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Do apprentices make money

Discussion in 'Training' started by Alaska Mountin Man, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. I was writing up a business plan and was asked by the counselor at small business development if I had considered doing apprenticeship rather than attending school. When asked that I was at a loss for a response, I guess my first question would be does a Prentice draw a salary if so roughly how much? I know if I was to do an apprenticeship I wouldn't expect to be paid top dollar after all someone's taking the time to teach me there valuable skills. And my second question do you professionals usually take on apprentices?

    Thank you in advance for your time.
    Alaska Mountin Man
  2. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    I am aprenticing if you will, and I do not get paid..... I skin heads, flesh, shave, and such in trade for knowledge.........I asked alot of guys to take me on and most said no.... the only reason the guy I'm learning from agreed to take me on is I live in another state..... I stay in a hotel through the week for work and hang out in his shop of evenings.... If you are having trouble finding someone locally I would recomend finding a weekend warrior as far away as possible and see about making arrangements to drive there mabey every other weekend....... get some videos and practice on your own and when you need to see something first hand drive there and see it. Just remember that they are teaching you there livelyhood so be prepaired to offer something.... Also, remember, it's good to experiement on your own and find what works best for you there is no need to reinvent the wheel, but struggling through things will help you develop problem solving skills that will be invaluable in this trade. Good luck!!!

  3. If you want to be on the fast track you should just pay the money and go to school. I have helped at some shops in trade for knowledge and I have had to put in alot of hours to learn anything. You will get tired of fleshing after about the first hour and have about a billion left to go before you learn how to do a shoulder mount. Dvds are great, You can find one on absolutely anything you ever wanted to mount and if you get several dvds, mounting the same animal, you can learn tons of different ways to do everything and decide which ways work best for you.
  4. Thanks for your speedy response

    I will be attending a school starting in January I was just looking for information so I can give the most appropriate and concise answer to any questions that may arise from my business plan.

    Thanks again
    Alaska Mountin Man
  5. Good luck
  6. RoyalOaksRanch

    RoyalOaksRanch Royal Oaks Taxidermy- When Quality Counts...

    I would think it would fall under schooling therefor no pay. Your there to learn, not make money. Its not a job, its a learning experience. If anything you should pay THEM for allowing you to be in the shop learning from them, Or do other things to pay your way. Such as do grunt work, maybe cleaning the shop or something that would help make it easier for the taxidermist to have more time to teach you. Since if they are showing you things, explaining the hows tos and whys, they wont be working at their normal speed...
    Just my thoughts..
  7. Royaloaks is right
    I have people asking all the time, will you teach me , how much will you pay me, are you kidding me, go to any college and ask them how much will you pay me to go to school.
  8. kingcobrakidd

    kingcobrakidd New Member

    I currently have a aprentice,
    he stayts in my home and I feed him,give him gas money and pay him when he butchers and wraps for me, as he gets better I will pay him hourly, but its not a huge wage.
    but understand, its work, and my customers wont understand paying a premeum price for a experienced taxidermist with awards, and having the mount of a lifetime done by a kid.
    Now I do have 3 guys localy who come in and clean or flesh, or even mow, I give them instruction, and help them with problems, I even donate some surplus to practice on, but 2 of them are seniors in high school, and one is wheel chair bound, they come in only on weekends (if there isnt a football game or a girl) but I try and give them materials when I can such as squirrel bodys, practice capes, road kills, whatever I can get. but they are learning, they dont want to be paid, and they come and go as they please. Next year the 2 will be off to collage. but they are also local kids.
    My sugestion, get some very basic tools, a couple videos, and try it out a few times and be sure its where you want to go. Then go to taxidermy school.(I recently heard of one of my competetors aprentice getting freaked out over fleas on a squirrel) This jobs not glamourous, just rewarding. You will get your hands dirty.
  9. coues_deer

