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Author Topic: Low pay  (Read 19733 times)

Offline docbyers

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #15 on: 12-26-2007 -- 16:24:00 »
If it works, it's a Fluke.

Offline spencerslack

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #16 on: 12-26-2007 -- 18:04:28 »
looks like its been talked about, and everyone seems to be in, but that thread was from march 06.   I am just as guilty because I've been talking sh!te about a union since I got out and joined the real world in 97.    I think as a whole our profession is full of folks who don't want to ruffle any feathers and like taking it in the shorts.  .  .  people get comfy and secure, albeit securely way under paid, and "the man"  is safe in that assumption 99% of the time. 
« Last Edit: 12-26-2007 -- 18:06:48 by spencerslack »

Offline docbyers

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #17 on: 12-26-2007 -- 22:16:23 »
Agreed.  By and large, every PMELer I ever worked with was never out to change the world.  They just wanted to make a good living, have a nice spouse and family, a decent house in a decent neighborhood, and a good stereo system.  A couple weeks of vacation every year, and they are good to go.  They shop-hop or job-hop until they get to a city/town where they want to be, and always log on to websites like this one to see what else is out there, because you never know when that 1-year TDY in Kuwait will dangle itself out there, offering a year with no beer and tax-free income...  Otherwise you take your military and civilian retirement pay and relax in Florida, aged 65, looking forward to the grandkids coming so you can get cheaper tickets for them at Disney...

Change the world?  Not our style...  Our garages have Fluke meters and plastic bins with 50 ohm resistors (and good stereos), no socialist solidarity banners or AFL-CIO flags...  We generally vote Republican, pay our taxes, mow our lawns, and take pretty good care of our vehicles (which have military ball cap(s) on the rear window deck).  You can find us on Friday nights at the Legion or VFW enjoying a good fish fry, and most of us aren't even Catholic...  We're not entirely pleased with W (although we voted for him); we're scared to death of Hillary and Obama, and are researching the candidates thoroughly; surprisingly, we like Fred Thompson, and not just for his Hunt For Red October role...

Unions?  Not our style...
If it works, it's a Fluke.

Offline mdbuike

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #18 on: 12-27-2007 -- 03:18:54 »
And many don't realize we load our own shells, tie our own flies, and actually know how a tube or transistor works (well, theoretically)..

Have a Happy New Year,

Mike
Summum ius summa iniuria.

The more law, the less justice.

Cicero, De Officiis, I, 33

Offline dallanta

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #19 on: 12-27-2007 -- 13:28:57 »
Very perceptive Doc, sounds like me all over
The Center Will Not Hold

Offline PMEL_DEVIL-DOG

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #20 on: 01-16-2008 -- 19:38:27 »
what a great topic.    how about a metrologist union to help the techs get proper pay, i think its the only way to relieve the stress of techs to hot stamp equipment because the shop they work for has bid  an onsite way to low.    There is strength in numbers and if all the techs nation wide had a union to lean on to help get fair wages, then all the shops would bid jobs based on actual cal cost, and not just try to under bid each other.    plumbers and electricians get paid the way they do because of unions.    Let me know what you think.    As long as mom and pops are hiring unqualified techs and under bidding every job in town to customers who are not required to have 17025 cals then the pay is going to get worse not better.   HALLA BACK!!! ZZ IS RIGHT ON POINT!!!!!!!!!!!

I've already opened that can of worms with the union thang
"Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina: Where young men who can't hack it, drop out, and become outstanding Air Force Officers..."

Offline USMCPMEL

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #21 on: 01-18-2008 -- 21:46:29 »
What about starting a company that pays you per piece that you calibrate? I can easily do about 25 multimeters in an 8 hour day (hand held not bench) so at $85 a pop ( with data) thats 2125 per day that I earn my company. If I got 10% of that I would be making $212.50 per day. or $26.56 per hour which by the way is a raise for me.

