 years in service who has actually been on the bench all that time, he would probably stack up very well against a civilian with the same bench time. 

No knock against military techs.  They just tend to be a little inexperiened on average when starting in the civilian world.  I know I was even after nine years in the military.

Offline jimmyc

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Re: Salaries
« Reply #22 on: 05-23-2008 -- 13:36:36 »
Surfedin - Military training is great.  We pretty much all started there.  That being said, a guy with four years in is the minimum starting experience at a civilian lab unless they are scraping the bottom of the bucket for super cheap labor. 

So while that four year guy has a good start, he is not nearly the techinician he will be in ten or twenty years.  If you take a military tech with 20 years in service who has actually been on the bench all that time, he would probably stack up very well against a civilian with the same bench time. 

No knock against military techs.  They just tend to be a little inexperiened on average when starting in the civilian world.  I know I was even after nine years in the military.
where after nine years in a calibration lab did you feel you were lacking?  how many civilian labs do all the different AFCS, testcell, weapons, hydraulics......?  now if you went to a lab that only does multimeters, and there was a guy that has done only multimeters for 30 yrs, then how can you ever match up with that experience?  i can take a 9 yr military tech and give him anything from a hand tool, to TACAN, microwave, weapons systems... i would take that over a multimeter pro any day.

Offline jimmyc

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Re: Calibration jobs in Northwest IL
« Reply #23 on: 05-23-2008 -- 13:52:56 »
  Ive gone to airforce bases to train your PMEL techs on equipment we sold to them only to waste 3 days as they try to figure out how to load the equipment into your system.  I do believe you have a hard time keeping techs in the military.  I wouldnt always say it was for the money more than the Bull**** and politics you have to put up with in the military.  I loved the job hated the military thats why I left. Yes as a civilian you have the power to QUIT. 
Im sure to be flamed some more and look forward to it.

unfortunately, all jobs come with a large amount of politics and BS, its just a different kind.  as for quitting being a power??  quit a few jobs and submit that resume for employment.  it is true, military careers are not for everyone.  think about why you joined, some sense of patriotism obviously. but most joined for some sort of technical training.  many first termers are forced out due to force structuring which is a fancy way of saying we need more indians and less chiefs.  as for you not being able to get the system you are selling to work, i am not sure how that is an A1C's fault?

Offline RichieRich

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Re: Salaries
« Reply #24 on: 05-23-2008 -- 17:58:02 »
"where after nine years in a calibration lab did you feel you were lacking?"

Repair work, theory, speed / efficiency.  All were greatly increased during the next 3 years in the civilian world.  My experience was about 50% bench time 50% other duties while I was in.  The bench time was generally pretty low pressure.  But that's just my experience and I'm sure others have had the opposite.

Offline mrrob007

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Re: Salaries
« Reply #25 on: 05-23-2008 -- 21:55:24 »
"where after nine years in a calibration lab did you feel you were lacking?"

Repair work, theory, speed / efficiency.  All were greatly increased during the next 3 years in the civilian world.  My experience was about 50% bench time 50% other duties while I was in.  The bench time was generally pretty low pressure.  But that's just my experience and I'm sure others have had the opposite.

That sounds like you didn't do enough during your time to make yourself better. When I got out of the AF in 96, I was much better equiped for the job, than the ITT Tech grad w/ 3 years of bench time I supplanted. And that was with only 4 years in. In the last 10 years, I have been offer over a dozen jobs just for having USAF PMEL on my resume. How many people with civilian training only can say that?

With that being said, I have had the opportunity to work with alot of different techs, and I must say, every person who has the biggest influence on my carrer have been the vets. For a variety of reasons, I have found that civilians lack the foundation to be Metrologists. Not to say that I haven't meet INTELLIGENT civilians, but they all lacked the basic knowledge that made working with/for/and supervising them a little difficult.

I have since given up hope that I can find a shop that will run like my old PMEL lab, but pay me like my current job....

But since we are talking salaries here, I am a tick under 100k in California, so that's like what 60k for the rest of the world.....

Offline RichieRich

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Re: Salaries
« Reply #26 on: 05-26-2008 -- 17:26:41 »
"I was much better equiped for the job, than the ITT Tech grad w/ 3 years of bench time I supplanted."

I suspect you were.  That's not really setting the bar too high. 

Offline flew-da-coup

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Re: Salaries
« Reply #27 on: 05-27-2008 -- 13:24:17 »
"where after nine years in a calibration lab did you feel you were lacking?"

Repair work, theory, speed / efficiency.  All were greatly increased during the next 3 years in the civilian world.  My experience was about 50% bench time 50% other duties while I was in.  The bench time was generally pretty low pressure.  But that's just my experience and I'm sure others have had the opposite.

