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Old April 29, 2010, 10:15 AM   #29
Senior Member
Join Date: March 31, 2008
Location: Dayton, TX
Posts: 383
I considered hitting "Ignore" and getting on with my life, but I find that I am unable to let the OP's follow-up comments slide by.

If you want to know what the shops are hiring people with your time in trade and experience for, ASK THEM. Comparing your worth to that of a working smith is asinine. It is called apprentice wage or entry level. If you have no experience in the real world, you start with everyone else.

I am a working gunsmith. However, it is not my full time job. In the past 3 months I have worked on, or built, in excess of 20 firearms. These range from parts replacement repairs to fabrication of parts and/or complete firearms. My "hourly rate" for this work might buy me a cup of coffee if I bothered to figure it out. I don't try to feed my family as a gunsmith for the same reason that I do not teach public school: Compensation does not equal output.
I do not have a bought and paid for piece of paper on my wall saying that I am "trained". I do have 20+ years of accumulated knowledge working on guns and the good fortune to work under, and with, some very talented gunsmiths.

I do resent the fact that someone who took a love of guns, a failed career, a holier than thou attitude, the ability to follow simple instructions, and some basic mechanical skills and has turned it into a "I deserve more than everyone else because I did well in school" attitude, with a healthy dose of "My credentials are better than yours". You are starting out as a rookie smith. Your work in school might get you into the shop. It shows that you have the basic aptitude for the mechanical skills involved and that you can complete an assigned task with supervision.

If you are so good, Hang out your shingle and start your own shop, then you can pay yourself whatever you feel you are worth.

Part of that $65.00 an hour shop rate also goes towards covering any screw-ups (real or perceived) the brand new smith makes. Things do happen. Parts fail, screwdrivers slip, finishes get scratched, customers from hell,... All need to be made right to stay in business. The shop usually only gets paid to do the job once.


All things being equal, fat people use more soap. (I know I am one.) High speed, low drag does not even come close to describing ME.
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