Manufacturing Technician Career Advice

Thread Starter

gbtbtbt

Joined Mar 18, 2020
72
Recently got employed at Bose as a Manufacturing Technician within their manufacturing sector for paper speaker cones. My educational background is an Associate's Degree in Electrical Technology. Because of my lack of employment experience and the limitations of an AS degree, I felt that it made sense to pursue this position.

I'm currently scheduled for the third shift at a total of ten hours per shift. The transition has been certainly one of the harshest experiences I have ever faced and already I'm resenting the daily repetition. I believed at the time and still do that this opportunity is beneficial in bolstering my job experience and learning how to understand how the mechanics and components that make up a large operation of machines.

My biggest uncertainties are : (Does this position help me progress further within different realms of engineering, how long should I continue this position, and how do I manage the night shifts without consequently sacrificing my health.

Edit: My interests are more aligned within electrical distribution through electronic components and sensor applications. I would love to pursue a field that emphasizes robotics.
 
Last edited:

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
13,574
Does this position help me progress further within different realms of engineering, how long should I continue this position
Work experience is only meaningful if it's related to any future job or shows that you didn't have long periods of being unemployed. Are there any potential jobs at the company that align with your future goals? I didn't consider my first job out of school to be just a starter job, but I only ended up doing it for a year before something better became available at the company.
how do I manage the night shifts without consequently sacrificing my health
By third shift do you mean grave shift? I'd advise you to just adjust your schedule to accommodate your work schedule.

When I was a computer operations supervisor, I had a single mom working for me on grave shift and she liked it. It worked well for her because she was home in time to get her daughter ready for school and was home when her daughter got home from school.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
742
What job did you expect as a Manufacturing Technician? Sorry, this is what happens when a school with an odd degree recruits students - the school collects the tuition, reports to new recruits that previous graduates are employed and you get to work a graveyard shift for $18 to $22/hr (my guess). If you look back at your school's recruiting web pages, they may be using your image as a success story. After all, you likely gave them permission to use your likeliness (student ID photo) when you signed all those application pages that you didn't read.
Good luck and maybe apply to an engineering school and get a BSME or BSEE degree.
PS- what grades did you get in calculus? Did you take Calculus-based physics classes or algebra-based physics?
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
742
Also, in a previous post, you said you were older than a typical college student. What employment/military experience do you have?
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
742
...and already I'm resenting the daily repetition.
By the way, you got a degree in MANUFACTURING, not craftsmanship or artistry. Manufacturing is, by definition, repetitive.
Get yourself transferred to a Research team but that might be tough, your training is... Manufacturing.
 

tindel

Joined Sep 16, 2012
817
Congrats on getting a job at Bose. They are a reputable company with a long track record of producing high quality audio gear!

With an EET degree you’re a tech, not an engineer. Engineers go to school at least 4 years, often more, these days. Engineers study calculus based physics to be able to design things that push the limits of the physics. Technicians usually build things for engineers or production lines.

Most techs work in manufacturing. Within my career I’ve worked with only 2 techs that were able to make the transition to engineering. Perhaps 1-2%. And then while they were good, they struggled with engineering concepts so they didn’t get the best work. But they were good to have on the team because they often had a more practical perspective. But make no mistake, they were techs working for engineers, usually running tests. Occasionally they would get to design a little do-dad to run a test more efficiently, but rarely did they work on critical engineering challenges in any engineering capacity.

Smaller companies don’t have a graveyard shift. If you want to work in robotics, apply to robotics companies! There’s also more opportunities to have more diverse work at small companies.

Good luck!
 

Thread Starter

gbtbtbt

Joined Mar 18, 2020
72
Unfortunately I'm indecisive between the field of mechanical or electrical, as I like both the fundamentals.

Optimally I'm looking for electrical technicians roles in R&D, but at the time weren't available. Figured regardless without experience, not much won't amount to anything.

