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Heliian

Engineer Shortage?

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I have seen the same thing AH1 but I'm hoping that this is not the case.

 

I would still like to beleive that there are some people out there with a sense of adventure, who want to go out and explore the unexplored. The things that have changed in 30 years are the pay and working conditions. The pay is way better and the conditions are pretty good, even the most remote camps have internet, phone and TV.

 

Speaking of pay, how does 300/day plus 25/hr flight pay sound to you guys? This would be for one light/intermediate machine. I don't want to know how much you're making now, I just want suggestions as to what kind of rates would be considered average and what you would expect to be making these days.

 

Thanks again for your help.

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Why not hire some apprentices, put them through the program, allow them a living wage, don't treat them as indentured slaves, and perhaps they will stay with you. Everybody wants, nobody gives. I wouldn't want my kids anywhere near this business after what I've seen at some companies. And, I just love those we want someboy elses employees ads. Train your own. This, by the way, is not directed at you, Heliian, it's just a broad band statment.

 

You couldn't have said it better. I understand OP wants/needs experienced AME's right now but this long term approach is much more effective. It seams like such a basic concept, but somehow treating the up and comers with respect, a quality lifestyle (some resemblance of a schedule and decent pay) and PROVIDING them with quality training(not expecting them to pay for type courses) is a concept not embraced by many these days. Some companies are only looking for the end result of that treatment. I believe that the downfall in the treatment of the apprenti may be a cause for some of the shortages.

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I have seen the same thing AH1 but I'm hoping that this is not the case.

 

I would still like to beleive that there are some people out there with a sense of adventure, who want to go out and explore the unexplored. The things that have changed in 30 years are the pay and working conditions. The pay is way better and the conditions are pretty good, even the most remote camps have internet, phone and TV.

 

Speaking of pay, how does 300/day plus 25/hr flight pay sound to you guys? This would be for one light/intermediate machine. I don't want to know how much you're making now, I just want suggestions as to what kind of rates would be considered average and what you would expect to be making these days.

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

 

What level of experience are we talking about here 2yrs? 5yrs? 10yrs? The daily seems good but the flight pay (for an intermediate, 350, 206L, 407) seems a little low. That being said, a high day rate is always better than low day rate and high flight pay. If you're going to clump the lights and intermediates in to one category maybe $300 and $30 would work

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This is turning into an intersting topic. It would appear that the newer mechanics are not up to speed as to what is required, and where they are expected to work. The job has not changed in 30 years, so that's not the problem. I don't understand how they can go to school for years and not be exposed to the job environment. To act totally stunned when they show up and are expected to actually go in the bush is beyond me. What did they expect?

 

I've seen this as well. My DOM sometimes complains that the kids out of school dropping off resumes often want to work multi engine IFR right off the bat, presumably because it's the cool thing to do. That said, we've had some great apprentii come through the door and stay. For me personally, I got into helicopters because of the stories alot of my instructors used to tell us. Maybe there's fewer instructors nowadays with bush/helicopter experience?

 

 

Perhaps the whole issue has more do do with a changing or morphing society, it certainly isn't the job, and in fact, from my observation, some things have actually gotten better from a bush perspective. Companies have been giving substantial compensation, and yet it's always the same thing, "I don't want to be here" Beats me.

 

More and more adult children are still living at home longer and longer. I think this spoiled/no responsibility/lack of independence lifestyle is becoming more common. And considering us helicopter folks are a pretty independent bunch, when a kid who's lived at home his whole life and had mommy and daddy pay for everything, and now he's got to go into the bush and think for himself and take on the responsibilities that this business entails, I can see how that might be a daunting or even scary proposition.

 

Back to the original topic though, I personally don't see a shortage right now. Our company pretty much has all the people we need. However, I think that is mostly due to the slower economy. As soon as things pick up again, eveybody will be short staffed and looking once more, although the number of adds lately is encouraging. Things could be slowly picking up again across the board? Long-term though, yes, I think there will always be a shortage of AMEs, but go on avcanada and some of the fixed-wing guys will tell you that the industry is imploding and the sky is caving in.

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Thanks tree_per, I totally agree with you. On the job training is the whole purpose of an apprenticeship and some people lose sight of this in the quest for more production. Type courses are tricky these days because there are always going to be those guys that get the type course and then bail immediately. We, as engineers, really need to take the time to show the youngins how it's done properly and make sure they understand before continuing. I've seen apprentices quit from other companies because they were only making 60g's in a year instead of 75. Totally unacceptable. When you become licensed, the responsibility requires renumeration, before that, the apprentice should be able to feed himself but a large portion of payment comes in the form of experience. As for the pay rates, the 300/day would be for 2 yrs lic. with 2 type ratings.

