For the first time I'm thinking of hiring a finisher. I have no idea what the typical wages are for this person and was hoping to get some feedback. I'm in Atlanta so cost of living is higher than many rural areas. Thanks.
what type of finish would this person be applying? spray or wiping finish? any custom stain mixing/matching, or any staining at all? distressing and glazing? toning? maintaining finish materials inventories?
obviously, this position can be responsible for all or none of the above and pay should be arranged accordingly. good luck.
We do some custom stain matching but we use a company to get the actual stain. We then produce a proof sample for the customer. There are times where we have to tweak colors via finish tinting. So he would be applying stain and doing slight color adjusting.
For the most part we do spray on conversion varnish but we also do a simple hand applied one. Buff on, let set, then buff off so nothing like a french polish.
As for material inventories there would only be a little of that. Common sense things like telling me when he's running low on this or that.
Test employment then raise where warranted. make them show you, I have seen house painters swear they can do architectural only to be overpaid for the time they wasted. look out for the artist and the premadonnas they can be a real PIA
Something to keep in mind is the ability to manage the work flow, thru the finishing department in a way that keeps production humming. I have had good finishers who could apply the finish, but constantly created bottlenecks when we needed them to properly plan their day. At that time we had a lot of primed work, going back to production, but a shop with finished work always leaving would be different. A finisher who can apply finishes has one value, one who can plan and also manage work flow is worth more. If your system already has an established management, not as important. I paid mine the same as my best floor employees, but always under my shop floor supervisor, if that helps. But I do use a wide range of finishes too, not just mixing the same ratios day after day.
Finisher with 20+ yrs. of verifiable experience. I understand perfectly what you are asking and your second response that expanded your thoughts and descriptions.
Looking at you as a perspective employer, I would be asking what product line(s) you are currently using,........looking for an idea, from your perspective as the owner, how you see work flow through your shop?
"In that door and out that other door" = a bad answer. This was an actual response from an owner during an interview.
An owner that has enough sense to realize that all "bottlenecks" are not somehow solely created in the finishing area. That is one term I am sick of hearing since it is a cheap shot and easy way to shift blame off of production and more often, scheduling issues.
Since you are thinking of hiring a "finisher" for the first time that gives me some sense that you realize it is a position that adds value to your product.
Or maybe you hadn't thought of that?
As a finisher, I would also make it a point to see your finishing shop, as in a dedicated space ideally situated away from the main production/dust producing areas.
I have seen it all at this point in my career, open spaces within the shop that had two fans cut in the wall for ventilation, spray booths with either the filters so packed with over-spray or in one instance the filter wall with no filters in the frames because....?, a "spray booth" consisting of 2x4 framing and 6 mil clear plastic sheeting.....
I actually did work in one shop that had an enclosed booth, which you would think is a bonus until you opened the door and inside were two massive steel lolly columns that you had to work around...fun!!! Of course, the real downside to the upside is that the area was not heated. We're talking upper mid Atlantic states here.
Everyone of the owners on this forum have at one point or another decried the fact that they can't hire or find good cabinetmakers. If you think you're having that much trouble finding CM's, try finding quality finishers. NOBODY is entering this facet of woodworking. If I can find a somewhat qualified helper candidate and squeak four months out of them before they quit; I consider that a victory!
I think Mitch has a good handle on what he needs, I understand what James is trying to say. But having said that, I personally would not take that bait. You have either thought and budgeted for the position and are asking the right interview questions.....or you haven't and aren't, very simple.
There are as many so-so owners/shops as there are so-so finishers. It takes a good while to work your way up to a top tier place.
I am currently at 58k salary plus bonus eligibility, great schedule/benefits and working environment in a very stable company with innovative management.
I am blessed and grateful. Best of luck in your search to fill your position.
Thanks everyone. I found a great guy and it seems to be working out well. We actually have a custom made positive pressure spray booth and try to do the best we can in all steps of production but as we get busier we'll have to keep thinking of ways to make it run smoother. We're not a large enough company to have just one job for each guy so it's still a work in progress. Thanks again though.
FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards(return to top)
WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
A valid email return address must be included with each message.
Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
"Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.
You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.
WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.
Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).
Libel: Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.
Improper Decorum: Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).
Advertising: The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).
Repeated Forum Abuse:
Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.
There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).
The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)
Forum Posting Form Guidelines
The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines
Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Thread Related File Uploads
Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .FLV .MP4 (Image Upload Tips) If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices.
What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe
for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use
of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation,
and at their own risk.