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Author Topic: Precision Measurement Equipment Calibrator (WG-3378-12) White Sands Missile Rang  (Read 5689 times)

Offline griff61

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Come on down and join the team!

Precision Measurement Equipment Calibrator
http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/462005400
Department: Department of the Army
Agency: U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command
Hiring Organization: TMDE Support Group Region 3
Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): 1     vacancies - White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico
Salary: $25.46 to $29.74 / Per Hour
Series and Grade: WG-3378-12
Open Period: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 to Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Position Information: Term NTE 2 Years - Full Time
Who May Apply: United States Citizens
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Offline CalLabSolutions

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When did they go back to WG?
When I left for Germany back in 96, WSRM Cal Lab was the job to have.  If I remember correctly there where GS Positions.

Mike
Michael L. Schwartz
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Cal Lab Solutions
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Offline PurelyNonsense

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Mike, all Army calibrators are WG now. They are either WG-11's or 12's. The only exception to that are the radiac workers who are a GS-9 but only certain ones are. It is of the opinion of MANY in the Army that those who do calibrations should be GS due to the specialized training involved. They call us Precision Measurement Calibrators so they can call us WG employees instead of Technicians, because if we were technicians, we'd be GS employees. Nice, ain't it?

Offline griff61

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When did they go back to WG?
When I left for Germany back in 96, WSRM Cal Lab was the job to have.  If I remember correctly there where GS Positions.

Mike

They were converted back in the late 90s, still complaining though...
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Offline PurelyNonsense

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Fingers are crossed that it will change when the new Dept of Labor classification comes out. It has calibrators listed in it that will label us TECHNICIANS so let's hope!

Offline griff61

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Fingers are crossed that it will change when the new Dept of Labor classification comes out. It has calibrators listed in it that will label us TECHNICIANS so let's hope!

For us, only what the lovely people at OPM determine matters
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Offline briansalomon

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I'm assuming for the critical instrumentation the armed forces still do their own calibrations, even if it's after someone else does the official certification.

Who actually is doing the routine calibration work for the armed forces nowadays?
Bring technical excellence with you when you walk in the door every day.

Offline griff61

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Who actually is doing the routine calibration work for the armed forces nowadays?

For the Army it is a mix of Active Duty Teams and Federal Civilians, depending on the mission and location. I believe there are more civilian labs than ATSTs nowadays.
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Offline CalLabSolutions

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Years ago I worked at the LINAC and the EMERY site out there.
It was a great assignment I was a troop. But I have to say $62k a year, you are not going to attract the best technicians.  And I am guessing offers will be closer to $50k.

It is going to be interesting these next 10 years.  The military stopped training new troops in metrology, now there is a shortage of skilled labor.  And all of the services are behind the curve when it comes to automation. 

Plus my grief with the system back when I was in the Army was the piece count.  I had to calibrate x number of simple items a week then get back to the RF Bench.  He would make another troop fill out all of my paperwork, so I could focus on getting a GRM-114 out the door.

Mike.
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Offline CalibratorJ

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....  The military stopped training new troops in metrology, now there is a shortage of skilled labor.....

When did they stop training new troops in calibration? The numbers going through the respective schoolhouses may have decreased, but to my knowledge, no service has stopped training PMEL/TMDE techs within the past 20 years.

And honestly, the pay isn't bad for the area, when you take into consideration all of the benefits that come with the salary, most of which you can't find in the commercial world, or have to luck into an extremely good company that may have a select few of the benefits. I should know, I looked at making the switch from fed to private industry not long ago..... the salaries didn't even come close to comparing once you took into account all of the benefits, and that is from someone who is not retired from the military. If you are a military retiree, yeah, you aren't hurting......

Now, if you want to take into account techs that have degrees, yeah, you are better off going and getting a job within your degree field, unless it is underwater basketweaving or art history.....

The "shortage" of skilled labor is reflective of the push in the last few decades towards obtaining college degrees instead of acquiring a skill, even if those degrees are in art history, women's studies, or safe space identification (no offense intended to those that may have those degrees, you paid for them, or someone did, its not your fault that there is no demand in those career fields, right?) and also due to the aging workforce.....
« Last Edit: 01-27-2017 -- 13:03:29 by CalibratorJ »

Offline griff61

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The military stopped training new troops in metrology, now there is a shortage of skilled labor.

All the services are still training calibrators, albeit at different skill levels and different locations nowadays.
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Offline griff61

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And honestly, the pay isn't bad for the area, when you take into consideration all of the benefits that come with the salary, most of which you can't find in the commercial world, or have to luck into an extremely good company that may have a select few of the benefits.
Every time I start thinking about jumping back into commercial calibration, I see the wages and benefits and then thank the great Calibrator in the sky that I have stable benefits and don't have to rely on a contractor's whims.

I'm not a retiree either, so benefits are equally as important as pay. When I got into the Fed business in 2009, commercial benefits and pay were taking a nosedive and looked to get worse under the behemoth that is Tektronix.
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Offline CalLabSolutions

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OK... OK... they didn't STOP training new troops... But then did cut the number of new calibration techs way back.
Army and Air Force I believe are < 10% of what they were before in 1990.  I think the Navy is only about 50% (I think).

Mike

** And the Marines, well they are good shots...
Michael L. Schwartz
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Offline CalLabSolutions

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I have to add.. My whole reason for going into the Army was to get my degree.   At 20 years old I was just a dollars short of the max pay I could make at a large company.  I looked around and noticed I was making almost the same money as guys 20 years older than me.  That was good beer money at the time, don't get me wrong.

Most of the job offers I get these days is to run a team of programmers, manage a calibration lab, or run a corporate metrology program.  But I am happy doing my own thing. 

So I need to compare apples to apples. 

I don't think I will ever retire because I don't have a job.  I have a hobby that pays well.  Not as well at the job offers I have been getting, but I would rather wake up in the morning excited about doing something new to make metrology better.

Mike
Michael L. Schwartz
Automation Engineer
Cal Lab Solutions
  Web -  http://www.CalLabSolutions.com
Phone - 303.317.6670

Offline CalibratorJ

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Well yeah they cut back. With the age of automation and multifunction products, it doesn't take 65 standards (that had to be crosschecked/verified every morning) to do a handheld DMM anymore.

That old saying, do more with less... well when less does more, it is kinda easy to do more with less.

In my eyes, the pay is reflective of what the positions require you to do, and we do get paid pretty darn well to do what we do. It is a trade, it has to be learned by doing it. You can't teach someone how to make every measurement they will ever make. You can learn the fundamentals, but you have to know how to apply them to make the varying measurements.

If you want 6+ figures a year, it is possible to get that as a tech, maybe just barely, or depending on where you live/work. Otherwise, you have to move into management or engineering, which requires that piece of paper (more often than not). Otherwise, you are what you are, a skilled tradesperson, using your skill, making a decent middle class living, which is nothing to be ashamed of (contrary to what society thinks nowadays, demanding $15 an hour to flip burgers and ask if they want fries with that).

 

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