Truthfully, I'm thinking of just seeing this job through a month and start applying for something closer and that is not night shift. I know in one year I will seriously pursue returning to school to begin Engineering pre requisites at my community college.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
13,574
Optimally I'm looking for electrical technicians roles in R&D, but at the time weren't available. Figured regardless without experience, not much won't amount to anything.
I think it'd be difficult to get an R&D job right out of community college unless you had related work experience. It can happen, but I don't think that's the norm. The community college I attended placed a fair number of graduates with ESL (Electromagnetic Systems Laboratory) that did a lot of R&D work for the military. The day I interviewed, I got to see a U2 take off from Moffett Field.

If your job doesn't use the theory you learned in school, make sure you do things on your own time to keep that knowledge fresh. My first job after I got my ASEET was in production testing and troubleshooting refrigerator sized computers made with TTL (MOS memory) to the component level. A year later, an R&D technician position became available in our corporate R&D labs and I was able to get it because they were looking for someone who had strong basics. Technicians with more experience on my line also applied, but they were rusty on theory and were passed over. It probably helped that my boss' boss knew of my work (I had been working on some special projects with a production engineer) and suggested that I apply.

Depending on the research being done, you may need to take evening classes to work towards a BSEE and, maybe, MSEE.
 

Sensacell

Joined Jun 19, 2012
2,919
Work at this job until the day you realize there is nothing more to learn there- then quit immediately.
Don't wait for them to "train" you - seek out the knowledge, ask questions.
Use this experience to leverage a better job, rinse and repeat.

Soon you may find yourself in a more satisfying work environment at higher pay.
 

click_here

Joined Sep 22, 2020
446
My advice is to try and find joy in the things you do.

Study the items you are assembling: little things that you notice now can help you in the future.

Now as a thought experiment think of this - Imagine that you like to run, but one person comes up to you with a gun and says, "You need to run 5km or I'll shoot your loved ones" - Even though you can run that, it will still be the most stressful thing you will probably do.

Now imagine instead that you have just bought new shoes and go for a run. It will probably be a nice afternoon.

This is an extreme example, but it illustrates a point: How we think about the things we do affect how we perceive it.

By thinking that your job is terrible you are robbing yourself of the joys that are on offer.

Learn as much as you can and let it help you grow :)
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
742
Yeah, here in the PacNW it's crazy. I had three interviews in one day, and by the time I got home,
I had three offers in my inbox. I'm working alongside kids with no work experience.
The benefit of clear, well-written standard operating procedures. How long is the on-the-job training?
 

Hamlet

Joined Jun 10, 2015
472
The benefit of clear, well-written standard operating procedures. How long is the on-the-job training?
Three months to a year. Some processes require an intuition that's difficult to delineate in an SOP such that
it can be made idiot-proof, and the effort thereof often leads to abysmal result. Alas, most engineers could
use a little more literature & arts in their curriculum.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
742
Agree on the writing skills of engineers. A bit of advice, have the new employees read each step of the SOP and then have them explain back to the engineer what they understood. Then edit each step's description to make sure it is an SOP and not a bunch of poorly written text filled with jargon.
 

Hamlet

Joined Jun 10, 2015
472
Agree on the writing skills of engineers. A bit of advice, have the new employees read each step of the SOP and then have them explain back to the engineer what they understood. Then edit each step's description to make sure it is an SOP and not a bunch of poorly written text filled with jargon.
That's a good idea! If I can get you to stop in for an afternoon, as an expert tech. writer from someplace exotic and far away, they might just listen to what you have to say!

I'm currently using a spec for CVD that runs 49pages, with links to specs for accessory equipment. It's absolute torture! And now, almost weekly, there are temporary eng changes to accommodate shortages in process chems and gear.*

I think it would be easier to teach someone how to read and speak Klingon.

*(The d i b o r a n e s h o r t a g e is sidetracking quite a few devices. But that's all hush-hush, you didn't hear that from me, and you won't find squat about it in a google search.)
 
Top