Offline RichieRich

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #22 on: 01-18-2008 -- 22:27:08 »
Actually that is pretty much what Davetee was complaining about in the forum about average workload.  You are only asking for ten percent of your billing.  He was complaining about having to bill 3.2 times his wage (i.e. getting paid approx 30% of what he is billing).

Maybe you should go to work for his company???  lol.

My point is it's all a matter of perspective.  If you aren't billing much, you don't want your pay tied to how much you bill.  If you are billing a lot, your perspective is very different.  It's hard to please everyone. 

Offline USMCPMEL

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #23 on: 01-19-2008 -- 16:51:42 »
Very true I understand what you are saying. I believe I responded to the earlier post. The place I used to work I billed about $30k a month. So if I actually got the 30% I would have been making 10K a month. MAN if that was the case I would have never quit!! Back to my old post about doing multimeters though you cant alway do the easy stuff sometime you are stuck doing oscope all day at $125 a pop and u only get 5 done. It is all hypothetical anyways. I did have a friend that was working somewhere and he was getting 30% of what he billed as pay but it was only part time.

Offline Crayonman

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #24 on: 01-21-2008 -- 04:29:12 »
just testing out my new picture. . .

Offline PMEL_DEVIL-DOG

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #25 on: 02-15-2008 -- 18:48:40 »
How about walking out! :-D Naw, momma gotta get fed!
"Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina: Where young men who can't hack it, drop out, and become outstanding Air Force Officers..."

Offline CalLabSolutions

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Re: Low pay -- Some reasons why....
« Reply #26 on: 02-16-2008 -- 20:57:23 »
I have been in calibration labs all over the country, in all kinds of labs, 3rd party labs, In-house labs, Manufacturer’s Labs, and rental companies.  I would like to say I have seen it all, but from time to time I get surprised.

The problem with paying calibration tech big money, is few of them, can produce big.  The bottom line is a company has to make money or save money; so a technician has to bill more than he cost the company.  And his cost is not just his salary you have to add in social security, insurance and other benefits, buying standards, calibrating standards, computers software, facility costs and utilities.  This all adds up to some pretty big numbers.
 
So companies have to make money, I have seen many companies use a 4to1 ration to estimate if a technician is able to make money.  Meaning the technician has to be able to bill 4 time what you pay him; so a 50k per year tech has to bill/save 200k per year to break even.  And a 100k tech would have to bill 400k per year.  You can tech this ratio by looking at you bill rate compared to you average technician’s hourly rate.
 
Last year looked at a report put out by one my larger customers.  Their average technician was billing 240k per year, and their techs made an average 55k per year.
 
So there are the problems as I see it..
  1) The average tech in LA has no productivity advantage over the average tech in Kansas.  Thought the cost of living in Los Angelis, Dallas, San Francisco is higher, the cost of calibration is not.  Matter of fact the average cost of calibration is LA is lower.  And, yes many companies are doing little more than printing paper. 
  2) Companies that automate do get more production out of each technician, but the cost of automation cost the company and raises the 4-to1 ration to say 5-to1.
  3) And I hate to say it, but many of the tech’s and management I see on the road are very inefficient.  I was at a customer’s site a few weeks back and watch a tech spent an hour getting all the standards relocated to his station to-do a calibration.  It is took him about an hour to but all the standards back.  If this is a high production facility, well they just lost 2 hours of billing time.
  4) Don’t get me wrong, I love automation.  But, I watch technicians site there and watch our software run.  We give them a connection message and run all the test that use that connection; so they may have 15-40 minutes before they have to do anything, and they just sit there.

So if we as calibrators want to start putting more money in our pockets, we need to start making some changes.

The first major change we need to make is this antiquated 1 technician, 1 name on the calibration certification and 1 tech number on the label quality system paradigm. 