 

Also, thank you lunchbox for your well articulated response. My question to you is what happens when the economy comes back full swing? are we going to have to hire fixed wing guys and give them type courses on their first day? Planning ahead is key to survival and the old addage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" could not ring any truer.

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I am going to start with WOW REALLY your unable to find people? I have been in this business for about 14 years now. I have been very dismayed in the last year, during the "recession" that my wages have been cut by approx $150.00 per day, and there has been a daily reminder that there is a stack of hundreds of resumes on the DOM's desk of guys desperate for work. I also note that operators all want you to move to their hanger/company location for the job. Unfortunately my experience has been that moving in the spring for that permanent full time job can result in the winter layoff or sudden change in the company attitude. As an apprentice I moved to Peace River and was lucky enough to get hired on by Peace Helicopters. Great people great company and fair pay with few surprises.

 

Apprentices are young and can tend to make poor choices. Lord knows I made a few, and I wasnt even that young. So yes they come cheap and will move to timbucktoo, but you do get what you pay for.

 

Another item of note I have recently discovered is many operators advertising jobs, but are actually just putting a list of possible hires together. While I am told this is not new, its new to me. I used to call around to companies and get straight answers and was able to negotiate a fair rate for the services of a good engineer. I dont find it like that anymore.

 

Honestly Helian if you really are a fair company looking for reliable loyal people I dont think there is a shortage, and an engineer or apprentice would be lucky to work for you.

 

I personally would love to see this industry become about operators valueing the employees and employees being greatful and appreciative to good employers. Well thats my two cents worth.

 

PS...there isnt really a mile high stack of resumes on every desk?????

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I have seen the same thing AH1 but I'm hoping that this is not the case.

 

I would still like to beleive that there are some people out there with a sense of adventure, who want to go out and explore the unexplored. The things that have changed in 30 years are the pay and working conditions. The pay is way better and the conditions are pretty good, even the most remote camps have internet, phone and TV.

 

Speaking of pay, how does 300/day plus 25/hr flight pay sound to you guys? This would be for one light/intermediate machine. I don't want to know how much you're making now, I just want suggestions as to what kind of rates would be considered average and what you would expect to be making these days.

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

Thats close to what I am getting for mediums, with multiple endorsements and over a decade of experience. Where do I sign up?????

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Thanks for the info Doug,

 

When I was in the north the rates were much better too (375/day) but that was a couple of years ago. Another issue is that the further east you go, the less interest there is from the helicopter world. The whole "there's nothing east of the rockies" deal. If you're trying to get a job in Van then you're going to be competing with that big stack of resumés. Finding someone who'll work in northern ON and not go running back west when things pick up is a different story. That's why I'm trying to come up with a model that will attract and retain quality, loyal employees. Thanks again for your constructive input, the more the merrier.

 

Regards,

 

I

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Very well put... and YOU are bang on! (speeking from personal experience)

I am going to start with WOW REALLY your unable to find people? I have been in this business for about 14 years now. I have been very dismayed in the last year, during the "recession" that my wages have been cut by approx $150.00 per day, and there has been a daily reminder that there is a stack of hundreds of resumes on the DOM's desk of guys desperate for work. I also note that operators all want you to move to their hanger/company location for the job. Unfortunately my experience has been that moving in the spring for that permanent full time job can result in the winter layoff or sudden change in the company attitude. As an apprentice I moved to Peace River and was lucky enough to get hired on by Peace Helicopters. Great people great company and fair pay with few surprises.

 

Apprentices are young and can tend to make poor choices. Lord knows I made a few, and I wasnt even that young. So yes they come cheap and will move to timbucktoo, but you do get what you pay for.

 

Another item of note I have recently discovered is many operators advertising jobs, but are actually just putting a list of possible hires together. While I am told this is not new, its new to me. I used to call around to companies and get straight answers and was able to negotiate a fair rate for the services of a good engineer. I dont find it like that anymore.

 

Honestly Helian if you really are a fair company looking for reliable loyal people I dont think there is a shortage, and an engineer or apprentice would be lucky to work for you.

 

I personally would love to see this industry become about operators valueing the employees and employees being greatful and appreciative to good employers. Well thats my two cents worth.

 

PS...there isnt really a mile high stack of resumes on every desk?????

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