What are you really worth? technicians and engineers

This is common in my area. People have permits, location, equipment and business plan but not the people to run it or actually help them suss out how much they can actually accomplish. Not only that, they usually treat the technician as somewhat expendable, blame them when outrageous quotas aren’t met and sometimes even refer to them as “my worker”. I’m not saying that’s what thenaturalengineer is doing, I’m just expressing something I’ve noticed in general.

People design systems, size vessels and talk about how much they can theoretically process in a day or how much money can be made in a day, but the last thing they look for is someone who can actually run everything. I find this interesting as someone who actually runs both hydrocarbon and ethanol extraction systems on a regular basis. Even though a system’s capacity can be designed to run one million pounds of biomass an hour, doesn’t mean the actual logistics and invariable holdups that arise will allow it.

I think it oversimplifies things to just say, “I need someone with experience in operating large scale ethanol extractors. Loading extractor bags, hoisting them into the extractor, and managing the unloading/centrifuge process.”

Coming from someone who is qualified to do these things, and also has an extensive background troubleshooting technical problems I can tell you this person you want to hire is more important and will have a bigger impact on your business than you probably think. This is for your most trusted group after being screwed over many times but you’re looking to hire someone off an anonymous message board to do a critical part of the operation?

SoStupendous, I’m curious on a serious level what makes you think you’re overqualified for a technician position even though you design and manage system construction. I worked as an auto mechanic for years before getting into this and experienced the same attitude from upper management/design engineers in that field. Don’t you really mean it’s just not the job you’re interested in?


When a person says they are overqualified for a job it means generally it is a polite way to say the salary they expect is higher than most would pay.


Yea it could just be that. Or they feel like that kind of work is beneath them and their big brains would be wasted trying to use their hands to actually operate/repair what they have designed.

Not saying that’s exactly what SoStupendous is saying, but the tone of the his/her response could be construed that way.

I’m just slightly triggered because that attitude of superiority over the “tech” positions is common in the auto industry where I came from. I had the grades and finances to go to automotive engineering school and even went to several colleges to check out the programs before I went to tech school. I would always ask the students for their thoughts about being an engineer versus a technician and without fail that sense of aloofness and “not wanting to get all greasy” would show itself.


I understand the background check but this is cannabis, and to exclude someone immediately for having a cannabis related felony such as manufacturing is a little bit rude in my opinion. People like that paved the way for the industry putting their necks on the line. Think of them as veterans from a war. And now that their back home and times have changed theyre just left on the streets with nowhere to go. Not cool imo. (Im not trying to validate anyone specifically)


It would be nice if it all worked out like that, but the real world is hard and there are rules. Part of this game has always been avoiding the man, and the rewards of winning that portion of the game is the ability to participate in the legal side of things. The most common problem I’ve seen companies deal with as far as hiring felons is insurance, since those felons are viewed as a liability.

Some of us made it through those black times unscathed and now have an advantage in the industry. For me I’d say that was 50% good SOP, 25% because I’m white, and 25% luck.


This place is anonymous if you only use it as a message board. If you use it as a community, you might find yourself building very real relationships with actual people.

Here’s how I rationalize my claim to being over qualified to run someone’s equipment as a Tek. You can’t afford to pay me what I would charge you hourly to run it. I am able to set my own worth through a series of residual income streams that make me more than enough money to say no to the majority of the offers I get. It has very little to do with the company offering the job, and everything to do with how I value my time. Once you stack enough money you realize time is true wealth. You aren’t wealthy at all if you have to work 80 hours a week to make that check.


split topic from Looking for lead ethanol extractor in SoCal, legal manufacturing - #3

This discussion has veered far from the OPs topic and giving him any kind of information (finding hi/her an ethanol extractor). Good discussion, keep it up.

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My 2 cents: Yes, having an engineer doing the work of a technician is amazing. Having someone with the expertise to diagnose and resolve issues, even see them before they happen is HUGE.
Do you need an engineer emptying collection chambers and pushing the start button in the morning? Heck no, that is a money drain. Better to have that engineer working (with his brain, usually not getting his hands dirty) to solve problems and develop new systems, they have the knowledge to use as a stepping stone. A technician does not have this advanced knowledge, only the specifics of jobs they have been given by the engineers.

Kinda like doctors and nurses. Can a nurse stitch you up? Sure. Would you rather let a doctor do it. Yup.


I think the best way to look at how an engineer perceives their role is to look at the INCREDIBLE accomplishments of the Roman aquaduct engineers. Some of their aquaducts spanned incredible distances and I believe some are still in use today They had to be precisely engineerd with just enough drop per foot for everything to flow right.

The Chief Engineer in a Roman project of old had to see the project as a whole. He had to understand a lot of things. Most of all he had to understand chiefly that history records a few instances in which the water did not flow correctly once the gates to a monument of work were opened. Oops.

The engineers involved ALL had very little time to correct the problem and Caesar was really not characterized by patience and without question the first body to hang from the tallest arch was… Chief Engineer. Always the motivator, eh?

This is how I always felt when asked to figure something really effing expensive and potentially dangerous out…:sunglasses:

edit: of course the slaves involved with building it were not citizens so had no right to a quick death - they were crucified. Citizenship has it’s priveledges. Seems fair.


Didn’t mean my comment to be taken the wrong way. All I was saying is that I’m interested in being hired for project buildouts. I have done all of the dirty work for every lab that I have designed and managed. I have sweat dripping down my balls right now as I am working in a desert warehouse without AC with one of my employees. We’re chopping trim, extracting, and winterizing at the moment.