Instruments today are multi-functional, a tech should not have to move standards around to calibrate it..  We should move the UUTs to the station with the standards and let the technician who works that station do that part of the calibration.  (and be able to track who did what and when) 

**Imagine if Ford, had each employee build one car start to finish, rearranging the plant as needed.
« Last Edit: 02-16-2008 -- 21:04:41 by CalLabSolutions »
Michael L. Schwartz
Automation Engineer
Cal Lab Solutions
  Web -  http://www.CalLabSolutions.com
Phone - 303.317.6670

Offline CalibratorJ

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #27 on: 02-17-2008 -- 02:57:06 »
"We should move the UUTs to the station with the standards and let the technician who works that station do that part of the calibration."

No offense, but never ever ever will I let this happen to me or any of my technicians. One UUT = One Tech. Yes, the tech should move the UUT from station to station instead of setting all the equipment at his/her bench though, but the same tech works the piece all the way through.

But, that's the problem I see with the Automation software we run in the Army. Once you close it out, thats it. You can't pick up where you left off on another workstation, even though you can and should network all of your workstations together and pull from one database.

I could go for days on what's wrong with automation, but who has the time anymore??

Offline LarryH

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #28 on: 02-18-2008 -- 01:20:20 »
I would have to dispute your automation costing more.  Your example is one of a bad technician using automation - the cost is the technician, not the automation.   As with anything, the cost vs. benefit has to be analyzed on a case by case basis.  A $2000 software package to calibrate Fluke DMM's would not be worth it if you have experience techs around - I have managed to crank out 50 Fluke 70 series meters in a day manually with a 5520.  If I had to READ the display on a PC at each step, I could only do about 1/4 as much.  My example of automation applied correctly is the Metcal program I wrote to run accelerometers.  These were data point calibrations (cal factors at every frequency) and took about 30-45 minutes each to run manually as your nulled the standard against the UUT.  Using Metcal, this calibration dropped to 5 minutes each AND we did not allow the tech to sit there as they run, meaning it was only 5 minutes of mantime, the calibration still ran for 20 minutes.  This program is still used today, 8 years later.  Automation pays HUGE divideds in documentation, if they customer insist on data.  We also used partial automation on 8566B's on a contract we had.  I could run the high frequency test manually while a second 8566B was running the 3335A sig gen test.  With this double duty, I could finish 2 8566B spectrum analyzers per day, sometimes 3 if they went straight through.

As for pay ratios, I worked with a company in colorado that paid on a 3:1 ratio and bonused us to make it an even 3:1 every 6 months.  Great!  My problem is my hot-stamping coworker who is cranking out 1GHz counters with a 500 MHz source, 3 HP 8902A MMS's in two different costumer locations in less than 4 hours and "figuring out" a costumer's oven controller in a few seconds as soon as the customer stepped out for a minute was wiping the floor with me in bonuses!  I am the detailed oriented type person that made sure procedures got filed in order, parts are easy to locate, standardizing equipment locations, etc. basically all the little things that helped the lab run better but NEVER appear on the billing ratio.  This work ethic resulted in terrible bonuses under this system.

IN summary, like everyone else said, companies have to make money.  They may say they are all about quality before quantity but they keep pushing the quantity and most seem willing to look the other way to keep the bucks rolling in.  This may work in the short term but, in the long run, the lack of integrity slowly destroys their product and their customer base.  My 2 cents...
USAF PMEL: 82-91, Civie PMEL: 91-05,  post PMEL 05 and on.

Offline skolito

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Re: Low pay
« Reply #29 on: 02-18-2008 -- 14:30:12 »
My problem is my hot-stamping coworker who is cranking out 1GHz counters with a 500 MHz source, 3 HP 8902A MMS's in two different costumer locations in less than 4 hours and "figuring out" a costumer's oven controller in a few seconds as soon as the customer stepped out for a minute was wiping the floor with me in bonuses!


got to love Lickers and Stickers

I know a few companies are like that here in the Carolinas

 

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