    coues_deer New Member

    Good question, in my studio I do not pay apprentices to learn. They slow me way down and they make mistakes which is part of learning. Unfortunately this is usually on clients work and guess who gets to fix it? For the past few years I have had a two apprentices. I charged THEM $500.00 per week for the first two weeks to see if they were serious and had any talent. Then after that it was no pay and full time work for 2 years. The first year was skinning,prep work, cleaning and observing. Most guys want to jump right into the mounting but thats not what taxidermy is all about. A great mount starts with proper basic care. I show them enough about mounting to have them understand why skinning and proper fleshing is critical. Out west we have so many different species it takes a season or two to work through them all. School might be the best bet to learn fast but experience in a good studio cannot be replaced.
  10. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    Anyone that works for a year to learn to skin and prep and sweep a floor is an IDIOT.
    I bet you really like your slaves.
    I pay everyone, Even new hire inexperienced help is skiinning, fleshing, salting, working skins thru the tanning process, final prepping and sewing my mounts up life-size and shoulders, making rocks and habitat,building crates AND altering forms within 30 days.
    You guys not paying people . I don't understand it, They must have had a sign hanging around their neck "will work for food".
    I guess I'm STUPID.
    I guess I'm old school, but "Happy people are productive people".....
  11. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    *, you train employees to be productive so you make money, others just barter to get the crap jobs done around the shop. A big difference.
  12. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    You said it much better than I did.
  13. When I was an apprentice in the skilled trades I got paid and went to school at the owners expense, taxidermy is for some reason different I guess. But you should be paid your making the owner money, or doing his work.
  14. mdupertuis

    mdupertuis Active Member

    * and Mr T, I agree 100%. I just read through the posts and I can't believe anyone would work for 2 years with no pay......that is just stupid. When I was living in Upper Michigan, I worked for a fur buyer in the U.P. a couple days without pay just for the practice. But I'll be damned if I'd bust my ass for a taxidermist making good money on his mounts for nothing. I guess I am old school too, and I agree a happy person is a productive person.
  15. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    avctaxi Not according to some of these guys.
    Even a guy pushing the broom is making me money, freeing me up to do something else.
    "This aint rocket science", oops someone has said that before.
    I have no problem with people teaching,That's great, but when they do it's the student work piece and time is devoted totally to those paying students.
  16. I agree with dennis totally.....this past september i hired 3 differant people for skinning, fleshing, prepwork and i was paying $20.00 hr. no one wants to work anymore. none of them lasted more then a coupe of days. i had like 40 something moose capes come in september.

    I fleshed, turned , salted a moose every day and some days 2 a day in september alone... I am the easiest person to work for as long as your doing your job. not to get off track but from now on they are going to work for me for free at least a week, if they make it that long i will back pay them.
  17. coues_deer

    coues_deer New Member

    Look guys, these are people that came to me , looking to do this. I was not looking for new employees! We are talking about apprentices..............teaching someone the trade. When I went to college I didn't get paid. When you go to taxidermy school the school doesn't pay you. Sure there are some trades that pay apprectices. There are jobs these people can do that earn the company money so they can pay them. Again, these people came to me! All my employees are paid quite well mind you. I have so many people that offer to do this I took them upon on it. Most of these guys just wanted to know how to properly take care of an animal. Thats where all the skinning etc came in. Some wanted to know a bit about taxidermy so they had something to do when they retire. So maybe I am an idiot. I let the market dictate certain actions. If I have people wanting be an apprentice or even just help out in the shop is that stupid? I did not go looking for these people,they found me. Too many people today want top pay for no work. There are some real jerks on this site. I just tried to give a view of what the market is in respone to a question posted.
  18. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    Sorry, still slave labor.
    No matter how you defend it.
  19. I agree with coues deer.
    i would charge them for the first two weeks, then pay them min wage, to see if they realy want to learn then, pay them for what they do.
  20. RoyalOaksRanch

    RoyalOaksRanch Royal Oaks Taxidermy- When Quality Counts...

    I dont get how come your paying to teach someone... Fine if they are your employee but the question wasnt about training employees.
    If someone comes to you and says I want to learn how to do this... They arent an employee they are your student. They pay you for your time, knowledge etc. When they are done they go away most likely to start their own taxidermy shop etc...
    An employee being trained is someone who is planning on working for you for pay. You show them what you want done and how you want it done. They are your employee. Big difference than being a student.