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  1. I was curious what the going rates are out there around the US and internationally for CNC programmers? I did a google search for "CNC programmer salary" and got $59,568, then I searched "5th axis CNC programmer salary" and got $112,074 and $138,674. I myself have been programming since 2008, starting with conversational on a proto trak then moving on to EZ CAM, then going to school for an Associates in Machine Tool Technology and learning Mastercam. The school taught us some basics of 5th axis but not even close to enough to jump into it in the real world of 5th. Thankfully my 3 years of experience before school helped me get a lot more out of it than others, I still am friends with one of my fellow Machine Tool classmates and he has never worked in manufacturing after attending. Anyhow my pay started at like 8 dollars an hour in 08 I started working at a small home shop that eventually grew into about a 5 million dollar a year company. I left that company making 20 an hour after being there for 6 years. I went to a really big 70 million dollar a year company and they paid me 25 an hour plus a differential for working a 7am-7pm shift 4 days a week plus optional Fridays for even more OT. I pulled in 77k in 2019 and was pretty happy about the dollars but had no life outside work hardly. Then a recruiter had contacted me in March 2020 and got me a job at an even bigger company for 78k salary. I thought I had made it, then I realized this shop was not the right fit for me and left after just one month. I couldn't go back to the previous company because I had reached out to the "wrong" person and it rubbed my old manager the wrong way. So I took a job at a shop that had tried to hire me in the past for $30 an hour, I only asked for $28 when I went because I was scared they might not want to pay a second programmer that much (they had filled the original position). I know asking for less than I was offered in the past was incredibly stupid now because I have been there 2 years and finally got to that $30 an hour. I am starting to get a little impatient for a raise. But I ended up being able to learn 5th axis pretty well in the 2.5 years I have been here which is what I see as the real value of the position, I haven't mastered 5th axis but I have done some pretty cool live 5th axis as well as tons of 3+2 and I love it! I thought I would share that with you all because I know a lot of you have experience with the same kind of things and was hoping I could learn from some of your wisdom.

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