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Looking For Opinions On Wages

 
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:10 PM   #1
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Looking For Opinions On Wages


Hi. I am looking to see what I would be worth to an employer. Either hourly or salary. So, this is what I do for a living. I work for a small excavating company in NH. We do $1-2 million in jobs per year, mostly commercial and some residential. Small family run business I have been with for 12 years now. I am currently 31 years old and do 95% of the companies estimates (my boss will sit down with me after I have everything complete and decide how "low" we want to go), all our billing that require AIA invoices, get most contracts together, all submittal packets, as-builts, and all oversize permits in the office. Outside I haul most of our equipment with our low bed and/ or tag trailer, drive truck, layout our jobs with total station or scaling and pulling tapes. I read and understand plans. I also act as a foreman. I am also an operator. I operate all of our equipment. I am not as good as my boss but I am faster and cleaner than the other guys he hires.

I guess the reason I am asking is because I am a salary employee who gets frustrated when we have hourly employees who make more than I do to do the jobs that I enjoy. Which wouldn't be so bad however I need to be on site because the other operators can't do the job without a babysitter. Someone to say dig here, dig there, push over there.

So again, what am I worth per hour? Salary? I haven't had the chance to meet anyone else who does what I do to base my pay.

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:21 PM   #2
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


Its time to start your own crew. You have the skills, you have the talent.

Question is, you got the balls to do it or are you going to punch a clock and take what youre given?

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Old 05-17-2017, 09:34 PM   #3
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jstarcher44 View Post
I guess the reason I am asking is because I am a salary employee who gets frustrated when we have hourly employees who make more than I do to do the jobs that I enjoy. Which wouldn't be so bad however I need to be on site because the other operators can't do the job without a babysitter. Someone to say dig here, dig there, push over there.
Not saying it's the case in this instance, but quite often a hotshot specialist can be worth his weight in gold compared to someone who does what you describe as your duties. It's not necessarily reasonable that you would make as much or more than him in a given set of circumstances.

Obviously, none of us out here on the internet can give you a cast-in-stone valuation of your worth. Way too many variables, starting with your location/general market.

Any chance you could schedule a good heart to heart with the boss to get an understanding of why he pays you what he does? Could be an eye-opener--even if that means you need to move on.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:35 PM   #4
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


Yeah. In due time. It's hard starting up with no capital. My plan is to buy a triaxle dump truck and trailer and rent the equipment I need to do jobs. That way I can move equipment and not be tied down with equipment payments. When I am slow I can hire my truck out. But as thrifty as I am with living expenses its very hard to save on my salary.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:44 PM   #5
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


Go off salary and ask for the hourly wage the ones who you say are making more than you get...

Doesn't matter whether we think you should be paid more or less... it matters what your employer thinks...
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:49 PM   #6
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


Tinstaafl; I understand that I cannot do it all. When we lack help in some areas I fill the gaps. Its just frustrating because we could have 2 extra laborers and me in the equipment for the same price and get it done quicker.
I am the reason I get paid what I do. I am the longest employee outside of family but I am treated like family. We are very close and I do not want resistance between us. He is only 5 years older than I am but he is my mentor/teacher. I wouldn't have learned all that I have as quick as I have if not for him and his father.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:54 PM   #7
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


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Tinstaafl; I understand that I cannot do it all. When we lack help in some areas I fill the gaps. Its just frustrating because we could have 2 extra laborers and me in the equipment for the same price and get it done quicker.
I am the reason I get paid what I do. I am the longest employee outside of family but I am treated like family. We are very close and I do not want resistance between us. He is only 5 years older than I am but he is my mentor/teacher. I wouldn't have learned all that I have as quick as I have if not for him and his father.
So why wouldn't you just have this conversation with them? Pick a number you think is workable for you, add 10-20%, so if they want to negotiate the amount back down, you're not giving up what you wanted to begin with and don't have to be hard-nosed with them as family...
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:56 PM   #8
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


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. But as thrifty as I am with living expenses its very hard to save on my salary.
Man if you don't make enough to save 100$ to 150$ a week or spend in the bar what ever I'd say you need to get more. Do you drive a new car?
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:10 PM   #9
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


Probably 60 - 70k Canadian.
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:54 AM   #10
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


I'd expect you to get paid less than a top operator. What top operators get varies from place to place and company to company.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:05 AM   #11
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


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I guess the reason I am asking is because I am a salary employee who gets frustrated when we have hourly employees who make more than I do to do the jobs that I enjoy.

The way a lot of these family businesses work is the hourly guys don't work 40 hrs/wk 52 wks a year, but the salaried "family" gets a pay check every week. There is some value to that. Base level for pay should be the same or better than driving dump (big company with benefits) in your area, which here would be ~$20 / hr. Top end would be for a top operator, mentioned before.