That sounds like you didn't do enough during your time to make yourself better. When I got out of the AF in 96, I was much better equiped for the job, than the ITT Tech grad w/ 3 years of bench time I supplanted. And that was with only 4 years in. In the last 10 years, I have been offer over a dozen jobs just for having USAF PMEL on my resume. How many people with civilian training only can say that?

With that being said, I have had the opportunity to work with alot of different techs, and I must say, every person who has the biggest influence on my carrer have been the vets. For a variety of reasons, I have found that civilians lack the foundation to be Metrologists. Not to say that I haven't meet INTELLIGENT civilians, but they all lacked the basic knowledge that made working with/for/and supervising them a little difficult.

I have since given up hope that I can find a shop that will run like my old PMEL lab, but pay me like my current job....

But since we are talking salaries here, I am a tick under 100k in California, so that's like what 60k for the rest of the world.....

Uummm, Civilians lack the foundation for being good metrologist? What foundation did we learn or get in the military that a civilian can't get or learn?
You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume.Leviticus 19:35

Offline OlDave

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Re: Salaries
« Reply #28 on: 05-29-2008 -- 12:32:13 »
One of the reasons that this career field has such a disparity of pay scales is because there really doesn't exist a recognized job description that can be applied to what we do and what training we need to do it.

NCSLI has been working to get the Department of Labor to add job descriptions to the Standard Occupational Classification System that covers what we all do. Great progress was made and some really well thought out and valid job descriptions were submitted for approval. Well they were rejected.

NCSLI needs all of our help now!

Here is the press release that was just released by NCSLI and how we can help get our job recognized by the Department of Labor.

NCSL International Announces
 
A CALL TO ACTION
 
"The US Dept. of Labor rejects petition to recognize Metrology job descriptions in its proposed 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System"

We know that Metrology is the bedrock upon which all U.S. commerce and manufacturing is built and that persons engaged in metrology / calibration activities provide services vital to the U.S. economy and national defense. It is also widely known that in the United States there is a critical shortage of technical personnel posed to replace retiring baby-boomers. The U.S. Dept. of Labor's SOC provides formal recognition of job descriptions which are the basis for its Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) used by educators and counselors to inform students about career opportunities. If the SOC does not include Metrology job descriptions neither will the OOH. The following is the reason given by an SOC administrator as to why Metrology job descriptions were rejected;
 
"The three occupations that you proposed, which I believe were Metrologist, calibration technician, and calibration engineer, were not accepted at the workgroup level, and the SOC Policy Committee accepted the workgroup's decision.  This was in part because of concerns that Census and BLS would not be able to collect and report data on those occupations."
 
Proposed 2010 SOC changes may be found at:
 www.bls.gov/soc/soc_structure_2010.pdf.
 
Note: The SOC is updated once every 10 years. The proposed changes to the 2010 SOC has a comment period of May 23 thru July 21, 2008. We need your help to convince the U.S. Dept. of Labor that Metrology job descriptions should be included in the 2010 SOC.
 
Please e-mail your comments to:  soc@omb.eop.gov with the subject line: 2010 SOC
 
Your comments should include the logic and reasoning as to why the SOC should include Metrology job descriptions because this is the focus of SOC administrators when evaluating comments. Some compelling arguments for including Metrology job descriptions in the SOC are:
 
"There are no existing standard occupational classifications that describe what tasks Metrology / Calibration practitioners perform."
 
"Searching the SOC for 'Calibration' and 'Metrology' finds no standard occupational classifications. Searching the SOC for 'Calibrate' finds two unrelated standard occupational classifications that erroneously use the word 'calibrate' to describe 'alignments' they perform."
 
"Metrology / Calibration practitioners provide services critical to the U.S. economy and national defense."
 
"There are thousands of people in the U.S. employed in Metrology / Calibration positions."
 
You may also contact Katherine K. Wallman, Chief Statistician, Office of Management and Budget, 10201 New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503, telephone number: (202) 395-3093, fax number: (202) 395-7245.
 
It is critical that the SOC hears from you! Please send this e-mail to all interested parties and encourage both those in the metrology profession and those familiar with the profession to e-mail the SOC.
 
We can make a difference if we all get involved!

Offline Broken_Wings

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Re: Salaries
« Reply #29 on: 05-29-2008 -- 20:21:44 »
I'm guessing that may be part of the document found here:

http://www.ncsli.org/training/pdf/pp_26-31_Grachanen_Special_Report.pdf

Note to people working under a government contract:

I don't know the differences between this and the Metrologist codes posted in the Area Wage Determinations.

Now oddly enough there is a Metrology Tech I, II and III in the AWD. I am not entirely sure that this isn't old news.

If OlDave could post his source for this information I would appreciate it. As this pdf has a date of June 2007 at the bottom of it.
"My wings have healed." - Probably a parrot said this.

 


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