There is also some value to being mentored and taught how to run a business. He has to know that he's training you to be a competitor one day.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:28 AM   #12
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


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He has to know that he's training you to be a competitor one day.
Or a partner of sorts…
That's a different conversation I suppose - but one worth having before you jump.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:16 PM   #13
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


Thank you all for your input. I am really getting off topic. I am not trying to say that my life is crap and I am under appreciated. I was just looking to see what guys like I would be paid. hdavis, I understand getting a check all year, but I am there working all year. The ones who get laid off make there money in 10 months. I work a whole year for the same money. When I could have 2 months to put towards personal goals.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:27 PM   #14
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Thank you all for your input. I am really getting off topic. I am not trying to say that my life is crap and I am under appreciated. I was just looking to see what guys like I would be paid. hdavis, I understand getting a check all year, but I am there working all year. The ones who get laid off make there money in 10 months. I work a whole year for the same money. When I could have 2 months to put towards personal goals.
Along with your skills that you outlined, sounds like you just made your case to present to your employer for more money...

You've referenced the money they make in 10 months versus your one year, and it sounds like that's what you think you should be paid, so add to it so you can negotiate it down to the level you actually want so everyone is happy...
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:50 PM   #15
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


Years ago I work for a company like yours only 4 of us. Our foreman was salary and worked many overtime hours.
He had an agreement with the owner that his xmas bonus had to put him x dallors above the wages of whoever made the most for the year
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:30 PM   #16
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


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The way a lot of these family businesses work is the hourly guys don't work 40 hrs/wk 52 wks a year, but the salaried "family" gets a pay check every week. There is some value to that. Base level for pay should be the same or better than driving dump (big company with benefits) in your area, which here would be ~$20 / hr. Top end would be for a top operator, mentioned before.

There is also some value to being mentored and taught how to run a business. He has to know that he's training you to be a competitor one day.
Not familiar with excavation buisness ins and outs but in construction ive never seen a real super or PM make less than a top carpenter. Most real superintendents are top carpenters. I wouldn't accept a job bossing men making more money than me under any circumstances I've encountered in commercial or residential.

Obviously excluding OT. In commercial I got screwed by going salary over hourly because of OT
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:32 PM   #17
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


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Not familiar with excavation buisness ins and outs but in construction ive never seen a real super or PM make less than a top carpenter. Most real superintendents are top carpenters. I wouldn't accept a job bossing men making more money than me under any circumstances I've encountered in commercial or residential.

Obviously excluding OT. In commercial I got screwed by going salary over hourly because of OT
I'd take a job bossing someone who makes more than me. Think about having Kowboy working for you, and what he can make in a day...


Small family excavation companies don't have dedicated PMs or Supers. at least that I've seen. They tend to be equipment / production oriented, so they way they pay tends to be based off of top operator pay. Salaried tend to be all family, and family get the highest hourly rate, as it should be.

The salaried non-family tends to be figured on the rate for an operator , but at 40 hours a week. I'm talking small family excavation businesses.

I wouldn't even guess what the OP is really worth to the company, but he must know what top operators are worth on the open market.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:53 PM   #18
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


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I'd take a job bossing someone who makes more than me. Think about having Kowboy working for you, and what he can make in a day...


Small family excavation companies don't have dedicated PMs or Supers. at least that I've seen. They tend to be equipment / production oriented, so they way they pay tends to be based off of top operator pay. Salaried tend to be all family, and family get the highest hourly rate, as it should be.

The salaried non-family tends to be figured on the rate for an operator , but at 40 hours a week. I'm talking small family excavation businesses.

I wouldn't even guess what the OP is really worth to the company, but he must know what top operators are worth on the open market.
Kowboy is a independent business owner. The installers at my granite outfit don't make as much as their production manager I don't think.... otherwise why not install?

I actually did make less as a young super because of OT and that was fair because they were seasoned vets and I was learning.

But a real sessoned super , not the bosses helper, the job is on him, not the carpenter. The win or lose, make or don't make profit or deadline. Now if I'm that guy and I'm pricing and selling I'm making the most Jack or I'm going to be the lead carpenter. It's the bosses right hand guy, the guy getting the calls at 1 am with problems.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:13 PM   #19
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


The easiest route to more money for me was commercial work. With commercial gcs. But unless I wanted to be a Superindentent (maybe you do), I needed a college degree. What you're describing is more or less a PM at most of the companies I know of. That's starting in the $70k range and up. With a degree.


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Old 05-19-2017, 11:12 PM   #20
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Re: Looking For Opinions On Wages


Peel out some of the skills your boss would find hard to replace, I.e. charge a % of the gross profits for your estimates, "donating" the ones that you over bid..., or bid correctly and the competition low balled....

Salary and wage info are available, but obscured behind layers of disinformation spread by cheap employers...

You should know the Davis-Bacon wages for your work area by heart.

Remember, every year the machines are getting smarter, less fragile, so even dumber operators can make the owner money.....

Anyone with good eye-hand coordination can learn to "Cat skin" with today's equipment, but an old drag line took some one with rhythm and skill.....

In other words You are MORE replaceable as an operator every day forward.

You need a PLAN to turn years of "skilled"? labor into an equity or partner position with an investor.

I'd suggest "Rich Dad, Poor Dad,' books for some very basic economics of working vs investing

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